thinking of doing something else

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnworker, Apr 2, 2000.

  1. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    How many of you all have ever thought about getting out of the lawn bussiness i may have the chance to get a job that will pay 22 dollers an hour 4 years from starting date.Lawn care has been really close to me becouse i have done it for along time and it becomes a way of life .I have had trouble really making (good) money in the past winters are slow and droughts affect those not having all custermers on full service contracts.How many of you have ever regretted not doing something else besides lawn care my area you have to really take lots of work to come out pretty good a one man crew would need about 35 residentials to make a decant living to amount to what a really good job with benifits 401K and insurance would pay<br>
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,810

    You are not alone with that thought Lawnworker. I am always on the lookout for something more interesting and challenging and profitable to do. After 9 years of doing this it would be great if I could move on to something new. But it would have to be a big step up to get me to quit. I still may do it on the side. It seems to me that due to the weather, turnover in customers and the pricing stagnation and fierce competition in our are that you reach a ceiling on profit and growth that is hard to overcome. I mean you still have your great months. But the average year around stays about the same.
  3. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I sometimes feel the same way as you do lawnworker but my problem is having to work for someone else, I don't know if I could do it unless it was in the ideal situation. I've kind of gotten spoiled with the liberties that come with being self-employed. I have thought about getting into some other type of business. There are a few other things I would like to dable in that would be less physical. I wonder how many of us will be physically and mentally able to do this job when we get into our 50's & 60's unless we have the money to get out of it or have someone else run the business for us.
  4. cjcland

    cjcland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    just remember you would have to change your name from lawnworker to something else :)<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida
  5. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Lawnworker:<br>I consider myself a business man and I am always exploring new ways to make money. Rarely does it involve getting a job but sometimes I wonder if life wouldn't be simpler if I would get in line with the average population and work a 9-5. That thought doesn't last long. Furthermore, I have found that many companies discriminate against people who have owned their own business. Some firms believe that you will not stay for long if you have been on your own in the past. Most of them are correct.<br>I have a PGA card (club pro) and would not mind running a golf course for a change and playing a lot of golf. So this winter I applied at a local course that had an opening for head pro. The board members said that I was the most qualified but gave the job to someone else because I had a small busines. I told them I would sell or lease my business if the right opp. came along.<br>Lucky for me though, the new pro makes $ 22,000/year. How could they be so cheap?<br>I'll make that before April is up.<p>Hang in there. By the way, I started doing carpet steam cleaning for my commercial accounts. I have less than 2 grand in equipment and do about 5 grand/year in cleanings. I really don't try to grow in that dept.. Possibly you can pick up other business with current customers. Consider yourself a contractor of whatever you like and can make a buck at.<br>Good luck no matter what you decide.
  6. OP

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Charles lee and others who replyed thanks for the input.The free time that i would have to give up is one of my biggest fears about changing carrers and going to work for a company.This job would be with a big telephone company as a service technition in training if i took it at least i would not be inside all day like some office job are worse yet a factory I love being outside.This Forum is a really good place to learn alot on lawn care anybody that wants to stay in lawncare and make good money will have to go full service such as overseeding airating,fertilizing,Mowing,and other services in a contracted price per year that pays the same amount even in draughts are times of lots of rain.OSC is your market pretty good it must be to do 22000 in april where we live every one and there brother has a truck and trailer full of coommercial mowers. when they see you coming they think we are all rich and decide they are going to get rich like you so they get into the lawn care work also.Sure keeps prices low it is easy to retain old cleints then to find new ones becouse you get underbidded alot when a residence calls in 6 contractors for there yard.OH well will see if this Phone company job comes thrugh and i will do some yards on the side no matter what while my pay and beenifits increase thanks for listening all of you
  7. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Lawnworker, You said that you might be going to work for a big telephone company as a service technition? Well don't forget that Big Telephone companys are always changing things an employees around. They have a habit of downsizing every so often. And if they decide to do it in the near future, you being low man on the totem pole might not make it to that $22 hr.<p>I worked 17 yrs for GTE when they downsized my area and I got layed off. Two yrs later, my wife with 25 yrs got layed off. <p>I took my severence pay and went into the lawn business, and now wish that they (GTE) had layed me off 10 yrs ago. I love this work and make a darn site more money that I did working for them. And yes it is a little slow in the winter months, but you put some aside during the busy season to tide you over. <p>Jim
  8. goose

    goose LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Hey $22 an hour sounds great , but thats $45,000 a year.Stay with your business and it will only grow.I had a great job with great benifits.Made about $35,000 a year.But now that Im full time lawn service I pay myself $100,000 a year ,Im the boss , work my hours .Yeah I got to deal with labor , taxes , equipment repairs.But I wouldnt change it for anything.Like someone mentioned earlier the way the companies are merging and downsizing no one is safe.Sometimes it would be nice to clock out on Friday at 4 and not have to think about the business until Monday at 8.But I dont think I could ever work for anyone again
  9. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Lawnworker:<br>I should clarify that figure is from Jan 1 thru end of April.<br>One thing that you can do to ease some of the burdens, is do some commission sales. Many companies are willing to take on salesmen on a commission basis for territories where they have no coverage. Some will set you up with a fax, phone card etc. and you are virtually a free spirit. You can pound the pavement in the winter and if there are residuals, you can benefit for a long time after an initial sale.<br>If you can negotiate some health benefits, it's really worth it. Especially when your half of the premium comes out of your sales and not out of your lawn biz. If you can find an hour or two per day to make some cold calls on the phone or in person then you will probably will do half as well as a full time salesman. That's enough to pay some bills and keep working capital where it should be and not going out for personal bills.<p>I do some packaging sales part time and I never write a check for health insurance, it comes out of my sales. These kinds of things really keep you afloat.<br>Spring is tuff because income tax is due, payroll is going out and commercial accounts are on 30 day terms so all this money is going out with virtually no money coming in yet. You have to be wise to make it. A lot of successful people go bankrupt.<br>If you've been able to live on lawn care for any length of time then you can grow it and be where you want.
  10. Scape Sculptor

    Scape Sculptor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    OSC, what kind of commisioned sales work are you talking about. Lawn care, carpet cleaning, or something else. I'd like to know about it. Later, Dan

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