Leap of Faith

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jfan, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. jfan

    jfan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I am currently a teacher/coach and have always said if I was to do anything else it woudl be in the landscape industry. well I thinks it may be time for me to do something else. I have been considering starting my own landscape business, I would like to jump in this spring and stop teaching in June and start it full time. Is it possible to start out this spring and by the end of august when my paycheck from my current job stops, be able to make a somewhat smooth transition financialy? I currently make just shy of 50,000 a year and bring home 3,400 monthly. Maybe Im crazy but I llive in a very populate area with housing develpment after development and very affluent neighborhoods.

    Im not a high school kid or college kid just trying to make a buck If i was to do this it would be my livelyhood.

    I would like to hear some financial stories of people just starting out. how much are you billing per month, how many yards were you able to get. How mutch did you have to hustle just to pay your bills. and how long did it take you to get to a good spot financialy?

    If Im crazy please let me know??

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 892

    I think your crazy! if you are a "teacher" do you not get about 2 months off in the summer? Pension and benefits are probably a good thing! If I were you, I would stay a teacher and take up landscaping in the summer when your off. I'm sure you could do a few jobs in that amount of time. But thats just what i would do.
  3. jfan

    jfan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I would agree with you if I were just a teacher, I am also a coach, I work on the low end 85 hours a week august-noveber during football season, and when track season starts in February, I do have some weekends off but still dont get home on most days untillaround 6:30 or 7. my "3"months off in the summer starts mid June and I work camps, streangth and conditioning (weight room duty) up untill we go back to work full time as football coaches around mid July.

    I have thought about not coaching and just teaching and doing the landscape thing on the side to generate some additional income but would probably only amount to the extra money I make Coaching. Not to mention If im not coaching I really dont enjoy the classroom all that much.
  4. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    The question yo're posing really boils down to where you are at in both life and in your career !! if you're at a point in life that you really can't stand working for someone else and your career point could allow you not to suffer financially then amybe a career change would be in order ... no one else but you can answer these questions. Good luck.
  5. whosedog

    whosedog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 730

    Give up a secure job with pension and benefits,paid sick days,vacation days in this economy;you would have to be nuts,especially in a drought stricken area like Texas.It would take years before you could build up the business to equal the income you now have.Your benefit and pension package could be worth 25+thousand on top of the 50G salary.Put your hat on and get out of the sun;I think you've get heat stroke.
  6. jfan

    jfan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I figured this would be the general consensus, I am on my wifes health insurance? If you you were from TX you would understand that being a TX HS Football Coach is not a real secure job. Dont make the Playoffs, the Head Coach gets caned, The new guy comes in and cleans house so he can bring in his own staff and Im looking to pack up my fammily and find another coaching job somewhere in Texas (ive been coaching for 5 years and this has already happend once). This is the real reason for a change in career? My daughter is 3 and Im having trouble with the fact that who knows what town Ill be living in when or how many different schools she will be in. Dont get me wrong Im not complaining, Im quite thankfull for my job and steady income. But I dont know what else I could do but own my own landscape company if I wasnt going to be a football coach for the rest of my life. and Im starting to think that I dont want to be a football coach for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for all your replies. LOL
  7. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Unless you can live off your wife's paycheck as well as her insurance, you'd be nuts right now.. unless of course you plan on selling and installing green rocks as the main part of your landscape business. With the long term Texas drought outlook, you're going to be trying to sell landscapes to customers that due to stage 5 water restrictions won't be able to water it at all.. so you better be selling alot of those green rocks.
  8. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    Your Crazy!

    I think everyone thinks this is an easy business, hell when I was like you I did too. I came here and read and read and read for months and hours and hours. I was totally consumed by it.

    I ran the numbers and ran the numbers and thought man this is easy and the more yards I get the more I make. I have a guy that lives down the road from me and he was in business for 10 years at that time and I talked with him about the business for months.

