Should your lawn care business do a lot of experimenting or focus on a few services?

How good can you get at performing a certain landscaping or lawn care service? Can you get good at performing such a service if you never have enough time to understand it thoroughly and perfect it? Can you really profit from performing a top notch service if you never get good at it? How can you compete and survive if you perform a lot of services marginally and none great? That is what one lawn care business owner discussed on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when he shared with us some of his insights and pondered what leads to success and what leads to failure.

He wrote “I have seen this happen too many times in the lawn care industry that I feel I need to point this out to other business owners. When you try to do too many things or offer too many lawn care / landscaping services, you will find that your time and energy is split between too many objects/ventures/ideas/services. I feel myself at that point right now. I can not place all my energy behind any one of my ventures/interests/ideas/services because I am trying to juggle too many of them. As a matter of fact, I feel like I can not even place enough energy behind any one of them to make them operate as well as they could. I can not do justice to any of them.

Early on in your lawn care business career, sure I can see experimenting with a bunch of different things, but once you find one or a few that seem to take off, you really should focus on it. If you don’t place all your energy behind it, you will never know how well it could have worked. Have you ever heard of the saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none?’ I feel like I am falling into those tracks and I feel it is hurting my profit margins.

I am not against having other ideas near by, but I don’t think after a point, we should hold them too close. If you do, I think you will find that you will never completely commit to any idea/venture/interest/service that you have chosen to ‘try’ first. I think as you go on, you need to spend more time doing background research and not just jump in head first into any random idea that pops into your head.You need to have a good idea about the costs to start up and offer additional services. What will your overhead be? What will your return on investment be?

After you have done some research, and considered it, you can get a good idea whether or not to hold the idea, or to discard it. Consider the following list:

  • Is there a market for this service/product in my field of influence?
  • What are my start up and continuing expenses going to be?
  • What will my product/service sell for?
  • Is the ROI worth my effort?
  • How stiff is the competition?
  • Do I have the mentality to make this work?
  • Will I have the interest to continue when the newness wears off?
  • How committed am I or can I be?
  • Do I have the knowledge to make this work?

I think failing to consider all or most of these points is what causes people to fail too many times.

One example is this: Some people do not have a green thumb. I am not being mean, I am simply stating a well known fact. Some people can just look at a plant and it grows. Where on the flip side, their neighbor gets within 50′ of that same plant and it shrivels up and dies promptly!

So, how does this apply to the topic at hand and the lawn care business? If, for example, someone without a green thumb considers starting a lawn care business and has no interest in learning the in and outs of the business, learning how to mow, trim, and blow a yard properly, do you think they will be successful? I highly doubt it. How are you going to compete with another company if they are REALLY into it and you are just doing it for extra cash?

I am by no means suggesting placing all of your eggs in one basket, but merely suggesting you make sure you have eggs to place in the baskets. And perhaps we all need to be committed to filling the first basket before we even reach for the second basket. The second and third baskets may be there, but you need to fill the first one first! Or everything is going to be half ass.

Commitment, my friend I say commitment!! Get good at one thing and do it well first before you spread yourself so thin you never learn what it is to be good at something. Business can happen, but it needs to be planned. Business can happen and be successful, but a person still needs to be there to drive it with commitment. Flowers need the gardener’s attention. Business needs the owner’s attention. Without it, they both perish.”

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