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Ok guys here is my situation Im a college student and am paying my tuition through my small operation. Im a one man show with about 70 regular lawns (give or take a few) I start night class on monday through thursday 5-930 every day. this is ok because im close to getting my degree however in the last two weeks we have gotten spurts of rain that has caused the grass to grow very fast. I have now been behind for 2 weeks and dont see how i can catch up. Ive called all the customers and alerted them but im still geting calls in the mornings to come cut and stuff like that. I don't know what to do and i dont want to dump any of them or them fireing me.

i have never experienced this sort of thing in my days mowing. I really feel bad i can't catch up.

any advice or other stories would be cool.
 

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Get a helper and get the lawns done. If you don't know anyone who can help, you might try a temp agency. It will cost you but it is better than loosing customers.
 

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Hey buddy,

I've been in a similar situation. I just finished my third or 4 years at university working towards my business degree. The first 3 years of university I drove home (2 hours each way) from thursday morning till monday morning and pulled long hours to stay on top of my lawns. This was the most stressful thing in the world for me trying to keep on top of this. This year I'm taking the fall semester off and finishing my last year of school by way of 2 winter semesters.

The thing that I found helped was asking anyone I knew to help out... I had my sister, my brother, my sister's boyfriend, anyone I could think of helping out. And then we had the regular guys as well....

We'd do what me and the crew would normally do in a full week in just 4 days.

I'd look into hiring some people to help you out! You'll have more time, plus you can pay them less than you would normally deduct yourself!

Good luck with your degree! What's it in, if you don't mind me asking?
 

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this is the downside to being reliable. my customers know if i don't show up, i don't show up. they don't expect reliable service, and i don't give it. i have them trained this way.but be a day late on the bill........ :angry: anyhow, i'd weed out the less desireable clients, and keep the best ones.
 

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This is a situation that in the old days they called "burning the candle at both ends"

From your post (original post on this tread) It seems you took on a full time mowing operation to subsidize a full time college job. Can't do both.

Either you do part time mowing to subsidize a full time college deal, or you do a full time mowing to subsididize a part time college. Can't have your cake and eat it too......

I have a real problem feeling sorry for you, but the post above that recommend family or friends to help may do the deal - go for it if that is possible.
 

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Quit school and go into mowing full time.

That's what I did after 2 1/2 years.

Making 4x's more money now that I would have if I would have grad. with that business degree.
 

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70 lawns? And you have all your days and weekends wide open to cut, and just school at night four days a week? You sure you aren't at the bar a little late after classes? I can't see how you could be that far behind. Seems like you and a helper could bust that out in 4 or 5 good days or less and be back on track in no time. Just put in some long days and keep at it, you'll get caught up.
 

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Flex-Deck said:
This is a situation that in the old days they called "burning the candle at both ends"

From your post (original post on this tread) It seems you took on a full time mowing operation to subsidize a full time college job. Can't do both.

Either you do part time mowing to subsidize a full time college deal, or you do a full time mowing to subsididize a part time college. Can't have your cake and eat it too......

I have a real problem feeling sorry for you, but the post above that recommend family or friends to help may do the deal - go for it if that is possible.
I agree, 70 yards sounds like a full time job to me :waving:
 

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ALBsun1 said:
70 lawns? And you have all your days and weekends wide open to cut, and just school at night four days a week? You sure you aren't at the bar a little late after classes? I can't see how you could be that far behind. Seems like you and a helper could bust that out in 4 or 5 good days or less and be back on track in no time. Just put in some long days and keep at it, you'll get caught up.
damn buddy, the guy cuts 70 lawns plus puts in 20+hours of college and this is all you can say to him? who are you to imply someone is drinking just because they can't catch up. he never said how big the 70 lawns were or exactly how much rain he has gotten. thanks to you, this thread has just made the rest of us dumber. :rolleyes:
 

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Ran my business all through college...graduated in 4 years with 2 degrees...took classes Tuesdays and Thursdays the entire day so I could work Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Not trying to impress you, just impress upon you that it can be done.

You haven't told us how big your lawns are so it is hard to advise but I agree with some other comments...see if you can gather up a buddy or two, pay them well...worth losing a few bucks to instantaneous labor than losing the customers altogether.
 

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bobbygedd said:
this is the downside to being reliable. my customers know if i don't show up, i don't show up. they don't expect reliable service, and i don't give it. i have them trained this way.but be a day late on the bill........ :angry: anyhow, i'd weed out the less desireable clients, and keep the best ones.
:dizzy: ;) :D :confused: :laugh:

Your a real catch.
 

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What I do when I get severely backed up is cut one yard at a time, then another, and one more, one after the other, one day at a time - same thing the next day. Sometimes ya lose a few customers, but just keep cutting one yard at a time and keep your chin up, some will take a bit longer.

Other things that help is stop answering the phone so you can concentrate on your work, may sound like bad advice but I totally ignore the phone when I'm severely backed up. Again, sometimes ya lose a few, but you still get most of it done and most will keep you.

One yard, and one day at a time.

So, if I have 50 yards and ALL of them needed doing as of at LEAST 3 days ago, again:
Look at the list and go to the FIRST yard.
NO DONT WORRY ABOUT ALL OF THEM just go to the very first yard.
Cut that yard.
Do that.

Then, once I am done, go to the next one.
Cut that one, too.

And so on.

yup.

no i am not pulling your leg, this happens to all of us.
easy does it - one yard at a time, go cut the very first one.
have a nice day
 

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If you want, I think a little bit of humour never hurts so sometimes I change the message on the answering system (which ALWAYS answers the phone when I don't) to something like:

Hi & ty 4 calling blablabla.
There is a minor back-up on the schedule, however all yards are ON schedule and will get cut as soon as possible, so if your yard is in dire need of cutting please rest assured I will get to it in the next few days for sure.

(that helps also)

then, go cut one yard - that's all you need to do.
 

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i agree with flex deck I'm in the same situation. 70 lawns regardless of size is alot. You may want to down size or charge more to make it worth your while. Other than that you know people will call just be honest You probbly wont loose them if you do a good job and they dont have to call you every week.
 

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I'm kinda shocked that nobody mentioned this, but what about your equipment? Can you speed things up with a different mower? Maybe a wider deck; a few inches could mean a lot of time saved.

If the rain is slowing you down, why not cut in the rain? It does take some more time, but at least it's somewhat productive. Of course you have to maintain a quality of service. Maybe a different mower will help this or more horsepower.

Are you too spread out and driving too much?

Are you doing maintenance and fueling during daylight hours?

Just some other things to consider
 

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scottishmaximus said:
I'm kinda shocked that nobody mentioned this, but what about your equipment? Can you speed things up with a different mower? Maybe a wider deck; a few inches could mean a lot of time saved.

If the rain is slowing you down, why not cut in the rain? It does take some more time, but at least it's somewhat productive. Of course you have to maintain a quality of service. Maybe a different mower will help this or more horsepower.

Are you too spread out and driving too much?

Are you doing maintenance and fueling during daylight hours?

Just some other things to consider
Indeed, a fixed deck would be lighter and faster on wet turf than a float, for instance.
 
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