“Is it possible to maintain a full-time job and start a lawn care business on the side?”
The answer is a simple yes. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do this.
A couple of things to consider. There are all types of different services you could offer that all pay different rates. For example, you might be able to make an average of $35 or $40 a man hour mowing lawns. For pest control you might be able to make $65 a man hour. And, for irrigation work, you might be able to make $85 an hour.
Your first consideration is how many hours do you have available? Do you have 2 or 3 hours a day available on Monday through Friday, and then possibly 8 hours available on Saturday? How much time is it that you have available?
Of the time that you have available, what kind of work can you perform that would bill out at the highest rate? You’ve got to figure out something you’re going to enjoy doing. You can’t just simply do it for the billing rate because if you’re miserable, this won’t last.
For example, do you like irrigation? That’s a great one because it pays a higher hourly wage. Figure out what it is that you could provide that pays a good wage. Multiply that by your available hours, and you’ll see the top end of what you could potentially make.
Consider that you’re going to have some administrative time involved. If you have 2 hours a day, that’s 10 hours during the week. With 8 hours on Saturday, you’ve got 18 extra hours that you could sell each week.
You’re going to need some number of those hours as administrative hours, so you need to consider that you can’t really bill out 18 hours. Plus, it’s going to take some time to build this up.
I would encourage you to consider the number of hours you have available times the hourly rate that you can bill. Keep in mind that there is seasonality in this business so you won’t bill this amount 52 weeks a year. Whatever that amount of money is that you’re going to make, is that worth it to you? Is that a good part-time business that you’ll be happy with?
If so, then you need to get out there and do it. You need to start building it. You follow all the same procedures that somebody that would build a full-time business would do. You still do the same kind of marketing. You still handle and deal with clients the same way. Everything is the same. You’re just building a different type of business.
Once you get the business to where you want it, be very choosy about the clients you take. Perhaps you can continue to raise your prices so that you’re optimizing your time. You might even find that long term, that full-time job that you don’t want to let go doesn’t make so much sense any more because you’re making enough money on the side that it would make sense to go full-time with this.
I would start with considering what service you could provide that would pay you the most money per man hour? Or, maybe you start with something simpler and you transition towards the higher paid service.
That will be using your time optimally. That’s what you’ve got to do when you have a very limited number of hours. Go for it. Good luck.