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Shark1611
05-01-2012, 07:27 AM
Hey guys I started my business out just mowing lawns and now after two years it is moving in to bed work. How many of you do both? I am a small company and it just seems like confusion for me to try and do both. Gets me off track on my day to day business. Most of what the customers are wanting is weed pulling or killing and mulch. Not sure if I can make money doing this. These beds as you know are not a one time job. They want me out during the month to keep them weed free. Of course they will pay for the service but again are any of you making money doing this or have done this in the past and found it does not profit.

Off and on I have asked questions on this website about how to charge and other issues and get very few comments. This tells me that folks do not have time to answer, or maybe not many of you do bed work. That being the case it would help me knowing your ideas.

Thanks

Cashin H&P
05-01-2012, 08:12 AM
Hey guys I started my business out just mowing lawns and now after two years it is moving in to bed work. How many of you do both? I am a small company and it just seems like confusion for me to try and do both. Gets me off track on my day to day business. Most of what the customers are wanting is weed pulling or killing and mulch. Not sure if I can make money doing this. These beds as you know are not a one time job. They want me out during the month to keep them weed free. Of course they will pay for the service but again are any of you making money doing this or have done this in the past and found it does not profit.

Off and on I have asked questions on this website about how to charge and other issues and get very few comments. This tells me that folks do not have time to answer, or maybe not many of you do bed work. That being the case it would help me knowing your ideas.

Thanks

How manu lawns do you do? I do my mowing on two half days. The rest of the week I do other things like mulch or hardscape projects. For mulch I charge $35 per yard then 35$ per yard to install it. You should be able to do ine yard of mulch in 1 hour with one guy. For the weeding and such I charge per hour and guess how long it should take. If you are putting poision down I charge $10 per sprayer full. I hope this helps.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
05-01-2012, 08:35 AM
I do the same, mow two days outta the week and mulch/edge/ plant/ hardscape the others. Yes it does get more confusing and a little stressful at times but it will help you gain customers. Most customers are looking for 1 company to maintain everything, they don't want to have to write checks for multiple companies. I have 10 customers that ask for bed maintenance , so I alot time for this on a bi weekly schedule and charge them $35 a month extra on top of mowing, this is if the beds are in decent shape. If they're out of control at first , figure it out at an hourly rate and charge them accordingly. Once they are under control you can do the bi weekly maintenance. I spread my mulch at $75 a yard + tax and like he said ^^ it should take aprox an hr a yard. I charge my customers $1.50 a Ft for edging . But this varies in each area. My area that I work has an average household income of $90,000. It is tough expanding out into different kinds of work, when it rains you have to re adjust your schedule and it can become chaoitic but I feel it's the only way you can get ahead.....helps your name out too. Good luck if this is the route you take. Just remember , stay organized!! Take care of tw customers who called first. And always return calls. I hear it all the time how customers just want a call back, that's half their battle.

dpld
05-01-2012, 09:02 AM
i guess i will bite, first off bed care with the exception of mulch should allready be included in your lawn care program and if you charged accordingly you would put down a pre emergence in the beds in the late winter early spring and then periodically do touch ups throughout the year.

second, you better learn to cope with the extra work and fit it in your schedule because regardless of where you live that is how you make money in this business, by doing the extras.

third, and speaking for myself, it is not high on my list to give advice to people who don't know the business.
call me old fashioned or what you like but the more logical approach to any industry is to learn the industry from top to bottom working for someone and paying your dues.

it makes no sense to start something before you even know what to do and 99 times out of 100 you will fail and at the very least your inexperience will show to your customers and will cause more harm then good to your business name.

there is no comparison between cutting your own lawn and doing it professionaly and when people want to start a business it always boggles my mind as to why they choose landscaping when there are hundreds of other thing one can choose that he knows nothing about that cost a lot less to start up.

i am not knocking you i am mainly touching on a subject that seems to plague this industry.
there is far more to know then just having a lawn mower and the gumption to walk behind it all day and far too often on this site is guys who are either in school or going right from school to the business world with no trade experience what so ever.
i guess if i owned this site and i was looking to cash in on selling books to convince people that you too can start your own lawn care business without any clue what so ever it would work. but the way i was brought up in this business you would never expect to get a answer out of anyone when it pertains to simple everyday situations you would easily know if you had the experience and proper training.

when a cherry comes to work for me and asks how do you price a job?, or how do you know how much time it will take? i say, if you are still with me in a couple of years you will have those answers all on your own from the experience of actually doing it firsthand.

