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coolluv
09-16-2009, 11:02 PM
Well I have been looking into other ways to make a living. As I believe that this industry is so saturated that its nearly impossible to make a decent living at this. Sure if you have been around for a while you might be doing alright. I know there are some on here who have been at it for years and are established that are doing very well. But under the current economic situation and the ease of entry into this industry I believe its a losing battle.

I have visited other forums on a different industry that has my interest and its like night and day compared to this place. Everyone is very helpful and they are willing to share contracts, marketing ideas, tricks of the trade and so on. Not here! Sure I have read up on all the old post over the years and have learned a thing or two. But its amazing how different this other forum is. Maybe its this industry. How many times can you post about what mower should I get.

People on this forum don't share anything of any importance. Its dog eat dog. I guess its this industry and the type of people that are in it. Its refreshing to see that others are willing to help you succeed. You won't find that here. Smart ass remarks are most of what you get here. I have seen so much support on this other forum that it really made me laugh at this forum.

Not to mention the perception of this industry from people in general. Its not good. Unless you do landscaping and hardscapes and are a bigger company your just a monkey pushing a lawn mower. People just don't respect this industry. Especially the way things are now. Every one and their mother is a landscaper. I have a friend in this other industry that started out last year, he is doing very well. So I started to look into it and find forums about it. Its like a whole different world. Everyone is more than happy to help. I have yet to see one smartass remark or reply to anyones questions.

I have worked this part time for 2 years and this year I went full time out of necessity. I had high hopes. Well things went all right but not what I hoped for. I was thinking that I would revamp and really hit it hard next year. Lots of advertising. knocking on doors, going for commercial accounts. Investing in more equipment etc. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that sure I could do all that and maybe do all right. But for what. Bust my ass and work for peanuts? Prices are dropping like a rock in this industry and have been for years. Customers could care less about quality.

They want the cheapest company they can find. Lowballers, illegals, scumbags with no insurance how much can you take. Prices dropping and equipment prices rising every year. Profit margins getting slimmer and slimmer. I thought what the hell am I doing. Throwing good money to bad. Then you come here looking for ways to try and make it work and all you have is the same **** over and over. Nobody willing to share ideas or help one another. Just a bunch of dicks who think they are Donald trump.

Anyway, I'm looking at other interest and boy is it refreshing to see a totally different type of people who are more willing to help and are eager to see you succeed. Like I said before, I have a friend in this other industry and he makes more in a week with less hours than most on here make in months busting their ass. I'm not saying he doesn't work hard, but the financial rewards are far greater than this. Much more potential, not a saturated business and the potential for growth is greater and alot faster than this.

I'm sure this post will be deleted fairly quickly as the truth is not looked upon on here too kindly. This place is not about your success, its about selling dummies products.

So lets here from the peanut gallery, as long as this post is around. Which won't be that long.

Dave...

coolluv
09-16-2009, 11:23 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=98671

Just found this thread and it proves my point.

Funny post.

Dave...

93Chevy
09-16-2009, 11:32 PM
Hmm...

Good point.

I have nothing of value to add, but there's a lot of truth to what you said. Thank you.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-16-2009, 11:32 PM
Just a quick question, what is this "heavenly industry"?

93Chevy
09-16-2009, 11:33 PM
Just a quick question, what is this "heavenly industry"?

Carpentry.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-16-2009, 11:36 PM
Oh, well screw that crap. I hate carpentry work! I absolutely can't stand doing wood work.

rant over

coolluv
09-16-2009, 11:51 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=289984

Another post that proves my point.

Dave...

jhawk60
09-16-2009, 11:53 PM
Carpentry.

Yeah, no illegals or out of work framers willing to do that work for peanuts. :laugh:

AL Inc
09-16-2009, 11:54 PM
Can't say I disagree with you, on all points. I've been coming here for almost 8 years, its nothing like it was back then.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-16-2009, 11:57 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=289984

Another post that proves my point.

Dave...

I'm proud of that thread.

Slamming the scum of the business, who wouldn't enjoy doing it? Unless you are the scum.

coolluv
09-17-2009, 12:04 AM
I agree. But what mower should I get. Do you sharpen your blades everyday or once a week? How do you get dog poop out of your tires? Lets max out the hits on this thread.

Dave...

AL Inc
09-17-2009, 12:10 AM
Don't forget "What do you guys do in the winter?"

coolluv
09-17-2009, 12:13 AM
Don't forget "What do you guys do in the winter?"

I'm curious as to your thoughts on this industry. You have been at it for a few years.


Dave...

LouisianaLawnboy
09-17-2009, 12:28 AM
Good riddance. People like you will be posting this same thread on the other "awesome" forum in 6 months. Let's be honest you gave this endeavor a half hearted push before giving up. It's you and not the industry. You gave up before you started.

coolluv
09-17-2009, 12:31 AM
Your right Donald, my bad.

Dave...

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-17-2009, 12:55 AM
Good riddance. It's you and not the industry. You gave up before you started.

He's right. You were only part time. Full time is a whole new world.

tacoma200
09-17-2009, 12:59 AM
I don't totally disagree with everything you say but I find most people on this site rather friendly.
Posted via Mobile Device

coolluv
09-17-2009, 12:59 AM
Reading comprehension.

Dave...

LouisianaLawnboy
09-17-2009, 01:03 AM
I don't totally disagree with everything you say but I find most people on this site rather friendly.
Posted via Mobile Device

Thanks. I appreciate it.

Kutz Lawns
09-17-2009, 01:05 AM
Did you have a bad day?

You gave it a good try but you didn't have a niche did you?

Your probably just like every other mow & blow out there so you have competition now that the economy is not so great anymore huh, it sucks doesn't it?

You advertised in the wrong neighborhoods, bought the wrong equipment and in deep in debt probably, aren't you?

Every person that posts on here gets the help they need with some scarcastic posts thrown in here and there, so what, it's funny and if you don't have a good sense of humor JFC jump off a damn cliff and get it over with man!

Buy da way, witch mower shud i by?

coolluv
09-17-2009, 01:11 AM
Did you have a bad day? No

You gave it a good try but you didn't have a niche did you? If you mean women mowing in bikinis, No.

Your probably just like every other mow & blow out there so you have competition now that the economy is not so great anymore huh, it sucks doesn't it? Yes.

You advertised in the wrong neighborhoods, bought the wrong equipment and in deep in debt probably, aren't you? No.

Every person that posts on here gets the help they need with some scarcastic posts thrown in here and there, so what, it's funny and if you don't have a good sence of humor JFC jump off a damn cliff and get it over with man!

Buy da way, witch mower shud i by?


Question: What was your net income this year Donald?

Dave...

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-17-2009, 01:16 AM
I can tell you two things. He won't say and more than you!!! :laugh:

coolluv
09-17-2009, 01:30 AM
The reason he won't say is he doesn't know. What he thinks he made versus what he actually made. Probably doesn't keep track. No license, No insurance, etc. Lives at home with mommy and daddy. Working for beer money and taking the flavor of the month out on the town hoping to get a little piece. Its funny how all these guys are covered up in work. Working 14 hour days. Just like the guy that said he got 35 accounts with 500 fliers in the spring. Then come back in a few months and say he lost all but 2 or 3 because he got frustrated working for peanuts. He knows who he is. I'm sure some on here know who I'm referring to.

Sure you can work your ass off all day everyday if you want to work for peanuts.

I'm completely 100% legal and by the books. I have been since day one.

Peanuts Donald, Peanuts.

Dave...

Kutz Lawns
09-17-2009, 01:54 AM
I just went through some of your past posts, well the first page or two anyway. Your not guily of scarcasim, yea right!

If you kept up on the site, you would know my niche!

Me, I'm retired at 51 and do this as a passion not out to support anybody or anything and I work about 4 hours a day or less!

I made about $2700 last month and about the same every month during the summer months, 12 accounts, not bad!

$34,100 just in my checking account last time I checked!

I hope it works out for you in the new business, whatever that might be but like you said in one of your past posts, you have to work for it and the young people today want everything handed to them!

Good Luck

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-17-2009, 01:57 AM
The reason he won't say is he doesn't know. What he thinks he made versus what he actually made. Probably doesn't keep track. No license, No insurance, etc. Lives at home with mommy and daddy. Working for beer money and taking the flavor of the month out on the town hoping to get a little piece. Its funny how all these guys are covered up in work. Working 14 hour days. Just like the guy that said he got 35 accounts with 500 fliers in the spring. Then come back in a few months and say he lost all but 2 or 3 because he got frustrated working for peanuts. He knows who he is. I'm sure some on here know who I'm referring to.

Sure you can work your ass off all day everyday if you want to work for peanuts.

I'm completely 100% legal and by the books. I have been since day one.

