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  #1  
Old 10-01-2013, 11:33 AM
matttt matttt is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Howdy from Texas

Hey all,

I have read many many threads on this forum and decided it's time to introduce myself.

The name is, obviously, Matt and I work in Southeast Texas. I have approximately 20 yards that I maintain and to date it's pretty much "good ole' boy" work (ie: no contracts, if the grass isn't growing they can ask me to skip a week, etc).

I have a full time desk job doing computer / internet marketing / web stuffs / anything else that's deemed appropriate (fixing iphone screens, etc). My typical day entails getting up around 5-5:30 AM to get myself and son ready for school when I have him, feeding the animals, and heading out to drop him at school. After the drop-off I rush to a yard and try to knock one out before my 8 AM (ish) show at my day job. Around lunchtime I sprint to another yard to fit it in (always late coming back) then work as usual 'til five o'clock then off to at least one or two others (soon to be only one with daylight hours waning).

Throw in a few days of rain and I'm immediately struggling. I sincerely enjoy the work and feel a need to do physical labor, but at times it is hard to keep up and causes some turmoil at the homestead working so much. I've been toying with the idea of bringing on help so that I can step back and nurture the business to see it grow.


I've been too busy to help it grow other than word of mouth and handing cards out to every person I meet.. I don't have enough to give a single person a full time job-- I'll be reading up a lot more on management software others are using (although I know I'm not big enough for that yet) , book keeping (also limited in that area as well) , bid/pay rates for yards and employees.

I am a tech type, but also very driven and not scared of manual labor as I've done pretty much every job there is (in, under, and above houses). I want to see my endeavor grow, and want to do things right....from weedeating in the right direction all the way to irrigation/chem applications.

Thanks for listening. I look forward to learning all I can.

-Matt
Lettuce Mow Lawn Services
'Lettuce Mow...so you don't have to!'
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2013, 02:29 PM
BlazersandWildcats2009's Avatar
BlazersandWildcats2009 BlazersandWildcats2009 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 187
Matt,

I look forward to seeing your post here. One thing I learned from this forum is everything. If you research and dig to the threads, you can find post dated back to 2004 covering almost everything. You sound very similar to me. I go to school and work on the computer doing freelance work all day long, from the early, early morning hours. (My alarm goes off at 3 a.m.) We both know, this worlds about technology and you know where the moneys at. But that does not go to say, there's not money in lawn and landscaping. I'm like you I love, enjoy, and have a passion for working with my hands, mowing, and just being outside in general. I know I'm well qualified to work on a computer, because it was a natural given talent. But my heart, enjoyment, and fulfillment comes from the outside labor. I take my computer work as a way to make it in today's world, but also made lawns and outdoors a hobby of mine. I love learning grasses, soil structures, and how grass grows in general, just as much as I love being outside cutting and trimming. I think with a balance of what you have going on, you've found there's money on both sides and you have two things that you can enjoy and benefit from by earning. I find myself to be the happiest I've ever been with the balance that I have and I can see how you think the same way. Welcome to the forum, start digging through post, getting involved, have discussions and debates, and you'll learn anything and everything about outdoors that you set your mind to. I know balancing two things like this, especially with children were pressed for time, but if you get a chance you can get a simple degree in landscaping for relatively cheap online, or you can perhaps learn it yourself just as easy online and on this forum if you have the mindset. Do a lot of research in the Agriculture Extensions, you can learn a lot of reliable information from there. Call them, ask questions, our tax dollars pay for them, so there's no point not to use them as a learning block. I wish you the best in your adventure, I think if you enjoy both worlds, and keep a steady balance you can be well off and live a very close to ideal life as you would like. I feel you on the early mornings, I always think of it as the "early bird gets the worm first." Good luck and look forward to seeing you around. Texan here also!
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  #3  
Old 10-01-2013, 02:50 PM
Weekend cut easymoney Weekend cut easymoney is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas-The Hilly part
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Welcome to the forum
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1989 BlueChevy 1500 Extended cab with FULL bed
1978 7ft Sears cargo trailer with added wood inserts to hold both my weedeaters
3 1976-83 vintage lawnboy lawnmowers with full self propel features as well as mulch kits
2 Sears electric weedeaters
1 green machine electric leaf blower
1 sears articulating hedge trimmer-electric
2 50ft power cords
3 Leaf rakes
1 shovel
1 pocket knife
cooler for beer
lawn chair to enjoy a beer while I wait for the cash to be handed to me
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2013, 07:03 PM
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easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
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I believe you may be mistaken by believing that taking on help will allow you to take a step back and nurture the business to see it grow. You sound like your currently working with a full plate ATM. You could take on help, however the plate could well become a platter before you know it. I believe if you do take on help you will need to give up the day job in order to dedicate enough time and effort into the future growth you have posted about. You will also need to consider your home life and time allowances for your child as he will continue to grow like a weed. Decisions are waiting to be made. All the best.
easy-lift guy
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2013, 11:25 AM
matttt matttt is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Thanks for the responses all.

