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View Full Version : Is your business profitable?$?$


Eden Lights
10-25-2007, 01:30 AM
OK, you don't have to answer this one, but I just got every bit of paperwork caught up:invoice, bills, inventory with charge off for warranty and etc. The question is if you had to pay someone else a salary to replace yourself, would your business pay you as the owner enough money to be worth it?? If it does how many years did it take you to get there?? How many employees do you have??

For myself I don't think we will get there without adding another install crew, it's just not going to happen. That would be at least 4 people on the payroll and the owner.

Lite4
10-25-2007, 01:42 AM
Not even close yet. I am just a one man op. Maybe in time, but I enjoy this too much to get out of it.

Eden Lights
10-25-2007, 01:54 AM
Not even close yet. I am just a one man op. Maybe in time, but I enjoy this too much to get out of it.

I agree with you, but we are ready to kick it up a couple of notches or just stop marketing and etc. and just coast.

pete scalia
10-25-2007, 02:18 AM
I'm not sure I understand the ?

Are you asking if there is anyone who owns the business but is not active in it. is paying salaries to others to operate it on a day to day basis and is it profitable and how many yrs did that take to be so?

bmwsmity
10-25-2007, 09:08 AM
i think where he's coming from pete is the idea of a true "business" and not just being self-employed. a true business is a totally self-contained operation that needs little if any input from the owner.

what he's asking is if any of us are there yet. me, hell no, not even close, but i'm slowly getting it there. the only thing i hate to do is bury wire, so i can hang in there till the time comes :laugh:

Pro-Scapes
10-25-2007, 09:20 AM
As with Tim I enjoy it too much still. Sounds like Eddie needs a nice long vacation and to look back... perhaps just handle the design and sales end of things and let everyone else take care of the dirty work.

One thing I have noticed. As soon as you start deligating duties your quality control may lax a bit on you. Also no one will ever watch your company as close as you will. If you do find the right operations manager to do the day to day duties you do then make sure he is on an incentive program so they stay motivated. Salary plus bonus has worked well for our landscape co in the past but since we have downsized we handle all the operations. Our quality dropped when I was not on each and every project myself.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-25-2007, 09:21 AM
We just had a planning and goal setting meeting last night... Part of our plan is to continue investing in plant and equipment. The idea is that I can not and will not be climbing trees into my 60's!

We also have no desire to become a big, multi-employee operation. So my next goal is to get a Tupen Leo12G Lift, An appropriate trailer, and appropriate truck to pull it all. A significant investment in equipment. This will allow my installer greater ease and safety (job security if you will) and provide me with more options to quickly and safely do what we do here.

The result should be quicker installations allowing for a small organization to do more volume.

Every market is different, as are the goals and asipriations of every business owner. I don't see a need, want or desire to totally remove myself from the day to day operations of my business. It is my hands on approach that my clients consistantly remark on.

Chris J
10-25-2007, 09:46 AM
I employ two others besides myself. My main guy, who has been with me 3 years, handles all of the service related issues from day to day, which frees up a whole bunch of time for me to do estimates and office stuff. If you can find one really good guy that is trainable and responsible, he can alieviate a great deal of stress. The biggest problem is finding that "one guy" that you can trust enough to send out on his own. When you do, however, the service calls alone will pay his salary.

bmwsmity
10-25-2007, 11:41 AM
great points guys.... i think the most preferable thing for most of us is to find someone to take on the things that aren't our strengths so we can concentrate on what we do best.

i love what i do, but i know there are things within my business that could be done better by someone else.

the key is creating INCENTIVE for that employee to do a great job. of course, this is very difficult to do, considering each person has different things that make them excited.

the funny thing is, most people try to create incentive for employees through pay alone. while pay is important, studies have found that it actually ranked as one of the lowest factors in employee motivation.

one of the biggest incentives for employees is "self-actualization", or, feeling as though they are doing something worth-while and important - something that uses their full potential.

the key is matching a position to someone who can utilize their full potential in that position, then backing that up with motivating pay structure.

has anyone ever used any sort of personality testing to find what their potential hires' strengths are?

this is widely used in sales organizations, and it often very effective.

though it may sound kind of corny for a service company to use, these hiring tools can save a lot of time and headache in the long-run.

