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joe7588
01-08-2007, 09:11 PM
How many companies on this site gross over a million $ annually, and mostly
do maintenance type work? Mowing, mulch, fertilizing etc.

mattfromNY
01-08-2007, 09:20 PM
Did you say Million headaches? ME, ME, ME!!

joe7588
01-08-2007, 09:29 PM
I know all the headaches believe me. I'm closing in on that in sales and was questioning whether it's worth continuing in this direction or not.

Runner
01-08-2007, 09:53 PM
LOL At that point, it is a whole different business. You go from a landscape management business owner to a full time babysitter. My best friend is there with 26 employees, and he has new stories to tell every time we talk.

YardPro
01-08-2007, 10:22 PM
we are almost at that number now. Probably will not hit it this year, but for sure will next year.

but we do pool service and landscape install as well...

Jpocket
01-08-2007, 10:43 PM
I'd Probably have a heart attack before I reached 1 million Dollars Gross in the Lawn/Landscape business. I really don't think this area would support it, unless someone was to buy on one of the heavy hitters.

joe7588
01-08-2007, 11:01 PM
do you oversee everything yourself or do you have a couple main guys to delegate to. right now it's just me to oversee 10 employees/laborers mostly Brazilians and everything else to run a business. I also fertilize 350 accounts by myself. The point is I don't think I can continue to to do all this and grow my business.

walker/redmax
01-08-2007, 11:31 PM
Actually, I'm closer to a billion.:drinkup:

walker/redmax
01-08-2007, 11:32 PM
....................................or two

lawnpro724
01-08-2007, 11:38 PM
Depends on where you live. I don't live in a big city so I would doubt that I will ever hit a million especially doing just maintnance. I have employees and we do pretty much everything but I'm a small opporation and like it that way. I'm not looking to run a million dollar business, thats not my goal I just want to make a good living for my family and I do.

wski4fun
01-08-2007, 11:52 PM
It's only worth it if you net more. As you know there is a lot of compitition around here. Have you sat down and analyzed the numbers yet? Think about a business consultant that specializes in the field. It may be a lot of money upfront but worth it in the end. I know someone that did that in the construction field and it took him to the next level in profits. Good luck.

Mean Green Lawns
01-09-2007, 12:21 AM
1 million dollars cutting lawns would take 1200 lawns at 30 $ each. I know a company in MI that doeas Ferts and Cuts and has 1200 custos just in one small city (30K people in Troy) and has a total of about 6K lawns in total so it is very possible with good help and a good plan.

in most cases you are not going to find someone of that magnatitude here online because they have too much **** going on.. Just My 2 cents

tjsquickcuts
01-09-2007, 01:25 AM
in most cases you are not going to find someone of that magnatitude here online because they have too much **** going on.. Just My 2 cents

Thats funny you said that, because as I was reading the first few post, I was saying to myself that If there is someone on here with a mil plus is gross net sales, then I need to find out how they have so much free time to talk to us peons.....lol......
I think everyone wants to do well, some want to make better than others, but what ever you think will have you comfortable, I say go for it.....Me personally, I am looking to do a Million plus in 2009. I have a long range projected forecast and if everything goes as planned, then I should do just over a million.....I have had tremendous growth, and I have a high demand for my services, and with all the growing thats going on in my area, if I were to try, I might be able to do a million in 08, but I am not going to rush it....I want to keep it profitable and manageable at the same time.....

My Gross Net Sales were in the HIGH $200K...$285 and some change to be exact.....
This is allowing my family to really live comfortable, but I want more....maybe I am greedy, but it sure beats the $65,000 I made while working in corporate america and having to put up with all the BS, and be told what to do.....

But for me to Hit a million, I need about 600 Full Service Lawn Mtce(Squirt and Fert Included) customers, and I will be well on my way....I am @ 177 as of today, and I havent even started marketing for new customers yets.....I need to be at 225 at the least by 3/5 when I kick off the season for 07. With 1200 customers, I would be over 2 mil a year, if not more.....

