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Steve
11-30-2006, 02:59 PM
These are some interesting points to consider when you are starting on with a new business.

Did any of these apply to you when you got started?

Top Four Young Entrepreneur Mistakes (http://www.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/advice/061026) - 1. Not enough networking

One of the most profound differences between young professionals and their older counterparts is the lack of networking opportunities. Seasoned entrepreneurs and those fresh from the corporate world have had the time to build up a list of contacts to help with a start-up. Without their own industry experience, young people must rely on the advice of others who have gone before them.

2. Not prepared for the work load

Any business requires incredible amounts of effort so aspiring business owners should make sure the sweat and tears will be worth it in the end. “If you are going to start a business you better love what you are doing,” Cone said. “It is so much work and the pay off is just so far away… it’s not motivating when it’s 3 a.m.… there has to passion there.”

3. Lack of Confidence

Many young people feel like they won’t be taken seriously, or are not confident with their own capabilities. However, confidence is extremely important when dealing with investors. If someone can’t believe in himself, no one else will either.

4. Afraid to ask family and friends for help

According to Cone, most businesses, and especially those started by young entrepreneurs, obtain funds first through family and friends. This makes some people uncomfortable, but Cone said it is perfectly normal and corresponds with the majority of business owners’ experiences.

lklandscaping
03-07-2010, 08:28 AM
These are some interesting points to consider when you are starting on with a new business.

Did any of these apply to you when you got started?

Top Four Young Entrepreneur Mistakes (http://www.youngmoney.com/entrepreneur/advice/061026) - 1. Not enough networking

One of the most profound differences between young professionals and their older counterparts is the lack of networking opportunities. Seasoned entrepreneurs and those fresh from the corporate world have had the time to build up a list of contacts to help with a start-up. Without their own industry experience, young people must rely on the advice of others who have gone before them.

2. Not prepared for the work load

Any business requires incredible amounts of effort so aspiring business owners should make sure the sweat and tears will be worth it in the end. “If you are going to start a business you better love what you are doing,” Cone said. “It is so much work and the pay off is just so far away… it’s not motivating when it’s 3 a.m.… there has to passion there.”

3. Lack of Confidence

Many young people feel like they won’t be taken seriously, or are not confident with their own capabilities. However, confidence is extremely important when dealing with investors. If someone can’t believe in himself, no one else will either.

4. Afraid to ask family and friends for help

According to Cone, most businesses, and especially those started by young entrepreneurs, obtain funds first through family and friends. This makes some people uncomfortable, but Cone said it is perfectly normal and corresponds with the majority of business owners’ experiences.

I just wanted to revitalize an old post...

1 and 4 hit me hard when I first started out.

I think # 5 should be:

Waiting to become legal. So many new landscaping companies fail because of this. I'm sorry to say this but when it happens locally sometimes I'm happy because I can buy practically new equipment at dirt cheap prices.

#6: Over establishing your bussiness. Ex: Overbuying equipment, over marketing (yes it's possible (see below)), and becoming too obsessed with the business aspect of the business. When you first start out, you don't yet need the top of the line exerything. remember K.I.S.S.- Keep It Simple Stupid.

__________________________________________________ _______________
Regarding the overmarketing: Over marketing is when you get to the point where you have "taken over" the phone books to the point you are targeting people in other counties, and in some cases, other states

racerdude711
03-07-2010, 10:39 PM
I would say that I agree with part of number 3. Not that I don't have confidence in myself, it's your target customers. People think that if they hire me, being 17 years old, that I'm not going to do as good of a job. I totally disagree, infact, I think I do a better job than most larger companies, mainly because I'm not only some guy out behind the mower, I'm also the OWNER. I think that a lot of big companies struggle with their employees, one struggle I think they have is making sure their employees are doing a good job when the owner isn't there to look over their every move. No one is cares about the company more than the owner. I have all the confidence in the world, just not sure that potential customers think the same when they find out I'm 17. After I get the customer, they are surprised by my quality as professionalism of work. (which is good,lol)

I also agree with number four somewhat. I really try not to get family or friends involved with my business. I think it's better off that way. As the saying goes, "Never do business with family".

