View Full Version : Are there any guys that run their business 100% meaning maintenance, taxes, etc???

06-14-2011, 08:31 PM
My business is at the Medium and I find it hard to do things all by myself. I mean I come home after a long day and do paper work like billing even though I use quick books, estimates, setting dates for projects, what has to been done tomorrow, and so on. Like now I have to fix a ball joint, a stripped fuel filter, grease the mower, change belts, you get the idea. My question is, is it a healthy business ethic to try and do everything by yourself??

AI Inc
06-14-2011, 08:34 PM
hell no.......

06-14-2011, 08:36 PM
hell no.......

So what is the outcome if I try and handle everything by myself? I'm guessing I would snap, have a heart attack, or fail?

06-14-2011, 08:37 PM
no its not good, that's why there's so much burnout in this, but I do it all also.

06-14-2011, 08:44 PM
Not good, get some one to help like a book keeper , or take your stuff to a shop

06-14-2011, 08:58 PM
Don't work so hard, raise your prices a little, sleep in some, take a chill, sit down, rest up some, there,
you see now why I don't think mowing 400 lawns a day is very good, I did 2 today, are you feeling better?

06-14-2011, 09:10 PM
It is a matter of perspective. I do mostly everything BUT I do have some help. My wife does the books so that is a huge timesaver. Otherwise she will help me in the field occasionally with mowing but I do everything else myself. I really don't mind as I know I am saving money and I don't feel overwhelmed. You sound like its starting to get to you. If all your time is occupied with the business I would say you are going to have to get some help somewhere or sharpen your skills to do things more efficiently. Easier said than done however.
Some days are rotten and others are great but that is the business. The more you can do yourself the more in your pocket but if you don't have time to enjoy life all the money in the world means nothing. Good Luck.

06-14-2011, 09:35 PM
Don't work so hard, raise your prices a little, sleep in some, take a chill, sit down, rest up some, there,
you see now why I don't think mowing 400 lawns a day is very good, I did 2 today, are you feeling better?

Dont strain yourself....If you had as much ambition for being successful as you do telling people how much you know and how great you are, you would be a millionaire.

To the OP...you have to try to handle everything just starting out. The hardest guy to hire is your first, after that, just keep going. Pretty soon you will be brickman. I am just a small guy 4 guys work for me and I put in anywhere from 70-90 hours a week this time of year. It will slow down and next thing you know it will be winter....I still go to my shop every day just to feel productive but I'm really not working...tinkering more than anything.....but that's when I get my break.

If you bust a*s now it will pay off...What is the alternative? try to get to 30,000 posts. Do what you can as you need help doing this and that you find the right people.

06-14-2011, 09:43 PM
I feel your pain. I do it all myself. I do have a part time guy in the summer, but he is a high school baseball player and has summer ball. My fiance works as a teacher out of time so she is gone too. I hear it when I need to do book work at night and she wants to hang out. On top of that she's at the beach this week with some friends and we just moved into a new house.

I would love to have a full time guy to run a friday route or something. That would allow me to do estimates, bookwork, etc. I just don't have the current business to support me and a helper.

If I could only pick up another $400-600 a week I could hire another guy.

Get Some...
06-14-2011, 10:18 PM
Better to work smart than hard......

Maintaining your own equipment. Service a mower and a few handheld's in an hour, and save a couple of hundred buck's.

Keeping an eye on the book's, money and bottom line yourself.

Hiring a few helper's for a labor intensive job.

Trying to mow as many yard's as possible for whatever cheap payment you can recieve.

Just mowing and missing out on the better paying landscape maintanence and install job's.

Being too busy mowing for cheap money to take the time to maintain your own equipment.

Trying to do labor intensive job's alone.........


06-14-2011, 10:46 PM
My wife faxs stuff anf I do everything else.

06-14-2011, 11:32 PM
I think it boils down to your personal pain threshold (physically and mentally), and what type of personality you are. Are you the type of guy that is a perfectionist, and everything must be done his way? Are you laid back, and easy going? Do you thrive in chaos? Micro-manager? Multi-tasker? Properly delegate tasks and jobs? Good Communicator?

The reason I say this, is I've seen successful solo guys hire a few employees and fall apart. I don't know of anyone who have had employees and went solo (besides of getting out of the business all-together), but I do hear some of them whine a-lot.

I think it just comes down to what type of person you are, and then you can structure your business around you and your family. Remember, work to live, don't live to work.

06-14-2011, 11:46 PM
How big would Microsoft be if Bill Gates did everything himself? Just a though. Also, how big would Microsoft be if Bill Gates hired way to many employees and went bankrupt?

