Conducting business: In the office or out of a truck?

Updated Nov 9, 2018

Dsc01043When a landscaping business gets to a certain size, landscapers deal with a problem many don’t face in small business.

That problem? Whether or not to work in the office or out of a truck.

When landscapers start gaining crews and foremen to help handle the client-facing side of the business, some landscapers deal with the question of whether or not it is worth it to be working out of a truck anymore.

There are pros and cons to every side, and it really comes down to a preference for the landscaper.

Some prefer to be out in the field, visiting with clients every day while others enjoy the hands-off approach and handle more of the office materials back at home base. Both have worked for many businesses.

Here are some pros and cons for each arrangement:

Working in the office pros:

  • Get a good understanding of the finances and numbers on a daily basis
  • Manage office materials
  • Handle clients that come to the main office
  • Be the one-stop-shop for communication for managers and foremen when they come back to the office
  • Handle emergency issues one the spot

Working in the office cons:

  • Less familiar with clients and their stories
  • Less familiar with projects and the timetable of projects
  • Miss the “in the field” experience where landscapers started
  • Office work can become a necessary evil

Working out of office pros:

  • Get to see clients on a regular basis
  • Be on projects and jobs all day
  • Visit with crews and foremen on a regular basis
  • Analyze new employees and crews
  • Handle unhappy clients immediately

Working out of office cons:

  • Live in a truck all day long
  • On a cell phone all day long
  • Handling day-to-day business into late hours after being in truck all day
  • Less familiar with business operations/finances

There are many ways to approach business, and it really is the landscaper’s preference about whether or not they want to live in the office or truck all day.

There are many variations, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

For instance, Russ Irvin from TDH Landscaping and one of TLC’s 2015 Landscaper of the Year finalists works out of his truck but brings his secretary everywhere. That way, if he ever needs to handle business back at the office, his secretary is already taking care of it inside of the truck.

Some landscapers miss the field and some landscapers can’t wait to get out – it’s just a matter of preference and what works best for your business model.

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