Start up questions....had enough with the shirt and tie

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mike821, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Mike821

    Mike821 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Hello all,

    Is it possible to make 40g’s the first year after taxes? (NJ Based) I would plan on advertizing with flyers, newspaper, and word of mouth. I will consider plowing…but I know how much of a beating you can take doing so. I had a landscaping business 14 years ago, so I have some kind of clue as to how landscaping/installations can be a profitable. I am now 37 years old working like a idiot for corporate America. Needless to say it sucks, for lack of a better term. At 37 it will be a little harder to do the work myslef to start….but feel that I want it bad enough to do so. The only thing that is holding me back is the money factor. I have to clear 40g’s one way or another. Can I do so by myself with just lawns and some installation work? I know in the past I was able to do so the second year owning my landscaping business, but things has changed.

    Any suggestions or comments welcome………I just wanted to ask you all that are currently working as a landscaper (lawns/installations) .
    I need to do something else with my life before I lose my stuffing in this office.

    Thanks for your help…..Mike
  2. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    I think if you plan out everthing yes. Get enough business for plowing thru the winter and next year go fo it. I cant tell you how many times i was unsure about jumpimg in,but if you dont you'll regret it and you know it. Worked at a dealership for years got tired of the politics and Nothing to offer you. Go for it i did 3 years ago and have never looked back !
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    40K the first year after taxes and expenses?

    Difficult, but definitely possible.
  4. Mike821

    Mike821 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Yes....40g's after expenses and taxes. I once had a business and a great accountant, so I was able to break even the first few years I had my landscaping business in NJ. My main concern is that I have a newborn, home, and bills (don't we all) I am willing to break my stones to get things up and running. I have in the past found flyers to be the best advertizing. The newspaper...well, it is good for the long term, but for starting up might not bring in as many clients as the flyers. My plans are to purchase a SCAG ZTR (size yet to be determined) to maintain 1/2 to 3 acre properties. Purchase a roach (1,000) walk behind for the small stuff (36") that gets in the pool area's.

    I just have had you said you never looked back. That is the kind of response I needed to hear. I have to tell you that after 14 years I have made almost double my starting salary. Taxes kill me....politics is a *****....and my company had laid people off like no tomorrow (fortune 10 pharm company). I am just tired of the crap and want to get what I put into life. I am a people person and can sell a job without a doubt. I have a great business wife, whom says follow your dream. Do whatever makes you happy. Well.....when I mow my 1/2 acre with my Toro homeowner hydro 36" cut.....I grit my teeth knowing that I have such a good time doing so...and this homeowner mower is no comparison to the 61" dixie chopper I would ride.

    I don't want to wait for my company to lay me off. The day of people working for a corp company for 30 years is over. I want to determine my own fate.

    Like I said.....your comments are welcome and I need the inspiration.

  5. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    Hmm a newborn on the way? You want to quit a steady job with health benefits and jump into something in which you'll have to meet your expenses, AND then meet the $40k goal with a baby and a wife to support?

    Personally I would not in that situation unless you are sitting on a lump of money to get you through things. And even then... babies are prone to health problems in the first few years. What if you get a $30,000 doctor bill a year from now? It isn't uncommon. How would you pay for that? You better check out the health insurance.

    I work in an office 50 hrs a week and KNOW EXACTLY how you feel. Politics, taxes stealing half your income, red tape everywhere, get screwed every year on the raises. I hate it and as soon as I have enough money I am going to split too.

    But IMO that doesnt sound like a smart move for your kid. There's something to be said for a guy who does what's best for his kid even if it isn't what he loves.

    just my opinion. I'm 27 and single :dancing:
  6. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    As long as you and your wife know the sacrfice that comes with running a business the few 1st years can be sometimes hard. Sounds like you got a great wife too Like me.:) Just think of how much more time you'll be able to spend with your family when your business is up and running and all you have to do is manage it. Yes it's hard somedays but its all yours and no one is going to fire you. Get your tax I.D # and insurance, and go for it :weightlifter: :waving:
  7. Mike821

    Mike821 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Mike....thanks bud for your reponse. My wife works for the same company and has an health ins. It is one of the leader's in helth that would not be a concern. We are flat as to what we owe towards credit cards. One car payment and enough money saved to get us past nine months of no income on my part. I can take a short term loss without even blinking an eye. I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
  8. greg1

    greg1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    Good advice from everyone, but i'm leaning towards ZZ4. My opinion for your situation is if you really want it then take it slow at first. Keep your steady income and your present lifestyle. Your definitely in a good area to build a business and you should not have a problem being successful if you apply yourself and enjoy the work. Besides lawn maintenance there is always room for another quality landscape installation and maintenance company. Your right there in the middle of somerset and hunterdon county, i think you'll be fine. Just take it easy, you'll know when to pull the trigger on full time landscaping. good luck to ya.
  9. Mike821

    Mike821 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Thanks bud! I do have to say....I am 37 and either I take the plunge or I am a PT weekend bandit. Wife makes a good buck and I have some money in the bank. I hate my current job (Computer Project Mgt.) like no tomorrow. My wife says do whatever makes you happy. Your thoughts and comments on the FT job that has security are well taken. I just think that the window of opportunity for me is closing. Starting at a later age will be a challenge the more I sit like a lump in an office. I live for the first cut and that smell of green grass. A cold day with a Carhart sweatshirt that is worn 1,000 times over but you still hold on to it because it has sentimental value. The 2-stroke cologne that you proudly wear when you finish for the day. Let's not forget the installations that went so well you were surprised that you can make 2-3g's in 2-3 days. (small jobs) I guess it comes down to the fact that I do miss it and wish every day that I was doing it. I was there in the past for three years, but have some hesitation with a little girl. BTW....her name is Harley. No affiliation to the bikes...but my wife liked the name and so did I. Someone sold me a smoke screen and told me that the Corp. world is the way to go. Well.....I don't need the heath insurance and I am not in the hole for any credit. Why not take a could be my last if I don't start now. (spring 08) Not to mention that I can obtain some help...mmmmm Skilled labor at the local D&D if you know what I mean. I was against this....but know that I'd rather support some cheap labor than give the money to the local gas station that will run back to the desert with the cash (trying to be nice) and then take the lives of my friends. (lost a few to that whoopla) But...I have rambled on and on. I just think I will kick myself in the can if I don't jump this spring.

    Your thoughts...........

    Thanks for the reply.

  10. Mike821

    Mike821 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    The 40K is what I have to clear in order to stay in the green. My wife has a job and the 40K and her salary would put us at the same stage I am at now. Hey....13 years and I have doubbled my salary. The market for my skills now is leaning over the pond (India) and might be outsourced. The I am faced with a pile of crap trying to apply at another circus (corp. co) only to face the same earning potental and mgt that just is in left field. Some days I could just give the signal and "Take this job and shove it" (remember that movie) but anyway I appriciate the comments and suggestions. Once a scaper always a scaper.


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