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Steve
10-15-2008, 05:45 AM
Have you ever found yourself experimenting with a business idea and shut it down before you felt you gave it enough time to potentially succeed?

I have seen this happen in many businesses that people I have known started. The tough part about starting a business that has a high burn rate, meaning your business burns through cash like crazy, is that it tends to burn out before it gets a chance to really take off.

Businesses that take less cash flow can be experimented with and left to simmer for quite sometime in order to see if they have a chance to survive.

A great analogy to this is television shows. Have you ever known of a show that you didn't watch for quite sometime and then a friend says 'hey did you ever see this show ****-.' You turn it on one night and you are catching an episode in the third season.

Chances are, the show improved over the three seasons it has been in production and when you finally turn it on, you get the feeling this show really has hit its pace. The same thing applies to businesses. When you experiment with businesses, try figuring out a way to give your business time to take root. Give yourself time to play with different business variables. You may never know which variable fine tuning will ultimately lead to your success. But you can improve you odds of success by giving yourself more time to experiment.

Have you ever found this to be the case?

Lukacs Property Maintenance
10-31-2008, 12:52 PM
hey steve,

In business class in highschool (long time ago) my teacher said that it takes at least 5 years to have a sucessful know how of the company. I think 5 years is more then enough time. Maybe too much for some people.

Mike

StartALawnCareBusiness
10-31-2008, 01:40 PM
The answer to this is having enough cash reserves to get through the initial learning curve. A new LCO should have at least 6 month working capital before going full time.

Some new guys will be profitable immediately. Others might take several months to become profitable.

I agree with Mike that 5 years is overkill for a new LCO to know if his methods are working. However, 5 years is a good time frame to have a firm grasp on the business.

Keith

Steve
10-31-2008, 03:09 PM
In business class in highschool (long time ago) my teacher said that it takes at least 5 years to have a sucessful know how of the company. I think 5 years is more then enough time. Maybe too much for some people.

How long did it take you to get a firm grasp of it?

Some new guys will be profitable immediately. Others might take several months to become profitable.

Is there a difference between being profitable and having a firm grasp of your business or is profitability the outcome of having a firm grasp of it?

StartALawnCareBusiness
10-31-2008, 04:15 PM
Is there a difference between being profitable and having a firm grasp of your business or is profitability the outcome of having a firm grasp of it?

There is a difference.

Practically anyone can be profitable when there's not much competition and it rains twice per week and you have no equipment breakdowns and the local economy is robust.

Having a firm grip on business is also knowing how to sway when the winds of change blow against you.

Keith

Steve
11-01-2008, 04:46 AM
There is a difference.

Practically anyone can be profitable when there's not much competition and it rains twice per week and you have no equipment breakdowns and the local economy is robust.

Having a firm grip on business is also knowing how to sway when the winds of change blow against you.

Very good point. You make me think of some friends I have who are entrepreneurs. What fascinates me about situations some times is that a person can come up with an idea. Create a business around it. Have no idea what they heck they are doing and yet make a profit. Then they feel like they know it all.

Positive cash flow can be like a drug for the ego. You get some positive cash flow and then you feel you know everything. Next you start expanding into other areas you have no idea about and feel you are so right about everything, things will just work.

When you come upon a bump in the road, there is a good chance you will lose your grip on things because you never really had a firm grasp to start with. You just got lucky and had positive cash flow. But when you need to be competitive, things can just fall apart.

Lukacs Property Maintenance
11-05-2008, 02:54 PM
i think running a business is always a learning experience at every turn. There is always going to be different problems and set backs because you cant control the snow fall for example, so as far as having a grasp, i do have a good grasp on my business. My customers are the number one in my book. Without them you have nothin. Make sure the customer is loyal and the company will prosper.
Mike

VPS Lawn Care
11-07-2008, 11:23 AM
I agree with Mike in the fact that you must keep the customer wanting you. If you take care of your customers, and start with a profitable price for each of them, i find they will be loyal and even spread the word. Promise 100% satisfaction, then exceed that, and manage your money (save,save,save) you will withstand the test of time. Keep in mind that people dont want to have to keep looking and changeing there vendors, it's time consuming and a pain in the butt, they just would like to be happy with who they have and not worry about it anymore. MR.Hershy always said " must watch your pennies, all of them, thats what makes Dollars"

Lukacs Property Maintenance
02-08-2009, 05:53 PM
I would like to suggest a book about customer loyalty.

Customer satisfaction is worthless, customer loyalty is priceless. By Jeffrey Gitomer.

It a good read!

Mike

Steve
02-09-2009, 08:48 AM
Were there one or two lessons that stood out from that book you could share with us?

8307c4
03-14-2009, 02:33 AM
I feel it goes far deeper than whether the business itself can do well or not, then I figure
most folks compromise somewhere between what you speak of, and beating a dead horse.

Lukacs Property Maintenance
03-16-2009, 05:18 PM
I would like to write a quote or two from the book:

" What is a loyal customer? One who will create positive word-of-mouth advertising about you, refer other people to do business with you, and FIGHT before they switch from you as a competitor."

In the book there is what is called"Try this," it gives great things to try that really opens your eyes.Like this:

"Be your own customer for a month,"

"Heres how "be your own customer" works:
First, pretend you are a big customer. One your company would be hurt by if lost. Then pick up the phone from outside the office and select one of the 18.5 options below..."

(here are only a few options from the list)

"10. Call with gripe - have a complaint during the day. (was it handled in a memorable way)
11. Call up angry - get rude. (Did it end up good or bad?)
14. Have a quality problem. (Did it end up good or bad?)

Hard Questions: Was anything so memorable that you had to tell someone else how great it was? Did ANYTHING memorable happen?

If you don't know what the customer experiences, how can you understand them when they need help - have a problem - or want an order."


This is something which threw me for a loop when I read it but it makes so much sense:
"Treat every customer as though they were your favorite celebrity, hero, friend, neighbor, or your GRANDMA."

There's lots more to learn in the book. It's a great read.
-Mike

Steve
03-17-2009, 08:13 AM
Which book was that from?

Lukacs Property Maintenance
03-17-2009, 05:49 PM
The quotes were from the book:
Customer Satisfaction is worthless,
Customer LOYALTY is priceless.

How to make customers love you, keep them coming back and tell everyone they know.

By Jeffery Gitomer

Mike

Steve
03-18-2009, 04:17 AM
Mike,

How do you feel now that book has given you an edge over competitors? What stands out that you have changed in your operations?

Lukacs Property Maintenance
03-23-2009, 07:03 PM
The book helped me realize how important "the Customer" realy is.

How the smallest extra thing you do really helps with gainins trust and shows that you are not just out to make a buck. You are there for them, and are there to make the visit a memorable one EVERY TIME!

Mike