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Old 01-25-2012, 07:28 AM
dpld dpld is offline
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Originally Posted by IVPropertyMaintenance View Post
That's a great point about expanding the business to help make more per hour rate. I have a 42 HP Tractor with a backhoe attachment and a box scraper as well. It was purchased for cleaning up my grandpa's property. It basically sits around not doing much. I think about all the potential new customers I could get by offering it as a service. My fear is getting in over my head. I am a firm believer in starting small and growing at a steady rate. I don't want to feel like I've rushed into anything too quickly. I think it will be rather easy to merge myself into that field once I feel more comfortable with a stable clientele.

I guess my overall dream would be to have a couple 2 man crews, each with their own trucks. Hopefully this would allow me the time to take on larger jobs while they perform the more basic yard care tasks.

I must say that one reason I understand why the competitors work for themselves instead of hiring crews. That reason is that there seems to be a lack of quality employees in this area. That will definitely be one of my biggest challenges, to find people who are willing to represent my business in a professional way...

if you allready have the machine and you decide you want to make money with it you will not be getting in over your head and you will also be able to stick to your guns in keeping it simple.

the whole starting small theory is based upon not signing your life away and going into debt before you even make money.

in my state i have seen many guys who are tired of their jobs working in whatever or lose their jobs and decide that one day they will wake up and be a landscaper and start making the big bucks.
then they see companies like mine or my freinds that are well established businesses for over twenty years and they think they are gonna do the same thing.
so they figure they got good credit and they go out and sign their lives away and buy brand new trucks and enclosed trailers and all new riding mowers and blowers and all the fixings and go put a fancy add in the phone book and newspapers.
now they start to see work coming in and they start to think that it is that easy and they are a genius.
but then the reality sets in.
they went out and dumped 150,000 dollars into equipment on credit that effectively doubles their insurance to protect the bank notes on it only to find out that with all that equipment they still have no clue what to do and realize there is a big difference in how you manage a property as a professional service provider vs how they did it when they cut their own lawn.

then finally they realize that they are only able to get 40 to 50 dollars a cut because there are 5 million landscapers out there to compete with that will gladly do it for less and at the end of the month it is costing them more money then they are making.
they find out the hard way that they failed to take into consideration that when they made their new career choice by looking at a company like mine or my freinds that we busted our azzes for over twenty years to get to this point and when we started out we started out from nothing and slowly worked our way up to this point.
they also fail to realize that someone like myself has dedicated 28 years of my life to this trade and have put the time in to learn it and build it from the ground up as well as put a few years in prior to starting a business learning the trade.

all these guys only see what lies on the surface and all they see is the fancy trucks and the equipment and the crews and they believe that is all there is to it.
but when it is all said and done within a year or two they are having a fire sale selling everything they got for less then half of what they paid to guys like me to avoid the bank coming in and taking it away.

my point is you have the right idea in starting out small and keeping it simple but at the same time don't phsych yourself out in the proccess.
in my opinion there are only two ways you can get in over your head, spending money before you make it and doing jobs that you have no clue how to do.
as long as you don't do either you will be allright and if you allready own a peice of equipment don't be afraid to take advantage of it.

as far as finding good help, don't feel bad it is the same everywhere and it will take you some time to iron that out and regardless of what state you live in those troubles are all the same.
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