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? > Community Assistance

Community Assistance Community questions, comments, and suggestions. Problems posting? Email me.

Am I growing too fast?


Community Assistance

Community questions, comments, and suggestions. Problems posting? Email me.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 08-04-2011, 10:54 PM
Mattcrump's Avatar
Mattcrump Mattcrump is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hoover, Al
Age: 32
Posts: 43
Rep Power: 4
Mattcrump is on a distinguished road
Default Am I growing too fast?

Hey guys.... Just wondering what the maximum amount of work I should take on is. This is my first year owning a company and I am 8 months in. Started with 4 accounts and now I am just under 60. I am also a full time firefighter/paramedic. I am at the point where my website and word of mouth have brought in so much business that I am having to drop some of my residential customers to make room for the commercial customers that pay more.

When I first started, I set a $35 minimum per yard. I am at the point now where I have dropped all of those and my cheapest yards are around $45. However, I had 4 different commercial company's call me this week for bids. I have already gone out and walked the properties and if I get any of them I am considering dropping about 30 of my residential customers to make room for these big properties. I will also have to probably hire two full time guys and buy another truck and two z- turns and probably 2 more combi tools and another blower. I am trying to figure out if it will be worth it to keep the accounts and pay these guys to cut them for me or to drop them and not have to pay.

The commercial bids were.... $500/month...$1500/month... $4500/month and $1200/month on bi weekly schedules. I also have a business partner who works a different shift than I do at the FD. None of the commercial properties need landscape. Just a bunch of mowing, weed eating and spraying.

Suggestions?
__________________
Matthew A. Crump
Fire & Lawn Rescue | Owner
Matt@FireandLawnRescue.com
205-999-3970
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 08-05-2011, 12:52 AM
MountainViewGreenskeeper's Avatar
MountainViewGreenskeeper MountainViewGreenskeeper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 473
Rep Power: 5
MountainViewGreenskeeper is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
It depends what does your business plan say?
__________________
Colton
Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-05-2011, 03:34 PM
Liberty Landscaping LLC Liberty Landscaping LLC is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Posts: 243
Rep Power: 5
Liberty Landscaping LLC is on a distinguished road
Default

My friend that is something only you can answer. Do you want to take on a crew? I would average what it would cost to pay two guys for a week and see how many accounts they would handle in a week. See how much profit is left after that alone.
Me personally: Find two guys that work hard go out with them for a week or two and see if your happy with their work. If you are growing that fast I would buy a used f 250 and a trailer on craigslist and send them out to work when the truck dies then buy something new or a lot younger.
__________________
Liberty Landscaping LLC
www.libertylndscpng.com
Woodbridge, NJ
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-05-2011, 10:41 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,307
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

I agree. Work the numbers and look into how much the extra costs would be for the additional employees and equipment. Then compare that to the income that would be generated from them.

Let us know what you come up with.

A big problem that kills small companies is implosion because they grow so fast they aren't keeping accurate up to date records of their accounting. So they don't tend to see they are losing money until it is too late.
__________________
- 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
  #5  
Old 08-07-2011, 02:40 PM
Mattcrump's Avatar
Mattcrump Mattcrump is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hoover, Al
Age: 32
Posts: 43
Rep Power: 4
Mattcrump is on a distinguished road
Default

Ok that is good advice...

My business plan basically was to turn a profit within the first year. Pay cash for everything and get my foot in the door and see if this was something I thought I could be successful at and make money with. Our plan also includes the freedom for us to explore entrepreneurial avenues within our company which means we wanted to build the company to the point of having a crew to do the actual work for us while we are our bringing in business and making sure they are ready to do the work. (Schedule, maintenance...etc)

Well up to this point I have done exactly that. Minus my one 36inch Toro walk behind which I owe around $3,000 on. Everything else (2 echo weed eaters, 1 echo edger, 2 Stihl 600 Backpack blowers, 1 Stihl combi tool with edger, weed eater and trimmer attachment, Honda commercial 21inch and 6x12 landscape trailer) as well as all of my tools and extra equip have been paid for with cash made from the business.

