PDA

View Full Version : Let's tone it down a bit guys...


WoodBrothersLC
03-27-2009, 01:29 PM
From my time here on Lawnsite, I have learned a lot, seen my business grow, and seen other businesses grow through the pictures that are posted. It has been a great place to get ideas, share input, and debate some hot topics and as of lately, one of these consistently hot topics has gotten on my nerves.

Bashing on the little man and the kids out there busting their tails has really gotten out of control. I get on here every day and look through the forums and look at pictures. When I see kids posting pictures of their push mowers and tractors and how proud they are of their business (and yes it is a business), it brings me back to where I started and I'm sure it does the same for 99.9% of the people on this site. I'm 21 now and have been running my business for almost 8 years now and yes, I'm calling it a business even before I was 18 because even though I wasn't registered I paid taxes starting at 16, but what really gets me is the guys who call themselves men and continue to bash these hardworking 14 year olds. These guys can't drive, so they pull a small trailer behind their tractor or push their equipment and because of this people make them the subject of criticism.

I have total respect for the kid who is not playing video games, eating chips, and listening to rap music and instead is getting out there and sweating and earning some money. If you consider yourself a professional and a business owner, you know that you have to start somewhere. Why do people feel the need to bully these guys. Honestly, where I live, the nieghborhood kid that is out there working hard is not stealing any of the clients from me that were not on the fence to begin with. I lost 2 clients to these types of operations last year and at first I was upset, but then I sat back and said, "I did the exact same thing!" and now I wave to those guys when I see them mowing my old yards. I hope that the guys who are criticizing would not be upset if their kids took their old walk behinds or push mowers and started mowing in the neighborhood.

I hope that this is something that a lot of others agree with, and I also hope that it is something that makes others reflect on what they have said. Unfortunately, a lot of the guys complaining are more than likely taking out their anger from other places or business frustrations on them which is pretty sad...these guys need to do a little soul searching and fuel their anger in other places.

Thanks for listening and I hope this makes an impact on some people...but I also expect some pretty nasty reponses as well.

Thanks,
Mark Wood

Duffster
03-27-2009, 01:32 PM
Well said:drinkup:

GracesLandscaping
03-27-2009, 01:35 PM
I think its a little bit of jealousy involved because they might ahve lost a customer to a similar situation. one thing i really thought to be stupid was someone said something about worked a dayjob full time mowed part time and asked a ? and some jack@$$ said stop mowing and leave that for us professionals. Im not positive about this BUT i dont think ANYONE ever just up and said "im gonna start a lawn care business and be full time starting day 1" im sure everyone has done it part time at some point.

TuffWork
03-27-2009, 01:41 PM
amen, couldn't have said it better myself. Walked to my yards my first 4 yrs of mowing, and dealt with alot of cheapass customers that I would never tolerate now. If someone else wants the $15 yards now, they can have them.

topsites
03-27-2009, 01:50 PM
And maybe I am wrong, but when I see families where their children don't even
finish high school that is where my frustration stems from, the fact that they
want to go out and work at such an early age doesn't really help.

Although I do agree that we shouldn't bash, it's got to the point, why should I help when it
makes me feel like I'm only encouraging the entire thing, and so I stay out of it best I can.

Some folks may not see things this way, I accept that, but I do not want to support it.
Hence that is my dilemma, just what I see a lot of it as, in some of our circles we might call it wasted opportunity.

Which, I try to remember, if I have nothing useful to contribute, stay out of it.
As I do realize there's not a whole lot doing, and things won't change on account
of what I say nor would I want them to, and that's fine, it's all good.


Peace out

WHIPPLE5.7
03-27-2009, 02:16 PM
Nobody forced some of these outfits to end up with $100K in overhead either. Thats their own problem if they go out of business just because they are making $10K per week. All of the you are considered a scrub/lowballer/loser if you don't have 5 new Walkers and 2 new deisel crewcab truck with leather and sun roof. If you can go out and make some money, pay your bills and taxes, and still live compfortable why not? I priced myself out of the game last year because I had read so many threads about how you need to make X amount per hour or you fail. Its all BS. Price accordingly(somewhere in the middle)and you will be alright.

