Michigan LCO's

Discussion in 'Network: Central' started by tiedeman, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. alternative

    alternative LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    Yes the market is flooded, so keep your day job.
  2. DRLawnInc

    DRLawnInc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Jaybow, I'll try to keep it short. First if your in it for the "money" I would take Alternatives advice. It's not as easy as it looks . If your just gonna do it for "extra money" keep the 15, that will keep you busy enough. If your looking to do it full time perpare yourself to work 24/7, missing just about everything to do with your "outside" life including your family because when your not mowing your not making money, plus you still have billing to do, maintenance and or repairs on equipment ,bidding etc. etc. Not to mention no paid holidays, vacations or sick days. Then you have your insurance, accounting & equipment bills not to mention your normal day to day operation costs and we haven't even got to weather, profit margins and "low ballers" yet. So if this sounds like the life for you I say step right up and welcome aboard !!!
  3. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,149

    Well said DRL.
  4. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    Stay at your day job. With only 15 accounts good luck paying for your maintenance,fuel, equipment, and especially insurance, liability, and taxes.
    When it comes down to it with your current job and this, you prolly wont profit enough money to make it worth your while. (Your time prolly isnt worth the amount you will make. If that makes any sense. If you value your free time)
  5. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    It took me four years to clear a profit.
  6. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I have a cousin that thinks he runs a lawn business. He took out his 401k to buy all his equipment, so it was all paid for up front. He still has a 9-5 job, and does lawns on the side. He takes all the money he bring in from lawns and pays it out in labor to him and a couple guys he has help him. No money ever goes back into the equipment (except for the occasional blade change or when it BREAKS... virtually no PM). I tell him every year that he is just selling off his 401K little by little, and when his equipment breaks for good, he is gonna be outta business. It dont take a rocket scientist to figure out, and I tell him repeatedly and explain the details to him, but he still dont seem to get it. He's not making any money in this biz, even though he might put $100 or so extra bucks in his pocket every week. He is losing money.

    I suggest if you dont yet understand how someone can put money in their pocket every week, but still be losing money, that you dont start this (or any) biz until that bit of math is crystal clear. You need to allow for new equipment purchases, repairs, expansion, and other overhead costs of running your biz BEFORE you start counting how much money you made.

    This will all tie in to your pricing, so you must understand exactly how much it costs you to do a job before you start the job. You will be off at first, most likely too low thinking you want to give people good deals, but you seriously need to understand your costs and what it all really costs to run a business, not just YOUR specific labor.

    If you do wish to give it a go despite all of our warnings, I too wish you good luck.


    P.S.... I have been in this biz for over 4 years now, and STILL dont make as much as I used to at my 9-5 job before I quit. BUT, I enjoy being my own boss more than enough to make up for it. So that is something thats hard to put a price tag on. My bills are still paid, and the company is in good finiancial shape, so I make enough, but if $$$ is all that matters, this aint the best.
  7. jaybow

    jaybow LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 1,089

    Thanks for the insight .I have been considering all these things and that is why im on here asking questions.I am trying to keep my outlook on the whole thing realistic.Ican also see where equipment and prevenative maintenance can bee costly.But I am mechanically inclined and will service own equip.I can also see to make any desent money on just mowing residential would have to do about 20 per day 6 days week.I want to offer other services like minor tree trimming/pruning hedge trimming gutters spring/fall cleanups.Maybe eventually laying sod.The reason I am pursuing this is my job will probably be gone later this year 10 years down the drain.:cry: I Know I can make some money at this but dont think I am going to get rich.I have been buying equip piece by piece preparing.When I tell people what I am doing I get strange looks alot of times but thats OK because everybody has a different vision in life.I have dealt with this when buying houses to renovate in the past when the economy was good.People would see the house I was going to remodle and look at me like I was a complete nut. But when I sold it for 30/40/50 thousand profit no more laughs its can I get you to come take a look at this or that. But anyway I am going in head first and think we all need prayer in these days.Also with God nothing is impossible.
  8. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,116

    Dang, I haven't made a profit in 22 years. I'm gonna need a few more $12 lawns this year!!!! ROFLMAO
  9. alternative

    alternative LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 468

    Ditto - gotta find out why so many people wanna get in this business. lol
  10. DRLawnInc

    DRLawnInc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    First -I hate to hear about your job. That's what happend to myself also. But this business is way differant from house flipping, there you will most likely get paid, here sometimes you DON'T , so what you gonna do when a customer owes you hundends of dollars?? Keep doing the work cause they say "oh I'm gonna pay you" or stop doing the work cut your losses and lose a customer?? Well there goes that bottom line number and now you have to find another to take there place to TRY and recoupe that money. Because believe me all the preying in the world won't get a customer to pay or pay the bills I've tried. Second -All that's fine and good and I think everyone here is mechanically inclined,( I know I don't like paying $65 hr. for labor) but you still have to buy the parts and you can bet it will be at the most inconvenient time. I don't know what kinda equipment you have but you can bet everytime it breaks your looking atleast a $100 bill, then you have down time to fix it plus your getting backed up cause your fixing the equipment and not mowing. Then you have to plan for the winter, how much money you need to bank over the summer to pay your bills though your downtime. There still is a ton of other veribles along with every other business and that's good if your ready for this but keep your eyes wide-open and plan.. plan.. plan.. and when you think you have a good plan , plan some more.

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