What would you do different now that you are established?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by augs dad, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. augs dad

    augs dad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    For you guys who have been around for awhile, what few, key things would you do differently if you were starting your business over again? Buying the best equipment we can afford is a given...thanks much

    Gary in PA
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I'd have a lot more money in my pocket because of the things I learned here.

    I started my business in 95 and had a slight idea on how to do it. No local guys wanted to talk so I called services that were 30 to 60 miles form me.
    I got some help but not more than a phone calls worth.

    This site by far has helped me make money.

    So if I had to start again, I would start right here.
  3. keifer

    keifer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Dont get me wrong I love my kids but I was doing twice as much work before i had them. so if i could change anything i would have bought a lawnmower with a child seat so we both could ride.
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    a course in buisiness management would help i think.
    its good to have goals etc,but id live each day like it is the gift it is.
    what was it farley told scrooge.[ mankind was your buisness,ebonezer scrooge.] i believe mr dickens was trying to give us a secret to living there.later now:)
  5. Guardian

    Guardian LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 269

    I would NOT take on a partner.
  6. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    1) I would have charged 40% more than I thought I needed when I started, and raised my rates annually.

    2) I would've started mulching everything much earlier.

    3) I would've bought a dedicated blade grinder: the single most important purchase I ever made.

    4) I would not have tried to upgrade to a 36" mower; it doesn't fly here.

    5) I would've kept track of every minute spent in the field. Nothing clears the picture better than knowing your exact take on the business.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    Good question. I would've started with a WB the first year I went into business. Used push mowers my first 7 years in business. Would've started with a straight shaft weedeater instead of using a curved shaft for 5 years. Would've offered more services after 1st or 2nd year in business.

  8. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I've been mowing lawns for 20 years but this is my 8th year in my own business, so I've made plenty of mistakes! These are several things I would do differently:
    1) Buy heavier duty trucks and equipment to start with. This means no F-150's and no equipment from Home Depot. If your planning on growing at all these trucks and tools will soon be junk and you'll have to buy these things again.

    2) Get set up with a good bookkeeper and accountant right away. This is a no brainer but I tried doing a lot of the paperwork, quarterly returns, payroll tax deposits, sales tax etc, and made a lot of mistakes in my first year. Leave this to the professionals and concentrate on being the best landscaper you can.

    3) Incorporate right away if you plan on being more than a solo operation. Once you add employees to the mix, you are opening yourself up to a lot more liability. There are a lot of lawyers out there....

    4) I would have charged more to begin with. I needed work so I would take any accounts I could get- good, bad or ugly, and was working cheap. Make sure you know your numbers and charge accordingly. We are professionals and deserve to make a good living.

    I know you can't avoid all these things when you start out because money is tight and you want to grow, but this is what I would do differently, and I hope this helps you. Mike
  9. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    AL Inc,

    I am solo, but unsure if I will have employees, but would like to think that I will someday have employees. I have came to the conclusion that if I do have employees I would want to be incorporated. What is wrong with incorporating when I come closer to this transition in my business?

  10. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    walker-talker- The bottom line is to do what's right for your situation. When you're ready to hire people, incorporate. I only said I would have incorporated right away because I never planned on being solo. I ran as a sole proprietor for my first two years and then incorporated. I could have saved myself some time by just doing it right away. Not trying to tell you what to do, just what I would have done differently.Mike

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