Making a living..

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by davis45, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. siklid1066

    siklid1066 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    100 mowing accounts plus xtras,what do you do when it rains?
  2. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,570

    sounds like you got a good start. chemicals great money a lot of laws and regulations to follow a real PITA once you got a good system to follow paper work neighbor notification atc it is worth it. I have been running my business for over 10 years and it was my fathers for 20 before that he was a solo operator and me after school. i had 12 employees and now down to 8 this year started off slow and bad i lost 50 accounts to lowballers(a long story differnt time) so i cut back 1 cutting crew. i work only when and if i want to usually do estimates and run around doing this and that so yes you can make a living at this it just gets harder each year to do it, quick example lawns were 30 a cut 15 years ago now they will go for 20 or 25 trucks were 15k now almost 40-50k gas enough said. illegal workers and companies do work for cheaper than we can there is a lot going for you and a lot going against you you determine what happens next. imo do not worry about the quanity of lawns worry about your quality keep higher clients kiss their ass do full service i would rather have 30 clinets at $500 a month than say 100 at $150 a month. advantage of workers your business can grow unlimted just keep training good workers you can do what ever you want when ever do not have to worry about work, disadvantage you are not always there to see everything and it costs more to do business more payroll,taxes,fuel,insurance etc.. Last bit of advice put money away for the winter pay off your bills in december untill aprill and start planing your retierment because lco are not worth anything when you sell them( i do not know why) so good luck focus one what your ultimate goal and work untill you get there then create and goel and keep going to ypu get there
  3. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    Big Bump!

    I'm in the same boat as the op.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    Marry a girl with a daddy that is loaded.
  5. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,697

    Here's a little motivation. I'm a little older than you, not much. I have my own business with about 30 accounts, most are commercial and take about 3-4 hrs. Get the commercial jobs if you can. They pay the best and you rarely have to deal with any complaints, as long as you do a good job. I am living comfortably, Lord willing that continues. I do hope to absolutely KILL it next year and expand to the point I have to start hiring.

    A success story.

    The main guy in my town that does lawn care/landscaping started out about 10-12 years ago. He now owns his own hardware store and tells his crew of about 7 what to do. Has a place at the beach, land, huge equipment, and a boat. Now, everyone on here will tell you those days are close to being over, even I will, but I wont say that its completely unattainable. He busted his chops and continues to do so to get where he is today. No one is going to give it to you, you have to go get it. I, like you, got my license this year, but that part has been really slow for me. Best advice I can give you is go to the pesticide section and read every thread so you know what you are doing...and what you don't need to do.

    The world is yours.
  6. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Its been awhile since I've posted on here but this is a really good thread to chime in on. I am 21 years old and starting out. I'm married with almost two year old twins. I had plans to go into the Army this past October and did lawn care all summer to make cash to get by until I shipped to basic training.

    Well the Army didn't go through. I had a MTD 22" push mower (Not self propelled) that I had to put gas in the carb to prime it and put it in the back of my 1983 BMW 320I with a piece of plywood. It was very ghetto but I advertised solely on craigslist and well I made more money that I have ever made in my life with any other job. I was so backed up that I had to turn down a ton of work. Sure I didn't have insurance, a very ghetto set up, minimal equipment (MTD push mower, weed eater brand line trimmer, home lite hand held blower) but I made a ton of cash.

    I put the cash towards a decent self propelled Toro mower, Echo line trimmer, home lite back pack blower, and now a 48" Howard Price walk behind. I'm still stuck pulling a trailer with my BMW for now but hey it works and I'll make money.

    This coming spring I plan on hitting it hard and doing things right (Business license, insurance, contracts). It IS possible to make a living at this and I'll give you the best advice I can.

    "Anything is possible if you put in the effort"

    Good luck and don't let anyone tell you that you can't make a living at this. You are definitely better set up than me and I'm still making money.
  7. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    You can make it and do quite well. Remember you are running it as a business. You need to treat it like a business. Even if you're not borrowing money you should have a business plan down on paper.

    A good business plan will help you with a pro forma statement. It will help you to form income estimates. To show you what your expenses are. To from an operations plan. To help you to show you what you need for equipment.
  8. 1st class grass

    1st class grass LawnSite Member
    from wyoming
    Messages: 82

    I think a lot of people expect to much for to little. You can't hand out 500 door hangers put an ad in the paper and expect 5,000 a month. You get only what you put in.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    is year
    That's true just remember a 1-3 percent return on any advertising, expect 1-2 percent really so it takes a ton of advertising to get going I put out 1000 door hangers last year and got three accounts so I was happy with that but will be putting out upwards of 10- 20K this year should get 20- 30 accounts hopefully.
  10. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Messages: 1,041

    It depends LOL. I think you have gotten some good advice here and it sounds like you are doing just fine, so really nice start and i will chime in with other congrats - keep an eye on YOUR business do what fits for you so guys like the hustle and bustle of management so their goal was to grow enough so that they could manage the company and get off or out from behind a mower.
    For me I have net worked with a couple of guys who do things I don't and hire them, I also have a guy that works for me very part time - we were in the marine corps together ten years apart lol - he is a hard worker and has my work ethic - I like to think its good - I basical point him to the job and it get done, I pay him very well he is worth it.
    Personally, I get lost in another world behind my mower. I am looking for a couple more accounts for next year - I do the whole yard - so I don't need many to fill the day. For me 25 accounts would be just perfect.

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