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part timers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jsfrk, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. jsfrk

    jsfrk LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 126

    Well, I posted this question on the commercial forum and was dealt with a lot of discourgaing comments.

    All, I want to know is what some of you part timers bring home as far as income considering you work part time at this biz.

    I am looking to go into biz part time next spring and I am just trying to get an idea.

  2. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    jsrk, as much as it annoys me that you post the same question in more then one forum, I see that your other post kinda got hijacked and went off course.

    So I'll try to answer your question. Here's what it comes down to, knowing what some other guy is grossing a year part time isn't going to help you much.

    Ask yourself some basic questions.

    1. How much time will you have to dedicate to this part time business? Remember to include equipment maintenance, office work, estimates, etc. This stuff eats up time and are "non-billable hours". Meaning you don't get paid for this stuff, but it can add up to several hours a week.

    2. How many lawns can you get done in that time? Not sure? Mow a couple lawns that are similar in size to the ones you will be targeting (ask a friend, co-worker, family member if you can cut their lawn and time yourself).

    3. How much $ can you get for a lawn in your area? Not sure? Talk to another LCO, talk to the guys at the equipment dealership. Ask someone that already uses a service what they are paying. This doesn't mean to just copy their price, but this will give you a ballpark of the going rate in your area.

    Once you get an idea of what you will charge per lawn, and have an idea of how many lawns you will be able to do a week, then you will have an idea of what you can gross in a week.

    But then remember that the gross number is not important, it's what you NET that counts! So factor in your insurance, gas, oil, advertising, business phone line, shop rent (see, this is why you can't rely on what others make, because not everyone has the same expenses. Not everyone has a separate shop to pay rent on, or a separate phone line, etc, etc.). Take ALL of YOUR expenses in to account (down to the smallest thing like stamps and envelopes, etc.).
    Factor in taxes, and you will end up with a rough idea of what you can make a year.

    Keep in mind that another local guy might be able to do 10 lawns a day part time, whereas you might only be able to do 5 because of different equipment, or he has a tighter route.
    So you can't just go by what another guy is making.

    I'd sit down with a calculator, pen and paper and start running some numbers. Do a worst case/best case scenario.

    I'm just throwing stuff out there for you to consider. I'd also suggest doing a lot of reading here at LS. Use the search feature to find the answers to a lot of your questions. You can spend days just searching for past questions and answers and learn a lot.
    Good luck.
  3. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,640

    great post gogetter!
  4. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    You can call my situation part time because I have a small number of accounts. In reality, this is full time because I do nothing else period.

    When you start out, it takes all of your time doing bids and trying to find new accounts. I'm also feeling my way through things day by day. Every day is a new challenge. Oh and there is also equipment to work on or look for deals on used stuff.

    This is full time for me, although I have 12 accounts that generate 14k of revenue on a yearly basis. I do both mowing and fertilization. I could certainly have a part time job, but I've chosen not to at this point to dedicate more time to growing the business.

    This winter I will likely be forced into some other activity as things slow down. What that is right now is unknown.

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