Young buck Dilemma

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mowin4Dollas, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Hey guys, so I am a young buck trying to make a few dollars in this business. My dilemma is my parents trying to run my business. My father is a business man, but has never worked a day for landscape crew in his life and has no idea what running a landscape business is like. He tells people I will cut their yard for next to nothing thinking he is doing me a favor. He has me mowing a 1 1/4 acre property for 40 dollars. This property has over 25 trees. I feel robbed every time I do it. I take what I so seriously And try to leave every lawn looking the best I possibly can. In the mean time, alot of friends and family contact me wanting some work. My sister expects me to mow her yard for free, and apparently so do my parents, because they have jumped down my neck for refusing to do it. The only reason their lawn is not cut is because they are super lazy. Also, a friend of ours contacted me via Facebook wanting me to cut her fathers yard. She just wanted me to cut it, not weedeat or blow it. She told me her husband was going to weedeat over there he just couldnt grt his mower there. So I told her I would much rather her just allow me to take total care of the property, one because this way I know that when I leave the property I know it looks to my standards, and two it would cost her just about the same to weedeat and mow. Apparently I offended her and my family jumped down my throat. Basically every since I started I have tried to take everything I have learned here and execute it in my business to be profitable, but still affordable. But apparently to my parents I am just some punk kid who takes what I am doing to seriously. Sorry for this rant, but I am just so frustrated because I feel torn between two places. I want to respect my family, but I also want to maintain a professional appearance, and not just be little Johnny. I hope you guys can give me some advice, and sorry if I wasted your time
     
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,346

    Wow, that's an unusual post.

    My advice to you <if your business is just starting out> is too MOVE! Im not joking
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  3. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    First, you're not wasting anyone's time until you post a "how much should I charge?" thread.

    As for your problems:
    1. Ask your family know to not throw out prices for you. And if they still do, when you return someone's call preface it with "Dad said I may be able to help you out. When's a good time for me to come over, take a look, and give you a price?"

    2. Stick with your guns on letting someone else trim, edge, etc., and for the very reason you mentioned. I tell people it's the same price whether I trim, edge, blow....or don't do those things. They always opt in. ;) The graceful way of saying that is "The price I gave you is just for the mowing. The others I throw in for free."

    3. I'd never charge my parents for mowing.

    4. No one else gets a freebie though. If they get mad, that's their problem, not yours.
     
  4. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    It's looking like I might do that as soon as I graduated highschool, and enter into college. Haha! Not because I am wanting to be rebellious, I just know I'll still be bound by "house rules" I know at 18 you're not considered fully an adult. But I still feel that if at 17, which is how old I am now, I can run a small lawn care business, pay mower payment, put gas in equipment and a diesel truck, etc. I guess I am just frustrated with my parents trying to be in every sing facet of my life. Once again, I'm sorry for my rant, but you all are the only people I know that will give advice in the lawn care industry. I literally know no one in this industry. Also, I mow my parents yard no problem. Don't mind that one bit. It's jus the lazy sister and bro-in law that get me.
     
  5. doobs41378

    doobs41378 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    If you read the Pro Turf thread on here he speaks about how he was able to grow because he lived at home with no bills etc. If you move out you are going to have much more to pay for monthly than if you just stay home and mow your parents lawn for free. My .02
     
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    I would take advantage of the situation in all honesty.

    As you get busier, and you are working harder, you'll have less time to do the book work and "run" the operation.

    Take advantage of the fact that someone (albeit your father) is willing to work on the book end of things.

    But, you need to talk to him, maybe drive him around and show him some of the properties you mow and how much you want to charge.

    And considering he is a business man, sit down with him and talk numbers and show him your operating costs in relation to what he is charging. Then throw in hypotheticals, such as taking on an employee and how that would affect overhead in the future with those added costs.

    If none of that works, then run....... :laugh:



    .........
     
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,346

    Id just move, it doesn't mean you don't love your parents. Im speaking from experience, I wound up doing a lot of stuff in my younger years by taking my Dads advice. I fell I lost a lot of time and opportunities before I finally made "My own little World". Im not downgrading my Dad, naturally he meant well.

    If your life to live, live a clean life and work hard and I quarantee you will be successful. Im not saying to disrespect your parents, youll have to do what they say while you live under their roof.

    Hers a book that you and your father should read
    http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454
     
  8. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Larry, that is the big thing, I am a very devout follower of Christ, and my Mother throws it up in my face when I am stern about not doing something dirt cheap. I need to find a good mentor for this business.
     
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,346

    The truth is, the better you do in your business, the better you will do in the "giving " part of your life.

    My Church has a "handyman" Ministry, you may be able to parcipiate in something like that. But keep your business completely separate.

    Its also eaiser to share Christ when your happy, and you wont be happy cutting grass on the cheap.

    Don't be the "go to " guy because your cheap. Be the "go to" guy because your realiable and have skill sets that most people don't have.

    People will abousoutely take advantage of you if you let them.
     
  10. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599


    Stay the course. I'd tell the big sis to take a long walk off a short pier:laugh:

    Sorry to say it but your Father is not much of a business & you realize that. If he tells others you'll do it for X amount, Then inform the new client when you first meet or call them of what the realistic price is.

    I agree that you should move elsewhere. Your family life is very toxic and dysfunctional. You cannot "change" them and you shouldnt even try to. It is not going to get better. I grew up in a very similar life such as yours & I speak from experience. There are certain family members I no longer have contact with, My Mom being one. I tried my darn-est to please & impress & nothing worked. It took me many yrs to wakeup and realize I could not change my family. I moved on. I'm not saying your at this point mainly because of your age. Maybe after you leave, our family will mellow out eventually.
     

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