Mean Green Lawns
01-09-2007, 01:40 AM
lol Sounds like you got your stuff together. I gave up ferts last year myself; Collecting money became an issue. I have full service program this year that includes spring and fall clean up , gutters, and 36 cuts for 1350.00.. cheap I know lol
Whats a weed and feed going for these days in your part of the world? I would be at like 1.6 mil with 1200 program custos...

txgrassguy
01-09-2007, 02:38 AM
I'm not there but I am close.
So, how do I have time to post here?
Because I run a business and I know how to delegate.

Duekster
01-09-2007, 05:29 AM
My third year starts in Feb 07. I think 06 will be like 250k.

Our projections have us get there pretty soon.

Team-Green L&L
01-09-2007, 05:54 AM
We haven't hit $1 mil. quite yet, but it's right around the corner. Don't be discouraged by your area. Mike Rorie (Groundmasters) started in the suburbs of Cincinnati and was grossing $2 mil. in 1993. I've heard that they did $25 mil. last year and just sold to Brickman's. It is a realistic goal for everyone here.

joe7588
01-09-2007, 08:17 AM
I need to hire a right hand man, someone who can run any aspect of the business. How much would do you pay for this person and for those who
have was it worth it ?

joe7588
01-09-2007, 08:24 AM
Weed and Feed program is $5/k for up to 10/k and $4/k over 15/k. I do 7
appl/yr.

MarcSmith
01-09-2007, 08:35 AM
My Budget is a few ticks over a million....

Not the same as making the money, but I still have the responsibility to spend it wisely...

txgrassguy
01-09-2007, 09:07 AM
I need to hire a right hand man, someone who can run any aspect of the business. How much would do you pay for this person and for those who
have was it worth it ?
Not to be a smart aleck - but here it goes anyways:
My experience has been that hiring managers, without a lot of exceptions, were much more trouble than they were worth. The attitude and resistance I noticed when hiring a "skilled" person was a real killer to overcome.
The route I took required a bit more time yet has yielded much greater benefits for my company.
I train my foremen up from the ranks and I am continually reinforcing their training regimen with new and too them unexpected situations.
What I have ended up with are three people who are:
1. Trained to my standards
2. Completely understand daily work scheduling, goal completion, safety and equipment accountability.
3. Because they came up through the ranks, they still understand what it was like for them as crew members. I get a real kick when one of them goes to bat for a poor performer. They will be the first to give you a shirt of their backs, yet are the first to boot you in the ass if you continually screw up.

The result? I "shoot" the crews out the door each morning like a torpedo.
Then I do paperwork for two to three hours each morning, meet with customers/have meetings with project managers. Yet the crews know I am just a radio call away and at times know I will show up on job sites.
I really don't pay an outrageous wage per hour, it averages out to a company wide $9.50/hour regardless of position.
Some of the perks I offer my employees are complete uniforms after a probationary period of thirty days. Included are boots, socks, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and safety gear. All items are inspected daily and replaced as needed. I hold back pallets from sod jobs and mulch purchases then turn them in all at once, take the refund and throw a party.
So far I have had a golfing party, a lake front cook out with water skiing, X-mas time I deep fryed a turkey, and we occasionally have bowling parties.

In order to locate your next foreman I advocate a policy of"foreman for a day". I pick one employee, explain the day's schedule and sit back and watch them sort it out. Real quick you find out who is capable of what. Sometimes I will take my turn on some of the tasks yet usually I am called away for meet and greets.
After 17+ years in this business, from maintaining golf courses, building them here and overseas, teaching agronomy and now running my own successful business, what I have described has been the best process I have found for hiring appendages.

Duekster
01-09-2007, 09:11 AM
Not to be a smart aleck - but here it goes anyways:
My experience has been that hiring managers, without a lot of exceptions, were much more trouble than they were worth. The attitude and resistance I noticed when hiring a "skilled" person was a real killer to overcome.
The route I took required a bit more time yet has yielded much greater benefits for my company.
I train my foremen up from the ranks and I am continually reinforcing their training regimen with new and too them unexpected situations.
What I have ended up with are three people who are:
1. Trained to my standards
2. Completely understand daily work scheduling, goal completion, safety and equipment accountability.
3. Because they came up through the ranks, they still understand what it was like for them as crew members. I get a real kick when one of them goes to bat for a poor performer. They will be the first to give you a shirt of their backs, yet are the first to boot you in the ass if you continually screw up.

