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View Full Version : mistakes this season?


K.Carothers
12-10-2004, 06:06 PM
Now that the season is over, what did or didn't you do that you are going to change next year? I can say that I tried to grow way to fast. This was my second season and I tried to get as many customers as possible. All I was looking at was the$$$. I didn't have any problem building my cutting customer base to 67 lawns but the work load was unmanageable. I didn't take in consideration that these customers needed other work done. I promised the world"yes Mr. Jones we can trim up ALL your hedges....next week" Next week comes, we are backed up, Pull up to Mr.Jones(praying he is not home), he is and I do the old I'll be back in 2-3 days. 7 days later we pull up to Mr. Jones backed up once again and so on...... I have to be honest and say I did this more than once. I didn't intentionally mean to put these customers off I just didn't manage my business the way I should have and I do know better than this. Next year I am concentrating on less customers and more services to these customers allowing me to build a solid foundation instead of "mass customers" that you can't give 100%

J Hisch
12-10-2004, 06:20 PM
If you are going to be full service I have found it helpful to have a crew to hedge, mulch, annuals, sprinkler maint, and lawn Care apps. I know the feeling..

TURF DOCTOR
12-10-2004, 06:28 PM
Stay focused every second, stay driven, work smart.

Expert Lawns
12-10-2004, 06:31 PM
The one thing I want to do differently next is put more time and money into advertising. I rely pretty much on beginning of the year flyers. After that it's pretty much word-of-mouth, referrals, and my truck lettering to bring in more customers.

rodfather
12-10-2004, 06:35 PM
Mistake I made? Hmmm, not selling out and semi-retiring when I had the chance...

tiedeman
12-10-2004, 06:49 PM
I have made the mistake too of getting too big too fast before. That was when I had to hire my first employee. Not fun at all. Pace yourself and know your limits that you can provide to customers in the amount of customers and the quality of service

YardPro
12-10-2004, 06:52 PM
do a little advertiving is select areas. we have done none in the last 6 years

Expert Lawns
12-10-2004, 07:06 PM
Stay focused every second, stay driven, work smart.

very good advice

yardpro, when i advertise, i usually have a target area. most of the time it is in/near neighborhoods that i already have a few accounts in. i like a tight route. this is why i'm not in the yellow pages nor do i do newspaper ads. it's too unpredictible

K.Carothers
12-10-2004, 07:09 PM
do a little advertiving is select areas. we have done none in the last 6 years

YardPro, not advertising in 6 years and still in business means you are doing some good work. Are you planning on developing another crew next season or has you business slowed down and need fresh accounts?

YardPro
12-10-2004, 07:09 PM
we do NO advertising.
our yellow page listing is only what you get for free with the commercial phone line.

we have a few areas that we are trying to get into. but they are about a 15 min ride ( a long way out for us).
lots of really nice homes with year around residents.

Woody82986
12-10-2004, 07:26 PM
I will advertise more in 05 than I did in 04.

Sir mowsalot
12-10-2004, 07:26 PM
The one thing i did change this year was, to start billing my customers on a monthly basis. I thank lawnsite for this. I used to get my money every week which meant having to deal with most of the customers, which in turn meant all the time it consumed. After taking advice on this site, i dont even hardly see my customers anymore(although they are great customers) which means my day is shorter. Thanks for the advice everyone, it really helped me.

baddboygeorge
12-10-2004, 07:31 PM
you have to decide between the two or get 2 crews an become a full service contractor . when ya start putting your customers off they start looking for a new service provider , thats the fact . i changed my whole company around a long time ago due to this . i was cutting 120 plus properties a week an killing myself an my guys an after payroll an equipment costs i was just getting by . i cut those properties down to 47 full service contracts , got rid of half of my equipment an employees an tripled my earnings . now thats managing your time an money . i see alot of guys jumping in this businees an mowing an thats fine,, its just hard for me to understand why you would spend 5000 to cut a 25 dollar yard ,, when you can buy a 10 dollar shovel a do 5000 a week in landscaping !! any more questions please ask !! thanks george

alpine692003
12-10-2004, 08:45 PM
Hmmm, lets see...

