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Need Advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by oldskool203, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. oldskool203

    oldskool203 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a few questions for everyone. I'm 28yrs. and I've spent the last 9yrs. in the Coast Guard. If I want, I can get out at my 10yr. mark and I've been thinking about getting into the Green Industry. My only problem is that I have 3 children, a wife and make about $35,000 a year. I only have 11yrs before I can retire but I feel I need to do something else with my life. Is it possible if I were going solo I could make the same amount of $ that I make right now my first full time year? Right now I work 7:15am to 2:30pm m-f. I would have a year to work part time and establish business. My wife is very supportive but I worry about the livelyhood of my family. I'm not in it to get rich, I just want to work for myself. Any advice good or bad would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    You could make 35k your first year, but there's not guarantee. My first year I GROSSED about 38k. Keep in mind you'll incur a lot of start-up costs your first season, equipment, advertising, office supplies, etc.

    With your current work schedule, you definitely have the time to start up nicely part-time. I'd do that for a year, get some clients. The revenue from that should easily cover your start up expenses. Then hopefully by year 2 you'll get a lot of referrals, and you'll already have all your equipment.

    A word of advice- consider your future financial needs. Its about impossible to get a loan or line of credit from a bank when you're self-employed until you have 2-years worth of tax returns. So before you quit the Coast Guard, look into what you'll need financially while you still have an employer. If you own a home you can probably get a loan/LOC with little trouble right now. Then when you go solo you'll have that backup money in case things get a little tight. That's something I wish I had thought of BEFORE I went solo.

    But yeah, 35k is certainly attainable in your first year, if you're ready to put in the hours and build your business.
  3. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    This is my first year in the business, and also am part time, hopefully full time next season. There are many, many more qualified people on this site then me to answer this question. But I'll let you know what I did before starting out.

    Start by looking at your target area, check out your competition, the going rates, # of prospects (both residential & commercial), figure out what equipment you need to start out with (you may have some equipment already). Then look into local regs about what you legally need to start up a business, and get quotes on liability insurance. Talk to some business people you know in the area and get their feedback. Figure out how many customers you'll need to get started and make some money. Starting out part time IMO is an advantage as you can get some business rolling and learn about the business before going full time and having to worry about other things. You may not make much your first year, depends on how much you invest back into the business. And $35,000 really shouldn't be that hard to do, depends on the area and how tight you run your business I suppose.

    You will never know for sure unless you start somewhere. Hard work, common sense, quality work, common sense, paying attention to detail, and common sense should all help get you closer to being a successful business owner.

    Good luck, and like I said above, there are truly some great guys on this site that are willing to share their ideas and experiences, I personally really appreciate the help and direction they've given. And all I can pay them is respect.


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