Solo's getting out of (or cutting back) on landscaping?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by TGM, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. TGM

    TGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    I guess this is a bit of a rant, but mostly out of curiosity of others. How do you solo guys do with landscaping? Have any of you decided to cut back your business?

    I'm getting the point where I don't want to do the stressful $3000+ jobs. It's extremely taxing on my body and takes up close to a week of time. Sure, the money is good and steady, but with mowing and general clean-up jobs constantly coming in (and always giving out estimates, etc.) it's tough to do the big stuff without help. Maybe I should just stick to mowing, clean-ups, and mulching, and general maintenance for being a sole proprietor:hammerhead:
  2. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    Get help to do those jobs in 2 or so days. You'd be missing out on good cash if youy let it go. Stress equals money.
  3. TGM

    TGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    on the rare occasion, i have had friends help. the big issue is liability with insurance and i wont put myself in a situation which will jeopardize me/my business. some customers are also aware of the insurance issues nowadays and when they're paying good money, they don't want someone on their property without proper insurance (i don't carry workers comp).
  4. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    If there is a steady supply of these jobs and your making good money at them, the money you put out to train someone, get workers comp insurance and such should be paid back in a couple jobs. With this being done, you can prosper and expand your company and thusly make more money! JMO
  5. TGM

    TGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    Yes, good point. Personally, I don't plan on expanding. I feel it's not worth the extra headache of having employees in the lawn care/landscaping business unless I got extremely big (or did really high end, expensive jobs). I'll invest into another business when it's time to have people make me money. Good help is hard to find, and there isn't enough money in mowing to profit big money off my employees here in the northeast. (btw, paying your GOOD mowing/landscaping employees $10/hr isn't crap, especially if they have to pay rent, fuel, car, etc. BUT, how can you pay more with gas, maintenance, workers comp, etc. if you're not a full out construction company? so don't, but don't EXPECT to keep them every year).

    anyways, that's just my opinion. so my original post is for solo ops and how they handle the construction aspect of their business.

    thanks for the replies
  6. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I'm in the exact same situation. After working 60-70 hrs a week for the last couple months I decided to not take anymore 1-time landscaping jobs and it has worked out very well so far.

    I have about 25-30hrs/wk in reoccuring maintenance work and the balance is IPM and misc work so I have enough to keep me busy without all the extra jobs. Most of my customers have upscale properties so I think there'll be plenty of extra projects to make some extra money during the winter and spring.

    This is the second time I've been in business for myself and I did it to have the flexibility of being solo. To get into landscaping in a meaningful way you really need a crew working with you otherwise you're beating yourself up.
  7. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    I won't do any 'odd' jobs, such as landscaping, irrigation unless I can finish it in 8 hrs or less. Got too much maintenance work during the week that I can't afford to screw up my schedule and route.
  8. slawn

    slawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I'm a solo guy, but I prefer landscaping jobs to mowing. I have one guy that helps me with the landscaping jobs. I guess I'm lucky, this guy is my 17 year old nephew and a hard worker. He works for his dad when I don't need him, and I get get him whenever I need him most of the time. I would rather make 1500 to 2000 profit in two days than 300 a day mowing anytime. I only mow 3 days a week so that allows me time to do landscape jobs.
  9. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    I don't understand what is wrong with hiring one extra guy. Like a helper basically. That's what I do and it works out great.. You can really get a lot more mowing and jobs done when you have somebody to help do everything.

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