Leap of Faith

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

  1. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    Hey Diamond I agree. I'm just posting what is the reality of this business. You hit the nail on the head and its part of what I was saying that most of the established businesses that have been in the game for a long time are the ones that are making money and are able to hang on.

    It takes a long time to build that good customer base. I'm not saying that you can't make a good living either, but it takes years. I think most come on here and think that in a year or two they will be making what they made at their regular job or more. I was naive myself. I knew it would take a while but I didn't realize how long or the challenges involved.

    I think most come on here with unrealistic expectations of how hard the work is or how long it takes. Sure if you have deep pockets you can buy a few trucks, and equipment and advertise like crazy and in a year or two become a player in the game.

    Ive seen it in my area. But I'm not talking about spending a few hundred on advertising or even a few thousand on advertising. I'm talking about companies that spent hundreds of thousands on equipment at start up and then spent 20 or 30 thousand a year on advertising and salesmen etc.

    If you think your going to run out and buy a few mowers off of craigslist and then throw a few magnets on the truck and take over the world well then your sadly mistaken. That is what most that come here think.

    It takes a solid business plan with company trucks and equipment and uniforms and websites etc etc etc.

    If you want to supplement your income that is one thing. If you want to live on this that is another story all together.

    I'm not arguing with you or anyone else, just stating the facts.

    $50k net takes a lot of business to reach that point. $50k gross you can do in a few years but your net will be maybe $15k or less.

    Good luck to the Op whatever he decides.

  2. BFLL

    BFLL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Very Well Said...and very true!!
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    You left out how old are you and how many years you have in the pension system. Without that info no one can give advice if it would be better to teach or mow grass. Also left out where you are on the pay scale, where it tops off at, and how many more years for you to reach it.

    Those that can't teach mow grass. I just coined a new phrase.

    Next I don't understand how you can get fired and be moved from school to school every few years when Texas has tenure for teachers.

    It seems you place more importance on coaching HS football then being a teacher.

    Most teachers teach because that's what they want to do. Coaching is viewed as a bounus.

    It appears you are opposite and rather have the steak sauce instead of the steak.

    In NY most school coaches get an extra $4000 to $8000 a season to coach a sport.

    I taught for 13 years, have 15 years in the pension system and past I'm 55. Thing is I would go back to teaching tomorrow because there is no way I would make the money mowing as I could teaching. Teachers work 40 weeks a year, 180 days. Many get done by 2:30 PM. Plenty of time to do and build a landscape/snow removale business to have when retirement comes.

    Matter of fact give up coaching and doing landscaping after school will make you more money and take less time then you now spend coaching.
  4. GravelyWoman

    GravelyWoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Amen!! STAY DEBT FREE!!! Any extra money put it back into your company! After buying my zero turn, blowers and other hand helds, I added an Echo Bedredfiner. This one piece of equipment paid for itself within 7 days of purchasing it....I pushed this one service of "recutting" flowerbeds at $1.00 per ft. People love this service! Find other services that you can "up sell" so that you can make extra monies on top of the the regular lawn maintenance.
    Find your "niche" and separate your company from other "mow, blow and go's". If you do this and serve up great customer service....the sky is the limit!
    I became "legal" licensed and insured this year. I am still working 32 hours per
    week and then work my company after I get off and on Fridays & Saturdays.
    Stay with your job at least two good years and by this time you should have a great feel for how and where you want your company to go. Build a business plan and stick to it....
    I wish you the best of luck and please reach out if you have any questions!

    Gravely Woman :)
  5. masonenterprises

    masonenterprises LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Its definitely a tough go at it these days, but stay part time for a few years and invest money correctly. I dont agree that debt is bad. There is such a thing as good debt and bad debt. Know what you need, and what will make a good ROI. Also try to subsidize income by doing something else. Scrap metal, a paper route. Whatever it may be. The extra income can be nice if you need it. I started off with 2 lawn accounts. But my big focus was on lawn expansions and design work. I had a good network of people and good access to borrow equipment when needed. Give it 110%.

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