Non-legit/part-timers/hobbyists...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by fiveoboy01, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I guess I'd just like to vent here. If any of you think I'm being over-reactive, go ahead and say so. I know that I'll get the "worry about your business and no one else's", and I do most of the time, but I'm extremely observant when I'm driving around, and notice things...

    I see a lot of posts here to the effect of "well, I just want a little cash" or "I'm only cutting a few lawns, no need to pay taxes or get insurance", etc etc.

    Now, I haven't been in the business long, but I'm deadly serious about it, and want to be able to quit my regular job sometime next year if all goes well.

    I see a lot of these "hobbyists" around, with a tiny trailer with a craftsman rider and one trimmer, spraying roundup, etc. You just know they have no license, and aren't legit. They're not doing much better than covering their costs.

    Mind you, I'm not pointing the finger at all of these types. Some of them can only afford to start out like that, and I'm sure many have become large and successful starting out like that. So don't take that as a blanket statement.

    But I know they're ALL not legit, or insured, or paying taxes, or have an applicator's license.

    It pisses me off to no end, I've spent a TON of money, paid for insurance, an accountant, registered my business name with the state, sent a check to the WI PAT program to get study materials so I can take the applicator's test and get my license, bought the proper equipment to do a good job, paid for signs, paid for advertising, passed out and mailed hundreds of flyers, bought a computer and paid for an invoice program, the list goes on and on. And I feel like these LCOs go in and undercut and take business away from us legit types.

    I do realize that many of these types will be out of business due to not being able to cover costs, they get bored, etc. But I'd wish people would think before they dive in, and decide if this is just a fun little fling for a few months, or if they're serious about making this a career for the rest of their lives.

    /rant.
     
  2. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 806

    Well,

    You mentioned you haven't been in this business for too long, so here's a piece of business advice:


    Work hard and worry about the things you can change, and not about the things you can't. Sure you can "report" someone or some crap like other people on here claim to do, but none of that pays the bills. Work hard on getting customers, which = CASHFLOW. Bottom line. Quit worrying and whinning about the other guy. He'll always be there, so either get used to him and work around his existence, or be stressed out until YOU decide to quit.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I'm all for the the hobby. The more free work the better. And if you do happen to bring money in I see no reason to pay taxes on it. There are too many others making money and paying for me to worry about it. Not only that but if you pay taxes there is a better chance someone may notice that you didn't buy insurance. I do not worry about that as most customers do not want to have to pay for professional help or expertise.
    As far as equipment I see no reason to spend any money on it as than I may feel obligated to stay in the business even when it gets hot. As I only get cash from jobs as I finish, there is no reason why I have to go back next week if I do not want to. There is no reason for me to keep my word and really cut their grass if I do not feel like it.
    As far as spraying round up- so what - the laws are just for the business guys and were put in place so someone would get elected. Anyways the lake is huge, no way my little bottle is going to hurt anything
    And why have a computer, I just tell people to pay me X and put it in my pocket. No need for any records. And as far as thar stuff you put down in spring - You know the stuff the keeps the bad grass from growing I know who I said I would do it to so again I don't need to keep tract of any thing.
    So I just save a lot of money with out all that office stuff.
    And I do not know why you pass out flyers I just tell the people I will cut the grass for $10 and they all say yes. You must be a bad sales man
    I really believe you are just mad because I know how to live on $15,000 a year and you can not. It's all about being smarter than bears.
    And because I can walk to the Sears store it just makes sense for me to shop there -don't ya know?
    Also if I decide to make more money my customers will be ok with it as I will know a lot more about what I am doing and will be happy to pay me more. Like if I have to have kids or something.


    Just me and my little mower playing in your yard (sig line)
     
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Sarcasm duly noted:D
     
  5. Briarpatch Joe

    Briarpatch Joe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Makes Me Mad Too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. the sooner you learn lift aint fair the better off you'll be.
     
  7. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Actually I don't think the 'hobbyists' bring the industry down...rather it's the legit LCO's with little-to-no customer service skills and/or business sense that bring us down. Really some guy mowing 4 lawns on the weekends is NOT your competition or anyone to worry about.
     
  8. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    Unless it's your mom's lawn!
     
  9. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    Boo-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love those guys, we get some much business from customers who are fed up with just those types of LCO's.

    If those guys are taking your business and they are the competition, then maybe your not doing something right.

    People always badmouth the Lawn biz in FL, and believe me we have probably more scrubs than anywhere else, but you can be EXTREMELY successful and charge more than most and still have more work then you could ever get to.

    I could careless about those guys, god bless them. I still drive by and wave to them cause I know within a few months their customers will probably be calling us......
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I don't care if someone else is legit or not, because it's not my problem.

    MY problem is getting paid enough, and so long someone pays that, I don't care.
    Fact is, most don't want to pay my rates.
    So, the other guy needs to exist so they have someone who can do it for less.

    There is a market for everybody.
     

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