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View Full Version : Anyone grossing over a $500,000 ?


Landscraper1
04-02-2010, 09:23 AM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations. Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000? If so can you post some info about yourself and your company? Such as:

When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?

You don't have to put down your business name. I am just curious to see the response as, I am sure you would be as well. Thanks:)

ALC-GregH
04-02-2010, 09:31 AM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations. Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000? If so can you post some info about yourself and your company? Such as:

When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?

You don't have to put down your business name. I am just curious to see the response as, I am sure you would be as well. Thanks:)

Making that much is certainly not out of the question. I personally wouldn't want to be in that tax bracket.

Landscraper1
04-02-2010, 09:35 AM
Making that much is certainly not out of the question. I personally wouldn't want to be in that tax bracket.

I'm not talking about personal income, it's gross. Other than the usual taxes a business incurs, you will pay more on your profit.

ALC-GregH
04-02-2010, 09:37 AM
Grossing that much is irrelevant. You can gross 5 mil and may only profit 100k.

WestGaPineStraw
04-02-2010, 10:30 AM
We grossed $680,000 in 2009...
But we sale and install pine straw, we deal with larger numbers and a lot of volume

LwnmwrMan22
04-02-2010, 11:30 AM
I did $300k last year gross.

Me, 2 full time guys, my wife (2 days / week) and my 76 year old father (1.5 days / week).

3 trucks, (2 2006 Dodge 2500, 1 2007 Dodge 3500).

This included lawn work, minimal landscaping, irrigation, snowplowing and firewood sales.

The firewood sales was about $35k, snowplowing was about $55k, irrigation was about $5k (just maintenance, no system installs) and the rest in lawn maintenance.

Been in business for 21 years this year and have moved out of residential mowing into small to mid sized commercial mowing and larger institutional mowing (schools, cities, parks systems).

The margins are not that great, but if you're set up for it, you can do somewhat okay.

Personally, I'd rather go back to working solo, doing 25-30 small commercial accounts that allow me to do all of the work.

This was where my profit margin was by far the largest. This year it'll be in the 10% range, mostly because I have a heavy heavy debt load I'm trying to work out from underneath.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
04-02-2010, 12:21 PM
mowerman22 - that is some great wisdom there. I have heard more than once on here that when you are at the point of maxing out your work vs. your time available as a solo, you are making your best margins right there. That is where I want to be within a couple years, and may not progress beyond that point for the reasons you stated.

Landscraper1
04-02-2010, 01:27 PM
Grossing that much is irrelevant. You can gross 5 mil and may only profit 100k.

Did you understand the question that was asked???:confused:

Landscraper1
04-02-2010, 01:46 PM
I did $300k last year gross.

Me, 2 full time guys, my wife (2 days / week) and my 76 year old father (1.5 days / week).

3 trucks, (2 2006 Dodge 2500, 1 2007 Dodge 3500).

This included lawn work, minimal landscaping, irrigation, snowplowing and firewood sales.

The firewood sales was about $35k, snowplowing was about $55k, irrigation was about $5k (just maintenance, no system installs) and the rest in lawn maintenance.

Been in business for 21 years this year and have moved out of residential mowing into small to mid sized commercial mowing and larger institutional mowing (schools, cities, parks systems).

The margins are not that great, but if you're set up for it, you can do somewhat okay.

Personally, I'd rather go back to working solo, doing 25-30 small commercial accounts that allow me to do all of the work.

This was where my profit margin was by far the largest. This year it'll be in the 10% range, mostly because I have a heavy heavy debt load I'm trying to work out from underneath.

I see that someone understood the questions, thanks.

I understand what you mean by the margins being better. When I was a smaller company, the margins were better also. But, with more gross you can still make more money with less margin.

Example:
Landscaper #1 Grosses $100K a year. Makes a 20% profit. That's $20K.
Landscaper #2 Grosses $500K a year. Makes a 10% profit. That's $50K.

