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Reinventing Yourself

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by SprinklerGuy, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Well, I may take a plunge soon. Wife and I have always wanted to move to an area with 4 seasons and we may have found a place. Here is the question.

    If you were starting over with what you know now, how would you do it?

    Fewer employess
    Lawn Maint. only

    Keep in mind that my company is strictly irrigation. Where I am going (hope to go) has irrigation and good growth with good demographics so I could possibly do the same thing, but....I have a chance to not make the same mistakes that I perceive I may have made this time. What would you do?
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501


    I live and work in an area (NW New Jersey) that has 4 very distinct seasons. We've been at it since '94 as an LCO and it has its +'s and -'s here in the Northeast.

    Would I like to have fewer employees? No. I like the company and my people make me money...bottom line.

    Should we stick to lawn maintenance only? No way. Lawn maintenance gets you in the door to do the more profitable turfgrass work like core aerating, de-thatching, and over-seeding.

    Should we continue to offer fertilization programs? Yep, it's probably the most profitable service you can offer to people that truly care about their lawn.

    Four distinct seasons does offer a challenge for a LCO. And if you want to get into snowplowing, that's a whole new ball game too. Good luck if you decide to move...it will be a real big difference than where you are right now!

  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Tony -

    I don't think you can get away from employees. I love my guys. I wouldn't want it any other way. Certainly you get headaches when equipment is damaged or their negligent. It just takes training, patience, patience and follow through. And some understanding. No matter what you do - you will always have people to deal with and the human factor. May they be employees, customers, vendors or the public.

    If I had to do it all over again - I might consider just doing commercial snow plowing. Joining SIMA opened my eyes to a lot of ideas and methods on how to run a successful snow business without having to landscape. You have the same issues to contend with as with any business - but some of the particulars change. Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence? Maybe. So, I'll spend time on my side of the fence trying to make it greener rather than constantly looking for those greener pastures that may be just mirages. But keep your eyes open.

    The great thing about running a business is that if you've done it once, you should be able to replicate it and build off of your wisdom to recreate the systems. The market may change, your products may change, your industry might change, but so many of the basic principals of running a business will remain the same.

    Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do.

  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    If I was starting over would it be in the green industry? Do you have other background, education or interests.
  5. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Green Industry......18 years......Others.....0
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662


    I would think that the opportunity for Lawn Services might be what you need to get your foot thru the door. The GREAT thing about lawns is theres always going to be someone who is willing to purchase what you have to sell -LOL!!!

    Once you have started to establish your name for yourself you can either (hopefully) find the right person(s) to continue on to keep revenue flowing thru the door or put up a profitable outfit for sale. Either way this will allow you to concentrate on the other aspect(s) you love so much.

    If you are not interested in the cutting end of the biz but have the Fert knowledge you wish to transfer I would look into renovations. You can generate some pretty high numbers with just aerating and chem apps alone. The overhead will be minimal and you wont need to rely on passing "jabrones" to get you thru the season.

    As far as employees are concerned I believe that this will continue to be a variable that is solely dependant on the size of your operation currently and the goal(s) you have set forth in your new locale.

    Best of Luck!!!
  7. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    i believe the best way to reinvent urself is to do it in a way that would improve and make u personally happier. if u feel fewer employees will do the trick then go for it. as far as the field, whatever makes ur the happiest and is best for your area. help that helped a little.

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