Closing our landscape doors with lessons learned.

Have you ever gotten that burned out feeling from your business when you are in the peak time of the mowing season? A member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum had been getting it for years and ultimately decided he was going to try something different. Check out his story below on what he decided to do about it and the lessons he learned that caused that burned out feeling.

One lawn care business owner wrote “after 12 years in the landscape business, and almost 20 years in the green industry, I have decided to close our doors.

This has been something we have talked about the last two years, and we had a great opportunity to sell off parts of the business and move on into consulting for lawn and landscaping companies instead.

We have helped companies in the past with cost cutting consulting strategies and we have been receiving such great feedback from it. So with that said, we decided to go into business consulting full time instead. With our experience in the green industry and the methods we have learned to apply to our business, we are really looking forwards to helping out other green industry businesses. We are still going through the process of setting up our website and social media presence. But we are open for business.

Back to the selling part. We have been going through the fine details of selling off part of the business for about six months now, and we finally reached an agreement about three weeks ago. It will be a phased process of where we shut down the majority of the business the end of this year, and completely finish the entire process by the end of next year.

The phase out actually starts this coming week with some pesticide clients. The process will involve first eliminating the pesticide service, and no longer subbing out the lawn mowing because we are eliminating that totally. Then we move on to other services and other service route areas. This has been a planned out process we have been working hard on.

This has been a family decision going on since about July of last year. Two years ago was an amazing year (our best year to date), but we were starting to get burnt out. Last summer we were starting to give some serious consideration of moving on. We had two options, either keep on growing more and more, or just move on to something else. I personally had already felt like I have accomplished so much, and that I wanted out. It’s one of those things you want to feel like you are going out on top. We have completed some awesome projects, got featured in some of the trade magazines, and we were ready to move on.

In regards to selling off the business it’s not an easy task. I am lucky enough that one of my subs was really interested. He was actually making more of a move from mowing into the pesticide area. So it was just a perfect timing. We talked about everything for a while, and finally worked out a deal.

I have had experience before in the past of almost being bought out (about 8 years ago), and trying to buy out another guy (about 4 years ago). So I knew already what to expect, and what I could offer that was reasonable.

I think everyone goes through that burnt out feeling every year. I know that every year, normally it seemed around July, I was ready for a break. It’s good to schedule some vacation and get away from things. Take a step back and look at the business again. Perhaps the burnt out feeling is not necessarily you are tired from this ‘type’ of work, but just tired in general. If you find yourself in this situation, look into hire some office staff or another part time guy to take some of the work load off.

I have always been the type to work my butt off, charge top dollar, and then move on to the next project. Why take four hours to do a job, when if you bust your butt you can have it done in 2 hrs? I have not been one to pace myself and it caught up to me.

One of the lessons I learned is that we all need to look at what is working and not working within our business. Take a long hard look at the area, the competition, your pricing, etc. If your market is a lower income area, then perhaps you should consider moving the operation to a different city or different county. If some services are more profitable than others, consider scaling up your marketing for those more profitable services and scale down the least profitable ones. Do the research and find who your ideal demographics are and then find where they are at.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

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