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View Full Version : How fast can one grow and how much can you make?


PrecisionLawncareArkansas
02-27-2006, 06:58 PM
Just wanting some feedback on how fast you can grow. I am really wanting to build a good business by the end of the summer and go full time next spring. I cant afford to buy the best and the most, but the question is what can 2 guys with push mowers and all other necessary equipment expect to make and grow in one year.

Lets not get to deep. I live in a metro area of about 200,000. In the two towns that I will market to there are approx. 20,000 homes. This does not include apartments just single family dwellings. I also have a real estate office that will use me exclusively.

What are your thoughts???

YardPro
02-27-2006, 07:17 PM
buy a bigger mower as fast as you can or concentrate on the very small yards...

I hate to say it, but if you cannot afford a larger mower, you will have problems growing.. growth requires spending money... with no cash and no credit it will be hard to make enough to live on AND grow as well.

CAG
02-27-2006, 07:43 PM
I agree with yard pro on getting a bigger mower. You will be kicking yourself when you get calls for larger property's. Go with a used ztr for around 4gs and it will save you from hiring the second guy. Remember that if things don't work out could sell the mower and get most of your money back.. Payroll will be gone!!

ECS
02-27-2006, 09:10 PM
Just wanting some feedback on how fast you can grow. I am really wanting to build a good business by the end of the summer and go full time next spring.
I was fired in Aug. of 2004 and I went out on a limb and started what i do now. I bought a $6k plow and hoped to make enough to by a good mower in the spring. As luck would have it, the winter downright shucked. I went ahead and bought a Z, trailer, and a cheap push mower with only 4 accounts. Well my net was just under what I was being paid from my past employer, that is after all expenses.

So it can be done! This year I am looking at and hoping for a 30% increase over last year.

Adverising with letters, post cards and word of moth.
Dedication to having and growing your own business.
Striving to make a decent living for yourself and your family.

bvlawn&landscape
02-27-2006, 10:51 PM
buy a bigger mower as fast as you can or concentrate on the very small yards...

I hate to say it, but if you cannot afford a larger mower, you will have problems growing..

How is that ? Everybody starts out at the bottom and works there way up, its rediculous paying $2,000+ for a mower when there is no guarantee that the business will work as planned.

growth requires spending money... with no cash and no credit it will be hard to make enough to live on AND grow as well.

When you GROW then its time to use your profit and upgrade your business plan.


I disagree with all of those here telling new business owners to buy the biggest, thats just a waste of money.

mow2nd
02-28-2006, 12:05 AM
i started my business at 20, spent $3,000 on equipment (credit) $1,500 on a trailer (credit) and $10,000 on a truck (credit)

I made $87,000 gross my first year, u gotta love (credit) i do....

befnme
02-28-2006, 12:38 AM
as the old saying goes you gotta have money to make money .but at any rate you need some thing halfway descent to start with. but to ask about how fast can you grow and how much money can you make that depends on the best peice of equipment you have..." yourself ". you cant sit on your but at home with no advertising and expect the calls to roll in. if you dont work you aint gonna get work.

B&D Lawn Care
02-28-2006, 02:24 AM
Depends on how much ya wanna spend. Like I tell my ya gotta spend it to make it.

PMLAWN
02-28-2006, 05:15 AM
Trick question. You can grow fast and crash just as fast. You can spend a lot and make a little, or you can spend a little and make OK,
But the real question is why do you ask??
This is up to you and you need to plan for it. How many hours will you work this year. How much will it cost to produce the service. What equipment will you add. How much do you have to invest, What will you finance or if. It is up to you to make a plan and answer your own question.

As far as money-- Most will be making under 20K and not even realize it. Few will be better at business and get into the 30-40 range. And a very small percent will plan for and work for the business and build it to 50+ net.
But it is all up to you!

ztrguy
02-28-2006, 09:59 AM
So lets say you're running a small business making 20k and you want to expand and try to go for 30-40 range the next year. Do you think it's a good time to expand once you hit say 20k? Or should you wait til you are hitting 25 until you start to expand?

Next question: In order to expand you should get your vehicle lettered up nice and advertise a lot more. Not go out and buy 2 more ZTR's and then not have enough money to advertise a lot more. Correct?

daveintoledo
02-28-2006, 12:44 PM
most companies that grow too fast go under... start with wht you have and upgrade as you can.... its a very tough market out there, expect to make NO money the first couple of years, thats just the reality of it,

some people here will tell you they make lots of money the first year, most arent legal or even adults yet....... most of what you make will go back into the business so you will probably need another part time job

not trying to discourage you, just being honest,......:)

PMLAWN
02-28-2006, 03:05 PM
So lets say you're running a small business making 20k and you want to expand and try to go for 30-40 range the next year. Do you think it's a good time to expand once you hit say 20k? Or should you wait til you are hitting 25 until you start to expand?

