What does it take to succed and make it big?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mrusk, May 27, 2003.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Since i found this site last week i been on here non stop almost!
    I am 17 and have no idea what to do with my life. I am extremly hard working and been working 2 jobs for several years. I been framing houses since i was 13 and thats hard work. I am not making the money i want to be so i decided to get into mowing and landscaping. I am going to sell my 2 4 wheelers and work 7 days a week this summer framing so i can get a exmark laser 52 and a wb. If i am going to buy the equipment i mine as well buy the right stuff the 1st time. I also plan on buying an enclosed trailer. I am going to have a real business name witht he tax # and INSURANCE. I acctually think i will be the only kid around here with insurance.

    I plan on getting as many lawns as i can. I would like to try to make a career out of this and keep on reinvesting my money in more equpiment and have several crews going one day. I am also really interested in getting involved in pavers, walls, and ponds becuase i hear that is where the money is at.

    What tips would you give me to succed? I been hearing in alot of post veterans say 'if i only knew what i knew know 20 years ago'. Tell me what you know now, so i can advoid making advoidable mistakes. I plan on paying cash for my equipment so i do not being in debt. Is it an unrealistic dream to make over 150k a year mowing, landscaping and plowing?

    Give me advice!! I am all ears!!

  2. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    You're 17 now, start looking into colleges with good agriculture programs. A college degree is pretty much a necessity now a days. In the green industry it will give you a good edge over your competition.
  3. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    set your goals, work toward your goals, say your prayers- every day. :)
  4. BaltLawns

    BaltLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I agree, an education is more important than the equipment. Its not easy to find good programs for Horticulture. Learn the business tools first. Some knowledge of basic accounting should help you out. If you can't afford or don't feel like sitting in a classroom, go to the library and read. Learn your plants. Nothing impresses a client more than a knowledgable salesman. Hire help as soon as you can. Try to keep yourself out of the field asap. If you want to go big time, know this, when you get big, you cannot be at all the jobs all the time. Get used to letting other people do the work. As the owner your job is to grow the company, oversee the important numbers. If you work in it all your life, your customers will expect to always see you, which is great when you are smaller. Eventually, you will start to let people down, and you will realize it costs a lot more than its really worth. Personally, I would ditch the grass idea. Everybody who doesn't know anything starts out that way. We did! Most get the equipment and cut throat the competition to try and corner the market, until a season or two down the road and they realize why the prices were at the level they were. Grass is a tough gig. It looks easy. Look at large firms, no large firms focus strictly on cutting, some semi-large co's might cut, but thats all commercial, which you won't be able to touch right off the bat. My advice to you, READ BOOKS, learn techniques and practice in your parents yard. Try and find a job with a reputable landscape contractor. Make sure you stress that you want to do installs, not be the mulch *****. If you can't wait for the education, learn it in the field. You have the option to do whatever you want, if you think landscaping is your thing, try it out on someone elses time. Keep in mind, if you plan on cutting it will be hard to get away and start different projects. Yes, lawns can get you started in the bus. and you can make money. Just make sure you get a good feel for what you want to do. My brother and I started push mowing lawns at ages 12 and 11. We spent every summer, spring and fall foregoing vacations, sports and time with friends. Some might think we wasted our youth, I consider it an investment for the future. We are 24 & 23 now with three install crews, two maintenance crews and two cutting crews, a big step from the lawnboy pushmower 12 years ago. If you want it, go for it, just make sure you are ready for the headaches, heartbreak, profit and loss, customers that will never understand the industry. GOOD LUCK! P.S. - If you want a jump on the industry, get in touch with Phil Nillson of Nillson and Assoc. the labor time data book is very helpful.
  5. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Always spell succeed like I did.
  6. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    suxseed.......hows that? :D
  7. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

  8. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    Basic accounting skills are good to have.
    Learn all you can about the business.
    Spend as many hours as possible on this site.
    Write a business plan.
    Talk to proffesionals.
    Have a backup plan in case it is a flop.
    Learn good people skills.
    Realize that it takes time to grow a business.
    Have fun!!!
  9. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 590

    Might be a good idea to work for someone who is in this bussines first. You will need some training. Theres no way you can read here how to Edge or trim right, that take years of effort.
  10. Andrew S

    Andrew S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    For inspiration look up Marty Grunders website I think it is www.MartyGrunder.com

    In a nutshell he started out as a teenager and turned his business into a multi million dollar company

    Watch how other contractors go about their work in your area, if you are really keen ask for some work experience from some of the better lcos you observe.

    the skills you learn from these people can be important to your development

    all the best


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