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Opening the floodgates to immigration would be / is a disaster. That’s not remotely the solution to the labor problem.
Perhaps we should teach our kids discipline and a work ethic instead of spoiling them and allowing them to grow up lazy and entitled!

This would be a real solution to the labor problem.
 

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I will add the those coming here to work are getting smart enough to know what they need to make in the area they are living in.
Those coming here to suck of the teat of the tax dollar will work for less but not as hard or dependable.
Im in SE MASS your not finding a good labor worker for much less than $25 hr that will show up day in and day out.
 

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If we want to get back on topic, I'll add my experiences.

Started off mowing, had 3 guys mowing for me and wanted to pivot to just apps. Started a new company just for apps, started letting the mowing company decline to the point where at the end it was only 1 guy in the truck. Grew the app company to 9000 homes we spray now.

10/10 would recommend for so many reasons.
 

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You can make a living off of just apps but, you will still need employees and, the employee training is much more intensive than just mowing. In my experience, 1 truck with 1 technician can service between 350-400 accounts (depending on size and route density). If you are going to be an owner/operator and you max out your truck, you are going to also need to factor in the time you need to run the management end of the business. That being said, 1 maxed truck in our area generates between 250,000-300,000 in revenue per season. I would advise that you comparison shop your competitors and price accordingly, don't underprice your services. We have a profit spreadsheet, route performance spreadsheet that we use everyday to ensure that we are profitable. I would also suggest a strong arsenal of upsells that can be performed alongside the regular service to increase the daily revenue per truck.
 

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After 12 years of having a full service company, I'm at a point where I'm really tired of the employee BS. The past couple years have been a nightmare finding employees, despite offering many benefits. As a result, I often find myself in the laborer position digging a hole, pruning bushes or running a weed eater all day. I'm not afraid of this work, as that's how I started, but I'm 43 now, have paid my dues and this does get old. I'll typically handle all of the turf & ornamental applications, which I can't do while I'm mowing because someone didn't show up that day. Not to mention I can generate more revenue spraying in 20 minutes than I can billing for myself as a laborer for an hour.
We're a smaller outfit with about 150+ full service, residential customers. Most of them I also handle the turf & ornamentals. Seriously considering tossing mowing & the project side and just doing the chemicals & fertilizations. Maybe even irrigation work as well. I could handle this on my own with no employees. Since we've been spread thin, I've been the jack of all trades, master of not much. I'm sure we would lose some existing customers as many like one company for all needs, but I could pick up many new clients especially since we've never advertised, but could do so if this change was made.
Anyone else make this change?????
Yeah I started cutting because I didn’t have enough spray clients and lots of time and already have the mowers I have a big property to maintain anyway. I only Have a few customers . Thank god my wife e is the bread winner. Business is crisses management. I will do all your labor jobs for 60%, I got to have my money at the end of week though.
 

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Hopefully the labor situation gets better, but I don't foresee it. Most young Americans don't want to do this work. Most of the ones that do this work are mostly useless or they want to be paid astronomical wages for their low productivity. The only way the labor situation will improve is if the floodgates to immigration are opened.

Most of the time I feel like I am running a kindergarten. If it wasn't for a few key guys that I have that stay with me year after year I would probably downsize and go back to solo. It gets tiring dealing with folks who know nothing, have horrendous productivity, yet want to be making 25+ an hour to barely get anything done.
Oh gosh that's hardly the tip of the iceberg 😅

I could elaborate for pages lol but don't want to hijack the thread with a big long rant.
I will say this and then give back "control" 😅

I recently had my A/C serviced at my home, father and son team, turns out they live literally a block or two down the street from me... You know what they said?

"Not many of us left, most older guys retired, died, got out... Young'uns, don't want to do this."
Basically an exact duplicate of what you just said.
 

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Oh gosh that's hardly the tip of the iceberg 😅

I could elaborate for pages lol but don't want to hijack the thread with a big long rant.
I will say this and then give back "control" 😅

I recently had my A/C serviced at my home, father and son team, turns out they live literally a block or two down the street from me... You know what they said?

"Not many of us left, most older guys retired, died, got out... Young'uns, don't want to do this."
Basically an exact duplicate of what you just said.
Same with the small engine repair guys! Tougher to find.
 

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Oh gosh that's hardly the tip of the iceberg 😅

I could elaborate for pages lol but don't want to hijack the thread with a big long rant.
I will say this and then give back "control" 😅

I recently had my A/C serviced at my home, father and son team, turns out they live literally a block or two down the street from me... You know what they said?

"Not many of us left, most older guys retired, died, got out... Young'uns, don't want to do this."
Basically an exact duplicate of what you just said.
When you drive around here in SE Mass and look at any “working” crew you might as well be filming a viagra and Grecian Formula commercial!
 

