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jasonw
06-06-2009, 04:04 PM
I was talking to someone who use to be in the lawn care business and well to make a long story short got out of it because there was no money in it. He was saying he would bring in about 2K per month which by today's standards is not acceptable "to me at least" As it stands now I make about 5K per month after taxes so would need the potential to top this before considering anything full time. Is this to ambitious?

picframer
06-06-2009, 04:14 PM
My experience is you can make as much money as you want. I look at the big picture when I look at a home, I guess our business looks at yard care vs just lawn mowing, as such if the demand is there I obtain the equipment to do the job from lawn mowing, pressure washing, various spray programs, tree cutting, wood chipping, lawn and garden tilling, mini excavation, garden beds, new, replacement or driveway grading and the list goes on.

I spent most of my life working in the financial area, generally a business will turn a profit if done properly in 24 months, yes there are many exceptions, as a banker I would want to see this in a business plan before lending.

I am the type that when I decide to do something, it's almost a no hold bar approach, I will make it work and tweak things along the way to make money.

As for income potential, I started our Yard Care Business in mid April, (research started in September of last year but by April of this year I was ready to go), I invested around 200,000 of my own money as I didn't want the company to start out in debt, I understand this is a lot of cash however as of the end of May, the income statement before deprecation shows a profit in excess of twenty grand after all expenses and taxes.

I think folks in the lawn/yard care business look at this business as lawn mowing and if you do, your profits will reflect it, if you look at the home owners needs and what you can do, you will make a serious profit.

Andy

jasonw
06-06-2009, 04:37 PM
So what I get from your reply if all you do is mow and blow you will not make much money but if you provide full property service you will make money.

picframer
06-06-2009, 04:50 PM
So what I get from your reply if all you do is mow and blow you will not make much money but if you provide full property service you will make money.

My experience and observation/reading here, if you only mow and blow you have your back against the wall as there are far too may trunk slammers in this doing work for nothing, personally not interested.

I am in this to make money, I had to tweak things as my initial plan did not take into account so many were doing this so cheap, so I quickly bought the equipment to take the company in a slightly different direction and man did it take off, far beyond my wildest dreams.

Yes we mow lawns, I think we have 30 +/- customers however we do not advertise it or promote it, if someone asks then yes we will give you a quote, there is far to much money to be made in other services.

The trunk slammers as I like to call them either do not have the capital or access to it to do buy equipment to do what we are doing. They simply load a fifty dollar mower and thirty dollar trimmer in a fifty dollar trailer and hit the road offering lawn mowing for twenty to twenty five bucks, more power to them.

ritchiem
06-06-2009, 06:03 PM
if you are going to make 'real' money mowing lawns you need to;

- own productive equipment
- don't low ball, be competitive
- offer superior workmanship
- be detail oriented
- track all your hours to find out productivity rates

You can make good money mowing lawns. However, you'll find that if you offer a variety of services such as Gardening, Seasonal Cleanups, Weed/Insect control, Fertilizing, etc... you'll be more successful, and it will improve your bottom line.

Anyone can cut grass and make a few bucks a month...but it takes a lot more to mow lawns to make thousands. I know it can be done, you just need the right mindset and attitude.

Steve
06-06-2009, 08:24 PM
Jason,

You are making good money now. More money than most people.

As it stands now I make about 5K per month after taxes so would need the potential to top this before considering anything full time. Is this to ambitious?

This is the quandary many fulltime employees face when looking to start their own business.

I feel first off if you want to get into the mix, you gotta get into the mix. There is no better way to learn than to do.

Mowing is a great way to get a business started. It's fairly simple to provide basic services. You don't have to invest much money to get started either.

However as Andy pointed out when there is a lot of competition, you need to either expand the services you offer or you need to become an expert and focus on a niche.

Andy has done a lot of amazing things this year and he is really brilliant with his business planning. He constantly is asking his customers what services they need and he looks for a way to offer those services. Some of his services require a capital investment and that is good when you have capital because it raises the barrier of entry. A higher barrier of entry cuts back on the number of competitors. Then he is able to charge higher prices per man hour because there are less competitors offering those services.

A new entrepreneur needs to keep in mind he has had many year of business training. A new entrepreneur is not going to be able to jump in and initially find the success he has. But if they get started and they get their business systems running, they will find such success if they keep learning and keep asking questions.

So my view is, get in the mix. Start small. Figure out what your customer base is looking for and expand into the more profitable services.

Does this help?

jasonw
06-06-2009, 10:38 PM
yes it helps a lot. thanks again

turfmaster
06-07-2009, 01:01 AM
This is the quandary many fulltime employees face when looking to start their own business.

This is exactly the same situation I have been in for 20 some years.
You have the security and pay check of a full time career however you also have that burning desire to own and run your own business.
The beauty of the lawn & garden business is that it doesn't take a huge investment to get started and by starting part time you can feel your way through what works for you and what doesn't.
You will know when the time is right to launch your business full time.
I am finally going full time after 23 years of running my business part time.

Steve
06-07-2009, 01:27 AM
I am finally going full time after 23 years of running my business part time.

Ah. Now that is fascinating. Can you give us a little insight as to why now? What was the thing that clicked that told you now was the time and why do you feel it took the length of time it did?

Looking back, would you have potentially done anything different? Or advised someone to do it differently?

jasonw
06-07-2009, 02:51 AM
I am very interested as well. Did it take all this time to make a buck or did you just decide not to hit it hard until now?

turfmaster
06-07-2009, 11:22 AM
Ah. Now that is fascinating. Can you give us a little insight as to why now? What was the thing that clicked that told you now was the time and why do you feel it took the length of time it did?

Looking back, would you have potentially done anything different? Or advised someone to do it differently?

I sometimes wonder where I would be today had I pursued my business full time years ago however I enjoyed a long career(30years) as a Tool & Die Maker making some excellent money and enjoying the field and the job security that it brought. I have made good money in lawn care over the years as well. Some years over $20,000/ year part time. That is the beauty of this business, you can build it into what you want.

The reason I decided to ramp up to full time is because I got laid off last month . My son also lost his job so he will now work for me full time.

I don't need the income and job security from Toolmaking anymore because my family is grown and my wife has a excellent job.

I have been running a successful part time operation for a long time, so it has been an easier transition.

The path I am following is kind of what I planned and I don't regret it.
My lawn business was going to be my retirement job, I am just starting it a couple years earlier than planned. :)

Steve
06-07-2009, 12:50 PM
Very interesting!

Jason with all this information, has it helped or aided you more in your decision process? If so where are you at now with it all? What are you thinking?

jasonw
06-11-2009, 12:29 PM
Steve, Well after some thought I figured I would work on moving ahead. As I said before I don't need a job, I already have a good paying one but have that burning desire to work for myself. I already have everything I need to provide basic lawn service so there really is no overhead. All I have to do is pay for gas and don't have to do that unless I get a job so that's fine. I have placed an add in the paper and printed out fliers as well as armed myself with an unused Lowes CC. I figured with that I don't have to turn down any work, if a customer wants something done that I don't have the equipment to do I will just go buy it. If nothing ells comes of it at least I will meet some new people and have a way to wast my spare time, On the up side maybe I will quit my day job and become a millionaire mowing lawns. Who knows.

Steve
06-11-2009, 03:33 PM
Steve, Well after some thought I figured I would work on moving ahead.

Great! Keep us posted on what goes on. Your experiences will inspire all of us.