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Making $1000 in A Weekend Doing Tree Removal

Updated on September 4, 2011
Not my real tree, but close.
Not my real tree, but close.

I started this HubPages thing to bring you ideas on how to make a $1000 in a weekend, or at least how to make $1000 in a short period of time.

I have told you that there are literally thousands of ways to do this.

Here is a personal story of my experience with Hurricane Irene and my search for someone to remove a tree.


Hurricane Irene and My Tree

Recently, Hurricane Irene made a quick blow up the East Coast. Mind you, it was not as devastating or paralyzing in the Mid-Atlantic as was thought. My basement had about a quarter inch of water in it because we lost power for 12 hours causing our sump pump to stop working. However, it was the winds afterward that caused the real damage.

Among the 40 plus trees in my back yard, one decided that it had enough. I had a tree snap down near its base. It started to fall, but it fell into one of my other trees where it still leans.

Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene

The Aftermath: Finding a Tree Removal Guy

Finding a Tree Removal Guy is not that difficult. Do a Google Search or go to Craig's List for your area and they are all over the place. I particularly got a chuckle of the creative guerilla marketing that occured on Craig's List. Prior to the hurricane, almost no listings. After the hurricane there were hundreds. This is where I called from.

My wife and I decided that since we were bring in a Tree Removal Guy, we might as well have that dead tree in the middle of the yard removed as well. So we asked for estimates for both. Now, mind you our trees are 25 to 40 feet tall. Our estimates were all over the map! Ranging from $600 to $1800 for the removal of both trees!

A Tale of Two Brothers

Among our bids were two brothers. I will call them Rob and Steve. Steve used to work for Rob. In talking with Steve (whose bid was $600) I came to learn that he decided to go out on his own because he felt that there was a lot of money to be made by picking up the scraps that his brother did not work on (Rob's bid was for $1350). Steve said that he noticed that Rob over bid on all of his jobs, but still did really well. That was because he bid on about 25 jobs a day, so he only needed 3 or 4 to say yes, usually out of expediency, legacy client, first and only phone call, or some other reason. He figured that if he kept his price low, he would make money in volume. Well, I wish that it ended here. I said yes to Steve 3 days ago and he still has not cut the trees down. He was going to come over that very day when he was finished a job...then the next day...then today. I am about to cut the cord on Steve and find someone else. In his rush to say yes to every job available, I believe that he has overbooked himself.

The $1000 Point

It is said that small contractors make the worst business people. Most are in a rush to bring as much business as possible, but often spread themselves too thin. Granted, they may be good at what they do, but not at planning out jobs.

This is where the opportunity to make $1000 plus in a weekend comes in. Plenty of people do not want to pay top dollar for tree removal. And I have laid out that there are Tree Removal Guys who are willing to undercut (pun intended) on pricing, but have trouble in the execution. If you are content on doing 2 or 3 jobs in a weekend, $1000 is very much in reach.

Now, I know that certain skills are required AND certain tools are required. Many of the tools can be rented at Home Depot or Lowe's. If you have the skills, then you are set. If not, outsourcing the labor is not difficult to find in these economic times. However, the biggest hurdle is being insured, not just against bodily injury, but also property damage. So, what I am saying is that this is not an investment free opportunity, but it is an opportunity nonetheless.

I read in Entrepreneur magazine that the initial investment into this for someone who was going to make this their full-time business is somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000 depending on how much equipment you wanted to own outright right away. However, like I said, if you were to rent your equipment (which is built into the price of the individual job), your biggest cost will be insurance. I have researched this and found that the cost of insurance for tree removers is between $1000-$1500 year and it covers $1,000,000 worth of damage. Figure it this way...one weekend of work covers your insurance.

So, go out and find your $1000 each and every weekend!

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