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View Full Version : So Far I have done Everything Wrong...


roboton
11-26-2003, 12:04 AM
So, I have been a Web Application developer for five years. Last year I decided to get the old Toro commercial Recycler 2 from my Dad and try to pick up a few odd mowing jobs here and there. My father had a landscape maintenance + window cleaning business that I worked at all through high school and some of college, so he still had some of his old gear left over.

So I talked to a property manager acquaintence of mine and let him know I could do some weekend mowing, when he says to me "I'm looking to find a new landscape company, my current guy just doesn't do *enough* work...I'm willing to pay more, but he just won't do it." I just stood there realizing the opportunity before me, and went out, secured a loan, got a truck and trailer and insurance and went off. Had a sweet deal where I could do the landscaping three days a week and do my regular web-development job the other 2 as a consultant.

Well, let me say that running my own full-service landscape contracting firm has been a tough PITA. I have made enough mistakes to lose this contract five times over. I think that my client respects the fact that when I make a mistake, I try to immediately correct it and not get defensive, and that at 29, I am younger than most of the guys out there running a crew.

Let's see, I did not start with a business plan or enough capital, did not save any money, have no clue what my real operational expenses are, and best yet, I LOST THE WEB CONSULTING GIG. So that means I lost half my living income, and here winter is coming on and I am feverishly trying to expand my landscape company for spring. I have buckled down, I am getting a growth strategy together, and trying like mad to hang on to my house, car, etc. Perhaps I am going to get some crappy part time job to get a little cash-flow going. Who knows? But DAMN! it feels great.

Back to those excel spreadsheets......

-Greg Morgan

gogetter
11-26-2003, 12:10 AM
Well Greg, you came to the right place. Welcome. Now use the heck out of the search button, you gotta lot of reading to catch up on. ;)

olderthandirt
11-26-2003, 12:21 AM
You only think you did everything wrong. Only time will tell, maybe this yrs. screw up will give you a life time of experience of things not to do. and if thats the case you did just fine. Think Positive

Mac

Rustic Goat
11-26-2003, 01:15 AM
Mistakes are usually the best way to learn as long as you don't keep repeating them.
So, what's on the drawing board for Spring?

roboton
11-26-2003, 07:50 PM
Well, I spoke with my main client today, went over the quality of my work, and areas I could improve on. I let him know that I was working on a growth strategy. We are meeting for lunch in a week or so-and he is willing to begin referring me to new potential clients! So, things will definitely get better from here. Now I have to bust *** and hold it all together.

I was reading somewhere on this site where a guy has a piece of paper with "DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID" written on it. I think I like that.....

olderthandirt
11-26-2003, 08:20 PM
Quit stressing yourself out, last yr you could have put alittle more thought into a plan and now you know it. Now don't go the other way, spending all your time looking over spread sheats trying to figure out how to get rich keep it real simple this yr. And enjoy, if you pay your bills and can afford food you had a good yr. Fun being your own boss!


Mac

roboton
11-26-2003, 08:32 PM
thanks, I really appreciate that advice!

-Greg