Originally Posted by Spider001
I've been reading these different forums for over a year now. I keep seeing comments about lowballers & "fools" or "scrubs" that buy a $1000 riding mower at Lowes or Home Depot & charge $30 a yard.
I also see a lot of comments from guys that have 10-20 lawns for $25-$35 each. And the startup threads say to start small, don't go into debt buying expensive professional equipment & just use what you have/can afford. And a lot of threads say the average price for a residential lawn is between $25-$45.
One guy tells you you're doing it wrong. One guy tells you you're doing it right. This really doesn't help new guys trying to learn.
you have to be able to read between the lines and take it with a grain of salt.
if you want to bypass logic, which is save your money and get a job and get experience at someone else's expense. that in turn will make your transition as a business owner easier and give you a better chance of being successful then yes you are doing it wrong.
but, if you want to just jump into something blindly without any safety net and base your decision on, i like the work, i heard there is good money or i read a book that says... then yes, spend as little as you possibly can because your likelihood of failure is as high as it gets and you will incur less financial hardship.
what gets lost in this is there are a couple of factors in starting and building a successful business.
1st, you need to have knowledge in running and operating a business and the basic rules apply whether you cut grass for a living or sell ice cream and without it you are destined to fail.
if learning that was as easy as buying a book then i guess millions of people who go to college for 2 to 4 years or the people who took the time to learn the trade from the bottom up have been doing it completely wrong all these years.
i am sure steve will not like me saying that but it is the truth.
2nd, you need to know the industry you are working in. personally, if a customer can ask you a question that you can not answer about the industry or something related, you are not ready to be in business and if the customer accepts that you can not give them the answer you should kiss their feet and cherish them for being too stupid to notice because a educated consumer will eat you alive.
please don't take what i said personal because what i am saying is for your own benefit. you can buy a 1,000 dollar mower and cut lawns for 5.00, it is not going to hurt me and chances are the lack of experience will have you out of the picture in no time anyway.
we live in a i want it now society and that mindset might get you a little something now but it will cost you a whole lot more down the line because you could not wait and had to have it now.
on the flip side there are plenty here that are my age and had different careers and either got sick of it or lost their jobs and decided to make a change.
they obviously have no trade experience but they are older and more experienced in life as well as may be more familiar with how to operate a business.
out of the two most important things you need to have knowledge in when starting a business which are, trade experience and knowing how to run a business and you can only have one, you stand a better chance of success knowing how to run a business over knowing the trade.
the learning curve for basic knowledge of the trade is easier and comes quicker then the basic knowledge of running a business.
this is my 24th year in business and my 30th year in the industry and i spent the first 6 years working for a large company.
i started out as a pion that was as green as green can be and i worked my way up to branch manager. all the while i learned and i saved and when i started my business and because i did what i did in preparation of doing so is the sole reason why i have what i have today.
i know guys that have been at it just as long and started with much less experience and no money and they do OK but they can not shine my shoes and i did not go into business 24 years ago to " do OK ".
finally, let me end with i am not thumping my chest or acting as if i am holier then though. i certainly do not know it all and i learn new things every day, even after 30 years. i did not invent anything, i am no innovator and i am not the burning bush of knowledge.
all i am is some guy that was taught buy some very good people who mimicked what they did and learned from the people before him and had some success.
i can be sarcastic at times but not in a demeaning way to make me superior, just sarcastic because that is just the defect i was born with.
all you need to do to be successful is look at someone who is successful and do what they do because in 2014 you are not going to invent or change anything in this industry and too many people waste time looking for the smoking gun of success instead of just getting off your Azz and getting it done.
hope that helps and gives you the answer you were looking for.
best of luck to you.