Advice on how to get a business started while still working a job.

If you ever get that entrepreneurial bug, there are a bunch of ways you can transition from being an employee to being a business owner. Some paths may work better than others. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who is looking to keep his mowing job while setting up a lawn business on the side. How should he go about doing this? Let’s look below.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I’ve been doing lawn care for the past four years now working for the same company. My boss has been great with teaching me the ins and the outs of mowing. So I have decided it’s time to try and go out on my own next year and start up a small lawn care business.

The mowing company I work for right now only works in the late afternoon because my boss works a full time job in the morning, so my plan is to still work with him and start mine up on the side and doing both for right now and then just playing it by ear.

My boss has taught me pretty much everything he knows and he’s been mowing lawns for around 13 years or so. He doesn’t do any mulching or planting just strictly mowing. As far as pricing goes, he doesn’t get too complex about it, he just charges one dollar per minute for how ever long he thinks it will take us to mow the yard. My friends that mow for a living do the same thing when it comes to how much to charge per yard. That’s the way my boss has taught me to price yards and it works well for him.

I’m not planning on stepping on his toes or anything, my plan is he can only handle so many lawns cause he just does this on the side so I was going to market to surrounding towns he doesn’t mow in. The reason he doesn’t go to these other towns to pick up work is because he says he already has all the work he wants. So I don’t think he would have a problem with it.

Any advice or input on what I have to look forwards to would be greatly appreciated!”

A second lawn care business owner responded “my biggest issues early on came from not knowing my numbers. If you are still working for someone else you need to learn your numbers from them.

What I mean by that is you should set up an excel spread sheet with every property on that list.

  • put the lot size, and turf sq ft, trimming time, blow off time.
  • how long does it take to spread mulch, plant flats of flowers, weeding etc..
  • track the time for each one every week.
  • find out what your boss charges.

From that setup you will have an average amount of time required for certain tasks. It will help you a lot with estimating, assuming you are using similar machines. You can use most any realtor sites online to find lot sizes of the property you are working on.”

A third shared “my advice is to network with your friends and everyone you know. Keep getting the word out that you are starting your own mowing business. Harness your social life to market yourself and just run your business like you want.

Your success depends on you and you alone. If your ready for it then get out there and start busting butt and making cash!

Once you get your business started, you may not have a job for long. I had a guy that did side jobs work for me before. It wasn’t just lawn stuff but handyman jobs. I didn’t mind it until he borrowed my snow blower to clear driveways and found out he was telling customers he would work for them for what I pay him to work for me. I am not saying this is your situation, it’s just employers are always looking out for theft.

You are walking a thin line trying to start a business while working for someone in the same field. You should probably talk it over with your boss before he finds out from someone else.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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