once again i am not trying to be a azzhole here, i am just telling it like it is and to be honest we live in two totally different spectrums so being that the turf in your region is most likely different then mine, the growing conditions in your region most likely vary from mine and even everything from the type of trees and shrubs native to your region as well as types of mulch and pesticide regulations.
i would be giving you bad advice if i were to tell you how to do things in your area which i know nothing about from the local economy to the type of customers you are servicing.

believe me when i tell you that i am helping you more then you know.

for example: regardless of what size business you have and where you live the costs in each region are pretty close amongst competitors and for basic services such as lawn mowing there is only so much you can get.
with that said, without the proper experience and equipment and cash flow how could a little guy starting out compete with someone like myself who has 28 years in the business and in my 23rd year in business?

most little guys shoot themselves in the foot right from the start by stealing the work by giving ridiculously low prices which right there cuts down on their profits. then they think in their own mind that they they are building up their name and paying their dues and eventually they will get theirs when in fact they are leading themselves to the path of failure or even worse, a crap life of being over worked and under paid.
fast forward a couple years and see how mrs jones thinks about your price increase when after you realize you been doing it for half price and want to charge accordingly.
with each customer you only get one chance to get it right and there is no do over.

in my area 8 out of 10 homes have landscapers and all of them make their properties look like disneyland and when they show up with their big bad trucks and trailers with all the bells and whistles and they not only do a bang up job they are out of there in 10 to 15 minutes because they have the best equipment, a sizeable crew and they knock out 30 houses a day.
then the little guy with the pick up and the small push mower shows up and he is doing it for half price and even though his overhead is low which he is lucky it is because he is not making any money and he takes 30 to 60 minutes to get the same job done.

the problem with that is even though everyone wants to save a buck is that if they happen to be home that day got to deal with you being on their property 4 times longer then the big guy and the results are not as good and eventually your low price and taking too long grows thin and they let you go and pay more money to have it done better and quicker.
it may be different in your area but that is how it is in mine.

i know most peoples response would be, how else am i supposed to start out? or i got to start somewhere or your just some azzhat who had success and you want to keep anyone else from starting their own business and to that i would say, what is your hurry to jump into something only to fail because you did not take the time to learn the business first?

everyone wants to be their own boss and in doing so they overlook the most important element of success, experience.
and i can never understand what people have against working for someone first and making a living and saving some money and learn the business so when they start their own business they can hit the ground running because they not only have the most important thing you can have which is knowledge and if you saved up for it you can start out with all of what you need to do it right and at the very least having a good steady income could help you build up the credit you would need to borrow the money to get you up and running faster.

if you want to live a long life you will take care of yourself so you have the best chance, right?
if you want to be heavyweight champ of the world you need to train and work your way up to it ,right?
your not gonna wake up one day and say, i am gonna challenge the champ and actually expect to win.
you will get your azz kicked in.

the same holds true for any type of business even something that what would appear to be simpleminded as cutting grass for a living.

make no mistake there is big money in this business and i make as much if not more then most of the people i work for but that will only happen if you have the knowledge and take the time to gain the knowledge and there is no book out there that is gonna teach you all of what you need to know to be as successfull as me and wheteher you like what i am saying or not that is a fact and i am a small microcosim of what you are up against in business.

i am sorry for the long dragged out post and i know i probably did not answer any of the questions you asked, but to be frank, your questions are basic landscape 101 which you should allready know and the story i just gave you, if you listen, will be of far more help to you in the end.

Shark1611
05-01-2012, 08:51 PM
How manu lawns do you do? I do my mowing on two half days. The rest of the week I do other things like mulch or hardscape projects. For mulch I charge $35 per yard then 35$ per yard to install it. You should be able to do ine yard of mulch in 1 hour with one guy. For the weeding and such I charge per hour and guess how long it should take. If you are putting poision down I charge $10 per sprayer full. I hope this helps.

man I feel stupid now. :) Never thought of setting one day asside for that. I have one full time and one part time. I do a number of commercial properties and home owners. I am going to take a good hard look at my work days and see about at least getting a 1/2 day in.

One of the customer has a bed that is about two feet wide and around 300' long. Has nice shrubs and a very nice lawn but the grass has grown over and into his beds alone with weeds. My thought is to weed down the grass as low as I can get it, spray with killer, then pre-emergent, and fill up with mulch. Then I shared with him that I would have to come out at least every other week to keep it under control. Thoughts?