If you can control your debt, I would say 10% is pretty good in this economy.:)

slamjamrockinman
04-02-2010, 01:58 PM
I certainly don't cuz I am 17 and part time. But I know a few guys who probably do. One guy I know has one mowing crew and probably does. He holds some really big snow contracts and has like 8 F350's and 2 dump trucks, 2 skids, a toolcat, and a bunch of sidewalk crews. I'm hoping to grow to a similar size when I go full time. Lawnmower man has a great point. I think the money is in small to mid size commercials. I want to specialize in these accts and look for ones with bigger lots. That way I can have only one mowing crew but run like 5-7 trucks for plowing. I would so much rather gross like 250k and keep half then gross 500k. I believe the common rule is the higher the gross, the lower the margins. Gross profit is insignificant for a lot of companies in my opinion. If you gross 300k in installs, I'm guessing you net more than someone who grosses 500k in just maintenance. Just some of my observations. Again, I don't know a whole lot just my opinions.

ed2hess
04-02-2010, 07:43 PM
Grossing that much is irrelevant. You can gross 5 mil and may only profit 100k.
And what is wrong with 100K on 5 mil:confused:

Landscraper1
04-02-2010, 08:17 PM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations. Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000? If so can you post some info about yourself and your company? Such as:

When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?

You don't have to put down your business name. I am just curious to see the response as, I am sure you would be as well. Thanks:)

Just trying to get the ball rolling.
1- Started cutting lawns with my dad at the age of 10. Part-time business became a full time for my dad. Out of high school I had a share of the business and ran a crew. Soon after, I was running most of the construction and all the laborers. I now have owned the business myself for many years.
2- 1st year on my own I grossed $700K. In 2009 I grossed $1.3 Million.
3- Currently have 19 employees
4- Currently have-13 trucks(1 Toyota and 12 GM's) various sizes
- 9 trailers: various sizes
- A Finn Mulch Blower and a Finn Hydro seeder
- A Bobcat S185 and Bobcat 328 Mini-ex
- A 12" Vermeer Chipper
- A Coyote Backhoe
- A John Deere 1050 with backhoe
- Powerhouse Prodigy with many attachments
- 7 Hustlers Z's, 7 Wright Standers, 11 Encore Walkbehinds(all with Kaw's)
- 22 Shindaiwa Backpack Blowers
- 18 Shindaiwa grass trimmers
- 8 Husqvarna chainsaws
- 13 hedge trimmers, some Shindaiwa, most Tanaka
- Too many others to list
5- Profit margin for 2009 was about 15%, which was great. Do not expect that for this year. More competitive market and not such a great winter for plowing.:cry:

I am hoping that I am not the only one in this bracket.

360ci
04-02-2010, 08:26 PM
I can't see myself grossing $500K in lawn care unless I went all out and got into hardscaping, fertilizers and such. Lawncare can only pay so much these days. Everyone's getting involved. I got a flyer in the mail last weekend, he had lawn aerating for $45, lawn cutting for $25 and some other services at rather reasonable prices, but he's not insured. I know, I phoned him. I couldn't rent an aerator and do my lawn for $45 here, so that in itself seemed like a good deal, but if that aerator manages to go out of control and buggers up my house foundation or something, who's to pay? I am, for going cheap.

Anyway, I gross 15K in a good year, and take about about 8-10K depending on my labour costs. I have a couple part time students that help out in the summer and I don't mind paying them for a half days work each, when it would take me 12hours to do on my own. It makes it more relaxing and enjoyable. Most of my equipment burns less than 1L of fuel an hour, and my most powerful is 6.5hp. So, expenses are low. Largest expenses are insurance ($1050/yr), WSIB ($200/yr), and taxes (18-22%), with vehicle fuel & maintenance in there as well. I keep track of mileage to keep things as separate from personal use as possible, this makes calculating fuel use easy, if I combine things into a half-a-buck a mile maintenance cost. My trailer costs me $100/yr (averaged out over the last ten years), between tires (on it's third set - always bought used!) and bearings (just replaced last fall).

I'm not in it at the moment to go all out full time, but I plan to pick up a bit more this year only so I don't have to turn down any potential clients this year.

Running full time year round (with plow) solo, you could push for $80K net profit after all expenses, but you'll WORK for it. Gross would be in the $150K range, plow truck maintenance can be a killer. A friend of mine had a hydraulic line blow out on him at a client at 2am, since he couldn't lift the plow he phoned for service and they charged him not only an after hours fee of $150/hr (min 1 hour), but $82 and change to fix the hose on the spot. With taxes he had nearly a $300 bill, just for that. His plow system was in its third operating season and he paid $7200 for it installed. Us Ontarioians get raped even at the worst of times.

