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stuvecorp
11-27-2008, 12:27 AM
Has anyone ever moved your business out of the area you started in? For some reason I have been thinking about heading north the last couple years and wonder if I could pull it off?

Junior M
11-27-2008, 12:31 AM
How far north? like to another town not to far away? or like a whole other state?

stuvecorp
11-27-2008, 12:49 AM
How far north? like to another town not to far away? or like a whole other state?

Hard to say, maybe just a couple hours. Is it crazy to go to a smaller market?

Scag48
11-27-2008, 01:01 AM
Hard to say, maybe just a couple hours. Is it crazy to go to a smaller market?

It's hard to say. My dad is in a small, full time resident market. In a town of only 4,400 year 'round residents, he relies on almost 80% of his business to come from those building second homes. It's crazy because the slowdowns this year were not felt for him, it was his best year ever and it was off to a seriously late start, first project wasn't underway until May. He could have done another 10-15% gross sales had he started a month or so earlier, like he normally does. However, if it wasn't for rich folk from the Seattle are building second homes, I can't imagine there would be much work for even 2 hardscapers in town. There's only 2 other local companies that directly compete at my dad's level and they are very respectable companies. Everyone else has no equipment, no design abilities, not a clue what to use for plants, forget hardscaping and speak little english.

I have often, and when I say often I mean practically every day, thought about going back into business for myself at some point. It's only a matter of time, the only thing that gives me trouble deciding is where I want to do it; in the Seattle area or back home. There is more opportunity here in the Seattle area, but there's more competition and I have zero connections. Like they say, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Back home, I know a lot of builders, a lot of folks in the community, but I would be in a limited size market. However, there are a lot of guys running around there with 120/150 size hoes, a backhoe or dozer, and call themselves excavation contractors. If I was to go back into business, I'd be doing something specialized, I just haven't figured out what that is, but I eventually will.

stuvecorp
11-27-2008, 01:26 AM
It's hard to say. My dad is in a small, full time resident market. In a town of only 4,400 year 'round residents, he relies on almost 80% of his business to come from those building second homes. It's crazy because the slowdowns this year were not felt for him, it was his best year ever and it was off to a seriously late start, first project wasn't underway until May. He could have done another 10-15% gross sales had he started a month or so earlier, like he normally does. However, if it wasn't for rich folk from the Seattle are building second homes, I can't imagine there would be much work for even 2 hardscapers in town. There's only 2 other local companies that directly compete at my dad's level and they are very respectable companies. Everyone else has no equipment, no design abilities, not a clue what to use for plants, forget hardscaping and speak little english.

I have often, and when I say often I mean practically every day, thought about going back into business for myself at some point. It's only a matter of time, the only thing that gives me trouble deciding is where I want to do it; in the Seattle area or back home. There is more opportunity here in the Seattle area, but there's more competition and I have zero connections. Like they say, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Back home, I know a lot of builders, a lot of folks in the community, but I would be in a limited size market. However, there are a lot of guys running around there with 120/150 size hoes, a backhoe or dozer, and call themselves excavation contractors. If I was to go back into business, I'd be doing something specialized, I just haven't figured out what that is, but I eventually will.

Probably the area I am thinking of most the town only has 1500-2000 people but there are a lot of lakes and people that come from Illinois or Minnesota so you get that second home /cabin thing going. I know a builder that does real well and have talked to them some off and on over the years but have never point blank asked them for work. I do know of a landscaper/carpenter in the town and he is good but I know the market is nowhere close to what some of us are doing here. The plan would to have the big dump, excavator and the two skids and go any where within a hour circle. I would likely shot for more excavating but I think a complete package(hardscape/hydroseeding/grading/softscapes) for the folks that are doing their cabins would go over.

Construct'O
11-27-2008, 01:42 AM
How would the difference in the distance change your time frame as in the weather???? Shorter work season for dirt work,but more time for snow remover is that something you have thought about.

Which one will make more money and how long of a season for each.If i wasn't so old i would consider moving farther south if anything:) Good luck!:usflag:

Junior M
11-27-2008, 08:03 AM
If you are just dont move to an area without alot of money, if that makes sense. When Dad was in business in Ohio he was in a prime area, working in Columbus, in the suburbs around Columbus, and the other small towns that surrounded that had huge money in them from Longaberger Baskets, and then all the other big rich communities from the people that work for Wex Lexner (<sp?) and then just people that just have money.

Where here, it is a middle to upper middle class community, there isnt alot of money here, there is a couple communities with a little money, but they are old money communities, with alot of older people who bought the houses new in the 70's and they arent spending there money on grading and stuff like we do, most of our work is for new houses, even with the pools, we only did 3 houses with people actually living in them, the rest are new houses that people are either still working on or are being moved into. and most of our pool work is around the lake, ironically, and thats really where the money is here...

