Running a lawn care business, just like any other business can be tough. It can be challenging. We grow up in a world where people are always telling us what to do. What time to show up. What time to leave. How much we will be paid. We dream of one day being out there on our own. Calling the shots. Being in charge. Then if we are lucky, all our dreaming and planning comes together and we start our own business. This isn’t where the story ends, but instead it’s merely the beginning. New battles lay ahead for us to fight. New obstacles will present themselves for us to overcome. During a lull in the battle, we may wonder, what the hell are we doing with our lives? That is what one lawn care business owner questions when he wrote us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
This lawn care business owner wrote “I don’t know what brought it on. I was not even working on a yard when it popped into my head. I was simply driving down the road enjoying the air conditioning in my new truck and thought to myself, ‘what’s the point.’ I thought later that it’s not worth making the money if I don’t have time to enjoy it so maybe that has something to do with it but honestly I don’t know what happened.
I mean I take 2 days off every week. Normally I work 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Lately though it seems more like 12 hours per day 7 days a week. There just is no time to sit.
I have a very odd urge of not wanting to do this anymore. The thought just came out of nowhere and I don’t understand it. I am making good money, I enjoy the work and it’s not really hard work so what gives? Anyone ever get in this situation? I almost did just say screw it I quit but I then thought I should wait a moment, sit back, and think this over.
I worked very hard to get the lawn care customers I have and have worked very hard making and keeping them happy so quitting would more than likely be very detrimental to ever trying to start up again. Any advice to get through these times? Maybe it’s just that things are not moving fast enough for me. I am wondering if maybe my problem is that I don’t yet have enough work to do this full time so therefore I have to still work my regular full time job. At the same time I have to juggle the kids, their education, family and everything. Maybe this all on top of trying to operate a lawn care business is just too much? It doesn’t make much sense because I have never had this feeling before.”
A second lawn care business owner sympathized with his situation and shared his insights on how he deals with these things. He wrote “I have gone through this myself, many times.
Some times I wonder why I ever started a lawn care business and I often think I’m just wasting my time. Because I have gone over this a number of times in my head, I decided to think about the pro’s and con’s of running my own business and I wrote them down. Maybe by reading this, it will help you see that you are not alone in this. I feel it’s something we all battle.
Why I should continue:
1. I hated school, high school was enough. I don’t want to go back for any more education.
2. It’s great exercise.
3. You get an awesome tan.
4. It makes you a man! Real men pull their weight and make mountains move.
5. Without challenges, life would shrivel up and become boring, really fast.
6. You have personal freedom and power when working for yourself. This also includes the bragging rights that go along with it!
7. The job is demanding, though it’s actually very simple! It’s almost hard to believe people pay us to cut their grass!
8. People look up to you for help and answers, you are the boss!
Why I thought I should stop:
1. Sometimes it seems liker there is always a problem, and it’s never manageable and will delay you by a long shot.
2. Everyday feels like you’re going to war. There is so much preparation in order to become that walking piece of sod I feel like at the end of the day.
3. You have to chase customers and crew around. Basically you have to solve everything for them. Sometimes these problems are so freaking small that it’s irritating enough that you just want to smack them!
4. You spend so much time trying to organize your business, yet it’s never organized. The weather, and the broken equipment all seem to be the actual bosses. Basically EVERYTHING gets in the way and you can be stopped dead in your tracks in a heartbeat.
5. You don’t ever seem to get ‘real’ time off. Time off consists of phone calls, customers needing jobs done which drag you back to work. It can be great money, but it can be a pain. Sometimes you wish customers didn’t hire you to do a job, just so you could relax & get back to organizing. It’s a shame because we all want to do the job! If we don’t, we look bad, and it’s someone waving money in our faces, we want it!
6. When we arrive home, we just want to relax. Which can be bad, because it would be nice to have energy to spare for other activities and for your family and friends, etc.
7. We think we have all the answers, but we don’t know how to implement them in our own business without being nervous. For instance, what if we want to raise our prices, what will happen? Will we lose our best customers? Will we have to start all over building up our clientele?
8. Days can really suck. If you are sick, injured, your day is going to be a nightmare.
9. You can come home & take a shower, but most of the grass seems to be so stuck to you that it seems to follow you where ever you go. You’ll either be washing your sheets all the time. Or give up like me & just come home & lay down in a grassy bed.
10. You will always imagine there are better things to do other than lawn service, though you can’t ever seem to find it!
Anyway, at the end of the day I know I love my job. It has it’s ups & downs. The real downer would be to disappoint my customers by being too expensive and them not being able to afford lawn care anymore. It’s a big scare for me. You can lose money over anything in this business, if you don’t sleep with one eye open and constantly re-think your thoughts.
The up side is, we are giving it a shot and making money. We are living the dream of being our own boss. This is something most people just can’t do. They can’t even fathom. We are owners, and not hired help. We are great!”