Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Critique my start up

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    It sounds like you have a good game plan going. Write your goals down and follow them. PLEASE make sure they are realistic! If not, you'll get frustrated and stop....I'm sure you already know that though. Since you already know your 99.99999999999% unlikely to make 80K your first year, your already way ahead of the game.


    If your starting out, don't get too picky with customers. My advice is take what you can get, then your 2nd year lose the ones you didn't like and pick/chose from there. You'll find quite a few people actually don't give a crap about their lawn....as long as it gets cut. Or at least for me thats the case. Just remember, your the rookie and your competing against guys like DPLD who've been around many years. Get your feet wet first. I think you mentioned something about mulching and bagging? Maybe I misunderstood it, but mulch as much as you can. Around me we have to pay to dump yard waste....it can get costly.

    Side jobs are the key to cash. Always allot yourself time to do other jobs...mulching, sod, even small landscape design. Aeration is a great fall service to bring in a lot of extra.


    Good luck and stick with your plan!


    wow, you make it sound as if i am out there squashing the competition like a ruthless dictator.
    i am the friendliest competitor out there and have helped several other business get started that used to be former employees.

    guys like me are the least of a new businesses worries because the type of work i do a new guy starting out can not do as well as the type of job a small guy does i can not do because my costs are higher.

    with that said there is plenty of work for everyone and every business and market is entirely different.
    any new businesses biggest worry is pricing jobs properly so they make money and lowballers are the biggest threat to any business big or small.

    other than that i completely agree with you that you have to take every job that comes your way and not focus on one aspect of the industry.

    the only guy that says there is money in just cutting grass is someone who will bust their tail for the rest of their lives for minimal gain or someone who will not be around in a few years because cutting the grass is just a means to get on someones property to open the door for other work.

    Comment


    • #17
      wow, you make it sound as if i am out there squashing the competition like a ruthless dictator.
      i am the friendliest competitor out there and have helped several other business get started that used to be former employees.

      guys like me are the least of a new businesses worries because the type of work i do a new guy starting out can not do as well as the type of job a small guy does i can not do because my costs are higher.

      with that said there is plenty of work for everyone and every business and market is entirely different.
      any new businesses biggest worry is pricing jobs properly so they make money and lowballers are the biggest threat to any business big or small.

      other than that i completely agree with you that you have to take every job that comes your way and not focus on one aspect of the industry.

      the only guy that says there is money in just cutting grass is someone who will bust their tail for the rest of their lives for minimal gain or someone who will not be around in a few years because cutting the grass is just a means to get on someones property to open the door for other work.
      Not saying your a ruthless dictator at all. Zero years experience vs. 20+ years experience. One has the knowledge and experience to get jobs done and quoted within reason, while the other doesn't.

      And there IS money in just mowing. IF you do it right and find your niche. A good example is TJ Justice and just-mowing.com He found a way to make a killing. He also used to do full service accounts and gave it up to "just mow". Many tried the same idea, and they failed for various reasons. It's finding out what works best for your and doing a lot of it.

      You often hear of employees venturing off and starting their own business. Most of us did it!!!!! But what they don't understand is....anyone can push a mower, not everyone can run a business. The business part is where people fail. If you can find a mentor or work under someone who is willing to teach you, your way ahead of the game. Many business owners won't do that for fear of competition.

      The OP sounds like he has his head in the game. Reality is he won't hit $1 million his first year and he knows that. With a little fine tuning and reading up on these threads, I know he will go far.

      Comment


      • #18
        Not saying your a ruthless dictator at all. Zero years experience vs. 20+ years experience. One has the knowledge and experience to get jobs done and quoted within reason, while the other doesn't.

        And there IS money in just mowing. IF you do it right and find your niche. A good example is TJ Justice and just-mowing.com He found a way to make a killing. He also used to do full service accounts and gave it up to "just mow". Many tried the same idea, and they failed for various reasons. It's finding out what works best for your and doing a lot of it.

        You often hear of employees venturing off and starting their own business. Most of us did it!!!!! But what they don't understand is....anyone can push a mower, not everyone can run a business. The business part is where people fail. If you can find a mentor or work under someone who is willing to teach you, your way ahead of the game. Many business owners won't do that for fear of competition.

        The OP sounds like he has his head in the game. Reality is he won't hit $1 million his first year and he knows that. With a little fine tuning and reading up on these threads, I know he will go far.

        i was only joking about the ruthless dictator part.

        there are some who have made a decent living just mowing but the odds are against most who only do that and TJ Justice is not the rule, he is the exception.
        there are only so many lawns you can do in a day and no matter who you are there will be a point in time where another crew will be needed and the profit margin is low enough to the point that if you were to make a boatload of money it would be by huge volume.

        there are exceptions depending on what region you are in and in some states the mowing season is long and there is no snow and usually no big clean ups like we have here in the north east for example and if you are in a condensed area with little cookie cutter properties i could see that as a viable business model.

        i make good money mowing but we do that four days a week and in the fall that is all we do but we also make double that doing mulching, tree & shrub pruning and plantings and so forth and we only do that 2 days a week weather permitting as well as for only about half the season.

        pound for pound the most profitable end of the business is the extra work.
        i have a big crew and when we mulch we can do 40 to 60 yards of mulch in a day at $70.00 per yard and outside of running the truck back and forth picking up loads of mulch at the depot the only real cost is paying the help and providing a few wheel barrows and rakes.
        where as the mowing end of the business we have the same exact costs in labor as well as many thousands of dollars in equipment, fuel, etc, etc.

        i love what i do but i live for the extra work because the grass pays the bills and gives me a decent profit but the extras are all profit.
        i have it structured where the grass pays all the costs for help, equipment, taxes and so forth and when it is time to go do some mulching or planting or whatever, outside of material costs that money goes right in the pocket.

        as i said i would not rule out mowing only entirely but that all depends on where you are and going by my state and how it works here as a business you would be cutting yourself short because most of the market here is looking for a one call does it all company and people do not want to be bothered with hiring a guy to do the lawn and a guy to do the mulching and planting and a guy to apply the chemicals.

        new jersey is a good place to have a business in regards to there is a lot of money here but the demands of the market here are high and the typical customer here wants what they want and they want it now.

        and they just would not get that from a mow only operation.

        plus it is nice to have a variety and even if you have your help do all the work it is nice for them and helps them out by not being on a mower 6 days a week and my guys look forward to fridays and saturdays because it gives them a break from the grind of cutting grass and i love it because those are the days i get to make real money.

        Comment


        • #19
          Any questions comments criticisms all is wanted here, and thanks in advance to all of you...
          I don't profess to be an expert, but I can share some of my thoughts. I think your on the right track Where I live the website is not of great value to me, so many clients in the demographics here don't even have a computer, really small city.

          But what I hear you saying is very realistic. You won't get rich but if you want to make a living, you can do it.

          Rent equipment to start, that way you can test the profitablility before investing dollars. I've been in business for 5 years and heading into my sixth, I still rent some special pieces as I don't get a huge call for the specific service, but still offer it as it give us profile and I can turn a profit with that service. I've built my business from the ground up with no debt, something I believe everyone should do. Not having to make payments on equipment means if it is not being used enough, your not losing money on it.

          Secondly, your planning will take you a long way. I have a long term plan (5 years) a middle of the road plan (2-3 years) as well as a yearly plan. All three are interconnnected and each needs to be revised as time goes on. Just cause your one year plan didn't hit your mark doesn't mean that it didn't work. What it means is that you need to review and adjust your plans to fit.

          Upgrade equipment as you go, re-investing profits works very well.

          Your goal of building service based on reputation, service and value ... I applaud you, I've held that belief from day one. My customer retention is very high. I lose a customer only because they leave town, move to a seniors home or die. In five years I can only think of less than ten customers that have dropped their service, and those are for reasons above. Otherwise I have only lost two customers for other reasons.

          Use your customers to build new customers. Every year I offer a customer referral program to exisiting customers. They get me new customers and I reward them with a small gift (example, I give seasons tickets to local university hockey - plus its a tax write off for me). It makes perfect sense to me to let your existing customers send you new clients. The new clients are already presold on your service.

          There is so much more, but I want to make one last comment. Take the time to go the extra mile for your customers. For example, I tell all my guys, if a customer comes home from grocery shopping, stop the mower and help them carry the groceries in. It shows repect for the customer as well as ellieviates the possibility of rocks hitting someone. I also tell them to "flirt" so to speak with them. A younger man telling an older woman she looks good today just puts things over the edge.

          Much success to you!

          Lloyd
          Blue's Yard FX
          Camrose, AB

          Comment


          • #20
            The expenses to be a legit, and professional looking company are much higher than you would think, or figure. I work 70hrs a week solo maintining 60 lawns/week and am able to show a loss on my books(albeit a very small one). I charge what is normal going rate, provide the best quality sevice, and only lose a customer if they move out of my service area. I cant imagine a customer wanting to pay double what im charging (ive done the math, and if I were going to gross 80k, and only expenses were taxes, then Iwould have to double rates).
            Just talk to some professional companies a couple towns over, and see what the market will bear, see how many lawns they maintain, and what % of their gross is their biggest expenses. For me, gas alone is almost 10%. Granted, gas prices were at an all time high, and i tried to absorb as much of it as possible.
            Good luck,
            Just be reasonable, and realistic, otherwise one is sure to fail.

            Comment

            Working...
            X