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Question for Solo oporations

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fairwayCuts, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. fairwayCuts

    fairwayCuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Right now it's just myself running my business, and I'm loving it. However, someone said to me the other day, "what happens if you break a leg or an arm, or can't mow for whatever reason?" I never really though that out to well. I think I would be screwed if somthing like that happened. Just wondering what your guys plan-b is?
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Working on plan-b right now... to get a crew going. Plan-a is to do my best to stay well until plan-b is in effect.

    What else can you do? Maybe buy disability insurance... expensive and won't pay near what you were making.
  3. Dwan

    Dwan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    That happened to me in 2003. broken arm in Jan. was in cast till April. lucky it was spring. I took a vacation and went to Montana to see my Dad. Best vacation I had in a long time. When I was gone Wife plowed snow.

    If we worry about what could happen we would never get anything done.
  4. Jackman

    Jackman LawnSite Member
    from Zone
    Messages: 231

    I 2nd that thought.... Eleven years solo here been sick and totally down just once for 2 weeks, my customers were calling with concerns not complaints which was kinda nice of them :angel:....
  5. Forest

    Forest LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I'd have to agree with that, but to be safe, I do have my close brother pretty darn efficient at trimming the way I like it and mowin' like a pro when I need him part time. So when the going gets REAL rough he is my main man!

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    That is a hard question to answer. Sick one day and it's OK but break a foot and???????. There is a point where you have to grow or not and that point is He!!. You care the most about your work and any help will not meet your standards. You will take better care of the tools. You will take the extra time to make the customer happy, (within reason).
    The first helper will be the biggest drain on your income because if you are doing 40 hours of work and you get a helper now you get done in 20-owe him 40-and have to baby-sit. In realty it will take as long to get the work done and he will now take home most of the pay. So you start to sell you butt off to get more work and just the time you get about 70 hours for the week he goes back to Walmart because the work is too hard. Building a business is hard and letting go of the control of the work being done can drive you nuts.

    This question can best be answered by you and if you can afford to stop work for a while. A solo can only put in so many hours in a week and that limit can change if you get sick. Can you customers live with that. Can your family live while you don't push the mower. Do you build a 6 month cushion of money and plan to rebuild when you are better?
    If you are set on staying solo, go see an insurance adviser and disscuss a plan for you. Talk about different plans and be honest about your income and your needs and see what he can do.
    This will cost money and that should be part of your business plan. If you go to work for a company and you get Bennies, that is part of the cost of the product that that business sells and it should be part of yours. It would be interesting to see how many LCO's have no health insurance or have even thought about that being part of the cost of being in business.
    Don't have the best plan for you but can tell you it is best to plan. Good luck
    Liberty Lawncare likes this.
  7. fairwayCuts

    fairwayCuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    thanks for the replys guys. I've been thinkg that maby next year I'll try to train a friend or relative so if something were to happen I've got a goto guy, but probobly won't hire him on full time.
  8. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    I would find a way.

    Maybe a helper to trim if I broke a leg, heck should be able to still sit on the mower. Or just sub out the work to another LC for the time needed. This is why it is important to have good relations with a few other LC's.
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I agree with subbing out. I've got 2 buddies that are in the business, and my dad's helped me throughout the years.

    I do have disability insurance that would pay me $2000 / month for 6 months, so that should help out in the mowing season. If I were seriously disabled, my wife and I have a plan for her to start selling accounts, and equipment.

    My dad would try to do as much as he could, but he's 70, so that's not a whole lot, especially if it's 80-90 out.

    I do have an uncle that has helped me in the past, and he's a pastor at a small church, so he'd be able to help a little to.

    Other than that, you pretty much have to cross your fingers.
  10. Greenservice

    Greenservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    If you have high standards for the quality of your work, it can make you nuts trying to find a helper who does it right.

    I have friends in the business I could call on if I were out for awhile - as long as it wasn't too long.

    For next season, I've decided to go down from a 5-day mowing schedule to maybe a 3.5-4 day schedule and try to branch out more into other work that can sit idle if I'm sidelined (unlike mowing jobs).

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