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 > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

What were the biggest...


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 01-20-2009, 09:52 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default What were the biggest...

What were the biggest mistakes you made starting out and what do you wish you could have done differently?
__________________
- 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

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 01-20-2009, 10:00 PM
justin_time justin_time is offline
Justin
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: French River, ON, Canada
Age: 29
Posts: 1,801
Rep Power: 0
justin_time is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
  • Buying a crappy trailer
  • Not getting a zero turn mower

It may not sound like much but my tractor would probably in better shape now if i would of had a better trailer (had to get a new cab since it bounced off and fell on the road)..

Also the fact that I use a tractor at the moment, maybe if I would of borrowed the money for a zero turn, maybe i would be probably debt free now and probably making money
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-21-2009, 11:28 AM
mruiz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The one I can come up with is the purchase of a Ram 1500 6 ft bed. For a lawn biz it was doing fine until my customers started asking for other services. Landscaping, Hardscape and etc...

Next purchase will be a small dump truck.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-22-2009, 01:06 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Also the fact that I use a tractor at the moment, maybe if I would of borrowed the money for a zero turn, maybe i would be probably debt free now and probably making money
This is a very interesting point. So actually starting with slow or non commercial equipment can actually hold you back from making a profit faster? Then maybe if you make a profit faster you can scale up your business faster?
__________________
- 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 01-22-2009, 06:12 PM
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 0
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Common Steve ya had to know the answer to that question when you asked...

A commercial ZT easily doubles (if not more) the productivity of a residential grade tractor mower. It does a better job, faster with a lot less driver fatigue. I've found with every upgrade that made me faster, I ended up with blank space in my schedule at 1st. You have time on your hands so you get creative on the advertising & marketing instead of just working. Every time, I've found ways to fill the schedule in again. More work = more money. Then I upgrade again, more equipment, more employees etc. This spring should be more everything. Time for a 2nd crew! I could just a easilly still be a one man operation today running the residential tractor I had for my lawn prior to opening up the business. I'd be workin my butt off on like 20 accounts for a little money. Instead I went big & grew big (Still growing at around 120 accounts currently. The adage "takes money to make money" does to some extent apply here in this industry too.
Like for instance: you might be able to build & sell a nice wooden lawn chairs one at a time with some nails, a jigg saw, & some sand paper. But if you invest in some better tools (skill saw, table saw, nail gun, power sander etc.) you can make them nicer, faster, & more of them. Productivity up & you'd then find ways to sell the additional chairs rather than just word of mouth. You'd advertise, maybe get local shops to carry & sell them! As they got more popular.... demand for your wooden chairs might be more than you can handle, so you hire a helper & buy a whole other set of tools for him to use! Now your both going full ime making 10 chairs each everyday with a back order list weeks long.... But if you had never bought the right tools to make the product better & faster you'd never even know what you were missing out on. You'd be proud of your 1 or 2 chairs a week....

Sorry to go off on a tangent but I think it accuratly explains the consequenses of working with inferior gear.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-22-2009, 08:30 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Sorry to go off on a tangent but I think it accuratly explains the consequenses of working with inferior gear.
I very much appreciate your insight!

The thing I wonder is when you are starting, say if you had the equipment you had now, would the average lawn care business owner have the ability to make the equipment payments?

Also, should they invest in the better equipment when they don't have the infrastructure down to maximize it's potential. By that I mean, the advertising, the word of mouth, the customer base etc.
__________________
- 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 01-22-2009, 09:30 PM
justin_time justin_time is offline
Justin
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: French River, ON, Canada
Age: 29
Posts: 1,801
Rep Power: 0
justin_time is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
Common Steve ya had to know the answer to that question when you asked...

