Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

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.

Dare Read the following??


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-26-2010, 10:03 AM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 213
Rep Power: 5
JP Landscaping is on a distinguished road
Default Dare Read the following??

So two seasons ago I started working for a local landscaping guy. I had just graduated from college and was debating whether to keep going and get my CPA or get a job. I decided I would get a summer job and keep going to school in the fall.

My roomate at the time was working for a landscaper and said they had lost a guy and that the landscaper actually needed some help with this accounting. So I asked my roomate to get me an interview hoping to do accounting work for a couple of days and landscaping for the others. it would be an ideal situation.

I got the interview and the job. Most of the summer i worked for the guy doing landscaping and no accounting. i kept approaching him about his needing my help with it. Finally towards the end of the season he said I should go to his place and look at his stuff. in Short It was Terrible.

So I helped him all winter to get his stuff straightened out. We talked about what was going to happen the following season. I told him I could work for him or with him but I was starting my own company. At the time i wanted a lawn care company instead of landscaping. he said he would like to work with me because I was a huge help to him.

I told him he could subcontract to me or I could work for him for $20/hr including doing his accounting, being a foreman, and using my equipment. he said he would look it over. But meanwhile I would work for him for $13/hr til April and we would look at it then.

Well, the summer past and I worked for him for $13/hr the whole season while I was doing work with my company on the side. It didn't work too well with me for I worked 7 days a week from 6-8 for two straight months. I worked for him 9-5 Mon-Fri and the other time I spent with my company.

This season I told him the only way I would work with him is if he subs work to me. he wouldn't have to worry about all the paperwork or management involved with having employees. I would take care of that and he would get a percentage of the earnings.

he said he would look at it and yesterday he called me asking if I wanted to work. I told him yea. So I did a job for him and billed him last night. he told me what work we would work on today but i already had my own job to finish up today so I told him I could work on his job for half a day or he could tell me what needed to be done and I could finish it even if I had to hire someone. There were a couple of jobs he was mentioning.

He didn't respond (this was thru email). So this morning I let him know I won't be able to work because of my own stuff. he seemed a little upset. But I did tell him about 2 months ago that if he wanted me to work on jobs he needed to tell me a week in advance so i could plan and have it done in time.

He still hasn't confirmed whether he will sub work to me or not. I've waited this late to spread my fliers in the chance I would get a lot of work from him and my own. It would be too much work. But I'm going to go out and advertise for my company and get my jobs. He's just going to have get in line if he has work he wants me to do for him.

Did I mention I was a huge asset to him? well, I've been lending him $ when he's short on cashflow. I've also waited weeks to get paid when he doesn't have the cash. I've also purchased materials for him on my accounts when his accounts are full. also, I do all his accounting for like 1/4 of what he would get charged.

I want to help the guy out but this is the year I need to make serious $. Otherwise i'm better off getting an accounting job (which I don't really want to be in an office looking at paper work all year).

Just had to get some of this off my chest.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-26-2010, 12:49 PM
jklawncare's Avatar
jklawncare jklawncare is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 577
Rep Power: 5
jklawncare is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
thats a really tuff situation
i think by this point id just go out and start my own
id be done waiting..
it actually seems like hes holding you back to get an edge on you but he seems like a nice enough guy to where he wouldnt do that to you since you were such a big asset
__________________
Just Kut Lawn and Landscape
"Where Service is Always in Season"
Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-26-2010, 06:36 PM
jessechaveriat's Avatar
jessechaveriat jessechaveriat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Knoxville, Tn
Posts: 72
Rep Power: 5
jessechaveriat is on a distinguished road
Default

JK is right. Its just holding you back.. Make the move and be on your own. You will be a lot happier without the added stress of wondering about this other guy. If he needs help tell him to make an appointment like everyone else.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:28 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,187
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

This sounds like one big freaking mess that is only going to get bigger.

How long has he been in business? Why is he borrowing money from you? Why doesn't he have his act together.

You have been helping him with his books, where is all his cash going? Why is he having such a difficult time with his cash flow?

This thing is going to implode.

There are too many things that are going wrong now and will most likely get worse.

I would focus on my own thing.

I'd love to hear your insight on what you have learned from this interaction because I am sure you see it from a much more clinical perspective. We could ALL learn from this.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:41 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 213
Rep Power: 5
JP Landscaping is on a distinguished road
Default

This guy situation is like this:

He's got 10 years of landscaping experience. This is one of those cases we talk about. He's great at landscaping but a terrible business man. For those reading this, please figure both sides before really getting into it. Make sure you know about the business and how to do business.

So he started back in 04 with a partner. The partner took care of the finances, books, etc and helped out in the field 2-3 days out of the week. The landscaper did all the estimates and day to day handling of the crew. Well, they split off in 06 and the other guy started his own landscaping business (which is one of the more successful ones now).

Landscaper decided to keep the business (corporation) but underestimated the accounting part of it. He wasn't sending in his taxes or any filings for that matter. when I got to him he had un-opened fed and state letters from like 06.

