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View Full Version : Thinking about going fulltime with lawn business, any advice?


greenblade1
10-28-2010, 09:08 PM
I started my own lawncare business last spring. I have always wanted to own and operate my own business. I'm very knowledgable in business, I've always had a very good understanding about it. This past spring was crazy busy for me, had to turn work down, cause I just didn't have the time.

My current full time job, I hate, plain and simple. But the busiest time there is from Nov 1, to the end of Feb. So I figure I can fall back on that over the winter months, it is win win. I just don't want to jump the gun and dive into a non guaranteed paycheck. I also have a sub contract gig on vacant properties. I guess Im just looking for some advice.

CHEESE2009
10-28-2010, 10:09 PM
Do it man.

lol

The business is complicated, but fun as heck.

Steve
10-29-2010, 05:22 PM
Well, everyone has different circumstances they are dealing with when they make the jump from part time to full time.

I think the most important question for you right now is, what would make you most comfortable in the transition?

What would you want to happen?

What are your thoughts on that?

cruzgardening
10-30-2010, 03:30 AM
I started my own lawncare business last spring. I have always wanted to own and operate my own business. I'm very knowledgable in business, I've always had a very good understanding about it. This past spring was crazy busy for me, had to turn work down, cause I just didn't have the time.

My current full time job, I hate, plain and simple. But the busiest time there is from Nov 1, to the end of Feb. So I figure I can fall back on that over the winter months, it is win win. I just don't want to jump the gun and dive into a non guaranteed paycheck. I also have a sub contract gig on vacant properties. I guess Im just looking for some advice.

i am also new to the business, just bought my lawn route a few months ago and went in full time quitting my job after working with a landscape company for a few years. I decided i could go full time since i was buying a route that had the houses to make enough for me to support myself while i build it up.

when i bought the route it was a 25 client route and the previous owner was undercharging all the clients when i took over i sent a letter explaining to the client that the service will cost a bit more but i would improve the service, 2 of them let me go most of them didn't really care since it was just a few dollars i raised the price by and i added more services there was a few that wanted to know what was going on and i had to explain in person and once i talked to them they understood the reason why i was hiking up the price and decided to continue the service.

the route was making 21,000 when i took over i raised it to just under 30k i acquired a few more clients, in the past week i got 4 and the profitability of the route keeps growing thanks to the info i found on this website.

what i would say is try to build up ur base clients to match the amount of money you need to be able to quit your job (you should be tightening your spending at home as much as possible right now to achieve a better number) and focus all ur energy day in and day out on the company you are trying to build up, look at some of the marketing tools provided by this site (craigslist is your best tool if your in a metro area) and go out there and show your face in church or any place where masses will come together to let them know you are here to provide them the best service in what you do i am sure you can make it just DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Also remember if you have no experience at all in the field buy lots and lots of books and read read read and read so you can seem knowledgeable when speaking to the clients that's what they want to pay for, at least thats wha ti noticed around my area :)

best of luck to you my friend

Steve
10-30-2010, 07:12 PM
in the past week i got 4 and the profitability of the route keeps growing thanks to the info i found on this website.

Which marketing techniques have you been using that you found to be the most effective?

Also, when you were initially looking at the new customers, how did know the customers were underbid? What did you base that on? I think a lot of new business owners get stuck on that.

cruzgardening
11-01-2010, 07:49 PM
Which marketing techniques have you been using that you found to be the most effective?

Also, when you were initially looking at the new customers, how did know the customers were underbid? What did you base that on? I think a lot of new business owners get stuck on that.

Not much marketing, but i do go to the neighbors where i have costumers and offer them my service and tahts how i got 2 accounts.

i knew the customers where underbid because i was making a lot less for the time i was spending on their property. if you count in the distance for each house and all the things the previous owner of the route told me i had to do i realized that they where way underbid.

hope that helps :)

xpertlawnman
11-02-2010, 06:52 PM
Growing your business to the point of generating the same income as your day job is a major factor in diving into this game fulltime. But other factors come into play as well. Do you have the right equipment in place? Do you have a nice size bankroll put aside? Do you have a business plan in place?
When I quit my regular gig a couple of years ago, I made sure to have saved 2X the amount of money I thought I needed. Sounds like you are making decent money, if you have the bankroll tucked away, I would say you are ready to move on from the 9-5 job.
I was in similar postion with my job. The busiest time of year for me was Nov.-April. The summers were slow, so I always had time to do my yards after work. Diving into this fulltime did not make me a millionare, but it has granted me a sense of freedom I have never had before. I do not have to travel anymore and I work my on my own schedule. Good luck.

Steve
11-02-2010, 06:59 PM
When I quit my regular gig a couple of years ago, I made sure to have saved 2X the amount of money I thought I needed.

For what period of time?

I think this is a big issue. How many months of living expenses should you have saved?

When you look back at the transition you made, were there any situations that popped up that were unexpected and you wish you had the cash saved up to deal with that issue?

xpertlawnman
11-03-2010, 07:13 AM
I would say to save 6 months worth of living expenses. But that was the number I needed to feel secure when I quit my job. Other people that are more risk tolerant, may need less. If you have a wife that has a decent job and benefits the transition will be that much easier.
The only thing that I wish I would of done was ditch my WB and buy a stander before jumping in fulltime. Using the 48 WB as my primary mower for 2 years has slowed the growth of my business. The stander is coming next year.

Steve
11-03-2010, 09:17 PM
How many customers do you think you should have lined up before you quit your fulltime job?

How did you maximize your time off from the fulltime job to service your lawn care customers?

greenblade1
12-09-2010, 12:55 PM
I do appreciate the the advice from all of you that replied. Thanks!
since my last post I have taken on a partner, my buddy and I have been talking about starting our own business for the past 5 years or so, he is the reason I actually started doing this. I really was just wanting to help him get the word out about his company. He ran into some problems and had to re-adjust his business and I had better luck I guess. But we've talked a little bit the past few weeks about joining forces and doing it the right way.

I think we can be highly successful together, and I have a very good feeling about that. We are going to be a little more aggressive this upcoming season. So far I already have a deal with a contractor that I used last season and that worked out very well for me, I can get 10-12 properties from him on a weekly basis if not more, I already have 10 residential clients that will be returning next season, and a lanscaping job slated for the begining of the year. I really just need to find a commercial contract I think that would put us over the top, and could really snowball into somrthing big.

There are a lot of people out there that do this sort of a job, the market is definately saturated because it is a very easy industry to get into. But you have to remember things, like drink and food manufactures, they all produce the same products, you just have to seperate yourself from the rest, you cant please everyone, but the ones you do, you need to tale care of.

Steve
12-10-2010, 12:19 PM
What kind of problems did he run into and how did he resolve those issues? I bet a lot of other forum members are currently right now facing the same issues and wondering how to make it all work.