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View Full Version : First year running a business.


joshlawn
04-17-2005, 05:24 PM
It's nice to belong to a large community like this to share all the info and experiences learned. Thanks for having me.

Anyways, let's get to my story. First let me say, I'm not new to the Lawn Industry. I have worked for others before when I was in the late teens, early twenties and have enjoyed most of what I've experienced. I left the Lawn Industry to find a more stable and sustainable line of work with benefits, and thoughts of the possibility of finding my calling in life. Well, hospitality seemed to work for a good while, but ever since the attack of "9/11" the industry has had many short comings, changes, lay offs and disapointments time after time. Needless to say, I'm getting tired of it all. Just recently it was mentioned to me that the company may downsize the position I carry with-in the ranks so I should be on the look out for another opportunity. I wasn't quite sure what ship I was going to jump onto until earlier this year when driving around I smelled the sweet smell of fresh cut grass. "Man! I love that smell" <-- I was thinking, when I realized I needed to get back into cutting grass again. Sticking with what I know would be the best route to take after all. Figuring that even with a part time set-up, working for myself I could make as much or more than working hospitality. After all I was only making $21,000 annually(without bonuses), and that shouldn't be to hard to match or beat. Not to long after purchasing some equipment and making the plan of action, I got some mixed news. I'm going to become a dad soon! My heart sank a little, thinking what if I don't make it, and of the benefits I may not have when the time comes. Then again, it gave me inspiration to work harder, or at least for now to plan better. Here in Knoxville, like everywhere else it seems everybody with a truck has a lawn business. And like everwhere else the market is price driven, but quality usually ends up winning the accounts.
Life throws alot of curve balls, but let's make the best of things. Wish me luck.

lawnandplow42
04-29-2005, 11:14 PM
good luck man, i can somewhat relate

Kickin Your Grass
04-29-2005, 11:33 PM
I'm going to become a dad soon! My heart sank a little, thinking what if I don't make it, and of the benefits I may not have when the time comes.

Sounds like me a few years back.......I now have 2 boys and another on the way.....3 boys=Good for the business down the road.

joshlawn
04-30-2005, 08:54 AM
Sounds like me a few years back.......I now have 2 boys and another on the way.....3 boys=Good for the business down the road.

That's what I'm hoping for, a boy. I wouldn't know what to do with a girl. If it were a girl, she would have to be a tom boy, LoL. ;)

Newbie07
05-31-2005, 07:49 PM
Hey man, guess what, the best part is that you do not have to worry about any of it. Pray about it and give it to God to work out. God is always there for you and will take you farther than the best planning or situation ever could. Good Luck.

BrunswickMowing
06-02-2005, 01:28 PM
Hey man, guess what, the best part is that you do not have to worry about any of it. Pray about it and give it to God to work out. God is always there for you and will take you farther than the best planning or situation ever could. Good Luck.

Wow. Just wow. You actually believe that?


All this time I have been working for what I want to acheive. I guess I should just sit back, relax, and just pray that god will take care of me. Does ol' JC mind if I have a beer while I wait?

I didn't know I could forgo planning if I just drop of 10% of my hard earned dollars in the collection plate.

Dude, It's 2005. Mytholgical creatures DON'T pull the sun over the mountians with chariots of fire.

Good luck Joshlawn, with HARD WORK and SMART PLANNING you will be able to provide for your family.

NoobLawnJockey
06-02-2005, 02:59 PM
Wow. Just wow. You actually believe that?


All this time I have been working for what I want to acheive. I guess I should just sit back, relax, and just pray that god will take care of me. Does ol' JC mind if I have a beer while I wait?

I didn't know I could forgo planning if I just drop of 10% of my hard earned dollars in the collection plate.

Dude, It's 2005. Mytholgical creatures DON'T pull the sun over the mountians with chariots of fire.


I hear that alot down hear in the bible belt, He has good intentions though. :dizzy: ;)

joshlawn
06-02-2005, 03:05 PM
Wow. Just wow. You actually believe that?