That ('08) summer I worked for him landscaping and starting in the fall to help him with his books (we are just getting the last of it straightened out). He's a real nice guy, family oriented but like i said not good with books.

Well, the reason I lent him money was because he had defaulted with most of his creditors and suppliers so he was buying all supplies on a cash basis. As we all know some customers tend to pay late but the business needs the money now. so his cashflow suffered. He helped out so I helped him out.

during the time his partner left, he was having family problems with his stepdaughter and it caused a separation between him and his wife (though you could never tell because they get along great) so he kind of just stopped caring.

Well now he has been paying the back taxes so his cashflow is slimmer than ever. And also, I figured he wasn't charging enough to begin with. He thought he had low overhead but in reality he wasn't including everything he needed to. in addition his crew was not very efficient.

So it's just a big mess and I feel bad for having to leave like this but I have to focus on me and my business if I want to make mine succeed.

What I have learned from this is:

1. Keep friendships and business separate
- I got too involved in the helping out that my business suffered.

2. Know your costs so you don't end up like this guy
3. Just because you are good at something doesn't mean you will be good at owning a business in that field

I'm going to go at it alone. if i do bad or well, it will be because of me and I'll know what i'm capable of. If it doesn't go well, then i'll get an accounting job
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:47 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,187
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Well now he has been paying the back taxes so his cashflow is slimmer than ever. And also, I figured he wasn't charging enough to begin with. He thought he had low overhead but in reality he wasn't including everything he needed to. in addition his crew was not very efficient.
When you say he thought he had a low overhead, what was he missing in his mental calculations of it versus the reality of it?

What was your view on the efficiency of his crew? What were they doing and what should they be doing?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-26-2010, 10:14 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 213
Rep Power: 5
JP Landscaping is on a distinguished road
Default

Well, since he operated out of his apartment and rents a garage to keep his tools in, he thought his overhead was basically his trailers, his landscape tractor, and truck. But in reality he was missing his taxes, employee expenses, and he wasn't charging for the time it took him to do estimates or the time he spent buying materials.

He gets quite a bit of work. We usually had 4 guys busy. But he was always running back and forth delivering materials to the crews when we split up and sometimes we had to wait on materials and it was wasted time. Also his employees were just slow and not trained well. If a problem came up, they always wanted to wait until the landscaper came back to tell him instead of fixing it. None of them know how to do hardscapes, like retaining walls until I came in.

It's just that without supervision the employees were not motivated enough do their best. here's another lesson. Find trustworthy employees and learn to value the good ones.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-27-2010, 05:32 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,187
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

That is very interesting!

If you could come in there as a consultant and help him fix his business, what would be the top 5 things you would have him do or change?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:28 AM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 213
Rep Power: 5
JP Landscaping is on a distinguished road
Default Top 5 advice

I think the top 5 things I would urge him to do are the following:


1. pay your taxes
2. Hire a full-time accountant/bookkeeper
3. Know your costs (figure out how much he needs to make for himself on top of his operating costs.)
4. Hire reliable employees (he has the same employee he fired twice)
5. Plan ahead- business plan ( most of the time he only plans one or two days ahead)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:45 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,187
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