BJWLAWNCARE
04-02-2010, 08:57 PM
Just trying to get the ball rolling.
1- Started cutting lawns with my dad at the age of 10. Part-time business became a full time for my dad. Out of high school I had a share of the business and ran a crew. Soon after, I was running most of the construction and all the laborers. I now have owned the business myself for many years.
2- 1st year on my own I grossed $700K. In 2009 I grossed $1.3 Million.
3- Currently have 19 employees
4- Currently have-13 trucks(1 Toyota and 12 GM's) various sizes
- 9 trailers: various sizes
- A Finn Mulch Blower and a Finn Hydro seeder
- A Bobcat S185 and Bobcat 328 Mini-ex
- A 12" Vermeer Chipper
- A Coyote Backhoe
- A John Deere 1050 with backhoe
- Powerhouse Prodigy with many attachments
- 7 Hustlers Z's, 7 Wright Standers, 11 Encore Walkbehinds(all with Kaw's)
- 22 Shindaiwa Backpack Blowers
- 18 Shindaiwa grass trimmers
- 8 Husqvarna chainsaws
- 13 hedge trimmers, some Shindaiwa, most Tanaka
- Too many others to list
5- Profit margin for 2009 was about 15%, which was great. Do not expect that for this year. More competitive market and not such a great winter for plowing.:cry:

I am hoping that I am not the only one in this bracket.

so you carry 2 shindy backpacks on most of the vehicles then right? 13 trucks 22 blowers. 19 employees means everyone can use a bp blower at once and have 3 as back ups. Wow!

Landscraper1
04-02-2010, 09:18 PM
so you carry 2 shindy backpacks on most of the vehicles then right? 13 trucks 22 blowers. 19 employees means everyone can use a bp blower at once and have 3 as back ups. Wow!

I have 4 cutting crews, each carries at least 3 blowers and 3 trimmers on the trailer. Have a pruning crew that carries 2 backpacks on an enclosed trailer. 1 on the construction trailer. and 7 stay in shop until needed or to replace one waiting to be repaired. Also have 2 hand blowers.

360ci
04-02-2010, 10:00 PM
I have 4 cutting crews, each carries at least 3 blowers and 3 trimmers on the trailer. Have a pruning crew that carries 2 backpacks on an enclosed trailer. 1 on the construction trailer. and 7 stay in shop until needed or to replace one waiting to be repaired. Also have 2 hand blowers.

Gotta love redundancy! I'd be the same way.

dwost
04-02-2010, 11:09 PM
Yes..........but not as an LCO. The key is profitability, not gross revenue. :)

360ci
04-02-2010, 11:38 PM
Do not expect that for this year. More competitive market and not such a great winter for plowing.:cry:

If I had a plow truck, I'd charge monthly, no if ands or buts. If I had contracts this year, I would've made a killing as there was hardly any snow. The Mar15-Apr15 would be the best, as chances of snow are slim during this period. Apr15th lawn care starts, well in most areas. Grass is getting green already! Going to be a busy year for lawncare.

Hell on Blades
04-03-2010, 01:37 AM
Last year's gross was $28k. That includes 1 deck, 1 custom privacy fence @ 225 lin. ft, 1 small sod job and 15 lawns (15 each week from roughly 20 customers).

The difference is that I do it all myself.

I operate an OLD mower and purchase other tools a jobs demand and finance allows. I run NO CREDIT WITH ANYONE. Although I almost purchased a zero turn last month, after going over the books the demand was not high enough to justify the expense.

I operate at a 95% profit margin. Including insurance and material, it doesn't get much better than that. I encourage all the solo's to work the same way. That way, when foru customers on the same block go the the lowballer, you won't be worried about how the payments on the mower, much less the mortgage will get made!!!

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 01:42 AM
Last year's gross was $28k. That includes 1 deck, 1 custom privacy fence @ 225 lin. ft, 1 small sod job and 15 lawns (15 each week from roughly 20 customers).

The difference is that I do it all myself.

I operate an OLD mower and purchase other tools a jobs demand and finance allows. I run NO CREDIT WITH ANYONE. Although I almost purchased a zero turn last month, after going over the books the demand was not high enough to justify the expense.

I operate at a 95% profit margin. Including insurance and material, it doesn't get much better than that. I encourage all the solo's to work the same way. That way, when foru customers on the same block go the the lowballer, you won't be worried about how the payments on the mower, much less the mortgage will get made!!!

Listen. Gas and insurance alone is more than 5%. You're saying you had no more than $1,400 in expenses last YEAR?

I have that in a week. I have PARTS that are more than that. Shoot, my employees both made more than that as a wage.

Plus, I don't think many here want to STRIVE to live at poverty level or below.