NightLightingFX
10-25-2007, 12:25 PM
I kind of have part time employees. Most of the time I can handle everything myself. However, sometimes there maybe a million thing going on all at once without help I wouldn't get anything done. I work with an employment angency. I hire my help then I have my selected helper get employed by the employment agency. The agency pays the helper, and I pay the agency. I don't have to worry about all the insurance and tax BS. My helper gets paid $10.00 hr it cost me $14.50 hr. I don't have enough work to hire someone full time but it is nice to have another body out there. For a big job it sure makes a big difference in the time it takes to finish. It is also kind of nice to have someone do grunt work while I focus on the technical and detailed stuff.
~Ned

bmwsmity
10-25-2007, 01:40 PM
that's a great setup ned!

with the actual costs of payroll services, taxes, and workers comp, a $10/hr employee usually costs about $13 total anyhow. can't beat having someone there just when you need them!

Eden Lights
10-25-2007, 09:01 PM
i think where he's coming from pete is the idea of a true "business" and not just being self-employed. a true business is a totally self-contained operation that needs little if any input from the owner.

I couldn't have said it better, Thanks.

Eden Lights
10-25-2007, 09:07 PM
We just had a planning and goal setting meeting last night... Part of our plan is to continue investing in plant and equipment. The idea is that I can not and will not be climbing trees into my 60's!

We also have no desire to become a big, multi-employee operation. So my next goal is to get a Tupen Leo12G Lift, An appropriate trailer, and appropriate truck to pull it all. A significant investment in equipment. This will allow my installer greater ease and safety (job security if you will) and provide me with more options to quickly and safely do what we do here.

The result should be quicker installations allowing for a small organization to do more volume.

Every market is different, as are the goals and asipriations of every business owner. I don't see a need, want or desire to totally remove myself from the day to day operations of my business. It is my hands on approach that my clients consistantly remark on.

I talked to the importer a couple of years ago and I never could get a answer to what grade % would the Leo work on? How long to get one into the USA? How long to get service parts if needed? I talked with some guys at the arborsite that had the bigger models in the US working. If you get one, I want to come see it. Also ask about the price for two if you get serious with the guys, I heard it's better when they bring more than one in?

Eden Lights
10-25-2007, 09:09 PM
great points guys.... i think the most preferable thing for most of us is to find someone to take on the things that aren't our strengths so we can concentrate on what we do best.

i love what i do, but i know there are things within my business that could be done better by someone else.

the key is creating INCENTIVE for that employee to do a great job. of course, this is very difficult to do, considering each person has different things that make them excited.

the funny thing is, most people try to create incentive for employees through pay alone. while pay is important, studies have found that it actually ranked as one of the lowest factors in employee motivation.

one of the biggest incentives for employees is "self-actualization", or, feeling as though they are doing something worth-while and important - something that uses their full potential.

the key is matching a position to someone who can utilize their full potential in that position, then backing that up with motivating pay structure.

has anyone ever used any sort of personality testing to find what their potential hires' strengths are?

this is widely used in sales organizations, and it often very effective.

though it may sound kind of corny for a service company to use, these hiring tools can save a lot of time and headache in the long-run.

Excellent comments and Ideas, Thanks.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-25-2007, 09:23 PM
I talked to the importer a couple of years ago and I never could get a answer to what grade % would the Leo work on? How long to get one into the USA? How long to get service parts if needed? I talked with some guys at the arborsite that had the bigger models in the US working. If you get one, I want to come see it. Also ask about the price for two if you get serious with the guys, I heard it's better when they bring more than one in?

I am pretty sure they are now distributed out of the USA and carry stock.

Here is their web site: http://www.spiderlifts.com/

The guy I talked to said $51K for the Leo12G, Shipping was to be $1590 to me in Ontario.... (then the dreaded duties at the border, up to 20%)

David Gretzmier
10-25-2007, 11:54 PM
we'll have 6-7 guys onboard to do Christmas installs/takedowns this year, I do sales, management, bookkeeping, collections, marketing, ordering and planning. If I had 6-7 guys doing installs on landscape lighting the rest of the year I could easily pay a secretary $11-$13 per hour and a business manager 35-45k per year and still pay myself a pretty good salary. Our sales would be around 250k for Christmas and around 500-700k for Landscape Lighting. my thoughts are this will not happen for 3-5 years. but, in 3-5 years we also should have 8-10 guys doing Christmas install/takedown, and be at 350-400k for that.

bmwsmity
10-26-2007, 08:33 AM
sounds like you've thought things out well david... awesome!

oh, my brother told me the other day that he read there was a 24% increase in overall sales for landscape lighting over the previous year. hopefully this figure can help us in our projections some :)