With all this going on, do you think you could have gone into a partnership with him and turned this business around or would that be too much work and not worth it?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Im done.........Maybe... loooong read... XtreemGreen Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. 8 09-09-2009 09:45 AM
Interesting Read picframer General Talk 4 07-26-2009 05:46 PM
read only Accuscapes General Talk 1 01-02-2008 01:39 AM
STEVE READ THIS pnplawn General Talk 0 11-10-2007 06:25 PM
Everyone READ pnplawn Search Engine Optimization and Website Design Discussions. 4 10-31-2007 12:23 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
Yesterday 10:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
77 4,370
new trailer help
mattthelawnguy
07-11-2014 08:21 PM
Yesterday 07:17 PM
by SGL1
11 363
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
Yesterday 07:09 PM
by SGL1
29 1,167
Left handed edging with...
SGL1
07-23-2014 08:59 PM
Yesterday 07:05 PM
by SGL1
4 106
Need help determining...
Jbss861
07-20-2014 02:33 PM
Yesterday 01:11 PM
by Steve
13 311
Customer letters
kslawn
07-23-2014 06:17 AM
Yesterday 12:19 PM
by Steve
3 109
Should I ?
googus
07-22-2014 04:06 PM
Yesterday 12:10 PM
by Steve
4 154
My First Apartment...
SSLCtn
05-26-2014 10:17 PM
Yesterday 06:46 AM
by kslawn
15 857
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
Yesterday 06:38 AM
by kslawn
3 175
Selling lawns like...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:51 PM
Yesterday 06:28 AM
by kslawn
3 212
Scag new "Eliminator"......
ExtremeLawncareServices
07-20-2014 10:45 AM
07-23-2014 05:37 PM
by Just for Cuts
9 243
need professional advice...
Fiddlers_green
07-20-2014 07:21 PM
07-23-2014 12:42 PM
by Steve
3 160
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 10:20 PM
07-23-2014 12:40 PM
by Steve
15 1,343
Lawn Service back in...
LawnCareMan280
07-18-2014 09:00 PM
07-23-2014 11:48 AM
by Steve
4 200
Overspray?
stevef1201
07-21-2014 04:20 PM
07-23-2014 11:39 AM
by Steve
3 104
Hello Everyone! Newbie...
SLKlawn
07-17-2014 06:22 PM
07-22-2014 01:53 PM
by Steve
6 237
Proper height for lawn
rob lederhilger
05-26-2014 08:01 AM
07-21-2014 02:53 PM
by LawnDoctor
9 626
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 12:31 PM
07-21-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
9 459
What's my business worth?
Chaz
07-16-2014 01:35 PM
07-21-2014 01:45 PM
by Steve
4 241
Single tree, mow customer
WesleySnips
06-27-2014 10:12 AM
07-21-2014 01:04 PM
by Steve
12 516
1.5 Acre Jungle
WesleySnips
07-15-2014 05:57 PM
07-20-2014 11:31 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 557
Gopher schedule software
Ray
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
by Ray
0 133
2006 Chevy fuel pump...
KevinsLawns
07-17-2014 08:39 PM
07-18-2014 11:51 AM
by Steve
1 137
Halfway point of year!
Steve
07-01-2014 12:08 PM
07-18-2014 11:38 AM
by Steve
14 677
I got told to leave and...
gwilson98
06-16-2014 02:07 PM
07-17-2014 11:43 AM
by Steve
16 995
Hey guys this is the...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-07-2014 08:23 PM
07-16-2014 08:10 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
28 728
Mowing the hills
prmenter@gmail.com
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
07-16-2014 05:00 PM
by Just for Cuts
18 661
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
07-15-2014 05:38 PM
by icon2000
1,184 318,876
need some help geting...
dalvan0
07-13-2014 09:28 PM
07-15-2014 11:56 AM
by Steve
5 231
Classified Ad Template...
bcfb
06-05-2013 02:40 AM
07-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
15 3,670
Husqvarna pz 60
CDLAWNCARE
07-06-2014 06:50 PM
07-15-2014 08:53 AM
by kslawn
10 421
Lowballers
Chaz
07-11-2014 03:55 PM
07-14-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
5 335
My new side job
Sprinkler Buddy
05-10-2014 05:23 AM
07-14-2014 12:15 PM
by Steve
10 805
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
07-13-2014 10:36 PM
by GoGreenerKS
10 520
New Mower and Trailer
Chaz
06-25-2014 12:04 PM
07-13-2014 06:25 PM
by SGL1
7 530
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
07-12-2014 07:36 PM
by SGL1
21 1,851
Fuel and fuel additives
SGL1
07-06-2014 10:23 AM
07-11-2014 07:53 PM
by SGL1
15 520
Questions for a patchy...
jumcgee
07-09-2014 08:42 AM
07-11-2014 12:34 PM
by Steve
1 190
toro proline blades wont...
boog
06-25-2014 06:26 PM
07-11-2014 05:28 AM
by kslawn
18 625
Contents of Marketing to...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-09-2014 05:25 PM
07-10-2014 03:23 PM
by Steve
3 282
Shindaiwa
CLB454
05-13-2014 09:04 PM
07-10-2014 03:04 PM
by Steve
14 759
Starting New in FL
mmcuttrim
08-06-2010 09:22 AM
07-10-2014 02:44 PM
by Steve
48 11,232
Bid help 45 on acre...
Priggan
06-26-2014 12:56 PM
07-09-2014 08:38 AM
by kslawn
7 505
need help bidding fence...
veteranslawncaresystems
07-03-2014 10:33 AM
07-08-2014 12:00 PM
by Steve
5 363
Trimmer or Knife?
gwilson98
07-04-2014 09:56 PM
07-07-2014 02:41 PM
by Steve
6 323
Started a New Solar Lawn...
Solar Lawn Care
06-08-2013 01:40 AM
07-07-2014 01:55 PM
by Steve
37 7,402
New Canadian Member
coppervalley
07-04-2014 02:15 PM
07-07-2014 01:12 PM
by Steve
1 226
Happy Independance...
stevef1201
07-04-2014 07:05 AM
07-07-2014 01:01 PM
by Steve
2 224
Echo PE 266 edger
stevef1201
07-01-2014 01:28 PM
07-07-2014 12:47 PM
by Steve
4 303
30 Inch Push Mowers Pros...
Billy Goat
06-27-2013 08:07 PM
07-06-2014 01:50 PM
by SGL1
21 5,218
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 ads birdscaping care charge collections subcontractor commercial craigslist customers ecosymbiosis employee problems exmark fall ferris four wheel drive franchise gopherhaul grass gravely holiday honda how much to charge how to bid hydraulic installation invoice kawasaki labor cost late lawn lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lawn service leaf cleanup lesco marketing mowing mulch estimate native plants new buisness office management online classifieds podcast promotion rotating scag scag v-ride season seo sprayer starting a business steep lawns stihl sulky theft of services tips toro tractor auger trailer mate pro truck new used landscape upsell walk behind walker winter money making ideas won't return wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy