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Thinking of returning to regular work force

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mes37fan, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. mes37fan

    mes37fan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I started my business on 1-1-06 and my customer base is pretty decent for a start-up. I am in central florida. I will lose 20 of 30 customers on 11-1-06. I am thinking of returning to a regular job. I used to be a police investigator for sixteen years and I am possibly looking to get into a similar position in the private world such insurance claims investiagtor etc.

    My reason for these thoughts is that the people in florida do not want to pay any kind of decent money for lawn service. They just about want lawn service for free. They are companies advertising $60.00 a month annual contracts in the local paper. I do not see how they make money. I am a single operator. I will have to say that this very hard work in florida with the heat and all. I can deal with the heat, but I do not know if I can do this for another twenty or twenty five years. I work more hours than I ever have before and my wife puts in countless hours in addition to her normal job. I feel like I do not have life sometimes outside of the lawn work.

    I am from alabama and know that the pay is better there. I unable to move back due to my wife's job. I would stay in this line of work if the pay was better in florida.

    My question is do the florida lco's ever experience the same feelings?

    If do get out of the business, I can help a family member that wants to get into the business. This person is probably better suited for this business. I guess I want my free time back and a stable check. The cheap impatient old folks are killing me. Please don't get me wrong, I have no problem most older folks.

    Thanks for any advice.

    P.S. The idiot's like FULANO (Low Baller) does not help matters any.
  2. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    I feel your pain, believe me I do. I am one of the people that are I guess rare in this line of work, where I stick to my guns and I am a really good Sales man!! I market myself and present myself extremely well towards clients. I don't lowball myself, and my first statement to new clients that I meet, is that I am not the cheapest around, based on their reaction to that tells me where this is heading, if this person wants the low ballin guy, I tell them I am not thg guy for them. If they want someone who will take pride in their work, who will always be there, who keeps in contact with all their clients, and someone who values the quality of work thats done, then I am their guy! It is hard, and it does get discouraging...maybe you have to drive a bit more to get to the clients that want it. Maybe your working in the wrong area just cause its close...? If that is the case look on the outer areas of where ya live, if you build allot there, get a storage unit to keep your trailer and stuff, this way you don't have to haul that....just some thoughts, bottom line is you have to do whats right for you and your family.

    GL man!!!
  3. ABeautifulCutAboveInc.

    ABeautifulCutAboveInc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    I'm from central florida too. No, your not in the boat alone. I just started my business about 3 months ago and I'm expierencing the same problems. I know and understand how you feel. You said you were loosing 20 of 30 accounts? Did you have your customers on annual contracts? The reason I ask is that they get charged the same price in the cooler months when growing slows down. Thats when you make up your time and money. You'll work 1/4 of the time and still make the same! So when you set them up on a fixed monthly price, it balances out. You had posted another comment saying you didn't have any free time? But, you had 30 accounts? Were they in the same area or different parts of the town? If 1/2 your customers were in the same general location, you sould be able to do 12-15 a day by yourself (depending on size). Truthfully, there is money here in Cen FL, you just have to build your business, then slowly weed out the low money accounts and replace with better accounts.
  4. ABeautifulCutAboveInc.

    ABeautifulCutAboveInc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Well said poncho, I say the exact same thing. It does get discouraging, you have to hang in there and keep pushing.:clapping:
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    There are alot of people in this area who dont want to pay anything. But there are good customers who are willing to pay, you just have to give it some time to find enough of them. Any time I see a paper like the flyer or any of the free papers or local city papers and look at the lawn care ads, all you see are people advertizing best rates, cheap... Its kind of sad, they are advertizing prices I charged about 10 years ago.
  6. ABeautifulCutAboveInc.

    ABeautifulCutAboveInc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Very true Scott. Time and patience! It's very difficult sometimes, but that's life. You also may be looking in the wrong places.
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,360

    Scott, you are not alone brother. Like Ponch says stick to your guns and sell yourself. Never second guess your gut feeling about a customer. Given your back ground you should be great at reading folks. Dont be afraid to walk away from a pita. If you are a mowing only guy, you might have a slow time in winter. Mulch jobs, bed rehabbing and other side jobs are great money makers in the off season. I dont even advertise those services and I get calls and requests all the time. Also 60.00 a month is not bad. I have 8 accts at that rate. 15 min front yard only homesites and bi weekly vacant homesites all near existing accounts. It is not the figure but what you have to do for it and how long it takes you. Keep the faith and decide if this is what you really want to do.:usflag: :usflag: :usflag:

    ericg likes this.
  8. guven

    guven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    I was feeling some thing time by time, sometimes I feel I will not be succesfull business owner .I am running my business little over one year and I am not making some mistake over over again , at least this summer I did not do under estimate alot, last year I did a lot of under estimate I left plently of money on the table but this year so far I am doing pretty good.
    my focus is not management and I start to want more money and trying to give away nothing, my time is money, I do not want to spent 10 munites for nothing.I believe If I charge right I will get good living standarts.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Why are you losing 20 customers on 11/1/06??

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