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dpld
01-05-2012, 12:17 PM
new to the site here, just signed up today.
just stumbled across the site and figured i would join.

i been in the landscape industry for 27 years and i am located in northern nj.
i have been in tranistion for the last few years going from residental with small commercial to large corporate settings only.

its been a tough grind and definitely comes with its own set of challenges but has been well worth the effort and i don't see myself ever getting back into residential.

i like to frequent sites like these because i like to talk shop and i am a believer in that no matter how long you been doing something you can always learn something new.

look forward to future posts.

Steve
01-05-2012, 03:26 PM
Welcome to our forum!

i have been in tranistion for the last few years going from residental with small commercial to large corporate settings only.

For the newer lawn care business owners thinking of this, what have you found to be the big difference between these different types of clients?

Is there a difference not only in the work but in the way you have to interact with these different types of customers?

dpld
01-05-2012, 04:13 PM
Welcome to our forum!



For the newer lawn care business owners thinking of this, what have you found to be the big difference between these different types of clients?

Is there a difference not only in the work but in the way you have to interact with these different types of customers?



most of my work i have comes through dealing with property management companies.
in this area ( morris county nj ) if you want to work commercial properties that is how your gonna get them because they are all controled by these companies.
as far as dealing with the clients you definitly need to be at your best.
you are dealing with educated ceo's and looking and conducting yourself as a professional is key and they usually don't have much time for small talk and like to get to the point.
other then reaching out to my clients each month for the normal updates and progress of their properties i find when i don't hear from them it's a good sign that i am doing ok and they are happy.

some of the pluses are that i have 5 companies i deal with and as long as you deliver and do your job and they know they can count on you they will always keep you going.
their demands can be trying but they give enough work where it is well worth it.
i try to deal with corporate settings, i try and stay away from retail like fast food or big box stores and walmarts because these properties always end up with countless amounts are garbage.
you do get your share at the corporate settings but not to the point where you have to walk around and do litter patrol and pick up 10 bags of trash.

i like the fact that i have less customers to deal with.
for example when i did residential we had 120 accounts in high end homes and the properties were average 20,000 sq ft and each week and month we had to drive to all those homes and send out all those bills and then deal with the 120 deposits.

now i take care of 10 large commercial properties a combined total of 60 acres and i make more money with a lot less driving and headaches and the billing is simplified because the management co that hired me settles the bill.

it is not all peaches and cream but i like the direction of the commercial and its not for everyone and it takes time.
it also creates lots of winter work such as plowing and that works out well.

another aspect is the companies you deal with in competion are usually decent in size and most are good and when you bid you need to be spot on with your contracts and have all your paper work in order.
you can not fake it doing commercial and you need to be fully insured and legal.
i find commercial work weeds out all the fly by night co's.

Steve
01-06-2012, 01:36 PM
Very interesting!

its been a tough grind and definitely comes with its own set of challenges but has been well worth the effort

What is your view on what makes the transition such a tough grind?

dpld
01-06-2012, 03:16 PM
Very interesting!



What is your view on what makes the transition such a tough grind?


it is just a different ball game. i found you need more equipment and in some cases bigger, more employees and all the costs for things like insurance, payroll tax and fuel go up.

in the beginning the added expenses created cash flow issues until you got into the payment loop with the larger corps.

also, the properties being much bigger tends to require more attention to detail and it is easy on the big jobs for those out of the way areas to get behind.
so it is very important to know the properties well and be thorough. its not difficult it is just a larger scale then home owner properties and with the size differential it is easier for things to slip through the cracks.

Steve
01-09-2012, 11:19 AM
in the beginning the added expenses created cash flow issues until you got into the payment loop with the larger corps.

As you look back over your years in the field, do you see this as a point where a lot of lawn care business owners had to shut their doors as they didn't expect the cash flow issues or do you feel other times were bigger killers of lawn care businesses?

dpld
01-09-2012, 02:34 PM
As you look back over your years in the field, do you see this as a point where a lot of lawn care business owners had to shut their doors as they didn't expect the cash flow issues or do you feel other times were bigger killers of lawn care businesses?

it could be a contributing factor as to why a business could fold but i think if it were to by itself be the sole cause of the fold it would be due to other issues the business has, like poor management.

the only other exception to the rule would be if you had all your eggs in one basket for say a account so large thats all your business did and they got behind and ultimately never payed you.
that would definitely put a wrinkle in the old shorts.

if you are starting out in commercial work and unless you allready have the resources you are better to have more smaller types of accounts rather then one or two large accounts only.

Steve
01-10-2012, 02:22 PM
but i think if it were to by itself be the sole cause of the fold it would be due to other issues the business has, like poor management.

Great point. I am sure you have known many business owners at many levels of business. Why do you think some are better at management than others? Do you think a lot of it is personality? Do some people just do better leading than others? Do you think the more successful business owners study management?

Why is there such a small percentage of business owners who seem to do well with managing?

dpld
01-10-2012, 03:34 PM
Great point. I am sure you have known many business owners at many levels of business. Why do you think some are better at management than others? Do you think a lot of it is personality? Do some people just do better leading than others? Do you think the more successful business owners study management?

Why is there such a small percentage of business owners who seem to do well with managing?

the ones that are better have a hands on approach and are actively involved from day to day operations and even if they have staff to do some of the duties in the day to day operations they always have the final say and never just rely on someone doing their job.
they also have a better drive and are not inclined to rest on their accomplishments and are always committed to going onward and upward.

i think the failures are more related to when a business owner has too many others making decisions and wants to live the good life and take a step back from the day to day.

businesses will not run themselves and should all be run the way the owner wants and employee's if left unchecked will have a tendency to do it their way that could be counter productive to the owners needs.

every successful business has a actively involved owner.

Steve
01-11-2012, 02:25 PM
This is good news for the average guy who may be thinking he is at a disadvantage because he didn't go to the best school or grow up in a rich family or have a family member that can teach him the ways of running a business.

Success can be yours if you show up and do your best to be your best.

Be involved in your business and let it be known you give a damn. A big percentage of your success is in caring for your business and for what you do.