How part time lawn care business owners got to being full time.

It’s a lot easier to get a lawn care business started part time while you have another income source. That saves you the stress of worrying about how to pay your bill. But there still is quite a step to take from having employment elsewhere to going full time with your own business. If you’re curious as to how others did it, to compare to your business plan, here is what a group of entrepreneurs shared with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One business owner wrote “the biggest thing is to have some money in reserve. I suggest having 4-5 months worth to cover all of your expenses and to give time for your cash flow to start flowing.”

A second said “that was how I started out, working full time during the day, and mowing lawns after work. I could mow 4-5 houses a night after work until I started getting complaints about not doing the little stuff that’s important to people, like pulling the weeds in the landscaping areas and etc.

I had finally hit a point where I could get by with what I was making in lawn care, and simply jumped off the cliff. Doing this really gave me the time to devote to all my customers and keep their lawns and landscapes simply looking perfect, which in turn doubled my customer base and income!”

A third added “I jumped into full time lawn care with both feet and hit the ground running. At first I was thinking I was doing very well, soon though winter hit and was very painful for me. I wasn’t able to put enough money back for winter and resorted back to having another full time job, just for the winter months. Although I am still growing, my lawn care business I am wondering what will come of my next year’s mowing season. Will I have to continue a full time job in the winter months or will I be able to jump back into mowing and be able to save up enough reserves for next year’s winter? That is the big question!”

A fourth shared “going full time in an economy that is challenging can be tough. I’m not saying it is unattainable, but it can take years to be in a position to do that.

You really need to know what your costs are. Both your business and personal costs. Then you need a method for covering your costs, in order to build a successful business. Don’t be in too much of a rush to go full time if it doesn’t look like you can pull it off immediately. It’s better to take it slow and scale up while holding down a job somewhere else until you are ready to go at your business full time.

For the newbie I would HIGHLY suggest not quitting your job until you have reached a point of sustainability. You will know when that is. When the work becomes overwhelming and darn near impossible to juggle.

Personally I save as much cash as possible throughout the summer months. That is what I used to purchase such equipment as a V-snow plow worth $11,000 installed. I was able to afford the plow from just two summers of saving.

Scaling up my equipment has helped me take on larger jobs that the smaller guys can’t do. This cuts back on the competition. The bigger jobs take longer, so therefor I am onsite for a longer period of time with less travel time, making more money. These larger jobs allow me to save more which allows me to grow further and that is how the cycle of growth works.

It’s been my experience you will find success sooner and have more fun if you take your time at this and don’t blow your life savings on printing up 1,000’s of door hangers only to put them out and find poor response rates from it. Slow and steady wins the race.”

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