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atasteofnature
08-23-2008, 11:57 AM
I have been in the landscaping for 9 years and have a 2 year degree in the landscaping. I attempt to start my own business this spring and got ran over by the gas prices. I then went and worked for someone else and something isn't right. I enjoyed helping others in need and being to be with my family more. Have any of you tried and failed and got back on the horse and finally made it? Or do I just give it up? Thank you for the suggestions

Patriot Services
08-23-2008, 02:26 PM
Get back out there! You probably have more experience and education than the people you are working for. Start slow even if it means taking a part time job a couple of days a week or evenings. Just to give you some steady income until you get your numbers up. Strive to keep your route tight, even if it means a longer workday. Pick an area that hasn't been too hard hit by the housing crisis and soak it with quality doorhangers. Now is a good time to pick up the customers that the wannabes have left hanging. hopefully your family supports you in this and is willing to help out with flyer distribution. Good luck and don't give up!:usflag::usflag::usflag:

kabrac
08-23-2008, 03:09 PM
I always knew I had A God given gift in landscaping. I could always work for someone else's company and succeed, but when I first tried to do it on my own I failed. I didn't have enough experience. Now I am working for a botanical gardens making $8.50 an hour and realized I'm never going to make it in life if I just give up after my first try. So now I have more and bigger goals, a business plan, ambition, etc. I also have seen how I've matured since I last tried, changes in my character, integrety, honesty, hard work, etc, and it shows in my work and people complement me. I believe in myself I know I will succeed. I work part-time now at my job and work in my own business part-time, hoping to go full time as soon as possibel. There are many things that get me down since I am growing slow and I seen tons of people out here with a truck and trailer w/ mowers and think why would someone call me when there are so many people doing it. It is then I'm reminded that I have a God given gift in this area and I'm a perfectionist dedicated to perfection and quality work. Don't get down on yourself. If you know you have God's gift in landscaping then NOTHING OR NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO STOP YOU FROM SUCCEEDING, ONLY YOURSELF. Remember the saying "Rome wasn't built in a day"!!!!!!!

atasteofnature
08-23-2008, 03:19 PM
Thank you guys so much. It means a lot to me. I know as long as I keep GOD first that everything will work out in his plan. I will try to get that part time job and take it slow. I have also notice my wrongs and where I can improve so I will continue to work on those. I am thankful to have a wonderful wife and three kids who love to see there daddy to good. Thank you once again for the ecouragement and GOD Bless.

Az Gardener
08-23-2008, 03:24 PM
You need business education to be successful in business period. Once you have business education/experience you realize it is transferable, same principals work in most businesses. Once you realize that you will probably realize that you have picked one of the hardest businesses to be successful in. At least where you don't have consistent year around work.

If you want to run a business, not own a job (solo operator) take some classes learn how to read a balance sheet, profit statement, calculate your costs, do a budget and projections, hire and manage people.

If you want to landscape get a job with a good company and be an employee because the bigger you grow as a company the further you get from the work you love as the owner.

Check out my e myth thread for some good business guidance. I got my business education from this coach as opposed to college. It cost about the same but was tailored to my needs at the time. I think it was much more valuable thab the college classes I took, boy were they out of touch and sterile.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-23-2008, 03:29 PM
There is no one on here that has failed more times than me and I keep coming back!!( I have watched to many Rocky movies):) I have been kicked down so many times that its not funny. But let me tell you, I do NOT feel like a failure and have been doing this long enough to know what I am doing (not saying I don't learn something new everyday) but blame it on my area/economy where there are 2 LCO's for every lawn:laugh: The one thing that keeps driving me is the thought of going back into that 8-5, backstabbing, making someone else money, could care less about me job. I will starve before I give up. I may take on some part time job once in awhile to help but that does not bother me. Never feel like a failure, if you do you have already failed! I have had so many knives stuck in my back most folks in my shoes would have done thrown in the towel but I'm still good for one more round! Go for it!

JohnnyRoyale
08-23-2008, 04:33 PM
The real problem is that most guys just starting out confuse the true meanings of running a business and creating a job for themselves. Not to say this is your case, and please dont get offended by my comments, but I have seen many talented guys that felt it was time to venture out on their own, lose their shirts, and in some cases in just a few months after "getting into business" simply because they couldnt comprehend the concept of business, and how it is very different than being a solo operator.

Business management goes far beyond actually doing the work-it requires planning, and the co-ordination and execution of systems on many different levels, including but not limited to marketing, sales, accounting, administration, etc. IMO, this is the most important and commonly overlooked component of starting and running a succesful business.

Turning off my cell phone and hopping onto a zero turn for even a half hour during the day while the guys take lunch feels like a short holiday to me. Reality is, my business can't afford me to get involved in actually doing the work anymore. That's the easy part.

