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Thank God I'm not a Solo Op.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Well, I know this is the debate of the ages here on Lawnsite. Many people swear by staying a Solo Op. and many people swear by employees. But I'll tell you what, right now I'm dang happy that I'm not a Solo Op.

    I broke my foot two weeks ago on a Sunday. I could walk on it but it was very painful. Definitely couldn't work on it (e.g. lift anything, push a mower, etc.) I did do a little light pruning and fixed a few sprinkler heads but I kept a very light workload for myself the first week.

    This tuesday, I had surgery and they put two pins in my foot. After surgery, I've been totally laid up for the rest of the week. Finally, today, I can come up to my office and type for a few minutes without having my foot elevated. But the rest of the week I've been on the couch, having to put my foot above my heart at all times. Working via Nextel and through my good employees.

    I'll be able to go out a little next week and give a few bids and check in on a few jobs but I'll still be on very light duty. And it will just slowly get better from there. But if I were a solo op. just mowing lawns every day, there's no way. I'd have to stop for at least 4 weeks. That could be detrimental to one's business. Thankfully I have a great foreman who can do the bidding for me and my wife has now been trained to handle most of the office work. And the crews are out doing their jobs still so I can afford the time off. I'm still taking and making 40-50 calls per day, but all on the couch with Fox News on in the background, a soda in my hand, and my foot up in the air.

    I guess that's one way to do business. But I'd prefer to actually be out working. Fortunately, though, I was able to still keep working and making money because I wasn't a solo op.
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    Sorry to hear about your accident. I was laid up due to emergency hernia surgery about 3 years ago. If I had not had good help, I would have been out of business. My 3 helpers really came through for me, and that episode ended any thoughts I had about going back to a solo type operation.
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Get well soon Mr Lewis.

  4. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    Sorry to hear about your accident, get well soon. Definitely gives us solo guys something to think about, always have a contingency plan in case you get hurt!
  5. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    Sorry to hear about your accident.In the long run all that hard work you put in over the years is paying off for you now.Like you said a solo guy if it was prime time of the season it could definitely break his business or at least set them back for an entire year or so.
  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Sorry to hear of your misfortune with your foot. If you don't mind me asking, how did you break it?
    Got to definitely agree with you, it is risky being a solo op. But what I find even more risky is when a guy is solo, and they are taking unnecessary risks like dirt biking, quad riding, waterskiiing, etc. I think when a guy is solo, they got to realize that they can't do all those fun athletic activites, cause if a mishap occurs, they are going to be up a creek with their business.
  7. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Jodi, It's funny you mention the above. I am for the most part solo but I am getting big enough to maybe start hiring. It is always in the back of my mind to be careful in everything I do because if I get hurt the ship might sink.

    Last year I went on a houseboat trip to lake of the ozarks with friends. There is a well known party spot on this lake know as party cove and generally 500+/- boats vist this cove on the weekends. When I was there I watched a guy get backed over by another boat while he was swimming. The guy surfaced after about 30 seconds (seemed like forever) and was cut from his armpit down past his buttox. When they pulled him from the water the gash looked to be 2-3 foot long and about 6 inches wide. Thats when I thought to myself that I didn't need to be there due to the risk of such occurances. I then left and went home. I have a family to take care of and if I'm hurt and can't work my family would suffer due to my carelessness.

    I'm not sure if the hurt swimmer made it or not(I hope so) but it really opened my eyes.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    My sentiments exactly Jim.

    That is why I have employees. If I got hurt and could not work for any measureable time (without my people), I would be up the proverbial creek without sufficient means of locomotion...just another way of putting it LOL.

    Hope you are healthy and about soon Jim.
  9. Fareway Lawncare

    Fareway Lawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 2,222

    Solo-ops are Just Glorified Neighborhood Kids w/fancy Trucks and Mowers...They're Playing a Silly Game...No Security...One Slip and its Bye Bye.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Unfortunately, you are mostly correct there Kelvin...but I wouldn't call them glorified kids btw.

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