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Old 10-23-2011, 10:44 PM
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Birmingham,MI
Posts: 1,414
Originally Posted by rlmlandscape View Post
Nice looking work delong. Its good to see another young guy out here doing top quality work and keeping up a quality company image. What year is this for you as an actual company.
This is year two legal. We've had our ups and downs and this year was a huge 'get my foot in the door' with commercial property owners and developers around my area. I havent landed and huge accounts yet but they are in the mix for this winter and next year hopefully. We triples our sales and hit 100k in sales within the first 3 months of work which was quite amazing for me. It has majorly been thanks to advertising and referrals from some of our installs.

Along with all the big growth it has been the hardest year so far that i have had to drop classes at school which i really didnt want to do. This year (last 3 months) was a huge "what do i want to do the rest of my life" type scenario. I feel like i am getting burned out very quick and its only my second year "full" part time. I worked 50-65 hour weeks from March 20th to around august 1st. Then took a long 2 week vacation with my gf into northern michigan. Thats when all the career questioning and future plans were mixing around in my head. It was so nice to be able to have an employee doing all the work but the headaches from owning your own business were killing me and the stress that everything is perfect and running like a well oiled machine got to me. Plus, trying to figure out what to do to go to school in the fall as well had me freaking out come august 20th when i got my schedule. 16 credits and almost all morning classes until 1. How the hell was i supposed to work and go to school.

Well to sum the story up. I ended up hiring another guy(which again i didnt want to do, but i figure he has two months to train with us for next season if we land those contracts) He is a hard worker but dumber than nails and we are slowly teaching him the ropes. With me somewhat out of the field focusing on school i realized that college is really what i need and its extremely hard to manage time with school and paperwork for business as well as working 20-25 hours a work in the field on installs and fixing equipment and quality control and estimates.

Here are my goals for the next 5 years:

1) Finish School (12-15 credits per semester) graduate in 4 1/2 years(rather than 4) with a Bachelors in Business with an emphasis on Finance and Economics
2) Build my business slowly but steadily. By the time i graduate i want to have 2 crews(one install only) (one maintenance only) Around 150 weekly accounts for good cash flow and 4 guys working for me. I want to keep the crews lean while still being able to get work done. And if the installs are slowing down i can have the install guys clean equipment, advertise and help the mowing guys out.
3) During school seasonnot summer) work as little as possible while managing the company still(10-15 hours max) to help focus on studies and get good grades.
4) After i graduate: Attempt to find a finance job with benefits and decent pay. That way i will have a consistent income, less headaches about money and to be able to afford to have kids(which i want very badly) I have always loved kids.

While still having the decent size company, and a degree i will have less stress in my life. The main cause of stress besides from the business has been all the competition and bids i have lost from being underbid. This became a horrible thought in my head every time i thought about landscaping and made me nervous about if i dont go to college and have no backup plan i will be a failure and not be able to support myself nor a wife or family. THAT IS WHY I AM GOING TO SCHOOL FULL TIME AND FOCUSING ON STUDIES. I found that i am great at getting A's in school, but my mental attention to the material i learned a year ago is horrible. I want to change that, i want to be able to be an expert in what i do and have the drive to do it, just need the time.

I love landscaping and that will always be there for me and that is why i want to keep the business, but my goals are there to back me up if landscaping in the future isnt economically and profitability sound. (if the way pricing has dropped in the last 3 years continues, i will be out of business way to soon)

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