Thinking of starting up again

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Swampy, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Last year my business was a failure, but been milling it around in my head to start up again this year. Its been on my mind and has been keeping me up at night.

    I still have most of the equipment to start up again, truck, 48in Scag wb, a kawi trimmer, and access to my original trailer that I started with (sold it to my brother). Would just need a blower, and eventually my own trailer, so start up cost is relatively low.

    A few things that I'd change is use a different source of advertising/marketing instead of service magic, better control over money, find another truck to keep one for work the other for personal use (in a pinch as a back up), keep it stupid simple instead of overthinking everything, grow slow and end up getting stuck with its (meaning more control over bidding, physically walking the properties, more in depth with it period). Remember to relax and slow down once in a while.

    The good thing is I have probably the best soon to be wife in the world. She already wants to help out, doing invoicing, wants to learn to do the bidding, answering phone calls and helping out in general. She's working as a teachers aide for special need kids and wants to get a teaching position.
  2. slowleak1

    slowleak1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    My advise, and even to this day I contemplate doing this sometimes, is to start from scratch. Dont worry about a tailer, and 48" mower etc etc. Go get you an good 21 walk behind, 2 string trimmers, stick edger, blower of choice, and some basic hand tools. You would be amazed what you can do with just those few small things. Overhead is super low, and I bet you could knock out 8-10 yards a day.

    Start from scratch and see where it leads you.

    Me personally, I think about this just because I think it would be a fun challenge to see how low I could get my overhead and how much profit I could make all at the same time...I'm way past that stage in my biz, but I always think it would be cool to have minimal bills and high profits.
  3. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    Not everybody can use a 21" mower and a few month's back he was trying to sell his 21" mower. and yes get rid of service magic. From what I've heard you get more calls from them then anything. I would figure out why you failed, fix it and move forward. If not go and get a job. And good luck.
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Define fail.
  5. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    [feyl] Show IPA

    verb (used without object)
    to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved: The experiment failed because of poor planning.

    to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination, class, or course of study: He failed in history.

    to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short: Our supplies failed.

    to dwindle, pass, or die away: The flowers failed for lack of rain.

    to lose strength or vigor; become weak: His health failed after the operation.

    Pretty much sums up.

    Call it a learning expirence, I stuck all my tiny advertising "eggs" into one basket (which half the reason I was lazy and really didn't want to deal with the leg work of it, the other half is service magic gets expensive fast and pretty much ran me broke before I caught on to what was happening). Route planning, it really wasn't a route and more of when was the last time I cut the place.
  6. Schuley

    Schuley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Sounds like the basics are what you are struggling with. Have you thought about working for someone else then easing into self employment? I hate to say it but knowing how to mow doesn't mean you can work for yourself. There is a ton more "business" stuff to know to make it, mowing is a small part of it.
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  7. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Did that for five years of my life, which I will never get back.
  8. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Go for it. Plan. Prepare. Focus on the following: (Please keep in mind this is a break down of what to focus on when solo)

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  9. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    @Sean; giving it a night to think about that pie chart I was more about customers (60%), sales (30%) worring to just close a sale get the job and sort it out later, and money (10%). I really didn't worry about marketing cause I was using service magic, which again was wrong, branding again wasn't a big thing for me cause my customers branded my own company. Also I wasn't watching my own numbers until it was to late.

    Personally, I want to be aggresive in this, to charge in with my head down at full speed, and sort it out later. But one thing I got to do is slow down, access the situation, and react. At least thats what my fiance says, she also tells me I have ADHD lol, oh look at the kitty.
  10. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    I always compare building a business to building a house. Could you imagine if a house builder just went at without a blueprint - without a plan. He just started digging, building, etc.... It's no different here. You need a plan - draw it up - map it out on paper, treat it as a living, breathing document that will always need changed and improved, but as long as the foundation is solid and things are where they are supposed to be, you will build it right.

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