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Starting over 55

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by george delcos, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. george delcos

    george delcos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi all, I'm George from the Stow/Kent/Silverlake area of northeast Ohio, I recently found myself laid off after 32 years in the plastics business. I am seriously considering the lawn service business in the Spring of 2014. I have enough money set aside to buy a used walk behind mower and trailer, I already have a blower and trimmer. I would be a solo operation only. I was hoping for some input from you experienced owners, is this a feasible idea? Has anybody else found themselves in a similar situation and started this type of business to make ends meet. Any advice or input would be helpful. Thanks
  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    Do it. You won't regret it. As long as your not scared of long days and hard work you can make a killing. Advertise like crazy. It sounds expensive at first but one or 2 contracts will pay for that. For every 1000 flyers I deliver I usually get 5-6 jobs. Door hangers work very well. Good luck

    Messages: 1,343

    Hey George,
    Sorry to hear of your predicament.
    1) start off right. Liability insurance. Comp, licensing for your area.
    2) don't underprice.
    3) study your market. Is it feasible to start this biz?
    4) study your competition , where are you going to land on the range of services?
    5) know your costs of doing business and your cog.
    6) work within your level of competence.
    7) don't play games with the tax man.
    8) be prepared to work HARD.
    9) get your ducks in a row early. If your thinking on starting next spring you should have marketing rolling now.
    10) get the proper equipment for the job. Single operator owners need to work smart!

    11) GOOD LUCK!

    it's not easy, seldom rewarding, often frustrating, but we love doing it!
  4. Adeas Printing

    Adeas Printing Sponsor
    Messages: 604

    Well when you're ready to do some door hangers and are wondering what a good place to go to for them is, I can tell you A'Deas Printing would love to help! We have a great special going on right now for 1000 full color one-sided door hangers for only $99 and with that comes free design! For more information go to our website www.adeasprinting.com
  5. HeartOfTexas

    HeartOfTexas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I may add one thing to Dependable's list. That is short-term disability insurance, especially because of your age. I'm 59 and never had a big health issue or accident until this June. I tore my Achilles tendon and didn't know what would happen because I did everything myself. I was blessed to have gotten help fast so I did not lose the business. It is something you may factor in because you never know what may happen.

    Also, I'd like to encourage you to start your business. Its great being able to be outside every day.

  6. biodale

    biodale LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I started at 55 years old. I will turn 60 later this month. Yes, I am glad I did it but it is hard. It is a young man's game. I now mow about 80 yards a week, mostly residential, have a pest control truck on the road, and do landscaping. Gross business sales is about $280,000. And growing every year.
    The advantage we have being older is experience and much of life's experience can be used in lawn care to our advantage. Many young lawn care professionals are not good business men. I have found it easy to out compete the younger lawn care people. Don't underestimate your business experience.
    The biggest problem you will have is not customers or growing the business, but finding employees who will do a good job for you. I'm ready to quit because of employees who are slothful, lazy, late to work, don't have a good appearance, etc. If you can find good employees there is no limit to what you can do.
  7. george delcos

    george delcos LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the input it is greatly appreciated, still a lot of things to think about, however if I do go ahead and do this it will be done legally. Again I really appreciate the feedback.
  8. vegandude

    vegandude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    You also have to know how to turn a wrench on your own equip. I know one guy who doesn't like to and his equip is always in the shop for something. A good mechanic is golden but quickly kills your bitten line.
  9. sbuchanan8154

    sbuchanan8154 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    hey George my names don starting over here also in mi at 47 I am not waiting till spring working on flyers and trying to get fall clean ups another site is gopher haul he has books to read got them on amazon but they say the same thing in both only thing with going on gopher haul some guys are assholes this is the site to ask for help
  10. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    I'd advise looking at having a competent helper that could do everything since u are 55. If u get hurt u have an option then but mainly you will not want to do all the work yourself.... unless you could get 50 yards that are mow only .. no trimming or anything that requires getting off the mower

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