Shark1611
05-01-2012, 08:55 PM
I do the same, mow two days outta the week and mulch/edge/ plant/ hardscape the others. Yes it does get more confusing and a little stressful at times but it will help you gain customers. Most customers are looking for 1 company to maintain everything, they don't want to have to write checks for multiple companies. I have 10 customers that ask for bed maintenance , so I alot time for this on a bi weekly schedule and charge them $35 a month extra on top of mowing, this is if the beds are in decent shape. If they're out of control at first , figure it out at an hourly rate and charge them accordingly. Once they are under control you can do the bi weekly maintenance. I spread my mulch at $75 a yard + tax and like he said ^^ it should take aprox an hr a yard. I charge my customers $1.50 a Ft for edging . But this varies in each area. My area that I work has an average household income of $90,000. It is tough expanding out into different kinds of work, when it rains you have to re adjust your schedule and it can become chaoitic but I feel it's the only way you can get ahead.....helps your name out too. Good luck if this is the route you take. Just remember , stay organized!! Take care of tw customers who called first. And always return calls. I hear it all the time how customers just want a call back, that's half their battle.

Thanks this adds into the first comment. I am very blessed with work and it is over the top with my customers. It's when I started getting all these flowerbed jobs that I started to have issues. And you are so right. These folks are not happy with who they have doing there lawns cuz all the do is mow, blow and leave! It is not bad at all now but if I do not get on the move it could be for sure.

Thanks a bunch I am so glad that there are people on here that care about helping others.

Shark1611
05-01-2012, 09:24 PM
i guess i will bite, first off bed care with the exception of mulch should allready be included in your lawn care program and if you charged accordingly you would put down a pre emergence in the beds in the late winter early spring and then periodically do touch ups throughout the year.

second, you better learn to cope with the extra work and fit it in your schedule because regardless of where you live that is how you make money in this business, by doing the extras.

third, and speaking for myself, it is not high on my list to give advice to people who don't know the business.
call me old fashioned or what you like but the more logical approach to any industry is to learn the industry from top to bottom working for someone and paying your dues.

it makes no sense to start something before you even know what to do and 99 times out of 100 you will fail and at the very least your inexperience will show to your customers and will cause more harm then good to your business name.

there is no comparison between cutting your own lawn and doing it professionaly and when people want to start a business it always boggles my mind as to why they choose landscaping when there are hundreds of other thing one can choose that he knows nothing about that cost a lot less to start up.

i am not knocking you i am mainly touching on a subject that seems to plague this industry.
there is far more to know then just having a lawn mower and the gumption to walk behind it all day and far too often on this site is guys who are either in school or going right from school to the business world with no trade experience what so ever.
i guess if i owned this site and i was looking to cash in on selling books to convince people that you too can start your own lawn care business without any clue what so ever it would work. but the way i was brought up in this business you would never expect to get a answer out of anyone when it pertains to simple everyday situations you would easily know if you had the experience and proper training.

when a cherry comes to work for me and asks how do you price a job?, or how do you know how much time it will take? i say, if you are still with me in a couple of years you will have those answers all on your own from the experience of actually doing it firsthand.

once again i am not trying to be a azzhole here, i am just telling it like it is and to be honest we live in two totally different spectrums so being that the turf in your region is most likely different then mine, the growing conditions in your region most likely vary from mine and even everything from the type of trees and shrubs native to your region as well as types of mulch and pesticide regulations.
i would be giving you bad advice if i were to tell you how to do things in your area which i know nothing about from the local economy to the type of customers you are servicing.

believe me when i tell you that i am helping you more then you know.

for example: regardless of what size business you have and where you live the costs in each region are pretty close amongst competitors and for basic services such as lawn mowing there is only so much you can get.
with that said, without the proper experience and equipment and cash flow how could a little guy starting out compete with someone like myself who has 28 years in the business and in my 23rd year in business?

most little guys shoot themselves in the foot right from the start by stealing the work by giving ridiculously low prices which right there cuts down on their profits. then they think in their own mind that they they are building up their name and paying their dues and eventually they will get theirs when in fact they are leading themselves to the path of failure or even worse, a crap life of being over worked and under paid.
fast forward a couple years and see how mrs jones thinks about your price increase when after you realize you been doing it for half price and want to charge accordingly.
with each customer you only get one chance to get it right and there is no do over.

