Veterans: What do you wish you would've done differently when starting out?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Keene Landscaping, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Four_Seasons

    Four_Seasons LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Haha actually that was the same field I was/still am trying to get into too! lol
    State Troopers don't do too bad but with a side of Landscaping they would live very good.
     
  2. Keene Landscaping

    Keene Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    sounds like we need a thread for lawn enforcement/ landscaping lol
     
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,563

    someone on here has the name Lawn enforcement.

    When I started they didn't have a degree in things like Landscape Design or Architecture… maybe they did in some obscure place that I couldn't find…but ti wasn't like they had search engines and stuff like they do now.

    I think I would have liked to get a degree in design from the get go instead of going to school for arboriculture (trees) which was as close as I could find (frikken north east, full of trees right?)

    I had an opportunity to go into golf course design… I think that would have been a good career for me too. As a Superintendent.

    I don't think I knew golf would take off like it did.

    hands dow I should have done more install/design earlier on, instead of focusing on maintenance. I think I'd have a better portfolio and more stuff to drive by and show pics of.

    Now it's like, see this pic? I used to mow this place before I got under bid :laugh:
    Doesn't really have the "thunda"

    I wish I had all dove tails and Isuzu's from day one. and I still haven't learned my lesson because i still buy pick ups… whats wrong with me?
     
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,563

    I like those ones
     
  5. Keene Landscaping

    Keene Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Yeah I think being able to say "no" will help you more than hurt you.
     
  6. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    I wish I did more advertising.
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  7. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Hired earlier
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  8. Keene Landscaping

    Keene Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    When is a good time to hire your first employee? When you can't keep up or before?
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  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Not so much did things wrong though we all make mistakes due to being green running a business.

    Those mistakes have to be made. Though as long as care is taken to avoid as many as possible the ones that are made will not sink you.

    I thought about doing this back in 1972. Uncle suggested I go to local SUNY for Horticulture/Landscaping program. I was mowing lawns. Did not see Landscapers driving all over the place back then so I did not see enough demand for work. So I went in other directions.

    When the economy dumped in 2007. I scrambled around for work until the spring of 2011. Now in my fourth year I do wish that I had gotten back into this work in 2008.

    I will say what I would not change about how I started was to stay out of debt. Not buy on credit. Make due with the equipment and tools that I had.

    What would of made starting up and growing the business is money for advertising. I could not afford the local newspaper until my third year. Hoping to have a website to start out my fifth year.
     
  10. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I wish I would have turned down more business in the beginning. I've been pretty good about turning down low bid customers, however I've still managed to wind up with a few that I'm going to have to drop as time goes on.

    One thing I'm extremely glad for is that I had good credit and I used it to buy a new mower. With my full time job I can afford to pay for my mower using that income alone, and buy starting out with a medium sized commercial ZTR it has allowed me to pick up clients that I would have had to turn down had I been using a 21 push mower.
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