As of now I have a guy working with us twice a week and I am paying him $12/hr cash. He is a hard worker and I can count on him to get the work done by himself if I have to run and take a look at a property across town or have to leave him for any other reason. If I hire two guys full time I will most likely have to lower the hourly rate a bit but am unsure what a fair price would be for a guy working out in the sun 40 hours a week. I refuse to hire somebody I do not know and trust and will be able to count on, so with that being said I do not mind paying well as long as I know the work will be done the right way.

Also, I have a big advantage. As of last week, my fiance is now an accountant and she will begin taking over our books. This will allow my partner who was doing the books to take a bit of a breather and start helping me out with everything I have on my plate. (Scheduling, maintenance, advertising, pursuing business, furthering education...etc)

I believe what I will ed up doing is keeping all of my properties and allowing both guys to work full time for us every week. With fall right around the corner, I can definitely use guys out doing fall cleanups and gutter cleaning. Here in Alabama we clean up a yard and two weeks later its time to do it again.
__________________
Matthew A. Crump
Fire & Lawn Rescue | Owner
Matt@FireandLawnRescue.com
205-999-3970
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-07-2011, 02:43 PM
Mattcrump's Avatar
Mattcrump Mattcrump is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hoover, Al
Age: 32
Posts: 43
Rep Power: 4
Mattcrump is on a distinguished road
Default

As far as the truck goes... I was thinking one of those gas burner box trucks used for about $10,000 - $15,000 and once the engine dies on it, just replace it with a new one. This way I will not have to lease space for my equipment and I can keep it at my house in the truck locked up and can continue working out of my garage to cut costs
__________________
Matthew A. Crump
Fire & Lawn Rescue | Owner
Matt@FireandLawnRescue.com
205-999-3970
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-08-2011, 02:02 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,307
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Matt,

As you are working through this, others may be in the same position or getting there.

Can you list what you will need to expand? And what you are thinking the expansion could generate?

So far I see you want two employees and a $10,000 truck. What might you pay those two? $11 an hour? $10?
__________________
- 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
  #8  
Old 08-09-2011, 04:39 PM
Mattcrump's Avatar
Mattcrump Mattcrump is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hoover, Al
Age: 32
Posts: 43
Rep Power: 4
Mattcrump is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,

I currently have one employee I pay $12/hr. If he wants to go full time I will keep him at that for now until he has been with us for a while longer. I will probably also make him a foreman.

Right now My company is as follows. Myself and my business partner. We each have a truck. We are 8 months old and have a 6x12 landscape trailer, a 36 inch toro walk behind and a 21 inch Honda. We have two Stihl 600br bp blowers. 1 ECHO weed eater and 1 ECHO edger. 1 Stihl Combi tool with an edger, weedeater and hedger attachment. That is our main frontline equipment.

Our goal is to have people cutting grass for us asap while we can effectively manage the company from an office and out bringing in new business as well as overseeing the work and taking care of issues that arise. We are at the point now where we can't handle much more work on our own. We have to invest in the company to move forward. Otherwise we will be stuck with the same customers now and be cutting grass ourselves. In order to grow, I must first have the guaranteed work coming in. I have just put a bid on 2 commercial properties that a big trash company uses. They liked me and my numbers and so they replied today with an email asking me to bid on 4 more of their properties across the state. Unfortunately the properties are very spread out and I would have to travel up to two hours one direction to get to some of them. I don't know that I can do that. The money would have to be very good. The kicker is that they want one company doing all of it. That may not work out for me.

I also have two other commercial bids out. One is a decent sized... $3000/month account and the other is at a large supermarket in a new shopping mall. That is about $650/month. If I keep getting the opportunity to place bids and actually pull in some of this work I will have to hire two full time guys, buy a box truck, buy at least two z turns and probably two more combi tools and another blower.

At this point I will pay these guys to cut as many of our properties as they can. Once I get to the point of them cutting full time and Me and Chris cutting full time I will then start another truck.

That is my game plan thus far.... Again, I am new at this and am learning as I go. If anybody has advice I am all ears.
__________________
Matthew A. Crump
Fire & Lawn Rescue | Owner
Matt@FireandLawnRescue.com
205-999-3970
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-11-2011, 02:43 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,307
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

You got a lot going on!

Be vary wary of accepting bids outside of your service area. The drive time will eat up cash quickly.

Quote:
I will have to hire two full time guys, buy a box truck, buy at least two z turns and probably two more combi tools and another blower.
Have you sat down and put pen to paper to figure out these costs and how long they will last for? Then figure out how much this equipment is costing you per hour?