in my area 8 out of 10 homes have landscapers and all of them make their properties look like disneyland and when they show up with their big bad trucks and trailers with all the bells and whistles and they not only do a bang up job they are out of there in 10 to 15 minutes because they have the best equipment, a sizeable crew and they knock out 30 houses a day.
then the little guy with the pick up and the small push mower shows up and he is doing it for half price and even though his overhead is low which he is lucky it is because he is not making any money and he takes 30 to 60 minutes to get the same job done.

the problem with that is even though everyone wants to save a buck is that if they happen to be home that day got to deal with you being on their property 4 times longer then the big guy and the results are not as good and eventually your low price and taking too long grows thin and they let you go and pay more money to have it done better and quicker.
it may be different in your area but that is how it is in mine.

i know most peoples response would be, how else am i supposed to start out? or i got to start somewhere or your just some azzhat who had success and you want to keep anyone else from starting their own business and to that i would say, what is your hurry to jump into something only to fail because you did not take the time to learn the business first?

everyone wants to be their own boss and in doing so they overlook the most important element of success, experience.
and i can never understand what people have against working for someone first and making a living and saving some money and learn the business so when they start their own business they can hit the ground running because they not only have the most important thing you can have which is knowledge and if you saved up for it you can start out with all of what you need to do it right and at the very least having a good steady income could help you build up the credit you would need to borrow the money to get you up and running faster.

if you want to live a long life you will take care of yourself so you have the best chance, right?
if you want to be heavyweight champ of the world you need to train and work your way up to it ,right?
your not gonna wake up one day and say, i am gonna challenge the champ and actually expect to win.
you will get your azz kicked in.

the same holds true for any type of business even something that what would appear to be simpleminded as cutting grass for a living.

make no mistake there is big money in this business and i make as much if not more then most of the people i work for but that will only happen if you have the knowledge and take the time to gain the knowledge and there is no book out there that is gonna teach you all of what you need to know to be as successfull as me and wheteher you like what i am saying or not that is a fact and i am a small microcosim of what you are up against in business.

i am sorry for the long dragged out post and i know i probably did not answer any of the questions you asked, but to be frank, your questions are basic landscape 101 which you should allready know and the story i just gave you, if you listen, will be of far more help to you in the end.

I am not upset at all, in fact I have been on the website for a bit over a year and knew at some point and time I would have an e-mail such as this. I grew up on a golf course where my dad was a pga professional and he had me mowing at age of nine and learned a great deal about grass, weed control, when to fertilize, when to apply chemicals, and budgets, so I guess I thought I could do this because I could make a golf course look great. I got out of the business and managed lumber and hardware stores. At 52 years of age I was sick of it and got to mowing lawns. My company has grown faster than anyone in this area and I know for a fact that it was not low balling price because my closest friend here has been doing this for close to 30 years and he's told me I am in line. The locals in this area love me and my business. I have accounts with Dollar General, Office Depot, My local city, housing authority, and the largest property management company in my area. I also maintain two medical clinics, and a number of homes. I got into this business because I flat out love it. My kids, wife, and friends have seen a change in me and for that I know that it has to be good for me.

All I have invested in this company is around $55, 00.00 in equipment and have a surplus in savings over and above my income from the business, so you can see just how small I am. I charge tax and only have 1M in insurance. But I bought all this stuff with the money I had from managing business and went with it.

I want to thank you again for shooting straight and believe me I am not upset one bit. I am use to most of the people in this business not waiving at me as I pass by because I am one of those who has screwed up the system.

In closing I found it odd how many people have come up to me while I am on a job asking for work because they had to shut down there lawn care service.

Messages such as these do not have personalities so I want you to know that I am not upset with your comments. You have a reason to be upset with people like me getting into a business that is for the pros that have worked so hard to get where you are today. I wish you continue growth in all you do and that you stated what I bet a whole lot more of you guys would like to say to people like me so hats off to ya. Believe it or not, it's nice to be humbled that is how we grow. Not sure if I will ever ask a question again on this forum :) but itís all good. Thanks again for your honesty I'm sure you got some high fives.

In closing here is a facebook post I got just today about my business...



Mary Ann Senger Harris

5 hours ago.

FYI, if you need someone to do your yard, Reed Norman with No Worries Lawn Care is the BEST! He is honest, dependable, reasonable and will do a GREAT job! There is no one else I would recommend! You can find him here on Facebook!!

