sole source of income?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dnelmo, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. dnelmo

    dnelmo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    How many of you who do this full-time are the sole source of income for your family? I do this part-time after I get home from my real job and on weekends.

    I have a nice job that pays well but I am ready for a career change. I am thinking of taking the leap and turning this into a full-time venture. I am married with two teenage sons and they, along with my wife, help out. I want to remain a one income family.

    I do not plan on managing several crews - just myself and my sons to start with and I will grow the business according to the market demand.

    Thanks in advance for your replies to this post.

  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Alot of factors come into play on this. Health insurance, medical expenses, retirement, etc.. For instance, to be able to take care of you and your wife at 65 years old, you better have HUGE money saved,...and I mean huge. No one else is going to be paying for your hospitalization for things when you are 70. There is a huge gamble with it, If you aren't going big,...and I mean REAL big, then there lies problems up ahead and down the road. Many of these guys have a wife that works, has benefits, and a retirement program at work. remember, you are still buying groceries, payibg electric bills, having maintenance done on you car(s) and needing new things long after you can't work. This includes $10,000 hospital visits for tests and such, too. Let alone a stay for you and her which could go in to the hundreds of thousands. There are several threads on here regarding this with plenty of information, most don't touch on this bit of reality, though.
  3. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Runner is 100% correct. You must have a plan in place that will allow a comfortable retirement IF you intend to do this line of work full-time. Im not sayng it can't be done, it can, you just have to approach it carefully. It might be wise to talk to an finanical advisor before you go full-force. The last thing you want is to be mowing into your 90's! :dizzy:
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I agree with the above somewhat but it also depends on your standards and lifestyle. As for me, I have not drawn a paycheck from someone else since 2001 and I carry the bare minimum insurance as required by law (, no health, no life, no dental, no home AND no other) which is how I am able to put away more than a few thousand dollars/year as I'm not paying all the paper-pushers their wages.
    I must admit the first few years were VERY scary but to be quite honest, MOST of those expenses are nothing but a big waste of money that is better off in the bank. About the only thing kicks my tail is taxes, advertising, and fuel.

    Then, that's just me.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The United States has the most corrupt medical treatment industry I have ever seen my whole life! I know it, too, 1,200 dollars for a 2-hour ER visit, gimme a f'n break, I plan on moving out of this country when my health deteriorates to this point, medical care is not only far cheaper elsewhere, but it needn't be this expensive in the first place.
  6. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 805


    And they blame it on malpractice lawsuits. What the hell ever. Try drug companies running the show. When is the last time your doctor spent over 10 minutes with you finding out the root cause of a problem you were having, without whipping out his prescription pad? The war on drugs....yeah...just the ones on the street. Not the crap "they" make tons of money on.
    One last note....Walk into the doctor's with a migraine, he prescribes a drug. You're not deficient in this drug, or any drug, therefore this is obviously for one purpose.....TO SELL THE DRUG!$$$
    Oh yeah, and treat your symptom.

    Anyway, to David above who started this thread:
    I took the plunge this year and went full time with my biz. I started with 0 customers in March, and was full time before June 1st. My family and I have insurance for $215 a month. Everything else is going great, but you need not just a plan, but the ability to execute it.

    Best wishes!
  7. shortgut

    shortgut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    I am the house husband sorta My wife is the wage earner here. I came down with cancer in 97 and was on sick leave for 2 years then when my health was a little more stable I wanted to go back to work but felt like that my old job would have been too much 14 hrs a day hauling dry bulk cement and flyash to the company concrete plants want a job as loader operator but they did not have opening so they retired me on disability so I started mowing a few yards just to keep from going totally crazy and help pay for medical cost I still have to do 2 IVs a week and they alone after insurance cost about 100.00 month not counting the pills which cost about 75.00 a month but I was able to convert my employers insurance to the cobra plan but I saw my premiums start out at 85.00 a month till I finally had to drop the coverage as it had gotten to the 585.00 a month . all my money was going to insurance .I was able to get a job driving a school bus which the state was helping pay part of the cost of the insurance so that is one of the main factors of why I drive a school bus the other is the kids you definitely have to love the kids in order to drive a school bus cause it sure is not he money . I mow about 3 yards a day and that will put me back at home by noon then I rest up and go do my evening bus route and come home and fix supper BUT HEY I AM ALIVE AND ENJOYING MY FAMILY
  8. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403


    As it should be.
  9. dnelmo

    dnelmo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for all of the great feedback gentlemen. I'll take your advice - I have been working on a plan of action and I will get in touch with a good financial advisor. I don't envision myself ever "retiring" but obviously there will come a point when I physically cannot perform this type of work, or I simply want to spend all of my time fishing. So I will want a decent savings. Maybe I'll really make things interesting and take Topsites advice and live without certain types of insurance.

    I'm soon-to-be 43 and have worked in the Information Technology field for 20 years. My wife and I have always lived modestly and our house is paid off. While I was growing up, my parents farmed and were in the construction business so I am no stranger to hard work.

    I'm sure I can make this happen. It is just that, as for many of you, making that change from a steady income to a potentially not-so-steady income can be a bit frightening, especially with a family to support.

    To shortgut: Currently, how is your cancer situation?

  10. shortgut

    shortgut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    they got it all but only left me with about 3 ft of total gut come to find out that it is inherited , my mom had colon cancer and we lost her in 68 they have found out that we have what is called FAP FAMILIA ADNEMOUS POLYPOUIS (misspelled) but in a nut shell if you have this defective gene it is a 100 PERCENT CHANCE THAT YOU WILL HAVE COLON CANCER BY THE TIME YOU ARE 40 . Hey GUYS this is a silent killer if you are over 40 contact your Dr and see if he thinks you need to have a colonscopy it might save your life if anybody wants more info PM me. Have a great day .twjshortgut

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