Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

New Member, Long Time Landscape Exec.


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 01-07-2007, 05:57 PM
dutchhook
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'm actually following directions for once and I'm introducing myself as requested.
I've been in the industry since 1984 as an owner, built a 5 million dollar per year landscape mgmt contracting business, ran a 12 million dollar landscape contracting branch, sold my business and my non-compete ran out last year. Now, I'm looking to get back into the Green Industry somehow. I just really enjoy the quality of the individuals in this industry and I'm always willing to help others in any way possible.

Steve Hoogenakker
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 01-07-2007, 11:10 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,850
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Steve,

First off, welcome to our forum!

Could you tell us how it felt from owning your business and selling it, to then running a company for another owner?

Why did you sell it?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-08-2007, 09:15 PM
Mow Right
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (dutchhook @ Jan. 07 2007,5:57)]I'm actually following directions for once and I'm introducing myself as requested.
I've been in the industry since 1984 as an owner, built a 5 million dollar per year landscape mgmt contracting business, ran a 12 million dollar landscape contracting branch, sold my business and my non-compete ran out last year. Now, I'm looking to get back into the Green Industry somehow. I just really enjoy the quality of the individuals in this industry and I'm always willing to help others in any way possible.

Steve Hoogenakker
Out of curiosity, what would a $1m gross per/year lawn mateniece company's profit margin be?

I am wanting to go big in the next couple of years, but a lot of people say that the expences get so big that they make about the same amount of money as high end solo ops.

I refuse to cut grass for more than 3 more years, so I figure I better expand. I don't want a job, I want a business.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-09-2007, 05:13 PM
dutchhook
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In response to your question about how does it feel to sell your business. That's a big question, and important.
My thinking at the time was that I had missed watching my oldest son Paul grow up because I was building businesses. I was being offered millions. Lawn Mgmt outfits my size aren't very fluid. They are not easy to sell. I wasn't sure I'd get another offer like that again. The one thought I couldn't get out of my head was; "I have an opportunity to leave work at work and try to make up my time to my wife and children. Will I be able to forgive myself if I don't take this opportunity, and how wonderful could it be to spend that time?" I decided that I had to send the message to the family that they came first.
The other part of the equation, just as important, was my staff. I had the best staff anyone could hope for. I had a management - sales team of 11 people. THEY WERE THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED UP OR DOWN ON THE DEAL! They turned down LandCare and ServiceMaster 6 times. They kept sweetening the pot. The poor guy at LandCare was very frustrated, saying "I don't know who to deal with. The guy who is supposed to be making the decision isn't,(me) and a bunch of people I can't talk to, are making it. Finally, after getting them hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock options, and a host of other benefits, they voted to do the deal. (7 to 4)
The best part of this was that that management staff pretty much stayed on for 2 years. We had the largest maintenance branch in ServiceMaster, with sales of 12.8 million, and net profit of 1.7 million. That only happened because the staff made the decision and they bought in to the deal. Success wasn't because of anything I did. TruGreen ended up screwing up the company, but I take great pride knowing that most of my staff who were there then, are now successful managers, or owners of their own businesses. And yes, I believe that my family greatly appreciated the decision to try to spend more time with them. Work on succession planning early, and grow the company with an exit in mind and you'll be more successful.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-09-2007, 05:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,850
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Steve that is an amazing story!

Are there any specific pieces of advise you would have for those lcos reading this that have had a difficult time trying to grow?