Hell on Blades
04-03-2010, 01:46 AM
Listen. Gas and insurance alone is more than 5%. You're saying you had no more than $1,400 in expenses last YEAR?

I have that in a week. I have PARTS that are more than that. Shoot, my employees both made more than that as a wage.

Plus, I don't think many here want to STRIVE to live at poverty level or below.

I guess I should clarify, this is my part time gig. I work full time on a three on - three off shift. So for only working two, sometimes three of every six days it's not bad...

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 01:47 AM
I certainly don't cuz I am 17 and part time. But I know a few guys who probably do. One guy I know has one mowing crew and probably does. He holds some really big snow contracts and has like 8 F350's and 2 dump trucks, 2 skids, a toolcat, and a bunch of sidewalk crews. I'm hoping to grow to a similar size when I go full time. Lawnmower man has a great point. I think the money is in small to mid size commercials. I want to specialize in these accts and look for ones with bigger lots. That way I can have only one mowing crew but run like 5-7 trucks for plowing. I would so much rather gross like 250k and keep half then gross 500k. I believe the common rule is the higher the gross, the lower the margins. Gross profit is insignificant for a lot of companies in my opinion. If you gross 300k in installs, I'm guessing you net more than someone who grosses 500k in just maintenance. Just some of my observations. Again, I don't know a whole lot just my opinions.


The above statement.... get back to me when you figure out what's wrong with it.

Unless you're putting 1 VERY large gold nugget in someone's front landscaping, where the materials cost was $150k, and you doubled it as most do for the value of installs, so you took home $150k.

How can you think that doing $300 in installs, with all of the materials costs associated with, would be better than $500k in maintenance with minimal materials costs?

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 01:51 AM
I guess I should clarify, this is my part time gig. I work full time on a three on - three off shift. So for only working two, sometimes three of every six days it's not bad...

Right, and you're saying that every solo op should operate like this.

The above statement is another reason why people that do this FULL TIME, as THEIR SOLE INCOME are driven NUTS.

At my highest point, my highest gross working solo was $144k. I was working 80-110 hours / week. I was wore out, but man did I have money.

Now I double it, but I have to have 2 guys working full time. It's the law of diminishing returns. On paper, one should say if I did the work, then 1 more guy should double. But no, I was doing the work of 2 guys, so in order to double my gross, I had to have 3 guys total.

Now if I wanted to double it again, I would have to have 6 guys, but only be making 3x's the amount of money, so I'm getting a smaller and smaller profit margin each time.

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
04-03-2010, 01:53 AM
i lived and grew up on cape cod MA. i know all too much about these types of companies. they run all the small businesses out. maybe not him personally since he says he mows commercially, but for the most part they are all the same. JOYCE,etc. they had everythng handed to them on a silver platter. whatever floats ur boat i guess. im much more happy knowing i did this on my own. without help from mom and dad. i saved and put up all my money (even though it wasnt much) and will keep bustin hump to become a full time sufficient business

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 02:09 AM
BTW, I started when my dad put an ad in the paper to mow grass with my own mower at 16. That was at $10 / hour in 1989.

Dropped out of college after 2 years, and continued to build the business by trial and error.

towtruck212
04-03-2010, 02:56 AM
yeah Greg do you understand????? yes or no????

slamjamrockinman
04-03-2010, 04:08 AM
The above statement.... get back to me when you figure out what's wrong with it.

Unless you're putting 1 VERY large gold nugget in someone's front landscaping, where the materials cost was $150k, and you doubled it as most do for the value of installs, so you took home $150k.

How can you think that doing $300 in installs, with all of the materials costs associated with, would be better than $500k in maintenance with minimal materials costs?

I knew I was being too specific in a desperate attempt to give an example. But what I was trying to say is margins are what matters. Take any business and compare the numbers.
When I say 300k gross profit made in installs would be excluding materials. Sorry for the confusion. And yes you can throw any set of numbers into that example, but most guys I have talked to will come to a general conclusion:

You make more money doing work with a higher profit margin. Whether it be installs or cleaning up dog $hit, calculate the profit MARGINS on each service you offer. Depending on the margins, you could have to do twice the amount of a lower margin service to make the same money as doing only half the amount of the service that has higher profit margins.
Your margins are what counts. You'll keep more money doing work with a higher profit margin.
Maintenance and intalls were just used as EXAMPLES
(yes very poor examples), sure pick apart the numbers if you will, I think most understand what I am getting at.

