Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Jan. 24 2008,3:06)]Tim,
Out of the older and this newer lawn care business, what do you feel was the big change that made the difference? If you can say?
There might be a lot of people out there running a business now and feeling stressed out and may not see how running another business might change things.
The Big difference was BURN OUT! just plan old Corp Burn out, when work directly with law enforcement agencies, military and governmental it has a way of becoming very stressful, then you add the Res customer base and Commercial/industrial to the equation and it calls for a large demand on you and your time, 16-18 hours a day 6 days just in the office and field work not counting being on call 24/7 every 3rd week for 7 days, and I went 5 years before taking a vacation at one stretch.
If you are juggling 5 techs, 2 office personal and 1800+ accounts, plus bidding jobs running service calls and designing systems for architects, scheduling, installing and sub-contracting, yes it can build up fast. and all this was when I cut back, at one time I had 25 Electricians, 14 apprentices and 12 Techs, 5 office personal. I started down sizing 6 years ago. and after DTV made changes to the Home Service Providers program I made more cut backs and *as of Jan 07, I sold the whole thing. NO ONE WAS EVER UNEMPLOYED, when I made cut back I had jobs for the ones I let go and everyone was happy. Honeywell bought my accounts so the last of the crew was employed by other companies before the deal was closed in Mar 07, I had no choice if I wanted to live.
So now I have started this LCO and I really enjoy going out there in a relaxed atmosphere and working at my own pace, not needing any employees or additional help comes from the family. With the other business my kids didn't want any part of it, now they all want part of this, LOL. So I know when enough is enough and that is what each and every small business owner should know, when enough is enough (customers work load that is), don't overload yourself and MAKE time for yourself to do other things than work. If you have your office at home, close the door at a set time, and stick to it, there is always tomorrow if you cant get it all done that day (referring to paper work). Basically don't cut yourself thin. The hardest task you will have is scheduling your time, set aside at the least one night a week (m-f) if you haven't already and eat dinner with the family, no TV, no rushed eating, just sit back talk about whatever for family night. Set monthly dates with your spouse, stick to it don't reschedule, if something comes up, it better have a death certificate with it before you cancel. Then one night a week (m-f) set a time to play golf in a league, bowling, fishing or whatever your interest my be, schedule all work around these dates and times. Lastly schedule family vacations at least 2-1 week vacations every 6 months or so. These are things you MUST do in order to stay fresh and on top of your game, if your worried about not getting a new customer or losing one then maybe you should think long and hard about your business venture. I know we all worry about those things but what I mean is you shouldn't let it stand in your way of living and family.
Prioritize your life for better living, Mine is as follows just in this order; God, Family, Job, Living Fun, Living Expenses and so on. You have to pay yourself first before you pay anything else.
Starting a new business can be exciting and overwhelming at he same time, don't let yourself get caught up in the RAT RACE you might just find yourself under the green grass rather than on top of it..
Good Luck in your Business Venture