What would you say is the reason or reasons you were able to take your business so big while most other lcos never seem to get there?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-10-2007, 10:06 AM
dutchhook
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'll answer the second question first. The answer for the first question will become obvious at the end.
The single biggest reason for my growth and success happened on August 1st, 1993. Up until that time, my focus was on equipment, technology, cutting edge production and solid marketing. In 1991, my brother and I had a falling out and he left to run another business and grew it to 2.5 million. We didn't speak for the next two years. Then, just before August 1, I got a call from him asking if he could use our trucks on weekends and evenings! The business he was running was close to bankruptcy and he couldn't insure his trucks. The bank was sweeping his account every night and he couldn't pay for truck liability insurance and GMAC was going to repo 11 vehicles any day. I gave this proposal to my staff and they were adamantly against helping our "nemesis".
I did go with my gut, and helped him. He was so glad that we were willing to help without charging him that he ended up filing a chapter 7 with that business and we picked up most of the accounts and any employees that wanted to come over.
So what happened on August 1? I decided that people, specifically helping people was more important than spreadsheets and spending my money on fancy machinery. I used to look at employees as a cost that once paid, the money went down the rat hole forever and that equipment payments added assets that I could re-sell at some time.
On August 1, to make this deal work for everyone, I decided that money spent on people (the right people) and taking care of them was the best investment I could make. The business took off.
Other things to make yourself successful. Learn, go to Planet conferences and go on tours of landscape facilities, get involved with your local associations and CONTRIBUTE your time. I can almost guarantee that if you are consistent in your commitment to your association that you will receive benefits back tenfold. Invest in your people.
I have literally 220 audio cd's in my truck on self improvement and business. An audio book that I'm going through right now is "Success Built to Last" by Jerry Porras. Tracks 2-8 on cd 1 will allow someone to rethink their entire business direction. The Magic of Thinking Big also helped me even though it is older, it still clarifies thought.
Well, I think I've overdone it and gone on too long. Hope this helps someone. Best of Luck everyone.

Steve
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-10-2007, 06:33 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,850
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

What a great story. It makes you wonder if reaching your goals is more of a matter of trying to get one big thing right vs. getting a lot of little things right.

