title:Lawn & Landscape Business Owners – Don’t Buy Yourself A Job author:Kevin Whiteside source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_2805.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:06 category:business_and_finance article:

Most businesses consist of the owner only or the owner and a few employees. The owner continues to do the same activity whether it is labor or crew management for many years. He gets into the “comfort zone” or “rut” and does the same thing day in and day out.
You need to put your time and energies into growing your lawn business or landscape business. This needs to be directed toward advertising, marketing, or other services.
Good employees are needed to run the daily activities of a lawn business.The things you are doing now.Filling your labor or management position is crucial for your continued growth.
Some people tell me that it’s tough or scary to let the employees run a large part of the business.
Yes, it may be uncomfortable but you need to ask yourself “Do I want to be doing the same activity in my business 5, 10, or 15 years from now. If you do that’s fine.
So what we have are 2 choices 1. Do the same activity in your business years from now that you are doing today 2. Put some major responsibility on the eployees and GROW your business.
Number 2 is not easy and can be difficult and stressful.
You have to, have to, have to think about the FUTURE and the end result.
Your business should not become dependent on you. Additionally, I’ve seen many employees actually do a better job in the position the owner gave up than the owner.
The owner should spend time

Advertising
Marketing
Making the business more profitable
Building relationships w/ customers
Internet and website
Adding additional services

Write a plan and clear objective of how to make a successful lawn business run without you.
Don’t just turn your employees lose and say go get em.Make sure they all know their job. Everything will work much smoother this way.
Give employees titles and certain responsibilities, and hold them accountable. Titles can make employees feel wanted and appreciated. When they do something good acknowledge it and praise them. If they screw up, introduce them to a better way to avoid the problem the next time. Encourage them to ask questions. Tell them there are no stupid questions just stupid mistakes.
You must listen to their needs not just hear what they are saying. Ask them occasionally, “Do you see any areas that can be improved upon or do you have any suggestions to make the business run smoother?” Ask them about the chemistry of the crew such as “Is there someone here slowing the crew down or is a disruption to the performance?”
We talked about the comfort zone earlier. I want to share with a short story..
There was a native tribe in South America who had been dying prematurely from a strange sickness for many generations. Scientists were sent in to find out the cause of the strange disease. It was finally discovered that the disease was caused by the bite of an insect, which lives in the walls of their homes. The natives had several options:

They can destroy the insects with insecticides
They can destroy and rebuild their homes
They can move to another location where there are no such insects
They can continue to live at the same place and die early, as they had been doing for generations.

The saddest thing is that they chose to remain as they were and died early.
THE POINT IS- It is sad that most people have fear and don’t like changes. They are comfortable with what they are, where they are, and they would rather die than change. The comfort zone is a dangerous place to be in, and you may not even realize that you are in it.
You have all this money invested in equipment and if are doing the same activity in the business that you really aren’t happy doing, you have actually “Bought Yourself a Job”. Please don’t make that mistake.
Best of Luck

ZZZZZZ

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