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View Full Version : Third Year - $100,000 - My Plan - Advice?


GrantELC
12-13-2011, 02:11 PM
For my 3rd year of business I want to profit $100,000. The past two years have been decent but we are not even at $50,000. Call me crazy but with my drive and work ethic and my partners drive/work ethic, I know we can do it. I am posting this for suggestions. We are both 20 but I would like to succeed with this business, if I can't we are both moving on.


Equipment:

Two commercial Honda walk behinds. (Most likely buying a third)
5x7 Trailer
FS45, FS110, Straight Troy built
Stihl 600 and handheld stihl blower
Misc. tools: trimmers, rakes, etc.
Ford Ranger (Which is current truck) but planning on buying a F150 or 250 long bed for space, racks, etc. and to be main work truck

The past two years we have done residential lawn mowing with a few coffee shops. We have had some big projects (Bark, Rock, Landscaping, Sprinklers, Weed Whacking 2.5 miles of trail and new developments are some of the projects we took on this year.) We also work with a preservation company every 12-14 days during summer and take on whatever lawns they give us (Anywhere from 15 to 30 per trip).

Advertising: We do lots of flyers when we can, use Craigslist, and I am currently working on a website and online directories to put our name out on the web. Also lots of word-of-mouth.

Now I know what I am shooting for is high. The past two years has been two workers, myself and someone else, sometimes a third when needed. 2012 the plan is for me to basically run the business and get business 24/7 while two guys are out doing weekly lawn care, clean ups, etc. I will work when we get packed or take on a landscaping project.

Are there any tips from you guys on what I can do to achieve my goal? What kind of things should I watch out for or try to focus on this year? Is this feasible? How are you guys doing with your profits?

Anyway probably the same old readings with my post as a lot on this site but that's my story and plan, any advice or comments are appreciated. Good or bad.

Thanks,

Grant

nickeckes
12-13-2011, 04:14 PM
first off i think, if you have a good running truck? why buy a different one?? just for more space???? try to add stuff to your trailer to make space. weather it be a trimmer rack or a gas tank holder. . just a few thoughts. .

also try to get a few more accounts in the same neighbor hood alot of your clients are in, that is a easy money maker. . as you dont have to spend alot of fuel going to the next job.

try raising your prices this next year??? i raised mine the following year by 5 bucks to every customer.. and you want to know my outcome??? i had 1 client drop because they said it was to much. . you don't even have to raise it 5 bucks, raise each one a few bucks.. i just sent out a letter to all my clients saying with the raise in fuel cost and maintaince cost on the equipment we will be raising our prices

Steve
12-13-2011, 05:02 PM
For my 3rd year of business I want to profit $100,000. The past two years have been decent but we are not even at $50,000.

Grant,

I think the most important step is to figure out how much you are making now and what it is taking to make that.

Now with the $50,000 you are talking about now, is that profit? If not, have you figured how much profit you are making now and what you are needing to do that?

Then do you have a plan together to figure out how many customers, trucks, mowers, employees etc you would need to scale up to make a $100,000 profit?

I'd like to hear some of your insight into that plan.

TiedemanLLC
12-16-2011, 09:28 PM
Steve made some great points.

The only thing that you have to consider too is do you have enough equipment and man power to make a jump that big. Are you ready for that big jump?

I remember one year in particular we jumped 250% in sales from the previous year. We did lots of installation work and the increase in the work was a huge shock to us. We didn't have the equipment, and called in help from lots of subs too. It was very stressful and we were putting in 70hr work weeks. Showing up at job sites when the sun wasn't even up yet working by spot light, and leaving at 10pm at night. I remember one night we worked until 11:30pm on an irrigation installation by flash light.

We learned our lesson though and the next year, we actually pulled it back in a bit, and it was a lot better, not so stressful.

Don't get me wrong more money is great, but to get to that money it can mean more stress and less freedom

CHEESE2009
12-16-2011, 10:26 PM
to that money it can mean more stress and less freedom

In a nutshell.