JDSKIDSTEER
11-27-2008, 09:23 AM
How far north? like to another town not to far away? or like a whole other state?
He wants to move to Canada and hire Pebble Mouse.........Im sorry, I could not resist.

Junior M
11-27-2008, 10:00 AM
He wants to move to Canada and hire Pebble Mouse.........Im sorry, I could not resist.
Why would he want to hire GR? so GR can drive around in his F450 hauling useless crap, and complaining about not having work, and then the work quality sucking, and the boss being horrible.. Oh, god and dont forget Stuvecorps trucks wont be good enough, and his equipment will suck and will be falling apart, until he got there and fixed everything because he is so smart. :laugh: Sorry, I just had to get one good sarcastic comment in..

JDSKIDSTEER
11-27-2008, 10:21 AM
Why would he want to hire GR? so GR can drive around in his F450 hauling useless crap, and complaining about not having work, and then the work quality sucking, and the boss being horrible.. Oh, god and dont forget Stuvecorps trucks wont be good enough, and his equipment will suck and will be falling apart, until he got there and fixed everything because he is so smart. :laugh: Sorry, I just had to get one good sarcastic comment in..
I thought you would like that idea.

tnmtn
11-27-2008, 10:29 AM
i don't know how it is in the area your talking about but here it is definitly tough ti break into becoming a local in a small town. i think in a bussiness where it is so important who you know it would be tough. might try goiing up in that area and scouting a little. maybe try working for your friend the contractor and see how fast you can make contacts. i guess also you have to consider how strong your bussiness is where your at.
good luck,

RockSet N' Grade
11-27-2008, 11:48 AM
I have moved from an established business in Los Angeles, California to a small podunk town in the middle of nowhere in Utah. A complete "do over" and starting from scratch, and scratching to start.....BUT, if you have done it once with a successful formula........it can be done anywhere again........just choose your location carefully and make sure there is a need for that type of work/service you are going to provide. Do your homework first.....

Junior M
11-27-2008, 12:01 PM
I have moved from an established business in Los Angeles, California to a small podunk town in the middle of nowhere in Utah. A complete "do over" and starting from scratch, and scratching to start.....BUT, if you have done it once with a successful formula........it can be done anywhere again........just choose your location carefully and make sure there is a need for that type of work/service you are going to provide. Do your homework first.....
Very well put..

Stuvecorp, didnt you just establish your business in your current location?

YellowDogSVC
11-27-2008, 12:01 PM
Has anyone ever moved your business out of the area you started in? For some reason I have been thinking about heading north the last couple years and wonder if I could pull it off?

Canada? I heard there is absolutely no work in the north! :canadaflag:

I have actually contemplated what you are discussing though I am currently married to my land and to sell would screw my folks who live at the other end of the ranch.

I imagine it could be like starting over in a way except this time you would have already beaten the learning curve. You could probably overcome a lot by smart advertising and networking prior to moving to get name recognition.

stuvecorp
11-27-2008, 12:39 PM
I did grow up there so I know the area and some of the people but yah it I might be regarded as an interloper which is important to go after the out of town folks. One of my thoughts are the market area I am in, we have to be pretty good(professional/technical skills) to compete and up there it is not so much.

I have been going at it here for ten years in the spring and just haven't broke through with builders and I just don't really like it here. I can't really explain it, just like it so much better up north. I talked to a septic guy a couple years ago and asked if I could apprentice with him and I think I scared him but his kids don't want anything to do with the business and it sounded from the potty pumper folks(that are friends with my parents) that he wanted out of the septic game.

The marketing part will be big, this winter I will probably make contact to see if I can survive. Have to talk to the cranberry marsh also to see if I can hire on a quad for hauling sand in slow times since they have tandems and just bought two pits that are aways away. I also wonder if there would be the clean slate effect where here I am a 'landscape' guy no matter what projects I do.

Sunscaper
11-27-2008, 12:56 PM
Stuvecorp,
Yes i have re-located a business. I'll give you the short and sweet version chronologically.

November 2005 sold lawn care and snow plowing business in sw pa.

December relocated to sw florida only knowing 2 people here sight unseen. I had the following equipment. 4x4 dump, 3.4 ton pick-up, lowboy, bobcat, hydroseeder, and enclosed trailer.

Now the story...sw pa has been dead for the past 30 years. So I was basically moving on up anywhere I was going. When I arrived here things were booming like crazy. However, it was VERY tough to get work. I talked to about 30 builders before one would even meet with me. I sat for 3 months without work. I found work and sat for another 2 months. I guess it really took me 15 months to even get off to a decent start. Just in time for the market to crash here. We have actually grown a very nice customer base here now. I do not regret moving here one bit. It was one of the toughest things I ever did in my life. It will seperate the men from the boys. Being 1200 miles away I entered into a whole different business climate. I will say this the locals will not welcome you with open arms. You will have to prove yourself before you do anything. Plan on working at a discount to even get your foot in the door. Join as many networking clubs as possible. You will not have the luxury of word of mouth business anymore for quite some time. Basically you need money, time and most of all big balls. Best of luck.

