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Steve
09-29-2004, 11:56 AM
We asked this question and received many great replies.

If you could start your business over again from scratch, what would you do differently this time?

What is your view?

Steve
09-29-2004, 11:57 AM
Ken from KJ Landscaping said "I would have started earlier age."

Steve
09-29-2004, 11:58 AM
CUT-N-EDGE Lawn Care Services said "Done it right. Biz plan, bank loan, the whole nine yards. Didn't know it was going to be a carrer when I started, though. Guess I could still start over."

Steve
09-29-2004, 11:59 AM
LwnmwrMan22 said "Nothing."

Steve
09-29-2004, 11:59 AM
J&R said "I would not start in this again. There are so many in this now bring down the price of lawn care. Because the cost of running a company keeps goin up from payroll ,tax and insurance it's not worth it."

Steve
09-29-2004, 12:00 PM
Mac from Four Corners Landscaping said "Expand as fast as I could, and then expand some more. I could have been the only one or two in the state if I had kept expanding putting the new guys out of biz as soon as they popped up."

Steve
09-29-2004, 12:10 PM
"ryry" said "im fine the way im in got my new trailer then got rid of my toyota and bought a brand spaking new f-150 herritage going to get the 32 or 36 in mower next year pretty much have everything to start wih the reason why is i live with my parents and thats always a plus!!"

Steve
09-29-2004, 12:10 PM
"highlander316" said "Charge more for mowing, heh, it's hard to raise some prices"

Steve
10-01-2004, 12:58 PM
"stutterstan" said "Controlled my growth. I grew to fast and got burned out over labor and profit margins. Also I was too young(19-20) and didn't understsnd the concept of business and money. Now I am part-time solo and much happier and smarter"

Steve
10-01-2004, 12:58 PM
SodKing said "I would have started a coffee shop!"

Steve
10-01-2004, 12:59 PM
fourseasonlawns said "buy the biggest and best of everything.
Anything from your weed-eater, edger and blower, to your truck and trailer.
the only thing biggest doesn't apply to, is your mower. but you better buy the best.
spend the money now, or spend it later in labor or repairs/replacement."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:01 PM
Glan said "Not a thing

On the personal side..........I would do things different."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:01 PM
daren_r said "Invest in the right equipment the first time around. I have spent more money buying and selling mowers and trailers than I wanted too."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:02 PM
rgm said "man i would have started with the right equip for 1 thing"

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:03 PM
allseasonturf said "Went into a different trade. This business is just flooded hands in the work, every where you look a truck with a trailer full a mowing equipment. Now I know folks will say theres plenty of work to go around, but is there really ?"

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:04 PM
jazzbo said "I started so long ago there was no other equipment push mower nd a pair of hand shears to trim the grass. But I would have invested more in finding and keeping key employees"

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:05 PM
Richard Martin said "I would have (and still can if the mood strikes me) hired a crew to take care of my "every day" lawns and hired a helper to work with me on my #1 jobs. I have over the years turned away so much work it's not funny just because I didn't want to service a particular yard for whatever reason. I could have hired people to do this work and put the money in my pocket."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:06 PM
AltaLawnCare said "There might be plenty of work to do, but because of "Supply and Demand" the most common work is priced on rock bottom. Mow onlys are a dead loss in my area, add that to too many LCOs (and "wanna bes") and low household income and you have a great formula for failure.

What Richard Martin said above is where I'm at...some realistic priced work is FINALLY coming around to me. More and more landscaping, lawn applications, and renovations.

I could write a book on what I'd do differently!

1, Have a good estimating system that covers my true costs well, and know what the market will bear.
2, Have a good estimating system that covers my true costs well, and know what the market will bear. Yes its that important!
3, Start out with lower overhead.
4, Take on residential mow onlys that are grouped together only.
5, Instead of chasing dead-end work, be patient and let the better work come to me.
6, Market premium services...not mow only.
7, Get licensed to spray earlier.
8, Delegate more work earlier.
9, Get a job with a landscape company before starting up..and see how hard the work really is.
10, Keep business debt to a minimum."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:09 PM
Bill Parrish of Fine Lines Lawn "The main thing I would change is to have started earlier. I was 42 when I started this."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:10 PM
BCSteel said "The number one thing is I would have kept my first employee and not turned down any half decent work. Grow, grow, grow.

Second, I would have cracked the whip and dumped my girlfriend. Build my business and grow, grow, grow.

Third, I would have invested time/money in school, for business planning, marketing, etc. either before or during my initial stages of growth.

Fourth, not paid way to #### much for the business that I bought out, even if it did get me into the work that I wanted to do.

This is depressing, thats it for now."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:11 PM
mountainlandscaper said "I'd of rather had this and other places that offered support,help and advice instead of a cold start and figure it out as you go by reading and hands on,and learning by mistake."

Steve
10-01-2004, 01:12 PM
AssistSuper said "If I could start.....well if I started up now....I'd sell my truck and buy a older 3/4 ton that's in good shape, a large open trailer, a 48" w/b, good trimmers and blowers and just go out and put out gobs and gobs and gobs of flyers. Once I got a good base going I'd start selling renovations, apps, installs, etc. All that stuff where the 'real' money is and using my school to my advantage against the guys that don't have any."

Steve
10-04-2004, 10:49 PM
Oak Forest Lawns said "I'd have started my business llooooooonnnnng ago, had I known then what I know now."

Steve
10-04-2004, 10:50 PM
Allseasonturf said "There is a great deal of truth in what most everyone in here is saying, and I might add that what I am doing now to best myself is diverse my business into many different areas of expertise, such as low voltage outdoor lighting, deck repair and installs, flagstone and retaining wall installs, and most recently i'm getting ready to go back into installing satellite TV. Man I was so lucky to have the insight to learn as much as I could about as many feilds as I could. I'm able to fix or repair almost anything,you name it i fix it. Haveing knowledge is about my best attribute and knowing how to apply it is my next best."

Steve
10-04-2004, 10:51 PM
work it said "There's not much I can say I would have done differently. My overhead is rock bottom. I have nice equipment and maintain it well. I only paid $900 for the truck which I have working perfectly again and once I finish fixing up the body it'll be great for advertising the business I'm getting ready to start (auto body paint and repair) as well as the lawn business. Everything is paid off and making me money.

The only things I wish I had to start out with are a good software program for billing, setting up routes, and scheduling lawn applications. The other program is a landscape design program. I've lost a couple landscape jobs because of not having one."

Steve
10-11-2004, 06:55 PM
jwholden said "I would have been more selective in who I worked for and charged more for my services. If a customer doesn't want to hire me because my price is too high walk away and don't negotiate my price."