If only we could look into a crystal ball and see our future. Did what we dream of come true or did that dream turn into a nightmare. When you are getting your lawn care business started, you wouldn’t think your original plans and goals may lead you straight off a cliff, but you would be surprised.
Reading the stories of others on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum really can awaken you to what can go wrong in the business world. When you can see what has happened to others around you who may be ahead of you, it gives you a chance to pause and then reflect for a moment if you can learn from others experiences and find a better outcome than they found.
A new lawn care business owner shared with us just such an experience I hope will make you think. He wrote “I recently moved to Florida from New Jersey where I owned a gas station/auto repair business. I was very busy and pretty much burned myself out and was hating life. I worked 12 to 14 hrs. a day with no end in sight to the headaches. One day I decided I had enough and sold out. Then I moved to Florida, where grass grows 12 months a year.
When I got down here I wanted to start fresh with a new business in a new industry. After speaking with local business owners and other people in the know, I decided the money was in any type of home maintenance service. I next purchased an existing lawn care business because I already had business experience and knew what it took to be successful. I did not want to waste time growing one from scratch and I had some money so this was the best step for me.
The business owner I was referred to had very new equipment, and the customers were all bunched together real nicely so not a lot of travel time was being wasted. This lawn care business owner got too big to fast. He was an individual with no business experience and lost control of it. That is why he opted for the easy way out..to sell cheaply. I found it to be a money maker right away.
I am still growing and do not advertise. I prefer to get referrals from existing customers. I have been getting about 1-2 new lawn care accounts a week and have just about all I want. I work alone too. I don’t want employees again. Employees are expensive. The number of lawns I would have to take on just to cover the employee is not worth it to me. I have always been a firm believer if you price right and work honestly, the money is there. Remember this… just because you are bigger doesn’t mean you are making more money, but you can guarantee you will get more headaches.
I have also found good money to be in the “extras” of the lawn care business. Upselling such services as hedge trimming, fertilizing, roundup spraying garden areas and irrigation system maintenance. Every house here has an irrigation system, and they all need work. Either adjustment to the heads or the sprinkler units need to be dug up and reset. It’s all great money money$$$$. You just have to look for it.
To find success in this or any other business you need to stay honest. Look your customer in the eye and explain the work needed. If you do this, the customer will agree to the extra work, maybe not right away, but all seem to come around within a short time.
Another secret I learned was to keep Wednesdays open. This gives me a recovery day from rain or a day to do an “add-on” job for customers in a very timely manner. I do the same with Saturdays as well. I work 1/2 day on lawns as needed, but that leaves time for extras or lawn mowing down time recovery if needed elsewhere along my mowing route. If there are any jobs to catch up on, I go home and relax and have a nice weekend. I DONT WORK SUNDAYS!
I could keep going on but what I found was this was a great decision. Buy and existing lawn care business and start making money right away. Then let the business buy equipment as you feel you need.