Solo Operators?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scraper, Mar 14, 2000.

  1. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Just wondering how many of the people in here are solo operators, in that, you are the only person performing the work for your business? If so, have you found that you must turn down much work due to sizes of jobs which could be done more efficiently with help? Any input is appreciated as I am in the process of deciding whether to quit my full-time job to do this full-time as opposed to part-time!<p>Thanks!!!
     
  2. kountryscape

    kountryscape LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 133

    hey ive been doing landscaping by my self i do commercial and rest. the more equipment the faster you move i rent alot the home owner doesn't know if its yours or what. i sat on the fence for a while but if your going to do it do it! i love being in control of my pay check and i don't have to take orders from some over blown boss . just go for it if you think you can make as much as you do now doing what you want do it find a nice warm part time job in the winter at hit it hard in the summer just my view on things see ya jarrett
     
  3. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    I'm a sole operator. I turn down a lot of work just for that reason. It's hard to be competitive on a clean-up job that takes the better part of the day, when 3 guys could do it in about 2-3 hours. After about about 3-4 hours my productivity starts to diminish. Also depends on the weather outside, whether it's cool or hot has alot to do with how fast you can work and when the fatigue starts to set in. I'm just speaking for myself, the other guys in this forum may not be affected as much. This year though I did hook up with a guy that does landscaping and maintenance that I refer all that work to and he gives me 10% of each job he gets from my referral. Works real well. It lets me concentrate on mowing and he does the rest. This relationship was possible because of the excellant advice received from this forum. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
     
  4. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Lee: Have you found customers who are unwilling to accept your lawn care services if you are unable to do other work such as cleanups or snow removal?
     
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,850

    I work alone too. There are plenty of yards out there that don't require a crew. I just work those and turn down the rest. No problem either with a home that has maybe 20 hedges. Its hard to fit in extra work like that. But it is really required on a large percentage of your homes. Working alone is not a easy life sometimes. Yard cleanup is required on most of my yards too. Just something you have to do.
     
  6. I work by myself most of the time. I'm lucky that both my father and uncle are in the trade. I am able to use there workers when the need arises. I do most of the time the maintenace side of this business. Some landscaping i use my families helpers. Unlike my family, i let the helpers bust there backs moving around soil or jobs i'm not to fond of. <br>When you don't have a payroll, less expenses.<p>Do I turn down jobs? Most of the time no. The jobs that I don't want, i just bid high. If I get it, just means I get more money for my troubles.<br>Jean
     
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    I work alone. Its been several years since I had to turn down a big job. I dont advertise, just word of mouth, and the majority of my customers are in urban area, i.e., city and village lots under 1/2 acre.<p>Only thing that sucks about working alone, a. you can go loopy in the summer with no one to talk to all day except scream at dr laura on the radio ;) b. the cleanups can take a little longer than I like but if I put the spring ones that are a mess off til mid-April I can do a quick pick-up then mow and it looks great as long as you dont get your face down in the turf. c. if you dont feel well toobad ya gotta get yer butt out there anyhow. Nobody to cover your butt. Really sucks in the winter, try plowing with your head out the window heaving a trail of chunks down the side of the truck.<p>Bill
     
  8. scottlawns

    scottlawns Guest
    Posts: 0

    i too work alone and DR.Laura drives me nutts too...but i keep listening...i think after listening to her callers makes us feel not so weird,i do like working with someone else but i can entertain myself just fine,it is nice knowing i dont have to worry about paying someone every week.
     
  9. cjcland

    cjcland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    i work alone, one of the good things about working alone is that you know your equipment is being taken care of, and the job gets done right, i dont have the problem of turning down work yet but im sure i will have to in the future, i am looking for about 20-25 more residentials then i will start being picky about the work i take on<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida
     
  10. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 815

    I'm doing it all on my own. Works out pretty well. There are times when I could use help but I just plug away. I've only lost a couple of customers that needed a crew. I have had to turn down a few jobs, knowing that I couldn't handle them on my own.
     

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