Weeded!
04-03-2010, 04:17 AM
When and how you started the business?

2002, knocking on doors with equipment I had when i was a kid. Bought $1,000 pickup AFTER i got my first job landed. Worked out of it for 1 year with wood board ramps to get the mower in/out.

What you gross in a year?

Just over 1 mil.

How many employees?

average 12 outside, 3 inside, plus me.

What trucks and equipment you use?
Ugg- too much to list this late at night.

How's your profit margin in these tough times?
Over 10% after my salary.

WHY are you asking?

Hell on Blades
04-03-2010, 05:14 AM
While weeded seems to be pretty well grounded, I'll finish his thought...

Why even get on here and ask about gross??? It seems like one of those leading questions. We all congratulate you on your success.

Landscraper1
04-03-2010, 09:29 AM
When and how you started the business?

2002, knocking on doors with equipment I had when i was a kid. Bought $1,000 pickup AFTER i got my first job landed. Worked out of it for 1 year with wood board ramps to get the mower in/out.

What you gross in a year?

Just over 1 mil.

How many employees?

average 12 outside, 3 inside, plus me.

What trucks and equipment you use?
Ugg- too much to list this late at night.

How's your profit margin in these tough times?
Over 10% after my salary.

WHY are you asking?

I would like to get to know companies, like yourself. I put out questions at times and get 15 yr olds or part timers, answering. I think companies our size have different issues to deal with than, convincing our wife on a mower purchase. I'm hoping we can get a list together to PM to. We are not competitors because we work in different areas. So, why not share some info.:)

Landscraper1
04-03-2010, 09:36 AM
While weeded seems to be pretty well grounded, I'll finish his thought...

Why even get on here and ask about gross??? It seems like one of those leading questions. We all congratulate you on your success.

Gross is the determining factor on a size of a business. Trade mags rank companies according to gross.

smalltime lawn guy
04-03-2010, 09:52 AM
I hoping to gross 5k this year! Are you impressed yet?

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 10:16 AM
When and how you started the business?

2002, knocking on doors with equipment I had when i was a kid. Bought $1,000 pickup AFTER i got my first job landed. Worked out of it for 1 year with wood board ramps to get the mower in/out.

What you gross in a year?

Just over 1 mil.

How many employees?

average 12 outside, 3 inside, plus me.

What trucks and equipment you use?
Ugg- too much to list this late at night.

How's your profit margin in these tough times?
Over 10% after my salary.

WHY are you asking?

Threads like this get to be a pi**ing match and get locked or deleted.

However, I believe there's good value if you read between the crap.

As my point earlier, if you look at Weeded, he's got 15 employees on average, plus himself.

I had 2 plus myself.

He had 6 times as many employees yet only turned just over 3 times the gross I did with my guys.

This is what I'm trying to show all the small operations, that just because you add more guys, each time you add a guy, you get less gross out of that employee. Law of diminishing returns.

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 11:09 AM
I would get bashed all the time when I was running solo before I broke my foot, claiming I worked 100 hour weeks, had (2) new Dodge trucks, (2) ZD 331's on the trailer, gross $120-140k working solo.

When you're not the norm, everyone else wants to call b.s.

joel29m
04-03-2010, 11:23 AM
Last year's gross was $28k. That includes 1 deck, 1 custom privacy fence @ 225 lin. ft, 1 small sod job and 15 lawns (15 each week from roughly 20 customers).

The difference is that I do it all myself.

I operate an OLD mower and purchase other tools a jobs demand and finance allows. I run NO CREDIT WITH ANYONE. Although I almost purchased a zero turn last month, after going over the books the demand was not high enough to justify the expense.

I operate at a 95% profit margin. Including insurance and material, it doesn't get much better than that. I encourage all the solo's to work the same way. That way, when foru customers on thesame block go the the lowballer, you won't be worried about how the payments on the mower, much less the mortgage will get made!!! I feel like you, I only grossed 8 grand last year as my first year, but expects to do about 15-20k this year. They say the more money, employees, trucks, equipment, bills you have you're making the same as a middle class American, 1 mil a year but bring home 50,000 home after taxes. I think me being pt in it is where I stop unless the economy gets better I'm kepping my day job.
Posted via Mobile Device

WholeSaleSteve
04-03-2010, 11:35 AM
Many people suffer from "Affluenza". They hate to see someone make good money and do well. Its perverse being successful is somehow shameful?? Even the Govt. wants to tax you more if you makre more as punishment.

