Thinking about going back to solo- words of advice?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by roscioli, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    Anybody here want to give me a little encouragement either way? This year I hired a helper + expanded quite a bit. Now that it never rains, I am having trouble keeping the employee busy, nevermind myself. He is full time, up until this week anyway, he didnt even work today because there is no work! I was nailed all spring, and behind up until about 2 weeks ago. Employees seem to just be a hassle that I dont need. I had dreams of building a landscaping empire, but now I am ready to go back to solo, back to part time like last year. Go back to working part time for the family business, and do this in my free time. I could weed out the worst customers, and actually make a profit again. What do you all think? Am I just getting the mid-season blues, or should I do it? Thanks, just looking for some kind encouragement. -Mike

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    I'd go solo. I made the switch 5 years ago and couldn't be happier. No more babysitting employees, feeling obligated to give them x amt of hours per week when there's nothing to do, wondering if they'll show up for work, etc.......

  3. A1 Lawn@Landscapes

    A1 Lawn@Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    You are at a fork in the road. You can either
    1) tighten your belt and expand
    2) Lay him off and call him back when it gets busy again
    3) Go back to solo

    Look at your priorities and where you want to be in the future.
    Follow your business plan.
    If you have any accounts out my way you want out of, let me know.

  4. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    yes i would go back solo do what ya said weed out all the low paying dead beat customers so ya can handle it by yourself
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I don't see why anyone WOULDN'T want to grow and have a large company. So all of my advice is going to be toward staying with it. I know there are headaches, challenges with employees, surprises, etc. but to me at least, all of the rewards are way worth it.

    I love being my own boss. I love being able to take a day or week off and let my employees run things if I choose to. I love being out on my Sea Doo on a hot day and knowing I am still making lots of money because I have 3 crews out working.

    I love driving around giving estimates or sitting in the office doing work (and taking a break now and then to write on lawnsite :D ) while my workers are out doing all of the hard work. I like that because I've worked hard to get here and now can appreciate the fruits of my labor. I love being able to set my own hours, schedule, etc. I love the thrill of landing yet another big job or another maintenance account.

    I love knowing that I've built a business that allows me to employee 7 people in my community. My actions bring in the income for 7 families. That feels damn good.

    So to me, I'd do whatever it takes to keep working for myself and keep expanding.

    Sure, I have just as many challenges as everyone else. I have employee challenges. I have questionable times when I wonder if we made a profit that month. I have dead times where I lay people off for a few days or a week (like this week). But it's still all worth it to me. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    The question is; Do you want the rewards bad enough to justify puting up with the pains of continuing to grow your business? Because the rewards are there if you want them badly enough. The $ is there too.

    I couldn't see going back to work for another person, even if it was family. ESPECIALLY if it was family. So my advice is to stick it out. Go out and lay some flyers. Go get some more business for you and your worker. And don't worry if you have to lay him off for a few days or a week. Tell him it's just temporary and you'll likely have more business soon. Then go out and get some.

    After July 4th, there is always a little bit of a slow down for us. But it always picks back up. I just go with the flow.

    Best of luck.
  6. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    Thanks guys- Its a lot to think about.. Terry- I dont have any out that far, how far do you travel? I do Sturbridge, Southbridge and Charlton.
    Jim- Thanks for the post. The family business is an iffy thing. It would be torture for a few years, but they need me badly. It needs someone with balls to run, and thats me. Excuse the language. My true love is the Restaurant business, and I stand in line to take over a great restaurant if I do things right. With some major work I could turn it around, do the job that the 3 brothers do now,and be rich. Money isn't too much of an issue now because I am young, but I have worked all summer and paid myself squat. My employee is taking all the fruits of my labor right now, and I would love to use the lawn care business the way many on this site do now, as a side thing for extra revenue.
    My original plan was to build it big like yours, but small will work for me too because I have the restaurant. Actually, my real goal was to work it until I was comfortable finding a replacement for me, then to take over the restaurant. If I did downsize I could simply begin working at the restaurant full time now, deal with the PIA uncle, and use the money my employee was getting as luxury money as my real cash comes in through the full time job. I don't mind working 55-70 hours a week if its something that I love to do.
    Boy O Boy, what a load on my mind right now... Again, Thanks for the help, and keep the suggestions + advice coming!
  7. I am with Jim Lewis on this one.

    From what I read it seems you expected this to happen in one season, it can happen over night but it wont.

    Now that things have slowed down you have to find more work to do.

    You can't just wait for it to come to you, go find it.

    You said build a landscape emprie, how is that done?
  8. A1 Lawn@Landscapes

    A1 Lawn@Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    I go to Webster, Dudley, Oxford, Charlton. I do Buffumville Lake and Hodges Dam as well. Which restaurant is it? If its Roms or the Public House I'll be right over to discuss your future over dinner:D
  9. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Well Said Jim
  10. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    this all depends on your particular situation.depends on your motivation, drive, stay power etc. also the situation in your area. none o this is good or bad ,it just depends on what u want.,an what u really are comfotable with.
    the napoleon approach may not be for u. the take it as it comes approach ,may suit u better ,may not.
    so u really are the only one to decide .
    good luck brother. either way ,to some degree u will probably reach your goal.

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