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I look at my success as a goal, When I reach it then I was successful.
My first goal for my business is to grow at a pace that allows growth, and earn profits that allow profits...on my way!
My business plan allows for a growth spurt every 1.5 years, if I find myself growing to quickly I will gain no profits and thats not successful.
I have grown all I can grow till late 2013 (if Im going to make a profit between now and then).
The way I see it growing slower = more profits, and more profits = a strong established corporation....Down the road.
My ultimate goal is to have that strong established corporation employing hard working Americans and offering benifits. I believe that when you hire a man you hire that mans family, and its my responsiability as a business owner to build a strong corporation dedicated to my family and the family of my employees. When I reach my ultimate goal well..... Ima ride it till the wheels fall off and enjoy every second of it. I plan on reaching this goal in 10 years ill be 43, and semi retired from working out in the field I will retire from this business one day... it will happen... I will be successfull!!!
I'm set up and know my costs. I know what it takes to make a profit where my steps are to hire someone and still make a profit.
That being said. I'm already successful. I come home happy no matter how hard, hot, or difficult the day was. I have money to pay all my bills and money set aside for repairs and costs. And a few for the camping trips we make a couple times a month.
Overhead is taken care of, bills are taken care of, and I come home happy. THAT is successful to me. I made more money in other jobs...wasn't happy.
My only regret is I did not know mowing grass was the drug I needed for my low rate, not documented because I really don't have it, but I do type of thing, obsessive compulsive disorder. I like things being neat and tidy and riding a mower over uneven grass, making it all even and nice soothes me.
How big do you have to be to be successful or do you feel you can do it as a solo operator?
It would be possible to go at it solo if you pick and choose your clients rather than accepting just anyone. I now go after simple lawns to do, and clients who pay more than the last few years, while keeping in mind I have someone working with me to pay.
Eventually I will have more people, and they will takeover the labor aspect while I sip pina coladas and get fat. That's the plan.
Sure I love the work I do, but I don't want to get screwed into working my entire life. One day I might have a heart attack, or lose a hand, or go insane running around town with a chain saw shouting,
"GONNA GETCHA!". I have to be prepared for these things, making sure that the company will survive without me, while still collecting a paycheck!
I have finally decided, after much thought, to give my answer about success and my goals. As most have said it is the attainment of wealth. position, or honor. Also having the desired outcome to a situation (your business).
I feel I have been successful in my business as it has provided the funds to support my family, helped put them through school and let me put back money for when I retire.
When first starting mu lawn business my goal was to make money. Now as I have been in this business for over 30 years that goal has changed. Now my goal is that people will say that I am a man of integrity, a man above reproach, and I treat ALL people fairly. That I am a man of my word and willing to go out of my way to help someone in need.
"Are these things possible? I think so, they are being fulfilled in me, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materilize if I work for them".
I don't get a knot in my stomach every morning before going to work because I don't want to go anymore. I don't hate being at work anymore. I don't hate my boss anymore. I don't have contempt for the people I work for anymore.
10 years making a living just mowing lawns...Do I want to tap into other landscape services? Sure, but when you are great at one thing and you are making ends meet and you love it....that is successful. Not too many people can say they make a good living, and love what they do. 5% maybe?
I want to make 50k-60k yearly profits and employ one or more persons who would also make a substantial wage. OH and I want every goddamn lawn I service to be nearly perfect. I'm almost 20 so I figure I'll have that figured and finished by the time I'm 30 =D
when i was about to finish college me and a group of colleges star talking about, how we were almost done just about to finish what we ambition, 3 years when we start and i came with this what was the next step how many of us were going to be in university or will be stock on a
auto-realization can be tricky be in the top of the human needs pyramid.Back then there was all it was for me college that was my full time job, or there will be more, more to learn some new to discover and feed our minds and egos and i use this word SELF REALIZATIONS. so this is how i will define what success at least the way i see it DREAMS=GOALS=AUTO-REALIZATION=SUCCESS=SELF-REALIZATION
OH by the way i believe Jesus die for my sins there is a flow or a religion based in this self-realization philosophy i don't but believe in working hard to achieve my dreams .
What is your idea of being a successful Lawn Care Operator? What kind of goals do you have for your business?
Mine are easy:
1. Provide service better than any of my competitors. When I started my service I raised the bar in my town, pissed off a lot of people, but forced the industry to be better and provide a better product.
2. Promote my business through customer satisfaction and work ethic, not by bashing & under bidding all the other services out there.
3. Be a better employer than my competition. I buy lunch a couple times a week and on Friday I BBQ burgers & dogs for the guys for lunch. I do small things like that, but I never loan out money or make advances, that's asking for trouble.
4. Don't under price yourself. Sit down and figure out what you need to make for the business. I make $210.00 an hour on average, my business requires about $87.00 an hour to turn a profit and cover all the bills. This is what kills most people who mow. You have to know how much to bring in or you'll go bankrupt.
5. Be there... All too often, and it's happened to me too, we tell a customer when we'll be there, then it rains, or we have a family emergency, or something breaks down, etc etc etc. Make sure you shedule the work and work the schedule. If you can't be there when you told the customer, call them, text them, email them.
I have a bunch more but that's the gist of it for me