Landscapers Play With Equipment, Business Owners Play With Calculators

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sean Adams, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Hey there Yardguy, I will be the first to admit that I don't always agree with what you post(i always read em though) But this one is great! I really respect your honesty and it is refreshing as well because of how focused everyone is on "growing their business." If what you do works for you, and you have everything that you need and want, then that's awesome! I feel as if there are two kinds of Owners..... Those that want to get out of the field as quickly as possible to be able to manage and grow the business.... And then there are those that cringe at the thought of not being able to physically landscape everyday.... I kinda put myself in the second catagory( i am a true mow-head and will always be happiest laboring outside) however I also want to expand and grow my business.. Can't I have both?
  2. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    personally I think you can.

    I love being in the field and wouldn't give it up for the world. that why I started my business. I put myself in the second category as well.

    now I've since decided to remain solo, maybe add 1 employee in the future. but before that my plan was to grow, grow, grow. and you know what, in that plan I was going to remain in the field and eventual have someone else sitting in the office doing invoicing, accounts payable, phone calls and going out and giving estimates. I've never wanted to be that guy not doing the actual mowing, trimming, mulching, etc. I'd rather hire someone to do all the office/business side so I can remain in the field.

    so yeah I'll gladly admit I'm a landscaper vs a business owner if forced to choose.
  3. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,758

    Amen. I NEED to stay active. Winters are bad enough...come on Spring!!
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,741

    yeah to me the actual labor work is the easy part. that's the part i want to do. it's fun.

    the calling people, estimates, taxes, etc. are the annoying parts but necessary to do in order to be in business.

    i'd rather be out on the mower any day over talking with people on the phone and so forth.
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

    Isn't that what every boy wants to do when they grow up is play with equipment?

    It is true they have to make money to have but if you have them what's the harm in enjoying using them? I'd much rather be on a mower, skid steer, loader, mini ex than sitting on the computer crunching #'s or on the phone with customers. I'll agree with the other guys who say they're both, I'm the guy with the grease gun in one hand and the calculator/phone in the other :cool2:
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    well right now since I'm solo I'd say I'm kind of both as well. but I try to be the guy with the calculator as little as possible. obviously I have to to some degree. but I tend to focus on what I have instead of getting more.
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Sorry I didn't respond sooner.

    Excitement is never a bad thing. I have always believed that entrepreneurs are willing to live their lives for a few years in ways most people won't, so eventually they can live their lives like most other people can't.

    That being said, there are 24 hours in a day. A lot can be accomplished in a day. the question is - are you willing to really put in the time?

    Michael Jordan, Hellen Keller, Abraham Lincoln and many other succesful people also only had 24 hours in their day, but they did not rest, did not stop and did not let theeir goals slip through their fingers.

    In a start up situation it is not possible to hire people to do all the things you need done. Starting up, yes, as stated before makes it necessary to wear many hats.

    My point is, tinkering with equipment, cleaning the shop, welding another basket on the trailer, sharpening more blades, going to the dealer to drool over new equipment is fine - as long as you have done all the other things that should come first.
  8. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,393

    I'm the opposite.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Grant11

    Grant11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Pertaining to the wearing many hats for the start up guys- I saw a thread where some guy wanted to make six figures on his first year of start up. He wanted to get huge contracts and start hiring people to do the work. Realistically he probably had a fraction of the experience of people making $10,000 a year landscaping. That guy had no clue what it takes to get into the game. To start a business from the ground up you are that business. You have to be a jack of all traits. I never had time or money to bring my mower into the shop at the start of spring and pay $90 a shop hour and wait 6 weeks for my mower back. Instead of staring at it I picked up the wrenches and never looked back. You got to be a jack of all traits. Customer service is extremely important because every guy with a pick up truck and a wheelbarrow is a "landscaper". You got to be good on the phone and good with your hands.
  10. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    Sounds like a Dave Ramsey quote to me!

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