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youngin searching for advise

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DreamBig:LiveBigger, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. DreamBig:LiveBigger

    DreamBig:LiveBigger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Hey, I hope everyone is doing well, or at least hanging in there after this extremely wet season:dizzy:, at least for the NorthEast. What would you do?...I'm looking for some advise. I'm 19 years old, started my business at the age of 15. I have been blessed to have such a great man as my father. He made an investment in me when I was 15, he bought me my first mower (Encore Z48) and with it I started mowing some neighbors lawns. Started out small of course and worked my way up. Every year so far my business has come close to doubling, went from 6 customers the first year, 13 the next year, then 25, and 48 the year after that, and this year I'm at 83. It gets to be very stressfull doing paper work; dealing with employees; making phone calls; maintiance; estimates; counting money, oh wait:D . In fact I've got some gray hairs already:rolleyes:, but for some reason I love doing this.
    Anyways, the advise I'm looking for concerns education and schooling:mad:, not exactly my favorite thing but I know it is a good thing to have. Of course I've finished high school and went on to college (Rider University) for business. After 3 semesters at Rider I decided to take a year off and really put all my efforts towards my business to make sure it is the career path I want to follow. Even after this harsh year I still want to keep going. Anyways, the time is nearing for when I need to get back to my new school (Delaware Valley College) which is well known around my way for their horticulture programs. My concern is that I won't be able to balance my business and be a full-time student at the sametime. At this point I think it would be foolish to sell off my business and have to start over when I get my degree.
    My plan for next year is to actually increase my business as well, perhaps 120 customers. No, my quality does not get sacrifaced for quanity, in fact I do absolutely no advertising, all my customers are from word of mouth so I must be doing something right. The hard part is going to be finding the reliable, experienced crew that i need. Of course I would have to buy another mower too. Currently I'm running an Exmark Metro 48" and a Exmark Lazer Z 60" pulled by a 2000 Dodge Ram on a 16' trailer with room for one more Lazer Z:D. Also, I have plans of getting into irrigation, design, hardscapes, ponds, lighting, you name it, I want to do it.$$$$$$
    Wow, I had absolutely no intention of writing such a long thread. Well my questions to all you guys out there with more years under their belts then me is: Is the education really worth it? Should I increase my business next year or possibly even decrease it to make school and work possible? Is there other things out there that I don't know about education wise? What courses should I take? I know I'm young now and working A LOT and it will not be possible for me to maintain this work ehtic as the years go by. Which is why I'm interested in education.
    I apologize for making you guys read such a long thread, then again I didn't make you read it. I hope it interested you in one way, shape, or form. I appreciate anyone who actually made it to the end of this thread, I know that time is money and money is time. Which is why I'm grateful for you taking the time and helping me out. Thank you in advance for any replys I may receive. Keep on mowin.........MOW MONEY MOW MONEY MOW MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! also keep in mind that I have extremely high goals and do everything in my power to achieve them. So anything you guys write back will not seem out of line or impossilbe.
  2. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Messages: 1,037

    I know many Co. that the guy that owns it is doing some other job. You can do this and still go to school.
    You will run into the problem of employees that do not take care of your equipment, but you just have to find the right employees.
    One guy I know has his cousin working as crew chief for him, and things run very smooth. I dont know if you have relatives, or friends you can trust with this job or not, but that is an idea.

    I would not sell it, your business is making money (I assume) and to get ride of an asset would not be wise. No reason you cant keep the business and go to school or find another profession.
    Bill Gates is not down on the assembly line packageing Windows XP, you dont have to be mowing either.
  3. DreamBig:LiveBigger

    DreamBig:LiveBigger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    yea saw man I have a very profitable business. I do have people I can trust, just not enough of them, I have my sister's boyfriend (possibly my brother in law soon) also my brother as well. I employed friends before but business and friendship do not mix.
    You make it sound easy balancing school and work. I probably should have told you that I work 60-70 hours a week and that is why I believe balancing the two would be crazy.
  4. procare57

    procare57 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Let me tell you man, I went to college for 4.5 years and became a registered nurse. Started my business 2 years into it. When I finished college my salary from my lawn service was double what I made as a nurse. Quit nursing and kept cutting. If this is what you want to do put your energy in that. Start a retirement plan and retire at 55 or sooner. Besides what other job can you make this kind of money and be off three months out of the year to hunt. Follow your instincts. good luck
  5. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    As a current full-time "straight A" student, with two degrees, I say stay in school. Finish what you started. Especially if you've already invested several semesters. Don't put that time and money in the trash can, make something of it. You never now what your future will bring.
    Cut back on the grass until you get your BS, especially since you have a supportvie father. Then you will be even better prepared to run a successful lawn business if that's what you wanna do. Granted, you have many more accounts than I do, but I don't take on more than I can handle with my school load, because it never fails that when grass gets busy, a midterm is starring me in the face. Get your degree and then you can cut all the grass you want and not "have" to do it; its much more enjoyable and less stressful that way.

    REMEMBER: You don't have to stop cutting grass when you graduate. But you'll be better prepared for whatever the future throws at you. Just a thought.
  6. VnDrWLawnCare

    VnDrWLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I have been running my business for about 5 years now. This past spring i graduated from a community college with an AS. Now i transfered over to a University in my city. And it is already much more demanding. First thing is that i have a terrible schedule-- having to go to class a couple of times a day once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Doesn't't do much for cutting. I am always coming and going. I only cut about 50 properties a week, by myself and at times it gets very difficult. And every night it gets darker a few minutes earlier. But anyways i have been thinking about next year also. Should i continue cutting, Sell my business, or try and find a responsible hard working person to take over the majority of the work?? And i agree with someones statement about the Money and couldn't't make it at another job and still have a few months off. That is why i love it so much. To maybe help you out I have kinda made up my mind and decided to continue school and get my BS, but also continue running my business. If i have to cut back on work then that is what i will do. Right now i think that the education needs to come first. Since i really don't think i what to do this the rest of my life. You may look at it differently.

    In the future your education about plants and certain landscaping techniques my get you the job over another without that education. Some clients look for that, and others don't really care.

    Good luck

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