Few jobs were bidded low and I lost major on that, I went negative..

Other then that, everything went smooth from there..


Next year I would like a dedicated full service crew, that does lawns, hedges, flowerbeds, the whole works..

PLI1
12-10-2004, 09:27 PM
My biggest mistake this year was working too hard and too many hours. I am at the point where I need to hire a good person to start handling things to ease my burden. This may be easier said than done. I have 6 employees now and I don't want to grow much more, I just want to rearrange things so I'm not killing myself. I golfed about half as much as I did the year before and only fished twice. I made tons of $ this year, but my quality of life wasn't too good. I'm praying I have most of my crew back next year since they have become well trained and I didn't have to babysit too much the second half of the season. I guess in one sentence, next year I want to work smarter not harder!

bobbygedd
12-10-2004, 09:45 PM
i made no mistakes, have no regrets, made more than any other year, and exceeeded my 2004 goals. praise jesus

coastallandscapesolutions
12-10-2004, 11:14 PM
Mistake I made? Hmmm, not selling out and semi-retiring when I had the chance...


Yea... right. It is in your vains. When you get cut blood doesn't come out but grass seed does. Semi-retiring right back into what you love.... :p

I thought the same thing and sold out. Then I thought ok... a couple of yards. Well that is gone to the wayside now. What did change is that I will not work 7 days a week anymore. I raised my rates to reduce the volume and it backfired. Now we have more work then ever. I am off Sat & Sun. Wed. afternoon is golf day and Thursday late afternoon is when a bunch of us get together and ride our Harleys. I still work a 50 hour week but now I have scheduled play time.

Semi-retired..... keep thinking that..... payup

coastallandscapesolutions
12-10-2004, 11:33 PM
Regrets:

Not delegating more responsibility to my two foreman

Not hiring a Sales Person

Not buying a 5 acre tract of land to set up a greenhouse operation (It was a foreclosure that sold for $8500).

Not managing my time more effectively.

Withholding $$$ for equipment purchases and saving it for a rainy day, i.e. if I had purchased our Bobcat A300 in Spring I could of added another $100K of business.

AEW
12-10-2004, 11:44 PM
I am 21 and feel like I have not pursued enough business. Since I was 15 or so I have been mowing and am in college now (graduating next December). This was the first year I did any advertising and was able to double my residential yards. I am really confident in my work and want to be able to keep growing. Next year I am looking into doing commercial work and even have a nice 5 acre movie theater lined up and 2 small apartment complexes interested but waiting until January for the contract... anyways wish me luck. I know I do not want too much work but I just hope to get a good foot in the door to be able to keep growing.

K.Carothers
12-11-2004, 01:06 AM
i made no mistakes, have no regrets, made more than any other year, and exceeeded my 2004 goals. praise jesus

Bobby, do you really mean what you say? It's hard to believe that you made no mistakes. Enlighten us on a mistake so we can better ourselves,thats what this site is about, isn't it?

HOOLIE
12-11-2004, 01:18 AM
You gotta love Bobby. If he made a mistake I'm sure he corrected it with the shovel.

Me, I just had a general slacking off this whole year. Not one particular area, just didn't have my A game with me. Need to rekindle the fire. Got a lot of ideas and scenarios floating around in my head for 2005.

Turfcutters Plus
12-11-2004, 02:01 AM
No regrets.Best year i've had in 15 years.I plan on doing exactly what i did this year. :cool2: :p

alpine692003
12-11-2004, 02:03 AM
Why dont you share with us, what you did this year?
:cool2:

dcondon
12-11-2004, 06:19 PM
I have made the mistake too of getting too big too fast before. That was when I had to hire my first employee. Not fun at all. Pace yourself and know your limits that you can provide to customers in the amount of customers and the quality of service

MISTAKES..... what about the tree and the power cord :waving: J/K Troy