YellowDogSVC
11-27-2008, 01:30 PM
Stuvecorp,
Yes i have re-located a business. I'll give you the short and sweet version chronologically.
I will say this the locals will not welcome you with open arms. You will have to prove yourself before you do anything. Plan on working at a discount to even get your foot in the door.

I have seen a number of start ups come in and get real busy in my area by working cheaper than the other guy and blanketing the area with ads.

JDSKIDSTEER
11-27-2008, 03:03 PM
I did grow up there so I know the area and some of the people but yah it I might be regarded as an interloper which is important to go after the out of town folks. One of my thoughts are the market area I am in, we have to be pretty good(professional/technical skills) to compete and up there it is not so much.

I have been going at it here for ten years in the spring and just haven't broke through with builders and I just don't really like it here. I can't really explain it, just like it so much better up north. I talked to a septic guy a couple years ago and asked if I could apprentice with him and I think I scared him but his kids don't want anything to do with the business and it sounded from the potty pumper folks(that are friends with my parents) that he wanted out of the septic game.

The marketing part will be big, this winter I will probably make contact to see if I can survive. Have to talk to the cranberry marsh also to see if I can hire on a quad for hauling sand in slow times since they have tandems and just bought two pits that are aways away. I also wonder if there would be the clean slate effect where here I am a 'landscape' guy no matter what projects I do.
I thought Wisconsin was up North.

Junior M
11-27-2008, 03:05 PM
If you think you can do better, and you can make a name for yourself there as an excavation company and not a "landscaper" trying to do excavating, then do it, like I said if it is for the better then do it...

Gravel Rat
11-27-2008, 07:30 PM
I would think before you pull up anchor you would maybe want to visit the area and spend a couple weeks looking around. You may not like the area or the weather might be too cold :laugh:

Like they say the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Try getting a couple jobs in the area you want to work.

stuvecorp
11-27-2008, 07:41 PM
There is one thing that would keep me in town but I don't know if it will come through, will probably find out this winter and that would likely sway me one way or another. I am somewhat concerned that I may not have enough piggy bank to pull it off, I am pretty creative on how far I can stretch money but you definitely need some coming in. Gravel Rat will like this, started to investigate small scale niche logging in select cutting.

I do agree that the local guys I would be competing against aren't going to be all happy. When you look at it, it's easy to find so many reasons not to do it.

terry richards
11-28-2008, 08:51 AM
Why would'nt you want to move south instead of north? I live in WI. Dells and the residentail work has come to a complete stop. I would re-locate to a place where at least the winters are easier! Terry

stuvecorp
11-28-2008, 02:15 PM
Why would'nt you want to move south instead of north? I live in WI. Dells and the residentail work has come to a complete stop. I would re-locate to a place where at least the winters are easier! Terry

That is a good point, but I don't like it here in the summer when it gets hot. How would I survive summers somewhere south? I use to do alot in snow removal and in the coming years wouldn't be surprised if I jump back in to it.

It would be weird to be able to work year round, where is it workable year round but not too hot?

allinearth
11-28-2008, 09:34 PM
Hawaii, Oregon........???:confused:

Junior M
11-29-2008, 12:06 AM
That is a good point, but I don't like it here in the summer when it gets hot. How would I survive summers somewhere south? I use to do alot in snow removal and in the coming years wouldn't be surprised if I jump back in to it.

It would be weird to be able to work year round, where is it workable year round but not too hot?
Not here, it never gets cold enough to freeze the ground enough to be able to not dig, but yet everything comes to a stop, I guess just because nobody wants to do anything, I dont know..

stuvecorp
11-29-2008, 02:43 AM
Hawaii, Oregon........???:confused:

I do have this weird desire to try surfing. Oregon dosen't sound too bad.

Gravel Rat
11-29-2008, 03:20 AM
I imagine it would be a tough start if you moved to Hawaii.

Junior would fit in they already play something close to a banjo :laugh:

Junior M
11-29-2008, 10:28 AM
I imagine it would be a tough start if you moved to Hawaii.

Junior would fit in they already play something close to a banjo :laugh:
Holy crap!! GR made a comment that didnt have something negative, or something to do with the economy in it!

allinearth
11-29-2008, 09:04 PM
I always thought Oregon would be the place to move. But they tell me the winter is always rainy. Someone tell me if its really all that bad.