Sherry Lawn and Landscape
03-27-2009, 02:16 PM
thats how I started. Walking around with a puch mower. Got better stuff to do then worry about the comp. Like working!

ffemtmcd
03-27-2009, 02:39 PM
well said - bravo!!! This is America after all - if you want the dream, get out and get it!!

Pitbullawns
03-27-2009, 02:45 PM
Hey, these days I am impressed to see any kid who wants to work hard and has an entrepreneurial spirit. So many teenagers seem like they are lazy and have huge entitlement complexes these days! I have lost bids because a customer has told me "the kid down the street does it cheaper" and that's okay with me.

GracesLandscaping
03-27-2009, 02:46 PM
Nobody forced some of these outfits to end up with $100K in overhead either. Thats their own problem if they go out of business just because they are making $10K per week. All of the you are considered a scrub/lowballer/loser if you don't have 5 new Walkers and 2 new deisel crewcab truck with leather and sun roof. If you can go out and make some money, pay your bills and taxes, and still live compfortable why not? I priced myself out of the game last year because I had read so many threads about how you need to make X amount per hour or you fail. Its all BS. Price accordingly(somewhere in the middle)and you will be alright.

i agree 110%. I dont believe in such a thing as a lowballer, i think of it as being competitive. The thing i dont like is what i call a cut-throat such as one year for like the first 2 months of the season this guy just starting out followed me to see lawns i mowed and then went up when i left and tried to steal them from me... thats something i dont like, and never have nor ever will do.... i also think its kinda unprofessional. I dont think im a lowballer but im sure not getting 65 dollars for a lawn that takes me 35 minutes like some people say "you have to"

grassman177
03-27-2009, 04:04 PM
said like a prophet. i have never been an idle person either

mowerbrad
03-27-2009, 04:46 PM
Very well put...I started out doing exactly what you described.

The only thing that gets on my nerves is when the younger kids get on here and post pics of all these nice, new ztr's, wb's, trimmers, etc. that mommy and daddy paid for. But for those kids who invest their own money into their business, I have alot of respect for them.

punt66
03-27-2009, 04:58 PM
From my time here on Lawnsite, I have learned a lot, seen my business grow, and seen other businesses grow through the pictures that are posted. It has been a great place to get ideas, share input, and debate some hot topics and as of lately, one of these consistently hot topics has gotten on my nerves.

Bashing on the little man and the kids out there busting their tails has really gotten out of control. I get on here every day and look through the forums and look at pictures. When I see kids posting pictures of their push mowers and tractors and how proud they are of their business (and yes it is a business), it brings me back to where I started and I'm sure it does the same for 99.9% of the people on this site. I'm 21 now and have been running my business for almost 8 years now and yes, I'm calling it a business even before I was 18 because even though I wasn't registered I paid taxes starting at 16, but what really gets me is the guys who call themselves men and continue to bash these hardworking 14 year olds. These guys can't drive, so they pull a small trailer behind their tractor or push their equipment and because of this people make them the subject of criticism.

I have total respect for the kid who is not playing video games, eating chips, and listening to rap music and instead is getting out there and sweating and earning some money. If you consider yourself a professional and a business owner, you know that you have to start somewhere. Why do people feel the need to bully these guys. Honestly, where I live, the nieghborhood kid that is out there working hard is not stealing any of the clients from me that were not on the fence to begin with. I lost 2 clients to these types of operations last year and at first I was upset, but then I sat back and said, "I did the exact same thing!" and now I wave to those guys when I see them mowing my old yards. I hope that the guys who are criticizing would not be upset if their kids took their old walk behinds or push mowers and started mowing in the neighborhood.

I hope that this is something that a lot of others agree with, and I also hope that it is something that makes others reflect on what they have said. Unfortunately, a lot of the guys complaining are more than likely taking out their anger from other places or business frustrations on them which is pretty sad...these guys need to do a little soul searching and fuel their anger in other places.