The result? I "shoot" the crews out the door each morning like a torpedo.
Then I do paperwork for two to three hours each morning, meet with customers/have meetings with project managers. Yet the crews know I am just a radio call away and at times know I will show up on job sites.
I really don't pay an outrageous wage per hour, it averages out to a company wide $9.50/hour regardless of position.
Some of the perks I offer my employees are complete uniforms after a probationary period of thirty days. Included are boots, socks, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and safety gear. All items are inspected daily and replaced as needed. I hold back pallets from sod jobs and mulch purchases then turn them in all at once, take the refund and throw a party.
So far I have had a golfing party, a lake front cook out with water skiing, X-mas time I deep fryed a turkey, and we occasionally have bowling parties.

In order to locate your next foreman I advocate a policy of"foreman for a day". I pick one employee, explain the day's schedule and sit back and watch them sort it out. Real quick you find out who is capable of what. Sometimes I will take my turn on some of the tasks yet usually I am called away for meet and greets.
After 17+ years in this business, from maintaining golf courses, building them here and overseas, teaching agronomy and now running my own successful business, what I have described has been the best process I have found for hiring appendages.

That is good info.


I am worried that I will grow faster than my ability to train properly.

txgrassguy
01-09-2007, 09:19 AM
I wouldn't be and am not. Simply grow at a sustainable pace that uniformly supports growth without compromising standards.
Provided you are building a sustainable business and not chasing just money as your primary objective, once your trained labor pool is in place it really isn't difficult to expand.
Unless you are really ready for it, it is very often much harder as an owner to delegate responsibility to their employees.
The tight rein syndrome is actually more damaging to business health, employee relations and retention than poor pay.

Duekster
01-09-2007, 09:30 AM
I wouldn't be and am not. Simply grow at a sustainable pace that uniformly supports growth without compromising standards.
Provided you are building a sustainable business and not chasing just money as your primary objective, once your trained labor pool is in place it really isn't difficult to expand.
Unless you are really ready for it, it is very often much harder as an owner to delegate responsibility to their employees.
The tight rein syndrome is actually more damaging to business health, employee relations and retention than poor pay.

Well, my client is rather large and they want me to assume more of their business. If I don't take it some one else will get it.


Where are you located?

Tim Wright
01-09-2007, 11:30 AM
Not to be a smart aleck - but here it goes anyways:
My experience has been that hiring managers, without a lot of exceptions, were much more trouble than they were worth. The attitude and resistance I noticed when hiring a "skilled" person was a real killer to overcome.
The route I took required a bit more time yet has yielded much greater benefits for my company.
I train my foremen up from the ranks and I am continually reinforcing their training regimen with new and too them unexpected situations.
What I have ended up with are three people who are:
1. Trained to my standards
2. Completely understand daily work scheduling, goal completion, safety and equipment accountability.
3. Because they came up through the ranks, they still understand what it was like for them as crew members. I get a real kick when one of them goes to bat for a poor performer. They will be the first to give you a shirt of their backs, yet are the first to boot you in the ass if you continually screw up.

The result? I "shoot" the crews out the door each morning like a torpedo.
Then I do paperwork for two to three hours each morning, meet with customers/have meetings with project managers. Yet the crews know I am just a radio call away and at times know I will show up on job sites.
I really don't pay an outrageous wage per hour, it averages out to a company wide $9.50/hour regardless of position.
Some of the perks I offer my employees are complete uniforms after a probationary period of thirty days. Included are boots, socks, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and safety gear. All items are inspected daily and replaced as needed. I hold back pallets from sod jobs and mulch purchases then turn them in all at once, take the refund and throw a party.
So far I have had a golfing party, a lake front cook out with water skiing, X-mas time I deep fryed a turkey, and we occasionally have bowling parties.

In order to locate your next foreman I advocate a policy of"foreman for a day". I pick one employee, explain the day's schedule and sit back and watch them sort it out. Real quick you find out who is capable of what. Sometimes I will take my turn on some of the tasks yet usually I am called away for meet and greets.
After 17+ years in this business, from maintaining golf courses, building them here and overseas, teaching agronomy and now running my own successful business, what I have described has been the best process I have found for hiring appendages.


Excellent info and awesome job on running a BUSINESS!