My advice to you is to get educated in Business Management, partner with someone who is, or hire the right people. Any one of those options will cost you money, the question is what are you prepared to pay, and what are your objectives-why are you going into business. Only then, could you honestly say you are running a business, and not just a job you have created for yourself. Good luck with whatever you decide. But remember, business ownership is very complex, and just as consuming as actually doing the work.

Puddle of Oil
08-24-2008, 08:43 PM
"the harder you fall the bigger you bounce"

Frue
08-24-2008, 09:01 PM
I quit my first year then started again and I have made it so to speak it is now my 10th year and I am still kicking. It takes a desire not to quit no matter what unless it is bankrupting your family.

Dave_005
08-24-2008, 09:54 PM
I have been in the landscaping for 9 years and have a 2 year degree in the landscaping. I attempt to start my own business this spring and got ran over by the gas prices. I then went and worked for someone else and something isn't right. I enjoyed helping others in need and being to be with my family more. Have any of you tried and failed and got back on the horse and finally made it? Or do I just give it up? Thank you for the suggestions

Go back out there and try again. the FIRST SEASON IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST !!! it takes time to acquire enough steady accounts. put out your flyers through the neighborhood, in the stores, anyplace you can think of, stop into some insurance agency's in your area and leave some cards there for people to see. then its just a matter of doing Good work and make sure you pay CLOSE ATTENTION TO DETAIL !!! the better the job looks when you're finished the more word of mouth willl get around. and the more accounts you will acquire.. the one thing you should NEVER do if you like this kind of work is to "Give Up" if you give up because gas prices got you. then you will never succed in this buisness. you need to make sure you charge enough to make a GOOD PROFIT regardless of the gas prices. we ALL have to pay the high price for gas, just make sure you figure the gas cost into your quotes. and remember the first year or two can be pretty lean sometimes as you;re the New Guy in the neighborhood so you have to build up your reputation from scratch. just Never "Give Up'" and try to Never Ever LOWBALL on your prices. Lowballing leaves money on the table for you and less profit and also tends to give you a very bad name among your competters.... Good Luck !

Az Gardener
08-24-2008, 10:54 PM
I'm probably wasting my type her but here goes. The last post is me years ago. I am about the most optimistic guy you will meet. I have read all Tony Robbins books believe firmly in "The Secret" and Karma that said I have a lot of experience too.

"Pay close attention to detail" most people will never notice. Not saying cut corners but you need to deliver the service people want and are willing to pay for. Here is an example. I have a worksheet my crew fills out at every job, one of the things they have to document is what score they believe the house to be in when they leave. I also have 1-10 on the back of my payment envelope and the question "How did we do this month" Most people don't even bother to circle a number, the ones that do consistently score their homes higher than my employees do. Most recent one scored us a 9 my guys a 7

If you need more time with your family owning your own business is not the way to get it.

The one thing you should never do is take a 2nd mortgage out on your house to float the business. If you can't do it with maxed out credit cards probably not your thing at least not now.

Trust me the first season is not the hardest in fact it should be one of the easiest. The hardest few seasons is when you are making the leap from doing the work to managing the work and you are reliant on 6-9 employees to generate enough income to make your wage. Thats when it really gets tough.

Never Lowball? What does that mean ?? My hourly bill out rate is lower than what I bring in so am I lowballing? The fact is I charge what the market will bear and when I get to 9 employees I will make money on my labor but I am able to get by on my extras, flowers,fertilizer, light bulbs etc. for now. When I have 20 employees I will be able to charge significantly less than my competitors and will undoubtedly be called a lowballer.

I don't mean to call you out and I know your intentions are good but with your limited experience you have little business offering advice to others on such matters or at least you need to offer a disclaimer.

Then we have Frue an honest guy who after 10 years is still kicking? Is that where you want to be in 10 years, just kicking, getting by? Maybe Frue is doing well and I am misrepresenting his situation. But after 10 long years, 1/4 of your work life shouldn't you be doing better than still kicking? Same thing here don't mean to call Frue out he and Dave are just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Look at this site it is full of hundreds of guys getting by, thats all.

I have been at this over 25 years and if I had it to do over I would have picked another vocation, its a tough road period.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-24-2008, 11:00 PM
I'm probably wasting my type her but here goes. The last post is me years ago. I am about the most optimistic guy you will meet. I have read all Tony Robbins books believe firmly in "The Secret" and Karma that said I have a lot of experience too.

