As the common saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” Some landscapers shared in a forum on LawnSite.com that there are things they would do differently in their business if they had to do it all over again. Here are some of the changes these business owners would have made:
- I would have started younger and went to school sooner for it.
- 1. I wouldn’t have hired friends.
2. I would have been slower to hire and quicker to fire.
3. I would quit caring about employees issues at home.
4. I would have gotten into pest control instead of lawn maintenance.
5. [I would have avoided] lots of small business transactions that turned into disasters or regret, such as selling equipment I should have kept or keeping something I should have sold.
6. [I would change] not trying harder to become a people person when I was younger.
- 1. [Bought a] dump bed on truck from day 1.
2. Set up Quickbooks and get bookkeeping help.
3. Hire employees sooner.
- I would have immediately went after the very high-end market that I am in now first. Screw all those years wasted doing crap work for crap people who didn’t want to pay crap. I lost three years turning my wheels doing that stuff before I got smart.
- In my opinion, it’s all about the perception of the customer from the first impression. If I were to do it over again, I would get all of my licensing and certifications right at the start for every service I offered before advertising them as options. I would create a professional company image right from the beginning (clean, professional logo, business cards, website listing accreditations, etc.). With those things in place, I believe I could have generated more initial income, steady customer base and allowed for more time to be spent on business development rather than playing catchup with financing routine equipment maintenance, struggling to maintain services/customers and falling back/readjusting all the time.
- 1. Would not have grown so fast.
2. Would have done a better job of researching equipment and vehicles before I bought them
3. Would have stayed smaller — see point number one again!
4. Relentlessly recruit a good No. 2 employee sooner.
5. Would have discovered these types of networking opportunities sooner.
- Hired a CPA from the get go instead of waiting. Screw that extra work.
- When I first started I was still in high school. So, I started out very small. I would have changed a few things. The biggest things are start your prices off right — do not cut yourself short to start. It will backfire in the long run. I cannot do all the work myself, so I stepped back and hired three full-time mowing guys. I then went to two crews in the middle of last year, and it was the best thing we could have done. My guys were much more efficient and we could take on more work. The business started growing from there. I learned to get rid of any equipment/trucks that cost me an arm and a leg to repair monthly. I learned when your business can afford to buy new equipment it is beneficial to you and your business.
Join the Conversation on LawnSite: If You Had To Do It Over Again