Peanuts Donald, Peanuts.

Dave...

Or, because he's in bed because he has to work tomorrow. I'm not an LCO, yet, I'm in college right now. Majoring in Accounting and before I graduate I will start my landscape maintenance company. I'm here to learn as much as possible before I start so I can do it right, be a legitimate business, and make a lot of money. When I am an LCO, I sure as hell won't be saying my exact numbers on this site for everyone to see.

ADLAWNCUTTERS
09-17-2009, 04:14 AM
Dave Dave life is what you make it.That goes for any job or business.There are many factors that will come into play if you can make it.During the day i am a lowly lawn jockey as you say .At night i am a police officer.You see as long as i am doing honest work that i like that's all that matters.As for this site it is great.If you needed advise or help someone will help you.This occupation may not be your calling.If you have a crappy outlook in life you will not succeed in any field.I will say a pray for you that you will find the right road to travel on .Good luck..

topsites
09-17-2009, 07:42 AM
Welcome to the real world, maybe one day you will yet understand where I'm
coming from, but until then I'm going to let carpentry rake you over a bit.

And you will see, at first it will appear like wow that was the ticket, but as was pointed out, 6 months,
a year or two at the most you will think carpentry is the same load as this landscaping was.

What I am telling you, it's this way everywhere you go, it is rough, yes it's
dog eat dog, I don't like it either but it's just the way it is.

A lot of it, like some of us getting smart?
Hell I'm just poking a little fun, some blowing off steam, that same frustration you are venting?
Poking fun and sarcasm is MY way of letting it go, I feel that *&%^ TOO!
No you're not the only one feeling it, yes it sucks, such is life.

See, why and how I got 8 years in and I can tell you it didn't come easy.
Why, nothing ever does.

Hang in there or gtfo, either way, fine by me.
But word of advice from a 42 year old?
Hang in there and make something of it, but that's just my opinion.

coolluv
09-17-2009, 08:25 AM
I just went through some of your past posts, well the first page or two anyway. Your not guily of scarcasim, yea right!

If you kept up on the site, you would know my niche!

Me, I'm retired at 51 and do this as a passion not out to support anybody or anything and I work about 4 hours a day or less!

I made about $2700 last month and about the same every month during the summer months, 12 accounts, not bad!

$34,100 just in my checking account last time I checked!

I hope it works out for you in the new business, whatever that might be but like you said in one of your past posts, you have to work for it and the young people today want everything handed to them!

Good Luck

Sure I could be a smartass at times and have been. Sometimes I like to shake things up. You working part time like I was is great. Its when you have to make a living at this is when it gets tough. I'm not saying that it can't be done, because many have proved that. One of my points of this post was it just takes too long to get to the point of making real money. Like any business it takes a few years to get established and get your name out there. But my point is, the competition is unreal (maybe not where you are), Customers could care less if you are insured, licensed, paying taxes, have signs on your truck or whatever.

All they want is it shorter than it was before you came, and they want it for the cheapest price they can get it for. If Paco the Taco comes and knocks on the door and offers to do it for $5 cheaper your ass is gone. This business is great for the parttimer, retired guy, young kid living at home or going to college. The time it takes to build up a good and thats the key right there, good clientel, its not worth the time invested compared to return on investment.

This industry requires alot of investment with very little return, thats all I'm saying. The time frame for success is a long dirty,dusty, cheapskate ridden lowballer filled etc. road.

Its early and I need more coffee.

Dave...

ALC-GregH
09-17-2009, 08:27 AM
he never said it was carpentry. He thinks by not saying what it is that he's kind of hiding it so he can be the one making all the money. LOL Someone slap him and wake him up please.

coolluv
09-17-2009, 08:38 AM
Dave Dave life is what you make it.That goes for any job or business.There are many factors that will come into play if you can make it.During the day i am a lowly lawn jockey as you say .At night i am a police officer.You see as long as i am doing honest work that i like that's all that matters.As for this site it is great.If you needed advise or help someone will help you.This occupation may not be your calling.If you have a crappy outlook in life you will not succeed in any field.I will say a pray for you that you will find the right road to travel on .Good luck..

Thanks, I could use all the help I can get. When I did it parttime I liked it too. Its not that I don't like it now, its just not the vehicle to success like I thought it was going to be. Could I hang in a few more years busting my ass trying to get better customers? Sure. Could I make a decent living in 4or 5 years? Maybe.To make any real money in this you have to have real low prices and a huge volume of customers. Lots of equipment,trucks, trailers, mowers,blowers,edgers,trimmers,aerators, dethachers, and on and on and on.

For what, a $20 lawn. Late paying customers that you have to chase down every month to get paid. Having everyone look down their nose at you like your some kind of scumbag that can;'t do anything else to make a living.

I don't have 20 years to make it in this business. I'm not a young man anymore.

Dave....

ALC-GregH
09-17-2009, 08:44 AM
Thanks, I could use all the help I can get. When I did it parttime I liked it too. Its not that I don't like it now, its just not the vehicle to success like I thought it was going to be. Could I hang in a few more years busting my ass trying to get better customers? Sure. Could I make a decent living in 4or 5 years? Maybe.To make any real money in this you have to have real low prices and a huge volume of customers. Lots of equipment,trucks, trailers, mowers,blowers,edgers,trimmers,aerators, dethachers, and on and on and on.

For what, a $20 lawn. Late paying customers that you have to chase down every month to get paid. Having everyone look down their nose at you like your some kind of scumbag that can;'t do anything else to make a living.

I don't have 20 years to make it in this business. I'm not a young man anymore.

Dave....

but your crying like a little kid. I started last year. My company is growing slow just like I want. I've almost doubled my customer list the second year and I've gotten a lot more clean up jobs. I also landed my first full service customer just yesterday. I stepped into the business full time right off the bat and I only have enough work to keep me going part time. I'll get there soon enough.

coolluv
09-17-2009, 08:52 AM
he never said it was carpentry. He thinks by not saying what it is that he's kind of hiding it so he can be the one making all the money. LOL Someone slap him and wake him up please.

I was just about to post saying No its not carpentry. Again, reading comprehension people. And no thats not the reason for not saying. I'm going to keep doing my lawn business next year but I'm slowly getting away from it into something else. I don't hate this industry, in fact I like it. Its just the time needed to be successful takes too long. Most businesses take investment in tools and equipment of some sort, but this business takes a massive amount of expensive equipment that is very costly but the return on investment is very poor. Guys doing aerations for $20 or $30. Back breaking work and a machine that costs in the thousands of dollars. Guys paying $3 a bale for pinestraw and installing it for $4. Guys putting mulch down for $40 and $50 a yard. Commercial and residential clients paying peanuts for maintenance.

If you want to get into fert and squirt you have to make a major investment, not to mention all the regs and hoops you have to jump through. For what, a $32 dollar app charge. Trugreen and the other big guys are giving it away. They buy their stuff by the warehouse full on flatbed trucks. They make money because they are huge and buy at a discount. It goes on and on and on.

Dave...

coolluv
09-17-2009, 08:57 AM
but your crying like a little kid. I started last year. My company is growing slow just like I want. I've almost doubled my customer list the second year and I've gotten a lot more clean up jobs. I also landed my first full service customer just yesterday. I stepped into the business full time right off the bat and I only have enough work to keep me going part time. I'll get there soon enough.

I'm not crying just stating my opinion. I can tell your a young guy with very little responsibility, financial commitments etc. This business is fine for a guy like you. You have the luxury of taking your time and maybe one day making enough to make it worth while.

Dave...

coolluv
09-17-2009, 09:10 AM
I gotta go make like a monkey now and hope I get paid for it, but I will be back later to check on the peanut gallery.

Dave...

ALC-GregH
09-17-2009, 09:48 AM
I'm not crying just stating my opinion. I can tell your a young guy with very little responsibility, financial commitments etc. This business is fine for a guy like you. You have the luxury of taking your time and maybe one day making enough to make it worth while.

Dave...

Ha, your wrong again. I'm 47 and a retired auto tech. I was worried about the same things you keep bringing up. I looked past all that. I focus on the customers that are willing to pay a professional to come on their property not some kid with a push mower.

ALC-GregH
09-17-2009, 09:51 AM
Also, I don't have a ton of customers, just a select few that bring in close to what I made working for someone else and I only work 2-3 days a week if I'm lucky. When I get 3 full days of mowing booked, I'll be right where I need to be.

tacoma200
09-17-2009, 10:09 AM
What's the big deal. Guy doesn't want to cut grass, leaving for greener pastures. I think everyone should do what they want. Not sure I would feel a need to post it to the world but whatever works.

I have no idea why I enjoy cutting grass except it's therapeutic. But it's just one of many things I'm interested in.