MountainViewGreenskeeper
03-07-2010, 11:33 PM
To me atleast it been more of a game figuring out what works and what does marketing wise. So number 1 has been tough. Investment wise no one I know has money so all I can ask is spread the word and give me the work if you got it. witch comes back to number 1.

Steve
03-08-2010, 01:07 PM
I just wanted to revitalize an old post...

1 and 4 hit me hard when I first started out.

What kinds of issues popped up for you when you first got started? How would you have tried to avoid them if you could start over?

picframer
03-08-2010, 02:06 PM
What kinds of issues popped up for you when you first got started? How would you have tried to avoid them if you could start over?

I think they should remove the word Young, age doesn't have much to do with it.

The one thing that hit us hard was the workload, as we added new services they were taking off and I didn't have staff trained to back me up. At least this year we are going into this with well trained employees so we should be fine as we are not adding additional services until 2012.

lklandscaping
03-09-2010, 05:11 AM
I would say that I agree with part of number 3. Not that I don't have confidence in myself, it's your target customers. People think that if they hire me, being 17 years old, that I'm not going to do as good of a job. I totally disagree, infact, I think I do a better job than most larger companies, mainly because I'm not only some guy out behind the mower, I'm also the OWNER. I think that a lot of big companies struggle with their employees, one struggle I think they have is making sure their employees are doing a good job when the owner isn't there to look over their every move. No one is cares about the company more than the owner. I have all the confidence in the world, just not sure that potential customers think the same when they find out I'm 17. After I get the customer, they are surprised by my quality as professionalism of work. (which is good,lol)

I also agree with number four somewhat. I really try not to get family or friends involved with my business. I think it's better off that way. As the saying goes, "Never do business with family".

I agree with you 100%. I've lost several bids not because of my price but because of my age. I have many clients, and the problem is becoming less of an issue, because word-of-mouth advertising is working to my advantage.

racerdude711
03-09-2010, 02:47 PM
I agree with you 100%. I've lost several bids not because of my price but because of my age. I have many clients, and the problem is becoming less of an issue, because word-of-mouth advertising is working to my advantage.


Yep, and because of this problem, I'm going to include pictures of lawns that I've done on my flyers, with a pic of me, my truck, and equipment. Word of mouth is also helping too. I shouldn't have to rely on the flyers as much this year because my clientele is somewhat built up from last summer.

StartALawnCareBusiness
03-09-2010, 04:48 PM
People think that if they hire me, being 17 years old, that I'm not going to do as good of a job.


Age does have a lot to do with not getting jobs on the commercial side of your business. It's neither that you are untrustworthy nor that you don't perform quality work.

The problem is in the fact that you are under 18 (or 21). As such you may be legally unable to enter into a contract with a commercial client. Also, they take on quite a bit of liability hiring someone under legal age to operate machinery on their properties.

This is just a fact of law and isn't anything against you personally.

My advice is to keep nurturing those contacts. The day you turn 18 show up on their doorsteps to let them know that you are "legal" and ready to talk about contracts for the upcoming season.

Good luck and congrats for starting so young:

Keith

racerdude711
03-09-2010, 05:06 PM
Nothing against you, I just want to say that the fact that I'm not at the age of majority, legal age, does not mean that I cannot mow for a commercial property. If I show up to mow there every week, and they pay me, its legal. All the contract does is give both the commercial company, and the service provider something to go off of if they have to go to court. So if I show up to mow, and they do not pay me, I am not legally bound to a contract that would state that I am to be payed.

One of the main reasons a commercial company would not hire me, is for the fact that I am not insured. (and their stereotype of a 17 year old)

Like I said, nothing against you, I appreciate the response, but I've been learning about this in a Business Law class, so I thought I would share.

Steve
03-10-2010, 11:59 AM
One of the main reasons a commercial company would not hire me, is for the fact that I am not insured. (and their stereotype of a 17 year old)

As a 17 year old entrepreneur, how do you deal with such situations? Do you simply focus on residential accounts until you are 18? What would you advise other teen lawn care business owners to do?