A commercial ZT easily doubles (if not more) the productivity of a residential grade tractor mower. It does a better job, faster with a lot less driver fatigue. I've found with every upgrade that made me faster, I ended up with blank space in my schedule at 1st. You have time on your hands so you get creative on the advertising & marketing instead of just working. Every time, I've found ways to fill the schedule in again. More work = more money. Then I upgrade again, more equipment, more employees etc. This spring should be more everything. Time for a 2nd crew! I could just a easilly still be a one man operation today running the residential tractor I had for my lawn prior to opening up the business. I'd be workin my butt off on like 20 accounts for a little money. Instead I went big & grew big (Still growing at around 120 accounts currently. The adage "takes money to make money" does to some extent apply here in this industry too.
Like for instance: you might be able to build & sell a nice wooden lawn chairs one at a time with some nails, a jigg saw, & some sand paper. But if you invest in some better tools (skill saw, table saw, nail gun, power sander etc.) you can make them nicer, faster, & more of them. Productivity up & you'd then find ways to sell the additional chairs rather than just word of mouth. You'd advertise, maybe get local shops to carry & sell them! As they got more popular.... demand for your wooden chairs might be more than you can handle, so you hire a helper & buy a whole other set of tools for him to use! Now your both going full ime making 10 chairs each everyday with a back order list weeks long.... But if you had never bought the right tools to make the product better & faster you'd never even know what you were missing out on. You'd be proud of your 1 or 2 chairs a week....

Sorry to go off on a tangent but I think it accuratly explains the consequenses of working with inferior gear.
This is why I am looking to get a ZTR as fast as I can, but before that, I need to afford a truck that can pull my trailer so I can pull that ZTR.. Like Chuck said, it takes money to spend money but my equipment is gonna have to be upgraded sometime in the near future
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-22-2009, 10:11 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,460
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
This is why I am looking to get a ZTR as fast as I can, but before that, I need to afford a truck that can pull my trailer so I can pull that ZTR..
This is very interesting because here we are talking about infrastructure. A lot of things need to be put into place before we can scale up in any direction. In this case, you need a bigger truck to pull a bigger mower. Very fascinating!
__________________
- 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 01-22-2009, 10:20 PM
justin_time justin_time is offline
Justin
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: French River, ON, Canada
Age: 29
Posts: 1,801
Rep Power: 0
justin_time is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
This is very interesting because here we are talking about infrastructure. A lot of things need to be put into place before we can scale up in any direction. In this case, you need a bigger truck to pull a bigger mower. Very fascinating!
Well since I bought a bigger trailer, it means more weight compared to my other one, more weight as in carrying stuff, pulling equipment, carrying tools, weight all adds up.

Here's a picture of the truck I currently have, it is not 4x4, so I cannot put a plow on it and it ain't big enough.

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-23-2009, 10:24 AM
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 0
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Yes I understand the delema, Some may not have the financial means to do so right away & hey everyones gotta start somewhere right? But to build your business quickly it takes a little financial risk & investment. Ya know if I have to bet my hard earned money on something, betting on myself & my performance is a good bet for me anyday! So yeah I extended some money on the bet I could make the business fly, if it failed it would have been my fault & my fault alone so it was a safe bet for me. My familys welfare was on the line, I don't fail under pressure. I
In fact I've found in my carreer history I've alway enjoyed a new job, even more if it's in a new field I knew nothng about. I enjoy the challenge & take pride in climbing to the top of that field. Once I get there, & I was the best whatever, It takes me about 6 months to get bored & want to quit he job. This started as a kid working fast food... I got raises & whatnot & they wanted to make me a manager but Iwasn't even 18 so I couldn't... I got bored. I worked at Stanley Steemer, once I got crew cheif, the next step up was branch manager (wasn't happening at 19 yrs old) I got bored. I've sold vehicles, I been a service writer, ran independent auto shops, Managed & sold construction projects, & sold insurance..... This is different. I can just keep raising the bar!

Justin,
I was pulling a 6x12 enclosed trailer with a 52 in zt & all the other gear in it, then at times with 500-600 lbs of brush in the back of the truck to boot. I was running a for ranger (edge). You dakota should be able to handle an open trailer with a zt. What engine are you running in the truck? I only had a 3.0L v6.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
biggest mistakes, lawn care business, phone book ad, start up

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
Biggest business mistake? Steve General Business Discussions 0 10-21-2008 10:03 PM
Biggest douche of a customer ever... UniversityLandscapers General Talk 5 07-04-2008 12:02 AM
Biggest Job Ever miltthemower Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 7 11-21-2007 02:03 PM
Biggest motivator? Steve General Business Discussions 0 12-07-2006 11:40 AM
the biggest landscape company you know? Quick Cutz General Business Discussions 4 06-16-2003 11:37 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Is it too late to do...
markty
06-16-2015 05:28 PM
Today 07:34 PM
by wolfpacker53
5 1,966
I dont know what to do...
Bradcook21
06-21-2015 08:49 AM
Today 07:33 PM
by stallman419
12 2,134
Should I buy this Exmark...
googus
Today 09:22 AM
Today 03:29 PM
by googus
3 58
Just about mid year, how...
GreenWorx
06-24-2015 07:05 PM
Today 02:53 PM
by American L&T
6 1,903
another newish job for me
holymoly
06-07-2015 08:34 AM
Today 02:06 PM
by American L&T
9 2,104
Unemployment rates drop,...
Steve
Yesterday 12:40 PM
Today 09:42 AM
by Steve
2 62
Before & After tree...
COREtreeservice
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
07-01-2015 09:20 PM
by COREtreeservice
0 68
Dogs
Mr. Mow
06-29-2015 02:37 PM
07-01-2015 11:28 AM
by Steve
6 1,868
Ready to learn and get...
Koley Lawn & Landscape
06-28-2015 05:16 AM
07-01-2015 11:26 AM
by Steve
8 1,851
Three Stripe Land Care...
hammr04
06-30-2015 07:19 PM
07-01-2015 11:24 AM
by Steve
1 67
Country Life Lawn Care
darleneh
06-29-2015 11:24 AM
06-30-2015 01:25 PM
by Steve
3 1,727
Rubber mulch...
avetslawncare
06-24-2015 09:28 PM
06-29-2015 09:23 PM
by Chilehead
6 1,856
Marketing ideas
xandrew245x
04-29-2014 06:35 AM
06-25-2015 07:11 PM
by GreenWorx
34 5,713
Never ending sod jobs
avetslawncare
06-05-2015 09:46 PM
06-25-2015 11:42 AM
by Steve
11 2,339
Weed and Feed Service...
mike94740
06-23-2015 05:50 PM
06-24-2015 09:56 PM
by avetslawncare
2 1,781
Trimming hedges / trees,...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
06-23-2015 07:08 PM
06-24-2015 09:59 AM
by Steve
1 1,782
Hi Everyone from Arkansas
KellyMarie
06-04-2015 04:16 PM
06-23-2015 01:34 PM
by KellyMarie
4 2,052
how to make customers...
Bradcook21
05-27-2015 05:04 PM
06-23-2015 06:36 AM
by GreenWorx
7 2,285
problems with a customer...
LawnCareMan280
06-16-2015 10:26 PM
06-22-2015 11:11 AM
by Steve
6 2,080
Please review this FREE...
markty
06-21-2015 07:42 AM
06-22-2015 11:00 AM
by Steve
1 1,802
A good commercial bid...
burtle
06-20-2015 09:09 PM
06-22-2015 10:56 AM
by Steve
1 1,867
What would you do with...
holymoly
06-20-2015 06:48 PM
06-22-2015 10:48 AM
by Steve
1 1,830
New Member just joined...
vgoleco@hotmail.com
06-19-2015 03:49 PM
06-22-2015 10:42 AM
by Steve
2 1,836
Credit Cards - What's in...
Shark1611
06-16-2015 03:04 PM
06-21-2015 07:24 PM
by Chilehead
4 1,932
Blade usage
Wolf4dk
06-16-2015 12:18 AM
06-21-2015 05:35 PM
by kslawn
4 1,939
Hello, I am new to the...
