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The ultimate downsize

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowmasteruk, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    I operate a lawn and garden maintenance business in the south of England, U.K. having been established since 1980.
    Two years ago I was employing up to six employees, most all year round, as I had some commercial contracts. However, the increasing amount of employment legislation and 'red tape' in the U.K. made me question whether it was all worth it. So I decided to phase out my employees and concentrate on working solo for a few residential customers - just the ones who are nice and easy to work for, cutting out the ones who gave me grief.
    Although my turnover has dropped to around 20% of what it was, my profit margin has gone up in percentage terms, simply because I no longer have the heavy overhead cost of running premises and all the incidental costs of complying with employment legislation. And the mental stress of dealing with employees has just faded away.
    I haven't been this happy since the day I started my business.
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Your profit margin may have gone up but what about your profit total?
  3. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464

    Now you have less stress and more physical work. Profit will be nice,but you wont be able to increase it due to the fact 1 man can only do so much. It's
    all a trade off. In the end it's what makes you happy!:usflag:
  4. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    In actual fact, although I was employing several people, the overhead costs per employee were far greater than they are for me now, because now I simply run from home and most of my equipment resides in my van - all my costs are cut to the bone. My personal income has actually increased.
    Previously I was operating in a very competitive market with tight profit margins - some years I came close to suffering a loss. Many times I had to put my own drawings back in to facilitate the cash flow. Maybe you might think it was bad management, but in all honesty I was never a manager, just a gardener whose business grew out of control.
    For me, although it's satisfying to be making more money, it's the reduction in stress that's made my life happier. It's more like I imagined it would be when I started out.
    So I won't be recruiting employees anytime soon.
  5. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    I did and am doing the same thing now. It's great. For now. I'm sure I'll have employees again in the future but I love rolling solo, like Hans Solo.

    SKAPES LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Employees are Human!!

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