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Self Employment

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by BobcatBoy06, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. BobcatBoy06

    BobcatBoy06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    Is it really worth being in business for yourself. My father owns the company that I work for. We do well and have alot of nice equipment, toys I like to call them but at the end of the day is being self employed the answer. You have to pay your own health insurance and retirement plan and it is very hard to find good help. How are you really supposed to make over 40,000 a year in this business. It seems like you work countless hours working, then doing the bids, then you have to deal with customer complaints and then you have your dead beats that just don't want to pay. Do other owers go through this stress from time to time, or is it just me.
  2. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    If you make $40k in real world that is before you have a phone car payments and tools that you write off but use for whatever whenever. Plus tou make your own hours and no one can just yell at you without u letting them
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    all the time, but I've been in the wild to long now.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    30, 40, 50, 100, doesn't matter.
    At the end of the month it's all the same money.
  5. BobcatBoy06

    BobcatBoy06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    At the end of the month it does matter you have to have the money at the end of the month to put back into your ira or other investments so that you are able to retire when you come to your desired age. I think that is the problem with some self employed people. You can't just work and not save you have to save for your future. If you are a younger fella live myself you will need to have several million to retire in your 60's and live comfortably for the rest of your life
  6. nortonlawncare

    nortonlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    so if you have it all figured out then why ask the question? i thought i had everything down, then i lost a lot in the market and i had to tap into my ira, i'm 31. investing isn't a fail safe. i think owning and operating my own business is worth it, but i have friends who have tried and couldn't do it. i guess it comes down to how comfortable you feel handling your own biz and money.
    I think it sounds like your dad has something going and you seem to be right in line to pick up when he leaves the biz. if you play your cards right it can be well worth it
  7. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,009

    There were times that just the help issue drove me crazy and made me wonder the same thing. In a span of 2-3 years we tried out about 200 workers with poor results. I only run one crew and could not staff it with people that were born north of the Rio Grande.

    We tried to do the right thing and use work visas. I had found two guys working for another local company on Visas that were going to legally work for me the next year. I spent $4000 only to have the government botch up the work visa program back in 2007. I ended up getting no workers at all.

    I had hired some guys from Mexico and Guatemala to be my temporary workers until my visa guys showed up. Four seasons later I still have the same two workers from Guatemala. They are the best and most loyal workers I've ever had.

    I have documents that look legit and my workers pay taxes like they are supposed to. In this line of work you have to do whatever it takes to survive and prosper. If you have to depend on Americans for your crew members it's probably going to be tough going.

    I can tell you that even the big companies often cheat and use some help with faux documents. One of the Valley Crest guys here told me that this year all the help was going to be Americano and the same is happening at Sunterra.

    I'm pretty sure they had a whole lot of SSN's come back as problematic. Because of this they were probably kicked out of the work visa program. The Valley Crest guy told me all the foremen were stressed out because the Americano trabajadores weren't worth a crap.
  8. Wayne 55

    Wayne 55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    Wow you really think that you will become a Millionaire over night? You think that money just falls from the sky without putting your time in working for it? You have to think some here. Most successful companies got that way because ONE person at the top spent countless hours putting together a plan then put the proper staff together and executed it. TIME, TIME, TIME is required to get ahead. Your father obviously spent countless hours building the business. Working at bids, overseeing the job, investigating the costs of materials and purchasing the proper equipment to do such jobs.

    Yeah its a lot of work! Be a part of it for your own good! Learn from it this might free up some time for him! Split the duties. I have seen to many times that father, son businesses fail soon after the father relinquishes the duties to the son or sons as they know very little about the business. But yet they feel they can run it better than the "Old Man" can.

    In this economy do you trust working for a company? Investing your time and effort only to wonder if for some reason your job is outsourced some day or go to work one day and the company folds? You think that your 401k is secure with these companies? I think you need to be thankful for what your father did and WORK harder at it to secure yourself and maybe a future family into this business. If you wish to earn more then expand. Take your time at it but expand into say Site work, or Paving or anything that your equipment might be able to handle. Think outside the box a little. No one said you need to be a one way street with your business. Landscaping is only the tip of the iceberg if you treat it that way. There is way more adventures out their utilizing the same equipment if you think about it.

    Finding good help is always a issue with any company. Some obviously look south of the boarder and such for theirs. There is GOOD American help available here if you look for it and many of those workers are looking for work now as we speak. Find them and put them to work and pay them what they deserve. If you think paying a person 20 to 24,000 a year is big money well get real. That doesn't even get them out of poverty level. Coming from PA. you should realise that its a short season. 8 months at tops these people who you hire need to earn their living in those months. If they can not then they go elsewhere. You and only you as a owner must understand that the help you hire look to you to keep them working, safe, earning a living, and happy in the job they do. In return you expect a solid days work for the pay and still able to profit for that days work they provided. As you look to profit from this business and have the "toys" you wish. They also look to you to earn money to live and have "toys" too.

    Owning a business can be very rewarding and as a owner I have had my shares of ups and downs this will happen. But to say its too much work? Never! I can always question myself about decisions I made and can say sometimes I wish I could do it over again. But will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had taking over a family business my father started years ago. You are in control of your destiny in life owning a business if you put nothing in you receive nothing. Its that simple.
  9. dlonestar

    dlonestar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Spend some time studying successful business people. Let them tell you what they learned from their mistakes and successes and follow their direction.

    To me, there is no doubt there is more upside to being self employed, as there is no limit on your income potential and you are completely in control.
  10. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Maybe ask your father ?

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