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  • Regrets?

    What is it about your business you regret doing or not doing?
    08 F250 Ext Cab/04 Chevy 3500
    05 F350/04 F350 Diesel/12 Ram 4500 Dump
    4 -60 Toro Zmaster/Lesco 48
    3 -8'2" Boss V-Plows
    1- Hiniker 9'6" V-Plow
    20' Enclosed trailer
    18' Skid & 16' Open Trailer
    2012 - S185 Bobcat



  • #2
    My biggest regret is not starting earlier. If I knew then what I know now, I would have started in 10th grade instead of making money for the guys I was working for.
    Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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    • #3
      I went into this business with zero business skills, other than good charisma and the ability to charm people.

      However, I do regret letting my clients befriend me, as it has only caused me problems. Trust problems.

      When you befriend someone, it's not easy to put your foot down anymore without causing conflict.

      The client may get offended for two reasons if you say 'no';

      1. You are making it difficult for the client to rip you off, which is their actual intention. Clients often try to deceive me by playing dumb or by playing the victim.

      2. They are offended because they feel you are being unreasonable and 'out to get them', no matter if you are doing something for the best, they will just not have it even if you thoroughly explain your situation.

      -

      Also, I wish I knew that I wanted to do this a long time ago... I would have saved every penny! LOL, probably not..
      Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-10-2012, 07:13 PM.

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      • #4
        I agree with Mark123
        I wish I had done this 20 years ago

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        • #5
          I agree with Mark123
          I wish I had done this 20 years ago
          It's true. Man, I'm happy now. I went through so many years being miserable and it could have all been avoided by going to work for myself. Sure I learned a little here and there from my previous jobs but nowhere near what I learned in the past 5 years of working for me and being happy. I could have got all this first few years of not making enough money back before I had a kid and house payment. I'd have been all set by now.
          Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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          • #6
            My biggest regret was when I downsized about 8 years ago. It grew so big so fast I was scared, and downsized my crews and my client base.
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            • #7
              My biggest regret is not starting earlier. If I knew then what I know now, I would have started in 10th grade instead of making money for the guys I was working for.
              I'm with you there brother ! From a financial stand point, I would most likely never have to check my bank account. Every year does get better as long as you are putting 110% effort into every aspect of your biz.
              08 F250 Ext Cab/04 Chevy 3500
              05 F350/04 F350 Diesel/12 Ram 4500 Dump
              4 -60 Toro Zmaster/Lesco 48
              3 -8'2" Boss V-Plows
              1- Hiniker 9'6" V-Plow
              20' Enclosed trailer
              18' Skid & 16' Open Trailer
              2012 - S185 Bobcat


              Comment


              • #8
                but nowhere near what I learned in the past 5 years of working for me and being happy.
                Do you think part of it is that you didn't know you could work for yourself and be happy? I do often wonder if the reason more people don't work for themselves is because they forget they can be happy in their adult lives.

                My biggest regret was when I downsized about 8 years ago. It grew so big so fast I was scared, and downsized my crews and my client base.
                Troy, this seems to happen to forum members, more often than not. What is your advice now that you have been through it on the early warning signs of this and how should the lawn care business owners handle this situation in order to get past it and continue to grow?
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                • #9
                  Do you think part of it is that you didn't know you could work for yourself and be happy? I do often wonder if the reason more people don't work for themselves is because they forget they can be happy in their adult lives. ...
                  I was always told "go to school, get a job, work at the place you hate all your life and let someone else take the risk". Had I known that I don't have to have that knot in my stomach every time I showed up at the office and that I can enjoy working I'd have done it 25 years ago.
                  Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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                  • #10
                    I was always told "go to school, get a job, work at the place you hate all your life and let someone else take the risk". Had I known that I don't have to have that knot in my stomach every time I showed up at the office and that I can enjoy working I'd have done it 25 years ago.
                    Amen Mark
                    My thing was fear of failure. I was always told "to own your own business you end up working 24-7 and you never get any time to your self or your family.
                    As Mark said, Do as your Dad did and your Grand Dad did go to work each day cursing your boss and hating what you do in-order to support your wife and 2.5 children. YUK!!!

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, the fear of failure was there, too. It was soon replace by the feeling of freedom.

                      I was actually forced into going out on my own. My cousin cajoled me into quitting my job to work for him. That worked out for about a year and a half and then the pay stopped coming. A few dollars here and there but he ended up owing me $14000+ (which I still haven't received). I had saved up $10000 before I quit to work for him but it got used up quickly when he wasn't paying so I had to come up some way to make a few bucks to pay for the house and food. I had an old Toro 36" proline in the garage that I used for my yard and my dad's yard and my dad gave me his truck. So I sold a few mowings and made about $6000 my first year. I nearly starved but I loved every second of it.
                      Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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                      • #12
                        Troy, this seems to happen to forum members, more often than not. What is your advice now that you have been through it on the early warning signs of this and how should the lawn care business owners handle this situation in order to get past it and continue to grow?

                        I think it was a combo of things. First of all, I was trying to be everything to everyone. We were taking on all kinds of work. At that time I had one full time maintenance crew, one full time installation crew, and one part time "master gardener" as I liked to call it (basically an older gentleman that went around doing dead heading, caring for perennials and annuals).

                        I pulled myself from the field totally, and was just in the office. I lost sight of what my crews were doing on the properties. Clients were calling up complaining, and how they only wanted me doing the work on the property, not my crews. I realized that we got too big, too fast, without any systems in place. So I got scared and rushed to judgement, scaled back things, let go of four employees, and put myself back in the field.

                        After that we started to do quality control checks on properties, and based on the end of the week score the crews would get cash rewards. I put a lot more systems in place.

                        When I look back at it I wish that instead of cutting so much so quickly, I would have just slowly starting to pull back in the crews by educating them and focusing on quality, while still being able to maintain the steady growth. I got scared, and should have just calmly moved forward without jumping to judgement too quickly
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                        • #13
                          Personally I've only been in the business for a year...I know, still a little wet behind the ears...LOL.

                          My biggest regret here would be a resounding echo like most of the other posts, "started earlier." Other than that I really don't have any regrets.

                          Currently I'm being mentored by a "seasoned LCO" (not sure he would consider himself a mentor, but he's definitely mentoring me in the business,) and I have a lot of gratitude for his willingness to help me.

                          I feel I have a huge head start in this business and every morning I wake up thinking about it and every night I'm thinking about it...I'm excited about this business!

                          Richard

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                          • #14
                            When I was 15 we lived in Pasadena, Texas. We had a hurricane come through knocking down trees all over. I got my dad's chainsaw and my buddies and went around cutting up trees and hauling them to the street. I had more work than I could do. The first week went very good, but my friends petered out. leaving me the second week to fulfill all the promised work by myself it was really overwhelming, but I finished and I made good money. I regret that I did not keep going. I regret that I followed my friends to slacker-ville. I regret that I took the easy way out and went to work for someone else. I regret that if it wasn't for the factories leaving my area I would still not be starting my own business.

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                            • #15
                              I was always told "go to school, get a job, work at the place you hate all your life and let someone else take the risk".
                              Why is it that this viewpoint seems all to often projected to or handed down to the next generation?

                              When you take a moment and think about it, what real risks are there to start a business, especially when you are young and have few expenses?
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