T R E Y
09-17-2009, 10:23 AM
That was 10 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

crhoades68
09-17-2009, 12:43 PM
I almost wrote Ditto to you TREY. But I have decided to make a few comments to coolluv.

According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), only 4 in 100 small businesses started this year will be in business 10 years from now.

So what is it about those 4 that make it? I personally don't know because there are too many variables but I will guarantee the following were part of their success.

1. Research. They were aware of the challenges before entering the business. They knew the challenges and cost of doing business and were able to estimate a return and then made the decision to enter the business/industry.
2. Perseverance. They encountered challenges that generated thoughts of quitting. They sucked it up and worked harder/smarter or adjusted their plan so they could become successful.
3. Passion. They entered the business because they loved it. Anything worth loving is worth fighting for.

I'm not implying you didn't do research or don't have a passion for the business, but if you truly enjoy the work then find a way.

You know that being a carpenter or practically any other profession in this economy has challenges that have not been encountered for many years. By the end of next season those that entered the business because they lost a job will have found work and the industry won't be as saturated.

Until then go find other ways or areas in which to make more money (different routes, additional services, etc). If your heart isn't into it then find something else, but don't take your frustrations out on the hard working folks on this site. No one or no forum is perfect so you just have to look for the good in people and little nuggets of information on the site.

Good luck.

coolluv
09-17-2009, 01:57 PM
What's the big deal. Guy doesn't want to cut grass, leaving for greener pastures. I think everyone should do what they want. Not sure I would feel a need to post it to the world but whatever works.

I have no idea why I enjoy cutting grass except it's therapeutic. But it's just one of many things I'm interested in.

One of the reasons I posted this was, there are post on here that never get answered or if they do its some smart ass remark. Why, I don't know. I guess its because everyone is afraid that someone is going to learn something and become a threat to their business. I can understand that to a certain degree, but isn't this site supposed to be about learning and growing together for the good of all. Would it not be better to teach others how to do things properly and professionally rather than let them be a hack and give the industry a bad name? The posts that never get answered are typically the intelligent posts. Ask what mower should I get or how do I get dog poo out of my wheels and you will get 1000 responses.

Why is that? Is that the mentality of this forum? Is what they say about us really true? I used to come here everyday to learn as much as I could. I spent countless hours going over old post and new. But it doesn't take long before you realize its the same things over and over and over. I still enjoy coming here but not like I used to. I didn't post this to tell the world I was leaving the lawn industry. I posted this because I found out what could be a much better way to make a living and to concentrate my efforts. While I was researching this I happened on a forum. Not unlike the way I found this place when I got interested in lawn Maintenance.

It just amazed me how different this other forum was and how willing everyone was to share information and ideas. Just a totally different experience. So after seeing that I thought I would share this information with the rest of you guys. Maybe, just maybe it might make this a better place. Maybe intelligent conversations will take place. Maybe the willingness to help each other and share Ideas will take place.

They even have a section on marketing with a wealth of information. No one is afraid to share their experiences and what works and what doesn't.

Maybe its me I don't know. I will still be doing lawn maintenance until I get set up for other things,but I'm done throwing good money to bad.

Dave...

coolluv
09-17-2009, 02:26 PM
I almost wrote Ditto to you TREY. But I have decided to make a few comments to coolluv.

According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), only 4 in 100 small businesses started this year will be in business 10 years from now.

So what is it about those 4 that make it? I personally don't know because there are too many variables but I will guarantee the following were part of their success.

1. Research. They were aware of the challenges before entering the business. They knew the challenges and cost of doing business and were able to estimate a return and then made the decision to enter the business/industry.
2. Perseverance. They encountered challenges that generated thoughts of quitting. They sucked it up and worked harder/smarter or adjusted their plan so they could become successful.
3. Passion. They entered the business because they loved it. Anything worth loving is worth fighting for.

I'm not implying you didn't do research or don't have a passion for the business, but if you truly enjoy the work then find a way.

You know that being a carpenter or practically any other profession in this economy has challenges that have not been encountered for many years. By the end of next season those that entered the business because they lost a job will have found work and the industry won't be as saturated.

Until then go find other ways or areas in which to make more money (different routes, additional services, etc). If your heart isn't into it then find something else, but don't take your frustrations out on the hard working folks on this site. No one or no forum is perfect so you just have to look for the good in people and little nuggets of information on the site.

Good luck.

First off I agree with you. Secondly I didn't think I was taking out my frustrations on anyone. If you took offense than I apologize. I entered this business for a few different reasons. One reason was I wanted to be able to do something for extra money and still keep my full time job. I always wanted to have my own business but, I couldn't just quit my job and have at at. So I figured I could do this by myself and not have to worry about having to finish a job on the weekend or tell a customer, Hey your going to have to wait until next Saturday for me to finish that job because I will be working my regular job all week.

I figured that might not work out so good. Secondly I had a neighbor that had been in the business for about 5 years. He was a restaurant chef believe it or not, and was over operations for 5 different restaurants. Well long story short he wanted out and did the same thing that I did. Talked to others in the industry etc. Well he had a lucky break and one of his contacts gave him 50 customers for free. He even sold him a trailer and two belt drive mowers and told him to pay him when he got the money. The guy that gave him the customers was established now and didn't want or need to run across town for these customers. The rest was history for him.

Well we talked on numerous occasions about this business and that is what peaked my interest. I figured I could work a few days and make some extra money. Get some experience running my own business and then see what happens. I don't love to cut grass, although I don't mind it. I don't love to trim hedges and I hate putting pine straw down. But it was a learning experience on business and dealing with customers. In the mean time I purchased dozens of books on weeds and plants and running a landscape business and contracts and on and on and on.

Well I had enough to keep me busy and work my full time job. So I didn't advertise and I actually turned down work. Long story short, I was forced to go full time this year. I did ok, but I started to realize after 3 years of doing this thats its a whole other ball game when you have to make a living at this.

I'm not saying you can't make a living at this, but what kind of living and how long is it going to take. If you have been doing this for any period of time you start to see that the return on investment is just not there. At least I don't see it. If you track every penny that you invested and spend on a daily, weekly, monthly basis its really depressing seeing what you actually make.

I have had Quick books pro from day one and everything I ever spent or made is in there. You could look at it five ways from Sunday, but it still don't change the facts.


Dave...

JohnnyCuts
09-17-2009, 09:44 PM
Good luck in the pet waste disposal industry. I've heard/smelled great things...

Toy2
09-17-2009, 10:40 PM
First off I agree with you. Secondly I didn't think I was taking out my frustrations on anyone. If you took offense than I apologize. I entered this business for a few different reasons. One reason was I wanted to be able to do something for extra money and still keep my full time job. I always wanted to have my own business but, I couldn't just quit my job and have at at. So I figured I could do this by myself and not have to worry about having to finish a job on the weekend or tell a customer, Hey your going to have to wait until next Saturday for me to finish that job because I will be working my regular job all week.

I figured that might not work out so good. Secondly I had a neighbor that had been in the business for about 5 years. He was a restaurant chef believe it or not, and was over operations for 5 different restaurants. Well long story short he wanted out and did the same thing that I did. Talked to others in the industry etc. Well he had a lucky break and one of his contacts gave him 50 customers for free. He even sold him a trailer and two belt drive mowers and told him to pay him when he got the money. The guy that gave him the customers was established now and didn't want or need to run across town for these customers. The rest was history for him.

Well we talked on numerous occasions about this business and that is what peaked my interest. I figured I could work a few days and make some extra money. Get some experience running my own business and then see what happens. I don't love to cut grass, although I don't mind it. I don't love to trim hedges and I hate putting pine straw down. But it was a learning experience on business and dealing with customers. In the mean time I purchased dozens of books on weeds and plants and running a landscape business and contracts and on and on and on.

Well I had enough to keep me busy and work my full time job. So I didn't advertise and I actually turned down work. Long story short, I was forced to go full time this year. I did ok, but I started to realize after 3 years of doing this thats its a whole other ball game when you have to make a living at this.

I'm not saying you can't make a living at this, but what kind of living and how long is it going to take. If you have been doing this for any period of time you start to see that the return on investment is just not there. At least I don't see it. If you track every penny that you invested and spend on a daily, weekly, monthly basis its really depressing seeing what you actually make.

I have had Quick books pro from day one and everything I ever spent or made is in there. You could look at it five ways from Sunday, but it still don't change the facts.


Dave...Great post, and the sad thing is your right, around here people really do look down on those that mow............am I glad I have a job with retirement and bennies?

Damn right, body is getting old and being in the good old Government workplace is where I intend to stay........yes I'm still getting mowing jobs, but pass those onto my Mexi buddy, and yes the customer names the price and he does them......so that should be an idea of how things are done around here......do I worry some guy in a truck with a mower will end up with my Government job?

