I think most new lawn care business owners will go through a time when they sit for a moment and really question what it is they are doing. Are they making enough? Do they have enough customers? Is this business of theirs going to work or is it failing and they just haven’t accepted it yet? That is what one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wondered when he asked “I’m sure a lot of people ask this question, when is enough enough already? Is enough enough when you just don’t enjoy it anymore? When it gets harder to make ends meet? How long must I be on the end of the losing side before I give up?”
I have been tossing this very idea around a lot lately in my head. My personal situation is as follows, I am really not making any money. I am staying in the black but just barely. After gas and other expenses I may have like $5 per month extra that I can’t even touch but rather must put in the bank just in case another piece of equipment breaks down. Right now with our weather I only have one regular client who only gets his lawn mowed once per month for $40. So my business is taking in $40 per month right now. I am starting to just not enjoy it anymore. I figure that’s it I quit. I have a few other business ideas that I am thinking about experimenting with, so maybe I will quit and focus more on them but for some reason I keep going with my lawn care business. I say I quit but then tomorrow I get right back at it. It strange to me, I feel like I have
1- No money
2- No clients
3- Not enjoying it
4- Far less time with family
I have only been in business for 7 months. So far being under a year old and in a failing economy I am still managing to keep it in the black each month which I guess says a lot for itself. I just figure since this is not my time at starting a business I should have skipped a lot of early traps and pulled a profit sooner, I don’t know. I guess so long as it stays in the black maybe its worth hanging onto a little while longer. I feel the clear answer is QUIT but for some reason I just can’t. I don’t know its weird.
I guess I shouldn’t complain about too much. 7 month after my start up I am making a profit. I am just extremely disappointed on how slow things are going. I am holding down so much right now I know a lone man can’t do this forever so I hope to god this being my 2nd year that this really takes off so I can let go of my day job and finally relax for 3 minutes a week. Right now its just go go go go from 5am until nearly midnight every night 7 days a week. Lawn care is making me so little right now, which is why I believe it has a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like I have tried everything so far and nothing has worked for me. I understand every situation is different and what works for one won’t for another but nothing seems to work for me.”
One lawn care business owner said “If you’re not succeeding/excelling in this business after 1.5-2 years you might consider getting a job working for someone else.”
Another suggested “Here is what I recommend for you. After only 7 months, do not give up you are half way there. However, as a start up you should not be hiring anyone, keep it a solo gig until you can’t handle it anymore by yourself. You really should work alone for 1.5-2 years to get the company off the ground before¬† you can hire someone.
Later you can add a part time helper, for one day a week, only when you really need it or you feel yourself burning out. One a month tops, unless you get some big clean up job that requires extra help.”
A third lawn care business owner said “when you are new in the business, there is a tendency to think big however, thinking about being a million dollar company after 7 months is a bit absurd. Most companies don’t even turn a profit for the first 5 years. I’m sure you’ve heard of the 5 year business plan.
After enough time, there is no reason a properly run and operated lawn/landscaping company can’t be a multi million dollar a year business. I know of several of them. You are just not going to see it over night or out of most companies.
There are a lot of people in the industry because they can’t get a job anywhere else. Because of that, they are not business educated nor do they have any interest in making more than a bare minimum of cash. I am not one of those people, my net will surpass 6 figures this year. A true entrepreneur should always be striving for more! I will be starting 2 more companies this year also in the service industry. While some might make more money than others, it’s foolish to close any business, other than a complete loser. Give it time, work on it and you will see your business grow.”