This is a question that people ask very frequently when they are washing part time. Why am I writing about this? Because I was one of these people.
The simple answer to this question is to quit when you can’t afford to stay at your job anymore.
When you lose more profit than you are paid at your regular job, it is time to quit.
Notice I said PROFIT. People have a hard time understanding what this means.
If you clean a parking lot and generate 1000$ and your cost in fuel and chemicals was $120 was your profit 880$? No.
You have other costs which we call “a constant”. That constant is a monster that needs to be fed every month. Many examples of “constant costs” are insurance, truck notes, wages, taxes, rent, advertising and much more.
So what you need to see is if you spend 300$ a month on insurance, 200$ a month on storage space, 700$ a month on your truck and 500$ a month on advertising it is safe to say you are already at a constant monthly cost of 1700$ to do business. There are obviously more costs like a CRM, accounting that are not mentioned but to keep this simple let's start with where we are at. 1700$ which means every week you are open you cost 425$ to be open.
If that 1000$ job that cost you 120$ is the only job you had that week - your profit is closer to 500$ instead of 880$. And that is implying everything goes smoothly with no issues.
If you have a full time employee washing that you are paying 20$ an hour keep into account they cost more like $25 an hour after taxes and workers comp. So if it was an 8 hour job and you have an employee you will profit closer to 300$ with an employee instead of you doing the work.
Hopefully you have a fully scheduled week with 5 1000$ jobs. If that is the case then your constant cost of 425$ gets split 5 ways and becomes 85$ a day. So, now with an employee and the 120$ cost to do the job you are more like at 400$ cost per day, and a profit of 600$ per day. This is something that you can work with.
Keep into account your equipment will eventually break, and so will your vehicle. These are “uncalculated risks” that are not a constant that you can’t plan for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive and prevent your equipment from failing with preventative maintenance and having spare parts on hand as you master your trade.
What does this have to do with you quitting your job? Everything.
You need to have STEADY sustainable income to be able to survive in this business. If you are grossing 2000$ a week, it is not time to quit your job. You can still afford to keep it because that can be done on your 2 off days. When you quit is when you have 5 jobs a week and it becomes impossible to keep your job without losing the work.
What did I do? I hired employees so I could keep my job LOL!
Eventually as our company grew it became more difficult to run the business as a full time employee. So then I had assistance with hiring an office worker. What happened there? I just added another salary that doesn’t generate revenue. What does that mean? My profit goes down because now I have higher payroll.
In all reality I could have quit my job sooner but I was “concerned” about taking that next step.
The reason I am writing this is because it is OK to be employed and owning a business is NOT for everyone.
I almost made a huge mistake in 2015 and nearly quit my job because I landed a 3000$ job that I did in 2 days and my confidence went over my head. What happened 3 months later? I made 720 dollars in one month. Reality set in. Now am I going to say keeping my job was the right thing to do? Not necessarily. There are always unknown factors. What I don’t know is if I had another 40 hours to work on marketing and focus on my business I am sure I would have gone well beyond 720 dollars. And in all fairness that is probably true. But when you have a family that depends on you as a sole provider you will be less likely to accept this type of risk.
In 2020 I finally quit my job when I realized I could pay myself what I made at my job and it wouldn’t affect my business at all. I probably quit 2 years LATER than I should have.
When is it time for you to quit?
Simply put, when you’re ready.
Thanks so much for this. I am the sole provider for our family with four daughters (two of which are in college) and wrestle with this question all the time. When the right time to go FT…. I’m slowly realizing that for my situation I believe going the route you took (Rob Anderson too) of hiring workers and keeping my FT job until bringing me on FT has zero impact on our business, is the right move for our family.
My question is this: how do you train employees when you’re working a FT job? Just on the weekends?