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Do you work "In" your business or "On" your business?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MDLawn, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Well let me help you understand that. When the sub fails to do the job or the sub is accused of damaging the property or when the sub does something worse likes hurts or kills someone. Then its you who is going to take the hit. Your rep is damaged they may even come after you for money. And you can bet if you were doing other work for them you just got fired. And now the entire neighborhood is shot for you. Now if we didn't have 2 pesticide supervisor licenses and 1 applicator license in house perhaps I might have subbed that out. But sub out the big stuff no thank you to much liability and trying to make a buck off work you didn't even to is a rather low-some thing to do in my eyes.

    I know your kind, big mouthed loves to be the center of attention. But seldom has any experience to back up what they are talking about. Your the kind of guy that would be working for me and every time my back was turned you would be hustling my clients for side jobs. I looking your profile up the other day and saw something id never seen before 2 of the Moderators had taken and interest in you and had to know more. Now why do you think that is? You have very few posts and are abrasive in every one of them.

    Slow down and stop acting like the kid you are. You may not realize this because you do have a lot of responses. But most of the seasoned vets including many that are millionaires and are home now because it is the off season are avoiding the conversations like the plague. Why bother helping someone who knows everything and is overly aggressive when his ideas are challenged.
  2. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I know anyone is free to do anything but lets keep the name calling and bashing to a minimum. I really liked the way this thread started and hoping more continue to share their stories, opinions, experiences, and would rather not see it go down in flames. For once on this site lets try and help each other, just once.
  3. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Some are not willing to learn....
  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Then why bother arguing........

    Moving on :drinkup:
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,717

    Our best subs were referrals. Also trial and error just like employees, they may talk large but when it comes time to deliver they may be lacking in one form or another.

    We also hire local subs as well as vendors whenever we can as they have proven more reliable and more willing to got the extra mile for you with their service.

    GMLC is right though with all of the great ideas presented and shared in this thread some people should listen instead of talking IMHO.

    Great thread MD and way to keep it on track :drinkup:
  6. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    great thread....good job moderating md. The e-myth does not just say delegate and then just relax and watch the money roll in. You still WORK just differently. Some of the guys that seem to disagree are actually working ON their business. I feel bidding and supervising subs is working on your business. If you are doing work you can pay relatively low wages for someone else to do it might not be the most valuable thing you can do in the long run...... That being said there is some value to being out "in the field" for awhile. It's nice to know what its like to work on 90 degree days with high humidity, how long it takes to do a job etc. It's also nice that the guys you have doing it have worked with you and know you can do the work and have! They have more respect for you. I still go out on the trucks every once in awhile when needed. The e-myth revisited talks about an exit strategy. It basicly says if you have your business practices written out, your business is worth more and easier to sell. I have the e-myth in cassettes. If you would like it pm me. If not you can get a used cd set on ebay usually. Easier than reading and great listening when working on equipment in the off season.
  7. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I've worked "in the field" for 11 years. 5 for a friend and 6 on my own, although not full time. Been there done that have no desire, as I've already said, to be the lead guy on the mower or driving the truck. My body is doing nothing but getting older and punishing it is not what I want to do anymore. I've had helpers in the past and man it makes a difference in that department. But I'd really like to stir up enough business this year for a full time part time worker, if that makes sense. But my ultimate goal is to get enough business and find the right person to lead a maintenance (mainly mowing) crew. That will be the toughest part in finding someone. But I've gotta walk before I run, but I also need to be ready to run with the race when it begins..... Thats where planning comes in.
  8. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    This is the problem for the majority, there is no exit strategy. Thats why there are so many questions about when guys sell what their business is worth. If you were buying a complete home entertainment system with tv, blu ray, cable, stereo, computer, etc... would you rather purchase one with all the instructions on how it operates or just one without those manuals? Which seems more likely to function better without hiccups in operation? Which has more "value". I know it's not the best example but I think it puts itself in perspective. Those working IN the business the exit is either when they can no longer function or if they're lucky they've planned a retirement package. I feel in this type of industry you will/may have a higher turn over rate due to the fact it is tough work. And it's tough to keep finding work so you can pay those employees. But as an owner that is your job. But again those who enjoy working sun up to sun down for the rest of their life, that is their choice. For me the reward for that is minimal compared to the toll it will take on you. Also just like the books talk about many people cannot even comprehend running an employee based business. All they can comprehend is the actual work of landscaping, not business.

    To those that are solo and plan to remain so understand I am ok with that and it's your choice anyways. That's the beauty of it all.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  9. dllawson

    dllawson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    This is an excellent statement, and represents a good understanding of the state of your business. I had a good mentor in another industry and got some great advise when my business was at a similar stage. Don't expect people do things as well as you would. Set an acceptable standard and hold them accountable to it.
  10. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I'm going to bring this back to life for one reason. The calls I've been getting recently all have one statement in common. "I really need this done but all the people I've called have not returned my calls!!??" For my 7 years in this venture I hear this soooo many times. Even if you're schedule is full why not still call and check it out, what do you have to lose. Maybe you could possibly gain a better customer and get rid of one who was a mistake, or cannot afford you. Or at least say "thanks for calling but right now I'm booked until (name your date)." People respect that and not to mention makes you look good. But if you're so busy "In" the business could you be missing out? But when do you go from "In" to "On"? You've got me on that one. I was talking with one of my customers this past week (very successful VP at a company) and we were talking business. I said it wasn't good since I moved last year and lost almost all of my customers. But we talked about this whole concept of "In" or "On" and being able to let others delegate and help you. Man is he a good resource. Told me to call him any time with business questions.

    Again, before it gets inflamed. Yes you need to work "In" your business first, unless you are rich and are playing landscaper for fun. But do you decide to ride the ZTR the rest of your life? Or, do you decide to run your business? I personally feel these are completely separate things. The more I'm behind the mower, pulling weeds, or slinging mulch takes me away from creating new business opportunities. Heck I don't have 20% of the volume of customers most have on here. But if I did I sure wouldn't want to be on the mower or digging edges. That also doesn't mean I want to build the largest company on the planet. On the contrary. I would like something like some of the guys have on here. High end residential design/build then maintain our projects. Time to re-evaluate what I'm doing...........

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