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View Full Version : where do you guys operate your business out of?


jjerks
02-28-2010, 07:55 PM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

picframer
02-28-2010, 08:03 PM
I have just over 5 acres and four buildings I keep my gear in during the winter. In the summer excavators and tractors almost always stay on job sites, mowers, blowers, trimmers etc. are parked here at my home at night with the company vehicle, we used to have meeting in the morning here however we have moved to a coffee shop not far from my house, we generally talk for 15 to 30 min about the day ahead and then head out. We used to have the meetings here however I discovered we were picking up business when we met at a public place so that is what we do, there is generally 12 to 14 of us along with four vehicles so it has been amazing marketing.

ProCut TM
02-28-2010, 08:40 PM
I discovered we were picking up business when we met at a public place so that is what we do, there is generally 12 to 14 of us along with four vehicles so it has been amazing marketing.

this is brilliant Andy, what do you talk about in your morning meetings?

XtreemGreen
02-28-2010, 08:42 PM
My stuff stays in the garage and shed at my house..

ProCut TM
02-28-2010, 08:48 PM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

in my opinion with 50 clients, you are jumping the gun big time with thoughts of buying an office building.
50 client will not even support one persons family let alone partners, employees, and a mortgage.

I'm just giving you my opinion, I'm not trying to be a D***

Steve
02-28-2010, 09:04 PM
Welcome to our forum!

We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional.

My first question would be how many of your customers need to come to your office?

picframer
02-28-2010, 09:24 PM
this is brilliant Andy, what do you talk about in your morning meetings?

We talk about what has to be done that day, the guys are allowed to switch the crew they are on as long as they are trained in each others job, we talk about issues from the previous day, I quickly lay out upcoming jobs in the very near future, equipment issues or questions, quite often our Rep from John Deere joins us, they have delivered coffee to the crews, shirts hats etc, they really treat us well. To me it's all about team building, I am no better than anyone on the team, just happen to be driving ths bus however on job sites we are all equal, it really works.

Then on Wednesday evenings we go to an all you can eat sports bar, I generally have one beer with the guys, something to eat and that is about it, some stay for a while but the guys are all good and take the work for the coming day very serious, I never once had an employee call in sick or not show last year. Very proud of the team.

Bellis2006
02-28-2010, 11:38 PM
I know I am getting ready to piss a bunch of people off with this one...but oh well. This has got to be the ONLY industry that there are tons of people promoting others to get into the business. and to make it even MORE weird; its usally from another competitor, given they may not be a direct competitor, they are infact a competitor. seriously, when is the last time you saw coke or pepsi telling and teaching others to get onto the soda market? this industry is over loaded with ever tom, dick and harry to the point that low balling is the common bid. why do think these guys are on here selling you ideas how to make money in the lawncare business? because they can't make enough cutting lawns to pay the bills. that's why! just what this industry needs... another guy with a mower, so yes what are you waiting for?

Bellis2006
02-28-2010, 11:43 PM
actually with 50 clients he could well for himself. 50 clients at an avg of $45.00 a piece would be $9000.00 a month for 7 months work would come out to $63000.00 a year. not bad for one guy.

picframer
03-01-2010, 05:31 AM
It is true in my experience that Lawn Mowing is one of the cheapest self employed business's to get into, many start in Jr High or High School as they can make more money doing Lawn Mowing than say working at a fast food outlet.

When people become unemployed sometimes they will venture into this business and yes many do not know or understand their costs generally speaking they do not last long.

I have helped many here in various ways, I do this because I want to, to me seeing others succeed is as important as my own success, knowledge doesn't become powerful until you give it away then you will learn more, the more I give away the more I learn and yes it makes me feel good, I am not threatened if someone does better than I do, and one can learn a lot from ideas and samples of others work on these forums.

Could my time be better spent elsewhere? Perhaps as I have two other companies but life is about balance and in the big picture this is part of my balance.

There are ways to make a lot of money in this industry and yes it does take capital, simply raise the bar and offer services that the trunk slammers can not, it's what I did and yes it really paid off. This was to be a retirement business so that I could work with my son in the summer when he is home from University, that was April of last year, by May we had hired 11 of his University friends to keep up with demand as we offer every service a home owner could ask for when it comes to their property. This year we expanded the services to include having the lot prepared for new home construction, from clearing the lot of trees to putting in driveways, digging the foundation, septic field, landscaping with the goal of picking up the property maintenance after the house is sold.

I understand this may not be for everyone, it's a niche market I carved out being a one stop shop. If I were to have relied on just offering lawn mowing, the company would probably be shut down long before now as I am in this to make money, I do not low ball lawn care or any other service, my price is my price.

I know for example the two large tree cutting and wood chipping companies probably look at our quotes that we receive and think we are low balling, we are not, I simply do not have the overhead they do, we make a very good profit and do not gouge the customer, same on the excavation side, we are bigger than the small guys but smaller than the big guys, right in the middle which is where I want to be and where I have found the money is.

jasonw
03-01-2010, 09:55 AM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

I built a 12X14 steel building to keep my equipment in last year. I got tired of always loading and unloading so now I just keep the common equipment in the truck and the other stuff like the lawn tractor which is rarely used stays in the shop. If I need it I put it on the trailer and take it with. My office was in a spare room of my house. Now we are expecting our third child so I gave up the room and now the office is a make shift office in the laundry room.

