Who would quit a job making $58000 to do this?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kse1221, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    No I wouldn't leave either, not that kind of money. I've been contemplating this for years and I guess I havent jumped ship because the numbers just rarely add up. I've been doing this part time for 6 years (with insurance/I pay the Feds and NYS). Everything has been tracked in quickbooks and I can say that many times that end number at the bottom of the report sheet isn't very good. Granted I've had plenty of fun spending money and have put it to good use but even with that the expenses add up. As someone else stated if I didn't have kids I'd be making a go at it. Knowing that there is soooo much more before and after the mower/truck/equipment is turned off may not be worth it. I think I'll just stick to the part time work and make a few extra bucks to help pay some bills, work down some debt, redo some of my house, and other things. Once the kiddos are our of daycare ($1000/month expense) and my truck is paid off we'll be doing well enough that I may just close up shop or make a few thousand in the summer months. But for now it helps close the gap on bills.

    I do some lawn and landscape work for a friend of mine who is a vetrinarian. Many does he make some money. Now he works all sorts of "off" hours to accomadate working people, but he does quite well. He's also a 3rd generation vet. But no one in their right mind is going to take their pet to a "lowball" vet. All vets are expensive...

    Most of my equipment is now paid for so the expenses are getting less and the profit will increase, but nothing lasts forever. If my current job paid me that salary you listed I'd close up shop TODAY. Mainly because I really like my job it just pays real bad compared to my industry and the past few years (having kids) we've needed some extra money.

    Good luck with a decision, if you're still making one, and just think things through.
  2. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    very wise thinking in my opinion you have a family you need to provide for and you cannot take a risk and chance that. good to see someone manning up to their duties nowadays!

    im 21 been doin the landscaping for few years havent really been pushing it super hard till i have all myy equipment iw ant but i manage i live on my own pay all my own bills and still have a lot of fun
  3. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Ha, my wife makes double what I do. She's the one "manning" up. I probably could quit my job and screw around with landscaping but not quite yet. Also I think about my grandparents when they worked. My one grandfather started painting golf balls at the Dunlop plant and in years became a manager. Jobs suck sometimes but you've gotta work.

    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    double income is always a great way to go. $58,000 dollars is definitely doable, but IMO you would have to have a gross profit of over 145k to take home 58k. At leased for me that is what my numbers look like.

    A lean, no debt business with two full time(March-November) employees can easily be managed to complete a lawn route with minimal downtime and paperwork time if done correctly.

    5 days a week, from March 1st to Nov 30th (around 36 weeks on the high side including spring and fall clean ups)

    36x40 hours per week x $12 per hour for decent work x 2 guys= $34,560

    In my area, 80 man hours can complete about 120 lawns. (12-20 minute lawns on a tight route). These lawns range from 20-30 per cut. So lets say average of 25 dollars for this experiment.

    25x120 lawns: $3000 weekly, $12,000 monthly from April-October and Double income from in March, November, and Half of October doing spring and fall clean ups, and all the extra add on maintenance work including gutters and aeration)

    For a full 40 hour two men crew(80 man hours)
    March: $24,000
    April: $12,000
    May: $12,000
    June: $12,000
    July: $12,000
    August: $12,000
    September: $12,000
    October: $18,000 ($12,000 plus $6k in extra work)
    November: $24,000


    Truck Insurance: ($1500)
    Business and Liability Insurance: ($800)
    Back-up Truck Insurance: ($900)
    Payroll: ($35,000)ish
    Gas: ($8,500)
    Oil, Blades, String, Filters, Misc Parts for machinery: ($3,500)
    Truck Maintenance: ($3500)
    Dump Fee's : ($1500)
    Yearly Massive Breakdown: ($2500)
    Phone: ($2000)
    Website: ($750)
    Advertising: ($4000)
    Paper, Envelopes, Ink, Carbon Copies, Business Cards, ECT): ($1500)

    Your left with: $72,050 Before Taxes

    TAX MAN: (%25-30%)

    NET PROFIT: $53,050

    If you are driving a company car as your personal vehicle you can add what you would have spent on a car payment in to that(350 per month x 12 and insurance: $4200 plus insurance)

    Subtract health insurance and retirement from this number as well if you are going to need both of these(which most people want but dont need)

    If you are using your company phone for a personal line as well you can add that back in: $2000 yearly for a decent, 1500 min plan with two phones)

    Subtract any new purchases/investments you want to make and deduct that from your taxes

    You are left with right around 55-60k.

    If you are in the field, deduct or take home your 17k in labor, if you are working another job while doing this , add that payroll in as well.

    My plan as a business owner is to get a MBA in Business, find a good accounting firm and look for the starting salary of 60-80k while i am running a two- three crew landscape business(Sales just under 450k) Once your company is established you can hire a receptionist and an office/crew manager to take over the estimations and paperwork. Its more overhead but its less work for you. Then your business is running itself. Granted a business needs the owner around, you don't have to be in the field and can work off your phone and quality control.

    This is becoming a ramble on post, but if you cant get sales up to 140k(which took me 6 years to do, we are now at 245k in sales) there is no point in quitting your salaried job. 58k is a lot of money. Sure your not rich, but your not living paycheck to paycheck unless you bought a huge house and have car payments and cc debt and bad investments.

    58k / 12 is almost 4,800 per month before taxes.

    Try doing both, find a good college student in your area that needs 20-30 hours per week tp do your lawns while you are working. Paying out 300 per week when you are making that in lawns, as pocket money, is a lot better than leaving a salary paid job. Do both and see if you can manage.

    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    What are you working for, pennies on the dollar? 80 hour weeks and your not making enough? When do you have time to spend money if your working that much.

    Mon-Sat: 5 am-7pm

    at ten dollars per hour your making 3200 per month. I hope your not working for 10 dollars. Your a business owner, when i work i myself want to make 25 at leased when i am in the field.

    If i worked 80 hour weeks from March to November id be making $72,000 payroll.
  6. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    Not to mention if you snow plow that's all gravy money if you can cover your costs during mowing season
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    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    dont do that to yourself! Why take a job that has the potential to lose money! Is working for free worth your time....Granted some jobs you think will take 6 hours, end up taking 12, but give yourself some leeway so you dont screw yourself over.

    DLONGLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    exactly. I did all pre pay seasonal snow contracts this year. We have 3 big commercial contracts, and about 85 residentials to do with a dodge ram and a john deere 3320 and i have in hand $22k in checks (pre payment is due november 30th to be on our route) plus the commercials which are paid per storm. Plowing is the biggest gravy money. I dont pay any bills in the winter. I have a payment plan for everything yearly to be paid 50% upfront in April and then 6 months of payments from there. ..No bills from November to March.

    We landscapers gotta think! Put our minds together and learn from each other. How do you justify paying bills in the winter, for summer equipment! SAVE SAVE SAVE AND PAY YOUR PAYMENTS FROM THE TIME YOU ARE WORKING! NOT SITTING WITH THE FAMILY AT HOME DOING NOTHING IN THE WINTER MONTHS
  9. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    I'm shootinto double my company for next year and really boost sales it sucks not bein able 2 count on snow though
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  10. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    In my area, 80 man hours can complete about 120 lawns. (12-20 minute lawns on a tight route). These lawns range from 20-30 per cut. So lets say average of 25 dollars for this experiment.

    $25/a cut REALLY? 12-20 mins a lawn? REALLY all my customers are full service we spend an avg of 30 mins on each lawn, at an avg of $50/service grant it we don't have 120 customers YET!

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