adamslawnservices
06-17-2015 08:06 PM
06-19-2015 10:28 AM
by Steve
3 1,864
First commercial bid
SGL1
06-12-2015 08:57 PM
06-18-2015 05:04 PM
by SGL1
9 2,313
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
06-18-2015 11:02 AM
by Steve
7 2,011
I have been rude and...
biglee
06-15-2015 10:11 PM
06-18-2015 10:46 AM
by Steve
10 2,100
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
06-17-2015 08:38 AM
by burtle
9 3,186
Customer keeps adding...
Mr. Mow
06-13-2015 06:22 AM
06-16-2015 10:23 AM
by Steve
11 2,307
Pass discounts onto...
burnell76
06-03-2015 06:33 PM
06-16-2015 10:02 AM
by burnell76
3 2,036
burned grass only where...
nhauto
06-15-2015 05:28 PM
06-16-2015 09:45 AM
by Steve
2 1,903
Half year mark review.
Steve
06-02-2015 11:24 AM
06-15-2015 01:04 PM
by Steve
18 2,626
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
06-15-2015 01:01 PM
by Steve
86 9,686
New Member
Bruce Fehr
06-05-2015 07:13 PM
06-15-2015 12:53 PM
by Steve
6 2,038
New to the business,...
CarefreeMowing
06-12-2015 02:36 PM
06-15-2015 12:50 PM
by Steve
1 1,921
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 11:45 AM
06-13-2015 08:48 AM
by holymoly
45 12,013
New to the forum, new to...
CarefreeMowing
06-11-2015 12:35 PM
06-12-2015 10:44 AM
by Steve
2 1,838
problems with a customer
LawnCareMan280
05-19-2015 06:28 PM
06-11-2015 10:50 PM
by stallman419
8 2,388
Website Review
Outdoordesignsknox
06-08-2015 08:44 PM
06-11-2015 09:48 PM
by Just for Cuts
13 2,280
Anyone need help? I have...
biglee
05-06-2015 12:22 PM
06-10-2015 01:45 PM
by holymoly
15 2,976
Hello from the GREAT...
gbfarmsllc
06-09-2015 11:10 AM
06-10-2015 01:29 PM
by Sprinkler Buddy
2 1,904
Hey guys and gals, I'm...
Joeyhall
06-03-2015 03:54 PM
06-08-2015 02:15 PM
by chris2500hd
8 2,151
Mowing Bermuda...
Mr. Mow
06-02-2015 12:45 PM
06-08-2015 12:45 PM
by Steve
12 2,309
Hey Guys
PrattLandscaping
06-07-2015 06:37 PM
06-08-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
2 1,919
Share your stolen...
SGL1
05-27-2015 09:05 PM
06-08-2015 11:54 AM
by Steve
25 2,867
Hello there My name is...
zwalk1839
06-04-2015 11:10 PM
06-08-2015 11:52 AM
by Steve
4 2,032
Laid off oil field...
Mr. Mow
05-30-2015 09:03 AM
06-08-2015 06:20 AM
by Mr. Mow
4 2,148
How do you find one time...
Greg'slawnandlandscape
06-02-2015 09:57 PM
06-05-2015 09:49 PM
by avetslawncare
4 2,066
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping advertising aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying billy goat brushcutter blowout bob villa bush commercial contract help deliquentaccounts demonstration design ditches equipment dealer equipment rental facebook flyers foreman free lawn care hardscapes hiring how to husqvarna increase customers landscape landscape services landscaping landscaping training lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn mowing marketing marketing secrets more customers business mulch new business ordinance patio install per hour charge per hour service plowing pricing profit on employee scag scripts secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell shreaded small engine repair snow plowing sq ft square foot steep lawns swzt trailer trailer mate pro tree trimmer rack up sell employee web design website website design winterization wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:32 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:32 PM.

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