Realistic Income...where do I plan....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Suzzal, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. Suzzal

    Suzzal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I am thinking about getting into lawn care fill time but am not willing to quit my day job just yet. What are some potential incomes for a 1 man crew(me). I know this can be all over the board but I would like to know a good average of monthly income in this field. Consider me very aggressive and hard working in Birmingham Alabama.

    By the way, it seems like everyone and their brother AND sister are getting into this biz, is the market getting saturated?

    Thanks in Advance!

  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    ROTFLMAO hahahaha. Sorry, that just was too funny the way you typed it.

    1st year or two don't expect to make much income. It takes time to get a customer base. At this late stage of the war with grass for this season I would just try to find a few customers to do for now. It will get you some data to work off of for next year.
  3. Suzzal

    Suzzal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6


    I did not mean start today or all at once.

    Would someone walk away from an $80k a year job to do this? Is there that much money to be made in this industry...

  4. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    Let's look at 1849. There were a lot of farmers saying "boy everyone and their brother AND their MOTHER is going out West to prospect for GOLD." There must be a lot of money in those hills! Should I leave my $800/year farm to chase that gold?

    That was because a few people struck it rich!

    Striking it rich in lawns is building a business that can be sold to one of the nationals for a few million dollars. Or passing it to your kids while you pull a retirement income. Just like the '49ers only a FEW do it. And the fact that you are asking that question is a strong indicator that you would have a tough time striking it rich. BUT everybody loves an optomist! Right?

    Realistic income for a new part-timer? Less than $15/hr after expenses AND taxes.

    As a part-timer AND at YOUR tax-rate given the other $80K wages, your possible income AFTER taxes will be,.... LMOA! wait.. wait.. I can't stop laughing to work the numbers.... happy prospecting!

    I would recommend hiring a lawn care biz to preen your yard while you enjoy spending your cash!
  5. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    80k per year. LOL, you wont make that in your third year UNLESS you bought some accounts or bought a company, had some give to you, etc. Id say stay where you are, but I left a good paying job too, and never regret it for a second. The long term....80K is pocket change (at least I am hoping for that....).
  6. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    Not interested in striking it rich?

    Average income for a full-timer solo operater AFTER expenses and taxes $30,000.

    Anyone making $80K should be smart enough to throw some numbers on a paper and do the math... :sleeping:
  7. Suzzal

    Suzzal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I have searched most of your 240+ posts Green, and the vast majority are very negative to rookies. What kind of chip is on your shoulder? Pine or aspen....

    Back to questions:

    Do most of you think that the market is getting saturated?

    Do you see any consolidation of larger companies buying out smaller guys or just underbidding them like Wal-Mart has done to the great mom and pop shops?

    Does personal service still beat price? Always?

    Is the slow economy cutting into your income by folks cutting back on no essential items? Private as well as commercial.

    Researching for my business plan!

    Thanks in advance,

  8. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    Under bidding,yes.

    The market is very saturated!

    Its all about personal service and quality of work.

    Ive seen no decline because of the economy.

    Green, if I was only gonna make 30K net solo, I wouldn't be in this biz.
  9. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Green in Idaho is a very negative fellow, maybe raised or lives in the bottom of a hamster cage he has so many chips to bear.
    But, between insults he makes an occasional point.
    It is going to be difficult to match 80K yr.
    It can be done, but it is not anywhere near the average, many, many factors effect this business.

    1. If you can't truly enjoy the lawn biz, then don't even bother.

    2. Expect to make a LOT less than you do now for quite some time.

    3. The market is, and always will be saturated. There are MANY new wanna-be's every year, most crash and burn for lack of planning, knowledge, too high hopes, thinking it's easy, finding out how deep your pockets aren't.

    4. Big companies taking over, who knows.
    Might try, would take a long time, doubtful of their success. Too many variables to be controlled as tightly as big companies would like.
    Franchise take over of territories would be another story. That could happen, but only if franchise owner had very deep pockets and an 'I want it all' mentality.

    5. Personal service means everything, and it means squat. Depends on the individual. Your job, should you decide to accept this mission, is to find enough customers (plus one) to make the kind of income you want to make, that good quality service means something to, and they're willing to pay someone else to do their lawn.

    6. Economy = Mostly same as #5. There will always be people with enough money to buy/pay for what they want. Trick is finding/keeping enough of them to make yourself a living.

    7. The subject of under bidding/under pricing. At this point it happens more out of ignorance/stupidity/and kids doing lawns, than a factor of big biz take over. Usually that's a territorial war thing.

    Best wishes
  10. Suzzal

    Suzzal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Great input guys!

    This is all about setting expectations, my customers as well as mine....


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