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, 04:57 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, 10:10 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,519
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, 08:15 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, 04:13 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, 04:21 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,519
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, 09:06 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, 05:33 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,519
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
hey everyone
robert8509
10-22-2014 08:16 PM
Yesterday 11:07 PM
by robert8509
7 216
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 09:19 PM
Yesterday 11:05 PM
by robert8509
9 271
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
Yesterday 04:14 PM
Yesterday 04:14 PM
by madmedic8575
0 52
new to the forum
madmedic8575
Yesterday 02:52 PM
Yesterday 02:52 PM
by madmedic8575
0 49
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 01:23 PM
Yesterday 01:11 PM
by Steve
4 187
My Newest Toy (B.P....
Dan Tanner
10-23-2014 05:50 PM
Yesterday 01:02 PM
by Steve
1 126
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
Yesterday 01:00 PM
by Steve
11 892
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 08:07 AM
10-23-2014 11:08 PM
by Chilehead
2 145
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:41 PM
10-23-2014 11:06 PM
by Chilehead
9 348
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
10-20-2014 06:33 AM
10-23-2014 05:55 PM
by biglee
13 458
Hi from SoCal
Jmoney
10-23-2014 11:29 AM
10-23-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
1 114
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
10-23-2014 12:33 PM
by Steve
5 569
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
10-23-2014 06:12 AM
by ringahding1
4 396
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
10-21-2014 06:20 AM
10-23-2014 05:13 AM
by ringahding1
5 290
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
10-22-2014 01:27 PM
by Steve
6 463
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
10-22-2014 01:23 PM
by Steve
3 440
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:59 PM
10-22-2014 01:19 PM
by Steve
1 212
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
10-22-2014 08:51 AM
by ringahding1
12 1,578
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
10-22-2014 07:47 AM
by ringahding1
4 1,405
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
10-21-2014 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 710
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
10-21-2014 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 565
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
10-21-2014 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 11,484
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
10-21-2014 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 314
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
10-20-2014 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 1,887
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
10-20-2014 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,376
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
10-20-2014 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 278
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
10-20-2014 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 352
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
10-20-2014 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 803
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
10-20-2014 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,265
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
10-20-2014 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 545
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
10-20-2014 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 384
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 723
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 1,027
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,395
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 746
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-15-2014 06:43 PM
by NHray
1,190 340,351
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 470
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,570
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,578
Apartment Complex and...
lxarth
06-22-2011 01:10 PM
10-14-2014 06:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
42 9,668
I LOVE hedge trimming
stevef1201
10-13-2014 09:05 AM
10-14-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
5 603
Help with seeder...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-09-2014 07:39 AM
10-13-2014 08:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 764
The Market watch
WesleySnips
10-12-2014 08:47 PM
10-13-2014 05:40 PM
by SGL1
3 606
Help pricing a large...
Bradcook21
10-07-2014 06:49 AM
10-13-2014 02:00 PM
by Steve
7 952
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 04:24 PM
10-13-2014 06:46 AM
by Billy Goat
19 1,607
Acerage Rake
acrajchel
04-23-2014 07:23 PM
10-12-2014 10:53 PM
by SGL1
2 921
John Deere z235 Deck
WesleySnips
09-29-2014 06:02 PM
10-12-2014 06:20 PM
by kslawn
25 1,737
Credit card contract
SGL1
10-06-2014 05:31 PM
10-12-2014 03:40 PM
by SGL1
18 1,143
Truck craft dump bed...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-04-2014 08:41 PM
10-10-2014 11:35 AM
by Steve
7 1,049
First Time River Rock...
berryjam
10-09-2014 06:09 PM
10-10-2014 11:08 AM
by Steve
2 688
» Popular Tags
4wd apartment complex article marketing bark bid blades bob villa care charge collections collections subcontractor decorating ditches edging employee problems equipment rental estimate exmark ferris four wheel drive fundraiser gopherhaul gravely growing a lawn care business hardscapes honda how much to charge installation introduction 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 website marketing monthly mr dave mulch new mower past due podcast promotion pto redmax reo running a business scag search engine optimization seo shell small engine repair snow starting a business steep lawns steve stihl theft of services top dresser toro toro grand stand trimmer rack truck new used landscape turfgrass consulting walker won't return wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:56 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:56 AM.

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