Gravel Rat
11-30-2008, 09:10 PM
Rather have rain then snow and frozen ground for 6 months out of the year :laugh:

Put on rain gear and go to work alot better than wearing 6 layers of clothes to stay warm.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBmQsjILzPY

RockSet N' Grade
11-30-2008, 09:18 PM
I grew up on the west coast.......only one of my friends that didn't and does not surf. Just can't get it through my head why anyone would want to be bait bobbing in the largest fish tank on earth. You ever seen surfers surfing from a chopper above? I have and those large black "dots" all around them are not guppies. I have no desire to surf.........stuvecorp, you can have my spot at that dinner table.......

stuvecorp
12-01-2008, 12:45 AM
I grew up on the west coast.......only one of my friends that didn't and does not surf. Just can't get it through my head why anyone would want to be bait bobbing in the largest fish tank on earth. You ever seen surfers surfing from a chopper above? I have and those large black "dots" all around them are not guppies. I have no desire to surf.........stuvecorp, you can have my spot at that dinner table.......

I was told I look like I should be on the professional surfing circuit but they were probably just giving me a hard time about my hair. I have always thought it looks fun but I would not want to be bait, and in Wisconsin we don't have to much opportunity for surfing.

ksss
12-01-2008, 01:13 AM
I would hate to start over again. Considering starting over given the current economic conditions would take a good deal of cash unless your leaping to much greener pastures. One seldom really knows that until you get into it. It takes soo long to break into a market. I started here almost 15 years ago and I am still having to work at getting in with certain contractors. A lot depends on the area you are moving to and the amount of guys already in that area doing what you do. There can be good opportunities in small vacation areas but it a feast or famine kinda deal. When people have money to spend your good, but when times are tight you will rot in place. There are many area like that around here. A little bigger market helps take out some of the large market swings. I would surely research it well before leaping.

Gravel Rat
12-01-2008, 01:17 AM
Pretty soon you guys are going to start saying you have to listen to the Beach Boys :laugh:

I think Oregon has the same problem as B.C. the forest industry is taking a beating logging is a big employer.

You can always become a potato farmer in Idaho :hammerhead:

stuvecorp
12-01-2008, 01:42 AM
I will start making contact this winter but I want to see solid potential and not try to force it one way or another. I was thinking about it this weekend and there is a lot of stuff to overcome.

Gravel Rat, I have Beach Boys in the ipod and probably wouldn't be a potato farmer. More like cranberry farming, if I go to Idaho it would to work for Kaiser and run a glorious Case skid.:dancing::clapping:

Construct'O
12-01-2008, 11:04 AM
Here's what worked for me! Lived where i do now all my younger life.Started my bus and had 15 years here then bought a farm in Mo.Moved not far tho,about 20 miles over into MO. Farm was on the stateline,so i was a laplander.:laugh:

Bus stayed in Ia. but started getting more people wanting work down in Mo. So i hired a guy to run one of my dozer that that was changing employer.He is a great operator,so the customers he was working for followed him.

Which in turn make for lots of work!!!!!!!!! So that might be something would work for you in your case or someone else.One man show is okay,but sometime you will be surprised what good help (local) in a different area will bring in for new work.

The key to it working is like stated "great help that can do quality work" i know your a one man show,but might have to step it up to the next level !

And yes helpers can be a pain in the a$$ also,as will as the boss:):usflag:

stuvecorp
12-01-2008, 11:27 PM
Interesting Construct'O, I haven't even thought about getting bigger here or there. It sounds like some of you have pulled it off.

Sunscaper would you ever do it again or do you think it was worth the stress?

There would be some difficulty in equipment breakdowns as I would be almost hour and a half to one of the branches compared to half an hour now.

RockSet N' Grade
12-01-2008, 11:43 PM
steuve.........i started over in mid life in a whole different environment. the question is would i do it again and was it worth it? My answer would be: yes, i would do it again - it was not what I expected, but I am stronger for it and my life has been richer for it. I didn't really know I had it in me, I thought I did, but you only know when the rubber hits the road.

fl-landscapes
01-29-2009, 04:08 PM
Has anyone ever moved your business out of the area you started in? For some reason I have been thinking about heading north the last couple years and wonder if I could pull it off?

moved from boston to fl. Sell your business and if you can get enough to survive for a while you should be ok. I had a huge learning curve with the drastic zone change. Been seven years here and still learning. You shouldn't have those issues. You want a change. GO FOR IT. lifes to short to to stay somewhere your not happy.

stuvecorp
01-29-2009, 11:38 PM
Have talked to some people, feeling out who is there and what they do. I have also been thinking what I would need to pull it off equipment wise and I have some switching/getting leaner if I want to do this. I have also made some contacts here that may be good for the up coming season. I think it would be good to hit it this season and maybe travel for some jobs up there first and if it goes well then get more serious.