Part-time to Full-time transition

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimsLocalLawn, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 843

    So many on these forums are Part-time, yet so many successful full-timers as well. I really think we have such a diverse community, so I would like opinions from both sides on this one.

    I guess we all start part-time, as there is no such thing as a turn key success in any service industry. Nobody goes from start-up to overbooked overnight. So my question is simple.... When are you ready to transition from part-time to full-time? When does this hobby become a business, How many years before your transition? If your still part-time, do you plan on becoming full-time?

    Would you quit your full time job to pursue this as a career? Would you quit a secure low paying 9-5 job without enough clients to warrant a full time lawn care career?

    Sorry so many questions, but there is such a diverse community here. I would like to poke the bear here and ask you why it is your part-time or full-time, and when you took the leap, or why you haven't yet.
  2. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 870

    I'm part time and have a full time job that I no longer like and has had nothing but cut backs for the past 5 years. I volunteered to go back to the midnight night shift to free up more time for my business. The job is secure but personally and financially I will not be moving forward in the near future and the hours are horrible.

    I would love to go full time. This year I hope to gain more weekly service clients and leave my current job for another basic evening shift job (ie Maint at a school 4-midnight, factory shift work ect) with little to no commitment that still has some benefits. If things continue to progress I would then leave that job once I had so much work I could not do both. Step by step.
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  3. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    I started out full time on day one. When i finished my last season as an employee i immediately started selling and advertising 8-10 hours a day until spring, the first year I kept myself and 1 employee busy. If we had a slow day we were back to passing out flyers. Year 2 i went to a 2nd crew and year 3 went to 3 crews, since then i have kept the business at 3 crews by just raising prices and becoming more efficient. Once i feel my prices are the absolute highest they can be i will start a 4th crew. So yes you can just start full time when you are ready to invest your full atention to the business, part timers in my opinion are bad for the industry, as a part timer you are able to work cheaper which lowers the industry standards, you are cheating yourself and all the real landscape businesses. Just go for it and see what happens, keep your prices up, you're better off having fewer jobs that pay well than having a full schedule that doesnt pay squat. Spend your slow days advertusing/selling.
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  4. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 870

    How old were you when you started and how did you purchase all your equipment to immediately start out full time and also pay the mortgage, utility bills, food and other daily living expenses. My prices are higher than some "full time" people in my area btw.
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  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,848

    I worked part time for 18 months, and it took a couple of years after that to get a full schedule, I haven't advertised in over 2 years now, next year will be my 7th season.

    If your equiptment is all paid for and your personal finances are in good order the time to go full time is when you can make enough to cover yourself.

    I would absolutely quit a low paying job to go full time.
  6. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    I was 27 when i went out on my own.I had planned it for over a year saving every dime i made.
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  7. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,476

    Its been one year exactly since i left my full time job to focus on my business. It was carefully planned. I saved and saved.. Couldn't have done it without the wife working and helping out though. At my age i don't have much more chances to make this work. . I know if it wouldn't have worked or if next year is a bust i could more than likely go back to what i was doing before.
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,848

    At my age I simply dont have a chance. :laugh: Merry Christmas
  9. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,529

    I started out full time on my own and just drummed up business as I went along and word of mouth. I was 24 when I started so life was nothing but Living in my truck, partyin and workin all the time. I'm 39 now and own a house have a family and own a bunch of land where I'm going to build a new house this spring so if you're willing to put in the long hour and do things right, mowing lawns and plowing snow works reeaalll good!
  10. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    You'll know when it's time to transition from PT to FT.

    Like most, I started out PT and never looked back. I like Scagrider's approach. There is no substitute for advertising.

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