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.

Need Encouragement


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 04-22-2008, 06:15 PM
baglady baglady is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 21
Rep Power: 8
baglady
Default Need Encouragement

Hello all, just need some encouragement. My husband and I have a landscaping company that just the two of are employed really just my husband. We both work full time jobs but my husband loves doing the landscaping on the side. We have 25 residential customers. Our invoices range from $35-$125. My husband does all the work by himself using his buddies when they are available. He does cutting, edging, weeding, flowerbeds, mulching, cutting down trees etc. We have been unable to find reliable help so that we can expand. Both of our credit is tarnished. I have tried to get credit in our business and have only been able to secure Office Depot and Staples. We have a walk behind, several smaller mowers, and he has recently acquired through one of our customers a tractor. We really need one we live on 5 acres here in Maryland. One of our customers he can use this in his yard as well. The issue is all the money that we make we are buying more material or using it to catch up on bills. We are making a profit but everything we get we have to use it and at the end of the season we are no better off then we were at the beginning. Last year we made an additional $15,000.00. We would like to get one good commerical property that would generate at least $5-10,000.00 monthly. The hope would be if we could secure a commercial account we could advertise and hire help. Getting customers is not the issue all of our customers from last year have returned. My husband works really hard and is a good guy it just appears it is hard to really get a break. We need a zero turn but not able to afford it. I am encourgaged that this business will work but agin just need some encouragement and any advice would be welcome. Thanks
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 04-22-2008, 07:50 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,982
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] We are making a profit but everything we get we have to use it and at the end of the season we are no better off then we were at the beginning.
This is a very good point you bring up and when I talked with lawn care business author Ken LaVoie last week, he was talking about this exact topic.

In the podcast which you can download and listen to here http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15950

Ken talks about growing your business at 20% max a year. He says if you grow too fast, you eat up your current year's profit and you won't see any fruits of your labor because it goes back into the business to feed the growth.

My view is that you are growing pretty quickly now and you are doing this part time so you have those two factors to deal with.

I don't think much of this will change until you are able to go fulltime with your business and be able to spend more time on it, making more money but trying to keep an eye on your growth rate.

Does this help?

Does anyone else have any thoughts on 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
  #3  
Old 04-22-2008, 11:27 PM
gmoney55 gmoney55 is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: louisiana
Age: 47
Posts: 50
Rep Power: 7
gmoney55
Default

I know exactly what you are talking about. I have a similar problem. I have my own lawncare operation and work a fulltime job also. I just started out and have picked up a couple of accounts and just started on a major general clean up job. I work by myself because my wife is pregnant and due any day now. In the past 2 years we have had several medical issues i have had 9 surgeries alone in the last years. my credit was perfect before this but now it is not too good due to about $60,000 in medical bills now on my credit. I only have a john deere lawn tractor, blower, a little self propelled mower, and a echo weedeater. i really need to get a zero turn also but i cannot afford it right now nor can i finance one. All i can tell you is just hang in there and things will work themselves out for the better. I think if you really try to focus on that one big comercial account you can land it. And when you do just set some of that money on the side each month and don't touch it if possible. In a few months you will have saved enough cash to go out and pay cash for a good zero turn. just remenber to keep your head up and things will hopefully get better. good luck hope it all works out for ya'll
__________________
Gerald T. Mullet
K & G LAWNCARE
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-22-2008, 11:56 PM
baglady baglady is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 21
Rep Power: 8
baglady
Default

Thanks guys for your response. I just listend to the pod cast and thought it was excellent. I am certain we will come out on top just have to keep plugging away.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-23-2008, 08:50 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,982
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Have you thought about if your business will be a side business for both of you or if you will ultimately be doing this fulltime?

If fulltime, have you thought about how and when you will make the jump?
__________________
- 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 With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-23-2008, 08:52 AM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 8
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Baglady,

It's tough when you start out, I know. Start up costs & equipment costs mount up, Repairs, fuel & everything is so expensive and on top of that there are so many lco's out there that it's more competitive than ever. Or you could just attribute it to - times are tough & customers are being more thrifty. Lawn care as in industry is certainly not in it's money making hay-day right now so getting a new company up & running is a little harder, but it's do able. Like it was stated trying to grow to fast can make it hard on your company financially & I think I'm boardering on some of the same problems but I'm looing at it like this. I'm making enough to survive & feed the family from the business now. The extra money I pump back into the company will come out as increased profits later. So it's worth it to me. Watch your bottom line, know your expenses Keeps tabs on your business. When trying to grow you tend to want to bid a ltle low to get the job, it's dangerous. You can be busy, have cash flow & still not be making any money. If you don't know your figures you may not catch this little epidemic until you run yourself out of business or burn out. Keep your head up!
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #7  
Old 04-23-2008, 09:02 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,982
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Chuck,

What advice do you have for the newer start up businesses? What should they be buying and what should they hold off on?