Thanks for listening and I hope this makes an impact on some people...but I also expect some pretty nasty reponses as well.

Thanks,
Mark Wood

The ones that do most of the bashing here are kids them selves. The problem i have with kids having a "business" is that they are uninsurable. If a stone comes out of a mower and hits little johnny in the eye his $10 lawn isnt going to cover it. Kids should be kids. Learn, get educated and if an office job isnt for them then get out and work with your hands WITH insurance and all other liabilities involved in business.

Sweet Tater
03-27-2009, 04:59 PM
AMEN, you said it so well. I have been on this site for some time now and have ound some very useful information. I asked several dumb questions in the past but got good information from many of you guys, thanks. but lately it seems there isnt much more than hate and discontent going on, spart ass responces to legitamate questions and an over all unwillingness to help each other. Where would we all be if we did get a little help and infomation from someone. Lets stop the bickering,and discontent and be a good plave to come chat, get help and offer help. Ls use to be a nice place, lets make it that way again.

Green Machine Mowing
03-27-2009, 05:05 PM
Very well put...I started out doing exactly what you described.

The only thing that gets on my nerves is when the younger kids get on here and post pics of all these nice, new ztr's, wb's, trimmers, etc. that mommy and daddy paid for. But for those kids who invest their own money into their business, I have alot of respect for them.

Agree completly. same with cars, alot kids at school have a new car mommy and daddy bought, i dont care, im not impressed. However the girl that parks next to me drives a brand new dodge, that she paid for her self, now thats cool.

ED'S LAWNCARE
03-27-2009, 05:21 PM
I agree also....if they are working they are more likely to stay out of trouble.

Punt,
According to your post you never mowed a neighbbor when you were a kid without ins? Come on now kids mowing a few yards is good learning exp. You can't get everything from a text book.

mississippiturf
03-27-2009, 05:28 PM
If a kid is out busting butt to make a dollar without being insured, that's his problem, not mine. I salute the effort beacuse most kids today are taught zero work ethics.

QualityLawnCare4u
03-27-2009, 06:11 PM
I agree also and well said. Losing a client to the neighborhood kid does not bother me to badly.Its when I lose one (and I'm looking out the window at two LCO's right now) that already have good paying full time jobs that I would give my left *** for and they are cutting me by 5-10 bucks and doing it for a tax write off. One of them actually came right out and told me this, is a CSX employ and needed a tax write off his pay was so good. Now these kind really chap my azz!!

lawnboy2068
03-27-2009, 06:33 PM
All of the above statements are very well said and have merit. I agree that bashing is not needed and is counterproductive. We should encourage the younger generation but I do get offended when I am trying to educate someone who is a lot younger and thinks that they know it all and they don't. I won't bash them but it is very frustrating that they won't listen. This has happened a few times on this site and I just sit back and laugh.
I have 21 years in this business, with 2 degrees in engineering and landscape architecture and I do know a lot. I like educating others and passing on my knowledge that I have learned throughout the years but some just think that they know it all and are against learning from others. Most of the time these few are the younger generation and they get all bent out of shape and think that they are being bashed when in reality they are not.

James

lawnman_scott
03-27-2009, 06:41 PM
The ones that do most of the bashing here are kids them selves. The problem i have with kids having a "business" is that they are uninsurable. If a stone comes out of a mower and hits little johnny in the eye his $10 lawn isnt going to cover it. Kids should be kids. Learn, get educated and if an office job isnt for them then get out and work with your hands WITH insurance and all other liabilities involved in business.

I dont have a problem with that. Because first they are a kid, and they could be out doing worse thigns, and 2nd if something does happen, then that will show the cliend they should have stayed with a regular company. If your competing with kids there are other problems anyway.

jsw2008
03-27-2009, 07:21 PM
I personally have nothing but respect for anybody who has the drive to go out and earn a buck. I was that kid with a push mower (actually it was a murray rider) back in 1985 cutting the neighbor's lawn for $10. I have noticed the negativity on this and other lawncare forums even more now than a year or so ago when I joined. First thing everybody does is start in on being licensed and insured, getting your pesticide certification, and everything else that usually has nothing to do with the new guys' questions. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be lic. and ins., etc, etc , I'm just saying that the newbies probably already know that and they don't need to hear it again.

punt66
03-27-2009, 09:13 PM
I agree also....if they are working they are more likely to stay out of trouble.

