The business you create reflects a lot about you. Some entrepreneurs want to build the biggest business they can imagine while others want to stay small. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we look into how one business got big and why others decided it wasn’t the right move for them. Which route you choose is up to you, but at the very least, you should continue learning so that you can scale your business up if the right situation presented itself.
One lawn care business owner wrote “in one month, my wife and I will be starting our third year in business. A lot has happened in those past two years. But I can sum it up for you guys in a few short sentences. Go big. If don’t, you will never be that big maintenance crew you see around town.
I don’t think there is any thing wrong with being a one man band, I’ve had more than one headache from growth and employees this year. But I got into this business to support myself and my family and to do that I need to make money.
The one piece of advice I can give anyone who is looking to grow, is when you find that one lawn care employee who’s going take some weight off your shoulders, take care of them! Finding quality employees is a difficult process.
I hate to talk about my success and I don’t want to be one of the guys who brags but I have over taken a lot of the competition and put a big hurt on the the ones who are left. I am planing on continuing my expansion into the next two nearest towns next year. The way I have done this is I run my business very aggressively. If there is a market that I want, I will under-cut the competition and make little to no money just to get the work. I do this with the goal of starving the competition out. Then I will adjust my price once they have moved on. Even with my competitive pricing strategy, I don’t sacrifice quality no matter what.
Most guys who are starting up, aren’t going to know of the resources I have available.¬† For instance, today I received confirmation that I won a large government contract for snow removal. There is no way a one-man operation could cover this massive job. While some of the staff is plowing, I will have other staff shoveling the walkways. Certainly a one-man band could do that, but they would not be able to finish before the 5:00 a.m. requested time.
I push hard every day and push my guys too. A lot of my new employees can’t handle that we mow 150 yards in four days. Fridays are for maintenance and washing. We already have a waiting list for next year which means I will need more guys and more equipment.
As I see it, some guys are happy with a piece of the cake, not me, I want the plant that makes the cake mix.
I would caution anybody looking to expand. You need to have a stable base and a plan on how to keep things stable. A business that is on an up-swing right now could become stagnant in the next season. I have the cash reserve to sustain my business if such a season were to happen.
Where I live you can never count on the snow. My cash reserves have already saved my business the first winter. As your business grows, your reserves need to grow along with the it.”
A second lawn care business owner said “I actually like working for myself and by myself. A few times this past year my wife has come out to help me and I had to go back behind her and do things the way I like it done.
I can make a bit over a $1,000 a week working by myself and not have to worry about what some one else is doing.
That is just the way I feel, others I am sure will want to spend their time going out bidding while letting their employees do the work for them, that is just not me though.”
A third shared “I like my small one man operation at the moment. Maybe down the road I might hire my sons or nephews to help out but that would be it.
I know guys who loved the job when they started out just like me but now, not so much. One is a big time company now with 100 or so employees but he is so miserable. Managing his company takes up his whole life. He just bought a 1/2 million dollar home, but he is hardly ever there. He has a collection of sports cars, ATV, and Boats with no mileage on them because the company is totally consuming him.
I don’t want that, no way. Money is nice but I want to enjoy it and not be a slave to it.”
Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.