Maybe so often we look for the big homerun swing that we miss the smaller steps each and everyday that in the long run take us further.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Just Quit?
ringahding1
Today 06:23 AM
Today 03:13 PM
by Steve
4 74
French gardener owner's...
didgreen
Today 09:10 AM
Today 03:10 PM
by Steve
1 33
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
Today 03:00 PM
by Steve
10 854
Thanks for all the posts
WheatGrass
Today 06:38 AM
Today 02:57 PM
by Steve
1 34
hows it going.
uppercut
Today 05:01 AM
Today 02:54 PM
by Steve
2 45
whats this briggs?
uppercut
Today 12:40 AM
Today 02:49 PM
by Steve
1 40
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 11:41 AM
Today 02:46 PM
by Steve
13 723
viking cyclon.
uppercut
Yesterday 09:12 PM
Today 02:43 PM
by Steve
1 39
Crunch time 2015!
Chilehead
Yesterday 08:57 PM
Today 02:42 PM
by Steve
1 42
Landscapers from hell!!
Chilehead
Yesterday 03:55 PM
Today 02:37 PM
by Steve
1 64
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
Today 02:36 PM
by Hard-Body lawn & garden
1,202 363,880
Lawn Mowing -...
ringahding1
Today 07:05 AM
Today 07:05 AM
by ringahding1
0 23
adding something new...
veteranslawncaresystems
01-28-2015 12:13 AM
Today 06:33 AM
by ringahding1
5 157
TaskEasy & Plowz & Mowz...
jrwalker333
01-25-2015 01:02 PM
Yesterday 08:14 PM
by lxarth
8 251
Contact last years...
googus
01-28-2015 09:13 AM
Yesterday 02:29 PM
by Steve
6 187
Looking for advice on...
berryjam
01-21-2015 07:37 PM
Yesterday 02:21 PM
by Steve
15 463
New to the forum
LCRobert
01-26-2015 10:21 PM
Yesterday 09:11 AM
by ringahding1
7 210
What happened to Better...
Steve
01-27-2014 04:07 PM
01-28-2015 12:26 PM
by Steve
21 3,189
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
01-28-2015 12:23 PM
by Steve
44 16,074
Bidding to get other work
Rodriguez11
07-21-2011 11:52 PM
01-28-2015 12:08 PM
by Steve
29 9,460
How many contracts...
5StarLawnscaping
01-12-2015 03:51 PM
01-28-2015 11:04 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
10 597
"Part Timers", "Low...
doug1980
06-10-2009 12:55 PM
01-27-2015 09:01 PM
by jrs.landscaping
43 10,343
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 12:30 PM
01-27-2015 07:24 PM
by avetslawncare
4 135
New to group
ron@alpine
01-27-2015 08:45 AM
01-27-2015 01:29 PM
by Steve
1 103
please Help with none...
Lawnboyman1170
01-09-2015 09:46 AM
01-27-2015 01:27 PM
by Steve
13 711
does this sound good or...
Bradcook21
01-22-2015 09:24 AM
01-27-2015 07:42 AM
by ringahding1
9 339
second year advise
cmdlawncare
01-23-2015 06:22 PM
01-27-2015 07:31 AM
by ringahding1
6 291
need advise
rawssrob
02-23-2010 02:45 PM
01-23-2015 06:40 PM
by cmdlawncare
7 2,619
New to forum
ROB N
01-23-2015 08:35 AM
01-23-2015 01:53 PM
by Steve
1 170
Extending the life of...
rmccutchan
01-17-2015 12:37 AM
01-23-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
8 420
osceola lawn service
jasa@wildblue.net
01-22-2015 03:23 PM
01-23-2015 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 179
Tax Question
Wolf4dk
01-20-2015 01:11 AM
01-22-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
4 318
Billy Goat Vac
Mr. Mow
01-19-2015 07:42 AM
01-22-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
6 308
Property Pricing
GVL
01-19-2015 02:46 PM
01-21-2015 02:18 PM
by Steve
5 365
Landscapers Source For...
breadcrumb
01-16-2015 02:44 PM
01-21-2015 05:55 AM
by breadcrumb
14 531
Hoa advice
Bradcook21
01-16-2015 09:36 PM
01-20-2015 04:30 PM
by Steve
4 347
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 07:51 PM
01-20-2015 10:16 AM
by biglee
16 684
How to beat the pre pay...
stansg1fresh
01-13-2015 04:33 PM
01-19-2015 03:38 PM
by ringahding1
3 420
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
01-19-2015 01:37 PM
by Steve
12 1,218
Hi from Illinois
burtle
01-02-2015 09:46 PM
01-19-2015 01:22 PM
by Steve
3 582
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
01-19-2015 01:20 PM
by Steve
14 1,526
Lost my @#$ blower
stevef1201
01-11-2015 08:31 AM
01-17-2015 02:21 PM
by lxarth
2 445
Another Illinoisan.....
barhopper
01-11-2015 05:38 PM
01-16-2015 04:29 PM
by Steve
10 504
marketing with pizza...
apmAkron
01-15-2015 09:57 AM
01-15-2015 06:29 PM
by Steve
4 322
CRM and Quickbooks?
5StarLawnscaping
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
01-15-2015 08:06 AM
by 5StarLawnscaping
0 252
New Member, Indiana Iraq...
Timbo
07-14-2011 09:44 AM
01-14-2015 06:14 PM
by Steve
10 3,850
check this box truck out!
BLAZIER-1991
01-07-2015 07:40 PM
01-13-2015 03:06 PM
by biglee
8 707
My community only ad...
googus
01-12-2015 09:55 AM
01-13-2015 02:44 PM
by Steve
5 396
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 09:07 AM
01-13-2015 09:37 AM
by Chilehead
18 1,893
use a small business...
BLAZIER-1991
12-25-2014 12:21 AM
01-12-2015 06:32 PM
by BLAZIER-1991
30 1,654
» Popular Tags
4wd aerocore apartment complex auger bark billy goat brushcutter blades bush collections deliquentaccounts edging employee problems equipment rental ferris first truck flyers foreman four wheel drive gopherhaul grass growing a lawn care business hills hiring husqvarna introduction john deere quik trac landscape landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing marketing mr dave mulch past due per hour charge per hour service podcast pricing profit on employee pto push versus ride reo running a business scripts seo shell small engine repair square foot steep lawns steve sulky theft toro grand stand trailer tree trimmer rack truck new used landscape up sell employee walk behind web design won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:11 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:11 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy