Word of wisdom.....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by btbej, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. btbej

    btbej LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Dayton, Ohio
    Need some advise from some mowers! I am sick of the "working for someone else" blues. I currently have a situation and would like some opinions.

    I have a wife and 3 children ages 4, 2, and 6 months...mortgage payment and a couple credit card payments. I am sick of the ups and downs of the corporate scene and would rather control my own future. What makes this decision so hard is the fact that at the age of 26 am making $42,000 per year in a sales/operations manager position with ok benefits (no retirement), this position is in the commercial janitorial field, but in turn what makes me want to make the jump into the lawncare field is for one I love cutting grass and making yards look great and two I know I can sell....I put on the books in the last year $35,000 worth of monthly revenue (I am paid on 10% of profit so I only see about $1,200 out of the $12,000 I bring in).

    I am looking for financial advise...I know I can't get rich quick and I figure it will take me a few years to get where I am now, but I am just looking for opinions and suggestions on what to do. Financially how did you begin and how long (or how many clients) does it take to get into the $40,000 profit range?

    I know I need to start part time and not rush into it, but just looking for ideas and opinions.


    "Lawncare/Landscaping was my dream and dad told me that there was no money in it"!
  2. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    You could obtain $40,000 in salary on $100,000 in sales if you wanted. It would be challenging for you to do $100 K in production by yourself, but you can do it.

    The problem is that if you're the only one, what happens when you're sick? What happens if you get hurt?

    If you are interested in starting a lawn care company, ask yourself, are you interested in a job or building a company?

    If you want a job, you can get started cutting grass and offering a comodity at xx price to put food on the table and a roof over your head.

    If you want to build a buisness where the business ultimately is not dependent on you for operation and that will give you the freedom to do as you please, then you'll have to make a different kind of investment in your business.

    I posted in another thread awhile back that if you were 100% over head or administration, that your salary should not exceed 10% of sales. Rather, administrative salaries as a rule of thumb should not be more than 10%. Figure you need one office person for every $1 mil in sales. Pay that person $30,000 a year ish, and that leaves you with about a $70,000 salary. This does not include profit - and how you choose to distribute this.

    You can begin to see that to pull $40,000 K a year you need to be doing something around $400 to $500 K a year. This will leave enough money in the business for it to be healthy and to continue to grow.

    If you stay where you are now - where will you be in 5 years? $50,000? $55 or $65 K plus with promotion and continuing education/training?

    Obviously you'll want the same in your new business, to grow. You're not looking to risk your families future for $40 K a year and to just stay at that size. So, you'll want to figure out what it will take to meet your goals. Are you goals just $40 K a year? Or is your goal $60, $80 or $100 K a year?

    My suggestion would be to start attending horticulture classes on the weekends and evening continuing education classes. Take business classes and join ALCA. Begin soaking up information like a sponge. Begin your business plan now. Ultimately your part time business will require you to make the decision to go from part time to full time. When you make this step you should have your business plan in place and know where you are headed in the next year. Set goals and make your weekly and monthly objectives reach for those goals.

    I hope this helps. There are many paths to success - but you have define success first and then figure out what your strengths are and how you're going to use them to achieve your goals.

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