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orbital667
09-13-2010, 09:06 AM
Hello everyone!
My name is Alex, 29, male, and I operate a one man band of a landscaping company out of central NJ.
Equipment list:
2001 Ford F350 v10 short bed, v10 w/ hydraulic 8 yard grain body.
14' open trailer
Scag 52" walkbehind w/ velke, 17hp kawi (new motor)
Stihl FS 90R line trimmer
Redmax EBZ 7001 backpack
Lesco 50 gallon chemical sprayer w/ honda motor, 400' hose
assorted maintenance tools, pole saws, hand tools ect ect ect

This enterprise started as a family business, my mother of all people started this in 1998 when I was 18. We had about 25 resdential, 1 80 unit condo, 1 450 unit community, 1 50 unit condo and a few small places like gas stations and burger kings and so on. I worked with the family biz until 2003 when the 9/11 economy and a flurry of unfortunate coincidences (and of course some lack of experience on our part) forced us to fold the company. At this point I went to work for an old family friend with a well established maintenance company and managed his entire operation (save for the billing and advertising) for 4 years without complaints. The economic downturn of recent history crippled my ex-employers ability to pay me what we both agreed I was worth, so I set out on my own to pick up where I had left off in 2003.

This fall will have me ending my second year of lawn care on my own, but I have managed other peoples companies and worked in landscaping for about 13 years now. Admittedly for most of that time, say, 8 years, I was just going through the motions, but now I have seen the light of doing it on your own and really trying to learn the business as well as the millions of ins and outs to proper lawncare and property maintenance. Aside from my job I am a professed tech junkie, love me a good movie (even bad ones, Zombie Apocalypse anyone?) and I really love what I do.

As of the end of this year I only have 8 accounts, a few large a few small, and I am placing bids on 3 commercial properties when the bids go up soon. I have access to good labor and have many contacts in my area, but as I am still figuring a lot out I felt it would be wise to expand my network beyond the scope of my eyes.

Thanks for having me and I hope we can all help each other out!

Steve
09-13-2010, 02:59 PM
Hi Alex,

Welcome to our forum!

It seems like you have had many interesting experiences over the past decade.

I'd love to hear more about how your mom initially decided to get her business started! Of all things, why did she pick lawn care? What do you think she thought of the experience of starting a lawn care business?

I worked with the family biz until 2003 when the 9/11 economy and a flurry of unfortunate coincidences (and of course some lack of experience on our part) forced us to fold the company.

Looking back on it, what forced you to close the business and what business lessons do you feel that you were able to learn from that experience? What would you differently this time around if you were dealing with the same issues?