I joined the forum, I believe this spring. I started reading it last September off and on as I started to do my research trying to decide if I wanted to leave the company I was running and start another new company. Traffic here has always been steady but I haven't been around as long as most.
What I do see is a lot of fellows getting into this business, if the new posts here are any indication, there must be a massive amount of people starting lawn care. Why?? Because it doesn't cost a lot, doesn't require a lot of skill to start, yes there is a learning curve however it is not beyond the average person.
I learned something years ago, no matter how tough the economic situation is, there are still needs our clients will have and they will pay for.
There is a family here in Nova Scotia, the Sobey family. They are the Bill Gates of Grocery stores, I believe they are the largest in Canada.
The founder Frank Sobey had a small store and delivered groceries with horse and wagon, anyhow during the depression he looked at clients needs and decided to start building movie theatres, guess what??? It was a hit even though people had next to no money, Sobeys now own, I believe all but 3 movies theatres in Atlantic Canada, they are massive
I became very close friends with two of his sons while in the banking industry as I did all their financing, his boys taught me a lot, things they learned from their dad, we are still good friends.
The only people close to me that supported this Yard Care business was my kids, probably because they know me better than anyone. My friends thought I had lost my mind, 9 years ago I took a small security company of 9 employees, high debt, loosing money over from a lawyer friend, the goal as to get it making a little money and sell, that was his (major shareholder) goal not mine, I took a 48% ownership and very little pay and went at it, as of January we were 451 employees, no debt and the largest in Canada, I did not do this on my own, I hired skilled people for the various areas of the company, our gross revenue for last year was 7.2 million, why leave it??? It was time to move on and find a new challenge, aside from that I am in my mid 40's and wanted a business that would allow me to work outside.
Now my friends look at the Yard Care and laugh, how is it you do this Andy is a constant question. Yes it takes money to make money, I was able to jump start a few months by putting my own money in however what I did is no different than I have done in the past, where is my money coming from, what is it this client needs that they are not getting, what can we do better, with that in mind the plan is set and I go after it.
Friends in the community say I have a horseshoe up......not true at all, I am focused on the clients needs and driven to meet them, it's actually quite simple. I have ideas, services and plans that I haven't even rolled out yet as what I started doing has put the company under a lot of stress to keep up, so it's time to let things settle a bit then introduce other ideas.
So folks my point is no matter how bad things get, stay focused on clients needs, watch what they do that you could, you will be successful.