Punt,
According to your post you never mowed a neighbbor when you were a kid without ins? Come on now kids mowing a few yards is good learning exp. You can't get everything from a text book.
Sure, i mowed a neighbors lawn for $10. Certainly wasnt a "business"

punt66
03-27-2009, 09:23 PM
I dont have a problem with that. Because first they are a kid, and they could be out doing worse thigns, and 2nd if something does happen, then that will show the cliend they should have stayed with a regular company. If your competing with kids there are other problems anyway.

Has nothing to do with competing with kids. The real problem is liability. If that kid injured somebody or he himself gets injured working, there can be hell to pay either way. But i agree its good for a kid to learn responsibility, i just dont agree a business is the way to do it.

johnnybravo8802
03-27-2009, 09:33 PM
Very well put...I started out doing exactly what you described.

The only thing that gets on my nerves is when the younger kids get on here and post pics of all these nice, new ztr's, wb's, trimmers, etc. that mommy and daddy paid for. But for those kids who invest their own money into their business, I have alot of respect for them.
You took the words right out of my mouth. I think a kid working is great but the original idea is to work for what you have, not let mommy and daddy do it for you. If you want to do that, you may as well keep sitting on the couch eating chips and watching TV. All I had was a pushmower but a lot of kids get on here with a setup that only someone in their 30's with 10 years experience should have and they claim they bought it and it's all paid for. Must be nice because I'm still making payments!!!! They sling a lot of BS, just like some of the adults on here getting $1000/hr. and it's a real turn off-you see past the kid trying to do it on his own.

johnnybravo8802
03-27-2009, 09:42 PM
Very well put...I started out doing exactly what you described.

The only thing that gets on my nerves is when the younger kids get on here and post pics of all these nice, new ztr's, wb's, trimmers, etc. that mommy and daddy paid for. But for those kids who invest their own money into their business, I have alot of respect for them.
You took the words right out of my mouth. I think a kid working is great but the original idea is to work for what you have, not let mommy and daddy do it for you. If you want to do that, you may as well keep sitting on the couch eating chips and watching TV. All I had was a pushmower but a lot of kids get on here with a setup that only someone in their 30's with 10 years experience should have and they claim they bought it and it's all paid for. Must be nice because I'm still making payments!!!! They sling a lot of BS, just like some of the adults on here getting $1000/hr. and it's a real turn off-you see past the kid trying to do it on his own.

puppypaws
03-27-2009, 10:01 PM
Very well put...I started out doing exactly what you described.

The only thing that gets on my nerves is when the younger kids get on here and post pics of all these nice, new ztr's, wb's, trimmers, etc. that mommy and daddy paid for. But for those kids who invest their own money into their business, I have alot of respect for them.

You need to look at the other side of the equation. You have a son or daughter that has an interest in the lawn maintenance business and you can see a work ethic that needs nurturing. Do you think it would be better to spend money on nice equipment for your child to establish themselves in business or give them money to throw away.

I would personally invest money to make this take place rather than spend money on drug rehab or attorneys trying to keep them out of trouble. This is what you would consider money well invested for your childs future. I would also help them learn the legal and ethical side of this particular business or any other business of their choice.

punt66
03-27-2009, 10:06 PM
You need to look at the other side of the equation. You have a son or daughter that has an interest in the lawn maintenance business and you can see a work ethic that needs nurturing. Do you think it would be better to spend money on nice equipment for your child to establish themselves in business or give them money to throw away.

I would personally invest money to make this take place rather than spend money on drug rehab or attorneys trying to keep them out of trouble. This is what you would consider money well invested for your childs future. I would also help them learn the legal and ethical side of this particular business or any other business of their choice.

Yes, i agree with this. Not sure why it bothers people that some get help to start out.

TheUfan
03-27-2009, 10:27 PM
I agree with the premise of your argument. If my costs are x and i make 1$ plus x then technically I have made a profit. If that means that I charge 25$ for a yard that someone else would charge 50$ then so be it. That may make me bad at business but it doesn't lessen the service I offer. I have commercial accounts that pay me thousands and I have residential accounts that pay me 25$. I feel blessed to have both and I service both with equal vigor. Bottom line is you cannot expect to grow if you don't take calculated risks. Some involve pricing. Is it not better to have a $25/week account than to not have a $50/week account? Bottom line is if you don't like someone "marking" your territory for their expansion then price yourself to compete with anyone and over-deliver on that price.

puppypaws
03-27-2009, 10:47 PM
Bottom line is if you don't like someone "marking" your territory for their expansion then price yourself to compete with anyone and over-deliver on that price.

I like that, it makes me think of a buck peeing in a scrape. I can just picture an "LCO" riding into a new neighborhood, getting out and peeing on the lawns he wants to take over, "marking your territory".:laugh:

TheUfan
03-27-2009, 10:56 PM
That's what I'm talking about. Simple and effective.

GracesLandscaping
03-27-2009, 10:57 PM
Im not sure about you alls area... but around here hardly anyone has insurance. Actually i didn't even THINK about it until about 3 years ago. i didnt have it up until this year, mainly because i didn't realize that you could get it for a very reasonable price. again, this applies to where i live, but aside of businesses and churches, nobody here knows anything about insurance for lawn care... im assuming they expect you to pay for what you fix such as if you break a window or something but if somebody gets hurt theres really nothing anyone could do about that. i dont guess the homeowners realize that if i hurt someone on their property other than myself (i have no employees to get hurt im talking about a kid on a bike or whatever) that would come from their homeowners ins.

and please dont think im saying you shouldnt have ins. because in the past few years i have come to realize that you need it, and most of all you owe it to your customers and you could easily pay the whole years premium in one weeks worth of work!!

mowerbrad
03-27-2009, 11:02 PM
You need to look at the other side of the equation. You have a son or daughter that has an interest in the lawn maintenance business and you can see a work ethic that needs nurturing. Do you think it would be better to spend money on nice equipment for your child to establish themselves in business or give them money to throw away.

I would personally invest money to make this take place rather than spend money on drug rehab or attorneys trying to keep them out of trouble. This is what you would consider money well invested for your childs future. I would also help them learn the legal and ethical side of this particular business or any other business of their choice.

I don't think it is entirely wrong for parents to invest in their child's "business", giving them a helping hand on getting started. It is fine for the parents to get them started with a push mower, trimmer and blower...but it needs to end there. I am talking about the kids who put up pics of their rig in their first year and they have a 52" exmark ztr, 36" exmark wb, and new stihl trimmers and blowers. What is that going to teach them? I will admit, I started off with a mower my dad bought me, but I saved up my own money and bought new equipment. But over the years I was able to save up enough money to buy my truck (and fix it up), buy my ztr, trimmer, dethatcher, etc. I would like to see these younger guys succeed, but they should do it in a fashion that teaches them the value of a dollar and a good work ethic, not just working to make mom and dad buy them a new $10000 mower.

Think Green
03-27-2009, 11:03 PM
Mark Wood,
Your remarks are admirable in watching out for the well being of the newcomer to the green industry. Over the many years of spending time out in the heat, rain, snow, tornado's, hail, lightening, I have succomed to a better understanding as to why I chose this biz for a career. It is Simple! The love for the industry and the way it makes a customer feel as they remark about how great their lawn looks. The other is from people whom call and inquire about how good a property looks and want their lawn done the same way. That is the butter on our toast.
I hope that I haven't down trodden any new comers to this site searching for information about topics in the lawn side of the biz. The other questions associated with these same newcomers that have to do with the chemicals, will recieve ridicule from other hard working LCO's whom have spent many years investing, learning, and applying chemicals the professional way. Ellaborating information out to general questions associated with weeds is a touchy subject. I personally feel that some of the answers are handled efficiently.............If you don't have a license........then get one and pay your dues like the rest of us! The inspector's will get you eventually!!!!!!
I strongly feel this is a topic of great importance. Every state requires you to get certified..........plain and simple!
Many LCO's on this site will offer advice and some will offer half advice. That is their own choice as to protect themselves if they are smart. I think it will make the viewer look for the rest of the answer to their question. Then they will make their own judgement from there.............that way no one is to blame for dead grass or shrubs.
What and when I spray in my area is and will be different than everyone else.....
The newcomer is welcome on this site, but just be assured that this site has dues just as any other. It is like walking into a coffee shop and start spouting off at the mouth about how good or better you are than everyone else..... There will always be a person in the crowd that will stand their ground and challenge you!!!!!! This industry is not for the weak at heart.
I speak for myself and other LCO's whom run and work their business on a daily basis..
And I repeat Run and Work our business with Blood,Sweat,and Tears.......earned!

meets1
03-27-2009, 11:23 PM
Kids and business are one thing. This year alone I know 2 construction crews, one landscape/nursery business and 2 LCO companies get nailed with fiines for child labor laws. Kids under 16 working to many hours, kids under 18 working to many hours, running equipment that is as basic as a trimmer or power washer.

Where does this law take away from or add to the problem of these children on here show-boaten all there new equipment?

I see is as a no win situtation. My hourly rate increases due to paying more for a 19yr old and up cuz I need to compete with bigger paying jobs which effect my cosr basic cuz I can't hire the 16 yr old to sit on a machine for $8,9,10,11,12 an hour.

Now some will say that the insurance is thru there parents - if so then the "business" is not theirs - it is there parents. I know this for a fact of hiring your children to work for you - that is legit - they may run equipment cuz if you don't pay them a wage or act as an employee - they may operate things.

Others will say that it is fine to give money to your kid. That is great if the money is there. But to what extent did I, the parent teach my child?? Just like going back to biblical time - teach ya how to fish and you can feed a nation. There is truth to that theory.

But in that token - I would rather buy my kid a mower or whatever than a $30K car for them to look cool in and crash and burn, kill the insurance rate, etc.

So in regards to children running a business - well the verdict is still out..............

Think Green
03-27-2009, 11:45 PM
Meets1,

WELL SAID-"Sir"
Amen!

Cuttinitclose
03-28-2009, 12:23 AM
Thanks for sticking up for us. I bought everything except the blower, green push mower, and trailer in my pic thread. I'm also upgrading to commercial equipment, which I'm paying for myself.

johnnybravo8802
03-28-2009, 12:43 AM
I don't think it is entirely wrong for parents to invest in their child's "business", giving them a helping hand on getting started. It is fine for the parents to get them started with a push mower, trimmer and blower...but it needs to end there. I am talking about the kids who put up pics of their rig in their first year and they have a 52" exmark ztr, 36" exmark wb, and new stihl trimmers and blowers. What is that going to teach them? I will admit, I started off with a mower my dad bought me, but I saved up my own money and bought new equipment. But over the years I was able to save up enough money to buy my truck (and fix it up), buy my ztr, trimmer, dethatcher, etc. I would like to see these younger guys succeed, but they should do it in a fashion that teaches them the value of a dollar and a good work ethic, not just working to make mom and dad buy them a new $10000 mower.
I agree 100%-that's exactly what I'm talking about. My father would shoot me $100-$200 here and there if I had done 90% of the work and needed a little boost just to get me over the top. However, he didn't just hand it to me. What's wrong with a $5000 truck and some used equipment versus the $40,000 truck and new equipment daddy bought and you're claiming you did it?:confused: You see, when I was in high school I went to the public schools where we all drove modest cars that we bought with our own money. Across town, there was the private school where the kids drove BMW's, etc. that mommy and daddy bought them. I too agree with helping your kid if he wants to work but instead of buying them a $40,000 truck, why not invest it in something worthwhile like college tuition for a landscape architecture degree or a horticulture degree if that's where their interest lie's. After all, this thread is about working for what you've got isn't it?