All this time I have been working for what I want to acheive. I guess I should just sit back, relax, and just pray that god will take care of me. Does ol' JC mind if I have a beer while I wait?

I didn't know I could forgo planning if I just drop of 10% of my hard earned dollars in the collection plate.

Dude, It's 2005. Mytholgical creatures DON'T pull the sun over the mountians with chariots of fire.

Good luck Joshlawn, with HARD WORK and SMART PLANNING you will be able to provide for your family.

Thanks for the encouragement BrunswickMowing, I appreciate it deeply. :cool: Also, I agree with you about Newbie07"s post, but I do appreciate his thoughts and encouragement too.

Something D
06-02-2005, 09:37 PM
Good luck joshlawn. I am not to far from you in more ways than one. It wasn't til my son was born that I decided to do what I love and provide a better future for him. I love the lawn care industry and hope to make a full time gig out of it. Your right, about everyone and their neighbors have a lawn care business. It is tough out there but professionalism, integrity, and hard work are the foundation of this business IMO. Many of the "scrubs" out there with the mower hanging out the trunk won't last long. Even though this is a price driven industry quality means longevity. Many die out and more will come but as long as you know your costs, price accordingly, and provide the best quality of service you'll be fine. I believe what sets the pros apart from the "scrubs" is the relationship with the customer. I have found in east tn that many customers will come out just to shoot the bull, ask questions, and hang out. This is a good opportunitiy to put the ole sales hat on and provide solutions for some of their lawn care problems.

If your ever in the tri cities look me up. Good luck with everything on congratulations on the new addition.

joshlawn
06-03-2005, 02:02 AM
Good luck joshlawn. I am not to far from you in more ways than one. It wasn't til my son was born that I decided to do what I love and provide a better future for him. I love the lawn care industry and hope to make a full time gig out of it. Your right, about everyone and their neighbors have a lawn care business. It is tough out there but professionalism, integrity, and hard work are the foundation of this business IMO. Many of the "scrubs" out there with the mower hanging out the trunk won't last long. Even though this is a price driven industry quality means longevity. Many die out and more will come but as long as you know your costs, price accordingly, and provide the best quality of service you'll be fine. I believe what sets the pros apart from the "scrubs" is the relationship with the customer. I have found in east tn that many customers will come out just to shoot the bull, ask questions, and hang out. This is a good opportunitiy to put the ole sales hat on and provide solutions for some of their lawn care problems.

If your ever in the tri cities look me up. Good luck with everything on congratulations on the new addition.


I believe your right on what it takes to make it in the business, and I too love the lawn work. The smell of fresh cut grass, in the cool morning air is wonderous. Working for myself out in the great outdoors provides a peace that I haven't been able to find in my other professions.

nocutting
06-04-2005, 03:34 PM
"Welcome and Good Luck".........Hi Josh, with a little planning, a lot of hard work, & some words of praise to the big guy surely cant hurt?......You to can be a self-made man, build a future for your family........A decent pick-up, [ doesent have to be new, as I just dumped an 88" for a 94" with a newer body style]....in the city a good used 32" WB, will surely beat a 21" WB....in the country a 48-60 WB w/ a sulky can at least put you in the game.[ hold off on that ztr till you bag some payin accounts?]........if you're working the city or newer developments with [ professional] home-owners its a good idea to get some nice printed up estimate forms, or look at doin Seniors in the rural areas, [ a continual source of work as long as you are willing & not too expensive].....either way good luck :)

Nelson lawn
06-04-2005, 10:36 PM
Thanks for that thought, made me think of my work, thanks to god i have what i have. thanks newbie 07

topsites
06-05-2005, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the encouragement BrunswickMowing, I appreciate it deeply. :cool: Also, I agree with you about Newbie07"s post, but I do appreciate his thoughts and encouragement too.

Well there were times in my first year, sorry to say but had it not been for faith, I would not have survived.