A couple of questions;

1. Exactly what are your foremans job duties, how many people or crews under them, etc?

2. What do you mean by; "Hold back a pallet of sod, then turn it in?"

3. I have purchased CLIP for the purpose of managing growth into where you are at and beyond. Do you use software to manage, track route projects, crews, employees, and job cost?

I am excited for you and your business.

Tim

Tim Wright
01-09-2007, 11:35 AM
This is an Awesome thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am with those who are endeavoring to go somewhere. I have owned my own job for 15 years, and have struggled. I am over it, and I am going to have a business work for me, period.

Right now I am working on Projections for Gross Income, Hard cost of growth, variable cost senierios, SOP's getting my CLIP data base in order with new customer contracts, and all of the necessary things to go "SYSTEM."

My goals for the year.

10 - Apartment complexes, 300 residentials, and work on final grading, new projects for landscaping design and install, waterscapes, and get certified in pavestone and begin small personal projects, and more. We will see how far I get.

I would like to double that next year.

Thank you all for your input on this thread.

Tim

fiveoboy01
01-09-2007, 11:43 AM
tagging for the info in here...

MarcSmith
01-09-2007, 11:54 AM
Most sod companies charge deposits for the pallet. I do the same with Kegs. One of my jobs is removing illegal kegs. I get enough kegs each year to have a summer BBQ and give each guy(20) a gift card at Christmas.

When you hire a manager you are doingso for two reasons. you need help managing the crews and you want to get an infusion of "fresh blood" inthe company.

If you expect that when you hire a manager, they are going to work perfect right out of the box, youre hopes are too high. It takes a good manager several months to get his feet on the ground and get a real "lay of the land".

Promoting from within is always the prefered method as it give the guy who work for you hope in that there is a chance to move up in the ranks

Tim Wright
01-09-2007, 12:30 PM
I guess i am looking to understand if in this post, foreman, manager, and crew leader or chief are being used as the same or distinctly different.

In my mind they are different, in which case I am wondering what jobs are expected of the foreman in the companies that are large enough to need them.

Tim

MarcSmith
01-09-2007, 12:48 PM
TGLC had "crew leaders" same thing as a foreman. each crrew leader had 2-5 people working for him. dependingon crew size, 3-man or 6-man crews.

That person was responsible for serviceing their equipment (daily blades, weekly oil, by weekly pressure washing) They were responsible for keeping track of all hours by all employee's on EACH job. Ie time sheet for each stop.

Responisble for keeping track of all tools an equipment assigned to them.
responisble for providing service reporst to the manager, In some cases they need to to touch base witrhthe property manager, adn even propose T&M work as needed.n And try to keep to the budget hours.

each manager woud manage about 4-5 crews or 500K in work....

Tim Wright
01-09-2007, 02:52 PM
Marc,

You certainly have your act together working for institution, I cannot remember if it was a college or museum, or what, but you know what you have to do there.

This following statement is not a put down, but a statement of curiosity.

It would be interesting to see what you could do running your own company. You might do fairly well.

Tim

LwnmwrMan22
01-09-2007, 03:18 PM
Depends on where you live. I don't live in a big city so I would doubt that I will ever hit a million especially doing just maintnance. I have employees and we do pretty much everything but I'm a small opporation and like it that way. I'm not looking to run a million dollar business, thats not my goal I just want to make a good living for my family and I do.

This is my situation, although I don't have employees.

Doing $120-150k solo, I suppose it would take about 15-20 guys where I'm at (25 miles north of St. Paul, MN) to do $1M / year.

The biggest "problem" that I would have, would be what to do with the employees in the off season.

I suppose I could run more firewood, and get more trucks for snowplowing, or just lay everyone off for the winter.

It looks nice on paper, but then I keep thinking how much I hated when I had 7 guys working for me and it's just hard to pull the trigger.

There's going to be unbelievable growth here as well, as they're opening all the roads around here (making the 2 lanes into 4 lanes, widening bridges, etc., stuff that limits traffic flow / growth, in the next 10 years or so, which puts me about 45 years old and running my business going on 30 years by then.

My 4 year old hopefully would like to take this over, along with my 1 1/2 year old eventually, and then make them crew leaders, etc., along with their buddies for summer help.

