Jobless to Lawn Business??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by moneyclass, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. moneyclass

    moneyclass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    One thing that I was thinking was I spend say 5000 on equipment and stuff and go out there and first year only make 5000 and I dont like the biz anymore I made my money back and i could quit the biz and have all this commerical equipment for my personal house and it would basically be free stuff.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Doesn't work that way. If I had a nickle for everyone who says, "Oh just buy it, if you've got a couple of jobs to pay for it, then it's paid for." What happens is those people don't realize that those jobs also pay your expenses. I might have 5 jobs that paid for my mini-skid, but in reality it takes about 15 jobs to pay for it after my expenses.

    Your not figuring in fuel expenses, equipment repairs, insurance, office supplies, etc....

    So lets say you spend 5k on equipment. You would need at least 7 accounts at 30 dollars a week, at 30 mows a year to get at and a little above your 5k mark.

    What about living expenses? Even if you have other income coming in, you would probably still need to have at least 10 more accounts at a 30$ average to supplement any other income you have already.

    So lets figure fuel expense, equipment repair and other overhead. So you might be looking at another 5-6 accounts at a 30$ average to cover expenses.

    So your looking at roughly 23 accounts at a 30$ average to break even on operating and to give yourself a supplemental income.

    Ooooops, forgot about that drought that hit your area, so you lost about 10 mows for each client, and now your looking to have at least 35 accounts or more to break even.

    Now, in my 6th year of business, I only mow 5 accounts. Consistently it's been 5 every year since I've started. I've gained a few, and lost a few. But, my business isn't centered around mowing and I don't advertise or push for anymore mowing accounts. Even if I don't push for mowing accounts, I'm still surprised that I haven't gotten up to 10 accounts yet either by word of mouth, or have requests for that service. You would think 10 would be obtainable even if I cost a bit more than the average mow service.

    Not trying to be discouraging MoneyClass. We all have to start somewhere. I just feel that you think that it will be easy to get started and going with a mowing business, and that's not the case at least anymore. If anything, my post is only trying to get you to realize that it can potentially take a lot of work and effort just to make your money back in this current economy. Your posts make it sound just like any other guy I talk to who is going to start a mowing business, think they are going to make a killing, and then fail.

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,476

    Ever hear the old adage "you have to earn 2$ to keep 1$"?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I would think more like earn $5 to keep $1, but I get the point your are making.

    I purchased quickbooks to keep track of my stuff and it doesn't lie as long as you keep track of stuff. Operating gets expensive and is probably more expensive the less accounts you have, because less money is coming in, kind of like what White Gardens was saying. Things take time to pay off and you'll need to make more than $5000 to pay it off, even if it's only $5500-6000 it's still more that needs to be made. Most of my money made, as a part time business, paid for home improvements or keeping my wife home with our son when he was a baby. I think I was lucky to keep about 20% of what came in, then that amount got taxed :hammerhead:. I had a bunch of equipment too (mowers, trailer, dump trailer, handhelds, etc..) that ate away at profits. But you've got to be in this for a while before good money starts coming in.
  5. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    wow ...................................
  6. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,878

    My thoughts exactly.

  7. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,878

    My recommendation is this before you buy/do anything: Decide whether you actually want to own a business or do this for a year, be a lowballer hack, realize you paid people to mow their lawn, and fail, thus ruining the market for those who have a legitimate business.
    Anyway, know your costs... low overhead + efficiency in all aspects = more profit. Research, research, research and don't stop researching. Get registered with your state (DBA, Corp, LLC, etc., (my biz is an LLC and that's what I'd highly recommend), where do you live anyway as you don't have a location listed? Obtain an FEIN & State tax ID (in MN you collect sales tax on most lawn services so I charge & pay sales tax, you may not...) Get a commercial liability insurance policy, get advertising (why buy equipment when you have no work lined up), get the advertising out and never stop.
  8. borwicks

    borwicks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    good luck. MY 2 cents.
    If you dont know if this is your passion???!!!!!!
    All you need is that ranger, some insurance, 21" mower, blower and trimmer and maybe a license or 2.
    Load it all in your truck find some 5k yards and go to town.
    This limits your investment and keeps your costs low.
    Keep your route tight. Less than 50 miles per day.
    Plan on mowing about 2 per hour. Well i Hope..

    Good luck
  9. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Wonder what the percentage would be from the hundreds of thousands of posts!
  10. borwicks

    borwicks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    When it involves money. a lot. I think for general help stuff. Very little.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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