Path to success or failure

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Wells, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Very true indeed about many businesses but I do truly believe lawncare has a higher success rate. I sustained my failed fireproofing business for over 1 year with lawncare profits alone before I threw in the towel. That business was like playing the lottery. One day it would seem as though I was about to score a contract for a $1,000,000 job and the next day I'm beating on doors to mow lawns. I finally gave up because the insurance, quotas, and other cost were drowning me out. The only reason I held on for a full year was because I was dealing contracts that were required by state and federal law to have fireproofing done the their buildings but in the end they just took the fine instead because it was cheaper. I almost lost my house and I sold all of personal belongings for cheap just to make the bills. Lawncare is differant though. It is so much more consistant and predictable. I actually don't have to look hard to get work.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Reminds me of times back when I'd get a price shopper but I was already out to their place by the time this came about, so I give them the least price I think someone else can (and will) still underbid.

    Takes practice but it's just over the absolute cheapest, once you get a few years in you know these limits, bid right over the low end.

    Dang 35-40 dollar yard... Bid it at 30.
    Then comes the next guy...
    Oh yeah? Well great I'll do it for 25!!!
    And I'm off the hook, the rest is a hidden bonus.

    I used to get great amusement out of this, I know it's sick but it helped relieve frustration.
    Which is to say I've been in the next guy's shoes, too.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yeah, perhaps now this makes sense, why I preach these things so much:

    - Save your money first and do not finance!
    - Buy used and I mean USED!
    - NO employees until you've got at least 4-5 years under your belt.
    - Ditto with commercial contracts, you need experience first, yes, as a solo doing residentials.
    - Fark the signs, forget the uniforms, don't get fancy because looks don't pay!
    > Looks help, but what pays is functionality and performance, looks always comes last.

    Which is not to say be a total scrub either, but save yourself 5-8 g first.
    And by the way, I think it's better to look like a scrub but have no loans than to be the big man with a ton of debt.
  4. chiseled

    chiseled LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    great post. it's not what you do, but how you do it

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