Need your advise - help please

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawnperfections, Jul 30, 2001.

  1. lawnperfections

    lawnperfections LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Please forgive my double post but I did know where to ask.

    I work (Sr. Systems Analyst) for a hospital here in Jax. Its a good job(pays $53K)that I like but not love. I also have a part-time lawn care business that I love. Over the last year I have built it into a 30- 40 customer business ($27-30K) in just my neighborhood of 225 homes. Long story shorter. A business man that I have worked out with in the gym for the last 2 years has approached me to take the business "big time". He wants to diversify his portfolio. He is an electrical & communication contractor with 57 employees running about 30-40 trucks all over Jax. He a very honest and genuine family man, that enjoys the lawn industry. He says that he does a lot of commercial work and has a lot of contacts. He will be putting up 100K - 150K of his own money to get started with a the truck, equipment and 3 member crew. He would like to have 3 to 5 crews running in 6 to 12 months. Lawn care in FL is almost year round. I would be the sales force and foreman until we can justify hiring one. This would be a 50-50 partnership.

    While I love the lawn care business and enjoy selling and customer relations I don't want to give up $80k to make $40k. By the way my wife is 5 months pregnant and will be quitting work when the baby comes in Dec.

    My questions are:
    What is the likelyhood of making 80-100k.?
    Would any of you do this?
    Should I just keep doing what I'm doing?
    What kind of gross sales do I need to generate?

    Please give me your honest opinion because I have found that this site is the best place for good, honest answers.
  2. Dennis

    Dennis LawnSite Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 155

    I'm no expert but with your situation, I believe I would stay with what you have.
    I just recently quit my FT job to go into Lawn Care, However I hated my job and my wife also worked there so I kept the Insurance.
    Take some time and think about what you will give up(Job Security) And what will you gain (Possibly 50~60K maybe more)
    Will your wife go back to work? Does she have Ins.? A baby is a very expensive addition to a family. I would really consider this very hard....If it were me........I would stay right where you are.
    Hope this helps
  3. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Don't kid yourself about the 50-50. If he's putting up the cash, when push comes to shove (and it will), it'll be his way or no way.

    As for some of the questions you ask, I think it'd be a great time for you to put together a little business plan. You have some experience under your belt and should be able to figure out what kind of sales you need to generate to earn the $$ you hope to.
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    "Take some time and think about what you will give up(Job Security) And what will you gain (Possibly 50~60K maybe more) "

    IMO the only true job security is self-employment, esp the lawncare and related industrys. Trends in this business are such that you can tell which aspects are waning and which are on the upswing and adjust your market focus accordingly.

    Working for the man, well, there are no promises, you could show up tomorrow and find a chain on the main gate, then what?
  5. lawnperfections

    lawnperfections LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Let me add a little more. My wife will not be going back to work if I can help it. The problem is I don't know how much longer I can keep up this pace.

    Mon - Fri
    4 am - wake up
    5 am - arrive at gym
    6 am - hit the showers
    7 am - arrive at work
    330 pm - leave work
    4 pm - arrive at 1st cut
    7 - 8 pm get home - shower - eat - spend time with wife
    9 pm - sleep

    8 am - arrive at 1st cut
    4-630 finish depending on the day

    Sun - rest
    <img src="">

    - yeah right - I've got to keep my yard looking the best in the neighboorhood because all of my 40 customers live right there. Its bad for business if my yard looks bad.
  6. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    50-50 - no way. Let's assume you also come up with 100-150k, just to make it fair, because as Stonehenge mentioned, it doesn't ever seem to work out as planned. Now, you have some money tied up with a guy who wants to have 3-5 crews rolling. That translates into the need for a lot of revenue. In order to start that, without having the business already, or growing a midsize business up a couple of notches, your combined 200-300,000 isn't really going to be enough.

    I think to net 80,000 for you, you need to determine who is going to work. Are you going to be paid to be a managing partner, and he gets 50% of profits only? Will you collect a fair salary, then split the profit after you are paid? That is a big question. 3-5 crews should gross about 750,000 - 1 million dollars, I think. That generates about 10% net profit in a tight ship to yield about 75-100,000. Split in half is about 20-30k coming your way if you leave a little in the company for growth. If you take out some benefits, and perks (like maybe a company truck), that profit will be down, and your partner will start to scrutinize what you are taking versus what he is taking. With a salary of even 40,000 per year, plus the profit split, I believe you will tolerate lower profits for a couple of years, and split 0 for 1-2 years. This is because you will try to enter a competitive market and ultimately offer a lower price to turn dollars. Otherwise, you will be paying your staff out of your pocket. That leaves you with a lot less money in the short term than you have now. Next, you will experience growth pains, due to the lack of middle management. Your partner probably won't even want to know about it until he realizes that the 75grand profit expectation was split down to 30k after you pay a manager........
  7. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    Why in the world do you work out and then do lawn work in the afternoon? You must be exhausted by the end of the day. By the way, stay where you are. Working for the man has some definite advantages.

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