No Worries Lawn Care

You can put your trust in No Worries Lawn Care. We provide personal service and hands-on approach. Our unparalleled service, competitive prices, and overall value are why our loyal customers won't go anywhere else. We look forward to serving you! Listed below are the services we provide: ∑ m...

Page: 92 like this

DON'T KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU GET UP EACH DAY TO GO TO WORK, BUT THIS KIND OF STUFF TELLS ME I AM DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.....

Shark1611
05-14-2012, 06:04 PM
Well, this post went dead in the water after my comment.

Hedgemaster
05-14-2012, 07:36 PM
If it helps, I too have a hard time handling the "extras".

I try to keep one weekday and Saturdays light/free for "projects" and for the most part it allows me time to do "extras" as they pop up, but in the early spring I was overwhelmed because 50 people (my regulars) are all looking to have cleanups done at the same time. (on top of any calls from new clients looking for the same)
I was doing OK until I needed to also start mowing because we had such an early start to the season.

For the most part, I try not to do extras on the day I'm mowing unless it's to my advantage to do so. (Like small hedge trims where cleanup can be incorporated into the mowing)
If you do extras on "cut day" clients assume you always have the time to do so and will pop things on you at the last minute expecting it will be done while you are there to mow. Surely this isn't as much of an issue for a "crew", but when working alone, you have to be aware of how you manage your time, and set your schedule.

Shark1611
05-14-2012, 09:37 PM
If it helps, I too have a hard time handling the "extras".

I try to keep one weekday and Saturdays light/free for "projects" and for the most part it allows me time to do "extras" as they pop up, but in the early spring I was overwhelmed because 50 people (my regulars) are all looking to have cleanups done at the same time. (on top of any calls from new clients looking for the same)
I was doing OK until I needed to also start mowing because we had such an early start to the season.

For the most part, I try not to do extras on the day I'm mowing unless it's to my advantage to do so. (Like small hedge trims where cleanup can be incorporated into the mowing)
If you do extras on "cut day" clients assume you always have the time to do so and will pop things on you at the last minute expecting it will be done while you are there to mow. Surely this isn't as much of an issue for a "crew", but when working alone, you have to be aware of how you manage your time, and set your schedule.

Thank you for the kind words, this is what I was looking for when I posted this. I do have to admit that after the post I got I felt like I best not ever put myself out there again. I have added another day for my part time helper and now me and my full time guy are being able to work on the bed issues. I have been on this forum for over a year and it has been very helpful for me. I just got elected to the city council and now I have more to deal with.

usmc3391
05-14-2012, 10:59 PM
Don't let some clown who is probably angry with his life for whatever reason take it out on you. I personally know two family friends who have done just exactly that: knew nothing about landscaping and turning into a large profitable company. One still runs his and the other sold his for a (Very) Healthy profit. I thought the same thing in the begging of the season but as i began to get more mulch jobs they became easier and much faster. Stick with it and im sure you will do well as long as the passion is there. By the way Thank You Steve, this site has helped me incredibly in many ways. Keep up the great work.

shadrach
05-15-2012, 05:11 AM
While I will agree that there are small portions of this business that having the experience of working for someone else is greatly beneficial, as far as landscape maintenance goes it is definitely not a requirement. It is not brain surgery. And if a person is concerned about the "state of the industry" , answering questions that people ask on forums like these will only help to improve it.

dpld
05-15-2012, 09:16 AM
I am not upset at all, in fact I have been on the website for a bit over a year and knew at some point and time I would have an e-mail such as this. I grew up on a golf course where my dad was a pga professional and he had me mowing at age of nine and learned a great deal about grass, weed control, when to fertilize, when to apply chemicals, and budgets, so I guess I thought I could do this because I could make a golf course look great. I got out of the business and managed lumber and hardware stores. At 52 years of age I was sick of it and got to mowing lawns. My company has grown faster than anyone in this area and I know for a fact that it was not low balling price because my closest friend here has been doing this for close to 30 years and he's told me I am in line. The locals in this area love me and my business. I have accounts with Dollar General, Office Depot, My local city, housing authority, and the largest property management company in my area. I also maintain two medical clinics, and a number of homes. I got into this business because I flat out love it. My kids, wife, and friends have seen a change in me and for that I know that it has to be good for me.

All I have invested in this company is around $55, 00.00 in equipment and have a surplus in savings over and above my income from the business, so you can see just how small I am. I charge tax and only have 1M in insurance. But I bought all this stuff with the money I had from managing business and went with it.

