Is this really for me? Is it worth it, after its all said and done?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TCossuto, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. TCossuto

    TCossuto LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 23

    I'm going to be a senior in highschool this year, I've been mowing for about 4 years, and this year I decided to go big. I bought a 52 inch walk behind, backpack blower, new edger, truck, trailer, trimmers, etc. It's good quick easy money. I make 3x more than anyone my age I know, and I work 1/10th of the hours... if that.

    The question is, is it really worth my time/effort to REALLY build this business? I buy and sell cars so capital is never really a problem. I'm thinking about investing ALOT this next season. You guys with alot of expierence.... is it worth it? Is it reasonable that I could 2-3 different crews, a manager, and not really have to do anything within a few years?

    I want to PROFIT (not gross) atleast 25k the first year, and an additional 10k each year after. Is this doable?
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    No it is not reasonable to think you can run a business without doing anything within a few years. When you run your own business you work harder than anyone else and you do that all the time. No such thing as not doing anything when you run a business period.
  3. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    im new as well but the only thing i can comment on is that i doubt you could not have to do anything. there will always be stuff to do that a manager may not be able to.
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    I would say that the profit part may be obtainable, But as far as doing nothing, you still need to manage your managers, and all other aspects of the business. Any successful small business owner I know works more hours than the normal working man/ woman.
  5. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    You may not be out on a mower, but you will still be working. But I think it is very doable. I say go for it.
  6. sancho_man_orlando

    sancho_man_orlando LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Old saying: "The LESS I DO, the MORE I MAKE!"

    Step 1. Oursource or hire
    Step 2. Manage
    Step 3. Hire manager to manage
    Step 4. Work 5 - 10 hours a week handling tasks only you can do.
  7. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Lawncare is a very difficult business as far as profit goes. It's so easily started by just about anyone so your competition is not very aware of profit and usually messes up the prices you need to make good money. There are of course the exceptions and there are lots of those on this board. Overall though, it is at the bottom of the ladder for pure profit. You could make way more with services such as painting, deck repairs, security installs, stucco repairs etc... anything that has a higher barrier to entry and difficult estimates where getting the price is more difficult will yield 4 to 10 times what lawncare gives out.

    Mind you, some lawncare is great if you come in as the white knight after someone quit and along that, if you have to clean the property, the dollars can be awesome. We just did that to two properties, a 75 unit condo and a 100 unit condo. The 75 one, we just did over 10k over this long weekend in tree removal, cutting 1' grass and pruning what was neglected for years.

    Those are the exception in lawncare but they are what I do it for. Good profits and year round 12 month contracts with snow included. Good cash flow...

    Hope this advice helps... (if you're open to advice that is) :waving:

  8. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    I agree with what was said here. As for your figures, I don't think they are possible if someone else is the manager. Being a fairly small company, I suggest staying as the manager to help maximize your profits. Even if you work 2-3 hours a day, you wont have to do hard work and you won't have to drive a truck & trailer.

    Another thing that you (and every business owner) should do is read E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber. That's one AMAZING book!
  9. Zaro T Man

    Zaro T Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    This being my first year operating I have found that the inside work (paperwork, bids and such) to be WAY more work and harder than actually being out there with the mower, shovel or what ever.
  10. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    there is a lot of truth to this but that in mind I say follow your dream and go for it your young enough that if it doesn't work out you can pursue another line of work

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