Owning a lawn service is not for everyone. It takes a lot of inner drive and a certain amount of risk. However, if you are self-motivated and willing to take a leap then I will list some of the pros and cons for you to consider below.
Pros of Owning a Lawn Service
When you work a normal job, your employer pays you your salary on your paycheck. When tax time comes, you may have a few deductions you can make but there is not much leeway. However, when you are self-employed, particularly set up as corporation or LLC you can avoid paying taxes. There are many loopholes so you pretty much can control exactly what you pay in taxes. If you are at work, you are at work. You may sit around messing around on the computer because you are stuck there for 8 hours no matter what. Your boss may ask you to do tasks that are a complete waste of time, but you have to do them anyway which can definitely be frustrating. When you are self-employed, one of the benefits is that your time spent is your time spent. You don’t have to work 8 hours, you just have to get your tasks done. You get straight to it and don’t mess around. Therefore your time is spent much more efficiently.
Also, you can combine your personal errands with your work errands. I do this very frequently, you save so much time. Like I said above, you don’t have to come in at a certain time to work or leave at a certain time. You can set your own business hours. I hate working mornings, so unless I have to, I generally work like 11 am to 5pm or so. You don’t have to have your vacation approved, you create it. Pace yourself and plan ahead and you can take off whatever day you want. Obvious here, but you don’t have to answer to anyone. If a customer pisses you off, you can tell them to take a hike. You choose who you work for.
Complete Control of Income
The more you put in, the more you will get out. It is motivating knowing this. At a typical job you will probably get paid your salary or hourly wage no matter how hard you work. Sure, there are raises and promotions, but there is a limit, and someone has to offer these things to you, you can’t control it on your own. Working for yourself the sky is the limit. With my lawn care business, I will work hard when I need to, since I know that the more effort I put in to my business, the more benefit I will get out of it.
Cons of Owning a Landscape Business
Obviously, when going into a new business venture you might fail. Many businesses fail. You could lose a lot of money if you don’t have good marketing skills. At a typical job you know that you will get your paycheck every Friday. Being self-employed, you might not get that paycheck. Can you balance your finances? When I first started my lawn care business, I spend more money than I earn March-August, then I finally break even and start earning lots of money September-December. I then receive very little income January and February. As soon as Spring weather comes I have to have money put away to pay for lawn care flyers. So you need to ask yourself honestly if you can budget your finances.
Also, being self-employed you will not have health insurance. This really sucks. Trust me. You have to find your own insurance, and pay for it. And it doesn’t come cheap. Additionally, your job is not going to pay for your schooling or contribute to your 401k. Ebb and flow. That’s what running a landscaping business is like. You will be crazy out of your mind busy some weeks, and other weeks trying to figure out what to do with yourself. Sometimes really shitty things happen and you have to deal with them. The whole company functioning depends on you. This is a lot of responsibility. Especially if you have lots of money invested.
Difficult to Obtain Lawn Equipment Financing
This was a recent discovery of mine and I was not happy about it. By obtaining some of the tax benefits above, this means sometimes that you have yourself on payroll for less. Banks want to see your W2s to give you a loan for a new equipment like a mower or a truck. So unless you prepare (2 years’ worth at a decent salary) you can expect to not be able to obtain financing or get a bad rate.
To conclude I personally enjoy being self-employed. I think the benefits outweigh the cons. I don’t have to call in sick to work, and I don’t have to request vacation leave. I don’t have to do stupid tasks that I think are a waste of time but have to do anyway because my boss says so. I can take vacation when I want to, and however long I want to. I don’t have a set number of vacation days per year. In my view, I believe the pluses outweigh the minuses.