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  #1  
Old 01-19-2013, 01:35 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Thinking of starting up again

Last year my business was a failure, but been milling it around in my head to start up again this year. Its been on my mind and has been keeping me up at night.

I still have most of the equipment to start up again, truck, 48in Scag wb, a kawi trimmer, and access to my original trailer that I started with (sold it to my brother). Would just need a blower, and eventually my own trailer, so start up cost is relatively low.

A few things that I'd change is use a different source of advertising/marketing instead of service magic, better control over money, find another truck to keep one for work the other for personal use (in a pinch as a back up), keep it stupid simple instead of overthinking everything, grow slow and end up getting stuck with its (meaning more control over bidding, physically walking the properties, more in depth with it period). Remember to relax and slow down once in a while.

The good thing is I have probably the best soon to be wife in the world. She already wants to help out, doing invoicing, wants to learn to do the bidding, answering phone calls and helping out in general. She's working as a teachers aide for special need kids and wants to get a teaching position.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2013, 01:52 AM
slowleak1 slowleak1 is offline
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My advise, and even to this day I contemplate doing this sometimes, is to start from scratch. Dont worry about a tailer, and 48" mower etc etc. Go get you an good 21 walk behind, 2 string trimmers, stick edger, blower of choice, and some basic hand tools. You would be amazed what you can do with just those few small things. Overhead is super low, and I bet you could knock out 8-10 yards a day.

Start from scratch and see where it leads you.

Me personally, I think about this just because I think it would be a fun challenge to see how low I could get my overhead and how much profit I could make all at the same time...I'm way past that stage in my biz, but I always think it would be cool to have minimal bills and high profits.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2013, 07:39 AM
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jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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Not everybody can use a 21" mower and a few month's back he was trying to sell his 21" mower. and yes get rid of service magic. From what I've heard you get more calls from them then anything. I would figure out why you failed, fix it and move forward. If not go and get a job. And good luck.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:03 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampy View Post
Last year my business was a failure, but been milling it around in my head to start up again this year. Its been on my mind and has been keeping me up at night.

I still have most of the equipment to start up again, truck, 48in Scag wb, a kawi trimmer, and access to my original trailer that I started with (sold it to my brother). Would just need a blower, and eventually my own trailer, so start up cost is relatively low.

A few things that I'd change is use a different source of advertising/marketing instead of service magic, better control over money, find another truck to keep one for work the other for personal use (in a pinch as a back up), keep it stupid simple instead of overthinking everything, grow slow and end up getting stuck with its (meaning more control over bidding, physically walking the properties, more in depth with it period). Remember to relax and slow down once in a while.

The good thing is I have probably the best soon to be wife in the world. She already wants to help out, doing invoicing, wants to learn to do the bidding, answering phone calls and helping out in general. She's working as a teachers aide for special need kids and wants to get a teaching position.
Define fail.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2013, 05:06 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
Define fail.

fail
[feyl] Show IPA

verb (used without object)
1.
to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved: The experiment failed because of poor planning.

2.
to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination, class, or course of study: He failed in history.

3.
to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short: Our supplies failed.

4.
to dwindle, pass, or die away: The flowers failed for lack of rain.

5.
to lose strength or vigor; become weak: His health failed after the operation.

Pretty much sums up.

Call it a learning expirence, I stuck all my tiny advertising "eggs" into one basket (which half the reason I was lazy and really didn't want to deal with the leg work of it, the other half is service magic gets expensive fast and pretty much ran me broke before I caught on to what was happening). Route planning, it really wasn't a route and more of when was the last time I cut the place.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:34 PM
NOVAMowing NOVAMowing is offline
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Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
Define fail.
It must be nice to be so successful that you have free time to troll a hard working, humble, eager individual. Please omnipotent one, please PLEASE share more of your words of wisdom. Schlep.

At OP, only you can answer this. However, If you are looking for some encouraging words, I say 'If you know, you know' and if it is all you can think about day and night... you know. Having been on both sides, I will say that gainful self-employment is the most challenging, rewarding and frustrating thing you will ever do. Watch your money. Covet it. Do not buy anything until you have to. Year one (again) means no vacations and no new toys. Your credit is your lifeline; only use it as an absolute last option. Oh, and one other sentiment, disregard comments from those who try to hold you down. I do not know one single successful person in any industry who spends their time belittling people just starting out.

Cheers and keep us posted.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:49 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Thanks for the votes of confidence.

@Sean yes planning and planning, even worse case everything. One thing being a marine has taught me is that even the best laid plans can fail, adapt and overcome.

@NOVA a business is measured in success but the failures it has. Even though my first go at it was a complete failure, you get back up and get beat down again just to pick yourself up again to repeat that cycle. I was watching the TV show on the History Channel "The men who built America" and honestly I wishing they would get into more of their failures than successes. I'll keep you all posted on what goes on.

Thinking of taking a look into the local chamber of commerece, maybe joining to get some more local marketing ideas and the networking wouldn't hurt.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:16 PM
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Rick Grantham Rick Grantham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampy View Post
Thanks for the votes of confidence.
Thinking of taking a look into the local chamber of commerece, maybe joining to get some more local marketing ideas and the networking wouldn't hurt.
Swampy- I completely agree with the approach of joining the local chamber of commerce. Socialize where your customers socialize. Get to know them, have a beer/coffee with them at the Chamber of Commerce or wherever they are. You want them to get to know your face/name. That's a relatively inexpensive exercise.

Rick
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:43 PM
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UniqueLawn&LandscapeTN UniqueLawn&LandscapeTN is offline
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I'm in the same situation as you are Swampy, I failed last year...well I made money, I just failed at my personal goals and didnt see the growth and prosperity I was expecting.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:43 PM
Schuley Schuley is offline
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Sounds like the basics are what you are struggling with. Have you thought about working for someone else then easing into self employment? I hate to say it but knowing how to mow doesn't mean you can work for yourself. There is a ton more "business" stuff to know to make it, mowing is a small part of it.
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