Why do we fail at business?

Why do so many of us fail at business? What makes it seem like it’s next to impossible for the average person to start a business? What kind of advice would you have to offer the average person, working a full time job who dreams of running a business? How should they even get to the point where they can find at least something they could do as a business, even part time? Why do so many of start up businesses fail? Those are the questions I asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and from those questions, I got a lot of great insights.

One lawn care business owner wrote “there are a lot of reasons that I can think of, maybe foremost is not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Here are some other reasons that stand out:

  • Business plan does not reflect proper research.
  • Start up financing was not sufficient.
  • A lack of marketing skills.
  • A lack of research of the business, I see this a lot. Most just don’t look for other service options to keep cash flow going and know who their competition is, what they charge etc.
  • Having too much money in receivables when it should be in your bank account.
  • Equipment issues.
  • Employees. There is an old saying you will only be as good as the people under you.
  • Growing too fast almost always leads to service level dropping.
  • Debt.
  • Lack of proper insurance because things can and will go wrong.
  • Poor sales skills.
  • Not knowing your costs or what to charge.

There are many more reasons, but these are the top ones that come to mind.”

A second lawn care business owner said “some people lack the drive and people skills required to run their business day to day. Not to mention, that when you’re an entrepreneur/business owner you have to either know who or when to hire someone to take on tasks or know how to complete them yourself. Like advertising, website development, door to door marketing, equipment maintenance. Having bad days in the start up period or any time you still need to be prepared to conquer all of that plus more, move on, and still hold your head up to give the next man a fair deal and smile about it.

I think it takes direction, it takes lessons learned, like budgeting money, being content, being frugal, and a lot of other trial and error lessons that you have to learn from. You can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again!

For instance like lowballing bids. That can not be done if you plan on staying in business. I would rather bid a 1-2 our tree job for $400 and not get it than bid it for $200 and it turn into a 3 hour job and a cut rope! Because if a rope gets cut or a saw drops from the lanyard, these things have to be repaired or new ones purchased. Just like with mowing. If I bid a mowing job at $25 to get the job even though I know it’s an overgrown mess worth at least $60 to do and somehow I miss a wire in the walkthrough, that could cost $40 - $100 or more in damages and repairs!

Running a business is a lot like having 3-5 part time jobs! Marketing, sales, inventory, management, labor, plus public relation skills. Some people can not gather the confidence to go door to door and make those all important sales. That’s a lot for the average Joe to handle without proper training.

Some are just ‘NOT CUT OUT FOR THE JOB’ but after a couple of trials and errors, things can get better.”

A third shared “another thing that causes businesses to fail is approaching business from a standpoint of desperation. Being desperate for lawn care customers means you are more likely to lowball your prices. Lowballed prices mean you make less profit (or no profit). No profit means you don’t have money to expand, fix equipment, advertise properly, and weather down times.

I think when a person is hungry/desperate, other people can sense it and they wonder why. I think to some extent we all like to do business with companies that ‘appear’ to be doing well, because we think, well if they can afford to drive that, or have that equipment, they must do good work.”

A fourth added “my biggest problem has been mismanagement and growing faster than the business could sustain itself, causing an ultimate implosion of the business. I am still trying to pull myself out of it but it has not been easy.”

Order the book “The Lawn Care Business Can Get Dirty, Ugly, And Mean.: Stories Of Survival And Success To Get You Through The Rough Times” today.

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success