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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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Old 03-27-2012, 12:14 PM
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The difference between the "enough for a bigger mower" and "too much for the walk-behind" thresholds is about 6 lawns but I'm not sure I want to jump in.
What's your view on the average solo operator's point where this happens. I think a lot of start ups are reading this and are concerned to know at what kind of range of customers should they be looking forwards to having to deal with this?


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I mean that I can't take one more with this walk-behind mower but I'd need 6 more lawns to justify the cost of buying a larger mower. There is no overlap in the two scenarios.
With a ride on mower, how many more additional customers do you feel you could mow this season?
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What's your view on the average solo operator's point where this happens. I think a lot of start ups are reading this and are concerned to know at what kind of range of customers should they be looking forwards to having to deal with this?
I'd say it happens right around 50 customers unless your routes are super tight. If you have more larger lawns then you're doing less driving and more mowing so the number will be higher in that situation.



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With a ride on mower, how many more additional customers do you feel you could mow this season?
I imagine I could easily add another full $300 day.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:16 PM
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Wouldn't it make sense to expand where you can? So if you think you have the potential to get enough clients, "gopher it!" (haha see what I did there steve?) Having a trailer could also open up a window for bigger landscape projects, thus generating more profit.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:27 PM
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Speaking of trailers - OMG this SUCKS compared to just driving my truck with the push mower on the cargo carrier.

Last year I only used the trailer for cleanups. Today I took it out with the mowers and the load/unload is slower, driving is slower, finding somewhere to park slows you down, gas mileage is surely going to go down.

There's something to be said for working a ton of tiny lawns with a truck and a push mower.

I'm starting to think that the best money for your effort exists at the far ends of the spectrum - the guy with a truck and a mower who mows a million lawns in the city, and the big guys with the 20' trailer and ZTRs to mow a few large lawns for big bucks.

The new walk behind is nice, but it adds time and effort to the mix as a result of the need for a trailer to haul it.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:34 AM
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I agree with the threshold being about 50 clients. It gets tough alone.

A zero turn will make a huge difference in time you spend, while increasing your threshold, leaving room for more clients, but even then it can still be exhausting.

If you hire someone to work with you, your speed will triple.

I use the tractor while my other guy uses a self propelled. When I'm done on the tractor I start to trim. When he's done with the self propelled, we're often racing each other to use the blower. It's a neat system, but expensive.

The only reason one should use a tractor and an assistant, is usually to make your job easier (even if it costs you money). It helps make the days shorter, so you can relax and have a much needed mental break. Working 8-5pm is not what I ever want to do and I wouldn't suggest it.

With 100 lawns per week / 20 lawns per day, you should work 8-2pm. It's comfortable and you wont hate your company :P

Plus, after about 3pm, that's when the mosquitoes come out and people are arriving home, avoiddddddddddd
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
Speaking of trailers - OMG this SUCKS compared to just driving my truck with the push mower on the cargo carrier.

Last year I only used the trailer for cleanups. Today I took it out with the mowers and the load/unload is slower, driving is slower, finding somewhere to park slows you down, gas mileage is surely going to go down.

There's something to be said for working a ton of tiny lawns with a truck and a push mower.

I'm starting to think that the best money for your effort exists at the far ends of the spectrum - the guy with a truck and a mower who mows a million lawns in the city, and the big guys with the 20' trailer and ZTRs to mow a few large lawns for big bucks.

The new walk behind is nice, but it adds time and effort to the mix as a result of the need for a trailer to haul it.

It's surely something to think about. Realistically, a truck is sufficient enough without anyone actually needing a trailer. A trailer is mostly for show, as it's been the trademark of lawn service for years.

When I first began, I would have loved to have one of those cargo carriers that attach to the hitch... Very cool stuff! I was never able to find one!!!
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