Yeah right, he better have some education and speak English......can you you say the same about mowing???

Great luck to you kind sir.......:usflag:

Rivervalleylawns
09-17-2009, 11:22 PM
This is honestly this worse post I have ever seen on here. So you tried your luck at it and you couldnt make it. So why sit here and broadcast to everyone you were a failure. Ok yes tell me because I was young, But im 21 now and have proved a better income for myself than probably 75% of the people in my city. And yes I have a mortage and responsibilities. I also have 3 work trucks, a tractor, 3 z turn mowers and 12 guys. Yes it is alot to handle but it is worth it. I love what I do, and do what I love. I think that was your problem from the start, no passion. You said mowing is not bad,ask any other guy on here who has passion and he will tell you getting on that z turn can really relax you. I agree with Johnny cuts, have fun in the pet waste removal. And please dont bother coming back here to tell us how crappy our forum is. The guys who care and want to learn do, and the originals keep helping.

chuacro
09-18-2009, 12:02 AM
I hope my wife does not see this post. I convinced her the last 3 years that I was paying bills. Oh yes that is ok I am paying all expenses needed.

lawnkingforever
09-18-2009, 12:43 AM
I think most guys on here, like myself, watch every dime and know exactly what they are netting. If your numbers were not adding up I am sorry for that, but that does not mean the rest of us are not making it. Clearly your heart was not in this. The day I am breaking even or just floating above water, I will walk away. At least in your case, you are doing the right thing if you feel your investment in this is not bringing in the proper returns. With most guys here, I like mowing. But what drives me mostly is keeping my customers happy and my profit at the end of a long season.

Total Grounds Maintenance
09-18-2009, 01:01 AM
In all aspects your right and here are the correct IMO the right ones.

1. Right it is saturated
2. Right it is butt busting work
3. Right your always chasing a buck (unlike working at a 9-5er)
4. Right there is a TON of guys doing it for less
5. Right equipment is expensive
6. Right work isn't't always easy to come by

Now here are some ways at looking at it

1. Be better than the next, point out what the other guy is doing wrong and stick to your guns on price. Let the customers know that that guy doesn't have insurance or he may not be trust worthy. Shoot, tell them he is a convicted rapist out on parole and you saw him peeking thier windows. Or he is only doing this line of work for a fast buck for some meth or smack....LOL I'M KIDDING LIGHTEN UP

2. Do it long enough to where you can be just the mower and hire some one part time for $8 and hour to trim\blow for you.

3. That is just owning your own biz (you think the return is low in lawn see what the retail food industry is)

4. If a customer isn't willing to pay 35 but will pay 20 then give them 20 worth of work until you can get enough biz to kick them to the curb. Also what I do is let them see what they get like edging, some mulch around a tree maybe a trim on a bush here and there ect ect ect.. for some that I know that have the $$$ and are just being cheap I do it once and don't do it again! When they see what they had and what it looked like I tell them oh, that was just something I do from time to time when I have extra free township mulch (hope you didn't't mind) LOL works everytime. Dude your a salesman and if you just want it to fall in your lap it won't happen. I just sold a 4k retaining wall by showing the homeowner what it would look like on my laptop. Again, hit the sales pitch hard around spring (tax return time)

5. Simple answer: USED EQUIPMENT, heck find a LCO going out of biz and beat him down on price. Lease a USED mower get that 2wd instead of the 4x4. You don't need a 30k truck to do this just a respectable nice looking pickup or older dump with signage for $2500.

6. I heard you say you may go put fliers out or you may do a mailer. DO IT, DO IT NOW! as a matter of fact go out every night after cutting while your hands are still numb from using power equipment all day and your feet and legs are tired and make a goal to do 50 houses a night.

I cut 10 houses today with a helper, by no means allot BUT I made $235 after gas, insurance, truck payment, helper ect ect ect.....Now where am I gonna go and make on average $1000 a week for a 5-7hr day in 7 1/2 months? 1000 X 30 weeks = $30,000 JUST MOWING? That is without cleanups, salt\snow, fert, mulch, trimming, plantings, hardscaping or a 2 man crew doing 2 commercial accounts I have.

Oh, and I am my own boss :)


If this all sounds to much then by all means bow out and save yourself the heart and headache:waving:

Eco_Scape_Grndskpng
09-18-2009, 01:26 AM
Shouldn't generalize the whole industry like that.
I agree for the most part it IS dog eat dog, but what you believe is what you perceive my friend. Plenty of work to go around though, come up with some well designed yards that people enjoy and the work flow in, in abundance. Providing value is the bottom line, I have come to notice, the happier that customers are a few extra dollars are not an issue. Create rapport with your customers and everyone you meet, act professionally and you'll never be a monkey.

ADLAWNCUTTERS
09-18-2009, 04:49 AM
Dave you made some valid points.I have been doing this for over 20 years part/full time.In my case i wanted also to be a police officer and a landscaper.You have to follow your dreams and be happy on what you are doing. A lot of guys at work state if they won the lottery they would quit their police job. Not me i would not change a thing.Find out what you really like to do and go for it.The way the job market is just be happy to find any work.Be diversified and find another job and cut lawns.hopefully you can do a little good along the way good luck to you.

259 toro
09-18-2009, 09:49 AM
Speak the truth brother.

Toy2
09-18-2009, 11:47 AM
This is honestly this worse post I have ever seen on here. So you tried your luck at it and you couldnt make it. So why sit here and broadcast to everyone you were a failure. Ok yes tell me because I was young, But im 21 now and have proved a better income for myself than probably 75% of the people in my city. And yes I have a mortage and responsibilities. I also have 3 work trucks, a tractor, 3 z turn mowers and 12 guys. Yes it is alot to handle but it is worth it. I love what I do, and do what I love. I think that was your problem from the start, no passion. You said mowing is not bad,ask any other guy on here who has passion and he will tell you getting on that z turn can really relax you. I agree with Johnny cuts, have fun in the pet waste removal. And please dont bother coming back here to tell us how crappy our forum is. The guys who care and want to learn do, and the originals keep helping.He is sharing his experience with being an LCO, I don't see what the big deal is. You can't say that this industry is all peaches and cream.......its a cut-throat business, and the problem added is the LCO's that need to make some quick cash......its great that you have 12 guys working, are they all legal?

Or are you part of the problem with the industry?

Don't knock the guy for speaking the truth......

deitleman
09-18-2009, 02:15 PM
Well, if nothing else, you certainly did get quite a rise out of people. Including myself. I am 31 years old, and put myself through college landscaping. I have a degree, and work full-time as a high ranking administrator for a human services organization. I am the first to go to college from my family, and the first to make a living not using my hands. Because I am proud of my family, ambitious, and truly enjoy the work, I've chosen to start a legit lawn and landscape business on the side. Whether I am mowing, digging a trench, or pulling weeds, I certainly do not ever think of myself or anyone else willing to do a hard days work, as a monkey. If you are insecure/worried about how others view you, or dissapointed in what you've been able to accomplish in life, I hope you will find a more constructive way to vent your frustration in the future. It's easy to generalize, but I've found this to be a very helpful site, with mostly good, hard-working people, willing to give their best advice. There's nothing wrong with humor, and expect a few bad eggs in anything you do. In short, not everyone has it in them to be a leader, or a go-getter. You seem like someone looking for a quick fix, perhaps look in the classifieds for a job with set hours, easy work, and someone to supervise and provide you a steady pay check. Reluctantly awaiting your next long-winded rant...

ALC-GregH
09-18-2009, 02:19 PM
You seem like someone looking for a quick fix, perhaps look in the classifieds for a job with set hours, easy work, and someone to supervise and provide you a steady pay check. Reluctantly awaiting your next long-winded rant...

If it was that easy, this country wouldn't be in the mess it's in.

deitleman
09-18-2009, 02:32 PM
I'm very much aware of the current economic climate. It was my attempt at sarcasm, while driving home the point that our friend wants to prosper without putting in the time or effort.

MarcSmith
09-18-2009, 02:51 PM
I figure since one of my post was singled out I'd chime in...

Steve walks warily down the street,
With the brim pulled way down low
Ain't no sound but the sound of his feet,
Machine guns ready to go
Are you ready, Are you ready for this
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

How do you think I'm going to get along,
Without you, when you're gone
You took me for everything that I had,
And kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied
How long can you stand the heat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
There are plenty of ways you can hurt a man
And bring him to the ground
You can beat him
You can cheat him
You can treat him bad and leave him
When he's down
But I'm ready, yes I'm ready for you
I'm standing on my own two feet
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
Repeating the sound of the beat

MarcSmith
09-18-2009, 03:01 PM
serisously...

Thing did not work out...it happens. prior to college I worked in landscaping. got out of college and turned down the family landscape biz to work for Disney, and Valley Crest, and finally owning my own business. which started part time, and then grew to three rigs...and I sold it all in 5 years... and I'm were I'm at now.

yes it was tough and frustrating. the Hardest part of having a landscaping business is running the business. cutting grass or planting shrubs or laying bricks is easy, so easy that anyone with 1/2 a brain can do it....

Every business has it low ballers, cheap customers, scrubs, as well as the home run clients. if I had 40-50 home run clients, i wouldn't need the 300 regular ones I had...

Yes it would be nice to have 20-30 multi acre homes to take care of where the HO wasn't concerned about the bill each month. But chances are you won't get that... so you deal with what you have and try to make your work speak for itself and you try each year to rid yourself of the lowest 1/3 of the bottom feeder customers you have each year...

Just about any other service industry is dealing with the same crap. carpenters...you wanna talk about a fickle industry. Chances are each client you get only see once...very little repeat business. And totally a luxury item...With landscaping/mowing/squirting you have contracts and have your regular "gravy" income and you get the special nice one-time job every now and again to sweeten the books.

Rivervalleylawns
09-18-2009, 03:25 PM
He is sharing his experience with being an LCO, I don't see what the big deal is. You can't say that this industry is all peaches and cream.......its a cut-throat business, and the problem added is the LCO's that need to make some quick cash......its great that you have 12 guys working, are they all legal?

Or are you part of the problem with the industry?

Don't knock the guy for speaking the truth......

You are right, I dont know why all of us are so defensive. Its really guys like him that make guys like me more money. We see it every year, 5 new rigs start up, usually 4-5 shut down a few months later.

And just to set the record straight, we are 100% legit here. WC, insurance, taxes.
There are people with different levels of interest with this. Some start to mow lawns and only ever mow lawns making a small profit. And then there are the guys with the 50k trucks that eat away there "would have been" nice profit margin. And then there are guys that are 100% dedicated. They might not start out with much, but slowly work themselves up. Good luck man to your new industry. :walking:

Engloid
09-18-2009, 03:26 PM
Carpentry?

You are really going to compete with illegals if you go into something like that.

I've been in the welding industry for over 20 years. It's quite a bit different. Sure, there are shops and businesses that pay peanuts, but if you suck at the job and don't have much for skills, that's going to be true anywhere. Think about it, a cook at McD's isn't going to make top end chef pay, but in the end they're both cooks. Likewise, there are welders out there making $8/hr, and welders making $200/hr.

I think somebody is a fool for welding for $8/hr when you can deliver pizza for twice that.

Anyway, if you're doing work such as pressure vessels or piping, you MUST have the certifications to do the work. Employers can't just hire the cheapest help they find. They have to pay enough to attract welders that can pass the welding certification tests. Industry insurers know nothing about welding, so they rely on codes such as ASME, BPE, API, etc to make standards in which they require contractors to follow. These codes dictate how a welder must be tested, how often, etc. The employer has little to say in this. They either follow the rules or risk their business by breaking the rules.

What this means is that the wages have stayed up pretty well if you're in the right part of the industry. The labor unions help negotiate good wages, benefits, etc. A union welder in my area makes about $6 more an hour than nonunion. In addition, the contractor pays about $5/hr into his pension, and pays for his insurance.

It's not bad money overall. Sure you will sweat, but you're likely used to that by now. :)

Charles
09-18-2009, 04:02 PM
I would hate to be starting a new lawn care biz in my area right now. Like many areas, it is saturated. No new customers from my advertising so far this year or last year for that matter.
If you did have the customers then the key to making an above average net income is to have the most powerful equipment , work in a systematic, high speed, precision manner on every job. Be precise in planning your daily route. Work hard and fast and do a good job. Be dependable and professional looking. Collect every dime. Keep up with accounts receivables. Don't buy more equipment than you need. Treat your customers well. Price the jobs right
There was NO Lawnsite when I started my lawn care biz back in 1991. Many of us, just used trial and error. Imagine that!:rolleyes: I would have appreciated any help I could get back then. So it is amazing to me that people bash lawn care forums that didn't exist for many of us just starting out. This would have helped me greatly in starting my business.
Everything you need to succeed is right in the volumes of information stored in this forum. All you have to do is research , read and then apply.
The forum can only do so much to help you because of current market conditions in many areas.

coolluv
09-18-2009, 05:03 PM
Well, if nothing else, you certainly did get quite a rise out of people. Including myself. I am 31 years old, and put myself through college landscaping. I have a degree, and work full-time as a high ranking administrator for a human services organization. I am the first to go to college from my family, and the first to make a living not using my hands. Because I am proud of my family, ambitious, and truly enjoy the work, I've chosen to start a legit lawn and landscape business on the side. Whether I am mowing, digging a trench, or pulling weeds, I certainly do not ever think of myself or anyone else willing to do a hard days work, as a monkey. If you are insecure/worried about how others view you, or dissapointed in what you've been able to accomplish in life, I hope you will find a more constructive way to vent your frustration in the future. It's easy to generalize, but I've found this to be a very helpful site, with mostly good, hard-working people, willing to give their best advice. There's nothing wrong with humor, and expect a few bad eggs in anything you do. In short, not everyone has it in them to be a leader, or a go-getter. You seem like someone looking for a quick fix, perhaps look in the classifieds for a job with set hours, easy work, and someone to supervise and provide you a steady pay check. Reluctantly awaiting your next long-winded rant...

Well you don't know anything about me. You say I seem like someone looking for a quick fix. Nothing could be further from the truth. You say I should look in the classifieds for a regular job where I could be supervised. What a joke. I never want to work for anyone ever again. I'm not the one that refers to us as monkeys, that is public opinion. I have worked hard all my life. My parents didn't have their own business. My parents were dirt poor barely making ends meet. I started working for neighbors shoveling snow, mowing grass and doing yard cleanups when I was 11 years old. I delivered newspapers from 12 to 16 (300 customers) by myself. Ive worked 2 and 3 jobs at times when I was young only to have my parents take my money to help feed and support the family.

I never had new cloths or shoes and wore hand me downs from my older brother. I walked to work until I was 18 and could finally afford a truck. A truck that I had to install a clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing in before I could even drive it. Which I did myself with no ones help. I worked construction and busted my ass doing everything from walking miles behind a paving machine on 330 degree asphalt all day busting my ass, to standing knee deep in human **** helping fix broken sewer lines. Ive laid pipe and shoveled more dirt that most have seen in there life.

I worked my way up from a laborer to a project superintendent with no college degree. College yeah right. I had no time to go to college. I had to worry about making money and taking care of myself. Nobody was going to do that for me. Ive been in charge of multi million dollar jobs where it was my skill and knowledge that made the project sink or swim. I have had millions of dollars worth of equipment under my supervision with 6 to 8 crews. I'm proud of that. I learned everything I could from anyone willing to share information. Which usually was not very many people. I learned to operate as many pieces of equipment I could. Theres not much I can't operate. Ive worked on residential, commercial and Heavy Highway work. Ive worked 60 to 80 hour weeks for as long as I can remember. Heck I don't need an alarm clock because I'm so used to getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning that most of the time I get up before the alarm goes off. Ive been going to work before the sun comes up and coming home at dark for as long as I can remember. Get home at 7 or 8 eat supper and fall asleep on the couch and do it all over again. No weekends off. Most Saturdays I was out working at my regular job or cutting grass.

Am I afraid of hard work, Yeah right. 10 years ago I moved halfway across the country away from my friends and family to find work. Ive missed family functions and parties and graduations because of work. I missed my father dying because of being out of town on work. So don't assume you know anything about me Johnny. And as far as my business goes, I worked 50 and 60 hours weeks and then worked on the weekends doing lawn maintenance. I do the sales, I do the books, I fix the equipment etc. I'm done working for other people and not having a life.

You guys in other states think you have competition. You don't have a clue. Come on down here and see what real competitions like. I don't mind competition but when no one is playing by the rules except a few, it makes it hard. Thousands upon thousands of illegal Mexicans are living here and more coming everyday. I never knew what that was like until I came here. Some of you think because you have a small amount that have moved to your area you think you know what I mean. No you don't. Its not just them, its all the other scumbags with no insurance or license etc. You think your area is bad, you don't have a clue.

But you know what? There coming to a town near you. We will see how many customers you lose to them. Think it won't happen. Think again. But I do good work and my customers love me. The only thing your customers love is money. Like I said, I'm not getting out yet. I can't. But I know I'm not wasting anymore money than I have to.

Dave...

Toy2
09-18-2009, 05:18 PM
Well you don't know anything about me. You say I seem like someone looking for a quick fix. Nothing could be further from the truth. You say I should look in the classifieds for a regular job where I could be supervised. What a joke. I never want to work for anyone ever again. I'm not the one that refers to us as monkeys, that is public opinion. I have worked hard all my life. My parents didn't have their own business. My parents were dirt poor barely making ends meet. I started working for neighbors shoveling snow, mowing grass and doing yard cleanups when I was 11 years old. I delivered newspapers from 12 to 16 (300 customers) by myself. Ive worked 2 and 3 jobs at times when I was young only to have my parents take my money to help feed and support the family.

I never had new cloths or shoes and wore hand me downs from my older brother. I walked to work until I was 18 and could finally afford a truck. A truck that I had to install a clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing in before I could even drive it. Which I did myself with no ones help. I worked construction and busted my ass doing everything from walking miles behind a paving machine on 330 degree asphalt all day busting my ass, to standing knee deep in human **** helping fix broken sewer lines. Ive laid pipe and shoveled more dirt that most have seen in there life.

I worked my way up from a laborer to a project superintendent with no college degree. College yeah right. I had no time to go to college. I had to worry about making money and taking care of myself. Nobody was going to do that for me. Ive been in charge of multi million dollar jobs where it was my skill and knowledge that made the project sink or swim. I have had millions of dollars worth of equipment under my supervision with 6 to 8 crews. I'm proud of that. I learned everything I could from anyone willing to share information. Which usually was not very many people. I learned to operate as many pieces of equipment I could. Theres not much I can't operate. Ive worked on residential, commercial and Heavy Highway work. Ive worked 60 to 80 hour weeks for as long as I can remember. Heck I don't need an alarm clock because I'm so used to getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning that most of the time I get up before the alarm goes off. Ive been going to work before the sun comes up and coming home at dark for as long as I can remember. Get home at 7 or 8 eat supper and fall asleep on the couch and do it all over again. No weekends off. Most Saturdays I was out working at my regular job or cutting grass.

Am I afraid of hard work, Yeah right. 10 years ago I moved halfway across the country away from my friends and family to find work. Ive missed family functions and parties and graduations because of work. I missed my father dying because of being out of town on work. So don't assume you know anything about me Johnny. And as far as my business goes, I worked 50 and 60 hours weeks and then worked on the weekends doing lawn maintenance. I do the sales, I do the books, I fix the equipment etc. I'm done working for other people and not having a life.

You guys in other states think you have competition. You don't have a clue. Come on down here and see what real competitions like. I don't mind competition but when no one is playing by the rules except a few, it makes it hard. Thousands upon thousands of illegal Mexicans are living here and more coming everyday. I never knew what that was like until I came here. Some of you think because you have a small amount that have moved to your area you think you know what I mean. No you don't. Its not just them, its all the other scumbags with no insurance or license etc. You think your area is bad, you don't have a clue.

But you know what? There coming to a town near you. We will see how many customers you lose to them. Think it won't happen. Think again. But I do good work and my customers love me. The only thing your customers love is money. Like I said, I'm not getting out yet. I can't. But I know I'm not wasting anymore money than I have to.

Dave...Holy crap........I could change some of your lines and it would be my life you wrote.............your 100% right on the money with what you write........like I posted before you can't stop the illegals, and they really are everywhere.........in the last month I have been able to secure 3 homes to mow for my Mexi buddy, how?

The price, 5 dollars cheaper, and these homeowners have used the other company for years........ha..........

Great post, I am going to print it, just to have it......:waving:

brucec32
09-18-2009, 05:34 PM
I have to laugh at the carpentry thing, it's gaining momentum! I think he said it wasn't carpentry but it keeps building anyway.

I have personally answered several of cooluv's questions in threads, some in great detail.

I have also told several posters asking questions to go find a job in the industry and come back when they're ready to own a business the right way. So in that regard I guess it isn't always "supportive" here. But like the 5 families said in the Godfather, "after all, we are not communists". In other industries it's understood that you can earn big $$$ consulting and showing others how to run a business. They wouldn't expect you to give it away for free.

The attitude of a lot of newcomers here seems to be "Gimmee gimmee gimmee". They'll have a 12 post count and 11 of them are direct questions about how to run a business. The word "forum" implies an EXCHANGE of information, not a student-teacher relationship. So for those who don't like that, go out and learn by doing, then come back as an equal and I'll help you out some. But the nakedness of some of the questions does remind me of a kid asking you to do his homework for him in school.

I have also made my share of sarcastic replies. But that's the best part of reading threads!

Coolluv, sometimes one has the wrong business niche' and doesn't realize it. You can be aiming at the wrong market and not realize how subtle the distinctions can be. It's actually quite complex figuring out what your market actually should be.

I'll give you one example. I can tell from looking at your coverage area, that is part of your problem. Plenty of customers? Sure. But also way too many good old boys, just the type who start up lawn businesses. Target a 100% white collar yuppie area where they won't start up lawn businesses if they become unemployed. And one that is far enough from your beer-money earning newfound competition that they won't bother with the drive.

There are about a half dozen other things but I need a major credit card before I go into that. : )

deitleman
09-18-2009, 06:51 PM
Coolluv- After reading your last response, I have a lot of respect for you. I'll admit your original thread pissed me off. Like you, I came from nothing, and started working in landscaping at 12 years old with an uncle. I've never stopped, also always having 2 jobs. The original thread seemed like nothing but complaints, and putting down the industry, this site, and the people on it. You often referenced reading comprehension, as if you believe most of us are just monkeys. As I wrote earlier, I put myself thru college landscaping. I wasn't handed anything. I worked my ass off making other people money, and paying my own rent, bills, college, etc. Anyhow, you can tell me to f off if you like, for what it's worth, I wish you well.

To Bruce: I'm new to the site, and new to the business side of landscaping. Not new at all to the work. Since finding this site, I've spent 99.9% of my time in the How to Start a Landscaping Business forum. That's where I need the help, and I'm happy to get all the free advise I can. Can you blame me? By the way, I believe this is my lucky 13th post... I'm catching up to you...

E.L.Co
09-18-2009, 06:57 PM
Well I have been looking into other ways to make a living. As I believe that this industry is so saturated that its nearly impossible to make a decent living at this. Sure if you have been around for a while you might be doing alright. I know there are some on here who have been at it for years and are established that are doing very well. But under the current economic situation and the ease of entry into this industry I believe its a losing battle.

I have visited other forums on a different industry that has my interest and its like night and day compared to this place. Everyone is very helpful and they are willing to share contracts, marketing ideas, tricks of the trade and so on. Not here! Sure I have read up on all the old post over the years and have learned a thing or two. But its amazing how different this other forum is. Maybe its this industry. How many times can you post about what mower should I get.

People on this forum don't share anything of any importance. Its dog eat dog. I guess its this industry and the type of people that are in it. Its refreshing to see that others are willing to help you succeed. You won't find that here. Smart ass remarks are most of what you get here. I have seen so much support on this other forum that it really made me laugh at this forum.

Not to mention the perception of this industry from people in general. Its not good. Unless you do landscaping and hardscapes and are a bigger company your just a monkey pushing a lawn mower. People just don't respect this industry. Especially the way things are now. Every one and their mother is a landscaper. I have a friend in this other industry that started out last year, he is doing very well. So I started to look into it and find forums about it. Its like a whole different world. Everyone is more than happy to help. I have yet to see one smartass remark or reply to anyones questions.

I have worked this part time for 2 years and this year I went full time out of necessity. I had high hopes. Well things went all right but not what I hoped for. I was thinking that I would revamp and really hit it hard next year. Lots of advertising. knocking on doors, going for commercial accounts. Investing in more equipment etc. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that sure I could do all that and maybe do all right. But for what. Bust my ass and work for peanuts? Prices are dropping like a rock in this industry and have been for years. Customers could care less about quality.

They want the cheapest company they can find. Lowballers, illegals, scumbags with no insurance how much can you take. Prices dropping and equipment prices rising every year. Profit margins getting slimmer and slimmer. I thought what the hell am I doing. Throwing good money to bad. Then you come here looking for ways to try and make it work and all you have is the same **** over and over. Nobody willing to share ideas or help one another. Just a bunch of dicks who think they are Donald trump.

Anyway, I'm looking at other interest and boy is it refreshing to see a totally different type of people who are more willing to help and are eager to see you succeed. Like I said before, I have a friend in this other industry and he makes more in a week with less hours than most on here make in months busting their ass. I'm not saying he doesn't work hard, but the financial rewards are far greater than this. Much more potential, not a saturated business and the potential for growth is greater and alot faster than this.

I'm sure this post will be deleted fairly quickly as the truth is not looked upon on here too kindly. This place is not about your success, its about selling dummies products.

So lets here from the peanut gallery, as long as this post is around. Which won't be that long.

Dave...

im with you on most of this brother...thats why im getting into irrigation and high end instasllations. Like ive said before, your competition in mowing is well EVERYONE find a trade where you have no competition, like pro cut. mowing does pay some bills and the upselling of other services is the creme filling

coolluv
09-18-2009, 08:12 PM
Coolluv- After reading your last response, I have a lot of respect for you. I'll admit your original thread pissed me off. Like you, I came from nothing, and started working in landscaping at 12 years old with an uncle. I've never stopped, also always having 2 jobs. The original thread seemed like nothing but complaints, and putting down the industry, this site, and the people on it. You often referenced reading comprehension, as if you believe most of us are just monkeys. As I wrote earlier, I put myself thru college landscaping. I wasn't handed anything. I worked my ass off making other people money, and paying my own rent, bills, college, etc. Anyhow, you can tell me to f off if you like, for what it's worth, I wish you well.

To Bruce: I'm new to the site, and new to the business side of landscaping. Not new at all to the work. Since finding this site, I've spent 99.9% of my time in the How to Start a Landscaping Business forum. That's where I need the help, and I'm happy to get all the free advise I can. Can you blame me? By the way, I believe this is my lucky 13th post... I'm catching up to you...

Ive got nothing against you or anyone else. I'm really a nice guy. Ive helped teach and promote people to foreman's positions and I'm more than happy to help others. Ive had people tell me I was the best boss they ever worked for.
I believe what comes around goes around. I don't cheat anyone or try to hurt anyone. Live and let live. I have been through alot in my life but it has only made me a better person. I don't use any of it as an excuse. Those that had a better start in life and parents to help them, should kiss their parents and thank their lucky stars.

I have been around long enough to know when I'm wasting my time. Some live in areas of the country where things are different. I have a beautiful home, and everything I want in life. I have a wife that loves me and has put up with my bullshit for long time. Thats what means the most to me at this time in my life. Time to spend with her. Time to enjoy life. I'm tired of no vacations and sacrificing. Money does not mean anything to me. I want to live a comfortable life and have time to do the things that make me happy. I want to own my own business to have time to enjoy life. Its not about the money. Its about quality of life. Things don't mean much to me these days. Time is priceless. Time to enjoy life.

I have a friend that was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. Last july to be exact. Last week he was told he has 6 months to live. He's 51 by the way. I know others that have cancer, and I know others that are not here anymore due to some sort of cancer. The best things in life are free. Family and friends are priceless. I thought this business would help me reach that goal. So far it hasn't worked out that way. I'm not lazy, I'm not stupid. To all of those that had the oppertunity to go to college or have their parents help.
You should kiss your parents and thank your lucky stars that you have not had to be in the position some of us have been in.

You don't know how good you have it. Don't judge a man until you walked a mile in his shoes.

Dave...

Toy2
09-18-2009, 09:13 PM
Your right about time, the older you get the faster it goes, I am blessed to have a wife that I met in 79 and married in 83.........God it seems like yesterday, things I would change, government job years ago, retired a young man and then do something like mow............but I have pushed the youngest of my boys to go to college........first one ever in my family to attend.......this is his 2nd year at A@M........he now knows that piece of paper will open so many doors, especially in Texas............and pay him well..........my oldest just lost his job, call center.......I'm pushing him to get on with the city, county, state, anything that has a retirement........

93Chevy
09-18-2009, 10:06 PM
I have to laugh at the carpentry thing, it's gaining momentum! I think he said it wasn't carpentry but it keeps building anyway.



Wow, I made one little joke and it multiplied. ;)

deitleman
09-18-2009, 10:48 PM
Ive got nothing against you or anyone else. I'm really a nice guy. Ive helped teach and promote people to foreman's positions and I'm more than happy to help others. Ive had people tell me I was the best boss they ever worked for.
I believe what comes around goes around. I don't cheat anyone or try to hurt anyone. Live and let live. I have been through alot in my life but it has only made me a better person. I don't use any of it as an excuse. Those that had a better start in life and parents to help them, should kiss their parents and thank their lucky stars.

I have been around long enough to know when I'm wasting my time. Some live in areas of the country where things are different. I have a beautiful home, and everything I want in life. I have a wife that loves me and has put up with my bullshit for long time. Thats what means the most to me at this time in my life. Time to spend with her. Time to enjoy life. I'm tired of no vacations and sacrificing. Money does not mean anything to me. I want to live a comfortable life and have time to do the things that make me happy. I want to own my own business to have time to enjoy life. Its not about the money. Its about quality of life. Things don't mean much to me these days. Time is priceless. Time to enjoy life.

I have a friend that was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. Last july to be exact. Last week he was told he has 6 months to live. He's 51 by the way. I know others that have cancer, and I know others that are not here anymore due to some sort of cancer. The best things in life are free. Family and friends are priceless. I thought this business would help me reach that goal. So far it hasn't worked out that way. I'm not lazy, I'm not stupid. To all of those that had the oppertunity to go to college or have their parents help.
You should kiss your parents and thank your lucky stars that you have not had to be in the position some of us have been in.

You don't know how good you have it. Don't judge a man until you walked a mile in his shoes.

Dave...

I can appreciate all that you wrote, as I have a wife and 2 kids. Very sorry to hear about your friend.

TheC-Master
09-18-2009, 10:55 PM
Well you don't know anything about me. You say I seem like someone looking for a quick fix. Nothing could be further from the truth. You say I should look in the classifieds for a regular job where I could be supervised. What a joke. I never want to work for anyone ever again. I'm not the one that refers to us as monkeys, that is public opinion. I have worked hard all my life. My parents didn't have their own business. My parents were dirt poor barely making ends meet. I started working for neighbors shoveling snow, mowing grass and doing yard cleanups when I was 11 years old. I delivered newspapers from 12 to 16 (300 customers) by myself. Ive worked 2 and 3 jobs at times when I was young only to have my parents take my money to help feed and support the family.

I never had new cloths or shoes and wore hand me downs from my older brother. I walked to work until I was 18 and could finally afford a truck. A truck that I had to install a clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing in before I could even drive it. Which I did myself with no ones help. I worked construction and busted my ass doing everything from walking miles behind a paving machine on 330 degree asphalt all day busting my ass, to standing knee deep in human **** helping fix broken sewer lines. Ive laid pipe and shoveled more dirt that most have seen in there life.

I worked my way up from a laborer to a project superintendent with no college degree. College yeah right. I had no time to go to college. I had to worry about making money and taking care of myself. Nobody was going to do that for me. Ive been in charge of multi million dollar jobs where it was my skill and knowledge that made the project sink or swim. I have had millions of dollars worth of equipment under my supervision with 6 to 8 crews. I'm proud of that. I learned everything I could from anyone willing to share information. Which usually was not very many people. I learned to operate as many pieces of equipment I could. Theres not much I can't operate. Ive worked on residential, commercial and Heavy Highway work. Ive worked 60 to 80 hour weeks for as long as I can remember. Heck I don't need an alarm clock because I'm so used to getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning that most of the time I get up before the alarm goes off. Ive been going to work before the sun comes up and coming home at dark for as long as I can remember. Get home at 7 or 8 eat supper and fall asleep on the couch and do it all over again. No weekends off. Most Saturdays I was out working at my regular job or cutting grass.

Am I afraid of hard work, Yeah right. 10 years ago I moved halfway across the country away from my friends and family to find work. Ive missed family functions and parties and graduations because of work. I missed my father dying because of being out of town on work. So don't assume you know anything about me Johnny. And as far as my business goes, I worked 50 and 60 hours weeks and then worked on the weekends doing lawn maintenance. I do the sales, I do the books, I fix the equipment etc. I'm done working for other people and not having a life.

You guys in other states think you have competition. You don't have a clue. Come on down here and see what real competitions like. I don't mind competition but when no one is playing by the rules except a few, it makes it hard. Thousands upon thousands of illegal Mexicans are living here and more coming everyday. I never knew what that was like until I came here. Some of you think because you have a small amount that have moved to your area you think you know what I mean. No you don't. Its not just them, its all the other scumbags with no insurance or license etc. You think your area is bad, you don't have a clue.

But you know what? There coming to a town near you. We will see how many customers you lose to them. Think it won't happen. Think again. But I do good work and my customers love me. The only thing your customers love is money. Like I said, I'm not getting out yet. I can't. But I know I'm not wasting anymore money than I have to.

Dave...
You live in GA too, ha, yea it is bad... sorry I know EXACTLY where you are coming from, they do jobs so cheap it's sad.

