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View Full Version : New and Curious to how many of you..


mowtivations lawncare
12-25-2007, 04:13 PM
either are currently or started out as a one man operation. I started my business (legally) in October of this year alone and every other company or "dude wit a mower and truck" is always with a partner or two. How many of you guys do it all solo like lil ol me?

topsites
12-25-2007, 06:23 PM
I do, go it 2-3 years and you'd be surprised at how often you get done in about the same time as those teams you see.
Way I do it is just one lawn and one day at a time, lalala, just do your thing, don't worry about nobody else.
In time you'll see what I mean, but just let it happen, take care of yours and keep doing that.

deere615
12-25-2007, 06:28 PM
I started and still am a one man operations, my dad helps me occasionally on bigger jobs.

Sweet Tater
12-25-2007, 08:34 PM
I start one man and will continue with just myself for s long as I can. I don't need the head ache of an employee and sure don't want some one telling me "if it were me I would" the customer does that enough with out an employee doing it. I love it working as fast or slow as I want.

hackitdown
12-26-2007, 11:58 AM
I am solo, but wrestling with the idea of hiring a helper. Still not sure if it is a good idea.

It took 2 years to fill my schedule. It took 2 more to optimize my schedule. By optimize I mean that all the accounts are close to home, they all pay their bills, and they all pay full price. Good repeat business on aeration, dethatching, cleanups, etc.

sildoc
12-26-2007, 12:27 PM
I started solo but after a few years and being full I found that my quality was lacking. Mainly in spring with lush growth and then again fall when the days just weren't long enough. I added one guy and quality was back plus added another 20 yards. the second guy mainly does aerations and extras and is a nice help when we get large extras. Looking to add a 3rd this next year and another truck. I just can't justify going back to myself even if I am only making the same as if I were by myself. If I get hurt or sick I can take off and not loose any accounts. I also like to go on vacation in the summer instead of always working, the extra guys let me do that.
All this said I am fortunate to have as many customers as I do. I do remember when I was starting, praying for more customers and racking my brain on how to get them. I hope never to go back to those days.

Good luck which ever way you do it.

Jason Rose
12-26-2007, 12:34 PM
I started solo but after a few years and being full I found that my quality was lacking. Mainly in spring with lush growth and then again fall when the days just weren't long enough. I added one guy and quality was back plus added another 20 yards. the second guy mainly does aerations and extras and is a nice help when we get large extras. Looking to add a 3rd this next year and another truck. I just can't justify going back to myself even if I am only making the same as if I were by myself. If I get hurt or sick I can take off and not loose any accounts. I also like to go on vacation in the summer instead of always working, the extra guys let me do that.
All this said I am fortunate to have as many customers as I do. I do remember when I was starting, praying for more customers and racking my brain on how to get them. I hope never to go back to those days.

Good luck which ever way you do it.

This is EXACTLY what I'm thinking about for this next year... I'm currently solo, but I'm maxed out. My work quality is suffering and I never have time to do all the extra work anymore. I spend all day, every day just mowing, if it rains I about loose my mind. Me getting sick or injured during the season would cripple my business, and the quality/extras issues isn't keeping my customers happy anymore. It's time for me to find some HELP. I would like to run this more like a business and not consuming my whole life 9 months of the year.

shane mapes
12-26-2007, 12:56 PM
i was solo for a while but my other job forced me to either quite or partner up .. so i partnered up and it is not that bad... we only mow part-time right now. so it will pick up in the spring and were both ready ...this time !!!!

MUDFLAP
12-26-2007, 01:01 PM
solo for 2 seasons now, with some part time help from my teenage sons, not getting rich, but doing good, need to have a backup, 1 good illness or injury, puts you down for a week, can take out yrs of what you have blt up

topsites
12-26-2007, 01:17 PM
My opinion is if my quality is suffering then my prices are too low.

sildoc
12-26-2007, 01:22 PM
My opinion is if my quality is suffering then my prices are too low, it's just another version of having too many folks saying yes.

In my book it's all about the profit, if a $30 lawn earns 3-5 pure profit then that same lawn at 35 earns 8-10 profit, once the cost is covered every single dollar over that is pure profit... And in that sense I'd rather have 30 of those lawns at 35 than 60 at 30.

This is true mostly but after you scrub your accounts and get rid of the low end clients and are well above the going rate there is not much you can do.

there are only so many larger properties in our area. Most are ticky tacky in out 10 min.

MUDFLAP
12-26-2007, 01:24 PM
Curious as to how other solo operators handle the possibility of an illness, or injury, or some other situation that might arise that could take you out for a week or 2, do you have family or friends etc that know your routes, and equipment,and can hold down the fort. or do you just hope for the best, and hope your customers will be understanding ( NOT )

MUDFLAP
12-26-2007, 02:30 PM
Or maybe you just dont want to think about that, i know i would be in trouble. LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, had 1 pushable snow here in the dayton area already this year, might be a good one. i should unhook my plow, and set it in the barn, that always makes it snow lol

sildoc
12-26-2007, 03:56 PM
Or maybe you just dont want to think about that, i know i would be in trouble. LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, had 1 pushable snow here in the dayton area already this year, might be a good one. i should unhook my plow, and set it in the barn, that always makes it snow lol

Snow??? No one here does snow, however we now have 2" on the ground and still snowing. Nice little cold front coming through. Good thing I was not wanting to go to work today. Have some shrubs and trees that need trimming.

Coinshooter
12-26-2007, 04:24 PM
I will be starting this year solo. although for some of my marketing I will bring on someone who has worked for me in the pizza world to help every once in awhile.

MUDFLAP
12-26-2007, 05:32 PM
Well- if trying to keep your 12 yr old truck running dosnt keep you busy, mowing with the ECHO will.

MUDFLAP
12-26-2007, 05:32 PM
LOL - sorry

JTHutch
12-26-2007, 06:16 PM
I just went out of business to become the hort and forestry supervisor for the city, but I started out solo for about 3 years. Then I needed the help so added 1 guy. That worked out pretty well. He was dependable and worked hard. But last year I had a large landscape poject and needed several hands. This was a disaster. I couldn't find anyone worth hiring and the ones I did hire cost me more than they made me. After this year I was going to go back to solo and reduce my clients to the ones that I liked and fit into the routes the best. I tryed to have the 1 guy who I had for 3 years run my mowing crew but he just didn't have the customer relations part of the business down. Any way the city offered me this job out of the blue and I was pretty stressed that week so I took it. So far it sucks! We had an ice storm and I'm in charge of a cleaning up all the debis and all my crew has taken vacation!!!! a

mowtivations lawncare
12-26-2007, 06:32 PM
yeah i'm solo right now and i also work a full time job so being solo isnt so bad right now. i dont want to take on more than i can handle though and dont really trust hiring anyone for fear of them either stealing clients or making me look bad due to subpar work.