Why do so many LCO's fail?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kebrowns, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    depends on how many other things you do besides lawn mowing. Obviously if you start with nothing, and what to do every under "landscaping" you are going to have put a lot of money back into the company, thus not making very much profit or any even. For me I did a lot of buying last year which was my first year and this year. Next year I won't need much, just the regular stuff any company will go through every year, like a case or two or three of 2 stroke mix. a spool or two or 3 of string for the trimmers and that's about it. depending on how much trimming your company does and how much 2 stroke gas you go through.
  2. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 22,356

    Copy that My Man! Thumbs Up One case = one spool.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'm in my 11th year and have never bought a case of 2-stroke oil!

    I buy it by the gallon.
  4. Blades Lawn Maintenance

    Blades Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Montague, NJ
    Messages: 1,239

    Yeah that's pretty much what happen. I started from nothing. If I was to do It again I would get a job first then use that money to help get me started
  5. kebrowns

    kebrowns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Thats exactly what I am doing now.
  6. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    i kinda did it that way, when i was 14-18 i only did landscaping on my own, then i went to school for most of a year, dropped out, then started doing this again, and got a job 3-4 days a week doing landscaping to ensure i would be able to pay any bills i had accumulated from going to school for 7 or 8 months. then after 2 seasons with that guy i quit the following spring, and did my own stuff, it was tight but things worked and then i went full time and things weren't so bad once i started to advertise. :drinkup:
  7. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    My best advise would be to always fill the pipeline with new potential customers. You will aka ways loose a percentage of your customers every year for many different reasons and many of those will have nothing to do with your quality and performance. Therefore it is important to always fill those open spots with new customers ASAP. The best way we found is to give instant online quotes so that these new customers can sign up right on the spot. Go to acculawnsystems.com to see how it works.
  8. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    Many just get in over their head. They want the nicest truck/trailer and mowers. I have a 99 F250. Its paid for. Sure I want a brand new dump truck, but I dont want a payment. I will set a wish list, save and pay cash. When you are paying with actual cash, that you worked hard for and saved.......you really start to think about what you buy. Chances are, if I saved 40K in cash and I needed a new truck, Id spend 15K on a used one and bank the rest.
  9. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    I think that people look at what LCOs charge and think it's easy money. All they need is a mower, trimmer and blower and the money will come rolling in. Then one day they realize that they can't generate enough income to even pay for the equipment let alone a decent salary.
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Before starting in this industry...or any industry as a Owner....I think some basic business courses would be in the potential Owners best interest. I think understanding business as a whole, accounting, marketing, Human Resources, Business and yes even finance are needed to achieve greatness in industry assuming that everything else falls in place.

    True Story - There was this guy who worked for the worlds largest retailer after attending college and getting a degree in Mgmt with a specialization in HR. This retailer ensured that the guy was very very well compensated for running their stores. He did this for a almost a decade, working crazy amount of hours each week, because he was under the illusion that the stores he managed were his, as the company would want him to believe. So he ran the stores like they were his, working his tail off, working crazy hours, putting the company first before family events etc. This was his store after all, he would reap the benefit right?

    Until one day when the company started making changes, changes that effected how this guy could run "his store" from personnel and their wages to how his bonus structure was set up, no longer making it his store.

    So this guy thought of a plan, a risky plan but one he thought he could make work. You see he had always enjoyed working outdoors, had did several properties even though working crazy hours for this retailer for years, as it was his relaxation time.

    This guy put his plans into place, asked for a transfer to Florida from the retailer where he wanted to open up shop on his own, start his own business. And so it happened. This guy worked for the retailer for the amount of time required to ensure they paid for the closing cost on his home, his moving expenses etc per his relocation contract and he left that retailer.

    Now this guy was in a environment in which he was not familiar, in was FL, not the midwest he had lived in most of his life, so prior to leaving the company, he researched a lot on the internet from sites like U of F IFAS, went to the library and crammed what he could into his head from landscape books, asked question every where including here on lawnsite, even had some senior members of the site poke fun at him for asking silly questions. You see he did not understand everything about FL and its landscape environment, but he knew he understood business.

    The end result...this guy owns his own landscape and maintenance company in Florida, owns all his equipment outright, pays his employee a respectable wage, is liquid enough that if need be he could pay cash for his a duplicate of his entire set up tomorrow and still have enough to cover his overhead for a couple of months without any additional income arriving.

    The reason this guy made it, he understood business, not that he understood landscaping better than anyone else. He understood the important things in business like ROI, Networking, Gorilla Marketing , CONTROLLED GROWTH and OMG CASHFLOW. The overly simple things that are not sometimes so simple that allow many to fail in this industry. The stuff many fail to take time to review because they are rushing off to the next dollar to chase that dollar, because they are going to be the next Valley Crest!

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