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View Full Version : Season starts today. Outlook for '06


TURFLORD
01-31-2006, 05:50 PM
Sent out the reconfirm letters today with some modest price increases. Waiting to see what this year has in store. I asked a question a while back about how everyones year went. Got odd answers. Everybody in the real world around me said it was a down year. Here in the virtual world said it was an up year. I think some people didn't want to admit less sales than '04 which was stellar. So I'll ask again. How was your year and what is your outlook for '06. Please, only lco's in high density suburban areas with high market saturation of competion answer, and don't be afraid to tell the truth.payup

DUSTYCEDAR
01-31-2006, 05:52 PM
holding on for the ride hopeing this year is better then last.
everythig cost more and can only pass on so much of the cost to the customers.
hope this year is better for everyone

OnMyOwn
01-31-2006, 06:00 PM
Tough year last year due to "STUPID" financial decisions of the past. I have a much better outlook for the coming year due to associations with others, better equipment, lower overhead, and an incredible client retention rate.

nmez21
01-31-2006, 06:02 PM
Last year was a bit tough, good luck this time around.

kleankutslawn
01-31-2006, 06:06 PM
tough for me here in Florida, but mostly because of gas prices&alot of equiptment problems.

beautifullawns
01-31-2006, 06:35 PM
Last year business was up 100%. We added almost 20 customers. Very busy. So far we have only added 1 contract this year. It seems all condos i bidded on, someone else bid almost half. :confused: I can't figure out how people are staying in business for some of these prices. I am still hoping to get some good contracts though.
good luck to all:drinkup:

OnMyOwn
01-31-2006, 07:02 PM
Last year business was up 100%. We added almost 20 customers. Very busy. So far we have only added 1 contract this year. It seems all condos i bidded on, someone else bid almost half. :confused: I can't figure out how people are staying in business for some of these prices. I am still hoping to get some good contracts though.
good luck to all:drinkup:

I think you just hit the nail on the head. These quotes being submitted may not be going-concerns. It may be the start-ups that are unaware of their costs of doing business. Don't worry...in a matter of months, they will bury themselves with work and lack of income. They will bail out of the business as quick as they got into it.

When you think about it, it is almost a "great thing" that these guys flood the market at the beginning of each year. It means we get a better selection of used equipment for next year's business.

The contracts will come....don't worry. Stick to your professionalism, including pricing, insurance and presentation.

Turfdude
01-31-2006, 08:30 PM
Our gross was up approx 17% in '05 vs '04. I hope to go up again this year. We keep "upgrading" clients. Not necessarily servicing more clients, just dropping less profitable accounts and signing up new more profitable ones.

nobagger
01-31-2006, 08:46 PM
Last season we did really well with smaller landscape jobs, we were busy just about every weekend. Mowing was soso, we picked up a few new customers but nothing great, but steady. We just bought out another company today and it comes with 25 or so clients, 40%commercial 60%long time customers. So this year we are expecting a great year. We'll see.:dizzy:

lawnsbyrj
01-31-2006, 09:29 PM
last year was year 2 for me full time. and over all I had a bigger year. but I also added about 8 accounts and added some services we did not do last year. if things grow like last year and we have a better Growing season this year will be OK

clallen03
01-31-2006, 09:42 PM
I cant comment on last year because this is my first year in the business. I do expect to pick up at least 15 accounts and improve my knowledge of the buisness. Even if I dont pick up any accounts but I improve my knowledge of the industry I would still consider it a good year because I have no overhead, just time and a strong desire to learn!

Envy Lawn Service
02-01-2006, 12:35 AM
Sent out the reconfirm letters today with some modest price increases. Waiting to see what this year has in store. I asked a question a while back about how everyones year went. Got odd answers. Everybody in the real world around me said it was a down year. Here in the virtual world said it was an up year. I think some people didn't want to admit less sales than '04 which was stellar. So I'll ask again. How was your year and what is your outlook for '06. Please, only lco's in high density suburban areas with high market saturation of competion answer, and don't be afraid to tell the truth.payup

Well, did I reply to the old thread of yours? I don't remember but I thought I did reply to a thread like that. I was honest too.

