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  #61  
Old 01-20-2014, 05:13 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Here's the thing PLL... We are lucky that guys like ETW, PerfectEarth, ProTurf, Eagle Landscape even bother to come here and post. Do you have any idea how many super successful companies there are out there? (I know you do, it was kind of rhetorical.) There are literally thousands of LCO's that are not only successful but insanely business savvy as well. They don't come here to L.S because of a variety of reasons but I am sure time is a major one. There are also a lot of owners who have either bought a company or started one because they have seen it as a good investment. They might have worked in any other industry but noticed a good investment and now they are LCO's.

I believe that the best LCO's however are ones that have worked in the field. You mentioned Marty Grunder.... He is a perfect example. He is not only a business genius, but he worked in the field for many years so he truly has an all encompassing understanding of the business.

But here's the thing, L.S is fun. Looking at pictures is fun. Seeing hilarious conversations and arguments play out is fun. Especially if you have been there and done that. Even the most successful business owner that has come up through the ranks finds it tough to not want to look at pictures of new products. So that is why I believe that you see only a few VERY successful owners here on L.S.
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  #62  
Old 01-20-2014, 06:35 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
1.) That there are only a few doing it right.... Meaning there are only a few you can truly learn from how to actually run a landscaping business vs. owning a job


Honestly I'm fairly tired of hearing that phrase. We all own a business, some are larger than others. Even the solo guys run a business and have succeed in operating that business and giving themselves a decent living.

On the other subject of course some guys come on here to vent, when you drive over dog stuff, then your mower blows up and your trailer pops off on the ride home you, you'll come on here and vent with guys that have been through it.

I understand the points of your post but in reality it isn't always sunshine and rainbows and it's good to bounce ideas both good and bad off others in the industry.
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  #63  
Old 01-20-2014, 06:53 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs.landscaping View Post
Honestly I'm fairly tired of hearing that phrase. We all own a business, some are larger than others. Even the solo guys run a business and have succeed in operating that business and giving themselves a decent living.

On the other subject of course some guys come on here to vent, when you drive over dog stuff, then your mower blows up and your trailer pops off on the ride home you, you'll come on here and vent with guys that have been through it.

I understand the points of your post but in reality it isn't always sunshine and rainbows and it's good to bounce ideas both good and bad off others in the industry.
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DITTO to that!
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  #64  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:25 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Well said Jrs..........
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  #65  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:26 PM
nylesedwards nylesedwards is offline
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1. hiring reliable employees
2. equipment breakdowns
3. late payers
4. filling out and sending out bills
5. trying to return 10 calls a day in early spring
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  #66  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:31 PM
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Billscaping Billscaping is offline
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I love this topic,I guess there's just a few things I hate ,getting good employees ,paying taxes, equipment failure,and customers not understanding what it takes to get to your house every week,as far as this site there are a lot of people that tell you why are you doing it that way ,then telling you how to do it just my 2cents
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  #67  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:46 PM
blk90s13 blk90s13 is offline
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1: late paying customers
2: Insects ( bees wasps etc )
3: Truck and equipment maintenance prices
4: Trimmer line
5: Cleaning mowers deck !!!!!
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  #68  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:49 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
1.) That there are only a few doing it right.... Meaning there are only a few you can truly learn from how to actually run a landscaping business vs. owning a job



2.) The reality of failure displayed on lawnsite day in and day out. Meaning how so many are unprepared, have no plan, are technicians vs business owners, etc.. Hard to truly learn how to do things correctly, unless learning to not do what someone did.

Meaning there are only a few you can truly learn from how to actually run a landscaping business vs. owning a job



3.) Ease of entry and the easy scope of most of the work involved (maintenance side). Lose your job as minimum wage employee, start a landscaping business.

Meaning there are only a few you can truly learn from how to actually run a landscaping business vs. owning a job.


4.) Weather (but you can't control that)


5.) Equipment breakdowns.



I've gained a lot of knowledge from this site but I think I've learned more of what not to do that what to do. I read books by Tony Bass & Marty Grunder, read threads by ETW, PerfectEarth, Pro Turf, Eagle Landscape, and probably a few others I'm forgetting, and I truly believe that you can do well in this business. I'll get all my plans together and feel good about the upcoming year and say "Eh, lets check out lawnsite again". When done reading for 15mins to half hour I feel more pessimistic about this business. Eventually it wears off and I once again pay attention to just the businesses that have great ideas to offer vs what we should be charging for mulch....(which can be valid). I only became aware of this thread because of Sean's blog so I searched it out.