    Every time I saw him we would talk about his business and the LCO business in general. All seemed good and I thought why not.

    Problem is most people lie about their business and this business in particular. Why, hell if I know. Maybe an ego thing.

    I started this part time in 2006 and its one thing to be part time and able to buy things you need and put your earnings back into the company because you have the income of your regular job.

    That is what I was able to do. I worked my full time job for 50 to 60 hours a week and on the weekend or after work I did my route. It was hard work but I thought this is not bad and I could do this on a regular basis.

    That was right before the economy took the big dive. I thought I could get as many customers as I wanted. I had all the pipe dreams and misconceptions that every other new guy without a clue has.

    Just count those lawns baby. If I have 10 I can make this much. If I have 20 I can make that much. Hell if I can get 50 I would really be in the $hit.

    Well let me tell you from someone who is not going to lie to you. Its not that easy. The equipment is just the beginning. Advertising is what you better have money for and lots of it. Not $300 or $500 on some piece of $hit fliers.

    I'm talking about thousands of dollars, and be prepared to run around on estimates that don't go anywhere. Be prepared to to spend that money for a little return. Be prepared to keep on spending money on advertising until you find what works and even then be prepared to spend a lot of money.

    Your going to have thousands of guys with the same thought process and attitude that you have doing the same things but only on different scales. Be prepared for the Walmart mentality guys and the illegals working for peanuts and every Tom,Dick and Harry doing the same thing.

    I looked around me and thought the same thing, look at all the new subdivisions around me and the high end ones at that. Let me tell you something, that doesn't mean $Hit. Every other newbie is thinking the same thing and those same places are going to be inundated with advertising as soon as February rolls around and the onslaught will continue well into June and July.

    You will soon find out just how hard it is to get all those customers you dreamed about when you stood on the field or in your classroom looking out the window thinking if only I could.......

    If you want this to be your main source of income and you don't want it to take years to get there then you better be able to spend big money on a lettered truck a website,company uniforms and advertising of all kinds. And be prepared to work your @$$ off for very little money after expenses. Prices have fallen off a cliff because of the current economic situation and the amount of new guys running into this thinking they found the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Dreams are nice but reality is a cold harsh #itch.

    Don't mean to piss in your Cheerios but that is what you plan on getting into so just a fair warning from someone who will tell you the honest truth.

    PS. Most on here are part timers or are retired or have wifes with good jobs so they can hang on and talk like things are great, and most will lie on here also. 1% on here are doing well with this business.

    But they were here and had an established business long before the down turn in the economy. Don't believe the bull that gets thrown around on here daily. It will suck you in and you will find out the truth the hard way. If you think what I have to say is bull and you decide to jump in anyway, you better have 3 things. A lot of patience. A lot of money. And a very good marriage.

  9. stickleylawncare

    stickleylawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I would not want to quit a good job cold turkey and start a lawn business, but if you can go into it at first par time, you would have a much better idea if its right for you.. and if you can handle it financially. If you quit cold turkey and only get 1-2 yards the first month/year its going to be a really rough start, but one you could make it through if you had supplemental income.

    Just because 95% of the people on this site say how bad it is and that if you start a lawn care company your first born will die, your house will burn down, and an immigrant will steal your wife; that is certainly not what I have experienced. I think some people are just full of piss and vinegar now matter what life sends their way. Sure its tough, but Id rather have the challenge of my own business, making my own money, instead of being a drone at some 9-5 job making someone else rich.

    If you do decide to start out, good luck!
  10. bmlawns

    bmlawns LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 3

    part-time first,
    I am a teacher also and started this for something to do in the summer. You can make enough to more than make up for your coaching money. I used to coach softball and it wasn't even close to what I make doing this part-time. It can be kind of hectic in the spring and fall trying to work around the weather and teaching to get all of your stuff done but it is worth it. Teaching is hard enough to get a job in so right now so if you fail you may not be able to get back into a school system. good luck with whatever you choose.

Share This Page