I guess you just need to find the balance to be most efficient and most profitable.

06-15-2011, 12:14 AM
I do everything myself........unless it's something out of the ordinary. Then, I sub some work.

Most of the LCO's around here are 2 man "Crews". I think these guys around here are just happy not being alone.....lol.

Can 2 men make more money than 1? Sure. Can 1 of them KEEP more than the "other guy" (solo operator) is keeping?

Jury's still out on most.

Mr. Magpie
06-15-2011, 12:26 AM
I do 100% by myself, and my business alone supports my wife and 2 girls.

One way I do it: I have only billed a handful of customers in the past 5 years. My secret: I adjust payments to a uniform monthly payment and assign a day of the month to send payment. My customers literally mail me checks every month all on their own.

Also, I have a tight route and my equipment just always works for the past 8 years. SPindles take an hour to replace, Sharpening blades takes 20 min a week, I clean the exhaust port on my trimmer once every 3 months. Maybe that is because I only gross $60k/yr and my taxable income is usually about $45k. I have 75 customers, work between 14 and 21 hours a week almost all maintenance, some clean ups and side jobs.

THe point is, it can be done , and believe it or not, I actually enjoy it. I keep the dust out of my face and nose, the sun off me, I wear breathable clothes, drink water that is the proper temperature and do not eat big meals while working..... it can be done.

06-15-2011, 12:32 AM
Ahh, the perils of owning your own business. Yes I feel your pain and yes I do all of that. It is hard after a long summers day to come home and do everything.

But, I always tell myself its better than having a Leonard Lard butt boss over your back all day. And its the cost of being an entrepreneur. Any really successful business owner will tell you that they got to where they are by hard work.

lawnboy dan
06-15-2011, 07:31 AM
100% here. this way you know how you really stand in the game

06-15-2011, 07:38 AM
maybe get a helper to help out with the lawns on some days so that you have more time to do everything else

06-16-2011, 02:03 AM
Mr. Magpie,
You need to write a book on your method.

Richard Martin
06-16-2011, 03:52 AM
I do everything but drop the deposit at the bank. I do fill out the deposit slip though. I've been at this a long time though and I think I've gotten everything down to a science.

06-16-2011, 07:15 AM
My advice to you is get the hell out of "middle size". In this business middle size kills. Either stay small or go big.

The reason being, expenses practically double with an employee, and unless you go from 60 propertys to 120, those expenses will slowly eat at your profit.

Just a little tip i have from experience.
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AI Inc
06-16-2011, 07:49 AM
So what do you guys do on those days ya just dont realy feel like working, but still want to make money?

2 clowns mowing
06-16-2011, 08:00 AM
keep in mind, good help is very hard to find.

Exact Rototilling
06-17-2011, 11:37 AM
It is a matter of perspective. I do mostly everything BUT I do have some help. My wife does the books so that is a huge timesaver. Otherwise she will help me in the field occasionally with mowing but I do everything else myself. ....snip.....

Count your blessings brother. I only wish this was the case for me. I'm only doing this so my son can have mom and dad under the same roof. Not even sure that is good reason anymore. I just can't except to get custody running like this.

I'm running at my maximum upper limit with the lawn biz and my other business due to scheduling conflicts with my other business, weather issue etc. Been running 7 days a week for well over 6 weeks now with less than ideal sleep due to late nights with non lawn business. Stumble out on fragmented mowing route when I'm done with other business. Mowing route will not be cleaned up and consolidated on proper days until July.

I watch no TV and lawnsite is my only diversion and try to only be on here when I'm on the throne via mobile device or little pockets of time when I'm waiting for files to process for my other business.

I want my life back. I'm seriously considering pricing my self out of mowing and eliminating snow removal.

06-17-2011, 04:11 PM
i do it all myself...but i don't over burden myself either...got to know when to say when...you get to a point where you have to back off and not accept any more work or if you wanna get bigger and grow then you have to hire people to help.

06-17-2011, 11:37 PM
run for office do little and recieve much.remember your hard work pays for others welfare food stamps pensions and about another million perks.

06-17-2011, 11:48 PM
So what do you guys do on those days ya just dont realy feel like working, but still want to make money?

I have those days, mostly only the days that end in Y. So I just sit and think for a few minutes on it and make a decision.

06-18-2011, 11:46 AM
My job is to get the work and my employees job is to get it done. Doing everything yourself doesn't do anything but limit what you can do and how much you can make. I have good employee's who do good work and show up when they are supposed to.

lawnboy dan
06-18-2011, 07:57 PM
i never get tired of work and thank the starts that i am working for my self and not some nimrod