Advice and Encouragement to finally Start a Lawn Care Business.
The question is from John and he is asking for encouragement on getting started with his lawn care business so let’s talk about that. I’m going to read his question. Hey, Jonathan we plan to use your software in the future. My wife and I are in the very early stages of starting our lawn care business. We haven’t even purchased a used truck or any of that equipment that we need yet. We have saved up one year of living expenses but I need to muster up the courage to leave my job. Do you have any words of encouragement?
First and foremost, saving up a year of money is a big so that’s awesome. That is a huge deal that isn’t entirely necessary to launch your business but man what a pad that that gives you. Now, with that being said I do think that there’s a risk of saying to yourself, based on what I just said, well you know what, I’m going to save for the next couple years and then I’ll start that business. Here’s your problem, you probably never get to it. Something else always happens. There’s always another reason to plan a little more. Get just a little bit more prepared. Have a little bit more money in the bank. Wait just a little bit longer. The longer you put this off, the longer it will be till you get any benefit, any of the benefits that come from owning the company. You’re going do your time so in terms of giving encouragement let’s be factual first.
Starting and building a company is hard. It’s a lot of work. It will not be easy. It will absolutely be at times like, why in the world am I doing this. It would just be easier to do what I used to do or go back and get a job or whatever the case maybe. That’s part of it. That’s going to happen for two reasons.
One, it’s just fricking hard. There’s a lot of stuff you have to do and you got to wear a lot of hats. You got to do a lot of the activities because you don’t have enough money to hire people yet. Two, there’s something going on that’s bigger than just building a business and it’s that you as a person, you’re growing, because it doesn’t matter if you’re running a $50,000 a year business or a $10 million a year company. At every stage and there’s all these stages as you’re growing this company, you have to develop into a new person to get that company over the next hump to the next financial level. There’s a reason why most guys hit a wall at $300,000 or half a million and just never get past it.
It’s a little bit to do with the challenges of the business. It’s mainly to do with the stuff in their head. It’s we are and I am my limiting factor. I know that and so we are the ones that hold our companies back. We either delay hiring more people because we don’t have confidence. We don’t spend the money on marketing. We don’t know what to do so we never take action because we’re not willing to learn whatever is we have to learn. We’re not willing to spend the money to consult with the guys that have already been down the road ahead of us. We’re not willing to read the books.
Oh, I’ve got a family and I’ve got kids and I just don’t really have any time. Oh, I’ve got all these other commitments or I have all these little things that I have to do in my business and we put all that other crap in front of what we’ve really got to get accomplished. Don’t take that wrong. I’m not saying you don’t spend time with your family or kids. I’m just saying if you want to be successful you figure it out. You create a plan and you make it happen so that they get time and your business gets time. When you’re working on your business you’re focusing on the right stuff and you’re not wasting time on anything you don’t have to waste time on so that you can be learning and educating and growing your skill set so that you can have breakthroughs in your business and get you past those humps. This is tough. It’s a tough business but that’s also the exciting thing about this business or any business to that degree.
When you as a person, you go through this pain and you develop your skill set, your ability. You have this confidence and you know that if it all falls apart you can take that skill and you can go on to the next thing, the next business. Where after you build this business, if you build it to a certain size, you can do it again maybe in a completely different industry. There’s real power that comes with that and that’s exciting but you got to go through a bunch of pain to do it. That’s part of the process but it’s totally worth it. You’ve got to just, I guess you’d say, dig deep and stay the course. It will payoff if you’re getting an education and doing the right things and learning. I say doing the right things very intentionally because you could do 10 years or 20 years and get nothing because you’re doing the wrong things or you’re thinking inaccurately.
You can tell yourself all kinds of stories and say, well if I just do this or that or if I just market this way or marketing doesn’t work. There’s a million things you can tell yourself but if you’re wrong you tell yourself this story well marketing doesn’t work. I’ve just did my market got to go slower and got to get my business through referrals because marketing just doesn’t work here. The clients in my market they don’t ever use the internet. They don’t find companies like us on the internet or in my market direct mail doesn’t work or whatever the case maybe. You could be telling yourself that story and hinder your growth but you could be dead wrong. You’ve got to make sure that you’re thinking accurately and that comes from educating yourself. Surrounding yourself with people that have done it so that’s first.
