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Owning your business (help)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JCLawn and more, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    I have this crazy idea of having a self sufficient business that runs itself. Basically I can come and go as i please and it continues to thrive. I don't know many business in this industry that have achieved this. So I know this will be hard work and take along time and I was wondering if there is a good book or books that talk about how to do this in the service industry. Also share any thoughts of the topic you may have. If anyone has achieved this let me know, I might pm you some questions.
     
  2. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I have this crazy idea of marrying a woman that can take care of herself, that allows me to come and go as I like...lol.

    On a serious note, I worked for a guy that "let his business run itself" He's no longer in business. FWIW.
     
  3. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Still working on it myself.

    You need to create systems. Then you use these systems to train your replacements (employees). Keep replacing yourself in various aspects of your company's operations and eventually you will have a company that is pretty much self sufficient.

    I've convinced myself that this is the process to follow:

    First step is to remove yourself from all physical labor duties (your focus is on sales, job site management, accounting, business operations, executive management).

    Step two is to remove yourself from daily business operations. A good operations manager should be able to handle almost every aspect of running the office/scheduling/ordering/bookkeeping/accounts payable/accounts receivable/human resources/marketing/etc. (your focus is on sales, job site management, executive management).

    Step 3 is to remove yourself from job site management (your focus is on sales, executive management, and you start to reinsert yourself into some of the accounting functions because as your company grows your operations manager will start to become overwhelmed with the workload).

    Step 4 is to remove yourself from sales (your focus is on executive management and you fully reinsert yourself into the accounting functions so that the operations manager can focus his/her attention on everything else).

    Step 5 is to remove yourself from accounting (your focus is now solely on executive management).

    Step 6 is to remove yourself from executive management by hiring a CEO (your focus is to communicate to the CEO your desired path for the company's direction and then sit back and watch it happen while you count the money).

    Note: I also think it might be possible to switch steps 4 and 5.
     
  4. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    Drats, that's why I am single.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    I'd be happy to get to 5. I've had a similar thought process on how to do it. Now how do you make an employment system that promotes productivity and responsibility without you cracking the whip?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,878

    I love your post AW! That is the path I plan to take with my business. All I think about every day is systems and getting myself to step 6 as you describe where I can count the money from my pool in my mansion on the intercoastal in SE Florida.

    JC, you implement systems for your people to follow and train them to know and understand how and why they are to be productive and efficient.
     
  7. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    You can teach them all you want, at the end of the day they just want money and really don't care. That's why people job shop. They are always trying to find another job that better. So how do you keep them planted, happy, and wanting to come into work.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,357

    How do you keep them happy, planted, and wanting to come to work? By offering things that other organizations can't. Unfortunately, small businesses have trouble doing this because of a lack of capital. In my opinion, one needs to think outside of the box in order to retain employees in the current financial and social climate...
     
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    A small business can offer "Soft benefits" IE:Taking the guys to lunch on fridays, small bonuses for a good job no call backs a day off on their b-day a small Christmas bonus making the guys feel appreciated day in day out. I let my guys use the trucks if they need it for something, just small stuff.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  10. Mayor of Mow Town

    Mayor of Mow Town LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    There's a great book called "Drive" by Daniel Pink which talks about what motivates people/employees. It's an easy read, with heaps of examples and based on real research.

    Well worth taking the time to check it out. It certainly changed my perspective on how to motivate employees.
     

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