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Tough Call

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Scott's, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Scott's

    Scott's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I have posted time to time on here and I am a licensed irrigator. I have a family member that has been in the business forever and has forgotten more than I will learn in the next 5 years. I started doing irrigation as side line because I enjoy it and we dont have any irrigators to speak of here. Now my little side business that was a seedling is now starting to bloom into a full flower. I worked my first year without being listed in the phone book because I missed the deadline and the word of mouth from the customers I have has bloomed. But with that being said here is what i am struggling with. I am a Conductor with a major railroad. I have retirement, medical, 401k, dental,vision and kids. I know the railroads are are trying to go to one man crews on the engine and that would cut me out of my job. I am on call 24/7 with no days off except 2 weeks vacation. I really enjoy my irrigation business and feel fortunate to have a family member in another town that helps me trouble shoot on the phone from time to time. I guess this question is for irrigators that have years of experience,,, do you think it would be a bad decision on my part to pursue my irrigation business full time. I am not worried about a customer base,,I am more worried with retirement, etc. my better half is a RN so the medical is there. I just want to hear some opinions from the old head irrigators. would you do it all over again, its a tough call for me. Thanks: Scott
  2. speedbump

    speedbump LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    I don't know about the sprinkler business, but I have to assume it's the same as well drilling and pump repair. You pay all your own bills. Then you get old, can't work anymore and go broke while having no retirement or health ins. Or you live like a pauper for a lot of years so you can plan for the future then get run over by a beer truck.

    This is all the things you can see. Then there is income tax, tangible tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, tax tax and... well you get the picture.

    But if your sure about losing your job which seems to be the trend with all big business these days, use someone for years, then throw them to the dogs just before his retirement, go for it. If you go with another conglomerate, they will treat you the same.

  3. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    There are many factors to consider. The obvious are: current age, how much you have saved already "working for the man", and your own disposition in regards to entrepreneurialism. You can create a successful business that can pay you a liveable wage, health insurance, and put money aside for retirement. I takes a good plan and hard work.

    And what if you fail? Start over. Take a look at successful business people. Many have failed numerous times, even bankruptcy, but refused to quit.

    It really boils down to are you a leader or a follower. Each cannot exist without the other but you have to determine if you have the fortitude to lead if you want to run your own business.
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    If you do it right you can plan and set $$ aside for your retirement. I've just never done it right!!! Yet. But other things have come up in recent years. This year has been real good, and nxt month we'll be getting some retirement things going.
  5. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    I forgot to add that you should always know your shortcomings and surround yourself with good people who can cover them. Case in point, I am really good with people and have a mind for understanding/fixing things. However, some of the details (usually office related) get overlooked. I hired my wife to be office manager and accountant (he previous career) as her strengths are IN the details.

    One thing that helped me was to take a personality test. It helped me understand why I react to different situations positively or negatively so I can improve.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Type B personality: broken sprinkler... fix it or replace what's necessary.

    Type A personality: broken sprinkler... break it some more and then throw it under a truck's tires and replace it.

    Type R personality: broken sprinkler... yank the sucker out and see if you can raft down the mini river. :) [And then there's the conspiracy theory. The CIA broke it the night before and Michael Moore will make a movie out of it.] :laugh:
  7. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    I was the "throw it under the truck" guy (and still can be) but I'm learning to deal with it better! I clean it up before I drive on it!

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