MarcSmith
01-09-2007, 03:53 PM
Tim

I am the landscape and grounds manager at Georgetown University. 114 acres of fun in DC.

After I left Disney and worked for valley crest, I did run my owm business for about 3-4 years. After My wife had the baby she wanted to move back north and get back to work so I sold the Biz and TGLC hired me and paid for me to move up to Northern VA.....

So I have been in the trenches with you guys, but it was back in the mid-late 90's had several trucks, and several hundred yearly contracts 90% resi 10% commercial, but no managers I gutted it all out on my own...

I was very close to needing to hire a manger. But two different companies baught me out so it was not an issue.

Tim Wright
01-09-2007, 04:03 PM
Tim

I am the landscape and grounds manager at Georgetown University. 114 acres of fun in DC.

After I left Disney and worked for valley crest, I did run my owm business for about 3-4 years. After My wife had the baby she wanted to move back north and get back to work so I sold the Biz and TGLC hired me and paid for me to move up to Northern VA.....

So I have been in the trenches with you guys, but it was back in the mid-late 90's had several trucks, and several hundred yearly contracts 90% resi 10% commercial, but no managers I gutted it all out on my own...

I was very close to needing to hire a manger. But two different companies baught me out so it was not an issue.

Very Good Marc! I knew you had a boat load of experience somewhere.

I appreciate your sharing!!!!!

Tim

wowmowwow
01-09-2007, 07:54 PM
you hard working "rich" guys make me sick...lol im part time and made $13,000 in 06. my best ever! i am still at my full time warehouse job and have never thought about going full time mowing untill this year. i told everyone im going full time mowing in feb. and thats real close. too close. so if i doubled the 13 thats only $26k. so work at my secure job thats climate controled, they pay my insurance, and match 50% in 401k. or should i make the dive into mowing without any of that. there are LOTS of guys around here mowing and i have learned as an entrepreneur that they are not my competition... i am my biggest competitor. but i know you "big $ makers" have earned it but how in the he** will i ever earn over 50k. hey that would great!

HenryB
01-09-2007, 08:11 PM
I know three guys that were grossing over 1 million per year. All three went belly up. One guy works solo now and says he nets more money. Another had his house foreclosed on. Let it sink into your skull bigger is rarely better and most times your net is a very small percentage.

txgrassguy
01-09-2007, 09:00 PM
I know three guys that were grossing over 1 million per year. All three went belly up. One guy works solo now and says he nets more money. Another had his house foreclosed on. Let it sink into your skull bigger is rarely better and most times your net is a very small percentage.

If this is the case than those three guys are piss poor business people.
I made over $75K per year in the mid nineties building courses and I do over that now. Best thing is I have Saturday and Sunday off, don't travel all over hell's half acre from a phone call by the front office. Actually, the best thing is the value I am building with my company, it has been appraised by commercial business brokers at over $500K and is still growing.

Regarding the previous question, it is just like Marc said. I receive a $5 deposit return from each pallet the sod company gets back. With over fifty pallets at a time being returned, it makes for a pretty good party. We do this at least three times per year.
Regarding the foreman question - each foreman supervises up to six people depending upon the job, site characteristics and time period necessary for completion.
Part of the supervisory responsibilities is uniform check out, job site management, equipment servicing - basically all of the details needed outside of the office. This time of year we are running a reduced schedule so there are no lay offs, however, we are ramping back up to 40+hrs per week as demand has increased.
Hope this answers those questions.
Oh, and Duekster - talk with this large client and explain what you are facing as far as the expansion difficulties and so forth. Be honest with this client and I bet they will surprise you with more support than you expected.
Time and again I hear from contractors that solely utilize my company relate they hire me because we are honest, communicate well, have reliable crews, dependable, do good work. Almost never do these business people mention that they pay my company more than others as it is an accepted practice to pay more for the traits I listed above.

lawnpro724
01-09-2007, 09:00 PM
This is my situation, although I don't have employees.

Doing $120-150k solo, I suppose it would take about 15-20 guys where I'm at (25 miles north of St. Paul, MN) to do $1M / year.

The biggest "problem" that I would have, would be what to do with the employees in the off season.

I suppose I could run more firewood, and get more trucks for snowplowing, or just lay everyone off for the winter.

