Starting a business is never easy. It tends to get harder as you get older for many reasons. One big reason is that you accumulate liabilities and expenses as you live longer. You tend to buy larger ticket items, have families and cost just escalate. Here is a story from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum of one man’s quest to get his business going full time.
He wrote “this will be my 4th season running my lawn care business. I feel embarrased because I feel like I have been very lazy and haven’t been working to expand my business. I have had the same number of lawn care customers for like a year and a half now! My business is still run part time and I have been struggling to find the motivation to make it become full time!
Going full time with my lawn care business, IS NOT EASY!, I work long hours at my day job. I would like to stay with my current job as long as possible because of the benefits and taxes. I have been working a full time job before starting my lawn care business, so I’m kinda used to it, plus I have a family to support with a new 2 months old baby boy.
My current full time job is a classic dead end job. I do the same thing everyday, making the same money. I am so bored of it. Before I got the idea to start my own lawn care business I thought I needed to try and move up in the company. The problem was my boss was always putting traps in my way. He would talk negatively about me to his superiors. I felt like my boss was trying his best to keep his thumb on me and keep me from growing. I guess it just comes down to some people aren’t happy when others succeed. So that led me to say ok, I have to do something else or I will be stuck here in this crappy job, under this miserable boss, for the rest of my life.
This whole process has been tougher than I thought it would be though. I feel like I need to keep my full time job until I make enough money in lawns to go part time. Whenever I get close to wanting to quit my full time job, my wife reminds me ‘DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!, stay part time, till you are REALLY convinced you can support your family and have a steady income from your business.’
This year I’m planing to go full time in lawn care, and maybe work another part-time job, just for insurance, and back up. With a full time job I feel that I can grow my lawn care business at my own pace. Also the feeling of ‘I have to make this much $$$ to survive’ is not there. I prefer growing slowly but surely. There’s no rush. If I grow too fast I might lose control over my clients and money. I can tell you one thing, working two jobs for the rest of my life is not my goal. So I know I need to always be looking to expand my business.
The downside to what I have done so far and the reality of the situation is there is only so much time in a day. I don’t feel I have that fire beneath me that keeps me motivated to grow. Right now my schedule is pretty packed and the more customers I add, basically the less time I will have to sleep. To be honest, I felt this way a lot last season. It’s like I have caught myself in a vicious cycle where there is no way out. I need more customers to launch my business to become a full time endeavor but the more customers I add, the less down time I will have to rest and recovery for the next day.
At this point the only thing I can really do is save money and use it to help me make that jump from part time lawn care to full time. At some point if I am going to do this, I will just have to decide to make it happen. The transition will never be as smooth as I want or my wife wants it to be, but if I am to do this, I will have to commit at a certain point and just make it happen.
My current 60 hour work week is really draining me and something is going to have to change soon.”