start up questions


LawnSite Member
southeastern pa
:confused: Okay, so here is my story and questions.
I am 55, retired and BORED out of my skull. I have done all the honey dos and stuff around the house and want to do something more. Something to bring in some extra money and to keep busy a few days a week. Say 4 days per week.
I have spent the last 30 years on the road in sales. I have owned a small company and have developed successful business plans to buy another company that I decided not to, (another story).I have managed territories that netted 10-15 million a year and have suffered thru what all that entails.
I no longer wish to be inside, or on the road, nor do I know if I want to own my own business, (this would be another option and questions on this later on). Been there, done that, don’t know if I want to do it again. I would be happy to form my own LLC, obtain liability insurance and my own equipment. I would be happy just running around cutting on a Zturn machine and not doing much else. I do not mind a 10 hour day, just don’t want it 6 days in a row anymore. As I said, I would buy my own machine and trailer and sub to someone if I were guaranteed enough lawns to cover my costs. All I really want to do is be outside, cut a few lawns 4 days a week. As benefits, I see that I would absorb all the maintenance costs of the equipment, fuel etc
1. Is that realistic?
2. Do any of you guys sub out like that?
3. About what do you pay if you do?
4. Any pit falls in doing it this that I would want to be aware of?


LawnSite Senior Member
Ok, so let's try and eat this elephant a bite at a time. First, buying the equipment and subbing out the work using your gear. Using your gear on your clients on your schedule equals an employee in the eyes of most taxing entities and labor boards. This means all the fun little things of having employees like workers comp, payroll withholdings/matching, labor laws, etc. etc. Now, selling services and subbing to others with their own gear and schedules, insurance, entities, etc. etc. is not only realistic, but is common. I'd dare say there's not a property management company anywhere that would exist without that kind of arrangement.
What do you pay? That depends on the property, the service level, the area of the country and competition. The best way to tell, is to take some sample bids on your own property or ones that you think may be potential cusomters.
Since your background is sales, perhaps that is where your time would most effectively be spent. As in any other field, you must learn about your product before you will be effective at selling it,so get out and start talking. Talk to end users, talk to service providers, get ideas of the competition and their offerings. I think many of your answers will be found there.

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