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company owners without college

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MowingIL, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Isenberg Lawn Care

    Isenberg Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    No degree, just dedication and hard work. You can do anything you set your mind to.
  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    I have dual degrees and am definitely in the camp of people that thinks you do not need a degree to succeed. What I do think helps as much as anything is that you gain a certain amount of discipline, increased knowledge of processes, and most of all, effective communication skills.

    Even if just auditing a few classes at the local community college, I always recommend people take a couple of general business and communications classes (yes, the dreaded speech class). It gives you the experience to decide if college is for you, as well as a foundation for your future success. It's amazing the difference communication skills can make.
  3. MSeals

    MSeals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Don't have a degree, but I have a silent business partner that has a bachelor's in business and working on a masters. None the less I think it helps out a lot since he has more knowledge of the building blocks of a business and I have the work knowledge. Either way it's not a necessity, but I think it does help. And helps that he has family that does taxes and bookkeeping. Saves a lot of stress and money
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,803

    With such an uncertain future in our nation I am seriously considering getting a degree so I have a backup plan if something falls through with my business. I'm currently planning to turn over all my maintenance work to a full time employee next year (end of year he will have a crew depending on how much work we get) while I pursue more irrigation, design/build type work. and a degree.
    Bottom line, at the end of the day, if you walked away from the business, why would someone want to hire you? You might have a few licenses and such, and you might have a lot of head knowledge, but no piece of paper to back it. Many decent jobs are going to require a degree. For all those potential employers care, you are just a laborer. Thats basically been what I have been thinking through, hope it helps you.
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    i have a duel BS and am working on both a MS and MBA.

    I don't think a degree is 100% necessary for a good business, but it does definitely help. Having a business, or business related, degree will definitely help with the behind the scenes of a business. Like tony said above, even if you don't go for a full degree, taking a few basic classes such as communications, writing, low level business and accounting classes will definitely go far at helping you and the business.

    I'll add this, college is more about the learning process than the subjects you actually learn. This is why companies will prefer any type college degree for basic positions over someone with out a degree. College shows that you know how to learn and can learn different topics/subjects. I can also say, 90% of the time I talk to someone for a few minutes, I can clearly tell if they have a college degree or not by how they talk and present themselves. If you do not think this effects your business, it does.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I have a science degree but no business courses other than ecomomics. If I ever finished that paper I'd have a master's degree...maybe someday, lol. I did have 15 years of business experience before starting my business though, just in another field. I was responsbile for estimates/proposals, getting the work done on time and on budget, billing it and assisting in collecting on it....project manager bascially as well as senior level techincal.
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,930

    Just to run a business,,any business, the only degree you have to have is the degree in hard knocks

    I was in business for myself more than 20 years before I got certs for pest control(only because the law changed to require it) and started to go to trade shows to see the new technologies out there
  8. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I have a degree in Electronics...sorta helps for low voltage landscape lighting....Degrees are fine but society places too much credit on having a degree...it is very overrated...college kids are fooled into thinking that if they wave that piece of paper in the air the world will hand them everything on a silver platter....I know a lot of people with a wall full of degrees and are still unemployed and broke as sh!t. I am teaching my sons that drive, determination and perseverance are what get you ahead in this world and having a degree is an added bonus.
  9. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Messages: 549

    I am 20, I currently run my own business which usually only consists of myself, I hire a buddy once or twice a season for large jobs I get. I was going to the University of Delaware right out of high school, I got really sick, missed 3 weeks of class and failed the semester. The school didn't feel any remorse for me and I had 18 deficit points which mean that I couldn't be full-time anymore. I did part-time for two semesters with little luck and then I decided, screw it im gonna start my own business. For the past year I grew from the kid who cut 6 neighbors lawns, to the kid who cut 18-20 lawns a week and was involved in 3 large landscape renovations.

    I did apprx. 80 yards of mulch, 7000 sq ft of sod, and 12 yards of topsoil this past season.

    I have already picked up 3-5 new customers for next year, no contracts signed yet but they are neighbors of current clients. I go to Del-Tech, which is a community college 3 days a week. I have done pretty well except for Organic Chemistry. After three more semesters I will have my Associates degree and hopefully by then I can hand my company over to a full-time employee. While I get a Bachelor's in Marine Biology, yea I know its a 180 from landscaping.

    Do I need the degree, No. I personally was always good at business and accounting class, I could do that stuff in my sleep, Math and Chemistry is were I struggled and now that's basically my major. My goal would be to hand my company over to a few full-time employees while I am studying fish in crystal clear water somewhere.

    Landscaping paid for it all, most people in our line of work don't have parents to pay for a 4-year college. My parents were going to pay until I failed out.

  10. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I have the same one. :)

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