When you reflect back on your start up phase, what do you wish you had done more of or less of?
__________________
- 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 With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-24-2008, 12:22 AM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 8
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

I would say growing the business a little smarter & slower is important. I started with a tractor & when it was time to upgrade.... If I had it to do again I might have bought a 36" or 48" wright stander or century rather than a full blown 52" zero turn. I had to turn potential customers away because I can't get in gates & stuff. I cant fit a smaller zt or wright stander on my trailer with my zt so to upgrade now I'd need a 2nd mower & a new larger trailer. If I had a smaller mower to start with adding a 2nd slightly larger model wouldn't be a problem. But as far as equipment needed that can vary by your market & the target clientel your going for.

I would say not tracking where my clients were coming from close enough was a mistake I made. I ran an add for a month or 2 in one publication, spent the next 6 months running adds eslewhere then realized about 70% growth came from an add I hadn't bothered to run in 6 months.

Watch your books! Be a business owner who happens to own a lawn care business, not a guy who cuts grass & happens to own the company.
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #9  
Old 04-25-2008, 12:12 AM
baglady baglady is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 21
Rep Power: 8
baglady
Default

We are at some point looking to do this full time. We have not yet decided when. We really have to be financially ready. We actually probably have all the equipment we need for now. The problem is having to turn away business because we can not find any good help. We will as you guys say continue to plug ahead and hopefully the right think will come at the right time.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-18-2008, 09:56 PM
baglady baglady is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 21
Rep Power: 8
baglady
Default

Well gang just dropping by to share some news. We have actually given up all of our customers. We had 25 really good customers but we were doing them a dis-service. My husband is a correctional officer during the day. He days off use to be Friday and Saturday. His days off changed he is now off on Sunday's and Monday's. We could not find good help and every lawn mower we have broke down around the same time. It has been an awful season. Our customers were really upset because we do excellent work we just found ourselves in situations where we were not giving our customers the customer service they deserved.
It was a very difficult decision but it has been 3 weeks and I think it was the right decision. We are not giving up all together we are just going back to the drawing board and revamp our business plan. Hopefully we will be ready to dive back in within the next two years. If anyone has any suggestions or advice just let me know. This is really a great place to get some good insight.
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

