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View Full Version : When is time to go out on your own?


lightninglawncare1
08-12-2009, 04:03 PM
When is it time to go out on my own? I work about 45 hr a week for my family business and cut grass after work on most days. I have 4 accounts 3 residencial and one commercial " which the palce where I work currently". I spend most of my cutting time here at work casue it is huge and there are 4 ditches totaling about 500 lf long that have to be maintained and they are only done by wedeater and small push mower. All the rest I can do with my Scag 36" walk behind. I get $100 per week for the business. But all that aside, at what point do I try to go at it alone? I like cutting grass much better than what I do now. All other customers add up to $220 a month. So that is a total of $620. That is way too low for my budget. I need to clear about $2,500 a month. That is far higher than what I make now. At an average of $80 a month for basic service, I need 32 accounts. I could handle that if I didn't work full time here. I know it is a stupid question, but any advice will be good.

CHEESE2009
08-12-2009, 04:52 PM
That's a tough situation.

Very good question!

It's almost impossible for me to give an answer!

It's like taking a chance I suppose. You can probably try to gain a few more clients & when you make enough to support your family, expenses, etc, then you can quit your other job. Then take it from there. You might eat Kraft Dinner for awhile, but you get to do what you want & build it up!

What if you hire someone to take care of your family business?????

golfnpreacher
08-12-2009, 06:04 PM
In similar situations to yours, the transition from PT to FT a difficult one to make. This business is easy to get into PT, but not so easy to jump to FT.

My recommendation is this... now, the middle of Aug, is not a good time to make the jump. Yes, there is business to be had, but the season is half over and you don't want to be cash strapped coming into the off season. What you do want to do is start laying the foundation for next season. Make sure all your customers are pleased. Make sure they are going to stick with you next season. Take on new clients if possible. Then next spring, take a few weeks off work (if you can) and hit it hard.

Steve
08-12-2009, 09:30 PM
Can you build up your business more and then scale down your fulltime work to part time when needed?

Since it is a family business can they work with you as far as your hours?

turfmaster
08-12-2009, 10:03 PM
Part time is not such a bad thing in this business.
I did it for years because I enjoyed the security of full time employment along with insurance and pension benefits. I kept my overhead low and had some outstanding accounts which brought me an extra $20-$25 grand a year for years. I started in 1986 and didn't go full time till this year. I lost my job in Febuary and decided to go full time with my business. So far it has been good.
I had to branch out a little more into landscaping to bring in more work for my 2 employees. I think it all depends on your situation. I was married with children a home and at one time a retail business to run so I didn't take the chance of going full time back then. If your single with no responsibilities I would go for it.
I would at least try to get about 15 good paying accounts before you quit your full time job. Good Luck. :D

Steve
08-12-2009, 11:28 PM
at one time a retail business to run so I didn't take the chance of going full time back then.

What is your view on the difference between running a lawn care and running a retail business?

If someone were looking to get into one of them, which would you advise them to do and why?

turfmaster
08-13-2009, 12:24 AM
What is your view on the difference between running a lawn care and running a retail business?

If someone were looking to get into one of them, which would you advise them to do and why?

Lawn care is a more hands on service business which enables you to control your destiny.

Retail business is hinged on selling products that you hope people buy.

Personally I would chose lawn care/landscape over retail for mainly 2 reasons:
Overhead ( high rents, cost of products that you hope you can sell .)

Job satisfaction ( Nothing like looking at the manicured property you just finished and hearing positive feedback from your customers)

lightninglawncare1
08-13-2009, 02:09 PM
Job satisfaction ( Nothing like looking at the manicured property you just finished and hearing positive feedback from your customers)

SO VERY TRUE..


"What if you hire someone to take care of your family business?????"

My Dad started the Steel company in 72' and then he helped my oldest brother start the rebar campany. My two older brothers have been running the two companies I work for now for the last three years or so. My dad has more or less retired. Since I am family I do what ever I have to do to get the jobs done here. From fabricating to office crap, or even deliveries. It was build for us to have. But like what Turfmaster said above. Plus family is not the esiest to work for. I have very high expectations on me. Plus big brother looking over me literally. There are major benefets to working here, but I am more of a freedom kinda guy. i just dream of working for myself. But working here I have job security, employer match 401k up to 5% on my income, and other benefits to being on a family business. may be I should just do grass on the side as I do now, an if I get soo busy in the futuer then go on my own. I will see the oprotunity if it arises.

Steve
08-13-2009, 10:02 PM
I think the thing you have to ask yourself is what is YOUR dream? What is it YOU want to do?

I'd really like to hear your insights in this.

In one way, I think you are in a great spot to be able to work together with your family in a family business, but if that's not what you want, then it's not ideal.

But what goes on in your head when you reflect on this? What do you feel is your calling?

I am guessing you got started in this to maintain the family business property but then you thought this could also lead to bigger and better things?