"Pay close attention to detail" most people will never notice. Not saying cut corners but you need to deliver the service people want and are willing to pay for. Here is an example. I have a worksheet my crew fills out at every job, one of the things they have to document is what score they believe the house to be in when they leave. I also have 1-10 on the back of my payment envelope and the question "How did we do this month" Most people don't even bother to circle a number, the ones that do consistently score their homes higher than my employees do. Most recent one scored us a 9 my guys a 7

If you need more time with your family owning your own business is not the way to get it.

The one thing you should never do is take a 2nd mortgage out on your house to float the business. If you can't do it with maxed out credit cards probably not your thing at least not now.

Trust me the first season is not the hardest in fact it should be one of the easiest. The hardest few seasons is when you are making the leap from doing the work to managing the work and you are reliant on 6-9 employees to generate enough income to make your wage. Thats when it really gets tough.

Never Lowball? What does that mean ?? My hourly bill out rate is lower than what I bring in so am I lowballing? The fact is I charge what the market will bear and when I get to 9 employees I will make money on my labor but I am able to get by on my extras, flowers,fertilizer, light bulbs etc. for now. When I have 20 employees I will be able to charge significantly less than my competitors and will undoubtedly be called a lowballer.

I don't mean to call you out and I know your intentions are good but with your limited experience you have little business offering advice to others on such matters or at least you need to offer a disclaimer.

Then we have Frue an honest guy who after 10 years is still kicking? Is that where you want to be in 10 years, just kicking, getting by? Maybe Frue is doing well and I am misrepresenting his situation. But after 10 long years, 1/4 of your work life shouldn't you be doing better than still kicking? Same thing here don't mean to call Frue out he and Dave are just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Look at this site it is full of hundreds of guys getting by, thats all.

I have been at this over 25 years and if I had it to do over I would have picked another vocation, its a tough road period.

Very well said! I feel like I am one of those that is just getting by until (and this is an every day occurance) someone comes up to me at a store wanting to know if I need help or an LCO who is not a newbie begging for some work, then I don't feel quite as bad. AZ is right, after so many years you should be doing better than just squeaking by. D*mn AZ, now you made me feel bad:laugh:

atasteofnature
08-24-2008, 11:14 PM
Thank you once again for all your help and I am taking all this to heart. I have talked with my wife and she is behind me and I have talked to my father who is the accouant in the family and he wants me to start again and he wants to help me with the finacial part of it. I said that would be great because as I saw in some threads not only do you need to know your landscape stuff but also you money/business stuff and my dad has been doing it 30 years and is ready for it. GOD is amazing and so are all of you who have taken the time to help me and realize to keep chugging along. There are not many I can turn to and talk landscape about. I am glad I found this website and glad to have veterans like you all to help get going again. Thank you all and have a great week and GOD Bless.

STIHL GUY
08-24-2008, 11:44 PM
just keep up the good work and keep a positive attitude

TrimmerAssist
08-26-2008, 05:11 PM
I like to think people never fail, they just give up. Having said that, a person does have to be smart enough to know when a situation is not the right thing to do. If you try to sell snow cones to Eskimos, maybe thats not smart?

You are trying to do something that people all over the world are doing. If you really want to do it, then just keep trying. "What one man can do, another can do".

Iím 41 years old, and Iíve started 12 different businesses. They all failed. Iíve patented several inventions, they all but one failed.

My last business which was landscaping did pay the bills, but I never achieved the amount of money I was looking for. It did however lead to an invention I came up with that got me out of landscaping and allowed me to be financially independent. Eventually I got what I wanted, in a way I never really expected. I would have never gotten there though if I never got back up again, to try once again.

Always follow your dream. Just do it in practical ways, always learning as much as you can and applying common sense. I could have succeeded on my first business or invention if I had been practical and exercised common sense. I was slow in that area, but I was strong in never giving up. But I had to learn from my mistakes, and if I hadnít then I would have just kept repeating them.

I sound like Iím preaching, but I hope not. I just learned really hard lessons that could have been much easier. I think succeeding in anything you want to do is between you and yourself and not between you and the business. If you tend to give up, so will your business Ö If you tend to do all you can and more, so will your business.

JohnnyRoyale
08-26-2008, 05:21 PM
Iíve patented several inventions, they all but one failed.

It did however lead to an invention I came up with that got me out of landscaping and allowed me to be financially independent.

So what did you invent that made you financially independant? I ask, because I hold a few patents, and have come up with a few of my ideas. Just curious, thats all.

JohnnyRoyale
08-26-2008, 05:23 PM
Duh...stoopid me, must be the trimmer assist strap!?:hammerhead::hammerhead:

TrimmerAssist
08-26-2008, 06:11 PM
The Moderator said I couldnt talk about that :rolleyes:

But I can talk about the several I had that failed... Or what I've learned from the whole process.

Its just easy to give up sometimes, with business or otherwise .. I did several times, but always got back up again.