Anyways, I do not have the dense population here like you do in New Jersey, but I have everything else, including a tanking local economy, high unemployment rate, and the "everybody's a landscaper" saturation.

So if that fits the profile, then yes. In '05 I had a bad year compared to '04. It was my first downhill year from the year before I have had ever. But it did not turn out as bad as I was projecting despite many other attributes went much worse than expected.

The '05 season was a pretty rough year all the way around. But it was also a break in pace from '04. So that was good. But that's about all.

As far as 2006 projections, I'm not far enough along yet to actually make projections. I'm hoping for record retention percentages, but I do not know if that will happen yet. We shall see.

TURFLORD
02-01-2006, 08:10 AM
Well, did I reply to the old thread of yours? I don't remember but I thought I did reply to a thread like that. I was honest too.

Anyways, I do not have the dense population here like you do in New Jersey, but I have everything else, including a tanking local economy, high unemployment rate, and the "everybody's a landscaper" saturation.

So if that fits the profile, then yes. In '05 I had a bad year compared to '04. It was my first downhill year from the year before I have had ever. But it did not turn out as bad as I was projecting despite many other attributes went much worse than expected.

The '05 season was a pretty rough year all the way around. But it was also a break in pace from '04. So that was good. But that's about all.

As far as 2006 projections, I'm not far enough along yet to actually make projections. I'm hoping for record retention percentages, but I do not know if that will happen yet. We shall see.
I would sum up last year the same way you said it. A break in the action was good. It's good to live a little for a change. In a couple of weeks those letters will start to come back and I'll know who still likes me.:rolleyes:

LawnTamer
02-01-2006, 08:49 AM
I had a good year in '05, picked up about 50 new fert & weed control accounts and about 14 new weekly maintenance clients. '04 was a tough year for us though. We had a lot of our clients loose their jobs in the fall of '03 and through nearly all of '04. I literally got dozens of calls/letters all about identical
"Thank you for your work, We love the service but husband/wife lost his/her job and we have no $$$." Many of them came or are coming back just now but I've noticed a lot of their houses for sale or sold, even had a couple declare bankruptcy on us:mad: .
This year I'm hoping to get back to our ideal size for a 2 truck outfit 500-600 spraying clients and 80-100 mowing accounts. Then maybe I can look at adding a 3rd truck in '07.

Green-Pro
02-01-2006, 11:58 AM
2005 was our first year in the green industry, I was very pleased with the results of our season. I knew at the end of the 2005 season 2006 would be bigger and better as we #1 continued to take on new accounts for lawn service and applications for 2006; #2 We were actively booking landscape and hardscape jobs for the spring of 2006.

Sybran
02-01-2006, 11:59 AM
05 was good for me, added first full time employee took on some schools, we were up 35% from 04 and hope to increase that again this year. Started plowing in 05 and added second tryuck to fleet.

06 would like to get into commercial market hoping to buy 2 ztrs for upcoming yr to cut schools and commericial accounts.

Infinite
02-01-2006, 05:53 PM
Hey Turflord u don't happen to have an example of the letter u sent out raising prices that u can share do u?

TURFLORD
02-02-2006, 07:02 AM
Hey Turflord u don't happen to have an example of the letter u sent out raising prices that u can share do u?
I don't have a form specifically for raising prices. I just add a line on my reconfirmation letter that says a price increase will be denoted by an asterisk.

GarPA
02-02-2006, 07:46 AM
Well....its SO NICE to see mostly positive comments in this thread. Too often we see threads about how bad this industry is.

- 05 was good..about a 20% increase in gross revenue with more full-service accounts and fewer mow-only accounts ( I hope to drop nearly all mow-only accounts by the end of 06 as the profit margins on res. mowing are just too thin). Our bread and butter are small to medium sized commercial accounts with full service.
- for 06 hope to grow another 15% in revenue (mostly from upselling existing accounts for more services). Fees will go up on average about 5% plus the continuation of a fuel surcharge where/when needed. The surcharge is in addition to the 5% fee increase. ( and can we please not get into the age old issue of fuel surcharges in this thread...if you want to discuss that issue do a search on "surcharge" and you will have enough to read until the tulips croak)