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Is it time?

DDM

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I own a small Part time tree service/Lawn maintenance business i still maintain a 40 hr a week job well okay sometimes 30. My question is when do you know if its the right time to jump fulltime? thru the last year ive purchased a bucket truck,Dump truck,chipper,Loader,grinder and all the climbing equipment and new saws. But i guess im still nervous about that step any advice?
 
Toddppm

Toddppm

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Sounds like you got a good head start. I would count on having enough backup money to cover at least 3 or 4 months worth of bills without work, just in case. Is all that stuff paid for?
If you have enough work coming in go for it. Spring is the best time to jump in, just don't forget to set aside some money for next winter.
 
sonny

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Why make the jump. Sounds like your doing better than most. I always look back & sometimes I wish I had a reg. job with paid vacations, retirement, etc. & etc.go home with no wories. not working christmas day to get that piece of Equip. running, so the emploie can just abuse it on monday.looking back i would not trade it at all.Learned many things. Heck just imagine if I had put a career in at Enron.
 

DDM

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Well everything is paid for except a little is still owed on the bucket.I am kind of curious about what is the busiest time of the year in the tree Industry?last year i was just getting started around Feb.The Reason i would like to eventually
Go full time is Because I'd like to have a little
more free time >I know thats an Irony< Im always running wide open Repairing this sharpening that
down to Sunday nite. By the way i just stumbled onto this site 2 days ago and have learned alot
Great site!
 
TheTreeSpyder

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i too wish i had kept reg. job/benefits sometimes. Around here spring is when it picks up.

But a bucket truck opens up other avenues you might consider to make you feel more stable too. Such as changing light bulbs in parking lots and pressure cleaning church steeples; esp. under contract.
 
Timothy Kasulin

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i left a full time job working for the forestry Dept. in my town to go full timewith my bussinness and it is the best thing i ever did. i would nt trade it for the world. In my case though my wife is a teacher and i am on her health ins. so i dont have to pay the high costs of that. Can you afford to pay allthe bussiness bills such as insurance , gas ,maintenance ,upkeep, your self.on a weekly basis . The other thing is that being self employed takes a lot of discipline. You will no longer have anyone to answer to and it iis very easy to become complacent. I trust that you will make thge right decision. To answer your question though "you just know when it is time" it is a really scary jump but it can be done and is well worth it if you are willing to work for it. Good Luck and hope to hear from you soon.
 
Toddppm

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I'm going on my 5 th yr. right now. No doubt when I was PT I was making double what I am now, but I worked every weekend, nights etc. Always some kind of deal going on.
But that will change. I'm building my bus. the way I want and have slowed down enough now to realize how to make money instead of just spend it. This past year was the easiest I have had in about 7 yrs. I worked almost no weekends at all , finished by 4-5 pm most days and let my guys do most of the work. I wouldn't even think of working for someone else now.
It's up to you , do you want to work for yourself is the big question, it's not a minor step to take. There'll be noone to blame but yourself if it doesn't work out.
We do Land + Landscaping too. Don't count on the Lawn maint. to make you any money it's more like a loss leader for me. Too much cheap competition, just a way to get in. It does help with the winter money though cause we get payments over 12 months now.
We are busiest from about March - Dec. slow in the middle of summer sometimes.
 

DDM

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Yes Todd it seems like when in the Lawn season that all we do is burn up alot of fuel especially last summer! I Purchased a new Scag Tiger and a walk behind last year and i'm not sure whether to liquidate the lawn equipment or just hang on another year to see what happens with the trees.
And i agree Everyone with a Pickup and a murray rider call themselves landscapers.:angry: Is it just me or does the tree service get really cut throat bidding during the winter? It seems that
Ive had to bid about 30% less since December to get work.

I was very Happy to find this site since i have no peers and no where to turn for advice its been interesting a real learning experience!

Thanks,
David
 
John Paul Sanborn

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Many of the guys I know who started in Lawn shed their worst accounts by selling them off in blocks to a friendly competitor in that area. Keep the money makers, or the ones that bring other work in (loss leader as Todd sais). I know a few guys that have kept on a few full service clients because they have been on board "forever".

I have one freind who has been doing tree work for 20 odd years and takes off regularly. Hunt, fish whatever, bike trips across country.

What you need to decide is weather the job supports your lifestyle or vice the verse.
 
sgreanbeans

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just make sure that you have atleast 4 months put back for winter, i only had 2 months this year, not a big deal since i do major snow removal, but it only snowed once! i was forced to do tree work i had scheduled for the spring and at a lower cost to keep me afloat! and the winter aint over yet!
 
John Paul Sanborn

John Paul Sanborn

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Yeha you! Be a storm chacer!

Man I used to joke about that Dave! "we could use a good ice storm!" Now that I done seen one I'll !never! do that again!

Just a little downburst or tornado here or there.
 
sgreanbeans

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never thought about that! however if any of you ever need an extra hand let me know! id travel for sure!i just wont go with out some type of commitment that there will defintly be work.
 

DDM

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Went well got out about 4 yrs ago. Had up to 8 employees for from time to time. No one was ever injured on the job and in 14 yrs the only property damage was a crush mail box. Lol still get a call for a estimate twice a week.
 
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