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View Full Version : From day job to mowing biz


dblawncare
05-24-2011, 02:51 PM
This is my first time starting a thread, so if I've done it wrong, I appologize! I would like to get into the lawn care business, and I have been doing research to develop a long term plan. At some point, if my business grows, I will reach a point where I am too busy to keep my day job (74k/yr), but probably not making enough money mowing to quit my day job. It looks like great sacrifice is in order, but the question is: how much, and when? I know there is no solid answer to this, but I would like to hear from someone who has been through this, weather you were successful or not.

Steve
05-25-2011, 03:30 AM
There have been a lot of discussions on this topic over the years here. It is a fascinating topic to talk about.

From all that we have talked about in the past, it seems it is difficult to keep a fulltime job and build up a lawn care business part time. The more liabilities you have now, the more things you will have holding you back from making that jump.

Some of the key points to do this successfully we have found have been to save up your money so you will have a cushion in the bank of cash that can help you make the transition.

How soon you make that transition has a lot to do with how much you push your lawn care business and how much you hate your fulltime job.

Can you potentially work part time at your job at some point? Could you take the skills you have from that job and apply it to another part time job somewhere else if you needed too?

You can make this happen, it will take some time and some determination.

What is your view on why now? What made you finally decide to think about this and want to go this route?

dblawncare
05-25-2011, 12:56 PM
I am a lot smarter than I used to be with money. I always wanted to start a business, but didn't realize how important it is to be financially responsible, and that it doesn't happen overnight. As I have gotten older, this has changed. Now I focus on saving money and avoiding debt. My mind is now open to starting a business, so it might as well be something I already do for fun. Since I currently have a job, I will make sure to have plenty of money in the bank before I launch a business. I think I have a sound plan, but it still helps to hear from someone who has been through this before.

Steve
05-26-2011, 06:22 AM
I am a lot smarter than I used to be with money. I always wanted to start a business, but didn't realize how important it is to be financially responsible, and that it doesn't happen overnight. As I have gotten older, this has changed.

What advice do you have for younger guys just getting started when it comes to being smarter about money? Where do you feel most young people go wrong with money management?

Let me also point out some articles from this forum and my lawn care business blog that you might find helpful.

The struggle to go full time with my lawn care business. (http://lawnchat.com/?p=2256)
When did you go full time? (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13745)
Jumping from full time job to being an entrepreneur. (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=9059)
Full time job to full time lawn care. Making the jump. (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7686)
I thought because I was a great landscaper people would call. I thought wrong. (http://lawnchat.com/?p=1746)

dblawncare
05-26-2011, 06:07 PM
Time will tell if I have a "head for business", but when I was young, I definitely had it all wrong. I had a good paying job with no family to support, and I spent all the money. If I start mowing properties while I am working full time, ALL the money I make will stay in the mowing bank account. If I can't build up 25-30 grand in savings, then I'm not ready to make the jump and go into business. I know there is more to business than saving money, but If you can't exercise self-control when it comes to spending, forget it.

My advice to young people: Patience and money in the bank is far more powerful than a good paying job and a lot of shiny toys. Now, a good paying job AND money in the bank, EVEN BETTER! If your young and making money, make financial freedom (rather than image) your priority.

Steve
05-27-2011, 04:00 AM
If your young and making money, make financial freedom (rather than image) your priority.

Isn't that the part that seems to just sink so many of us? When you are young, that is the time when you want to show off the most and yet that is the thing that will hurt you financial the most.

Why is it that there is so few good financial training made available to young people and why is it that so many young people probably wouldn't care to listen?

If it is a cultural issue, it makes you wonder if there is any hope in turning the economy around.

SECTLANDSCAPING
06-13-2011, 01:36 PM
I wouldnt quit a 74k job. You will have to make around $150k to earn that just for the business and not you personally. The chances of a newcomer getting $3000k a week are slim.

I did quit my job but it was paying around 15k.

If a lawn care business grows by 20% a year there doing good. The majority of our first year was breaking even or barely making money. A lot depends on your community too. The competition, what people are willing to pay, etc.

As far as time youll have that. Cant argue there but most of that is trying to find work, repairing and replacing equipment.

mark123
06-13-2011, 02:17 PM
I wouldnt quit a 74k job. You will have to make around $150k to earn that just for the business and not you personally. The chances of a newcomer getting $3000k a week are slim. ...
Yeah, I agree.

Steve
06-14-2011, 10:22 AM
I wouldnt quit a 74k job. You will have to make around $150k to earn that just for the business and not you personally. The chances of a newcomer getting $3000k a week are slim.

What advice would you have to go from fulltime job to fulltime lawn care in this type of situation?

mark123
06-14-2011, 03:47 PM
What advice would you have to go from fulltime job to fulltime lawn care in this type of situation?My advice would be not to bother with the lawn care at all. :D

cruzgardening
06-18-2011, 02:59 AM
here are some reasons why someone might want to become a business owner:

they might hate what they currently do
they might hate the people they work with
they might hate what they can't do because of work
and more

reasons why people shouln't beome a business owner:

you make more money where you are right now
you can stop working for people you don't like
f#$&ing headache
lots of work not too much on the monetary return for the first 5 years or so'

i would recommend you do the following and see how it goes:

find someone who u can trust and employ them as soon as you start the lawn care business, give them minimun wage and tell them once the company has grown enough he/she will get a raise. the person who you employ will want to at least work par-time so at least give them that, if you currently don't have enough homes to pay him take it from your current job to pay him. what he/she will be doing while he is not maintaining lawns he should be passing out fliers pamphlets or business cards around the neighborhoods you decide to work in, make sure you get this material professionally made. employ this person partime and make sure he does deliver all the material and make sure he doesn't just dump it once he gets it. you will start getting properties to maintain you should get at least 15 the first year, make sure you charge enough to cover for gas, equipment maintenance and empoyee pay. example if you spend 30 minutes in a property and $5 on gas in that property and the equipment upkeep and how much you want to make per hour add all this and see how much u should charge each one of your properties. now when you get more homes then u can handle without taking away time from your current job you can hire one more person and have the current one drive the truck give him/her a raise and send them to do the properties on their own.

if you have a business plan set up this should be easy, you should get a business plan put together before you start get a professional to help you make one and walk you through the process this makes its way easier, u will pay but it will be wise to pay upfront then to pay at teh end...

now you can keep your current job while making extra income on the side eventually you will make $75k from the current job plus another 60-100k on the side without you even sweating it good luck man

Steve
06-20-2011, 09:35 AM
you can stop working for people you don't like
f#$&ing headache

You bring up a lot of great points but I wanted to focus in on this for a moment. I bet a lot of new entrepreneurs get started because they want to stop working for people they don't like.

Can you tell us your view on why this is something you feel is inescapable no matter what you do or where you go? Or do you feel there is a way to move beyond this that you just have not reached yet?