What to do? Quit FT job or not.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by o-so-n-so, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    Man...I just don't know what to do. I am to a point in my life that I need to either move on and do this (my business) for a total living or just slow down and just do what I can while keeping my FT job.

    My FT job....12+ years, 4 weeks paid Vacation, unlimited paid sick days, 9 paid personal/ holidays, BCBS insurance...I have to pay about $308.00 a month, Paid retirement, 401K company matches up to 4%, work on average 25 hours a week and get paid for 40, have no real boss to look over me, don't clock in/out...I just go do my thing. I make $19.25 an hour. This job requires driving a 6 wheeled large truck with very limited physical labor, I am 42 years old. I drive 45 miles one way to get to this job.

    My Business...Very well established, I am starting to get bad behind trying to do both, No benefits, Very good money, Get my life back, enjoy family time. No more working day and night. More time to manage my business as a whole.

    Can anyone share how they made this change, was it a good move, do you have any regrets.

    Any advise is greatly appreciated.
  2. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    Keep the day job, trust me on that one......spent 2005 trying to build the mowing business.....the drought hit me right in the a$$....had to dip really hard in the savings...last year(2005).....had to get a job in November to reduce stress on the family...even with the wife making big $$....how I am employed by the great State of Texas.....11 paid holidays....plus comp time....plus bennies....yes I still mow.....after work......2 yards a night...sometimes 3....comes out to about $1100.00 a month in mowing....all play money.....trust me, its easier that you want to mow, not that you have too!!
  3. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    it would depend on if you COULD support yourself/family yearround, if you went full time. I'd make a 2 column list, one for your buisness full time, the other for your day job, and list pros and cons of both, then study it, and maybe it'll be easier to make your decision.
  4. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    I don't just mow.... Its my business as a whole and mowing is just a little part of my business. I do complete landscaping installs , mowing, stump grinding, tractor service, lawn renovations, some minor rock work like borders and walls. I got work 365 a year or have for the past 3 years. And I have no advertising on my trucks.
  5. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    At age 42 with the job and benefits you have I'd keep the
    FT job . I'd cut way back on the yard care to a point where I didn't feel like I was meeting myself coming and going.

    None of us can rely on job security the way things are at this time. So if something does happen to your FT job you can fall back on the yard care and try to increase your customer base.

  6. Badgerz

    Badgerz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    If you can get out of bed in the morning and not have a knot in your gut because you dread having to go to work you're set. What would make you happiest? Once you can answer that you've answered your own question. Obviously what would make you happiest is to run your own business full time while maintaining a comfortable life style financially. Do you have the means to make this a reality? Would your business make you enough money? Can your market support your needs? Lots of variables. My wife and I just had this same discussion a couple of nights ago.
  7. cet

    cet LawnSite Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 89

    If you choose to go out on your own FT, the hardest thing to do is don't take on to much work. You have to learn to say NO. You need to put an importance on your family life and it is to easy to start working 70 hour weeks working for yourself. There has to be time off, vacation and weekends. Treat your business as a job. But you have to have the money to do this.
  8. Keep the FT job and weed out all the PITA customers.
    I had a good job as an outside plant engineer for the telephone company.
    The job folded up and the office closed. I thought I could just make it mowing. I thought if I earned more mowing than I did at the phone company I could maintain the same standard of living. NOT TRUE. First mistake I made was not calculating in the extra money I was used to making mowing lawns.
    That was now part of the primary income. Then I underestimated the cost of just doing business. When I started out I was a little short on insurance etc. This year my business insurance is over $3k. Equipment gets pricey really quick too. Not to mention repairs. Yesterday I had to buy a new mower seat for $150. (I got the cheap one.) Today the alternator needs rebuilt on the Toro 580. All just normal business costs.
    It has taken years to battle my way up to the same standard of living. If I'd been able to stay at the phone company I'd be looking forward to retiring in 5 years with close to a million dollars in my retirement account. Today I'm looking at some well worn equipment and maybe the truck will be paid off.
    Oh yeah, I havn't had any health insurance since 1983.
    Keep the job, feed the 401k, milk the mowing jobs for what extra income you can get. If you got to cut back, cut back on mowing.
    If you're already stressing over too much work, you don't want to work for yourself. You never work harder than when you're working for yourself. I was considering who I could mow tomorrow, Easter, but now the big mower's down I'll be taking the day off. (I wonder if my wife sabotaged it?)

  9. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Keep the full-time job. The part-time business income you can put into your 401k plan. Thats what I do. :laugh:

    The illegal Mexicans will be lowballing soon after they are declared legal by Congress. Then the companies hiring Mexicans now won't find them so easy because they will move on to better paying jobs or starting their own lawn companies.

    The future looks bleak for this industry unless you are part-time.
  10. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    DLS1 hits it home....the number of beaners here is crazy, people want the cheapest for lawn care and get it...plus the job paid for me to get my Herbicide license and sends me to differant training classes every month....plus when is the last time a State has had a major lay-off????Listen to DLS1......

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