A question for everyone!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PRECISION LC, Feb 18, 2003.


    PRECISION LC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I have been reading a lot of posts about small lco's, those who do not have the very best equipment, or do not do the best quality of work. They are running out of a mini truck, pulling small trailer, and Home Depot equipment, with no insurance, and doing business in cash, so no taxes.
    I know everyone who has been in the business a while gets frustrated with them saturating the market and driving down "some" of our prices. This is only because (no offense) anyone can mow a lawn. Each person is trying to make a living and/or support a family.
    Ask yourself one question. How did you start you LCO. what equipment did you start with, how much did you know, and how much have you learned? I know, because this is how I started 4 yrs ago when I turned 16, and now I run with experience, insurance, taxes, the work trucks and the best equipment.

    Just something I had to get off my chest.
  2. imalandscper

    imalandscper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    You get 'em tiger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are not gonna change no matter how much you vent!
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    If you've been around the last year or two you already know my story and what all I have. There are two stages of my career: Before Lawnsite and After Lawnsite. Before lawnsite I was your average scrub. Knew nothing but how to drive a mower. After Lawnsite I started to learn a few things. Started making lawns look nicer than I found them by just using the right techniques. Learned alot of other things and trying to give others your opinion is the best way to learn. Don't ask for advice, give your opinion and you will quickly have many responses! Just word it so that they will answer with what you wanted to know to start with. I learned that from Lawnsite. Also learned not to listen to people who tell you you can't do something. 9 times out of 10 when they said "can't" I said "can too" and I did it. Some people don't outright say they're proud or you did good, they tell you in their own way like "wow what a piece of junk you made" or "at least he isn't in jail or on drugs". I just interpret it that they are saying keep it up and you'll be building our equipment someday, and we'll thank you for it. Also learned that anyone above 21 has no respect at all for anyone under that range, particularly if they are opinionated and hot tempered! :blob4: :dizzy: :cry: :blush: :angel:
    Also a picture is worth a thousand words; get a digital camera and learn how to use it! Cable internet is nice.
    Learned alot of other useful stuff that doesn't come to mind right now.
  4. Tom Musselman

    Tom Musselman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    If you are concerned about companies like this and feel they "impact" our industry, then you probably are'nt much different, excepting possibly updated equipment and number of accounts.

    Simply stated, success comes from differentiating yourself from your competition and performing on your promises to customers. Newcomers and small operations should not impact your business. There will always be room, and a market, for them. Your right in being sympathetic to them, in one form or another we have all been there.

    Tom Musselman
  5. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    I agree with tom:D
  6. mcs

    mcs LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 15

    I see see lot of cheap new compition about this time every year. One individual has an ad in the newspaper that he will mow any "normal" size lawn for $15.00. So what does normal size mean anyway?

    The thing is that these people manage to survive during the spring and summer because there is such high demand and some people just want cheap. But because they have no idea how to operate a business they are not around the following year.


    "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
  7. Haley Lawn Care

    Haley Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 119

    I had my cards printed 2 years even before i cut the first yard. Cut my own and kept time to figure out how to charge to make money. Also read a lot of material. People who jump in last 1 year if lucky. On the other hand people who start to do some research before jumping in last a lot longer. I was about 3 years part time before i went full time. March 3 starts my 7th year in business. Haven't got rich--haven't done without anything. All equipment paid for except my eXmark i just got. I was cheaper when i started but only by 3 or4 dollars a yard.

  8. Haley Lawn Care

    Haley Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 119

    Forgot to tell you the first thing I did was hire an accountant. The next thing was open a bank account so i could accept checks.

    David:) ;)
  9. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    When I think back to what I started with I can't help but laugh. If memory serves me, it was a 3.5 hp something - no bag. A girl I dated lived in a very nice neighborhood. Her parents felt obligated. I destroyed their lawn and flirted with their daughter the entire time I was there. A 45 minute cut took me 2 1/2 hours due to the constant lemonade breaks served up by my girlfriend. I didn't even know I was supposed to have a trimmer. And when I was done, her mother suggested I broom off the stairs. I reluctantly swung away thinking to myself "I guess she is too lazy to do this herself!".

    But the owner of the larger, more established company in the area drove up when I was heaving the mower into the station wagon. He talked to me for 30 minutes explaining how things needed to be done to please the clients. I dipped into savings, bought decent equipment, and never looked back.

    My company still services their property today. I can't remember the last time I was actually there mowing or doing anything else, but I still tease the woman who suggested I broom off her steps.

    Growth and success in this industry can mean alot of different things to everyone.

    Do everything better than expected. Be fair and be aware of the bottom line. Accept that growth means headaches. Accept that....

    If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
  10. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Sean - Good advise - I think the bit about the right equipment is important - and the right equipment may mean getting the best 21" push mower to get started, or getting the right WB or ZTR

    Thanks, Brad

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