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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a full time job and came into this season with i think 7 customers. well now i have 35 will most customers yards on average about 1 1/2 acres. i have one guy that works with me most of the time unless he has something to do. well the customes are wanting more work done other then there grass cut. some i try to fix it in the schedule some how to do mulching, weed control, fertilizing, triming hedges. the season will be over or slowing down shortly. has anyone else had problems growing too quickly.
 

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Growth is one of the most difficult problems with most businesses
to deal with.It is difficult to say no,But it is a requirement if you intend to stay in business for the long haul.Take it slow and steady until you are in a position to deal with faster growth.
 

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yes, and taking on too many customers is counterproductive and in the end, leaves u lookin stupid. tell u why. u start with 7 weekly accts. u know u can handle 18. u end up with 35, and there is no way u can do them all on a weekly basis. so u start missing weeks, the next time u go there, it needs to be double or tripple cut, for the same price, u cannot charge the customer double because YOU couldnt make it, cus u were overbooked. now you are spending an hour there instead of 20 min, for the same 25 or 30 bucks. and u r losing out big time on the "extras' . and, in the end, u lose the client, and u can never have them back, or thier neighbors or friends. if i still had most of the clients i had lost over my 8 yrs, because i tried to grow too fast, id be sittin pretty right now
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i stopped answering my phone abut a month and a half ago. I though at first i could do it all. i can but not with all the extra services. most lawns i cut are 7-10 days. and a few want it 10-14 days. the 10-14 days are lawns that grow slow, so it doesn't take any longer. on average the lawns i cut are $60 a cut. they range from $40 - $350. i don't mind spending a extra couple of minutes but just the fact of the full time job, is killing me. next year i'm only doing lawns. no full time job. i was thinking about taking some management classes also in the off season. i though it might help.
 

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What you charge is nothing to do with taking on to much work.

You need to find a happy medium of where to draw the line and say no, or pass the work on to others. A suggestion of finding an LCo to refer work extra work to now and then or one to sub work to, this can solve most of that.

This is part of what professionalism is. Managing your work load is all part of it.
 

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I am still taking on work. I know it will be a bit hairy comes fall cleanup, but we will manage.

Just today we signed 2 more full maintenance residentials. Others are not able do what customers expect. That is the 4th this month. All 4 were at higher prices.

Landscape work we are still taking requests. Tomorrow going to design 3 that we already have a commitment to do the work. And I have commercial installation where 2 schools were expanded. And second shrub trimmings.

And I am doing a 3 way planting for our Chamber of Commerce where we are donating labor, some plants and rest at cost. That 3 way is my company, a friend that has a design and installation firm and his brother that operates the family nursery.

The 3 of us work very well together. This past spring the brother with the design/isntallation firm had a very high priced installation that needed flowers installed. They had seen my work with flowers and wanted like that. He never could so he had me do it. last year there were 2 installs that I needed his help with.

The entire family thinks of me as an uncle........it's pretty cool. Known them a very long time
 

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I had to downsize this year and didn't downsize enough. I've got a lot of work right now, and with no slow down because of growth, I'm working like crazy. Can't really ----- about it, better than a drought. But next year I am definitely downsizing more and selecting the most profitable customers. I'm also changing the way I work. Scheduling less regular weekly work and trying to add more extras and leaf cleanup. I am all about working smarter, not harder, and having a bunch of customers isn't always the smartest thing to do.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well. now i have the opportunity to bid on a contract that includes 19 apartment communities.. wow i could be up there with the big guys.... i guess if worse comes to worse i could sub out some of the work..
 

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Sounds like your fulltime job is getting in the way of your dream. You need to cut back on the fulltime job (go part-time) or get a different job that you can work part time til you can go full time at LCO. The good thing is that you said things are slowing down now, so you will have your serenity back. See if you can secure all of your customers over the winter and maybe even pickup a few more. Set yourself up so you can leave your fulltime job all together when the mowing season starts again.
 

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yup had the problem of growing too big too fast about 2 years ago. It was horrible!!! I ended up losing customers because I didn't have the time or workers to complete the work.
 

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Originally posted by fblandscape
Is buying a larger machine an option? A 72" rider really will work wonders on a big lawn :blob3: :blob4: :blob1:
This is sound advice! What size of cut are you using now?

MATT
 

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Sounds like your help needs an attitude adjustment. The adjusted statement would be:


"Guy that works for me, he does other stuff when he's not working for me...like on weekends and holidays or scheduled time off"

If he can't adjust to your growth, hire, or lose customers that will never come back.

KB
 

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We are trying to avoid the exact situation that you are in. Me and my partner both work full time, and do the lawn business right now part time. We have a long term plan to grow according to what we can handle, and slowly transition from our full time jobs, into the business full time, to assure we can handle everything without the risk of 1) losing customers and 2) ensuring enough income to cover the bills.

On the other hand, I'd much rather be turning away work then struggling to get work. Charge accordingly to what the market will pay you for your services, and you will soon realize it is worth doing quality work over simply quantity. You will soon realize that you can make as much with 25 lawns as you can with 50, depending on the extras and attitudes of the customers.

Good luck, and struggle through this year, with never forgetting about how much easier it will be next year going full time.

Obstacles are the things you see when you take your eye off of your goal!

:D
 

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I work full time and do lawn care part time. I set a goal for myself this year and I already have already doubled it. I am struggling with the idea of going full time. I am just not brave enough to make that leap yet.
 

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Originally posted by turfcare
I work full time and do lawn care part time. I set a goal for myself this year and I already have already doubled it. I am struggling with the idea of going full time. I am just not brave enough to make that leap yet.
I am in the same boat.....it's hard to leave a 40K yr job with full benefits. One thing on my side is no spouse and no children.....that I know of. I am a firm believer in the thought of "half efforts equal half results". Until I go full time I will never release my full potential. My goal is to go full time in 2006.....we'll see!

MATT
 
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