Lawn Care or Sales Position

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Tomt, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. Tomt

    Tomt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    I know, everyone needs advice, me too.

    I am currently about to be unemployed, as of March 31. In anticipation of the my job ending last year I started a part time business. I have all the "good" equipment I need, Walker, Echo, and Honda. I have a new 14'x77" dual axle trailer and Dodge 30 1500 PU.
    This is my dilemma; Take the lawn care full time or accept sales job offer and keep LC part time. New job would be in same field as previous job, but at a reduced salary, about $48k plus $450,00/mo. car allow. and fuel paid for.

    I would really like to move the lawn care to primary job but was disappointed with expansion outlook. Last week I mailed 45 letters to prospects and after about 4 days have had no responses. I mailed the letters to specific addresses from a mailing list I compiled myself from touring the market. The letters and envelopes were computer published and I included a card. It was an intro. letter with a brief overview my business.
    My target customer is the one that is looking for "something better" in terms on a complete professional package; the job done, appearance of equipment and uniformed performance of the job.

    I would appreciate any and all serious input.
    :cool: :cool:
  2. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    I hate to say it, but keeping it part time for now would probably best for you. There are additional costs that your probably aren't incurring part time. I think you'd be hard pressed to clear the same amount of money initially. If you have some money to float you, then go for it maybe. Good luck to you which ever you choose.
  3. Tomt

    Tomt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    Thanks Bryan.
    What additional costs am I missing?
    My mind says you are right, my heart says give it a try.
    Still thinking.:confused:
  4. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    I was in your situation and decided to go for it and be my own boss after spending 15 years in the corporate world. Plan on spending a lot of your personal savings at first. My first year in business I was pleasantly surprised with the income I had. If we had not had such a severe drought I would have had a very good year. I also do landscape designs and installations which was the majority of my income last year. I only had 7 mowing accounts, but most of them were large commercial jobs that amounted to almost 40 acres of mowing each week. This would be equivalent to 70-80 average residential jobs.
    The biggest obstacle I had was getting used to the sporadic income. I still miss the paycheck every two weeks, but the freedom of being your own boss and making all the decisions for yourself is well worth it. Good luck.
  5. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    Do you have business insurance? If not, you should to protect yourself and customers. Has the money you've made part time been reported to the IRS? Many in this industry don't pay taxes like they should. If you're legit, the self-employed taxes can be hard to get used to. And as it was mentioned before, the money coming in can be very irregular. Unless you have considerable savings you're willing to risk, I still say stay part time. With the current economy, there will be even more competetion than you can imagine. Give them a little time to hang themselves. While you do it part time, you'll gain even more experience and knowledge. By the way, does the sales job offer any health insurance? Like I said earlier, good luck to you either way.
  6. Tomt

    Tomt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    Lombardi and TurfGuyTx, Sincere Thanks for your input.

    I do have Ins., and Tax is completely above boards.

    I have a severance income that I could use, BUT I am leaning toward part time due to the poor response to my adv. thus far.

    Thanks again.:confused: :confused:
  7. Ritcheous1

    Ritcheous1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I would keep trying, 45 letters does'nt amount to much. I've read
    on here that most people use fliers and send out 100's per week.
    On average, fliers have been their best advertisement as well as word of mouth. I'm by far no expert, these have been posts I've read. I would think about taking the other job for now until you get the client base, you can always quit. Always do what your heart tells you and good luck.
  8. millerjjr

    millerjjr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I agree with ritcheous1, don't dispair about not hearing anything from 45 fliers, try 450 or 4500 then make your determination. Maybe doing it part time is best right now, then next year go into it full-time after your customer base has been built.
  9. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    No one I know (especially myself) ever wants to be on their deathbed with haunting thoughts of....

    "I wish I would have..."

    If your heart tells you go for it, go for it.

    As I've heard many times (and truly believe)...

    If you do what you love, the money will come.

    More importantly.....

    If you do what you love for a "living", you will never "work" a day in your life....
  10. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Your statement is worded perfectly. For years I always wanted to be my own boss, but I could never leave the security of a corporate job where I was paid every 2 weeks, had paid vacations, fancy dinners, got to travel around the United States at someone else's expense, etc. After the 2nd layoff I made a decision to work for myself and then only I can be blamed if fail to succeed. I love what I do and I never have a bad day at work.

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