Teenagers in the business...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by lawnranger44, Jun 5, 2003.

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  1. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    When i was 15-19 cutting grass none of business side of stuff really mattered, afterall i'm living at home, have no real expenses other than gas, and car insurance there isn't much paperwork/scheduling, i did that when i got home from school, then i'd just go up and say "hey mr. X, you owe me $y for the last 4 cuts i did" every month. After paying off gas/insurance it was all $ in my pocket. I was working part time, 2days a week and making more than some of my friends that were working 6 days a week at gas stations, stores, etc.

    Now that i'm looking at turning this into a profession, with insurance, trucks, and a possible employee, things are much different. I've invested in software for bookkeeping and scheduling. I plan on selling my car and jeep for a diesel truck, then as money permits buy a ZTR so i can get some of my larger properties done in a timely fashion.
  2. WPLE

    WPLE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    Ever heard of the school of hard knocks? That is where we will learn how to do almost everything. My instructor at college always says "I am only skimming the surface of what there is to know in this business".

    That is very true. I learn from mistakes everyday and i do mean everyday. And I will always learn new things until I am to old to sit on that mower or dig holes.

    As for the social life issue: Everyone told me about working for the rest of your life to, but while in high school, work often times kept me out of trouble. I did not mind it.
  3. mottster

    mottster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    Well...When i was in the thick of things last summer I could remember all of my houses...when i mowed them and what dates i did them. Not one of my houses i sent a invoice too because I found that customers didn't really care. When I mowed...I would knock on the door...if they weren't home they'd either call and i'd stop by in the next couple days to get the check or i'd just hold it over til next week.

    Billing and accounting and all that stuff just wasn't necessary for a 17 yr old with 20 yards.

    Now i'm looking for somewhere around 25 accounts. With these 25-ish accounts i will have to have some kind of billing system set up due to the fact that i'm working full time for a local LCO.

    From this company and i'm seeing how the "big dawgs" run things. My boss is only 19 but has been able to build his business so much that his dad has been able to quit his work at Boeing and be the head tech guy. He's allowed me to look over all the forms that he uses and we've begun to talk about the licensing and insurance he has. Where he started at with all the paperowkr and where we contacted to get all of this legal jazz.

    Of course everyone freeballs when they first start. Unless you have a lot of money saved up...many many people won't...specially us teens....you just cna't afford all the legal processing, licensing and equipment purchasing...so you make due with what you have and mow what you can to save up money to slowly make yourself into a respectable business.

    As for professionals and teens actually mowing....either one can do an A+ job and either one can do a shitty job. IMHO professionals are the one who have everything set up in a very orderly manor and represent themselve to each client the same way. Cleancut and wellbehaved. There are people who have thing set up in orderly manor which are not professional as well...there are several factors.

    I was never very professional. Only when i first meet a client...but with such few clients and a small mower i spend more time around them then large LCO's would so I become closer to them so you quickly lose your professionalism and you learn to respect them for their each individual traits...not just as another client.

    sorry thats long...i'm talkative tonight.
  4. Allgreen

    Allgreen LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 9

    I did not think that you were directing it at me, it is just that I am new to this site and do not want to come off as a lier that nobody will every believe within the first month of me being a member:p
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    From my experience there are a lot of 24, 34, & 44 year olds that do not have the ability to make those decisions.

    Look at all the posts on here from the 'adults'. i.e. "I'm 34 and thinking about starting a biz, but I don't know how to price a job..." Does that person have any legitimate experience to warrant them starting their business? No!

    I have seen teens (and certainly there are a FEW on this site) who have it together MUCH more than some adults around and on this site.

    Regardless of age there are those that will jump into business for a multitude of reasons. A few succeed, most survive, and many fail- that is true of young and aged.

    So the question of where does the person get their commercial experience applies to more than just the teens. It applies to EVERYONE. Esp IF you believe it is an important factor to start a business.
  6. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Been awhile since I've been on the site and boy how times have changed, a few months back there was a big thread about "Under 18yrs old", boy that got pretty intense, but that was back early in the spring when alot more people were on the site due to not alot of work yet.
    I'm now 20, been doing maintenance work for the past 6yrs, but this year was the first year I LLC but this site has been wonderful in helping me along the process. Have about 18accounts we maintain all rangin from apartment complexes, homes, commercial and subdivisions. We've been now doing more landscaping work as well, with my brother workin with me he's 18. I have plenty of work for the summer and always lookin for more. I already feel like im not some scrub anymore with having all the right legal stuff behind me along with the insurance which is a big thing you guys need to have. But another thing you need is motivation to get up and go out and mow or do landscape work, and to strive to do the best job possible at a price that will cover your cost plus your labor. Gotta make sure your covered otherwise you won't be successful.
    My advice to young guys out there who want to be successful in this business is to make sure you have a balance and not to over done in the business end yet if your in HS, still gotta be a teenager and have a social life.
    I dont know everything yet and im only 20, still learning but from doing this for 6yrs now in my teen years theirs somethings you just gotta still have, which is a social life and not work so much, cause you can work the rest of your lives :cool:
    Take care all you guys and good luck
  7. TaussigLawnCare

    TaussigLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I am 18 and I do believe I am a professional. My business is probably in the top ten in my town and at this rate of increace I will be at the top in 6 years. I am insured and I had a licensed employee but he went home for the summer and I am working in being licensed myself right now(not much of a book worm). I have full commercial equipment and I mow a mean yard lol and am also doing some landscaping and firewood in my free time aka rain days. Social life I do have one last year when I didn't have adequate equipment I worked dawn to dark but now that I do I get done alot faster and always have to make time for my woman.
  8. s&wlawncare

    s&wlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I am 18 years old, and have been in the buisness for 3 1/2 years now. I now have 1 church 26 residential and 2 commercial accounts. This is a great buisness for someone my age because its hard to find a job that pays this good. You can flip burgers for $5.15/hour, or you can work a little harder cutting grass and get about $50 an hour

    -95 chevy silverado ext cab
    -2003 walker model t
    -2002 john deere sst 18
    -2 stihl fs 85's
    - 1 stihl br320 blower
    - 1 stihl hs45 hedge trimmers
    - 1 stihl farm boss chainsaw
    - 1 mtd commercial edger
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Welcome S&W!
  10. I`m 16 and Run a 99 airens ZTR ( same as older gravley promasters) 48" - Stihl fs 55 trimmer - stihl handheld blower- poulan hand held blower- 6.6X 10 landscape trailer- s/p yard works 21" mulch/bagger/discharge ( canadian company ) i pull it with my dads 2002 GMC sierra stepside 4.8l V-8 270 hp 285 foot#s of tourque , auto with trailering package, and sony CD deck. and my winter business i have a 69 cockshutt 1550 tractor with 7 foot mckee blower and 6 foot box scraper, bush hog when needed and a husquvarna 410 saw, and pioneer p 51 saw. and a 6 foot baseball diamond drag.
    I have 3 balldiamonds , 5 intown residentals and 4 rural propertys all over 3 acres. plus 6 yearly snow removal contracts so far . I love this work , i like being outside and running machines and the pay is great. Like some one said I also keep friday open for the guys and saturday and sunday for the girlfriend. latley it been friday saturday and sunday
    :rolleyes: I snowmobile, snocross, skateboard , golf, hunt, play hockey( just the beer legues now) play competitve roller hockey and shoot competitve archery. when i`m not working but its been hard finding time for everything latly.
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