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Steve
03-18-2009, 09:16 AM
A lot of people talk or dream about starting their own business. What made you different? What made you be able to actually do it?

Little's
03-19-2009, 12:24 AM
Hi Steve. The dream and idea of being your own boss. My father owned a construction business my whole life, and I was always on the job with him learning. I felt my whole life that owning my own business is what I was going to do, I just didnt know what it was that I was going to be doing. I always have loved being outside and have always loved plants/trees.

15 years ago, in high school I took Environmental Landscaping for my R.O.P training, and I didnt know why, I just liked it. Well now it all makes sense.

picframer
03-19-2009, 06:04 AM
A lot of people talk or dream about starting their own business. What made you different? What made you be able to actually do it?

The short answer is 25 years of hard work in the corporate world, setting a time/goal when I would break free and work for my own company, building the assets to do it and putting some cash away.

I have been an entrepreneur all my life, started my first company at the age of 12 and even though I have worked in the business world all my life, I always had companies going on the side, I wrote business plans for a time, did around 100 small business tax returns, built houses, decks, furniture etc and the list goes on. I found a great excitement in starting, building and selling a company.

As I mentioned in a previous thread the Lawn Car/Excavation and Woodworking are my retirement business's, I don't care for the word retirement as I will never stop working, this is a cross road in life and I have decided it's time to go at it for myself.

Had an interesting call yesterday from the bank I left in 1994, they offered me an amazing position heading up Corporate Defaults as I was very good at it before I left, requires a lot of travel, I listened, agreed for the EVP to fly in and talk but there is no way I am going back, I am living a dream, this has been a goal since I was 12 and I am going after it.

Andy

Steve
03-19-2009, 07:00 AM
Very interesting! How has all of your experiences effected your view of when you see others trying to get a business started? Can you tell who is going to make a go of it and who isn't? What do you think those who don't get their business started lack that others might have?

picframer
03-19-2009, 07:31 AM
Very interesting! How has all of your experiences effected your view of when you see others trying to get a business started? Can you tell who is going to make a go of it and who isn't? What do you think those who don't get their business started lack that others might have?

I am very careful not to judge others, I have seen people that I really didn't think would make a go of it and have turned out very successful, I recall one guy that came to me for a loan to buy a hotel, could not read or write, didn't have much money, wife and three kids to support, I didn't feel positive but approved it, today he owns 8 hotels and 4 or 5 car dealerships.

There is an Entrepreneur test but out by the Canadian Better Business Development bank, I think everyone should take it however do not let it decide your future, I can see if I can locate it and post the test if you like, it give you a percentage number on your ability to succeed, of course in their opinion.

Business's in my experience that fail do not have a well thought business plan and they have not performed research, another thing that happens is trouble in partnerships, growing to fast without the capital to back it up, buying equipment that is not well suited for the task at hand and the list goes on.

I don't want to offend anyone by the following, I was having a coffee yesterday in the local shop and reading a flyer called the coffee news, you can advertise in it, I see so many school/university type's starting in lawn care, offering mowing for $20.00, this really destroys the industry and hurts those of us trying to make a living, one can't stop it and I have seen it in other industries, there are so many things we can do in offering other services but we must be prepared as they are generally here today and gone tomorrow.

outerelements
03-19-2009, 10:40 AM
A lot of people talk or dream about starting their own business. What made you different? What made you be able to actually do it?

Throughout high school and college, I had always worked for a landscaping company every summer. When I finished my degree in finance, I thought I really wanted to pursure a career in the financial sector. Needless to say, I DID NOT!! One day, I found myself in envy seeing the landscaping company outside of the office building I was working at. So, after several months of debate, I quit! I took what savings I had and thus..Outer Elements Lawn & Landscape was born.

I was fortunate in that one of my best friends already his landscaping business up and running. He was able to help me make the transition much more easier.

Steve
03-19-2009, 11:08 AM
He was able to help me make the transition much more easier.

That is fascinating! How did he help out?

swstout
03-19-2009, 01:03 PM
A lot of people talk or dream about starting their own business. What made you different? What made you be able to actually do it?

To actually do it Your need (In order):

Self Confidence
Background
Forward thinking
Experience
Research
Organization
and, Perseverance


Self Confidence - If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will.

Background - My father was an businessman. When I was 10, he introduced Tasty Freeze to NY. He had three Ice Cream stands that became very poplar and franchised 21 more. He then bought the concession at a County Park with 7 amusement rides. Not profitable! Open only during the summer. Year tow he transferred it into a very profitable enterprise. He created a nitch and the need for it. Cortland was a manufacturing city with more than 40 factories and many other enterprises. Many of these companies provided company picnics and clambakes for their employees. During the first winter he aggressively sold the concession as a place that could not only provide the food but also provide entertainment for the adults in a family setting with a means to occupy the kids (free rides all day) and thus out of the parents hair. For six years he successfully ran the business and then sold the concession to my uncle. He then bought three franchises for LUM'S Restaurants. I grew up in this environment.

Forward Thinking - I learned to develop business plans based on his examples. Making a business plan isn't an overnight endeavor. It takes days, weeks or more. It takes rewriting, over and over. It involves financial planning. My father always gave himself a salary. He had to budget his money for living expenses knowing that he would not get more from the business ( religiously walking the talk). Plan expansion or exit ahead of time.

Experience - Build on what you know. Build on what you enjoy. Build on your experiences with people.

Research - Learning is an ongoing process. There is no limit to where you can discover better, easier, less costly methods of operating and/or expanding your business and holdings. Forums like this is one great way to learn.

Organization - Use what you learn to improve. Question both every new idea from your research both the new and how you operate. Ask how new ideas, methods, products can help or hinder. Constantly improve - but realize that constant or continual improvement dictates constant and continual change. Decide the plus and minus of standing firm or being flexible. Always keep an open mind and solicit someone to challenge your decisions. I use my wife!

Perseverance - Self explanitory!

Steve

musician/lawnman
03-19-2009, 08:07 PM
Intestinal Fortitude.
Most people I know would love to start a business but lack the b@lls to make that leap from dreams & plans to action.

Steve
03-20-2009, 08:30 AM
Most people I know would love to start a business but lack the b@lls to make that leap from dreams & plans to action.

When you talk with people and they tell you they would like to start a business, what kind do they say they would like to start?

What is the most difficult part about the transition? Why can't they do it slowly on the side of what ever they are currently doing full time?