Be careful what you wish for perhaps?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by keeping going, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    For the sake of disclosure the forum should know I am originally from England and bought the company I now own and run to facilitate entry to the US on an E2 investment visa.

    The business I bought was a small family owned lawn care business a lot of mow and blow customers but a couple of commercial accounts and some full service accounts.

    The first year of trading was horrendous-I had everything to learn and the economy was tanking at a rate of knots.
    The phone seemed to be ringing constantly with cancellations some due to foreclosures, some due to affordability, some due to having no allegiance to me and others perhaps due to my inexperience with horticulture in South West Florida.

    So after many sleepless nights and dog tiring days-I got the luckiest break of my Lawncare career-an existing customer recommended my company to a client of his who had just bought a home in the port royal area of Naples.
    I met this prospective customer with enormous trepidation and was brutally honest with him -"sir I am not yet too experienced in the landscape management business but my crew are, I however am a quick learner ,very honest , have very little ego and am not afraid of asking those who know the answers for their advice-I have so little knowledge that I cannot even attempt to bid your property on a monthly price basis but am willing to undertake any work required on an hourly basis and off the cuff I christened it our bespoke service."

    I shook the gentleman's hand thanked him for the opportunity and left really kicking myself for not grasping the opportunity presented to me by being so honest.

    3 hours later he called me and informed me he would like to take advantage of my businesses "bespoke service"
    (Holy crap how did that happen? )
    To put this into perspective a guy had just given me sole charge of landscape maintenance at a $23 million dollar property when I was more used to mowing lawns at $150-200 thousand property's.

    I pestered the life out of landscape suppliers, spray guys, landscape installers etc scored the Internet for information spent hours in the horticulture section of Barnes and Noble.

    Somehow it all payed off he recommended me to friends and neighbors my truck was seen outside his and various other port royal properties the phone was again constantly ringing but this time with the opportunity to bid. I now maintain 12 properties in the port royal area (accumulated value $290million)

    As my confidence increased it seemed so did my workload we had to set on new crew members and now service about 160 properties in collier County

    But man what a headache ensuring standards are maintained, invoicing used to take me 2 hours now tales me 2 days overhead has gone up cash flow has slowed, dealing with demanding customers (and quite rightly so for what they are paying)

    After this summer and as season approaches with the influx of snowbirds I find myself looking back to the old days of just being a small mow and blow company without all the hassle and grief and thinking would it not be better to have family time, not having to visit customers in the evening and undisturbed weekends, being able to take a vacation without the anxiety of everything being Ok.

    Somedays it seems like the American dream others like a nightmare.
    Or am I just burnt out

    Long I know, Boring perhaps.

    Interested in others opinions
     
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Congrats. Nice story to share. All the best.
    easy-lift guy
     
  3. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    Waiting on something like that to happen to me
     
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    First world problems :)
     
  5. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,010

    Nice story. I've worked many a day in Port Royal. Very very nice area.
     
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    Plus one my Keith, Plus one! :clapping:
     

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