I want to thank you again for shooting straight and believe me I am not upset one bit. I am use to most of the people in this business not waiving at me as I pass by because I am one of those who has screwed up the system.

In closing I found it odd how many people have come up to me while I am on a job asking for work because they had to shut down there lawn care service.

Messages such as these do not have personalities so I want you to know that I am not upset with your comments. You have a reason to be upset with people like me getting into a business that is for the pros that have worked so hard to get where you are today. I wish you continue growth in all you do and that you stated what I bet a whole lot more of you guys would like to say to people like me so hats off to ya. Believe it or not, it's nice to be humbled that is how we grow. Not sure if I will ever ask a question again on this forum :) but itís all good. Thanks again for your honesty I'm sure you got some high fives.

In closing here is a facebook post I got just today about my business...



Mary Ann Senger Harris

5 hours ago.

FYI, if you need someone to do your yard, Reed Norman with No Worries Lawn Care is the BEST! He is honest, dependable, reasonable and will do a GREAT job! There is no one else I would recommend! You can find him here on Facebook!!

No Worries Lawn Care

You can put your trust in No Worries Lawn Care. We provide personal service and hands-on approach. Our unparalleled service, competitive prices, and overall value are why our loyal customers won't go anywhere else. We look forward to serving you! Listed below are the services we provide: ∑ m...

Page: 92 like this

DON'T KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU GET UP EACH DAY TO GO TO WORK, BUT THIS KIND OF STUFF TELLS ME I AM DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.....



i am sorry if i came off like a azz and i understand that you work hard and deserve what you have and i wish you all the best.

i like your customers responses and it says a lot about your character and i hope all your customers feel the same way.

dpld
05-15-2012, 09:49 AM
While I will agree that there are small portions of this business that having the experience of working for someone else is greatly beneficial, as far as landscape maintenance goes it is definitely not a requirement. It is not brain surgery. And if a person is concerned about the "state of the industry" , answering questions that people ask on forums like these will only help to improve it.


i can agree with you to some point but the type of properties you maintain can blow that theory right out of the water.

working for someone to learn the trade is not so much to learn the basic functions of the equipment because you can show someone all they need to know in 15 minutes, off course they would have to develop the fine skills but that is all the easy part and comes fairly quickly to the right individual.

the experience i am referring to would be knowledge of turf with the pests, weeds and diseases and different varieties of grasses.
obtaining licenses if applicable in the state you live in is so much easier when you work for someone because the hours you work count as your basic training.
you get to learn more about pricing and time to do jobs because as most know every landscape is different you get to learn how to work with other people and learn to deal with others baggage.
if you have a good boss you get to learn how to be a boss and even if he stinks you can get a good picture of what not to do as a boss.

there are so many priceless things to learn while on someone elses dime that help in the long haul.

my original post was more as a advice to potential future business owners then towards anyone who is allready up and running and even though i quoted the OP it was not to lambast him.

everyone situation is different and if you are allready balls deep in your business then i am no way suggesting sell the farm and go work for someone and then start over again.
i am not saying that just because you never worked for no one there is no way you can not be good at what you do, because that is up to the particular individual and his deire to thrive and be the best he can be.

all i am saying is two things 1. there are to paths you can take, the high road and the low road. and both lead to the same destination if you work hard but one way will obviously take more effort.
2. if you are starting out take your time whats the rush, if it something you plan on doing the rest of your life you will have plenty of time for your own glory and by fine tuning your skills and knowledge on someone elses dime will only better aid you in when you start off hitting the ground running.

Shark1611
05-15-2012, 12:04 PM
While I will agree that there are small portions of this business that having the experience of working for someone else is greatly beneficial, as far as landscape maintenance goes it is definitely not a requirement. It is not brain surgery. And if a person is concerned about the "state of the industry" , answering questions that people ask on forums like these will only help to improve it.

Well, thank you that is what I was wanting out of the post was ideas. I am going to do it, the customer wants me to but felt no harm in just asking for help. I am going to try and download photos of the bed I am talking about and you will see why I posted. Have not seen one this bad in a long time so thought it was worth the asking.

Shark1611
05-15-2012, 12:59 PM
Here is just one small area of a bed that needs work. This is what caused me to post on the forum.

Lot's and lot's of work to do here.

