Your typical day in this business...?

BlueGrassBoy

LawnSite Member
What is your typical work day like in this industry? What time do you wake up? Do you have employees? What time do you have lunch? What time do you usually get home at night? On average, how many accounts do you service daily? How many days do you typically work each week? Lastly what is your favorite and least favorite facet of this business? Sorry for so many questions I'm just a very curious person...:dizzy:
 

orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
That's too much to take in for one post. I don't have all day to explain it all. I'd suggest doing a search or just read through some of the threads. There's SOOOOO much info just sitting in this forum that it will make your head spin. There's also a ton of different opinions as well as different livelihoods. Some guys (me) can get up at any time, take my time doing whatever I need to do and still have time to go to a friends to jam out on some music. (I play guitar) Others HAVE to be up at 5:30am to be at the shop to get all the crews going by 7am and have to push them to get all the lawns done on the route for that day and sometimes they don't get done until right near dark! There's way too many variables to pin point what you want to know in one post. I strongly encourage you to just sit back and start reading. You can't get ALL the answers in one day. Trust me. I spent 5 years reading up on all this before I even thought about opening up my business. I'm still very small and growing after 5 years.
 
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BlueGrassBoy

LawnSite Member
Thanks for input, but you must be very indecisive to have spent five years reading about this before you decided to go out and start lol, or a slow learner:laugh: JK. But if you don't have time to explain then why bother answering at all? Just wondering...
 
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BlueGrassBoy

LawnSite Member
Thanks for a proper answer SCAGMAN.
 

orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
Thanks for input, but you must be very indecisive to have spent five years reading about this before you decided to go out and start lol, or a slow learner:laugh: JK. But if you don't have time to explain then why bother answering at all? Just wondering...
Why I spent that amount of time to "learn" on my own what it takes to own and operate a business is why I'll be successful. Slow learner? Not at all. But I could educate you on all the aspects of running a legitimate, profitable business. I'm taking the time to TELL you that you need to read, learn and understand how it all works if you want to be successful. Hey, go ahead and dive in head first and see for yourself.

How long have you been in school to learn how to read and write? Does it happen over night? Can you go from 3rd grade to 12th over night? Yeah, you get the point.
 
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BlueGrassBoy

LawnSite Member
OrangeMower,

What kind of work did you do before this and do you mow full time now? During your five years of preparation were you building up capital to start while simultaneously studying this industry? Or where you actually hands on learning/working for experienced LCO's?

I ask because I am in a predicament where I don't know if I should jump in and learn the hard way, or work under an experienced LCO to learn the business for a year and start next season on my own instead of this upcoming season. I would of course save the wages from working for another LCO and use them to start my own the following year, or whenever I feel comfortable in doing so. Thanks.
 

orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
I was a auto tech for 30 years. I studied the industry as a whole while doing auto repairs. I had some cash set aside but nearly not enough. I financed and have most of everything paid off now. I'm just now making enough to all but get through the winter without working.

If you have zero experience as a business owner, you should work for a LCO that can teach you the labor side of it. Basically, how to do it the right way. The ownership part you'll have to learn on your own. Most business owners don't want to tell their employee's how they run their business so that's something you have to study up on. If you're young (I'm assuming you are) then you have a lot of time to spend reading. It's not a walk in the park type business. The administrative side can be the hardest part. That's when you hire an accountant and lawyer to deal with those issues. Do a ton of research and read the heck out of the threads on here. There's so much info in here, from the labor side to administrative. It's all right here in this forum. Asking simple questions that can be answered by clicking on a thread can get annoying. I have to go deposit some checks then split wood. Start reading would be the first thing you should do. I know you want the answers yesterday but try to be proactive about it rather then have someone hand it to you. Don't take that the wrong way. The point is, you have to learn to walk before you can run. Good luck.
 

