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Old 05-15-2017, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 8
m2haskin is on a distinguished road
When is it time to invest in yourself?

Hey guys,

I own a small landscaping company. I recently relocated to a new area, and last year and this year have proved to be very lucrative.

Here's my situation, and I'm hoping this applies to some of you as well.

I have a job, FT to help pay for my health insurance, taxes and living expenses. I do landscaping on the side, after work and during the weekends. I've been doing this for years, and most of the money I made I reinvested into the business to buy my equipment etc....

My truck is paid for, but it's old. My dump trailer is paid for, but it's also old. My skid steer is paid for, and it too is old. I have business insurance I pay for, I have a website, and I am ranked #1 on google searches. I don't pay for advertising, not anymore. I stay very busy, have 8 jobs booked, and many more in the works. I stress out about how to get the work done.

My main struggles are finding employees that are any good and show up when told. I can't hire FT landscapers with experience because I just don't work everyday of the week. So that limits me to hiring people with FT jobs, that need extra cash during the weekends, or kids etc... Not too many people with FT jobs want to work every weekend, but I have the work there needing to get done, and I can't just tell my customers to keep waiting.

We don't do mowing.....I never invested in the equipment aspect of that side of the business, and I don't consider it as Landscaping, but more landscape maint. All our jobs are hardscaping, excavation, drainage, design/build etc... I like this work, and it pays pretty well.

I find it hard to do it all, I can't do estimates, be on the job doing the work, run to the store to gather supplies, write and email estimates, respond to phone calls, maintain the equipment, train the new guys etc.... because I just don't have the time. I try to delegate what I can to the guys, but I feel like my FT job is getting in the way of my business. I'm struggling to provide the customer service I'd like to on every project, and I feel the need to hire full time employees that I can train to get moving along on projects without so much direction from me.

My question is when do you know it's the right time to go full time? Sure, it's easy for me to say I'm busy filling up weekends, but now I'll need to fill up the other 3-4 days in the week with jobs as well. I currently have insurance through my employer, but when I decide to quit, and then go out on my own, I'll be responsible for much more in taxes, retirement savings, and insurance costs.

I read online that the avg landscaper co that grosses $200k a year or more the owner makes an average of $70k a year. I don't know if that's post tax, or pretax, but in order to maintain my lifestyle and provide for my family, I'm guessing I need to gross $150k or so to still be able to pay taxes, and insurance for my family of 8.

Is my math correct? Do any of you forsee any other issues I'll have when making the switch to FT? I think I'd love to have the time to dedicate to my business, but maybe I'm way off base? I seriously work from 7 am until 8 pm every day, sometimes I work more just to try and keep up. I figure if I do work 90 hours a week, it would be nice to gear that more towards my business presuming I could still provide for my family.

Appreciate your input, I did read that 1 in 6 landscape contractors is in it Part time. I imagine if you're also doing mowing, that maybe you can relate if only considering your project side of the business.

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