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Third year and tying to keep it going

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  • Third year and tying to keep it going

    In one month my wife and i will be starting our third year in business.
    I had two pages of what has happened during the past two years.
    But I can sum it up for you guys in a few short sentences. Go big. If don't you are never going to be that big maintenance crew.

  • #2
    I don't think everyone wants to be big.
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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    • #3
      I don't think everyone wants to be big.
      Tell that to the guys marketing those gizmos and pills for your "youknowwhat" on all those late night infomercials!






      Yeah. To be honest, I dread the thought of having even ONE employee.

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      • #4
        I actually like working for myself and by myself a few times this past year my wife has come out to help me and I had to go back behind her and do things the way I liked it done

        I can make a bit over a K a week working by myself and not have to worry about what some one else is doing.

        Just the way I feel others I am sure will want to spend there time just going out bidding and letting others do the work part for them, that is just no me though
        C&S Lawn Service

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        • #5
          I don't think that there is any thing wrong with being a one man band, I had more than one headache from the growth and employees this year. I started this business to get out of the oil-filed and to make money.

          When my wife wants to help she is awesome. I only want her to work if she wants to. That's why i have employees, the one peace of advice that i can give anyone who is looking to grow. Is when you find that one employee who's going take some wight off of you take care of them!!!!! And get a membership to you gym, man i have got fat.

          I hate to talk about my successes, I don't want to be one of the guys who brags. For all you guys know I could be full of S#!++. But I have over taken a lot of the competition and put a big hurt on the the ones who are left. I am planing on expanding to the next two closet towns this next year . I love the fact that when I call my John-Deere dealer he drops what he's doing to take care of me, We are looking at some JD Z's for next year.

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          • #6
            I had two pages of what has happened during the past two years.
            But I can sum it up for you guys in a few short sentences. Go big.
            What happened to it? I'd love to read it.
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            • #7
              I like my small one man operation at the moment, Maybe down the road I might hire my nephews to help out but that would be it.
              I know guys who loved the job started out just like me but now not so much.
              one is a big time company now 100 or so employees but he is so miserable.
              His company take up his whole life, He just bought a 1/2 million dollar home, but he is hardly ever home. Sports cars and ATV and Boats with 0 mileage because the company is totally consuming him.
              I don't want that, no way. Money is nice but I want to enjoy it not be a slave to it.

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              • #8
                I know there are a lot of guys here who don't want to be anything more than a one man band, which is OK. I love running a crew and the management that go's with it. As a company grow it needs the management to handle the growth.
                And there going to come a point where I will hire some one to help run the day to day operation's of B-2, so I can stop and smell the flowers.
                I push hard every day and push my guys and a lot of guys cant hang we mow 150 yards in four days. Fridays are four maintenance and washing. We already having a waiting list for next year. Which means more guys and more equipment.
                As I see it some guys are happy with a peace of the cake, not me I want the plant that makes the cake mix.

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                • #9
                  hey there glad to hear from people like you, i started early this year and the business has grown so fast that i could not keep up with the demand and i had to hire first one full time guy and planning on getting a par-time guy right now, i have so many questions you guys might be able to help me with, i will open a new threat to ask all the questions for now i have to agree with B-2 Go big remember you are still an employee if you work even if you own your own company! even though u don't have one boss you might have 20+ bosses
                  Last edited by cruzgardening; 10-06-2011, 02:54 AM. Reason: time was wrong

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                  • #10
                    I would caution anybody looking to expand: you need to have that stable base and have a plan in place on how you plan on holding that base. A business that is on an up-swing right now could become stagnant in the up coming season. I have the cash reserve to sustain the business if such a season were to happen.
                    Where I live you can never count on the snow, The reserve saved the business that first winter. As the business grows your reserves need to grow along with the business.
                    Yet again the way I run my business is very aggressive and not for everybody. If there is a market that I want, I will under-cut the competition and make little to no money just to get the work. With the goal of starving the competition out. And then adjusting the price once they have moved on. I dont sacrifice quality no matter what.

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                    • #11
                      Theres a big difference between big and solo. I wouldnt want a 100 employees but I wouldnt want to be in 5 places at once either doing it by myself. A solo op works if your just doing mowing. You can handle a lot of grass with the right equipment. Up north I would never do a fall clean up by myself. It would be nearly impossible. I just finished a brush clean up that took 3 guys 18 hours and a half dozen dump runs. That wouldve took me all week and a few bottles of Tylenol.

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                      • #12
                        I am planing on expanding to the next two closet towns this next year
                        Do you feel that the one man operations have a difficult time competing with a larger company like yours because you have the resources to knock them out of the business?

                        Could this potentially be a reason why one might not want to stay a single man operation for long?
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                        • #13
                          Do you feel that the one man operations have a difficult time competing with a larger company like yours because you have the resources to knock them out of the business?

                          Could this potentially be a reason why one might not want to stay a single man operation for long?
                          Most guys who are starting up, aren't going to know about the resources available to me. I hate to have to sound conceited, but yes a one-man band is going to have a hard time competing with me. Just today, I took the year-old 2305 90 miles one way to get a yearly inspection done, to be sure everything is in tip-top shape for the winter. While there, we looked at a JD X728 with a cab, mower, and set-up to move snow. As of right now, we don't have enough hands to run it, but in the near future I could see a use for it. There is no way that a one-man operation could buy a piece of equipment to just sit until it was needed. Today, we recieved confirmation that we won a large government contract for snow removal and there is no way a one-man operation could cover this massive job. While we are plowing, the boys will be shoveling the walkways. Certainly a one-man band could do that, but they would not be able to finish before the 5:00 a.m. requested time.

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                          • #14
                            I guess it also depends on how you define "compete".

                            Price? Quality of work? Amount of equipment? Amount of income? Number of clients?

                            I see a gazillion big crews out there every day, but I haven't run across one yet that I'd allow on my own property. Not saying that good lawn care companies don't exist, but what I see out there is not my idea of "success". Other people feel the same way - that's why they hire me - the little guy.

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                            • #15
                              Do you feel that the one man operations have a difficult time competing with a larger company like yours because you have the resources to knock them out of the business?

                              Could this potentially be a reason why one might not want to stay a single man operation for long?
                              Steve, that reminds me of a good point that I've been on the wrong end. Dealers crap all over the little guys. They charge me more for blades, they don't honor warranties, they treat me like an idiot. When a guy that bought 3 ztrs this year walks in they step all over me to get their lips on his buttocks.

                              One day I'll need 3 ztrs and guess who won't get the sale? I'm seriously jumping ship from Toro because of my local dealer.
                              Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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