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mcgreen1
12-08-2011, 03:38 AM
Anyone from central I'll.? Just want to say that I'm hoping to learn a lot from people who have been out there in the trenches. Just started my business this year. Worked in the feild for other company's in the past. New to the ownership side. Any and all advice is more than welcome. Hopefully I will be able to help someone else as well.

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-08-2011, 09:14 AM
Anyone from central I'll.? Just want to say that I'm hoping to learn a lot from people who have been out there in the trenches. Just started my business this year. Worked in the feild for other company's in the past. New to the ownership side. Any and all advice is more than welcome. Hopefully I will be able to help someone else as well.

Welcome to the site and selfemployment. I would say never bid low even if you think you need the work. It will bite you in the *** sooner or later. Stick to your prices. When you do get work you wont want to show up anymore.

Steve
12-09-2011, 01:56 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Worked in the feild for other company's in the past. New to the ownership side.

How do you feel working for the other companies has helped prepare you for where you are now? Also, what have you found so far that is different in running your business vs working for another person's business?

mcgreen1
12-11-2011, 08:08 AM
Well fortunally for me I have worked for one company where the owner really knew his stuff. I learned how to really deliver professoinal service. Just didn't really learn any of the business side of things. Such as taxes,billing,payroll and all that good stuff that makes a legitimate company. Thankfully I already know the service side of business, so I can focus learning owning and operating it.

Steve
12-12-2011, 11:08 AM
That is a huge benefit though. Many who get started in this industry don't have your background. So I have a feeling a lot of great things are going to come your way.

mcgreen1
12-14-2011, 01:22 PM
For years I have been watching all of the company's around where I live. Nine times out of ten I would say to myself, wow they don't know what they are doing that looks horrible. I would be fired if I left a property looking like that. If I could just start my own company I can could mop up around here once people see the way its supposed to be done. Finally I decided to do more than just talk about. Now its put up or shut up! Looking foward to a good mowing season this coming year.

Ground Troops, LLC
12-14-2011, 11:27 PM
Good Luck to you in your new venture. Just keep in mind. You are now a business man. Not a lawn cutter. Read up on management. You can hire an accountant for your taxes, and a lawyer for writing contracts. But you will ultimately have to motivate others to make you money. I owned a company for 14 years. Ran the crew every day. (myself and another manager). Three years ago, i sold my business and went to work for another company. I havent touched a piece of equipment in 3 years and probably make him about 500 to 600k profit over those three years. Key word is profit.
Besides learning to say NO, the other thing you need to do is KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. Example - if your expenses (3 laborors, insurance, gas, etc.) are 2500.00 per week, you need to make AT LEAST 500.00 per day (based of 5 days) just to keep your doors open. So they need to make $167 per man per day, or MORE IMPORTANTLY, $16.70 an hour per man, just to stay in business. So, if you cut $90 worth of lawns in 1 hour, your profit would be $39.90. All your numbers will be different (obviously), and I used these numbers just for ease of math. Hopefully you get the point. The more you break the numbers down, the more you know.
We also "rent" our hand tools to each job. If the guys are using an edge shovel, we set aside $1 for that job. In case of breakage. So after 30 jobs using that shovel, we start making money on that shovel. I know some of it sounds crazy, but it really works. Its just taking the time to figure it all out.
When I had my company, I had 205 man hours per week of lawn cutting. My labor rate was $34.80 per man per hour. I set up a four man crew for 50 hours per week. After about 6 weeks, the crew had the route down to 41 man hours. Because I knew my numbers, I was able to give my guys weekly bonuses. Approximately $50.00 per guy per week. Sounds crazy huh? Not really. I gave them an extra $200 for the crew. They saved me 41 man hours, or $1,426.80. So really, I made an extra $1,226.80. Now I had a crew that would jump when I said jump.
Anyhow, all this math at 1130p, has made me a little tired...lol... like I said, good luck and I hope this helps you, or someone.

mcgreen1
12-15-2011, 04:02 AM
Thanks for the great info. That is a good lessen to learn now while the company is still small.

Ground Troops, LLC
12-15-2011, 07:35 AM
no problem... if you need anything else, just PM me.

CHEESE2009
12-15-2011, 11:04 AM
I had started the same way. The business side of it all, it's a lot harder than the labor side. You actually have to put up with incompetent clients 24/7.

It's kind of like babysitting, your hands are always tied until you can afford to pass the workload over to someone else.

Steve
12-16-2011, 06:57 PM
I set up a four man crew for 50 hours per week. After about 6 weeks, the crew had the route down to 41 man hours.

What advice do you have on the best way to make sure the employees are still doing a good job when they are trying to cut down on the time they are working?

Ground Troops, LLC
12-17-2011, 08:09 AM
Physical inspection. As well as any mistakes that were made, they would have to go back on their own time. I also found that on the crew, each guy would have specific duties. One guy may cut all day on monday. That same guy would cut all day next monday and the monday after. This way, the crew was very familiar with the properties, and less chance of mistakes. As far as cutting hours, $$ motivates.

mcgreen1
12-17-2011, 09:13 AM
The last company I worked for we went out in one man crews.I was paid a commision of 33% of every job on every property. If I had to go back I didn't get anymore money. Worked well. I did around 15 propertys a dayand usually left the shop before 3:00.