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Thread: crossroads
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:10 AM
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Default Cross Roads Part II

Well where can I began, the whole thing about the lawncare biz started as a joke. several years ago I was a private investigator for the nys workers comp. I video taped people who were lying about there injuries. one afternoon I was talking to my dad while sitting on a surveillance job and I said "Dad I would know every door to knock on to ask to cut there lawn, because they cant and are afraid of being video taped" A few months later my dad came from Nevada with a trailer of repoed lawn gear and said here ya go, do lawn care. so thats how it started as part time. a website, a small ad, and work from someone who used to be my best friend netted me over 70-80k a year, not to shabby for something that started as a joke. The lcs took all my time so I stopped doing the PI work and it became full time.

The sad part begins when I learn the issues of working with and for your best friend on huge commercial accounts that make or break a company. I wont name names due to legal issues but it got so bad I became like tony soprano having to make decisions and seeking help "shrink" to deal with labor issues, state tax issues, insurance, people failing at doing there jobs and services that I dealt with on a daily routine. being on call 24/7, no vacations, and doing paper work for free at home for hours after I worked in the field for hours. it got to me. it ended relationships, interfered with time I had little of with my daughter, and trying to get health insurance in NY owning a small company was not happening. after some disagreements on situation between me and the best friend, my employment as a manager and a sub contractor came to an end when I gave my notice based on how miserable the relationship was and that the damage could not be repaired. I was respected for the gracious departure and followed through on all loose ends

Going from a 1 truck 1 crew to 2 seemed like a smart thing at the time, and it did double my gross, but the expenses caught up after the economy here took a poop. I sold a truck but still technically have two set ups.

this winter and last winter we had less then 20 inches of snow, we should have 60-80 per push accounts hurt, seasonal s were nice but it wasn't huge profit margins.

So this summer I decided to get a real gig driving fora world wide known company, insurance and 401k dental all the perks I drive in the evening and I can do the lawns and other services we provide in the morning and mid day.

I actually make more like this. and have insurance and a future for retirement, im 43, my daughter gets coverage "ex cant get it" and all is well for the moment.

A month ago the person who bought my truck had an interest to buy my whole company, we had a number and it would have been fair and smart, but they backed out at the last second.

I went into overdrive with a website update, pens, magnets, ads and display at bank and local stores. the biz will boom this spring, I can do most of the work with help and if it gets to a point where I can do full time driving, I can have someone do the routes and I just do the paper work, I still make a profit, my customers are still happy, and my 401k grows, Daughter gets braces. Girlfriend can plan a vacation with me.

I think I hit the mid life lawn care crisis this march and made decisions to deal with it. I came to this site to get back to basics, see what new fresh ideas are out there, sales marketing gimmicks stories of success, what works what dons', because I am the first to say I don't know everything about running a successful lcs.

I worked for a big player in the snow biz and learned a lot from them, went to symposiums, learned about chemicals and finance and transportation and labor rates and job costing. I met great people and had great times. But right now I feel like I am starting over.

Guess thats all I have for now.
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