Starting a business with no experience

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by B16bri, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. iand

    iand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 905

    go to school and learn from someone who went to school and learned from someone who was taught in a school, who will in all likelihood tell you how you shouldn't cut grass when it's wet or to hot and dry :) , will tell you that you need to lay mulch at 3-5 inches when all the client wants is for it to look pretty for the sale photos and when people passed so you will lose out to someone who quotes 1/2 the price to put down 1" because the clients doesn't care they'll be gone in a month or 2 anyway school learning is great but only when it's backed up with experience
     
  2. Credsfan03

    Credsfan03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Maybe its not as common in your area but a lot of the large local landscaping companies here have a lot of employees with education in the industry. It's really ignorant to assume that all teachers have no actual field experience in what they are teaching. At our school we had a teacher who was operations manager for one of the biggest companies around and we also had a landscape designer with over twenty years experience in the field. Also, putting down five inches of mulch is way too much and not recommended.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 11,585

    well considering how many people DO just this?
    It can't be crazy, because crazy by definition is acting or behaving in a way radically different than everyone else.
    In this case you would be following a beaten path by everyone else with no experience doing it.
    What possesses yo to invest in something like this?
    Why not a painting company?
    Gutters?
    Vending machine business?
     
  4. Rockchoplawn

    Rockchoplawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    Honestly I think you would be better off doing something else if just looking to make extra cash. Uber. Part time job for someone else. Hell drive a taxi even, get a medallion and a chain. I’ve been doing this for several years and tbh there isn’t much money in mowing if that’s all you do. So many people go out and start a “mowing business” working for cash, not paying taxes and will cut any lawn for $30.

    For us, the money is in expanding services and up sells. Average mowing revenue per residential customer is around $1200 or so but I am able to upsell anywhere from $1k to $10k per season... that’s where the money is. And no, you can’t do this without experience. People willing to pay for a service have disposable income, and expect it to be done to a much higher standard than they would be able to do themselves.
     
  5. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    Sure, it’s possible. It’s also possible you wouldn’t like it. It’s not at all like mowing your yard. It’s mowing 5-10 properties better and more effecient than the next guy. In this biz your putting your best work against other companies. If your service doesn’t stack up, you won’t be around very long. Behind the scenes you better be solid with #’s, maticulous in record keeping, a great salesman, and a decent mechanic, (just to name a few of the hats you’ll wear) or you’ll run the biz straight in to the ground.

    So, if you like a challenge and love being outside in crappy weather sometimes (like early this spring when I got caught in a halestorm finishing a commercial acct on the blvd) then I’d try it and see if it’s something you like. Being your own boss is way diff than working for another lco but you can learn a lot that way.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. Jake the grass guy

    Jake the grass guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    I would argue that learning the lessons on the job would be the option i would rather go for than going to school about running a business. shoot if you wanna know about business its called the internet or the library. Best way to do it IMO is just to freaking do it and learn along the way. you can prepare and plan for the start of your business and 5 years from now.. thats where you will be.. planning and preparing. you dont have to be a genius to own a successful business. you just have to grind every day.
     
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 11,585

    Generally speaking, that's not true of the majority of people that are in this business.
    They may have one or more of those qualities or none.
    Very few people are truly all those things (especially record keeping or..even KNOW what heir numbers really are)
    its far more of a "fly by the seat of your pants" profession than you may think.
    I know of people in the biz for 15 years who do just that, I cant figure out how they are still IN business, yet there they are.

    If people really needed to be what you listed above, we'd all have a lot less competition!
     
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 11,585

    to be fair,
    most people arent trained how to use a library effectively anymore, so you could spend hours upon hours in there only to rummage through antiquated information.
    The internet is dicey too, because you really need to know SOMETHING about the topic in the first place, so you can weed through stuff thats junk or obviously false.
    If you're new/clueless google can be a plethora of false information and opinions.
     
  9. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    Oh I agree it is a shoot from the hip industry but I wouldn’t advise anyone to start off that way. Much less continue that way. That’s prob the reason guys are working 80 hrs a week in the summer and finding a part time job in the winter and complain about how un profitable lawn care is but that’s all they know so they’ll keep on doing it. If your not well versed in biz then a solo operation prob isn’t your best route. Build a solid mgt team and let them focus on the things your not all that great at.
     
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Messages: 11,585

    Well that IS the majority of our industry, exactly that.
    And interestingly it describes lots of guys who have multiple employees.

    I think its fairly easy to be self employed in the biz and not know much.
    Its the ones with assets and employees that are still clueless that amaze me, they must have magic wands or something.
    What even makes it more amazing is the sheer number of them that have NO clue there's something to know that they should know, but dont.
     

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