Total Grounds Maintenance
09-18-2009, 11:20 PM
Maybe your first post should have been like: thanks for the ride but its time for me to get off......But it sounded like something else and that is your prerogative. Sounds like your burned out from all the hassles of running your own business that has difficulties at times as well as aggravations. In this business you are always chasing a buck and that is just the way it is. It does get disheartening sometimes when you see the lines on guys faces that have been at this a long time and they are no farther than when they started 15 years ago.


Good luck in all that you decide to do.

starry night
09-18-2009, 11:46 PM
No one can take away your business if do not have any competition.
Google "Blue Ocean Strategy."

Knight511
09-18-2009, 11:56 PM
lawn service is bad everywhere. More people out of work desperate to put food on their families' table... they are willing to do whatever it takes.

I have been doing this part-time for 13 years... I don't have a mower that costs thousands... I don't have a gas guzzling truck to tow my 35' trailer... I started by carrying my equipment around in my hands. I have been known to throw my crap in the back of a hatchback to haul it. I don't steal yards from the LCOs around me... I have had the same customers for 8+ years now. I am not Mexican nor am I uneducated (as so many make us parttimers out to be).

Some things that I find about internet forums that rings true in ANY case where egos are involved:

1. Brand X (the one I own) is the most superior brand on earth.
2. Your opinion does not count.
3. Don't bother asking any questions. You will only be told to search or insulted... at least until your post count is some where above 500.
4. Your e-***** is tiny.
5. Forums come with super tall soap boxes.

and the most importantof them all

6. This is the internet. Thee internet is full of assholes. Learn to not take things personally.

I will say that I have PMed certain people with specific questions... usually folks from my area... and in those private conversations, I have gotten MUCH better answers than hours of searching and reading.

Life is too short to take the internet this serious... just let it go... relax... life is much better if you do.

*trucewhiteflag*

brucec32
09-19-2009, 12:09 PM
Reading further replies these came to mind:

1. The C-Master. Your part of GA isn't all of GA. Business is surprisingly healthy where I operate. I expected worse by now. You get on the fringes of Atlanta's exurbs and yes, I imagine it is a problem. That was why I mentioned it as a possible problem for coolluv in my earlier post. Operate where the customers are plentiful and the competition is less so. Figure out what market segment isn't being hammered by others and grab it. hint: the full service "lawn stylist" for McMansions approach is saturated, btw.

2. To the poster who said he felt sorry for guys were were no further along than 15 years ago when they started. Some people don't want to be further along 15 years later. They're happy doing what they do. They got into this to avoid the hassles and constant conflict that come with a growing business and becoming a "businessman". I was a "businessman" working for others and I am certainly not going to recreate that lifestyle just to make a little more money. I'm always amused that people choose to try to get "big" and rich in an industry that has low barriers to entry, a labor supply crisis, highly seasonal work that makes it hard to retain experienced workers, relatively low profit margins, and (if hiring people) relatively high capital costs to expand. Meanwhile, someone who rents a $500/month office, spends $10,000 on office equipment, and gets to hire interesting, educated motivated people(his peers), can quadruple your sales volume in a white collar business and never have to break a sweat, leave the office, or deal with sorry workers. And he can do it working bankers hours.

Harley-D
09-19-2009, 12:56 PM
I do enjoy this industry...but if i ever had the chance to go back the the big ten school i graduated from and pick another major, i would in a heartbeat. This industry is as simple as a guy with a pushmower and as complicated as a superintedent at a course in the transition zone trying to grow bentgrass. My point is that other industries have a floor. That guy pushing the mower is not even considered part of their industry. Unfortunately, here he is and i know a lot of guys that bothers. I have a buddy in petroleum engineering, which i could have done in hindsight, that may not love his job as much but he doesn't worry about money, doesn't work 60+ hrs/week, and is considered a professional by his peers. My two cents. No regrets now and no reason to *****.

coolluv
09-19-2009, 08:45 PM
Reading further replies these came to mind:

1. The C-Master. Your part of GA isn't all of GA. Business is surprisingly healthy where I operate. I expected worse by now. You get on the fringes of Atlanta's exurbs and yes, I imagine it is a problem. That was why I mentioned it as a possible problem for coolluv in my earlier post. Operate where the customers are plentiful and the competition is less so. Figure out what market segment isn't being hammered by others and grab it. hint: the full service "lawn stylist" for McMansions approach is saturated, btw.

2. To the poster who said he felt sorry for guys were were no further along than 15 years ago when they started. Some people don't want to be further along 15 years later. They're happy doing what they do. They got into this to avoid the hassles and constant conflict that come with a growing business and becoming a "businessman". I was a "businessman" working for others and I am certainly not going to recreate that lifestyle just to make a little more money. I'm always amused that people choose to try to get "big" and rich in an industry that has low barriers to entry, a labor supply crisis, highly seasonal work that makes it hard to retain experienced workers, relatively low profit margins, and (if hiring people) relatively high capital costs to expand. Meanwhile, someone who rents a $500/month office, spends $10,000 on office equipment, and gets to hire interesting, educated motivated people(his peers), can quadruple your sales volume in a white collar business and never have to break a sweat, leave the office, or deal with sorry workers. And he can do it working bankers hours.

Well I used to travel all over Atlanta everyday and I have not found that area you speak of. Everywhere from Woodstock to Buckhead to Alpharetta to Smyrna,where ever, you see tons of LCO's. You know I never paid attention to LCO's until I became one. Its funny how you don't notice things like that. In my regular job I used to travel on a daily basis all around Atlanta at all hours of the day going from one job to another and then drive back to the first job and then finally home. LCO's are like ticks on a coon hound in every area that I have seen. I wish I knew where this place was that you speak of. In fact I think its actually worse in the areas that are more affluent. Most peoples mind set is that they are the ones spending money and can afford the services. Which is logical. But you will trip and break a leg getting around all the LCO's in that same area.


I posted a few weeks back about being down off of exit 10 on 400. I went down to give a lady an estimate. It was farther than I liked, but I figured I could use the work and maybe next year pick up some accounts in that area to justify the drive. In other words I would be willing to lose money on this just to get established further south from me. If I remember it was early afternoon and I got off the exit and had to go about 5 miles east and then turn off and go a few more miles. In the time I drove those 5 miles I must have counted 10 or 15 LCO's. Then I turned off and continued to where I was going (maybe 3 or 4 more miles) and every sub. I looked down into I saw an LCO working. I literally busted out laughing in the truck.

You want to know the funniest thing was when I arrived at the house I was going to, there was an LCO cleaning up debris and trimming bushes right next door. In fact we chatted briefly before I left. Then on the way back to 400 I saw at least 10 more. Now I know some of you on here are thinking, man that Dave is one bullshitting S.O.B. But Bruce knows I'm not talking ****. I was laughing so hard driving back home. Its that bad around here. No ****.

Please tell me where this LCO dream area is. I would love to know.

Dave...

Toy2
09-19-2009, 09:24 PM
Well I used to travel all over Atlanta everyday and I have not found that area you speak of. Everywhere from Woodstock to Buckhead to Alpharetta to Smyrna,where ever, you see tons of LCO's. You know I never paid attention to LCO's until I became one. Its funny how you don't notice things like that. In my regular job I used to travel on a daily basis all around Atlanta at all hours of the day going from one job to another and then drive back to the first job and then finally home. LCO's are like ticks on a coon hound in every area that I have seen. I wish I knew where this place was that you speak of. In fact I think its actually worse in the areas that are more affluent. Most peoples mind set is that they are the ones spending money and can afford the services. Which is logical. But you will trip and break a leg getting around all the LCO's in that same area.


I posted a few weeks back about being down off of exit 10 on 400. I went down to give a lady an estimate. It was farther than I liked, but I figured I could use the work and maybe next year pick up some accounts in that area to justify the drive. In other words I would be willing to lose money on this just to get established further south from me. If I remember it was early afternoon and I got off the exit and had to go about 5 miles east and then turn off and go a few more miles. In the time I drove those 5 miles I must have counted 10 or 15 LCO's. Then I turned off and continued to where I was going (maybe 3 or 4 more miles) and every sub. I looked down into I saw an LCO working. I literally busted out laughing in the truck.

You want to know the funniest thing was when I arrived at the house I was going to, there was an LCO cleaning up debris and trimming bushes right next door. In fact we chatted briefly before I left. Then on the way back to 400 I saw at least 10 more. Now I know some of you on here are thinking, man that Dave is one bullshitting S.O.B. But Bruce knows I'm not talking ****. I was laughing so hard driving back home. Its that bad around here. No ****.

Please tell me where this LCO dream area is. I would love to know.

Dave...
In the city I live in the pop. is 13000, with that said, I have seen on a given Saturday 8 to 12 trucks with mowers, one of those being my Mexi buddy.......so I believe your area is exploding with so called LCO's.....