Why they say to stay solo...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 205mx, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. THEGOLDPRO

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    The biggest hurdle i think is the tipping point, There will come a time when your picking up more and more work, and you hit the tipping point, this is where you need to make a choice, either you stay small/solo, or you crest the hill and have start hiring people.

    The problem here is you NEED to keep growing once you crest the hill and hire someone. You have to start crunching the numbers and see just how much you need to grow with each person you hire.

    For instance, if you hire someone for 12-13 bucks an hour, he will be pulling $500-600 per week, So now you need to grow your business to support paying an extra $500-600 per week. So if your mowing $50 dollar lawns you need to pick up 10 more lawns just to cover the cost of your helper for the week.

    But whats the point of just picking up an extra 10 lawns to cover his pay???? Now you need to pick up 20 lawns just it make it worth your while. Now you need to start buying more equipment, your using more gas, more wear on machines etc etc.

    You need to be smart and know your numbers, or else you will actually be making less money at the end of the day with helpers and 3X the work you had before as a solo op. On the outside you will look like a bigger company but on the inside you will be making less money then you did when you were solo and had half the headaches.
     
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    Like I said there's a difference between a landscaper and business man.

    My father worked 80 hours a week for 20 years. Yes he had employees anywhere from 3 to a dozen. He ran himself into the ground doing it and now has some health issues.

    And I would never live in a 4 million dollar house no matter how much money one has. To me that's a waste of money.
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  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,747

    It all depends on your personality, ambition, and goals in life. It is the reason we have both generals and privates, CEO's and line workers. Some people are never satisfied with their income and perceived status, while others are perfectly content making a decent living and not having to deal with the headaches that come with having employees. Neither approach is wrong or right, just a personal choice.
     
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    You have to decide whom you want to work for.

    I like working for, and by myself.

    That is not possible with a large corporation.

    One other thing...
    Don't be fooled into thinking that bigger means more money.

    I don't believe for one minute that it's all "I just set a vision" and voila blam 5 or 10 years later there it is.
    More like, the better half of that you're just lucky.
    Something Mark Zuckerberg can't ever seem to get through his head.
     
  5. yardguy29

    yardguy29 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    maybe to you there is.

    personally I consider myself both.
     
  6. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 6,227

    I think the biggest problem I would have would be trusting someone else to do as good a job as I can. Afterall it is my name on the finish product and employees for the most part dont care. Thats what scares me the most
     
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Lord knows I'm ready to sell out.


    it seems every year the employees get stupider....

    the customers get cheaper, and the work gets harder...

    Of corse, the taxes keep getting bigger.


    and where do these sales men get my number ?????


    I'm up to 30 calls per day !!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. LantanaBob

    LantanaBob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    This is the last year of mowing for me. Next year it's all installs or nothing. I'm tired of the maintenance, the employees, and all of the hassles that come with growing large.
     
  9. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Posts: 1,266

    You need to find yourself some better employees. All my guys do a great job and i dont have to babysit and never get complaints from clients.
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  10. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,272

    In 2004 I took in 97 k all solo profited about 60 k. In 2006 with three employees I grew a lot so I thought. I took in $170k after payroll workers comp extra truck and equipment I only profited about $36 k. I went back to solo from 2008 until last yr and averaged about $80 k profit each yr solo. And worked 5 days a week all while having a full time job. This yr I gave up on mowing and am just sticking with sprinkler work so I can spend more time with my family.

    Whatever works for me may not work for you and so forth. I just know its so much easier working by yourself and if there's a job you may not want but it will help you make payroll you take it anyway if you have employees then regret it later and should have went with your gut feeling.

    Remember bigger isn't always better.
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