Jason Rose

LawnSite Fanatic
What is your typical work day like in this industry? What time do you wake up? Do you have employees? What time do you have lunch? What time do you usually get home at night? On average, how many accounts do you service daily? How many days do you typically work each week? Lastly what is your favorite and least favorite facet of this business? Sorry for so many questions I'm just a very curious person...:dizzy:
Typically up at 6:30 or so, out the door by 7:45 to be on the first lawn by 8:00. In the summer heat I'll bump it up an hour and start at 7:00.

The last few years I've had one employee, and of course their tardiness usually dictates the start time. No matter how hard I've tried I've yet to find someone that can get out of bed and to my house on time on a daily basis.

Usually get done between 4 and 6 every day. Depends a lot on the time of the year. The more the grass is growing the slower each lawn gets done, the later in the day I can finish. Weather delays mean working nearly till dark to get caught up. Weekends? Usually work half a day saturdays mowing, minimum. Usually it turns into all day doing "extra" lawns or lot mowing etc. Also fertilizing, weed spraying, shrub trimming and so forth. Sundays I *try* to not work, though often times it's necessary to work sundays as well.
Of course when I say "done between 4 and 6" each day, that just means being done with the last lawn for the day. Still have to drive to my dump site to dump the days load of grass, service equipment as needed, and get ready for the next morning. Many days the actual "finish" time isn't until 7 or 8.

I enjoy the work overall, but the grind of doing the same thing hour after hour, day after day wears on me. Having no weekends available to take a little trip or something 9 months out of the year really gets old. Least favorite part is just not having good help. Doing it all by myself is just impossible anymore but finding someone that I could feel comfortable turning loose on their own sometimes is something I have yet to find.
 

weeze

LawnSite Fanatic
it depends on the size of your business and how your business is. no 2 businesses are exactly the same. i'm solo. no employees. i get up at like 9am and eat breakfast, hook up the trailer, load the mower, etc. and i'm at the first yard by 10am. i do this because by that time the dew is mostly gone off the lawns. some days i may start at 9:30 or even 10:30. it just depends on what i have to do that day. i'm usually done by 3-4pm. if it's rained or something i may work til 6pm or so to catch up. i eat lunch after i cut a few yards. usually spend 30min for lunch at home or a fast food place. the average amount of yards in a day is 5. some yards here are 4-5 acres others are small as 1/4 acre. some days i may cut 2 yards and be done because the yards are big. other days i may cut 6-7 if they are smaller. i work 5 days a week unless it rains alot and forces me to work saturday to catch up. i try to only schedule 6hr work days that way i have extra time in each day if i need to do extra work to catch up because of the rain. i can catch up during the week most of the time rather then having to work saturday or sunday.

my goal is to make at least $250 a day. somedays i make more than that and somedays less. that is $5000 a month. i cut 8 months out of the year which is $40k and then do leaf jobs 2 months out of the year (nov/dec) which adds to that. the leaf jobs vary and are not every single day. might do 1-2 a week or something. just depends. most people around here don't get leaf cleanup. they do it themselves or just let them stay in their yard. i dont' do anything jan/feb and start mowing again in mid march. i mostly do mowing,trimming,edging,blowing....i do a few small shrub/bush/tree trimming jobs here or there but nothing major. i don't fertilize or anything. i don't do lanscaping much. i might do a small mulch job or something. i dont' do any hardscaping. you can do as much as you wanna do. if you try to do everything then you will never get caught up. you will never have free time away from work because your job will never be done :laugh: i just do things i wanna do and turn away work i don't want to do. some people try to do it all but you gotta know where to draw the line.

most people dont' do it this way. most companies work 8-12 hrs a day working sunup til sundown but that's not for me. it's all in what your business plan is. you can do anything you wanna do. i prefer to keep things small and easy and simple. less headache the better. i do mostly residential and a few commercials for people i know. i don't wanna waste time and energy bidding on jobs just to be outbid the next year. i like loyal customers i can count on year after year. is there more money in commercial and having crews of workers and such? yes but there's alot more headache too. it all depends on your goals. to me happiness and very little or no stress is more important than any amount of money i could ever make. :laugh:
 

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