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what to do???

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jbone, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    I think I might have brought this up in another post but I cant remember. Im opening a business with a friend of mine this spring doing landscaping. We both want to get into doing snow/ice removal too. He already does it for his fathers landscaping business commercially. Next season his father has about 10 contracts for plowing and they asked me if I would be interested in working for them. they want to pay me about $20 an hour using their equipment, insurance, gas, etc. My friend/business partner feels that I would be better off working for them this upcoming winter to get experience and a feel for plowing before I buy my own equipment and I wont have to worry about insurance, wear/tear, etc. But Im not sure if I want to do that or try to get contracts under our business name. I really would like to help my friend and his father out but I also want to promote our business. Im just looking for advice to help me decide wether or not to buy a plow and sander or to save my money for landscaping, and maybe get into plowing the following year. Any suggestions? What would happen to our landscaping business if we just let it sit dormant the whole winter? I know a lot of landscaping companies do that but Im afraid well be missing out on getting some extra cash and our foot in the door. Another problem is since my friend still has responsibilities to his fathers business that leaves me to take care of making sure that our contracts work out if we do go through with this. Thanks
  2. Sweetpete

    Sweetpete Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Well.....it kinda sounds like you're in a win-win situation. But, I can see where you're wondering what to do, also.

    I think, I'd go w/ the approach of getting a little bit of exp. under your belt before jumping into the business. Learning to plow is like learning anykind of trade, you should do it a little before going out and getting your own jobs.

    At the very least, have a buddy you trust help you bid and write up contracts.
    This is how I'm doing it also. I'm taking 2-3 seasons (I'm currently on finishing my 2nd) and maybe I'll do one more by sub-contracting hourly. The money is OK, but it's the experience that I'm gaining that will really allow me to get my feet on solid ground.

    Then, maybe this late summer / fall, I'll start sending out some flyers to the local bars / restaurants / convenience stores and see if they would accept a bid .

    But, that's just my opinion. Let us know what you decide. Either way, you'll probably enjoy the work. I know I do. :)
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Learning from people who have already paid the price is a cheap education. To many Lowballers only survive one year because it looks easy to do and they feel others are over priced, only to fail when the true cost of doing business starts to pile up. Plus you have the opportunity to evaluate equipment, and technique while earning income.
  4. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Thanks for the advice guys I prob will wnd up working for him this winter. Another thing I forgot to mention us that I also have a full time job. Im not sure if this will be the story come winter time. If I dont have the job still I may be forced into going to get contracts and equipment, but otherwise being obligated to contracts with a full time job will be very tough if not impossible to manage. So thannks for the advice I will prob go with getting the experience this winter rather than jumping into it and save that money for next winter or invest it towards the landscaping.