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Hi all. Old time member here, just logging in for the first time in years.

We have been in the process of doing what you're asking since January of 2021.

We changed for several reasons. These reasons are specific to our skillset and experience. Keep that in mind.

1) Marketing based growth rather than sales based. Don't have to have long term sales people who know the ins and outs of property management around your metro area.
2) Lower overhead for the amount of revenue.
3) Easier to grow
4) Less number of offerings to become excellent at (Maintenance you might be performing 10-20 types of services during the year. Lawn apps you start out offering two; weed control and fert)
5) More simple to scale up
6) Lack of excellence by other providers in our area. We saw a great opportunity to be excellent and let that be part of our marketing strategy.

We pivoted our business to focusing on lawn applications during 2020, and launched a big marketing campaign in 2021 to officially kick off the transition from mostly commercial maintenance to mostly residential lawn health services. We still maintain the commercial business but are not growing it. We were at about 1.1 million in commercial in 2020, with about 150k in lawn health applications - around 250 customers I believe. We are currently at around 1200 customers, and plan to double that the next few years. It has been a great decision. But our technicians and office staff also happen to be very friendly and good at customer service. If you have extreme introverts or people who are not used to dealing with the standard, non business people type customers, it can be equally frustrating.
 

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Hi all. Old time member here, just logging in for the first time in years.

We have been in the process of doing what you're asking since January of 2021.

We changed for several reasons. These reasons are specific to our skillset and experience. Keep that in mind.

1) Marketing based growth rather than sales based. Don't have to have long term sales people who know the ins and outs of property management around your metro area.
2) Lower overhead for the amount of revenue.
3) Easier to grow
4) Less number of offerings to become excellent at (Maintenance you might be performing 10-20 types of services during the year. Lawn apps you start out offering two; weed control and fert)
5) More simple to scale up
6) Lack of excellence by other providers in our area. We saw a great opportunity to be excellent and let that be part of our marketing strategy.

We pivoted our business to focusing on lawn applications during 2020, and launched a big marketing campaign in 2021 to officially kick off the transition from mostly commercial maintenance to mostly residential lawn health services. We still maintain the commercial business but are not growing it. We were at about 1.1 million in commercial in 2020, with about 150k in lawn health applications - around 250 customers I believe. We are currently at around 1200 customers, and plan to double that the next few years. It has been a great decision. But our technicians and office staff also happen to be very friendly and good at customer service. If you have extreme introverts or people who are not used to dealing with the standard, non business people type customers, it can be equally frustrating.
Good to see you post!
 

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Yes, I do only larger commercial mowings ,applications and a handful of residential that I will work to get rid of. Their easy because it takes the 36 or 52 stander. I do no push mowing/bagging. The application side tripled this year!

I got rid of employees 8-9 years ago. Had 12 at one point. Can’t imagine the headaches now.

I’m a fan of the work that requires some skill and research, as well as the barriers to entry are higher! My thoughts are press forward on your own.
Heck yeah, I was 100% solo starting mid 2021 forward. I have steadily been replacing mowing, maintenance, and installs with more Weed/Fert and Horticulture work. I actually enjoy working solo and accomplishing quality work. I don't miss the employees either. I had 6 at one point. I feel like I just had more problems constantly revolving. That's not what I got in business for. I enjoy learning about more advanced aspects of lawncare and plants, especially horticulturally related. I find it easier to be more in demand for being a specialist. I charge higher rates, which helps me from needing a whole boatload of customers too. There's no going back.
 

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Heck yeah, I was 100% solo starting mid 2021 forward. I have steadily been replacing mowing, maintenance, and installs with more Weed/Fert and Horticulture work. I actually enjoy working solo and accomplishing quality work. I don't miss the employees either. I had 6 at one point. I feel like I just had more problems constantly revolving. That's not what I got in business for. I enjoy learning about more advanced aspects of lawncare and plants, especially horticulturally related. I find it easier to be more in demand for being a specialist. I charge higher rates, which helps me from needing a whole boatload of customers too. There's no going back.
Can I ask how old you are? I'm considering going this route as I age.
 

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Can I ask how old you are? I'm considering going this route as I age.
I am 41. I got my certified pesticide applicator license late in 2016. I really sort of dabbled in weed control and fert. for a few more years. There is a lot to learn, and it took me some time to feel really confident about growing. I made a decision to press on towards making this my primary offering a couple years ago.
 

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I am 41. I got my certified pesticide applicator license late in 2016. I really sort of dabbled in weed control and fert. for a few more years. There is a lot to learn, and it took me some time to feel really confident about growing. I made a decision to press on towards making this my primary offering a couple years ago.
And you’ve done well! You’re one of the pros I follow for your take on stuff up here in our area. Still looking forward to taking you to lunch sometime!
 
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