It looks nice on paper, but then I keep thinking how much I hated when I had 7 guys working for me and it's just hard to pull the trigger.

There's going to be unbelievable growth here as well, as they're opening all the roads around here (making the 2 lanes into 4 lanes, widening bridges, etc., stuff that limits traffic flow / growth, in the next 10 years or so, which puts me about 45 years old and running my business going on 30 years by then.

My 4 year old hopefully would like to take this over, along with my 1 1/2 year old eventually, and then make them crew leaders, etc., along with their buddies for summer help.

Wow you make $100,000 - 150,000 solo? thats around what I make gross with 1 full time and 1 part time employee. I will be in the $200,000 range soon and shouldn't have to hire anyone else. In IL like most places your required to carry workers comp and pay into unemployment so if you have to pay it, use it. I just lay everyone off in the winter.

LwnmwrMan22
01-09-2007, 09:11 PM
If this is the case than those three guys are piss poor business people.
I made over $75K per year in the mid nineties building courses and I do over that now. Best thing is I have Saturday and Sunday off, don't travel all over hell's half acre from a phone call by the front office. Actually, the best thing is the value I am building with my company, it has been appraised by commercial business brokers at over $500K and is still growing.

Regarding the previous question, it is just like Marc said. I receive a $5 deposit return from each pallet the sod company gets back. With over fifty pallets at a time being returned, it makes for a pretty good party. We do this at least three times per year.
Regarding the foreman question - each foreman supervises up to six people depending upon the job, site characteristics and time period necessary for completion.
Part of the supervisory responsibilities is uniform check out, job site management, equipment servicing - basically all of the details needed outside of the office. This time of year we are running a reduced schedule so there are no lay offs, however, we are ramping back up to 40+hrs per week as demand has increased.
Hope this answers those questions.
Oh, and Duekster - talk with this large client and explain what you are facing as far as the expansion difficulties and so forth. Be honest with this client and I bet they will surprise you with more support than you expected.
Time and again I hear from contractors that solely utilize my company relate they hire me because we are honest, communicate well, have reliable crews, dependable, do good work. Almost never do these business people mention that they pay my company more than others as it is an accepted practice to pay more for the traits I listed above.


TXgrassguy -

Please do not take this the wrong way, but the original poster asked who was making $1M +, just doing maintenance. Sounds to me like you're doing some install work as well???

IMO, unless you've got 1,000 @ $1,000 / month or 2,000 @ $500 / month or 10,000 customers @ $100 / month, it's going to be awfully hard to do $1M in just maintenance.

Maybe with chemicals, since there's more of markup there, but just mowing.... ?????

Duekster
01-09-2007, 09:15 PM
What is a pallet worth anyway.

txgrassguy
01-09-2007, 09:36 PM
What is a pallet worth anyway.

Apparently $5 to the sod company.

And no, I didn't take it personally. Part of being a good business person is recognizing, adapting too and utilizing market trends to further diversify for operational security.
Yes, my company does do installs yet we are marketed as a full service grounds maintenance provider. In fact very shortly we are starting structual pest control service as well. I have been asked to provide this service, and once I return from Central America I will acquire yet another license and further grow my business.

MarcSmith
01-10-2007, 08:27 AM
What is a pallet worth anyway.

up here 6 bucks....

Iwould include landscape maintenance, IE cutting grass, pruning, chems, and occasional isntalls (flowers, ect)

To cut a million bucks of grass is a lot, but for those who just "cut grass" picking up on the extras, pruning, planting, full landscape maintenance, is a lot of extra money without much investment. You already have the trucks and mosr important you have the client base and stop at their house alkmost every week. These extras coudl easily add 25% to your gross if not more with very little extra time added.

Duekster
01-10-2007, 08:39 AM
I have about 100 of them from a job I am about to finish. I need to find some place in Dallas area that will buy them.

YardPro
01-10-2007, 08:40 AM
to reach this number you really need good people under you.

For every $250K in work you need a manager to manage it....

I used to do everything and could never get past the $300-$400K range.... I was working myself to death....

Now we have someone to manage the maintenance, a pool service manager, and i am running the installation division trying to grow it...
construction is more than half of our total volume.

joe7588
01-10-2007, 08:48 AM
Just to clarify we do more than just cut grass. Lawnmowing is about 50% of total sales, the rest is spring and fall cleanups, mulching,pruning,fertilizing and
snowremoval. We don't do any construction or planting.

hoyboy
01-10-2007, 07:40 PM
to reach this number you really need good people under you.

