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HELP!! Left for college, trying to still run business

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by STL Cuts, May 17, 2009.

  1. STL Cuts

    STL Cuts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    My sophomore year in high school i started my business (residential mowing for the most part) and got up to 10 customers, junior year came around and i expanded to 20, and my senior year i ended up with a little over 40.

    This year (my freshman year in college) I went three hours away for college, but obviously still wanted to maintain and run my business. I did 100% of the work in high school, and needed a way to keep everything going. I hired a friend from high school that was also in the lawn business to take care of 20 of my accounts and had an old coach (along with his brother who also cut about 30 yards) of mine take care of my other 20 while I was gone. The deal was they would provide my customers lawn care for the end of the season as I left at the end of August (so this was not a whole lot of grass cutting, mostly fall stuff) and they would also take care of them at the end of my school year (I got back May 15th). They made some extra cash and I kept the business going, everybody won.

    Things seemed to be going well, I would occasionally come home and work a whole weekend, but the system seemed to be working alright. I also called all of my customers periodically to see how things were going and continue to build rapport with them.

    However, I have been by all my houses and retained 100% of my clients as I have just gotten back from school, but some of them were not very pleased with the service one of my "fill-ins" had provided.

    Any suggestions on the best way to run a successful lawn care business when you can't always be around 100% of the time? I have another friend to replace the one I fired, but I'm open to suggestions as to the best way to handle this.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    It is very hard. I experienced the same thing for 4 years when I went to college. Just have to be sure that your subs, or friends are doing a quality job. Might need to pay them more, or put some sort of incentive in it for them to do a better job. It is not easy, no matter what you do. Just keep at it, keep checking with your customers and find ways to inspire your friends to perform quality work.
  3. STL Cuts

    STL Cuts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Thanks I will try to keep them motivated. It is a hard juggling act, but I think I will try and call my customers more than just like once a month or so when I'm away at school. Another thing I will do this year is hand write Thank You notes to all of them to get that personal touch. Thanks for your response.


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