One, it’s going to be hard. Two, you’ve got to develop yourself. Not developing yourself is going to only let you get so far. You may become a million dollar company but you won’t become five. You may become a $500,000 company but you may not become a million because you didn’t develop your ability enough and so you were the limiting factor. The next point I’ll point out so I’m giving you all these negatives first but let me. I hope there’s some encouragement here. As you develop yourself that is huge. That is just huge. Would you want to go back and be a 15 year old kid again and not know all the stuff you know now and all the dumb things and all the stuff you could’ve avoided or done better? Probably not.
It’s the same kind of thing after you really develop your ability and your skill set and your know how. You don’t really want to give that up because it’s so incredibly valuable and you realize how few of your competitors and how few people actually will do what it takes. You put tremendous value into that ability that you’ve invested greatly and gone through a little pain to gain. There’s tremendous value in satisfaction. It comes from that so let that be a little bit of encouragement. You are going to go through some stuff but on the other side you will be a totally different person and it’s nice to be a totally different person than everybody else. It’s nice to have confidence that you can take care of your family or you could go build the next thing if the whole world or your whole business falls apart. It’s nice to know that you can make it happen. That’s big. That I hope is a huge encouragement for you.
Next to be living in the world of reality, if you’re married, if you have a spouse. Your spouse has to be bought it. This is not a scenario where you start a company and next year you guys are living in a big old huge house, driving awesome cars, and taking vacations anytime you want. This is an investment. You both have to believe together that look we’re going to have to spend some time investing in this thing, building it but on the other side it will be big.
In the short term yeah, we’re going to go through some pain here but on the long term, for the rest of our life, we’re going to have this thing that takes care of us and provides for us financially and gives us and maybe our kids totally different lifestyle than they could’ve ever got. Where if you have kids, shows them a completely different example of what is possible in life. What they can become. What they could achieve. How maybe they can live life on their terms versus what everybody else says they have to do in life. The way everybody else says they have to act and conform. Going off slightly here but maybe that’s a bit of encouragement. Think about that.
One, it’s hard and your spouse has to be bought it because if he or she is not then that’s going to be a massive drain on your mental capacity because you come home at night and there’s all this stress and you’re not both moving together down the same road. That’s tough. You’ve got to have that support and you both need to be realistic. This is going to take a number of years. It’s going to take a number of years to get comfortable where okay, we can kind of breath a sigh of relief here. We’re okay. We’re not getting rich but we’re okay. Then after that it’s going to take a number of years of additional investment to really get the business to a point where it’s doing really really well.
Let’s say five years. Let’s say it’s five years before you’re really rocking and rolling. It takes time and five years may sound like too long of an investment. Well, if you’d rather be an employee or you’d rather do whatever your doing now, that you dislike, because you’re not willing to do five years of time. Well, then that means that whatever this thing you’re doing now, that you don’t like, you can do it for the rest of your life because you weren’t willing to do five years of pain. I’m not even saying it’s going to be five years of pain. I’m just saying it’s going to take a number of years to really get this thing rocking and rolling. You’re going to go through some period of pain. Heck you could be making $400,000 a year take home and you’re going to go through pain because you’re going to be getting your company to the next level and dealing with some of that problem.
This stuff never goes away you just encounter new challenges. Go into this with your spouse knowing that this is going to take years of investment but on the back end we’re building something big here. Let that be encouragement to you but also be realistic about it. Have that conversation with your spouse. Together you guys will have a far better life in the long term by doing this together and pushing through and knowing that it’s going to be challenging, maybe a bit scary.
Next, I would say in terms of giving yourself encouragement or giving you encouragement the way you’re going to get confidence to do this is you’ve got to learn sales and marketing. I have this thing that this conclusion I’ve come to and that is that marketing know how, real marketing know how, is confidence. Confidence let’s you make big decisions. It gives you again, the confidence to go hire somebody so office help or office secretary, an operations manager, an assistant. Go ahead and hire another person for the crew that you think you might start in a couple months.
