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when to go full time

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TripleT'sLawnCare, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. TripleT'sLawnCare

    TripleT'sLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Here's my situation, I have be "cutting grass" for two years for extra money. February of this year I took on a partner and for a part-time business, business could not be better. We have all the legal stuff in line. My partner and I both get off at 3:00 from our main jobs. We are at the point where we are maxed out. My wife just started a new job were she has a lot better insurance benefits than where I currently work. I would love to go full time in lawn care and but I know this would not be the best time to quit my job and try to pick up the number of accounts to compensate for the loss of income. I was thinking of quitting my job around February of next year to do this full time. It seems like we are turning down 1-2 accounts a week now do to not having to time to do them. Any input?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    For the BEST time of the year, pick spring, yes.

    Run Constant-ON advertising for 6-8 weeks minimum and start it as SOON as you can predict the grass will start to grow.

    Also, your equipment will need to be able to handle 10-15 yards/day sustained for 2-3 months without down-time.

    I would also say you'd be looking at least TRIPLING your customer base, if not more.
  3. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 805

    Topsites has a great post there.

    I quit this past May and it's been great, but I too was on the fence about it for a long time. You'll never know what you can do if you don't just go for it, and spring would be the best time. If you're turning down 1-2 jobs this late in the year and you're confident you can land them, I say go for it and don't look back.

    I stopped advertising for about 2 months due to my son being born, and now I'll have to work this winter with UPS to make up some slack and hang in there $$ wise. This will definitely NOT happen next year. I'll be on vacation for a month! payup

    Good luck man. I personally would dump the partner...LOL
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    when i hit it, hopefully spring of next year ill be going full time, if i dont, then ill hit it next year and continue on as i am.......have 23 to 25 depending on the week. if i can get 40 with my spring advertising campain im giving my notice..... :cool2:
  5. TripleT'sLawnCare

    TripleT'sLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    We already have the equipment to take care of quite a few more accounts than we have right now. We have a 2005 Dixie chopper 24hp/50" and a 2005 Dixie chopper 27hp/60". All echo commerical equipment. Only thing I can think of we need to add is a WB backyard mower. Right now we are carrying around a Craftsman lawn tractor 42" to get in backyards. Right now we only use it on 2 yards a week. We will most likely get a new mower first of next year.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You're about there. The first thing you need to do is have ALL your ducks in a row. To know when the time is right? That is when you have reached that peak of income that if you gave just a little more time to the business, then you would achieve the adequate amount for:
    1. profit on the business,
    2. costs being covered, (this breaks down into SEVERAL categories)
    3. Income and revenue for yourself, - this includes a whole seperate amount that gets put away for retirement.

    Now, the only way to achieve this security as a solid thing, and I hate to break it to you, is to lose the partner. There is niothing wrong with this, and the sooner you guys go your seperate ways, the sooner you will see EXACTLY what you have that you can COUNT ON. You guys can form seperate companies, still work together by networking, and still even be friends.
    If something happens down the road (and it is most likely to) that you guys end up splitting differences, then you are cut in half, and there is a GOOD chance that you will end up HURTING - incomewise. Cut to the chase and just get yourself set up right - and solid right now. There are SEVERAL threads and posts on here dealing with the same thing, and you'll find that by talking to people SUCCESSFUL business people, that partnerships suck - plain and simple. Now, if you want to thumbjack around and prolong the inevetible, that's fine too...that's your choice. However, make DARN sure you leave yourself a cushion in there, that if something were to happen, you can support your family and live with HALF (maybe even less) the income this business does. I don't mean to sound like a pesimist to you, because I'm not. I'm a realist. I have been in this business more than 20 years, and I STARTED as a partnership. A wise business teacher in college warned me of such things, and before I knew it, I was living his words..exactly what and how and he told me it would happen.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Not entirely disagreeing, as a general rule partnerships don't work out in the long term, meaning the majority of them don't and it would be an extra burden for a first year that is always a bit rough (UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY).

    The part I really hated was telling all my friends to take a hike, they all wanted to help until I got real tired of that, too. A few stuck with me, most didn't... Guess that just goes to show how shallow people really are, dunno...
  8. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

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    Hi TripleT'sLawnCare,

    Could you find a part time job instead now. Then build up your business more? It might make things easier if you don't jump in too deep too soon and instead take smaller steps.

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  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It may be possible to go part-time at your full-time job?
  10. GreenOasisLI

    GreenOasisLI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Go for it. save your money this winter (as much as possible) and go for it. You can never get rich working for someone else. If your a hard worker and have a decent business sense you can make good loot in the green industry. good luck!!

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