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  #1  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:12 AM
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MikeTA95 MikeTA95 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Burlington County, NJ
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I think I've had it

For anybody who doesn't know, I'm a younger guy (24 years old.)

I've had a pretty decent run at this landscaping thing, but I think I've had it. I have over 140 residential clients, and two commercial properties.

When I first started out in the industry, I loved it. Mowing lawns, planting, making houses look much, much better. My customers loved me and admired my work ethic as such a young guy. I skipped a life of hanging with friends, going to the beach, etc all to grow this company.

So here I am, 6 years later. I'm beaten, tired, and broke. I've increased prices, brought on more workers, and I've been very successful at selling jobs. My customers trust me, so there was no hesitation in adding a ton of fertilization customers and even getting a couple complete re-designs with hardscaping and everything this year.

But growing has caused me stress, anxiety, and a general unhappiness. I no longer go out and get to work in the sun all day. Instead, I'm here in the office chasing money (Even with a majority of customers paying on time, there's always a huge accounts receivable), dealing with employee drama ("I work more than he does" blah blah they all suck anyway), figuring out how I'm going to pay this debt, and worst of all the complaints: When I worked alone I never heard a complaint. Now there's usually something that's an issue, be it a fence post that got whacked by a mower or a piece of a job that the guys just didn't complete to the customers satisfaction. Finally, the cherry on top being the awful weather up here in the northeast, and you have your one month waiting list.

I think I'm ready to throw in the towel, get a "regular" job, and go back to school.

Has anybody else felt this way or have gone through this? What came out of it? Getting rid of my company, the only thing I've dedicated my short life to, is a big decision to make.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:20 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Subscribed.

I'm having a rough year to the same degree also. Contemplating my options. As the business grows, the more headaches pop up. Even if I decided to downsize from where we are, then I would be back to doing the majority of the physical labor myself, and the reason I started to hire is the workload and physical toll on my body.



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  #3  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:29 AM
Stars & Stripes Landscaping Stars & Stripes Landscaping is online now
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You've made it this far, why give it all up? Screw the employees, hire new ones - ones that want to work not complain for everything. When is the last time you had a vacation?
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:40 AM
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MikeTA95 MikeTA95 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecster View Post
You've made it this far, why give it all up? Screw the employees, hire new ones - ones that want to work not complain for everything. When is the last time you had a vacation?
The employees are just one factor of many. I've tried to hire new guys, as a matter of fact I fired my crew leader, couldn't find a new employee with even a bit of experience, and had to hire him back because nothing was getting done. My help wanted ads are still up, help wanted signs on the trucks, and all I've gotten is one high school kid who has probably never done anything except play Xbox in his life.

I usually go to the outer banks once a year with my family. That's about it. Sometimes I feel like I need a vacation every two weeks. Haha
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:16 AM
Stars & Stripes Landscaping Stars & Stripes Landscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTA95 View Post
The employees are just one factor of many. I've tried to hire new guys, as a matter of fact I fired my crew leader, couldn't find a new employee with even a bit of experience, and had to hire him back because nothing was getting done. My help wanted ads are still up, help wanted signs on the trucks, and all I've gotten is one high school kid who has probably never done anything except play Xbox in his life.

I usually go to the outer banks once a year with my family. That's about it. Sometimes I feel like I need a vacation every two weeks. Haha
We all get into a rut sometimes, just have to keep working through it. I'm sure the right things will happen when it's meant to.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:29 AM
coolluv coolluv is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTA95 View Post
For anybody who doesn't know, I'm a younger guy (24 years old.)

I've had a pretty decent run at this landscaping thing, but I think I've had it. I have over 140 residential clients, and two commercial properties.

When I first started out in the industry, I loved it. Mowing lawns, planting, making houses look much, much better. My customers loved me and admired my work ethic as such a young guy. I skipped a life of hanging with friends, going to the beach, etc all to grow this company.

So here I am, 6 years later. I'm beaten, tired, and broke. I've increased prices, brought on more workers, and I've been very successful at selling jobs. My customers trust me, so there was no hesitation in adding a ton of fertilization customers and even getting a couple complete re-designs with hardscaping and everything this year.

But growing has caused me stress, anxiety, and a general unhappiness. I no longer go out and get to work in the sun all day. Instead, I'm here in the office chasing money (Even with a majority of customers paying on time, there's always a huge accounts receivable), dealing with employee drama ("I work more than he does" blah blah they all suck anyway), figuring out how I'm going to pay this debt, and worst of all the complaints: When I worked alone I never heard a complaint. Now there's usually something that's an issue, be it a fence post that got whacked by a mower or a piece of a job that the guys just didn't complete to the customers satisfaction. Finally, the cherry on top being the awful weather up here in the northeast, and you have your one month waiting list.

