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For those new guys that want to be business owners from a wise landscaper must watch

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Very good video!  Sad part is even people that have been in business for a while still don't get it.. I argue with the owner often about lowering prices.. He is scared they will walk away , well let them go someone else will come along.. Now I am saying this from a mechanics standpoint , but I have been doing this for a pretty long time now .. I had a customer the other week start to haggle me on price I saw the owner coming and I stepped in his way and told him hold on I got this.. After a short talk with the customer and me explaining why we charge what we do and giving the customer a scenario of how would you like it if you boss asked you to work for half you hourly wage for half the day what would you say . Of course you get the, I wouldn't do it, so I say well why are you asking me to do that??  Then I always say you are welcome to go somewhere else and usually they give in just as this guy did.. The owner still doesn't understand the importance of standing firm.. He tells me he just doesn't have the gift of speech .. B.S. everyone does use it be fair but firm... 

I once apon a time was very interested in opening my own shop, but now not so much... There is just so much that goes along with it not to mention I have spent the last 26 years honing my skills, and I like turning wrenches.. In this business now a days I am think it is way to hard to be both a shop owner and a mechanic you need to choose one or the other right now I like to go home after work , I like to if affordable take a vacation or just a week off and not have to think about the business. 

I think this forum and doing research lead me to the not so much opinion on opening a shop, but I am grateful for that . I wouldn't want to of jumped in head first and not been aware of what was coming at me or what I was in for.. although I had some idea.  I may of spent a lot of money and decided this is not for me. Instead I stayed my course , may not be the most lucrative course but for now It pays the bills and keeps peace in the household. 

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Great video and great biz advice. Most small biz owners start out just like he did. I know I did. I spent the first 12 years as the lowest paid employee at my shop. Bad location, even worse marketing, and a horrible expense structure. I finally got my act together but damn it was hard. The best way I know to make sure you're not discounting your way to the poor house, at least in my case, is to hire an advisor and remove the owner from the front counter. Then tell the advisor that he's not allowed to discount, and make his pay plan discourage discounting.

I did get a couple of great pieces of advise in the early years. First was from a Vietnamese guy who ran a computer shop. He said if you're busy, hire someone. Don't worry about having enough business to keep him busy all the time. The work will come.

The second was from my sister-in-law, the hair stylist. She told me every time she gets too busy and is scheduling people out too far, she raises her prices. Some customers go away so she's less busy, but makes the same amount of money.

You have to learn to strike a balance between hiring another employee to keep up with demand and raising your prices to reduce demand. Of the two, hiring another employee is the more profitable, but both have their place, and sometimes it's appropriate to do both at the same time. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know this fellow, Keith, he has helped untold new business owners with his videos dealing with landscaping and other small businesses. Really a nice fellow and wants others to learn from his mistakes. Have never seen a body shop owner or service center owner ever talk this way and try to help the 'new guy' start up.

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