my story

shady dog

LawnSite Member
east coast
I am 28 years old and two years ago I started my three year plan. I have been working at a printing warehouse since I graduated from high school. Two summers ago I began mowing a few lawns and doing some side work like mulching. At the time I was using my personal JohnDeere Sabre riding mower to do three or four lawns/week. The only advertising I did was local flyer postings. The following year my boss agreed to let me work part time from April to November. I went legitimate with business insurance, business name registration, and taxes. I bought a 6' x 12' pace trailer and 52" Bobcat zt series and I kept the john deere and 4' x 8' open trailer as back-up. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do much advertising early in the mowing season due to an already planned Costa Rica trip. I was afraid I was going to get too much work and have to rely on someone else to do my mowing while I was away. My fear was realized when I returned from Costa Rica only to discover 11 messages on my answering maching from some unhappy costumers. Apparently my cousin, who I thought would be trustworthy, didn't mow for an entire week. Thankfully, all of my customers knew that I was on vacation and didn't hold it against me. When I returned from vacation, I started advertising in the local paper and picked up some late season mowing. Went back to work full time in November at the printing warehouse and am miserable. My goal for this season is to go full-time (hence quitting the printing gig in April), working for myself. In fact, I've turned down a free trip to Spain with my wife because it will conflict with the high season. I learned my lesson last year and now realize that I will never be able to vacation in the summer (too bad for my wife...she's a teacher). I'm attacking my plan full steam this year. I've purchased 2000 door hangers, professional invoices, etc. and I should be carrying over about 10 lawns from last year. However, I'm a little worried about my 1998 Dodge Dakota as by the end of last year's season the transmission was giving me some trouble. I am contemplating purchasing a heavy duty truck. I'm in the process of getting my pace trailer fixed after the weight of my mower bent the supports in the trailer. Any advice would be greatly welcomed.