Weeded!
04-03-2010, 01:01 PM
Threads like this get to be a pi**ing match and get locked or deleted.

However, I believe there's good value if you read between the crap.

As my point earlier, if you look at Weeded, he's got 15 employees on average, plus himself.

I had 2 plus myself.

He had 6 times as many employees yet only turned just over 3 times the gross I did with my guys.

This is what I'm trying to show all the small operations, that just because you add more guys, each time you add a guy, you get less gross out of that employee. Law of diminishing returns.

He is correct, you do generally get less % on the bottom line the more you do. There are also break points where you may be doing GREAT at 700K, but at 900K you do worse because you had to step up your overhead or your control systems were not good enough. Then at 1.2 mil you do great until 1.6 where you lose profit % (just example numbers).

Gross is also a function of Design Build (DB) versus maintenance. $110K per man might be terrible for DB while $80K per man is great for maintenance. Chem companies can gross $150k per man out of one truck with $8 in equipment total.

Lots of factors, and each company has different challenges at each level.

I understand the reason for asking is to build a support network.

TJLANDS
04-03-2010, 02:51 PM
He is correct, you do generally get less % on the bottom line the more you do. There are also break points where you may be doing GREAT at 700K, but at 900K you do worse because you had to step up your overhead or your control systems were not good enough. Then at 1.2 mil you do great until 1.6 where you lose profit % (just example numbers).

Gross is also a function of Design Build (DB) versus maintenance. $110K per man might be terrible for DB while $80K per man is great for maintenance. Chem companies can gross $150k per man out of one truck with $8 in equipment total.

Lots of factors, and each company has different challenges at each level.

I understand the reason for asking is to build a support network.

By the way, nice website

Landscraper1
04-03-2010, 08:27 PM
[QUOTE=LwnmwrMan22;3503335]Threads like this get to be a pi**ing match and get locked or deleted.

I have to give you credit. 2 pages deleted. What a waste.:cry:

LwnmwrMan22
04-03-2010, 10:26 PM
That's why I get so disgusted when people start giving grief to each other.

Seriously, what does it matter what each other has?

I appreciate the fact that Landscaper is trying to search out others that are far and above the 95% of the others on here, as far as business size.

Whether Landscaper is really at that level or strives to be at that level does not matter.

What matters is there is trying to be a thread or at least a group of guys that when you see them in a thread, you're at that "level" whatever the level may be.

Even in this thread there were people that still chimed in that are doing this totally on the side, happy that they grossed $20k, with a "95% profit margin".

Anyone at the level of $300k, $500k, $1M+ knows you CANNOT operate at a 5% expense level.

It always turns into a pi***ng match because there are guys with small units that think their crap don't stink.

Just talk, just help others out. What's the big deal?

topsites
04-04-2010, 12:03 AM
I hoping to gross 5k this year! Are you impressed yet?

That's what I'm talking about.

I would get bashed all the time when I was gross $120-140k working solo.
When you're not the norm, everyone else wants to call b.s.

So where and when do we call bs, or do we just let it go on to see how big the figures can get?
Realistically speaking, most folks can't take 100-hour work weeks for long, 3-4 maybe 6 months.
Sure, you're not the norm, but let this thread run its course and soon nobody is.

Many people suffer from "Affluenza". They hate to see someone make good money and do well. Its perverse being successful is somehow shameful?? Even the Govt. wants to tax you more if you makre more as punishment.

Some people might also count their best month's income x 12 as their annual gross
so as to rank decent and not feel left out once threads like these really get a move on.

Seriously, do you think I would speak of my worst year here?
No, I'd pick the best, does that make it an accurate and realistic representation?
And once someone realizes what I did, why not just pick the best week x 52?
Soon as that figure pops out the next guy's looking for his best DAY :p

It's not that I'm against it, but threads like these, the income figures just keep growing and growing.
It is only a matter of time before it gets so deep.

TheC-Master
04-04-2010, 03:57 AM
mowerman22 - that is some great wisdom there. I have heard more than once on here that when you are at the point of maxing out your work vs. your time available as a solo, you are making your best margins right there. That is where I want to be within a couple years, and may not progress beyond that point for the reasons you stated.

Law of diminishing returns. The more workers you have the smaller you make per job, but you are supposed to make up for it by volume. Working solo and making tons of money is fantastic if it is your passion, the problem is there is only so much you can do and you will max out eventually, and that doesn't consider things like any injury.