Steve
03-01-2010, 11:36 AM
I know I am getting ready to piss a bunch of people off with this one...but oh well. This has got to be the ONLY industry that there are tons of people promoting others to get into the business. and to make it even MORE weird; its usally from another competitor, given they may not be a direct competitor, they are infact a competitor. seriously, when is the last time you saw coke or pepsi telling and teaching others to get onto the soda market? this industry is over loaded with ever tom, dick and harry to the point that low balling is the common bid. why do think these guys are on here selling you ideas how to make money in the lawncare business? because they can't make enough cutting lawns to pay the bills. that's why! just what this industry needs... another guy with a mower, so yes what are you waiting for?

I disagree with you. I think almost every industry has trade groups. They have ways to get together meet and greet as well as discussions and seminars on how to improve their businesses.

I bet I could find forums on most any industry that exists.

As a forum community we need to stay positive and push forwards.

jasonw
03-01-2010, 08:22 PM
actually with 50 clients he could well for himself. 50 clients at an avg of $45.00 a piece would be $9000.00 a month for 7 months work would come out to $63000.00 a year. not bad for one guy.

Actually I don't think this is possible. On an average 8 hour day and five day week he would have to mow a lawn every 1.25H consistently so I doubt 50 per week is reasonable. I'm not sure where he/she lives but for example I did my lawn yesterday and its about a 20 minute drive, 45 minutes on site mowing, edging and putting down some grass seed and a few other misc things so that's 1.416 hours Assuming these figures a reasonable number for one person in a rural area would be 28.248 lawns per week.

ProCut TM
03-01-2010, 08:27 PM
Actually I don't think this is possible. On an average 8 hour day and five day week he would have to mow a lawn every 1.25H consistently so I doubt 50 per week is reasonable. I'm not sure where he/she lives but for example I did my lawn yesterday and its about a 20 minute drive, 45 minutes on site mowing, edging and putting down some grass seed and a few other misc things so that's 1.416 hours Assuming these figures a reasonable number for one person in a rural area would be 28.248 lawns per week.

I cut 70 lawns per week and I'm thirsty for more. What size machine are you running Jason? Sounds like you could use a 72" to cut your time down and increase productivity, also get lawns closer together.

XtreemGreen
03-01-2010, 08:45 PM
I was cutting 40 lawns in a 4 day week...10 lawns a day isnt so hard when everything is working 100%...

jasonw
03-01-2010, 09:19 PM
I cut 70 lawns per week and I'm thirsty for more. What size machine are you running Jason? Sounds like you could use a 72" to cut your time down and increase productivity, also get lawns closer together.

A 72" would not even fit through half the gates I need to get through. Shoot my 21" push mower barely fits

jasonw
03-01-2010, 09:20 PM
I cut 70 lawns per week and I'm thirsty for more. What size machine are you running Jason? Sounds like you could use a 72" to cut your time down and increase productivity, also get lawns closer together.

Also there is now way to just look for lawns close by. Some may remember one I did last year that I finally quit. 2 hours drive time for a $40 mow. Our cities around here are small, few and far between.

ritchiem
03-01-2010, 10:19 PM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

Well I have my office in my basement...heck, now that I remember you can check it out on this thread

Office Reno, from start to finish (http://gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=4851&highlight=office+reno)

And I use my garage for my equipment, tools and supplies. We are currently looking for acreage to expand the business.

fieroboi
03-01-2010, 10:22 PM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

Personally, I can't justify the overhead at this point. I would love to have a store in the future, that will do more than just offer lawn service. I want it to sell anything that one could buy for their yard, lawn furniture, fountains, special nick nacks and other things as well as offering our service.

For the time being, I'm operating out of my apartment. My equipment is stored in an enclosed cargo trailer that is almost always attached to my truck. Any equipment not in use such as snow removal stuff in the summer or mowers and such in winter I store in a storage unit I rent. I also use the storage unit as a shop during the summer months. Costs me less than $100 per month.


Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, AB

lklandscaping
03-07-2010, 08:11 AM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

Operate out of my home, Own a garage for equipment storage and repairs.

jjreview
03-15-2010, 01:30 PM
Hi, I am new to the lawn care business this is just my second summer. Last summer we had a little of 50 residential yards on account and we expect a lot more this summer. We were thinking of purchasing a small office building to look more professional. Do you think this is a good idea? Do most of you opperate out of your houses? And where do you keep your equipment? Any advice will help me a lot.

Kind of cuts into your profits. If looking professional is all you need, there are much easier solutions. A nice web site and a virtual office. Most people will not actually be coming to your office anyway.

I run my business out of my home, but have my wife answer the phone and handle my mail and messages. I should mention this method is dirt cheap compared to the price of office space and staff. Get your family involved if you have the option. You will feel good about it and they will feel good about it.