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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Team Gopher, Dec 7, 2005.
What area of business do you feel most LCOs fail to understand?
Around my area it seems to be every part of it...
I think people around here are just buying a commercial mower and a trailer and putting out some fliers. I counted today and there were about 70 lawn maintenance companies in my area. I highly doubt the majority of these are drawing up business and marketing plans.
I think lots of guys get too wrapped up in the "show biz" part of the business. Flashy trucks, equipment, shirts, logos, etc. They are just worried about building a big business.
I would have to say most lco's fail to understand that no matter how nice your operation looks, if you don't know your numbers and your books are a mess, you are done. Knowing your numbers/being organized, and being good with people/being able to sell work should come before anything. Then you can worry about having the trucks, equipment, etc to service your clients.
The most successful people that I have met in this business aren't the hardest working or the ones with the nicest trucks and equipment, it's the guys who know their numbers.
I think LCO's who say all their equipment, trucks, buildings and property are paid for, therefore their expenses are lower than a guy with loans. Which is better? Investing $250,000 of your own money for everything on day one of your business or taking a loan and paying off in 10 years? Neither, there both the same. Untill the day you pay yourself back the $250,000 plus interest, your working for your equipment, your equipment isn't working for you. The longer your in business the more money you should make, but that doesn't mean you got here any cheeper than the next guy. We all got here the same way, paying for stuff with the money our customers gave us for good services. I need more work so I can buy more stuff so I can get more work.
I totally agree with this statement, I have seen a lot of guys go out and buy $50k trucks with the attitude that they will pay it back and they cant work with out it. This mentality is what will put you out of buisness.
With my bobcat and rake I would grade out yards and prep them for seed, After I did all of my machine work , I would get out the hand rake and spend 20 minutes touching it up.
I would see other guys out there with $8k landscape rakes on their bobcats doing the same work, not making anymore money, and had an extra payment that I didnt.
Cost of living and how it affects a business
I am newer to the green industry, but I have some business background. Although there are a lot of variables that are different from biz to biz many business concepts are the same. All of the posts have some very valid points. I would not say most LCO's, but I would say many. I think that A lot of people do not realize that it is a business. To be more exact, I believe a lot of people don't really understand what it means to be in business. Some will go out and buy (If lucky) some commercial grade equip. and just start cutting away, and not even think about the costs of doing business. Many will not take the steps to becoming a legitamte business and get the needed insurance lic. certs. etc. Yet others will not take into account the cost of living and how that directly effects the outcome of their business. Many will not take the proper steps to get the education that they need (Classes, Time, LS, etc.) do better themselves, their business, and the overall appearence (Rep) of industry professionals as a whole. I could go on, but I won't. Many will wonder what the heck happened when the bottom falls from under them. Bottom-line I think that people have to realize they are in business. They need to know their #'s, and they need to educate themselves.
true costs, matching equipment to jobs, marketing & closing techniques and what truly constitutes an business opportunity, how to be in position to capitalize on it or distinguish if it's just an opportunity to stroke your ego and suck away all your resources. After that, toss in a complete lack of agronomical knowledge, or even an attempt to gain any, to understand how what they are doing or not doing effects the long term results of their services.
I think most LCOs don't understand what they are doing. They believe the business is just mowing lawns or planting things. The work you do is about 25% of the business. Then comes the bookwork, the advertising, marketing, managing, time management, etc etc etc that any business owner must do. I think too many people think the business starts and ends with what they do in the field, and that's wrong.
Also, too many LCOs look at what the biggest guy is doing and try to copy them. Instead of formulating a business plan that fits their capabilities, expertise, experience, and equipment. You can't be a start up LCO with no experience and expect to compete with the bigger companies in your area on their terms.
ALinc dam good thread i agree.