Add the employee costs and you will see what your hourly break even point is.

Also, you will have to figure out how you are going to manage the staff to make sure they are doing the job and doing it right. You also gotta make sure they are where they should be and not taking extra work on the side, while using your equipment to do it.

Ultimately, someone will need to spot check the jobs randomly and also keep tabs with the customers to make sure they are satisfied with the work.
__________________
- 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
  #10  
Old 08-11-2011, 10:35 PM
Mattcrump's Avatar
Mattcrump Mattcrump is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hoover, Al
Age: 32
Posts: 43
Rep Power: 4
Mattcrump is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve,

You are right. All of that is definitely expensive but I have to invest into my company if I expect it to grow. I caught a huge break though. The girl I was dealing with emailed me back and said the other properties have been stopped. The original 2 properties I went and bid on are the only ones they are going to hire someone for right now which means I dont have to travel.

It also means that as of right now I can do them on my own without having to hire anybody yet. So as of right now it is all profit with no extra expenses.
__________________
Matthew A. Crump
Fire & Lawn Rescue | Owner
Matt@FireandLawnRescue.com
205-999-3970
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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help fast? jasonw Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 5 06-25-2010 12:31 PM
My company is growing and now I have growing pains neukam Starting a lawn care business. 13 05-06-2009 07:05 PM
Fast growing Company from southern NH GroundWorks2009 Introduce Yourself 3 03-04-2009 05:36 PM
Fast or slow? Steve General Talk 1 12-26-2006 02:09 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Brake job!
kslawn
08-30-2014 07:49 AM
Today 05:57 PM
by 04bluesilverado
5 128
Trailer tires
J.A.S.LawnService
Today 10:17 AM
Today 11:39 AM
by stevef1201
1 34
snowplowing
jshak40
Today 07:20 AM
Today 11:37 AM
by stevef1201
3 64
Walk Behinds and Texas...
SGL1
08-26-2014 03:53 PM
Today 09:52 AM
by mattthelawnguy
6 210
Mowing 7 acres
avetslawncare
Yesterday 04:24 PM
Yesterday 05:55 PM
by stevef1201
3 88
Help pricing cut down 7...
Bradcook21
08-26-2014 11:17 PM
Yesterday 04:48 PM
by avetslawncare
6 208
New to the industry-...
Lsmain
Yesterday 10:53 AM
Yesterday 10:53 AM
by Lsmain
0 60
Sod
RosalesLawnCare
08-27-2014 03:47 PM
08-30-2014 07:00 PM
by RosalesLawnCare
2 148
Lawn Route Templates
Landscaper1165
08-30-2014 01:52 PM
08-30-2014 05:04 PM
by stevef1201
1 91
Exmark Lazer Z S-Series...
BLC7
08-22-2014 10:18 AM
08-30-2014 09:49 AM
by BLC7
10 391
Hello! New here and...
CaliforniaFriendly
08-29-2014 11:30 AM
08-29-2014 05:39 PM
by jrs.landscaping
1 114
Stihl engine isn't...
Marcintosh
08-12-2014 08:30 PM
08-28-2014 09:28 PM
by Marcintosh
12 526
Hello
jawnebgoode
08-28-2014 08:37 PM
08-28-2014 08:37 PM
by jawnebgoode
0 56
Hello from Ohio
kurtwin
08-28-2014 05:06 PM
08-28-2014 05:06 PM
by kurtwin
0 78
Softball field
kslawn
08-15-2014 09:28 AM
08-28-2014 12:01 PM
by Steve
16 611
Lawn needs top soil What...
jymie
08-26-2014 11:01 AM
08-28-2014 11:58 AM
by Steve
5 212
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
08-27-2014 08:33 PM
by kurtwin
1,187 331,253
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
08-26-2014 04:21 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
110 6,639
How do I approach...
Bradcook21
08-21-2014 01:48 AM
08-26-2014 05:08 AM
by Billy Goat
12 513
Tender Process
M2Dave
08-24-2014 12:31 PM
08-25-2014 04:14 PM
by Steve
2 188