You don’t have that confidence if you’re not certain you can drive new business, get new business. You’ve got to become a marketing expert. You don’t have to be the best you just need to learn this stuff because then you know you can bring in business. Then you know you can spend money. Then you know you can hire people. Then you know you can invest in your business. Then you know you can do all these things that make you better than all of your competitors but if you don’t know where the foods going to come from tomorrow because you don’t know where the new clients are going to come from or if your clients are going to come back, you have no control. Therefore, you have no confidence.
It all goes back to marketing so to encourage you here if you and don’t wait to become a marketing expert. Don’t do that first before you start your business. Do it at the same time. So start your business but start educating yourself at the same time on marketing that way you have the confidence to build this thing. That should be big encouragement. That’s the secret. If you will learn marketing then it will change everything and you will be ahead of everybody else so do that. Educate yourself. Spend the time and you will be successful.
The reason most people fail is because they can’t get enough business. If they can get enough business, the next reason most people fail is because they can’t cash flow that business. They run out of money. They overspend. They live too big of a lifestyle. They don’t manage their money properly and they didn’t price right so they don’t have enough profit. There’s a bunch of scenarios but the first one is you got to drive business. You’ve got to bring in business. That’s your marketing. That breeds confidence so solve that problem. Then the next hump is cash flow and profit and correct pricing. If you’re on top of that one, you’ll get past that hump too. You’ll be successful. So know that you will be successful by learning marketing so just do it. There is no alternative.
I’ll end with this. No amount of planning, that means no amount of writing a business plan that I think is pretty close to a complete waste of time but most people disagree with me. This over planning stuff. This I’m going to save a little bit more money stuff and there’s some value in saving money. Don’t get me wrong there because having a pad and not running yourself into big debt, that’s a big deal. It’s so easy to tell ourself a story and say, oh, if I just get this one thing right or if I learn this one more thing or if I just prepare this thing or if I just write my business plan a little bit better. By the way, the reason I dislike business plans. I don’t mind having a plan. You should have a plan but you don’t need a 20 page business plan because you’re not going to follow it.
Day one, it’s all out the window. You do whatever you got to do to eat so you can have a plan and you should make notes about your plan but you don’t need an official business plan. Total waste of time. Don’t get caught up in the over planning. Do it. You can plan, read. You can do all of that all day long. The day you start the business again all out the window. Everything will change.
You’ll quickly realize that wow, all the advice I’ve been getting from guys that have little bitty businesses or have never done it. All the books I’ve been reading. Ah, you know what, that was helpful but it’s not really. It’s not a big help. That stuff will resonate with you. That learning will most resonate with you when you’re in the middle of having the pain growing the business. I can have you read a marketing book right now but until you experience it. Until you do it. Until you grow your business to a certain size where you’ve got to actually solve that problem. You could reread that same book and suddenly something resonates. You read that before but it never meant anything to you. Now you’re in the middle of it. Now you’re dealing with it. Then you read it, wow, it’s the answer.
Some of this stuff that you’re going to read and plan for are going to be meaningless till you’re actually at a point where you have pain and you need that help. Then when you read that stuff it makes sense so you can’t just read and consume information in advance. You’ve got to get started. You got to do it. If you don’t do it you have no hope of ever learning the lessons you’ve got to learn to get past the first several years that are a challenge so just do it. Go for it. It will change everything.
The encouragement here is you get to run the show. That means you have a lot more responsibility than going to a 9 to 5 but that’s also kind of cool. You will grow your ability, your skill set, yourself as a person, in a massive way. That’s awesome in my opinion. You will have the potential to maybe make more money. You will have and hopefully so if you build it right you will. You’ll have the potential to eventually take better care of your family and take more vacations. All of these things are possible. Money is just a part of it. It’s all the other stuff that I think is super exciting. It’s the who you become in the process. Knowing that you are in control. Knowing that you are guiding your future. You’ve just got to do it and I hope you will because it will absolutely totally change your life. Good luck.