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
What's include in a bid?
ppl
Today 01:19 PM
Today 01:19 PM
by ppl
0 1
Ugliest lawn contest
Steve
02-23-2015 04:17 PM
Today 11:24 AM
by nwgirl
4 319
rock salt
Bradcook21
02-24-2015 11:17 AM
Today 11:12 AM
by jrs.landscaping
25 533
How to obtain more...
winkie61
02-17-2015 08:31 AM
Today 11:05 AM
by nwgirl
4 551
Diesel conversion?
Just for Cuts
Today 10:59 AM
Today 10:59 AM
by Just for Cuts
0 16
I'm Back With The Best...
aduttonater
02-21-2015 01:41 AM
Today 10:44 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
16 624
pros and cons on...
Wolf4dk
Today 12:26 AM
Today 10:27 AM
by Chilehead
3 48
Hi from the beautiful...
nwgirl
02-07-2015 06:01 AM
Today 10:23 AM
by nwgirl
4 621
New Website
brian'slawncare
Yesterday 06:35 PM
Today 08:00 AM
by Chilehead
2 48
My Newborn son
avetslawncare
02-27-2015 01:07 PM
Today 07:40 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
4 94
Online Estimator
acrajchel
Yesterday 05:58 PM
Yesterday 11:32 PM
by Just for Cuts
2 58
Opinions on truck wrap
Truro
02-28-2015 04:21 PM
Yesterday 11:32 PM
by Chilehead
5 144
How to sell annual...
GroPro
02-17-2015 12:31 PM
Yesterday 01:46 PM
by Chilehead
8 594
stubbon people
Bradcook21
02-16-2015 04:25 PM
Yesterday 12:38 PM
by Mr. Mow
42 1,347
price for snow clearing?
Bradcook21
02-25-2015 09:11 PM
02-27-2015 08:54 PM
by Bradcook21
5 209
Facebook
element009
03-23-2011 09:36 AM
02-27-2015 11:37 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
52 11,829
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 01:31 PM
02-26-2015 03:43 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 1,763
viking cyclon.
uppercut
01-29-2015 09:12 PM
02-26-2015 02:54 PM
by Steve
5 521
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 01:06 AM
02-26-2015 02:41 PM
by Steve
1 126
Another website update
Chilehead
02-26-2015 11:24 AM
02-26-2015 12:46 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 118
tips on creating a...
BLAZIER-1991
01-08-2015 07:22 PM
02-26-2015 02:44 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 727
New Lawn Care Service...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:49 AM
02-26-2015 02:24 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
1 134
Finally!
SGL1
02-22-2015 09:46 PM
02-25-2015 10:15 PM
by SGL1
13 472
leaf removal.. mulching...
facework84
08-05-2011 03:26 PM
02-25-2015 08:07 PM
by Steve
5 2,809
How many customers?
SC93
02-25-2015 12:40 AM
02-25-2015 04:59 PM
by SC93
5 249
Irrigation...
charlieallen
02-24-2015 01:16 PM
02-25-2015 02:58 PM
by Steve
6 242
use a small business...
BLAZIER-1991
12-25-2014 12:21 AM
02-25-2015 12:46 AM
by SC93
33 2,851
honest opinion please
uppercut
02-17-2015 02:30 AM
02-24-2015 07:12 PM
by homey
10 682
2nd year advice anyone
Bradcook21
02-18-2015 07:00 PM
02-24-2015 05:15 PM
by Bradcook21
14 656
need help
lawnexpers115
02-23-2015 05:36 PM
02-24-2015 02:49 PM
by Steve
3 285
Hello People
nativikee
02-23-2015 07:17 PM
02-24-2015 02:43 PM
by Steve
4 281
New member
qua ke zik 001
02-23-2015 11:24 AM
02-23-2015 03:40 PM
by Steve
1 239
New Video
Sprinkler Buddy
02-22-2015 09:18 PM
02-23-2015 03:19 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 266
need help with SCAG...
apmAkron
02-23-2015 09:14 AM
02-23-2015 01:57 PM
by apmAkron
3 262
which degrees would be...
BLAZIER-1991
02-20-2015 04:46 PM
02-23-2015 01:47 PM
by Steve
9 429
Trouble logging in
avetslawncare
02-21-2015 02:06 PM
02-23-2015 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 594
John Deere Quik Track...
acrajchel
02-20-2015 03:12 PM
02-23-2015 01:40 PM
by Steve
1 297
Trimming and...
joshlawncare
02-15-2015 02:04 PM
02-22-2015 09:48 PM
by SGL1
5 629
where can i post this
zippy-phil
02-17-2015 07:58 PM
02-20-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
7 513
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
02-19-2015 04:43 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
29 2,679
Thumbs up or down?
lawnman1959
02-18-2015 11:40 AM
02-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Chilehead
3 428
Am I growing too fast?
Mattcrump
08-04-2011 11:54 PM
02-19-2015 12:34 PM
by Steve
11 5,226
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
02-19-2015 12:31 PM
by Steve
1,215 372,244
Mowing 2 acres
Bradcook21
01-05-2015 03:13 PM
02-19-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
16 1,486
FREE Custom Website...
breadcrumb
01-31-2015 10:58 PM
02-18-2015 01:32 PM
by Steve
5 1,133
Taking a step back
Billy Goat
02-16-2015 07:37 AM
02-18-2015 01:17 PM
by Chilehead
9 609
Employees
stevej
02-17-2015 05:25 PM
02-18-2015 12:47 PM
by Mr. Mow
1 418
Landscapers from hell!!
Chilehead
01-29-2015 03:55 PM
02-17-2015 07:48 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
9 1,036
Cannot access your Itune...
winkie61
02-17-2015 10:00 AM
02-17-2015 03:26 PM
by Steve
1 366
Advertising on internet...
Sprinkler Buddy
02-13-2015 01:22 PM
02-17-2015 01:00 PM
by Steve
9 690
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 ad landscaping apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying blowout bob villa bush commercial contract help deliquentaccounts demonstration ditches door hangers edging employee problems estimate facebook four wheel drive google gopherhaul gravely growing a lawn care business hardscapes how to hydraulic jobs landscape landscape services lawn lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lawn mowing managing a lawn care business marketing marketing secrets more customers business new mower ordinance patio install per hour service podcast profit on employee scag v-ride scripts search engine optimization seo shreaded snow plowing sq ft starting a lawn care business steep lawns theft toro tractor auger trailer mate pro truck new used landscape web design website won't return wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:31 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:31 PM.

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