The little things broke our lawn care business.

You have heard the saying, it’s the little things that mean a lot. That saying can cut both ways. One side of it might mean you should really focus on the little issues if you want to make your lawn care business stand out. But on the flip side, it is the little things that can add up and destroy your lawn care business as well.

A member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum shared with us a story on how it was the little services that broke him. He wrote “I just recently re-started my lawn care business. Thankfully, things are finally starting to pick up a bit. I have to say, out of all the jobs I’ve had, this is definitely the most strenuous, but also the most rewarding. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I worked for a national lawn care fertilization company. After doing that for a number of years, I found myself tired of making someone else rich and decided that I wanted to try it on our own.

I think the thing I like the most is being my own boss and not having to report to someone else. Or having to beg my boss for time off or for a raise.

The first time I started my lawn care business, I thought working for another company would prepare me for what lay ahead, but I was wrong. I didn’t start my business alone, had my wife acting as the business cheerleader. She wasn’t able to really help all that much with the actual work, but she did generate several leads and jobs for me.

At my peak, I had over 20 accounts. I was doing all the manual work myself, while I was also working a regular 40 hour/week job. The money was rolling in and everything was great.

In the first year, I was thinking once summer was over, I would relax and take some well deserved time off. I didn’t really take it as seriously then as I should have. At first, it was just something to do to earn some extra cash, since I had a baby on the way at the time.

Not taking the business too seriously probably had a negative effect on the outcome. Another thing that really killed me was all the little extras I did.

I noticed around my area that people expect their lawn care service to be outstanding and want alot of extras but aren’t really willing to pay for it. This is something I had encountered on many occasions. Being the kind of person I am, I always was willing to go the extra mile. More often than not though, I felt like I was giving away my services and being taken advantage of.

When the end of the year rolled around, I felt physically exhausted. Then after looking over my finances, I couldn’t believe how little I made. The mixture of those two made me want to give it all up and I did.

After a year break I have decided to start it up again and this time, take my business more seriously. I plan to get on track and stay on track this time. I will still be willing to help people but I won’t give away the farm. I will be more wary of when a little extra is actually becoming another service that needs to be charged for. I will keep a better record of how long I spend at each location and make sure that I am charging for my time. I need to make the same amount of money per hour, regardless if I am mowing or pulling weeds.

It’s very important for us as business owners to charge for our time. For in the end, that is what we are offering. Our time. So be mindful of what you are giving away. Whether it be in time or coupon discounts, or other freebies. Make sure you know your costs and make sure you are focused on making a profit. If you don’t, you will become another failed business statistic.”

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The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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