Shark1611
05-15-2012, 03:50 PM
i can agree with you to some point but the type of properties you maintain can blow that theory right out of the water.

working for someone to learn the trade is not so much to learn the basic functions of the equipment because you can show someone all they need to know in 15 minutes, off course they would have to develop the fine skills but that is all the easy part and comes fairly quickly to the right individual.

the experience i am referring to would be knowledge of turf with the pests, weeds and diseases and different varieties of grasses.
obtaining licenses if applicable in the state you live in is so much easier when you work for someone because the hours you work count as your basic training.
you get to learn more about pricing and time to do jobs because as most know every landscape is different you get to learn how to work with other people and learn to deal with others baggage.
if you have a good boss you get to learn how to be a boss and even if he stinks you can get a good picture of what not to do as a boss.

there are so many priceless things to learn while on someone elses dime that help in the long haul.

my original post was more as a advice to potential future business owners then towards anyone who is allready up and running and even though i quoted the OP it was not to lambast him.

everyone situation is different and if you are allready balls deep in your business then i am no way suggesting sell the farm and go work for someone and then start over again.
i am not saying that just because you never worked for no one there is no way you can not be good at what you do, because that is up to the particular individual and his deire to thrive and be the best he can be.

all i am saying is two things 1. there are to paths you can take, the high road and the low road. and both lead to the same destination if you work hard but one way will obviously take more effort.
2. if you are starting out take your time whats the rush, if it something you plan on doing the rest of your life you will have plenty of time for your own glory and by fine tuning your skills and knowledge on someone elses dime will only better aid you in when you start off hitting the ground running.

And you are right in a turn key operation. All is good and thank you much for the comment. Blessings to you in all you do my friend.

shadrach
05-15-2012, 04:31 PM
i can agree with you to some point but the type of properties you maintain can blow that theory right out of the water.

working for someone to learn the trade is not so much to learn the basic functions of the equipment because you can show someone all they need to know in 15 minutes, off course they would have to develop the fine skills but that is all the easy part and comes fairly quickly to the right individual.

the experience i am referring to would be knowledge of turf with the pests, weeds and diseases and different varieties of grasses.
obtaining licenses if applicable in the state you live in is so much easier when you work for someone because the hours you work count as your basic training.
you get to learn more about pricing and time to do jobs because as most know every landscape is different you get to learn how to work with other people and learn to deal with others baggage.
if you have a good boss you get to learn how to be a boss and even if he stinks you can get a good picture of what not to do as a boss.

there are so many priceless things to learn while on someone elses dime that help in the long haul.

my original post was more as a advice to potential future business owners then towards anyone who is allready up and running and even though i quoted the OP it was not to lambast him.

everyone situation is different and if you are allready balls deep in your business then i am no way suggesting sell the farm and go work for someone and then start over again.
i am not saying that just because you never worked for no one there is no way you can not be good at what you do, because that is up to the particular individual and his deire to thrive and be the best he can be.

all i am saying is two things 1. there are to paths you can take, the high road and the low road. and both lead to the same destination if you work hard but one way will obviously take more effort.
2. if you are starting out take your time whats the rush, if it something you plan on doing the rest of your life you will have plenty of time for your own glory and by fine tuning your skills and knowledge on someone elses dime will only better aid you in when you start off hitting the ground running.

I agree with all of this. There is no substitute for the proper experience. All I meant to add was that the right person with the right attitude can still get most of the way there (although it is a more difficult road). I could have worded my previous statement better than I did.

pfreeman
05-16-2012, 09:09 AM
Mowing is fine, but why swim with the sharks. Everyone mows and drives the price down. Search your market and determine where the least competition is. Learn the skills needed to enter the market; start small, price to be profitable, develop a reputation, and capture market share. I am a small company. We do not touch a project for less than $50 per man hour, plus material, and disposal fees.

The extras are where the money is, educate and develop a small customer base positioning yourself as the expert and one stop shop for lawn and landscape service. If someone needs you ahead of regular scheduling, charge a premium. My labor rate raises to $60 per man hour on emergency projects.

So far as the posts concerning bad attitudes from the competition, work on relationships. I have developed a relationship with a large landscape company. They provide me leads that they cannot service because of its size. They provide me with leads for mowing that they do not provide and for jobs that are too small for them to bother with. Also, I have developed relationships with mowing companies to prune their customers trees and landscape. I spif them and everyone is happy. This business thrives of healthy relationships- customers and competition.