Like I said though, nothing wrong with being solo.

TheC-Master
04-04-2010, 04:08 AM
I was explaining that to my dad some time back. Just because you have 3 people doesn't make you finish 3x faster. It diminishes per each worker you have on a crew, and there are only so many that you need on a crew anyways, after that it becomes inefficient. I think with smaller properties 2 is great, 3 or so for some of the slightly larger ones.

Sorry for the double post. Time ran out.

topsites
04-04-2010, 04:09 AM
Law of diminishing returns. The more workers you have the smaller you make per job, but you are supposed to make up for it by volume. Working solo and making tons of money is fantastic if it is your passion, the problem is there is only so much you can do and you will max out eventually, and that doesn't consider things like any injury.

Like I said though, nothing wrong with being solo.

I have studied something very interesting for some years, a concept of mine.

And I can't rightly explain it but it almost seems to me as IF one is somehow
pre-destined to earn a certain amount throughout one's life and this apparently
varies little, although we tend to try awful hard to change it.
Frustrating...

It's a bit to do with that thing about, no matter what I do, it's the SAME money at the end of the month.

Ever notice that crap, been earning x amount for so many years, want to double it?
Forget it, not in 20 years lol, other than perhaps inflation.
Then there are those times where one gets the illusion that somehow suddenly there is a lot
more money coming in, but sure enough at the end of the month, nope, not there.

Meanwhile the guy up the street is raking in how much more, assuming similar levels of education and
that there's no drug deals going on out back and all of that...

It really does make one wonder, but how is it possible?

Frue
04-04-2010, 07:26 AM
I see that someone understood the questions, thanks.

I understand what you mean by the margins being better. When I was a smaller company, the margins were better also. But, with more gross you can still make more money with less margin.

Example:
Landscaper #1 Grosses $100K a year. Makes a 20% profit. That's $20K.
Landscaper #2 Grosses $500K a year. Makes a 10% profit. That's $50K.

If you can control your debt, I would say 10% is pretty good in this economy.:)

wow someone who gets it! This is the most intelligent statement I have read on here in a while. It is very hard to get solo opps to understand this very statement. Thank you for posting. My profit is 25% 2009 20% 2008.

TheC-Master
04-04-2010, 12:15 PM
I have studied something very interesting for some years, a concept of mine.

And I can't rightly explain it but it almost seems to me as IF one is somehow
pre-destined to earn a certain amount throughout one's life and this apparently
varies little, although we tend to try awful hard to change it.
Frustrating...

It's a bit to do with that thing about, no matter what I do, it's the SAME money at the end of the month.

Ever notice that crap, been earning x amount for so many years, want to double it?
Forget it, not in 20 years lol, other than perhaps inflation.
Then there are those times where one gets the illusion that somehow suddenly there is a lot
more money coming in, but sure enough at the end of the month, nope, not there.

Meanwhile the guy up the street is raking in how much more, assuming similar levels of education and
that there's no drug deals going on out back and all of that...

It really does make one wonder, but how is it possible?
I've read on that too, and from all the successful people like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Millionaire Mind, and Donald Trump, I believe you make your own destiny and reality. Unfortunately many people have a "poor mind", they want to "just make it' and that's what they do. It's why Donald Trump was in 900 million dollars of debt and he came back on top and why people who win the lottery end up broke, they just can't handle the money.

Most of it comes from their parents and backgrounds telling them they can only be really poor (government assistance) or middle class ( just getting by), but to get to the top you have to take educated risks and get out of your comfort zone. I don't find it feasible how someone can work somewhere they hate for the rest of their lives. I've done grind jobs (quick jobs) I hated as I moved up and I'm not that old. But I plan on having complete passive income (meaning I don't have to do the labor myself, and I make money when I sleep) in a year or two. It's doable.

Some people have more of a knack for money, but you still have to expand your reality and content to keep moving up. Those who are the best always want to learn more, while those who stay where they are don't want to learn anything and rather stick with their beliefs. I never understood why people think things just fall into my lap, when my peers are generally doing nothing with themselves overall and I'm working hard and even had to do a second job while in school.

And example of a poor mind. I tend to wear suits everyday when I'm not out, because I find them comfortable and because I like them and how they look and the professional aspect behind it. Older people, foreign people, and other successful people understand accept and appreciate it, but the younger generation doesn't understand as much. He asked why I wore suits because I mowed lawns and wasn't a businessman. He was only 12 but I had to explain to him the concept of business and applying it. I don't even like people to know what I have or where I live because of the jealousy anyways, and people would rather hate someone who has more than them instead of trying to find out their secret and move towards it. I try to hang around other large thinkers and successful people, as negative and lazy people tend to drag you down.

