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View Full Version : Interested in knowing about the big companies....


LawnBoy0311
01-30-2013, 01:41 PM
So a lot of you know I've been on here for a while. I've read a lot of posts, responded to a lot, and enjoy hearing about new business's starting off. But I want to know about the big guys out there. Guys that have been in business for a while, have multiple employees, what equipment you have, your customer base and how many customers you have. How do you split between residential, commercial, and side projects that don't involve mowing?


I'm interested in pretty much how you started and what you have today. Any posts would be greatly appreciated. This won't be a bragging thread, I'm curious as to how you operate.

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-30-2013, 03:08 PM
Not really a big company myself but since the majority on here are solo, Ill chime in.

I run 3 trucks(2000/2004 silverados,01 f250) sold 88f350 dump truck this summer, 3 ztrs(2 great danes and 1 toro), 2 toro walkbehinds, 3 honda 21", 3 trailers, 1 skid, 1 kubota loader, 1/2 dozen backpacks(redmax,stihl,shindawia) edgers and hedge trimmers(stihl,redmax,echo), about 12 string trimmers(stihl,redmax,echo,husqavarna) , 2 billy goat push blowers, 3 pressure washers(ridgid,excell), 4 chainsaws(stihl,echo). Probably a bunch of other crap. I have bought everything used!

In peak season ill have close to 10 employees. The rest of the year 3-5 guys.

I started with a s10 and a 44" toro walkbehind. Still have that toro but its never used. I realized early theres no money in mowing. I went after clean ups, pressure washing, mulch jobs. Since my truck was to small I went all out and bought a old mason dump. I recently sold that because it was so damn ugly.

I only average around 20 residential customers a year. The past year was the only season I tried to increase that and realized it was to much of a headache. I drop about 10 people every year and pick up new ones with bigger yards. If everyone paid and lived next to each other I would go after more but there always in opposite directions. The first sign of problems im out! So I dont even bid on half the calls I get.

Ill do around 10-15 commercial maintenance contracts. These range from a acre to about 8. This is full service clean ups, mowing,trimming, etc. I only retain a few of these year after year but I always fill in new ones. This is mainly do to management companies going out to bid every year. I almost always rebid them but someone comes in lower and there hired. I have only found loyalty with owner operated businesses.

In the winter I do only commercial plowing. Depending on size and distance. I can get anywhere from 5-10 lots then I turn down work. Occasionally ill do a drive if its on my route but its usually a waste of time.

Spring is the only time I like to deal with homeowners. I can easily spread 150-200 yards in march and april alone.

I do alot of residential pressure washing. I charge usually about a $100 more then the rest of the local guys but still get about 30-50 a year.

I do about 150 gutter cleanings a year. A few apartment buildings and offices. This is another service that I'm usually around $50 more then the rest.

I just started doing chimney sweeping and have been toying with the idea of getting into home improvement. I would like to do decks, demolition and hardscapes. I just dont like the idea of the foreman knowing more then I do.

LawnBoy0311
01-31-2013, 06:30 AM
Thanks Sect! When did you feel it was time to add more employees??

SECTLANDSCAPING
02-02-2013, 11:53 PM
Thanks Sect! When did you feel it was time to add more employees??
As soon as I couldnt finish in a day. I dont like jobs carrying over into the next day. This screws a schedule up. I also schedule my work for a 3 day week. This gives me 2 days to pick up new jobs without cutting into the weekend. I also have free days already set up for rain outs.

I remember losing jobs early on because I couldnt get to them for a week. Now the longest wait would be 3-4 days.

With hiring I found the best way to do this is hire 3 guys and tell them only 1 will have a job in a month. This brings the best out of the employee and weeds out bad hires. I also have the extra help in peak season.