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work for someone or just start up??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnguy268, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. lawnguy268

    lawnguy268 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Im sure this has been asked a milion times. I have been talking to alot of the lawn care company guys around my area, and alot of them just told me they started out working for themselves and just learned everything. Some other tell me they worked with a copany for atleast 2 years before going out on there own. Im wondering what you guys suggest. I ve worked alot of labor jobs in my life . Masory roofing ...and a little lawn care.

  2. stumpslawncare

    stumpslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    imo I would work for a company first, unless you have a good education in the industry, but even then I would work with a company, get a feel for the industry and you will be amazed at the lessons that you will learn all while getting a pay check. Then when you do go out on your own you might save yourself alot of money from making some silly mistakes that you might make without your previous knowledge.
  3. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,281

    I have been working for a landscape company for 4 years. I think it will be beneficial to work somewhere first to get a real world feel for the job. You never know, you may or may not like it
  4. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I would work somewhere first. I learned the fert/weed control side of the business working for a local co. So I knew what I was doing on that side when I started out on my own. When I decided to add mowing as a service, I figured there wasn't much to know- boy was I wrong! Learn how to work fast/well, learn a system, maybe work for a few companies so you can see what really works.
    Let me give you an idea of the difference. When we started mowing (and didn't know what we were doing) 12-15 lawns was the max for a 2 man crew. Now with 6 years experience in mowing, 30-35 lawns is not a problem for a 2 man crew.
  5. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    If you can go to work for someone else first there is alot you can learn that will save you in the long run
  6. BCF

    BCF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    With any business started you will have a bunch of headaches to overcome, but they will be minimized if you learn the hard knocks on someone elses' time. Pricing and timelines are the biggest obsticales to teamup, which you have to learn how to run a successful business. If you jump right in, chances are youll be learning real expensively.You may even figure out you don't really want to do this, which would be harder to quit when/if that realization hits you if you're in charge.
  7. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    if your not sure what you want to do or not sure how to I would suggest that you go ahead and work for a landscape company to gain experience in both work and estimates.
  8. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    No replacement for real life experience,work somewhere 1st then if you still think you can do it go for it.
  9. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I dont know why on Earth guys/girls would not take the experience of working for some one for just a few years over throwing some mowers together and trying to do it by jumping in with both feet first. Not a smart business decision in my opinion. I learned more in the 5 years working for another lawn care company then carried that over to my company. There's more to a successful lawn care service then just mowing a straight line.
  10. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    Working for someone else mowing lawns is certainly helpful, but if you already have start-up capital and are determined to make it in this business, then I would just jump right in and not waste any time. I'm going to be offering a one day seminar in February for guys that want to make a fast and smart entry into the business with the focus of the material geared towards those intending to be *career solo grass cutters.* Maybe this might be for you?

    In a couple weeks you can be a pro at using a mower, whether it's a walk-behind or a rider. It just takes a little practice. And any moron can mow a lawn. The skill that takes time to learn is weed wacking. I can give curbs, sidewalks and things fantastic edges using a weedwacker, and it simply takes time and concentration and even some muscular endurance to master that skill.

    Other aspects of the business a lawn service owner is not likely to teach to his employees. They will want to keep you in the dark as much as possible to reduce the chances of their workers going off on their own and poaching the customer base.

    By working for another lawn maintenance service, you will probably learn better how to work fast, and hard. I guess what you have to ask yourself is - is it worth it to delay the launch of your service and learn what you can while being paid $10 to $15 an hour, depending upon the employer, or would it be better not to waste that time and instead plunge ahead in your own business while possibly making more mistakes, but (hopefully) earning more in the process?

    If you wanted to learn the landscaping end of things, then I would say that is different and spending some apprenticeship time with another company would be a smart investment of your time.

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