Next question: In order to expand you should get your vehicle lettered up nice and advertise a lot more. Not go out and buy 2 more ZTR's and then not have enough money to advertise a lot more. Correct?
I am not sure what you are asking-- If you are at 20K and than 25K you did expand. Always buy what you NEED not what you want and hope to use.

What is "expand" more properties. More gross, More Net, More profit. LCO #1 works 40 hours a week and Has 40 properties Brings in 800 dollars. Costs him 400 dollar in overhead, 320 in labor, and 10% profit ($80).
LCO #2 has 80 properties works 60 hours a week and brings in$1380 dollars. $800 in overhead, 480 in labor and $100 in profit.
SO # 2 has double the lots but only 50% more hours sold. So # of lots don't count
#1 charged $20 per hour and #2 charged $23. But both payed $8 per hour to work. so what you charge has little to do with it.
They had different overhead #'s and that changed the Profit#1 only had $80 while #2 had $100 BUt $80 was 10% While $100 was only 7.2% Which is the better business???
Point is what is expanding and what do you want to get to.
Profit is king! Overhead is the killer. Work at being a better run business and you will grow.

ztrguy
02-28-2006, 03:39 PM
When I'm talking expand, I'm talking add more ZTR's, more trucks, more lawns, more advertising, more business. The only way you are going to expand is if you advertise more. You have to take advantage of every opportunity you have to advertise. Tons of work just doesn't walk up to you without advertising. The more you advertise the more business you will get. It might mean 3000 mailers, TV ads, Radio Ads, Yellow Pages, Billboards, the whole nine yards in order to get enough business you want. The more business you get the more you need that extra ZTR, truck, and trailer. There's comes a point at your business where you have (or need) to say OK I'm going to start advertising like crazy and I'm going to add that extra truck,trailer, ztr setup. I'm going to get additional work from the advertising and I have the equipment to take on the work. But when is a comfortable time to make that next big step? It's probably not a good idea when you're only making $10,000 but it might not be such a bad idea if you're making say $25,000. You already have some good business coming in and you can afford to get that extra setup and do that extra advertising that could potentially get you to making $50k or $75k. So, when do you think that time comes that you say ok it's time to step up and expand. If you just grow $5000 a year slowly (playing it safe) you'll hit your mark 10 years down the road and that's ok. But some might think it's better (taking a little risk) upgrading and going full force advertising and returning the results over night so to speak.

PMLAWN
02-28-2006, 07:28 PM
OK I see what you asking now. For me NOW, I will "expand" (or add another truck) when I have the money in the bank to run the crew and the truck for at least 6 months. Trying to get the work, teach the crew, set up the truck and hopefully get all 50 jobs on the same day as you start the new crew is really hard, read impossible. There is a big jump from starting another crew and making it profitable. So I will be sure I have the finances to run it for a good amount of time.
Last year i had so much problems getting one all set with the right people that I dropped the whole route, parked the truck and fired the crew (which had gone through 7 people so far.)
Getting the work is the easy part- getting the RIGHT people to produce it is the hard part.

get rich
02-28-2006, 08:20 PM
I know a fella in my area that has nothing more than a one ton dump(nice) and two push mowers and weed eaters and blowers. He has no trailer. Him and another guy push mow everything, and you'll hear other lco's laugh and say why don't he buy walk behind or riders? He doesn't want the added expense of trailer and big equipment. He prunes shrubs, does clean ups and mulches places. A nd he makes very good money at it also. Smart cookie in some aspects. Hey too each his on right? Some aspire to be the biggest lawn care company out there and others are happy making a comfortable living. He only takes care of smaller premier places and postage size lots. He has grown leaps and bounds and stays very busy. He has avery good name in town as doing excellent work and very reliable....with two push mowers mind you!! Where there is a will, there is a way. Thats why we are at the top of the food chain right? Just my two cents.

YardPro
02-28-2006, 08:34 PM
How is that ? Everybody starts out at the bottom and works there way up, its rediculous paying $2,000+ for a mower when there is no guarantee that the business will work as planned.

When you GROW then its time to use your profit and upgrade your business plan.


I disagree with all of those here telling new business owners to buy the biggest, thats just a waste of money.

dude, starting a business is supposed to be risky, otherwise everybody would be doing it. Nothing in life that is worthwile is without risk.

you have the totally wrong mindset to be successful
he is asking how to make the most money in the shortest time... you think he can do that with a 21" mower???
i never suggested he buy the biggest.. etc...


I have been in this business for a long time, and started with a lowe's mtd mower, and a $75.00 trailer. Last year we did over $500K and turned a double digit profit margin and i personally made over $50k..
there are a lot bigger fish out there ( and here) than me, but also a lot of smaller ones also.

I do know how to grow a profitable business, and unless you target the small yards, and have a setup like justmowit, you are just not going to make a good living with a 21" mower.