I'm just so confused at why with the names above they see such abundance with this industry and seem to have created much success whereas someone like Kelly's Landscaping seems to post negativity towards many aspects of the business most of the time. (Not a shot at you Kelly just something I notice with your posts and you do bring many valid points to the table)

Sorry if I took this off the topic but as much as this site helps it may be on that list Sean asked for, just not at the top 5.... Yea yea I know I can leave but it's still a good resource from time to time and enjoy seeing some of the incredible work people do from unreal stripes to landscapes that make your jaw drop. But again people post more on forums about frustrations and dislikes than ultimate success stories.
There is lots to consider here. I will start by saying, good post. It never makes sense for you to allow anyone else (in person or online) to bring you down or convince you of something that you know otherwise.

That being said, our industry has definitely changed. Both for the good and the bad.... I am not going to cover them all but here are a few things to consider:

Good

1.) More access to knowledge
2.) The internet levels the playing field from an advertising perspective
3.) Amazing equipment
4.) Technology

Bad

1.) No barrier to entry, easy access to financing
2.) People (laborers) generally seem to be a tad on the lazy side

Are these the only good and bad? Of course not, but they are up there.

My point is this....in fact, my point of starting this thread was to see if ultimately I would get the answers I expected. For the most part I did get what I expected.

If you ask successful people in this industry what made them successful you will get a variety of answers, but I am certain that one answer you will see from all of them is this:

Focus on what you are very good at doing - in fact, keep doing it so much, you perfect it (managing people, sales, etc.). All other things that you aren't very good at or don't like doing, find someone else to do it for you. Don't worry about what other people are doing or what they are good at it. It's a waste of time and energy. Focus - laser like focus.
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  #69  
Old 01-20-2014, 07:59 PM
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Kelly's Landscaping Kelly's Landscaping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
!) no one wants to pay a good employee what they are worth
2) everyone who is half way good thinks they are better than they are and starts their own business and becomes your competitor
3) they arent as good as they think they are and fug it all up, leaving customers with expectations of champagne when they have been paying for beer, and now they call you looking for the same.

Many companies "problems" would go away or never start if they weren't so talented at breeding their own competitors.

IF you think you're place is in the field, then interview for a field position.
a business owners place is the office.
If youre not good at it, either get that way, or don't be in business.

a good landscaper does not make a good business owner.

Seriously, what 'qualifies' you to work for your self? Would you hire yourself to be the CEO of your company? Of course you wouldn't.

IVe been in the green industry for well over 20 years.
I'd be happy to run someones office, billing, sales and operations for a company that is sized enough to afford the paycheck.

Find someone who wants to pay me $55,000 or more a year to do that.

Everyone whats to hire a 9-12$/hr office lady who doesnt know a thing about landscaping, can't answer questions and has no authority to make decisions, so basically just spins wheels and frustrates customers by not getting anything done.

you want to run field ops and be a technician, hire on with a big company, or hire yourself a GM/Ops manager but it's going to cost you... can you afford it?
The answer is, if you don't want to be in the office, You can't NOT afford it.
Iv been an owner for 11 years I was a foreman for 10 years and landscaper for 5 more so this is my 27th season coming up. Now was I any good before going off on my own? The boss that I left thought so as he was paying me $20 an hour back in 2002.

Now I see trends happen on this site. Every winter the experts come on and tell us all, you need to expand and expand and grow and grow have as many employees as you can count and your be rich. The reasons for this are you can get hurt and your have no way to make a living and your foolish to try other wise.

Then around mid spring to summer that talks subsides and the solo guys dominate the site and preach how they make more money on their 30-50 lawn company's then all but the biggest 5 million dollar plus companies and up do.

I don't agree with either position. I had 200 lawn accounts last season and iv been close to that number for the last 5 years. I do not benefit from being large and I get punished for not being small. I realized this year that bad employees were not much worse to my bottom line then having what I considered good employees. Neither produce enough to justify their existence and in that truth lies the problem.

I was given the simple answer a few pages back. Just start your day one hour earlier and your be able to replace that employee. Course that would mean id have to hire the first guy that came through the door because it didn't account for the time it takes to interview say a dozen candidates. And the last time I put out a Craig's list ad for employment I had over 30 contact me. All that from a single listing.

Seriously, what 'qualifies' you to work for your self? The answer to that is I not someone else but I and my partner put up $65,000 of our own money to start this. That's all the qualification one needs in any venture. Risk your capital and take your chance. That may not be what you want to hear or believe but it is true. And no one has the right to say other wise.

Now I am not going to go solo I have a healthy partnership. But we both realized we would increase our personal income $35,000 a year each from not having employees. And it's not all that hard for us we already have 200 accounts so trimming it down to 160 which the 2 of us can manage in 4 days is making a lot more sense.
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  #70  
Old 01-20-2014, 08:12 PM
Weekend cut easymoney Weekend cut easymoney is offline
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I spent lots of years on mowers and still prefer that to officework...but I also like vacations and time with my family and building something which might be able to be sold or passed along to kids. Being able to suddenly decide to take my kids to the park on a nice day or spend it with my family or parents drives me to have a bigger company...the money is just a benefit..and to retire
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