Ever get the end of the year burn-out?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    Man, I have had it BIG TIME lately. I pretty much do this every year. But it seems to get worse each year. Come December I just don't want anything at all to do with business. I won't answer the phone, I won't check voicemail for a week or so, I don't go out to our shop, deal with the employees, nothing. I just ignore my business for a few months, as much as possible.

    Then I always seem to bounce out of it and start getting excited again around January or February. Sometimes it's as late as March before I get the bug again.

    I don't think there's any other way to do it. By the end of the season, with the hours I put in, I really NEED the break. I hate to neglect people and callers. But I just really need the break.
     
  2. jwholden

    jwholden LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 218

    I hear you 100%. I just spent the last few days splitting some wood at my house and taking care of 'little' projects around the house that I ignored for too long. The only problem is, some of the calls I got last week were about deposits for work in 2005, so I try to check the messages atleast daily.

    I joined a Gym this year and hope to stay in 'shape' through the winter. I'm also hoping it helps combat the January/February blues.
     
  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Jim, I've had our phones off since Dec. 20th..I'll turn them back on Jan. 6, 2005. I still had people calling Christmas week for early spring installs, wanting to know if they could be bumped due to the nice weather..I was way too busy to keep track of client calls with all the commotion with Christmas...

    I was at the printer today, getting our invoices , cards , and spring flyers all ready. I'm in de-program mode for a while..... now,time for some R&R :D
     
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Unlike you Jim, I am the business. As a solo Op this is the time of year I actually enjoy the business rather than hit burn out. I am only working every other week so it is nice to know that I can relax at least two weeks out of the month. My burnout period is during spring clean ups, where I know there is no break in site for at least 6 months. This is where I start asking myself what am I doing. But come June I snap out of it and resume with the happy go lucky again. I cant help not answering calls as that is what most of my customers have kept me for. When the others are so busy to do so I seem to keep in touch with customers that have questions and I think that is what really sets me apart from the rest. We have good to excellent companies around here and quality is expected but answering a call that day or the next is what keeps customers happy.
     
  5. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Im there as well Jim. Bought a couple "toys" in the fall and all I want to do is mess with them. I havent really winterized my equipment yet, but I was still mowing last week untill the snow storm hit & then it was plowin time. Now its high 50's today and Im still messin with other things. I do know in a couple months Ill be "bittin the bit" getting all ready for another cutting season
     
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    We are off for the most part 3 months out of the year. We start in March or April 1st at the latest. By mid August I am burnt out. Then as the weather starts to turn I get a little motivation until a few weeks into leaf season and then I am praying for the end.

    My activity on lawnsite shows this as well. During the burn out period I don't visit lawnsite either.
     
  7. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    When I first started I had a couple of months off during the winter. Now I am at the point where it is January and my phone still will not stop ringing. Yep real Burnt.
     
  8. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391


    I am a solo operator too. I work 50 hrs/wk for someone else then another 30 hrs/wk for me. I fry about mid August and just suck it up till fall. I usually look forward to the summer dry spell but we really haven't had one for a couple of years.
    Sildoc, any advise for someone ready to jump in full time? Really, please don't say Don't do it. :)
     
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Advice, Well hmm, Have a good business plan. Make sure your lawns that you have now can sustain at least the business and little for your self. Then grow to make your profit. The first two years are the hardest. Then it is either make or break. So far it is make but some times I wonder if it is worth it. Hard work but it is nice being your own boss. That is priceless.
    Learn from this site. I wish I had had this site 4 years ago when I was looking at going this route. I started when I was young mowing neighbors yards for 4 or 5 years then went to college and then to the Navy. In the Navy I mowed through the summer with a crappy Murray for people that did not want to mow. No edging or blowing just mowing. Then got out and went to school again. Got tired of school full time and laid in bed with my wife supporting me and our kids. Half of our income from the Navy. So I started mowing. Got my business license and insurance. Started with a crapsman and ended up taking it back and buying a commercial honda. (best investment ever).... 10 accounts. Then a blower and trimmer.
    3 years full time I now have 36" hydro, the same honda. A couple of trimmers and edgers. A couple of blowers. A back up Toro Re-cycler which is still recycling in the corner where it was 2 years ago. and alot of other crap.
    Now I have 40 Accounts Full service through out the year and 10-15 Seasonal. Work 3 Days straight mowing and full service and another day or so doing odd jobs.
    I guess to sum it up when you start don't turn anything down unless you are making nothing. If anything you are learning and getting your name out. Then as they start rolling in replace the crap with good. Soon you will have gold instead of $h!t.
    What worked and works for me will not necessarily work for you but you never know until you try.
    Good luck

    HAPPY New YEAR!
     
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Yeah, even "I" get burnt out.

    I thought it was just me for the longest time though. I was thinking maybe it was the weather induced brutal punishing pace that has been going two years running. Basically I burn out in late fall... leaf season... This year I started to burn out around the 1st of November.

    I get burnt out mentally and physically now. But I can remember the days when it depressed me to put the equipment away.
     

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