Worst successful landscape buisness

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Southern Heritage, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Southern Heritage

    Southern Heritage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    Any one else feel like they own the worst successful landscape business ever? On paper we do great. From a client standpoint great. But from my stand point I don't see how we keep the doors open. I feel like we could improve in every way and some days feel shocked I'm still in business. Me taking 90% of the blame.
    Hell today I sent 7 guys to a job they get there and I forgot to have any material dropped. That's a first but it happen. That mistake cost $150 in labor. Live from mistakes and grow from them
     
  2. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Man I think we all at times doubt ourselves. Just keep rocking it! Thank The Lord everyday you wake up and it will all work out! ;)
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  3. ColliCut Land Mgmt

    ColliCut Land Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    If you built this company, you already know that you have what it takes. Maybe you just need a vacation, or just some alone time to think things through and assess your life and business strategy?
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  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    I keep trying to live in fast forward. I need to remember I'm 24 years old and the competitors I'm trying to hang with didn't have the fleets of equipment and customer lists they have now when they were just starting out lol.
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  5. Southern Heritage

    Southern Heritage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    I see what your saying I'm only 26 I run 6 trucks with 18 employes we did 7 figures last year and should be 7 this year. What scares me about the where I'm at now is mistakes are much more costly now then let's say 3 years ago and only 3 trucks. In my opinion and no of fence to your comment age aint got jack to do with it. I don't care if I'm the biggest in town. If your not running smooth you need to correct it. Just seem like we like the pot hole rd well I've the interstate this past year if you know what I mean.
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  6. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    Ah, I have been there! I did the material thing once, embarrassing as hell. Suck it up and learn the hard way. I am sadly a savant at learning the hard way.

    Robbed twice, tons of debt to family to bail her out again and keep her alive, somehow surviving lol. I have a disparity in whats on paper and what comes in payment wise. But as long as you can identify the problems and chip away at them slowly, they will subside. I am working towards fixing the cash flow problem and making the paper numbers more of a reality. All while weeding out the bad eggs etc. Locqus is helping too.

    Keep it manageable is all I can recommend. We ran like chickens with our heads cut off last year grabbing everything we could and it was unnecessary. Made some changes, downsized a bit, things looking much better. Rather run a smooth 3 truck company than a crazy 20 truck one.

    A few beers, a vacation, and a reset button is always nice too! We all have the doubt days, with you there!
     
  7. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    I go through it twice a year. Usually around now as we're busy as h***, new employees are still being trained and getting settled in. Then things start to run a bit more smoothly. Then late october comes around, and it happens again. I'm burnt out from the long weeks and starting to get stressed looking at the jobs still on the books and hoping that we get to work until mid-late december before the ground freezes.

    This year I'm trying to take things much slower myself. I'm putting more and more trust in my employees and actually letting management do their jobs without me trying to micro manage. I'm trying to only go to each construction job 1-2x a week tops, even then I'm just stopping by for 30 minutes or so. That is unless there is an issue I have to meet with the property owner or General contractor about. Doing this is definitely helping me keep the business in perspective. I think the issue a lot of owner operators have is that they are putting so much time in working that they don't spend enough time looking at the business' big picture.

    Another thing that has made a huge impact on my outlook and happiness with the business is that we spent most the winter and spring trying to work out the details on a sale of the business to a national company. Things have pretty much fell through on that, but seeing there analysis of the business has reinforced my idea that I've been doing things correctly.
     
  8. eastsidelandcare

    eastsidelandcare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Yeah, it's easy to screw up. I always find that my business is successful as long as I am learning from the f** ups and devising ways to avoid in the future. Apparently the Japanese invented it and called it 'continuous improvement'. Hah, hah. Living the dream.

    Lonnie
    www.eastsidelandcare.com
     
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,746

    If that's your worst mistake I think you will be ok.

    I could write a book on the crap I go through in my realestate business. I do plan on scaling wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back. But Im almost 50.
     
  10. hudsonhawk

    hudsonhawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I've been a chicken with my head cut off for the entire 7 years of my business. I make a little bit every year but nothing close to enough to make it worth working this hard. I plan on breaking down my bids more carefully. Making damn sure a good profit is made on everything we do. If I don't get the job because they think its too high so be it. More work close to home as well. Simplify. Now if I can just figure out how to have better cash flow in the spring.
     

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