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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #61  
Old 03-01-2013, 11:30 AM
djlandscaping06 djlandscaping06 is offline
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i am sorry to hear you are having trouble and considering getting out of business.
with that said and without knowing all the details of what is not working for you i would suggest you keep it going and seek the help to find out what you are doing wrong.
if you are doing something wrong then the signs will be there and maybe you are so consumed by the misery of not being where you want to be that you can not see it but someone else may be able to see the things you are doing wrong more easily and give you the insight to make the corrections to get it going on the right track.

a couple other things you need to consider is, 1. we have a horrible economy right now and most businesses are not doing all that well and growing in leaps and bounds.
2. the general population is struggling and barely treading water right now and as a result people are just not spending money like they did in the past and depending on which state you live in it could be even worse.
3. i don't know where you get your information from but it takes more then a couple years to get a business going and from my experience as well as most of the information i have read and learned from my financial advisers over the last 23 years of being in business the general rule of thumb would be 5 years.
the landscape business is a fickle business and most rules don't always apply because it is a highly competitive business that also requires you to build up a client base that takes years to do.
if you had a retail business in a strip mall where your customers come to you i would say that after a few years if you were still struggling you would probably be in trouble.

my business for example had a couple different life cycles, when i started i took everything i could get and had work but most of my clients were just your everyday run of the mill basic customer who only wanted the bare minimum. then i started to replace them with high end accounts that were full service and i ended up with 150 accounts of high end customers that had gorgeous properties and spared no expense.
i was making good money but i was not happy with the direction i was going and thought i could do better and make more.
i then decided i wanted to get into big commercial properties where i could make more money with larger contracted jobs where i only needed a handful of accounts instead of having to deal with 150 accounts every week and 150 bills to write every month.
when i was in that transition i got to a point where i had to phase out my existing accounts and give up that safety net i spent all those years building up and step back into that grey area of uncertainty.

it was tough and had some brutal moments where i thought i made a big mistake and screwed myself but i held the course and kept plugging away and eventually it all worked out.

the morale of the story is a business is a series of evolution's and it takes a great deal of time to get established and it is like a roller coaster ride and if your season is pretty much wrapped up and you have a job to provide you a income then maybe you should take the down time to assess what you are doing wrong and recharge your batteries and get you equipment back in order and come back next year with all your guns a blazing.

maybe as time goes on you can keep us all posted and better enlighten us as to what exactly you are doing and we can all help you make the right choices to get you going in the right direction.
there are plenty of people here that can give you advice and help you and i am sure that everyone here would be glad to help.

i myself would be happy to help and i am 100% positive that everyone here feels the same way.
i also feel obligated to help a fellow tradesman out because in the end we are all a bad stretch away from calling it quits and we all have so much to gain by helping each other out rather then go it alone and fend for ourselves.

good luck and keep us posted and don't do anything in haste.
This is going on my 7th year in business and I still do a 40 hr a week regular job to keep everything going but just the last couple years I have made decent money but still when it all was said and done money from the business is all gone just to make it thru the winter months. After looking at everything for this next season I believe this will be my best year but it has took me 6 to get there. Several seasons had a lot of equipment troubles that ate a lot of my profit but I kept at it and would not give up and it has and is going to get better! You can do it if you just keep plugging! Believe me I wanted to give up many times but I just knew in my heart that if kept on it would eventually work!

Be persistant. Figure out what is wrong and make it right and then give it all you got! I wish you the best!
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  #62  
Old 03-01-2013, 12:14 PM
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After looking at everything for this next season I believe this will be my best year but it has took me 6 to get there. Several seasons had a lot of equipment troubles that ate a lot of my profit but I kept at it and would not give up and it has and is going to get better! You can do it if you just keep plugging!
What top 5 lessons do you feel you learned from those 6 years that will make this coming year the best so far?
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:54 PM
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i am curious as to what decision you have made in regards to going forward?

it has been about 4 1/2 months since you posted this thread and being spring is upon us i would think you have made a decision by now.

as i said i am just curious to hear how you made out.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:45 PM
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To be honest I am not really planning on doing anything for now. I have been hearing to much back and forth about what I charge and at that lower end I refuse to even start my truck for a $10 lawn. If that is how cheap people around here are then I will focus more on my other venture for now that seems to be growing well.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:26 PM
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To be honest I am not really planning on doing anything for now. I have been hearing to much back and forth about what I charge and at that lower end I refuse to even start my truck for a $10 lawn. If that is how cheap people around here are then I will focus more on my other venture for now that seems to be growing well.
To clarify I guess I am still on the fence about it. I have not started advertising this year at all. I have wanted to but I am really worried because every penny comes out of my pocket and right now with bringing up a family and a home remodel my pocket is rather thin lol. I do have 1 large job that I will continue to do this year as soon as I get a phone call to do it but that job is only once a month at best and it's only $200. I really really really want to make it work but I just don't know, I am just to scared that I will keep dumping money into a money pit.
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