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a word to solos

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    first of all, this is not to discourage anyone, just something to keep in mind. there r alot of solos looking to go full time, and here is something to think about. as i type this, i am in agonizing pain, i hurt my back pretty good 5 days ago. how, u may ask did i hurt it? no, not shoveling stone, or mulch, or slipping on wet grass. i sneezed! yep, i sneezed so hard, i through out my back! it can happen to anyone. needless to say, this being a very busy time of year, i lost alot of money by missing work. none of my lawns got serviced this week. 7 thatching jobs averaging $350 each, were not done. people are on the phone moaning. i dont know how long ill be laid up, calls are coming in everyday for estimates. what is a solo to do? a few years ago i had to have emergency sergury, put me out for about 2.5 months. lost big $$$$. its not easy to get someone else to "help" u out. seems the guys aroundhere would rather see u go under and wait like vultures to take your customers when u do. just something to think about people before u make a change .
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    sorry to hear about your misfortune. i have always wondered what i would do if i got injured. i have a few buddies who own LCO's and im pretty sure theyd help me out. i hope you get back on your feet soon.
  3. SIG

    SIG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. I will make a suggestion for the future. It you have enough work, find yourself a good firefighter (career) or police officer. These guys are great, they need extra money ( cause we don't pay them enough) and are good, reliable workers. They already have insurance, so no worry's there. It works very well for me. Get 2 or 3 on different shifts and your covered and then one guy doesn't work all the time he is off and get burned out. Hope this helps you out in the future, HOPE YOUR FEELING BETTER!
  4. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Good point and topic ... one we often do not consider.
    I have my one machine slip off a block of wood earlier this season while I was changing the blades ... $1700 later, I realized that a safer way to lift and support the machines was in order. Thankfully, I was not permanently injured (aside from a scar and occasional ache with change in weather), but it was a wake up call.
    My back is not the best either, so I can also empathise with you, hope you are better soon ...
  5. musselman

    musselman LawnSite Senior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 301

    $350 for a thatch job...Ive got to move. I feel for ya, few years back I got the chicken poxs (one of the few I know that dint get them as a kid) I had a buddy who was going to college help me out....Now ive grow and have some big commercial jobs and bigger equipment I would be in a bind also. Hope your back get better soon.
  6. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I feel for ya Bobby,

    A few seasons ago I was mowing with a 21 and hit a sewer cleanout. I yanked back hard on the handles, and felt my neck POP! hard! It hurt like hell, and I couldn't turn my head. I was out for 4 days completely and in pain for over a month.

    About a year later I slipped on a melted ice cube in the kitchen floor and my back hurt for a couple of days. I didn't even fall, but I felt it crack when I tightened up when I lost my balance.

    BTW, my back hurt every morning after that until last August. I talked to a Dr. and he said it was probably my bed. I got a new mattress and box, and haven't been sore since.
  7. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. It is a fact, one we have to reckon with. Things were so slow I relased my two helpers and have been going alone. It has been hard, but also fun, less headaches, and knowing things are done right. I feel I can outwork two workers, but...I got the flu this week. It is no fun mowing when you have the flu, but when your alone you got to go. I think it is smart to have help if at all possible, in the long run it is neccesary, that is unless I can mow 100 or more accounts a week when I am 50!

    Get well man
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Bobby - Sorry to hear. That's exactly why I'm talking to my insurance agent now about getting "key man insurance." It's not cheap, but could make all the difference for a solo op.
  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Another great reason for local networking within the trade. Too many solo operators look at everyone else as only competition to take money out of their own pockets. Maybe 9 out of ten people you approach will shun a communication, but you never know unless you try.

    I know three other operators here (well, 2 of them are no longer actually solo) who I can call to fill in on basic work for me if I am sick, or need to go fishin' for a few days real bad. And they can call me the same way. Just this week I had three lawns mowed this way, because I was helping a sick friend.

    LawnSite ain't the only place to network.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    Financial Planning and Insurance is my night job, I own and operate my own firm. I only mow during the morning. I KNOW! That's an odd combo. One I'll explain at a later time if asked.

    Just so you know, as far as things go in NC, "keyman" insurance is mostly associated with a company buying life insurance on a "KEY" empoyee. KEY meaning a person the business could not operate without. Like I said, this is mostly to protect the business itself, business continuation if you will. The way I set them up, the company pays the premium and collects the death benefit to have the money to "replace" a key person so the business doesn't die with the person.

    I don't know what type of angle he's working on you or what way he's able to set up this "keyman" insurance in your state. The only possible thing I could think of that could be used here in NC is to add in a disability policy/rider that would pay a max of 60% of your proven taxable income. This would allow you to take the 60% and use it as you please (hire a worker to run the business). Then you could reap all your normal profits from the business without you the "keyman".

    I hope you see this and make sure all is well before your purchase. Please let me know how this will be set up. I'm very curious now!

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