No, God doesn't cut the grass while I sit back, but God does guide and help in small and highly mysterious ways.

Oh yeah, watch out you don't accidentally pray to satan, lol.

joshlawn
06-06-2005, 01:46 AM
Well there were times in my first year, sorry to say but had it not been for faith, I would not have survived.

No, God doesn't't cut the grass while I sit back, but God does guide and help in small and highly mysterious ways.

I do have faith, -In myself. I've watched to many people place to much faith in the wrong areas and their faith has continually let them down. Time after time, I hear "The Lord will see us through", or "The Lord will take care of us" and of course these people never come out ahead. They take up faith in everything else, but themselves. I've lived most of my life as a Christian. I've been Baptized, and went through the whole "faith and the Lord heals all" phase, but now I'm choosing to step outside the religion box and take responsibility for my own actions. I am my own worst critic, and I choose to answer to myself only for a while. And don't let me forget, I have to answer to my Fiancee too. :D LoL



Oh yeah, watch out you don't accidentally pray to satan, lol.
Thanks, but I don't see that as an option. LoL

daveintoledo
06-06-2005, 03:33 PM
Hey man, guess what, the best part is that you do not have to worry about any of it. Pray about it and give it to God to work out. God is always there for you and will take you farther than the best planning or situation ever could. Good Luck.

he is a 15 year old kid, he has no clue about life

guitarpro45
06-06-2005, 06:32 PM
:) Hey Dave, pull that stick out of your butt.

Newbie07
06-06-2005, 06:39 PM
Seriously Dave, I agree. You seem to follow us around and hound on us for being teenagers. First the insurance, teenagers, we have no life we're stupid, I hate stereotypes on teens. Some of them actually obey the rules and wants to work. So back off. I figured I would get crap from posting that but it's the truth. And i do tithe me 10% every week. That's all i'm going to say...
So really, cut it out and drop the attitude Dave :angel:

Redneckn
08-02-2005, 03:10 PM
Well said Newbie07.

Stick to your guns and you will be fine.

garth1967
10-08-2005, 11:39 PM
its been quite afew months since you first posted how are you going nowdays :cool2:

joshlawn
10-09-2005, 11:33 AM
its been quite afew months since you first posted how are you going nowdays :cool2:
Thanks for asking.


I'm not really where I want to be account wise. My accounts are mostly residential, with one moderate commercial account (<--13 hours mowing time on a 52" WB w/velke). I believe since I got started so late in the season, I really limited myself to picking up the scraps from other LCO's. One major blessing is that my hospitality job hasn't let me go yet. My boss is really pulling for me since I have a little one on the way, he's such a great guy to all of the staff whenever possible. The corporate office is really pushing to eliminate this position in order to save a little money, but like I said he's holding out for me and he has enough pull with them to keep them at bay till at least next mowing season. Mean while, I am preparing to cold call several commercial properties for an invitation to bid next season. The commercial property manager I am working with this year has asked me to bid on his other properties for next season, as the other LCO working on them can't handle the job. If I get those accounts, I expect to make around 30K for just the mowing. Otherwise, I'll just keep on keep'n on. LoL, I love the movie Joe Dirt.

Family wise, I am now married and the wife is doing well with the pregnancy. She's not really having any of the bad pregnancy symptoms that most woman we know seem to have here, and our daughter is still expected to arrive around Dec. 2. Just last month I painted and helped decorate the Disney Princess themed baby room. The family is just so excited for their first grand child on both sides, they keep getting tons of gifts, clothes and other baby necessities that we really need. The way it looks now, we may not have to buy anything material wise until she's about 1 1/2 or 2 years old. Thank goodness for grandparents. :D

garth1967
10-10-2005, 03:31 AM
sounds as though you are doing fine your attitude will get you far. treat good people good. its better to grow your business like an oak tree.i can realate to alot of what you said just be patient if you stay in this game long enough and the right thing in the meantime things happen :cool2: