» Welcome to the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum
- - My Story
||01-10-2008 09:09 PM
My name is Mitch, and i'm fourteen years old, and own my own company, DreamScapes Landscaping. I started when i was ten, mowing my neighbors yard and things have grown a lot since then!
I was very fortunate to have my parent's ZTR to allow me to mow my neighbor's three acre property. Its the ZTR i now own (bought it from them) and will run it until it dies.
I then made a HUGE mistake and got myself into a partnership with a good friend of mine. We mowed for two years, and on the third year we expanded into what we thought was a big business. Heres how the partnership went: imagine paying for 50% of all equipment, then getting bossed around, treated unfairly, and being treated like you were a master's slave. That was the business, not going into any more detail.
In 2006 i got wise and split the business, and being i did all of the bookwork, billing, and made all of the advertising, i knew i could make it on my own. I split the business in November of 2005, and started my new business in 2006. Spring 2006, i busted my butt and was able to gain ten accounts, which was just over my goal of 8. With my dad at the wheel, i was making a lot of money, and saving a lot of it too. I bought a ton of new equipment in 2006, all in which has paid for itself. By the end of 2006, i had fourteen weekly lawn accounts ranging from 4k sq ft to six acres. July of 2006, i bought the Toro Z Master from my folks. Just last year i hit double digit thousands, which was a lot more than i expected to make in my first year of a new business, with a parent driving me around.
I then started adding landscaping services, thanks to some projects last year where i learned A LOT!
2007 came and i started the year, knowing it would be a great one, better than 2006. By the middle of March, i was doing clean ups and had about 20 weekly lawn maintenance accounts lined up. I wasn't looking to expand much more. As of today, i service about 25-30 weekly accounts and do a good amount of light landscaping, hedge trimming, etc.
Either my dad or my grandma tows me around with my dad's Jeep and this year I can drive with my permit with my new truck! I just bought a 1999 Chevy 2500, extended cab/short bed, white, w/107k miles, flowmaster exhaust, and a lot of life left in it!
Right now, i plan on making this my career, and i plan on advancing into more serious landscaping/hardscaping once i get educated in that field a lot more.
Heres a link to see pictures of my fleet:
Sorry for the long post!!!
||01-10-2008 11:47 PM
Wow! All I caN SAY IS YOU ARE DOING GREAT, AND KEEP IT UP AND YOU WILL GO PLACES IN LIFE. cONGRATS ON THE EARLY DRIVE IN LIFE! Sorry about the caps, its late and I dont feel like going back and fixing it. Good luck...
||01-11-2008 01:20 AM
WOW, Mitch!! Very impressive for a guy so young! There are other teens in the forum... Do you have any suggestions for the other teens out there as to the best way to run your business as a teen?
How do you manage through the school year? Do you cut back to the weekends, only, or do you service accounts after school, too?
What all kinds of landscaping projects have you/do you currently do?
Good luck to you!!
||01-11-2008 01:47 PM
Welcome to our forum!
That is outstanding! Can we get a picture of you in front of your equipment too! You have a great story I'd like to share with others on our GopherHaul show!
What will you be doing this year to market your business?
||01-11-2008 02:05 PM
Hey man I wish I had it together at your age. Keep on going and good luck
||01-12-2008 08:10 PM
Littles: *Thanks for the kind words!
Pmblair: *Thanks. *As far as running the company at the early age, you have to act like an adult. *I am yet to have a customer say "wow, you look like a fourteen year-old." *The normal response is "You look pretty young, but by the way you talk i'm guesssing your 18, 19?" *And i polietely have to say "No, i'm only 14". *Theres normally some jaw-dropping expressions. lol. Most mowing is done after school and I normally try not to work weekends, but that normally never works. I do my mowing Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, take Friday night off, and do any landscaping that i wasn't able to put on my route during the week on Saturday.
But you have to market yourself as an adult, treat people like adults, take responsibility, and do quality work, and don't be the most expensive guy around.
Team Gopher: *Thanks. *This spring I will get a picture of me in front of everything (and my new truck!). *I just wanted to leave some feedback about this site; it's amazing! *All the free stuff and everything! *On my way to the Wisconsin Dells last weekend I read the "Guide to stop lowballing" *(yep, all like 100 pages of it!) and WOW, i am going back through with a highlighter to mark specific areas that I would like to review over and over again. *But updated pictures of the fleet, and myself will follow in early April and maybe I could even get some footage of me working or something.
In terms of marketing my business, I will be doing about 1k doorhangers, and an ad in a local advertising paper that is distributed (actually talked to the guy last night)
Here is a few pictures of my first truck! *I bought it on New Year's Eve and love it!
||01-12-2008 08:27 PM
You have a great story. If you can post a picture of you on here, I'd love to share your story and your pictures with all our GopherHaul viewers!
I am looking forwards to hearing more from you!
||01-12-2008 10:37 PM
I am at Shock & Awe after reading all this.
WOW, youngman you have got it going on. You have experienced more in business than most people will ever an you have done this by the age 14, this is just amazing.
You and Luke (LG YARD SERVICES) are a true insperations to ME and your peers. You two have rebuilt MY faith in the younger generation. There is hope yet!
Keep up the GREAT WORK, with your thought process work ethic's you will make it in life. Along your journey to sucess don't forget to take the time to be young, life comes at you hard and fast enough as it is.
Something to remember; A truly rich man isn't judged on how much money he has in his wallet, big houses, or material things he owns, a rich man sees himself with good health, good family, good friends, being a good friend, honest, true, and a provider to his family, this rich man is truly happy.
||01-12-2008 11:30 PM
Steve: Thanks. A picture of myself is posted below. It's not a great picture, but i will follow up with a good one with me next to all of my equipment/truck in the early spring.
Realhuntin: Thanks. Great information!
||01-13-2008 12:08 AM
I guess i haven't introduced myself yet. I'm Luke. I'm 14 just like you. I also run my own lawn care business.
This is great! Now we have at least 2 teen members on the forum. We're going to be able to help each other out in many ways. There is a Teen Section on the forum that I kinda look over and you would be a lot of help, too!
Well, it sound like you are even a little farther then I am in the business. LOL
Your equipment looks great by the way!
do you have a Yahoo Messenger account? or another type of IM?
I would really love to chat with you.
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