Good to meet a tech workhorse from Texas! Thanks for the info and I'll def look into the Ag resources.

@easy-lift guy, I understand and know exactly what you mean by that... I gave up a life at the airlines to be at home with my family so I refuse to let another job do it for the rest of my life. I am no stranger to hard work or late hours and long days and I know it takes those while I'm still young....But I am looking to a future with my family. The lawn business venture is not about money ( although it will be a plus, but not required )---If it makes money, great. Right now I make under ~1000 extra (without deducting ANY expenses, so i probably pay to do them, honestly) a month doing it, but I have to catch up (or piss people off) from all of the rain. If that means creating a job for someone else that is willing to bust there hump and cut my own income...I am happy to do it.

I go home pleased with myself for giving an honest day's work. Like a man should. I have trouble sleeping if I don't physically exert myself so no, I am not trying to get out from under it and be on a beach every day... But I am interested in watching my creation grow and become something more. If it makes zero money--oh well, I've created jobs for other hard working guys (or gals) and myself, and get my name out there to meet people..If I have to pour more money into it (I'd rather not) then so be it. It's the accomplishment and satisfaction of doing a job, doing it well, and feeling good about one's self for what you've done at the end of the day.

Off my high horse. Apologies. I know you were not being rude in any way, sir...and I hope I've not come across that way either.


I may be a work-a-holic and you guys may think I'm crazy, but this is my mindset.. It may seem like a waste of time to work so hard and not be overly concerned with it making big $$$'s, but that's why I have a day job. I will not be satisfied with building only someone else's business name and reputation until the end of my days.

Thanks for listening,

Matt
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2013, 10:47 PM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
Posts: 2,509
Trying to find help may be your biggest challenge yet. Finding work is easy compared to finding the quality help you need so you don't lose the work you have lined up. The help issue can burn you out over time. Hopefully you speak some Spanish because most quality workers don't speak English.
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2013, 08:48 AM
matttt matttt is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Yes. That has already been the challenge. I want to support american workers...abd will even basically give them everything less expenses just to get quality help but these guys dont want to work....my parents recently told a homeless guy they see a lot "hey do you want to come work for a day?" To which he he replied, "no thanks, I make too much money jist standing here." ....it's a disease. Our bation is riddled with it. I just need help. I intend to still work....after work. Just had too manh to catch up to get them done during non-business hours.

:\ hate the time change!

Do any of you guys offer decorative services during slow months? (Ie: hanging hanging lights,etc-?)
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2013, 09:35 AM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
Posts: 2,509
You had better give up on the American worker thing now before it stress's you out and kills you. I do holiday lights myself. You can see a few pictures on my website and more on Facebook. Only in stall what you sell. Do not install lights people already own.
__________________
Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2013, 03:21 PM
matttt matttt is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Appreciate the tips! And yes...I have given up on it as of late. But i'm learning spanish pretty quickly! haha.

"DUOLINGO" app for android and iphone is touted as being as good as rosetta stone...don't know if it's true---but it's FREE.NINETYFREE. $$$

I'm gonna check out your work later, I even thought about offering flags and other things to support memorial day and other holidays for an easy 10 or 15 dollar add-on...anyone do that either?

It's easier to add to existing customers...and cheaper--than new acquisitions.
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