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question for business owners

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenmonster304, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,681

    how did you make your break from being an employee to self employed? did you build up a small side business first or just break off and hope for the best? as you may have guessed i am tired of being an employee.
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,221

    My employer at the time knew i wanted to make more money, and I think he didn't want to pay me what I was worth as an employee or the overtime. So he asked me if I wanted to start my own business, and he would pay me as a subcontractor. We split the labor fee at that time. probably should have asked for more at the time, but it got me started and gave me the responsibilities I wanted to take on. I owe him a lot and appreciate the offer to allow me to grow.

    Two years after that, I tried to get out of the business. Physical issues at the time. Didn't work out the way I wanted it to, so after a year I got back into it the way I wanted to. My previous employer and I still do business together. He refers all repair/service work to me as he has changed his business focus, and I send him landscape and water feature leads.
  3. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    so from what i'm reading you are just a worker trying to be the boss ? sound right ! well it may or may not be easy for you , you have to decide if you can afford to go on your own .. will your family make it through this long process or leave you high and dry ... me personal what i did was , i had and still do have a full time grave yard job.. i started out slow with a few lawns and just kept up and still doing it part time but i would like to just jump into it full time. to chicken though......what ever you do good luck.....
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    When I started I was full time governement employee, still am. Start slow, small on your own, buy what you need as you need it, and when you are to the point that you cant grown anymore wIth both jobs, quit the one you enjoy the least! Sounds like DanaMac had it best, sounds like a great setup and way to get started, a proposition perhaps? Good luck, you are on the right track; good intiative.
  5. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    I was working for a company that was not totally legit and I knew I could make more.

    I quit and started my own business while at the same time got another job at another company. That lasted about a month before I realized I didn't have time to be an employee and try to grow a business.

    We are wrapping up our 4th full season and should do about 750 blowouts this year. Gotta be willing not to make any money for the first couple years though....

    Messages: 18,668

    The joke/serious advice I give to all want to be owners is that it took me 5 years to figure out how to make a REAL profit and another five years to figure out how to make a living. The key ingredients to me are persistence and passion. good bookkeeping helps a lot. I know of too many irrigators who run their business through their personal checkbook. Before I went into business now I would go buy Quickbooks, learn everything about it, and develop a business model that allowed for determining your GROSS and NET profits on a DAILY basis. Life is a numbers game. Get the numbers right with a few key ingredients you'll do great.
  7. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    Easy, I was never an employee. My father never was easy, so being self employeed was all I've ever known.

    He's taught me everything, I'm definately blessed, that's for sure.
  8. squirrel19

    squirrel19 LawnSite Member
    from KY/TN
    Messages: 58

    having your parents pave the way for you YES your right jwing you are blessed.

    greenmonster, all I can tell you is this. my oldest brother is a Internal medicine doctor, My middle brother is a Paramedic. I was following in suit and was in college for radiology. I bought my house when I was 26 yrs old and landscaped it. every one in the area loved it and wanted me to do theirs. I started with a truck and a shovel. I had to borrow the money to buy a wheel barrel. I have been in business now for 12 yrs and push over 1million per year in sells. It has been a ruff road, and I have had to work all hour of the night to get a job done. it has took it's tole on my family life, but with patients it is well worth it. I do large landscape jobs mostly and own a construction co as well but my Landscaping co does really well. All you need is the heart to go on your own and a bit of money for advertising. Local paper etc..... There are two types of people in this world, Leaders and followers. Be a leader, if you know what your doing and have a good sells personality then go for it.. Make the most of your life, because if you were not born with that silver spoon in your mouth, then your never going to get it unless you work for it. Remember one thing. customer service is KEY. I wish you the best and if my company can assist you in any way let me know.

    Sincerely, Rick Cox
  9. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,681

    do you guys think it is wrong to build up a small client base on the side before you are completly legit so that you have some income to start your new company? or would you say this is being dishonest to your curent employer? and i am not suggesting taking any customers from your employer just jobs the employer wouldn't get anyway. for example many times people want me to do jobs but they dont want the big company i work for to get the money they would rather see a young guy starting out get the job.

    Messages: 18,668

    Major grey area. When you are working for somebody all your loyalty needs to be to them. You cannot serve two masters. If your employer gets wind of it my guess is they will become suspicious and no longer trust you.

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