Smaller guys

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by unkownfl, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    How many of you solo guys or guys with one employee think about getting out of the business? I've been flipping a coin on to stay in this business or go back to working for the power company. Either way the money is pretty close maybe a little bit better going to work for the man. It just seems the business is trashed. At least the mowing side. Don't get me wrong you can make a decent living doing it but I just can't get over this ceiling without stepping up back into commercials and then it's just to much for me or to much risk involved. I've been thinking of taking on a partner to run the business during the week days and I'll help when I can. I know I can count on one person that it would be possible as we have ran other business together already. I'm aware of the whole partner thing going south so I don't want any lectures on that. I just wanted to know if this is common to want to get out of the business every year as it start to get roaring.
  2. Tri-City Outdoors

    Tri-City Outdoors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Been feeling that feeling a lot lately. All of the funds last year were put toward the best used equipment $ can buy. All lined up for the best year ever making the jump past me and 1.5 employees to a 2nd rig (probably only in the peak season). Then one day the rig is gone from storage. STOLEN! So, I am man and I just used the old stuff. Now, I've had several ztrun brake downs and I getting behind.
    Also, because everyone asks. I do carry insurance on equipment. But, I did not insured the "new" stuff yet. Mainly because I was not using it and it should have been safe.
    Today I'm waiting on a part and I go to lunch. I see a old high school buddy serving me my food.
    So, no I would never move on until retirement. It's in my blood! Plus working for the MAN. I don't think I could do that again.
  3. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    Mowing only is a tough gig right now with all the new people giving it away. So diversify and offer other services to separate yourself from the lawn turds. When your out doing all the work in the heat sometimes it seems better to just go get a job and lose the headaches. The key in my opinion is to get your business to the point where you have a couple employees making you money while you focus on sales and managing the business. I have actually decreased my number of employees and customers and stopped chasing my tail and started offering services others don't, invested in equipment and with less employees less headaches I am making more money. I am now at the point where I need to get a couple more guys again and get my azz out of the dirt every day. If I got stuck just being the head lawn turd on the mower I would consider going back to corporate myself. I made six figures as a suit and tie salesman in the printing industry but got sick of making someone else wealthy. I personally hope I never work for someone else ever again but it's not for everyone.
  4. Good points FL

    If all I did was mow, I would want to quit too. Diversity is key in this biz. I have yet to meet a "mow only company" that is successful.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  5. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    You can't be all things to all people but you can come close and be more profitable and have a more interesting business.
  6. Tri-City Outdoors

    Tri-City Outdoors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Maintenance pays the bills.
    The landscaping makes extra $ and generates the maintenance accounts. The maintenance accounts generates the landscaping. It works hand-n-hand.
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I honestly can not say that I feel you on this Unknown as I worked for too long out of college for others making them money as FL-Landscape said. Things may not be perfect at times and just like today some things throw me behind schedule and ruin my day....but for me it is all ok because it is all being done for me and my business as corny as that sounds.

    Throw in the fact that other than bullsh8ting with some customers my day consist of me working while listening to music/radio and the occasional conversation with my employee and of course getting to be outdoors while doing so instead of my butt getting sore in some chair in some office. Unless something goes wrong I have no plans of ever going back to working for someone else.

    I wish you luck in your decision making and hope things work out for the best for you either way.

  8. Yea, same here. I've owned my biz since getting out of college. I did work at a lot of restaurants while in high school and college and the thing that ticked me off the most is I wasn't any better off compared to the employees that would call in sick all the time, were lazy, etc. You end up picking up slack for the people that are freeriding off the company. That is one of the main reasons why I love being a business owner. I don't have to put up with crap like that.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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