13 year old's first lawn care business. Things I have learned and questions.

Jashley73

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville, KY
about 1 to 2 miles

Gosh I love seeing this and hearing your story.

Don't ever lose your sense of ambition. Far too many people (including me quite often) have the "well, I don't have _________, so I can't ___________" mentality.

You've already set your self apart from others by taking the initiative that you have now. Don't ever lose that.




As far as taking on more work than you can handle... The biggie is going to be school in the fall. Not much you can do to replace the block of time that you'll be in school.

I don't mean to muddy up any custody arrangements between your parents' divorce. However, I think that you've already shown such a high-level of maturity this far. I don't think it would be irresponsible for you to ask for more time at Mom/Dad's house, so that you can get more work done. I think any Mom/Dad would be proud to see their son with such a work ethic.





Jake, when you're not working, I would suggest you read two books.

#1 - The art of money getting, by PT Barnum. Start with this one, as it's a short read. The title is tricky, as the book goes on to describe that there really is no "Art" of money-getting, and far more important is the actual discipline of money-saving.

#2 - How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie. A longer book, but chapter-by-chapter, this book is easy to read & very valuable.

I would even offer to send them to you if you'd like. It's not wise for a youngster like you to share your address over the internet - but if there's a nearby church, gas station, or if you simply wanted to hold the package at your local post-office, I'd be happy to send these to you.
 

Jashley73

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville, KY
And I think this is part of your success. Sales is the lifeblood of business, and if you accidentally sell more than you can handle, consider first raising prices a little bit, and then develop a "waiting list." Both of those are better for your stress level than putting them on your route if you can't handle the work. Nothing is worse than feeling like you're always behind, or working hard while knowing your profit margin is razor thin.
Great work so far.

Quoted because this is so important...

Some of the most profound business advice that I ever read, was from a pretty successful CNC machine sales company owner. "Throughout my entire career, I never found myself in a problem that I couldn't go sell my way out of..."
 

JawT

LawnSite Member
From another perspective, I was that kid years ago. Started at 11 as a paper boy, then caddied at the local country club until I became the caddy master.
Worked seven days a week. Was always hustling to make some cash.

Fast forward, kids are gone, college education and weddings paid for and I am soon to retire.

If I had to do it over, I would have probably stopped and smelled more roses when I was younger and enjoyed more social time with friends on the weekends. Problem was/is, some people, including me, are wired to always having to be productive. I look at it as a blessing and a curse.

Good luck young fellows.
This is not just advice. It is wisdom.
 

Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
Great advice from these guys! I really like the point that you aren’t making excuses for why you can’t do this or that because of your circumstances. You just strapped together a trailer with your moms lawn equipment and now you’re getting more business than you can handle and that’s very admirable. Now staying debt free and doing what you’re comfortable with is a very important part but some new equipment, commercial grade equipment could save you tons of time and allow you to not get burned out and frustrated as easily. You can be the hardest working person out there but if your hard work isn’t applied and utilized correctly than you won’t achieve nearly as much.
 

Cross Creek Lawn Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Middle Tennessee
Yeah I want to second that. Both of you guys are great writers. Your writing voices sound older than you are. If you decide to go a different direction one day, you'll be able to make it in a number of different fields.

And I think this is part of your success. Sales is the lifeblood of business, and if you accidentally sell more than you can handle, consider first raising prices a little bit, and then develop a "waiting list." Both of those are better for your stress level than putting them on your route if you can't handle the work. Nothing is worse than feeling like you're always behind, or working hard while knowing your profit margin is razor thin.
Great work so far.

Again the seconds part of that is so true, I bit off more than I could chew this spring and I felt like I was constantly behind for 4 months, I was killing it and making a ton but it hardly mattered since I just felt so overwhelmed! Jake, If you remember anything from this thread remember this!
 
OP
J

Jake Boes

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
Gosh I love seeing this and hearing your story.

Don't ever lose your sense of ambition. Far too many people (including me quite often) have the "well, I don't have _________, so I can't ___________" mentality.

You've already set your self apart from others by taking the initiative that you have now. Don't ever lose that.




As far as taking on more work than you can handle... The biggie is going to be school in the fall. Not much you can do to replace the block of time that you'll be in school.

I don't mean to muddy up any custody arrangements between your parents' divorce. However, I think that you've already shown such a high-level of maturity this far. I don't think it would be irresponsible for you to ask for more time at Mom/Dad's house, so that you can get more work done. I think any Mom/Dad would be proud to see their son with such a work ethic.





Jake, when you're not working, I would suggest you read two books.

#1 - The art of money getting, by PT Barnum. Start with this one, as it's a short read. The title is tricky, as the book goes on to describe that there really is no "Art" of money-getting, and far more important is the actual discipline of money-saving.

#2 - How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie. A longer book, but chapter-by-chapter, this book is easy to read & very valuable.

I would even offer to send them to you if you'd like. It's not wise for a youngster like you to share your address over the internet - but if there's a nearby church, gas station, or if you simply wanted to hold the package at your local post-office, I'd be happy to send these to you.
Thanks for the advice! I have already read How to win friends and influence people, and I will definitely look into the other :)
 
OP
J

Jake Boes

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
I would contact the local newspaper/news and show them how a 13yr. old built their own business.

Most have lemonade stands and play/band school sports. You even type better than most adults.

IOW, you are a lawnsite prodigy.

"Yeah I want to second that. Both of you guys are great writers. Your writing voices sound older than you are. If you decide to go a different direction one day, you'll be able to make it in a number of different fields."

What would be the benefit of doing this? Just getting to be on the news?
 

Bitches_Brew

Banned
Location
earth
What would be the benefit of doing this? Just getting to be on the news?

A 5min. news segment on local TV would be priceless to someone in your situation.

What would a actual prime-time commercial cost?

IOW, It would be the type of free advertising you could never afford to buy.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
In high school, around age 15 or 16 I got up to 55 lawns and maxed out. Most were in my neighborhood but not all. Most were postage stamp size but not all. Rain was the killer but back then EVERYONE was a weekly lawn. I didn't even have to ask. Everyone got their lawn cut weekly. So if I did get rained out an entire week it wasn't too bad but it wasn't fun. Not sure what I would do with bi weekly lawns and school. Most were postage stamp size. I ended up having one of my best friends cut with me summer between my junior and senior year.
 

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