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oversaturated market?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfsup, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. turfsup

    turfsup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Lately Ive really considered getting serious about bailing on my full time job of 5 years and starting my own lawncare biz. The one thing that makes me nervous is the fact that there are a ton of companies already in my area and I'm wondering how easy it will be to score accounts. I'll be a solo operation and all I need to match the pay I receive now is Approx. 20-25 accounts. It doesnt seem like it would be too hard to get that many but I could be wrong. Has anybody else starting out had a hard time with this?
  2. Theres lots of competition everywhere, that doesn't mean you can't get your share. If you are nervous about the income can you go to part time hours at your current job? Better yet get a few thousand flyers out real quick so you can gauge the response. Be ready with some extra cash because starting out always takes more than you plan.
    Good luck.
  3. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    switching full time jobs is very difficult, there however is room for everyone, i wish u luck and hope u make the right decisions :)
  4. Blaker8

    Blaker8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Don't worry about all of the competition. If you work hard and do a good job you should be okay. Yeah its scary switching jobs like that but if all you need is 20-25 lawns than go for it. You do need to be prepared for all of the start up costs involved though. Commercial equipment is expensive.

    21" Toro mower $700
    Trimmer $330
    Edger $330
    Blower $400
    Trailer $800

    This is just a rough estimate just to get you started bare minimum you would need $2200. Don't forget you will need a computer with a printer, business cards, invoices so before you tell the boss you quit be sure you have enough funds. You will be making good money in no time.
  5. tlcservices

    tlcservices LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Messages: 61

    check with an accountant first, then the bank,then yourself, like working 30 hours for someone else for taxes equip, maint, etc you must think about it

    LAWnENFORCER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I have a pt lawn biz, and have thought about going full-time. I think the town I live in is to small to match my ft job(benefits, ins, ret). I have done a lot of research on starting a biz and most professionals suggest you save 3-6 months living expenses.

    First this will help pay the bills while getting started, and second if for some reason your biz did not work you'll have time to find another job.

    Depending on your schedule and equip, you can handle a lot of yards part time. This will allow you to save the money to jump into ft. I currently have 20 accounts and handle those in 2 days. I am currently saving for a zero turn 52" rider so I can add more accounts.

    Most sucessful buisnessmen just jumped right in, yet I bet they did a research and knew the consequences if they did not suceed.
    It is a gamble, but if you establish a professional co., your work will do they advertising for you.

    hope this helps

  7. TotalLawn

    TotalLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    I quit my full time job last year (March 16th). I had 5 accounts. By September I ended up with 46!!!!!

    Quaility work speaks for itself!!
  8. tsmiff1

    tsmiff1 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 62

    I'm serving my two weeks notice right now (which are been taken as vacation time) and getting ready for full time lawn care. In just my first week I've gained 11 accounts; most of which come from doing spring clean ups and word of mouth. The customers felt that I had done a great job and opted to have my services year around.
    I must admit I was really nervous about quiting my job, but after doing the math on my past 5 years in part time lawn care I knew it could be done. The one thing that has really made the difference is when you are committed full time you have nothing else to do but solicit more accounts when your not working. Something that I have learned from the past is respond immediately to potential customers with quick estimates and the initial job. Doing this as a full time job will allow you to do this, unlike sitting at the office when your pager goes off and you have to tell the potential customer you'll check it out later. A customer calls me....BAM! I'm there at the door giving an estimate....customer accepts the estimate....BAM! I do the initial job within 24hrs. Customers love promptness. Think about it; when they finally call they have already kicked around the thought for a fews days or more and when they finally pick the phone up to call someone then they are more than ready to get the ball rolling. I been burned in the past when I simply put a bid off to later that evening, when I showed up the lady said after calling me she called another ad hoping to get a quicker estimate and initial job. If could have simply got there first I would have had another year around account.
    Good luck to you and make sure you got some money saved up until you get established. My goal was to average gaining 5 accounts a month for my first year full time and I'm already ahead of plan in less than two weeks... and the grass is not even growing yet!
    I live in a fast developing area and there is lots of competetion but still plenty of opportunity.
  9. alawson

    alawson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I was raised in the business and know my stuff----just don't think its as easy as a lot of you make out-----you have to do quality work but you have to be out there for a while----word of mouth is the best but it takes time.
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585


    I like your attitude...you'd get my business...nothing impresses me more than when I call any type of service provider and they reply promptly and then show up on time...price is secondary to professionalism when you knock on my door..good luck

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