//

Are you having trouble with finding work, or finding good employees?

jsslawncare
12-17-2011, 06:55 AM
Get the F250 long bed and replace what ever the troybuilt is.

coolmc11
01-03-2012, 09:50 AM
Is your 100,000 profit or the income your bringing in. If that is profit with 2 walk behinds and a ranger I give you an applause. I think you mean revenue?

recessionslawncare
01-03-2012, 10:35 AM
It funny because I'm 21 going in to my 3rd year in business and if I don't reach my goals I'm done with it to. But I wanted to stop by and say that I have learned that it's not so much as to doing the jobs. You need to focus more on your internet image and customer service. In the digital age everyone is one the web meaning you need to be on the web too everywhere. I have signed up for more classifieds and free posting areas then i can remember but I see the results later down the line. I have started researching more about seo, marketing, customer service, and web design to ensure I can do everything my business is requiring of me before I give it up. So my advice to you would be keep moving forward and to self-educate yourself to know the how to of your entire business. the money will come with everything else the most important thing is the research.

aggielandscaper
01-03-2012, 10:46 AM
Stick to what you do good. Increase customer base in your existing neighborhoods. This will cost less in fuel and time spent traveling from job to job. Upsale your existing customers (lighting and irrigation repair).

dpld
01-06-2012, 11:12 AM
It funny because I'm 21 going in to my 3rd year in business and if I don't reach my goals I'm done with it to. But I wanted to stop by and say that I have learned that it's not so much as to doing the jobs. You need to focus more on your internet image and customer service. In the digital age everyone is one the web meaning you need to be on the web too everywhere. I have signed up for more classifieds and free posting areas then i can remember but I see the results later down the line. I have started researching more about seo, marketing, customer service, and web design to ensure I can do everything my business is requiring of me before I give it up. So my advice to you would be keep moving forward and to self-educate yourself to know the how to of your entire business. the money will come with everything else the most important thing is the research.

at 21 years old i think you are getting way to ahead for yourself.
it takes years to put together a money making machine and it takes years to learn how to do that.
i applaude your drive because that is one of the most important aspects of being a business owner but patience is also key.

unless you are looking to build something up to turn it around and sell it to move on to something else i suggest you do that something else now.

otherwise it's a marathon not a horse race. all the effort you put into it now while your young will pay dividends when your older and more established.
all of what you go through now will educate you and make you better.

i am 45 years old and i been doing it since i been old enough to have working papers. i started my business when i was 22 and i always made a buck but it took until i was in my mid 30's until i figured out how to make real money.

you should be happy that in this economy in your 2nd year you grossed 50 k
right now i would suggest evaluate what you have equipment wise and determine how much more it can do. you also need to increase your work load and focus on specific area's and promote yourself with flyers and get talking to people.
walk into some management companies and bring some literature and cards and introduce yourself and tell them about your business and let them know if they need a new contractor to not hesitate in giving you a try.

also try to do what you have in the most efficient way possible with the least time and cost. if you can cut payroll and do it yourself as well as take care of business then do that.
i had to work a night job to stimulate my economy as well as take on a winter job in the early years.

it may take longer then you plan, and it always does. but if you show progress each year and are further along then you were the year before then you are doing all right.

don't put too much into the experts and their 3 to 5 year make or break period because most of these experts never started a landscape business and have no clue how fierce the competition is as well as landscapers get today what they got 20 years ago for their work.

with that said it is still a lucrative business but it takes time and a lot of effort and the only way to make money is by increasing volume which usually results in needing more equipment which in the end all revolves around you marketing your business in the best and most efficient way.

get the work and everything else will follow if you play it smart,
when you are making money everything else is so much easier.

Steve
01-06-2012, 03:30 PM
It funny because I'm 21 going in to my 3rd year in business and if I don't reach my goals I'm done with it to.

Some very good points are being brought up here.

Why do you feel you would quit if you don't reach your goals in your 3rd year? If you did quit, what would be next?

Kyle's Lawn Service
01-20-2012, 11:09 AM
When running a lawn care and snow removal business you need to grow slow not Fast. Growing to fast will put your business in the ground. I have seen 2 company's in my area do so.

Some tips I have are yard signs are cheap and people see them all the time. At first I did not like to this but it does help. I ask people where did you see my name. And the first year I did the signs 3 people said the yard signs in someones yard. The Cost me $15.00 per sign. I put 4 up in my towns and thats it. It has made me $2,350.00 from just those 3 people I did work with. Now They have made me more customers but that was just the one year doing business with those 3 people.

Getting a website out there is a great thing. Make sure if you make it you play around with it. It takes a lot of time to make. Make sure you find your self on the big names like Google.

A great thing that is helping me right now is networking. Networking a class I take work other business owners and we all get together and pas referrals around and take about our business. My networking class is named BNI.
Make sure you put adds in the paper if you are in a smaller town. This will help. most of the old ones Will look at that paper with your add in it. If they need help they will call you.
All in all I think if you want to be in the lawn care business you need to grow you business up slower...