thing about going on my own

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnchopper, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. lawnchopper

    lawnchopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    if been doing lawn care for 8yrs or so and im starting to think of going on my own I would rather get up to work for myself than listen to the manager tell me what do do since the pay as a employee is rather poor and no benifits anyway.
    can a person make a living just mowing and doing clean ups????
    or should I be diversified and do lots more like fert/ weedcontrol.
    I really dont want to get in over my head and have to hire staff.
    I want to stay small and solo or would it all just be a totall headache???
  2. soonernation

    soonernation LawnSite Member
    from Okc OK
    Messages: 63

    I havent been on my own for very long, but I love it. The guys on this websight know there stuff. You want to talk about a mecca of learning, I wish I had a computer 5 years ago. I would say the hardest part is the initial investment of getting good epuipment. It adds up fast. From my experiance, I wouldnt go in to fertilizinf and spraying until much later. One of the senior members of this sight had an awesome idea. If you can find a licensed sprayer and tell him youll give him all your spraying business if he will direct customers to you for cleanup and mowing. If you can sell yourself, you'll have your hands full with mowing, flowerbeds, shrub trimming, leaf clean-up, snow get my drift? There is a lot of money and pride that goes in to this job. Good Luck Brother.:D
  3. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    Yes you can make a very good living doing mowing and cleanups. It will be tough for the first couple of years because you do not have a good customer base, but eventually things will go in the right direction and you will be happy. Just make sure you do not forget about insurance, and pay your taxes. If you ever decide to do applications, then please get your pesticide license also. If you keep your mind to it, and dont give up the first few years because you are not making the amount of money you were hoping to, you will eventually.

    I work solo and make a very good living, but i do mostly landscape installs, not mowing. And i plan to stay solo for as long as possible just because of the headache to find good employees and messing with all the appropriate paperwork that goes along with having employees.

    Good Luck
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I agree with the other two posts. The answer to your first question is yes, you can make good money doing this. And in fact, even the first couple of "rough" years, you'll very likely make more than the $10 or $12 per hour your making now. And you've got a wealth of experience under your belt. You can take what you've learned from your current boss - the good stuff - and use it, and then improve on the stuff where he was lacking. Then, of course, you have Lawnsite, which is just an amazing resource. If you pay attention here, you'll save yourself a gazillion headaches. I wish I had had Lawnsite back when I started.

    The thing that concerns me though is this comment...
    Because thinking long-term, being a solo lawn care operator the rest of your life is very limiting, risky, and doesn't have a lot of security.

    I suppose if you built up a good business, never really got injured or came down with any health challenges, maintained your current energy level, AND planned your finances very well with an IRA, etc. then MAYBE you'd make it to retirement age somewhat comfortable. But to me - that's a huge risk! And one I'm certainly not going to put me or my family through.

    The only real security in this business is to eventually begin the process of duplication. That is, duplicating your efforts and begin making money off of the efforts of others, not just yourself. That's not foolproof either. But at the very least, it teaches you how to run and operate your own business and that's a skill that can be transferred to other industries if the lawn care indiustry ever dries up. Sure, it's a daunting task to think about. It's hard work having employees, managing different crews, managing job projects, office work, marketing, etc. all at the same time. I won't lie to you. But it's also hard work mowing lawns in often crappy weather conditions 10 hours per day, coming home smelling and sweaty and dirty and your muscles all tired. It's just trading one type of hard work for another. One is less physically demanding, the other is more mentally taxing. So it's a choice. But again, I opt for the choice with more security.

    My advice to you is if you honestly NEVER want to have to deal with employees, but still want to be your own boss, get into a different industry. You can make gobs of money in sales, being a mortgage broker, running other types of businesses, all by yourself. And without the demands lawn mowing puts on you. Lawn Care just not a good thing to do, SOLO, for the long term.

    That's my 2 cents. I know others differ.
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Jim Lewis said it all again!!!

    You either have to be prepared to deal w/ employee headaches, etc or pray that you are the healthiest and most ageless person alive.
  6. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    Jim said it all.
    I have employees that I deal with in my Lawn Care operation.
    As well as the employees that I manage at the store.

    I get hit twice with all the headaches that go along with the job.

    Best of luck to you.....
  7. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    lawnchopper......welcome to the show! Step to the plate and never look back!
  8. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Enjoying being a landscaper will keep you poor...enjoying being a manager of landscapers will keep you rich.
  9. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    Whatever you say....
  10. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    lawnchopper....Yer the creator of your own destiny.

    If you think in yer heart you can do this. Your on the right path already.

    Be fair, treat people the way you want to be treated...Maybe treat em a little better...heh heh heh

    The rest just falls into place.

    Now all ya need is a little cash = P

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