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Thanks for all the Help, You made me rethink

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TierOneLawnCare, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. TierOneLawnCare

    TierOneLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Okay, with all of your help I have decided to rethink my Lawn Business process

    Here is what I decided......

    Start out part time and keep my $45k a year job....for now
    Mow 1 Day per weeks, approx 5 yards, I know of two clients so far (One is $200 a Month, the other $80 a month)
    Keep my residentual equipement for now (Craftsman LT3000 Tractor, 20hp briggs 42" cut, less than 1 month old, Ryobi 30cc straight shaft trimmer, and I will buy a residental edger and blower) and what I will do is this part time for a while and buy commercial equipment slowly, One thing you guy taught me was to do this slowly, as I buy commercial equipment (first thing being a Mini Fastrac from hustler) I will use the residental stuff for backups...... I will purchase Shirts for the job and have a type of (uniform) So many lawn care company's around here (no offense) use old ragged shirts and cloths, that to me just looks so unprofessional (t shirts are cheap) anything else you guys can add....If you were in my shoes would you do the same? btw I will be doing this solo for a while, until the demand is up, and wont do much advertising, Im just going to take my time and do a quality job and let the word of mouth take over.....Being I will keep my job, I will not HAVE to have a certain number of customers to begin with thanks in advance
  2. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    Smart moves. I started last year with a craftsman mower (new), troy built trimmer, and craftsman blower. I had 8 customers and this year (still part time) I have 22. I am pretty sure that next year I will have more than enough to move to full time. I only gross 27,000 a year now so it is not as big a move as you would take. I know have all commercial equipmnet and things are going great. Good luck and stay in touch...
  3. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    that's exactly how i started, except i haven't got the hustler yet, lol. i'm now beginning my planning for transitioning full time to lawncare. it has been 4 years since i started and business is growing well. i have a friend who helps and i refer stuff to him that i can't get to on the weekdays and we work together on saturdays and split saturday's take 50/50 less fuel and 3% for wear and tear on tow vehicle. we each have our own equipment. as the biz grows, and i'm ready to go full time, we'll either dump helper or start marketing like crazy. that's still 3 years off best i can figure. of course, being sole supporter of a family of 4, things can change.
    i wish you the best of luck, and think you are doing the right thing. another thing that will help, maybe not right away, but will eventually, is networking with other lco's in your area.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,289

    If you have a $45K job why not try to move up in your present work rather than coming into the lawn business. In many markets it is hard to clear $45K as a solo, although some claim otherwise. Every year that goes by we ask ourselves how much longer...especially on days like this one 102F.
  5. EMWEB

    EMWEB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Maybe he is tired of saying yes sir to the same face ever day. Maybe he would like the freedom of managing more of his own time. $45,000.00 job equates to a $20.00 an hour job. Of course he does not get paid to drive to work or home. Does not get paid for time spent eating lunch. A job is like having one customer that you can never afford to p!ss off. So imagine if all your income came from one PITA customer, would you want to get away from that . . . . .

    The American dream is not a life sucking job and a mortgage ! ! !

    HESS, I see you have been in business 32 years . . .you mean in all those years you could not find a job. Maybe after 32 years you should "hire someone" . . . . I have a job that pays a heck of a lot more than $45,000.00 a year & I too will be starting in spring. Don't worry, there is plenty of work to go around . . . .I'm sorry if I seem rude, but nothing p!ssss me off more than someone who is successful at something for years trying to discourage someone trying to start out . . .
  6. TierOneLawnCare

    TierOneLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Thanks for the reply's and that for sticking up for me EW, Reason I dont keep doing what Im doing, its not for the money, its for the love of grass, I really do enjoy mowing yards, and enjoy people, I currently work for a Ford Dealership as a service advisor, I see approx 60 pi$$ed off customers per day and talk to over 50 on the phone, I love people, and doing what I'm currently doing has taught me how to handle them, Imagine buying a 50K F350, 6.0l Diesel and being stuck on the side of the road cause it wont run, guess what, im the person you call, or come in and see, Like I said I love cutting grass, I love cutting grass, I love learning new things about grass, I lvoe working outside, and I enjoy working with people, even mad ones dont bother me anymore. Heat or no heat, I love it, unfortunite thing is I have adapted my lifestyle around a 45K a year job, and really cant afford to take a cut right now, but I am working on it, I really want to do this, and I want to make it work....again thats for the info and any more is apperciated
  7. K&A Lawncare

    K&A Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    This is my first year and I am using the same approach as you. I have residential equipment, but plan on making a couple of purchases come tax return time. I also have a full time job the pays decent and can't quite jump away from yet. So my plan is to start paying off big items like the truck and house at some point. That way it gives a little more comfort in the back of my head. It's like they say you'll only get rich at doing something you hate.
  8. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Very wide choice. Wished I had a 45k job to quit from!
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    May I?

    Save your money. More is better.

    This is a seasonal, weather-dependent, capricious type of business. Not to scare you but I've gone 3-4 and 6-8 months before, things got so slow, I wasn't sure I'd survive. And I've been told a 1-2 year drought is unusual but it will likely happen once in an Lco lifetime.

    First off thou, you won't have to take out a loan, instead you can buy your stuff cash.

    Saving your money is a skill, once you learn it you never really stop doing it. It's crazy, you do it because you have to and in the hopes you'll get to spend it all some day, but you never really get to spend it LOL... Instead, you stash and stash until that day when the unthinkable happens and you slowly drain a large account in order to survive for long periods of time without going out of business.

    Best lesson I ever learned, I got my winter money in the bank and some on top of that, I can go from here into next spring with no income right now (not to say it's what I want, but it comes in handy).

    Money is power, the more you have, the less the customers can manhandle you.
    It is the one thing that, no matter what happens, so long I have plenty of, I can refuse dirty and cheap work all day long.
    It's another way of saying, if I want to work for free, I can now do it sleeping.
  10. Mrk'sLawn

    Mrk'sLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Amen. Worked for the same PITA 10 years... When I left I was around the 45k mark. Never again not matter what I have to do. I'm my own boss from now on. I make the rules and set the schedule. :weightlifter:

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