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View Full Version : A story for solo ops about solo ops...with 1 helper


Liquidfast
07-06-2007, 01:10 AM
I don't know where this is going so please...don't post "So what is your point".

After I dealt with a b**ch of a customer I receive a call from one of my commercial accounts requesting I come in for a meeting. My initial thought was we did something wrong.

I set a time and meet someone I have never met before. She explains that one of our properties have been transfered to her property maintenance company and would like for us to submit a bid as well as a contract. When I arrived, there was another LCO cutting with a home depot lawn tractor and a push mower, 2 guys and they were cutting a H U G E complex.

Anyway, after 30 minutes, we hit it off (not physically). She tells me that the current company has been offered 12 other commercial properties and the current guy REFUSED the work. He stated he wasn't willing to grow and in the past has only worked for residential customers.:hammerhead:

The guys cuts the grass amazingly well but his downfall is he has too many resis and doesn't have the time or manpower to properly manage this complex.

The reason this company is changing LCOs is the new rule. The company wants ONE company per 6 commercial properties. She shows me 6 bids and what the winning bids were. These contracts range from $30,000 to $44000 per year.:dizzy:

In order to handle these accounts, one would need 5 guys once per month to do the beds and 2 guys the remainder of the month to just cut......

Why would ANYONE refuse these contracts??? Would any other solo ops (with one helper) turn this opportunity down?


LASTLY, becoming a LCO for this particular company places you in their "book". This book has only 14 LCOs in it and this company manages over 90 properties. I brought this up because I cannot fathom how or why anyone would pass this up???? After our meeting, I went to the liquor store and bought a $70 bottle of wine and a thank you card and will be sending it out tomorrow.

Cornwell
07-06-2007, 01:50 AM
Wow thats a dream come true to me. All commercial properties and big money. Of course lots and lots of work. Nows when you really need to find good people to work that out. You've been handed extreme potential now what to do with it. Good Luck!!!!!

Midwest Lawn Services
07-06-2007, 02:04 AM
Boy it sure isn't everyday that you hear a story like that! Around here its a mad bidding war to get the commercial accounts. Having them fall into your lap like that is truly a blessing for you and your business. Good luck and a prosperous year!:)

BobcatZT
07-06-2007, 02:38 AM
Nice to hear, good luck. :waving:

Vikings
07-06-2007, 02:51 AM
I wouldn't be able to jump on that, it's a little too much at once. I'd be a little worried because of some of the stories I heard about LCO's that put all there eggs in one basket, then have the basket taken away.

All the have left is a lot of extra equipment and no lawns to cut. Oh, and payments.

swingset
07-06-2007, 05:04 AM
I wouldn't be able to jump on that, it's a little too much at once. I'd be a little worried because of some of the stories I heard about LCO's that put all there eggs in one basket, then have the basket taken away.

All the have left is a lot of extra equipment and no lawns to cut. Oh, and payments.

That was my initial thought reading your story. I'd probably jump on it because I have some cushion financially but I can see the resistance to that kind of gamble, especially for a solo guy.

It's a dream come true, or a business-killing leap of faith depending on how your fortunes play out.

Runner
07-06-2007, 05:31 AM
All that glitters is not gold....Especially with management companies. As far as their "rules",... they switch, swap and shuffle all the time. Be careful and keep your 6 o'clock covered.

Tharrell
07-06-2007, 08:30 AM
I don't see any problem. With that kind of volume, your equipment could be paid off in 2 months and all you'd have to worry about would be labor. Getting good help is the hardest part of this business.

d&rlawncare
07-06-2007, 08:37 AM
I don't see any problem. With that kind of volume, your equipment could be paid off in 2 months and all you'd have to worry about would be labor. Getting good help is the hardest part of this business.

I agree. PLUS before you do anything, IF YOU HAVENT ALREADY, have a lawyer look over the contract you present them.

carcrz
07-06-2007, 09:02 AM
How big are these properties anyways?

Just make sure you have a contract for everything. I'd even recommend an early cancellation clause since they are looking mid-season as it is. Somebody is losing money that they were planning on; you don't want that to be you!

Lawnut101
07-06-2007, 09:57 AM
It's a hard choice, but if it was me, I'd take it. But if your satisfied with your business now, then that's great. If not, there's a great opportunity!

TLS
07-06-2007, 10:52 AM
If you need the work, and feel you can handle this jump, then do it. Personally, don't let that "Property Management" scheme get to you. They'll drop you like a bad habit for no reason, and then your stuck with all your eggs in one basket.

Any big development, subdivision, shopping center, business park, etc are usually ALWAYS underbid. Big companies that can handle them are awarded them, but the profit is very low for the potential headaches. Very rarely are the LCO's paid well for big jobs like this.

inHaliburton
07-06-2007, 11:39 AM
If you need the work, and feel you can handle this jump, then do it. Personally, don't let that "Property Management" scheme get to you. They'll drop you like a bad habit for no reason, and then your stuck with all your eggs in one basket.

Any big development, subdivision, shopping center, business park, etc are usually ALWAYS underbid. Big companies that can handle them are awarded them, but the profit is very low for the potential headaches. Very rarely are the LCO's paid well for big jobs like this.

This post make the most sense to me. They can dump you just a quickly as you got this contract, depending on the escape clause. I'm a small single operator, personally I prefer smaller jobs. On the larger jobs, I can't wait to get the heck outta there and on to the next one.

Good Luck!

nobagger
07-06-2007, 01:10 PM
Nice to hear! I guess some people are just content with status quoe. I dont know if sending a bottle of wine is a good idea, that might be mistaken for "other agenda's. I think a thank you card and maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant, heck even a thank you card should be enough.

fargoboy
07-06-2007, 03:13 PM
everyone has said it above but you forgot the most important part. When do you get paid? Someone might pass this oportunity up because you get paid 45 or 60 days after you comply with their rules.

Rob.C
07-06-2007, 03:24 PM
everyone has said it above but you forgot the most important part. When do you get paid? Someone might pass this oportunity up because you get paid 45 or 60 days after you comply with their rules.
very good point, I would have it pre-paid by the year, or something along those lines at least a month in advance......I hope u have a cut minnimum, make sure you protect yourself...LOL:)

TNT LawnCare Inc.
07-06-2007, 06:24 PM
Get it all in contract!! and make sure you have the man power and proper equipment. Good Luck ! Oh and Thank the GOOD LORD !

ALarsh
07-06-2007, 08:09 PM
Is that 2 guys can do the mowing all in one day or will it take 2 guys 5 days a week to complete the mowing?