For every $250K in work you need a manager to manage it....

I used to do everything and could never get past the $300-$400K range.... I was working myself to death....

Now we have someone to manage the maintenance, a pool service manager, and i am running the installation division trying to grow it...
construction is more than half of our total volume.
You don't need 4 managers to do a million in maintenance.

Az Gardener
01-10-2007, 09:58 PM
I was at a John Hueston seminar last year at IA and he gave these as the steps of growth.

350-K in sales solo operator high profit margin

600-K part time office help 2 crews still may work out of house

1-M 1 full time office/sales person 10 crew members in the field

3-4-M supervisors, controller, sales dept, welcome to the big times

He said you should be able to do 100-K per field worker on avg. That # could go up if you are doing installs with lots of materials and lower if its strictly service with few materials but it is a good avg to shoot for.

Tx grass guy, I'm glad you found us. I look foreword to your future posts. Looks like you will be a valuable contributor to the site.

LwnmwrMan22
01-10-2007, 11:47 PM
I was at a John Hueston seminar last year at IA and he gave these as the steps of growth.

350-K in sales solo operator high profit margin

600-K part time office help 2 crews still may work out of house

1-M 1 full time office/sales person 10 crew members in the field

3-4-M supervisors, controller, sales dept, welcome to the big times

He said you should be able to do 100-K per field worker on avg. That # could go up if you are doing installs with lots of materials and lower if its strictly service with few materials but it is a good avg to shoot for.

Tx grass guy, I'm glad you found us. I look foreword to your future posts. Looks like you will be a valuable contributor to the site.

You've got to be talking about southern climates there.

Basically I work more hours than 90% of the people here (80-100 / week) in the summer, and can gross $150k working solo.

If I had 10-12 months of "mowing" weather, I could push out the $250ish-k range, but am limited in the winter, since all your work basically has to be done in one day after a day whenever it snows, IF it snows, rather than working 5-6-7 days / week.

HenryB
01-11-2007, 12:24 AM
If this is the case than those three guys are piss poor business people.
I made over $75K per year in the mid nineties building courses and I do over that now. Best thing is I have Saturday and Sunday off, don't travel all over hell's half acre from a phone call by the front office. Actually, the best thing is the value I am building with my company, it has been appraised by commercial business brokers at over $500K and is still growing.

Regarding the previous question, it is just like Marc said. I receive a $5 deposit return from each pallet the sod company gets back. With over fifty pallets at a time being returned, it makes for a pretty good party. We do this at least three times per year.
Regarding the foreman question - each foreman supervises up to six people depending upon the job, site characteristics and time period necessary for completion.
Part of the supervisory responsibilities is uniform check out, job site management, equipment servicing - basically all of the details needed outside of the office. This time of year we are running a reduced schedule so there are no lay offs, however, we are ramping back up to 40+hrs per week as demand has increased.
Hope this answers those questions.
Oh, and Duekster - talk with this large client and explain what you are facing as far as the expansion difficulties and so forth. Be honest with this client and I bet they will surprise you with more support than you expected.
Time and again I hear from contractors that solely utilize my company relate they hire me because we are honest, communicate well, have reliable crews, dependable, do good work. Almost never do these business people mention that they pay my company more than others as it is an accepted practice to pay more for the traits I listed above.

If you have any friends that own power equipment shops ask them how much money the big LCO's have. I worked at a shop quite a while it was amazing how piss poor these big guys were. I spent more time repoing their equipment than working in the shop.

txgrassguy
01-11-2007, 12:35 AM
You have made my point for me. I do know several people that own power equipment shops. However, what do you consider "big" as a LCO?

HenryB
01-11-2007, 12:49 AM
You have made my point for me. I do know several people that own power equipment shops. However, what do you consider "big" as a LCO?

Over 12 guys. I don't follow how I made your point? From working in the shop I saw first hand who has money and who doesn't. I learned more than I wanted to. It's desperate how these guys equate their self worth by how many guys they have, lawns they have and the number of F250's they lease or make payments on. It's sad.