I think I'm ready to throw in the towel, get a "regular" job, and go back to school.

Has anybody else felt this way or have gone through this? What came out of it? Getting rid of my company, the only thing I've dedicated my short life to, is a big decision to make.

Your business sounds alot like a friend of mines business. Same size give or take. Every time he comes around and we are talking for a while he is constantly getting calls from customers. Complaint calls mostly. I hear him apologizing and kissing @$$. I mean in 20 or 30 minutes he gets 10 calls or more.

He is always stressed. Works till dark every night. Employees that don't show up and on and on. Tear up his equipment.

I wouldn't want that at this point in my life. I'm 47. I hired two different guys part time this season to help with some of the extra work. One lasted 3 days and I thought he would die right there on the job.

They both claimed experience..one even had his own business...supposedly.
Well I wouldn't know it. The other couldn't follow simple instructions after repeatedly taking the time to explain over and over. Plus both were lazy.

I was able to get through and now I still work solo but it is not easy. I'm in good shape for my age and can work most younger guys into the ground but the aches and pains are getting worse every year.

I don't know what I'm going to do. Business is slow...the rain this year is killing me...and for the last few days I had to mow in the rain or in between storms just to get done. Soaked like a rat. I sit right now waiting to go out to finish this weeks route. Have to get my next round of fert out and more rain on the way.

Another day in paradise. If I was a young man like you I would go back to school. Good Luck.


Dave...
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:29 AM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MI
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This has effect me this year. I handle 120ish properties with only me and another person. I am going drop more than half of them the end of this year, get a second shift job, then rebuild my company the right way. When I park my truck there better be 10+ houses with in a 1/4 mile of where I park. Also working 4-10 hr days instead of 12-14 hr days 6 to 7 days a week. I need to have full time reliable help, not new people every year......
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:40 AM
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Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stockbridge, GA
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Mike, I'd go so far to say that nearly every member of this website has gone through what you are going through right now (the stress factors of owning a business). What you need to ask yourself is, "Do I value my business and/or enjoy what I'm doing enough to persevere?" (so as to take it to the next level). To keep things in perspective, everything that anyone goes through in this life--good or bad--is TEMPORARY. The status of your business tomorrow will be different than it is today (how ever small). How you handle difficult/stressful situations reveal your character as a man. Take hold of your ship by the helm (your business/life), weather the storm, and guide it to providence.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:44 AM
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Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stockbridge, GA
Posts: 1,850
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
Your business sounds alot like a friend of mines business. Same size give or take. Every time he comes around and we are talking for a while he is constantly getting calls from customers. Complaint calls mostly. I hear him apologizing and kissing @$$. I mean in 20 or 30 minutes he gets 10 calls or more.

He is always stressed. Works till dark every night. Employees that don't show up and on and on. Tear up his equipment.

I wouldn't want that at this point in my life. I'm 47. I hired two different guys part time this season to help with some of the extra work. One lasted 3 days and I thought he would die right there on the job.

They both claimed experience..one even had his own business...supposedly.
Well I wouldn't know it. The other couldn't follow simple instructions after repeatedly taking the time to explain over and over. Plus both were lazy.

I was able to get through and now I still work solo but it is not easy. I'm in good shape for my age and can work most younger guys into the ground but the aches and pains are getting worse every year.

I don't know what I'm going to do. Business is slow...the rain this year is killing me...and for the last few days I had to mow in the rain or in between storms just to get done. Soaked like a rat. I sit right now waiting to go out to finish this weeks route. Have to get my next round of fert out and more rain on the way.

Another day in paradise. If I was a young man like you I would go back to school. Good Luck.


Dave...
I share your pain, but RAIN BEATS DROUGHT, BROTHA!
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:56 AM
coolluv coolluv is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilehead View Post
I share your pain, but RAIN BEATS DROUGHT, BROTHA!
Yeah we sure need it after the last 10 years of drought. The good thing is the lawns are sure looking good this year.

To the Op. I missed out on family reunions...weddings...vacations my whole life. I worked in construction for over 25 years. Worked 10 to 14 hour days for as long as I can remember. Worked my way up to a good paying superintendent position making 75k a year and a company truck and good benefits.

Economy tanked and lost my job. Started this on the side before that happened. Luckily I was able to have something to fall back to. I don't want to go back to the 6 days a week 12 to 14 hour days at this point in my life.

You have to have a balance in life. Too much work....stress ect. is not a good way to live. Trust me...been there...done that. For way too long in my life. If I could do it over again...I wouldn't have missed most of my life working chasing the dollar. You get older and wiser.

Dave...
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