How to prevent yourself from burning out and fading away.

Have you ever heard the old saying ‘can’t see the forest for the trees?’ In it’s simplest form, it means a person fails to see the big picture because they get so caught up in small and minor details. This is an issue that can effect many lawn care business owners. In this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we see how one business owner failed because he didn’t rise above to see the bigger picture. Instead, he got caught up in the day to day grind and ultimately ground himself to a halt.

A lawn care business owner wrote “I moved back to my home state a couple of years ago and for work, I helped my buddy who was running a small lawn service. I would work for him, cutting lawns and such as he was finding himself getting burned out of doing it himself. At a certain point he decided he just wanted out and I purchased his trailer and all equipment from him.

I got it all at a steal because of his mental state. All the equipment had very low hours and I also got his enclosed trailer. It was well worth the money!

Now I currently am servicing his old clients as well as picking up some new ones on my own.

The back story to this is really quite fascinating as it gives you a look into how a business can fail. When my friend got started in the lawn business, he was single, so he didn’t have much in the way of expenses. He was able to charge low prices and live off a slight profit. In fact, he seemed so clueless on how to price his lawn services that he had charged his customers the same low price for 4+ years. As his expenses slowly went up, his profits went down. Because this happened over such a long period of time, he just didn’t realize what was going on.

After a while of me working with him he became a father and a husband. These life changes also came with more bills he had to cover. With his new family he came to the conclusion he needed health care insurance and a stable income. He couldn’t figure on how to make his business grow because he was already maxed out with his time and making next to no profits from it.

The first thing I did when I took over the route was I raised the prices. I also walked each and every property to see where I could offer additional upsells and make more money on the same properties.

Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I started to look, I found more work. One lawn care customer has about $3000 in special projects she wants done such as:¬† mulching, planting seed in brown spots, installing bushes, compost and start preparing her garden for the planting season. Another customer wants her fence repaired. I quoted her $300 in labor for a new panel that should take me no time at all to replace.

After all this happened, I talked to my friend, the now previous owner of the business and he just didn’t care. He just wasn’t interested! When I asked him how come he never raised his prices or looked for additional upsells to offer he said he never did that because he was worried about what his customers we think and say about that. While here when I finally raised the prices none of them complained at all. GO FIGURE!

I am already on a roll with my new lawn care business and I know the secrets to my success will be in how I sell myself and my services. You always need to rise above and see the bigger picture. If you don’t, you will burn yourself out and slowly fade away.”

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