Grass hopper mower
ExtremeLawncareServices
12-05-2013 08:51 AM
08-25-2014 04:02 PM
by Steve
26 3,848
Need help pricing basic...
Bradcook21
08-22-2014 01:21 AM
08-22-2014 01:05 PM
by Steve
2 280
Yearly contract Pricing
jrob0691
08-21-2014 08:57 AM
08-22-2014 01:01 PM
by Steve
6 359
yearly contract help...
jrob0691
08-21-2014 04:09 PM
08-22-2014 12:48 PM
by Steve
1 231
Pampas bushes
Bradcook21
08-22-2014 01:30 AM
08-22-2014 07:17 AM
by grassdoctore
1 201
2014 Gie-expo
ExtremeLawncareServices
08-19-2014 11:22 PM
08-21-2014 08:50 PM
by phlawncare
2 243
Fuel Can Spouts
Shark1611
08-16-2014 09:09 AM
08-21-2014 08:23 PM
by SGL1
11 485
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
08-21-2014 05:03 PM
by stevef1201
6 748
Hello
M2Dave
08-21-2014 12:32 AM
08-21-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 208
New Landscaping Business
rekon32
08-16-2014 02:26 PM
08-21-2014 12:33 PM
by SouthallMowing
8 546
Downed Tree Chop Bid
WesleySnips
08-16-2014 03:47 PM
08-20-2014 01:44 PM
by SGL1
10 515
60 inch honda/bunton...
pblawncare
08-17-2014 11:30 AM
08-18-2014 03:19 PM
by Steve
2 259
Replacement Parts -...
nicholas-KC
08-16-2014 08:40 AM
08-18-2014 03:16 PM
by Steve
4 369
Preparing the soil
Billy Goat
08-16-2014 06:18 PM
08-18-2014 03:01 PM
by Steve
1 280
What to pay help
phlawncare
08-04-2014 08:33 PM
08-18-2014 10:33 AM
by jrs.landscaping
29 1,110
Hello
Jeff1
08-07-2014 11:18 PM
08-15-2014 11:53 PM
by Jeff1
11 571
Lie #2 RESIDENTIAL...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-06-2014 05:02 AM
08-15-2014 01:46 PM
by mattthelawnguy
54 6,683
Need help 30 HP koler...
Shady Grady
08-01-2014 03:31 PM
08-15-2014 08:46 AM
by kslawn
18 747
New Boomless Sprayer!
BlackRain75
01-03-2014 01:01 PM
08-14-2014 02:37 AM
by BlackRain75
12 1,940
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
08-13-2014 03:29 PM
by Steve
1 374
Hello from Jacksonville,...
JM Lawn Care
08-10-2014 07:15 AM
08-13-2014 07:04 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
9 491
Hello everyone new to...
maddyandrays
08-11-2014 04:51 PM
08-12-2014 08:58 PM
by Shark1611
2 326
Walk behinds
hpruitcei
08-07-2014 06:28 PM
08-12-2014 02:35 PM
by mattthelawnguy
7 594
New name help
stevef1201
08-10-2014 04:27 PM
08-12-2014 12:03 PM
by Steve
6 480
my little green dilemmas
Lawn Techie
08-03-2014 11:47 AM
08-11-2014 01:20 PM
by Steve
7 573
what the best...
CleanCutsLLC
08-02-2014 01:02 AM
08-11-2014 01:16 PM
by Steve
6 629
Texas lawn care company...
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:29 AM
08-11-2014 01:19 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
13 884
Covering all the bases
janslawncare
08-08-2014 10:11 AM
08-08-2014 01:41 PM
by Steve
1 419
New from Florida
ADE
08-06-2014 08:40 PM
08-08-2014 01:32 PM
by Steve
4 484
JOB - Landscape Install...
janslawncare
08-08-2014 10:06 AM
08-08-2014 10:06 AM
by janslawncare
0 374
» Popular Tags
4wd ads auger birdscaping charge collections subcontractor craigslist customers ecosymbiosis estimate exmark fall ferris first truck franchise gopherhaul grass gravely hardscapes hills holiday honda how much to charge how to bid introduction invoice john deere quik trac kawasaki labor cost landscape services late lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lawn service leaf cleanup lesco lighting marketing mowing mulch estimate new buisness new mower patio install podcast promotion pto reo rotating scag scripts season seo starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business steve stihl theft theft of services tips toro toro grand stand trailer walker
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:12 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:12 PM.

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