View Full Version : Outdoors Unlimited- SE Michigan

07-25-2009, 04:48 AM
First, I love this site. I have learned so much from 'lurking" its not funny. More than my previous boss taught me in 12 years.

My name is Neil. I am in the Waterford area. 30 years old this week. Many rough roads through the landscape/tree industry in my years.

12 years old: Paper Route, and 4-5 lawns in my hood.
14 years old: Wanted to run the big mowers, so I got a job.
18 years old: Lawn Jockey, running a crew, small company.
22 years old: Bored with mowing, get into scaping. Learn alot, but man is that hard work.
23 years old: Tree work crosses my path. My dream to work for myself is born.
Spring of '02: Massive Ice storm in SE Michigan, I know tree work, and my paycheck buys me my first MS290. Presto self employed.
Oct 9, 2006: My son is born, I grow up, my dreams, are now goals.
Last season: After an *ss kicking snow season, (18 years old) boss offers me general manager of his now Im guessing $2m a year "lawn jockey" outfit, and I end up running the landscape crew that he can only bid. His times could NEVER be mine. Hes a lawn jockey, good at it. But I hope he finds this thread.
Spring '09: Had a hicup with my liscence, didnt plow last year, tax return buys a mower, a whip, and $200 of homeade flyer copys.

Here we are today. 37 accounts, to many "mow and gos", searching for my all inclusive contracts that I "want" in my plan. Im making money, but I learned the hard way this year, what $2 means. I will get the accounts I like into the right ballpark for next year, and tell the others, I no longer wish to keep them. Maybe one of you low ballers can have them, but I will never again be the "low baller". My new ads will weed my clients out. I am not cheap, I am good.

Its late, Im going to bed, but I cant stop thinking work. I am full of questions, have three topics on paper to start in other threads.

Im looking for networking, I will mow in ONE area, all other jobs that I lead into will be given to people I meet here in their AREA. Im a startup. Today I started my next obstacle. Do I bid these large jobs Ive been invited to? Or do I stay small enough to be "solo", but "pay" another guy on my level, for my level of work.

Thanks for the info. If you want. My blackberry mail is OutdoorsUnlimitedMI@gmail.com

MODS!!!!! Can I lock this? so i can form it, then open for comment????
My time is premium now, but I wanna start it. This will be the thread all of the ""big boys"" direct the ""hardworking newbies!!"".

Thanks for the site again!

07-25-2009, 04:59 AM
Notes to guide the thread.

"this is my note pad of the thread"

Steve & Sean. My two bosses.
First year downs, leading up with hard work.
Surf Board crashes. (Ive crashed 2 times, one time hospital trip)
To go BIG, or the expensive solo guy.

Im not gonna give all my secrets away, but im a machine, trying to build MYSELF! comfort for my family. I am not a trust fund baby. I may owe a couple dollars, but Ive been screwed in 10 years more than i have screwed others. I will clear that when my time is ready.

The one I think about, I watched you stand on many peoples shoulders to the top, and you pushed everyone else back down. Underbid many of your 'friends'. Those 'friends', know me, know you, and remember what you have done. I hope your 10 year customers really do 'LOVE' you like you think. I get my way, you wont be the 'big dog' of the area anymore. Your customers know who I am, know I did your jobs, and I am now on my own. Your expensive, and so am I. But your jobs, I may be able to do just a tad cheaper.

/end rant
/work week over!!!!!
/ +7k DUE!!!!! let my paycheck show up!!

07-25-2009, 05:12 AM
Actually, dont close this thread, I will ask questions of those who follow, maybe we can keep so of the "raff" out!!

07-25-2009, 05:14 AM
is: "No migrant labor" legal to advertise with, but not employment ads??

I dont mind, english speaking, hardworking, "living" here, not 20 deep in a 2 bedroom house.

The others, that send their money to their people in Mexico.......GTFO!!!!! Your cheap ass labor has ruined it for all of us, owners who use them, and the laboring HSers.

Owners that use them, get them here, and the good ones go on their own. See, living here.

The cheap ones, are cheap, and dont care, and neither do the guys who use them. See (18 year old) boss.

07-25-2009, 05:21 AM
Much anger in the thread to start. Sorry Steve. Maybe you should have taken the guys who took you from the bottom to the top. I am on my own now, because I see where you went!! You taught me hard work, as we got bitched at if we smoked a cigarette on a 100 degree day.

A company truck to drive back and forth (shop home shop only). I have my own truck, i wouldnt cost you a fortune, you couldve hid it in the company.


And maybe average a few years out and make me salary.

I would still be busting my ass for you as you tell me my crew is behind on every job. I am no longer the "young kid" who you were "trying to be my dad". I am on my own.......AND now YOUR competition!!

Your entire crew.........I introduced to you. What will my brother cost me a year?? Oh yeah.........I bet $750 a week, a truck, and a gas card would make him tell you to F-off like I so bad wanted to. Matt........he will only cost me a few dollars more, as he now has a family.

Sorry if I offend anyone........if the mods dont like this thread........delete the whole thread, and I will forget about it and lurk once again!! Its late......im out!!

07-25-2009, 05:35 AM
Oct 1st 2009: Bid #1 due.

Do I do it??? or stay "solo" with my brother, and we each clear 50k, a truck, a phone, and vacations, or I mean trade show visits; in five years.

07-25-2009, 06:11 AM
Goals...........on paper!
Dreams.........youll never forget!!!

07-26-2009, 10:55 PM
Just wanted to say welcome. As you start to market your services to large commercial clients, I will be happy to answer questions you might have regarding estimating, crew configuration, etc. Don't hesitate to ask. My email is below if you need lengthy input. good Luck.

07-27-2009, 10:36 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I am deciding if I wanna go big or stay small. I need to edit some of my anger out of the top posts, as someone had rubbed me very wrong that night.

I am insane? or is this possible. 60-70 high end residentals, cut by an owner partner who is a versed lawn jockey.

I do all of the "odd jobs" mulch shrubs flowers bed care sprinklers gutter cleaning pressure washing tree removals.

I am thinking with this setup, I could have a lawn foreman and a laborer doing lawns. 12-13 hr foreman, 8-10 laborer. Doing all my lawns with a 60" walker/or stand up and a 48 wb.

I am thinking I would be able to after a few years salary myself 50k. 40 or so in employees, and 30 or so for expenses.

That means I need to do $125k ish a year or 2500 a week.

My service list for all inclusives includes;

Spring Clean
Sprinkler Startup
Shrubs (spring)
Bed care (weeding cleaning)
Lawn Care
Ornamental tree and shrubs fall
Fall clean
Sprinkler blow outs
Gutter Cleaning
Plowing (res only for now)
Lakeside/Beach services (weed raking, sand smoothing) docks hoists
Animal waste (dog and goose)
Window washing

My windows would go to my friend I sub my deck, pressure washing, and painting to.
Sealcoating to another in the network that does just ashphalt.

I would do everything except the lawns and clean ups, with a cheap laborer, preferably HS/college girls

07-27-2009, 10:47 PM
How do I get edit rights? Id like to clean this if I may.........delete all the anger posts plz. 2,3,4,&5 then this one. Thanks

07-27-2009, 10:57 PM
Yes, I think you math adds up. a business with 60-70 high-end accounts should be able to do very will. and if they are high-end, they should generate a significant amound to remedial services. If you dicide to grow, you have a great base right there. If yo have great relationships with them, they all work somehwere or own their own comapnies. I bet you can pick up 5-10 commercial accounts right from that group!

07-27-2009, 11:45 PM
Glad to think my plans arent pipe dreams.