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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by printer88, Aug 18, 2012.
Yep, same story here!
I have been solo for 3 years, I have had help here and there but never full time help. We grow 20% per year and 2013 i will be able to have help full time. I have 46 accounts that I do by myself, however if we get rain or an install job iam screwed on my maintenance, which is my bread and butter, at 40 to 50 customers one man can do in 5-6 days with a 48 and 36 mower, now we do everything,meaning prune, spray, edge and now at every stop. With 46 customers I have gotten into a rut, to busy to get more work, or quote installs, I have a 2 day wait to even quote new work, with help i should be able to do 10-14 accounts a day, giving me one day maybe 2 to quote or do installs.
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I'm a solo op. been in business for 6 years now.
I would say the positives and what keeps me solo is not having to deal with some of the negatives like finding dependable help, dealing with payroll, workers comp. I'm also extremely picky about the quality of work done.
some of the other negatives would be no vacation time. and when your sick you either keep trucking or fall behind.
Solo here. sometimes the wife or one of the kids will give me a hand if needed but i like the solo end. Less hastle and ins. is cheaper
I'm solo. I do 25-30 accounts 2 days a week. If I fall behind, I work an extra day. I just don't want to deal with employees. They will always disappoint.
solo here, happily been for the past three seasons. no help, more $$ in my pocket. tried to hire when needed for mulch or leaves, doesnt matter the number, everyone wants to work, work comes and there always busy.
Solo here in 11th season. Like some others I get help from my teenage sons as needed when school is out or even after school if needed, but that's not often. I cut the older son who is 18 and in college now loose this summer so I could train his 15 year old brother. I got the 18 year old a couple of accounts of his own that turned into a couple more....recurring stuff for well-off seniors. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing resisting growing the business...but it was supposed to be a temporary thing, lol. I'm picky about what accounts I take on and try to concentrate on profitabilty rather than volume, but 1 guy can only do so much work. And sometimes I lose out on opportunities because I'm not available when customers want stuff done....not much availability for extras during peak season.
This seems to be the industry standard right now. With so many lazy people out there its tough to find even mediocre help. You will have far less stress when either solo or running a 1 man crew. Its a nasty circle, solo limits the amount of income you can make and types of properties you can do, if you get hurt or sick your basically screwed. BUT...the stress level is much lower, the quality control is much better and you pocket all the money minus the usual expenses. Running a crew has its goods and bads too. Trust me guys, the big box stores, condo complexes, big estates sometimes aren't worth the headaches! We started out like many, part time with 1 great helper then made the jump to f/t and running 2 crews. It's had it's share of ups and downs and honestly more downs. Just like today, as I'm sitting here typing I'm wondering why hasn't any of my guys texted me to see if we're working! We have been plagued with employee problems this year. Last week there was 2 of us trying to mow and catch up on 140 lawns! We did it but it's something I dont want to do every week. We're actually down sizing next season to where I can comfortably run 1 f/t and 1 p/t person and leave me to do more fert. and estimates.
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I can see instant quotes for some type of work, but for most of what I do I need to physically step foot on the property in order to give an accurate estimate. I have a hard enough time coming up with an estimate being there in person sometimes, lol.