Rant over.

kemco
04-05-2010, 12:56 AM
My biz partner and I each netted around $40k last year (I say net after expenses but before taxes). One crew with 4 guys. Just fired one for stealing cash from us so we are down to one crew with 3 guys... The one that was let go constantly milked the clock every chance he got, so I think we will actually do better without him.

That's been about average for us the last few years... we have never done a hole lot in the winter time. Maybe 30 leaf removal jobs all winter... would love to have more work in the winter but still trying to find a good way to get it. So 90+ percent of our net comes from the summer months.

We cut around 100 residentials a week when we are in full swing, we have a total of 150 ish accounts but some are biweekly (I hate those but I take what I can get right now). Average price right at $40 per yard.

I think our gross was somewhere in the $150,000 range. I just finished up taxes so the next thing on my plate to do is get hard numbers on our gross and expenses.

Put out a good number of postcards (around 4000) for more business and the phone just really started to ring at the end of last week... Already picked up 5 new accounts, and my biz partner has 4 more estimates to give monday. So hopefully we can pickup around 30 or 40 more... at least that's what we are shooting for this year (total number of accounts arould 180 or 190 is our goal by end of year).

Weeded!
04-05-2010, 09:37 AM
My biz partner and I each netted around $40k last year (I say net after expenses but before taxes). One crew with 4 guys. Just fired one for stealing cash from us so we are down to one crew with 3 guys... The one that was let go constantly milked the clock every chance he got, so I think we will actually do better without him.

That's been about average for us the last few years... we have never done a hole lot in the winter time. Maybe 30 leaf removal jobs all winter... would love to have more work in the winter but still trying to find a good way to get it. So 90+ percent of our net comes from the summer months.

We cut around 100 residentials a week when we are in full swing, we have a total of 150 ish accounts but some are biweekly (I hate those but I take what I can get right now). Average price right at $40 per yard.

I think our gross was somewhere in the $150,000 range. I just finished up taxes so the next thing on my plate to do is get hard numbers on our gross and expenses.

Put out a good number of postcards (around 4000) for more business and the phone just really started to ring at the end of last week... Already picked up 5 new accounts, and my biz partner has 4 more estimates to give monday. So hopefully we can pickup around 30 or 40 more... at least that's what we are shooting for this year (total number of accounts arould 180 or 190 is our goal by end of year).

I like how you know your numbers. Bravo.

Landscraper1
04-07-2010, 09:03 AM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations. Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000? If so can you post some info about yourself and your company? Such as:

When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?

You don't have to put down your business name. I am just curious to see the response as, I am sure you would be as well. Thanks:)

Bump. So far only one company makes over this on this site???

LwnmwrMan22
04-07-2010, 09:23 AM
Yeah, I know of some other larger companies used to be on here.

Truthfully though, what do they have to gain by being on a board like this?

If you're at that stage, most likely you've already refined YOUR business to suit YOUR needs.

With the margins being so small once you get to that size, you're going to HAVE to be efficient, KNOW what machines work best for YOU.

Sure, there are other little tips and ideas that you may not have thought about, but nothing that's going to completely change your day to day operation.

The only thing that happened when the larger companies would post, was the exact same thing that happened earlier in this thread.

The rest have all moved on.

Landscraper1
04-07-2010, 09:53 AM
Yeah, I know of some other larger companies used to be on here.

Truthfully though, what do they have to gain by being on a board like this?

If you're at that stage, most likely you've already refined YOUR business to suit YOUR needs.

With the margins being so small once you get to that size, you're going to HAVE to be efficient, KNOW what machines work best for YOU.

Sure, there are other little tips and ideas that you may not have thought about, but nothing that's going to completely change your day to day operation.

The only thing that happened when the larger companies would post, was the exact same thing that happened earlier in this thread.

The rest have all moved on.

That's what I have been noticing. I started this thread, to confirm my suspicions. Like you said, larger companies were on here. They probably left because of such things as what happened earlier. Too bad, even though our companies are larger, does not mean we can not learn more from each other. I feel that companies with multiple crews, have different issues then smaller one crew operations.
The problem I have with this site is not only the fact that I don't have others my size to learn from but, that when I do say something to a smaller guy, they think I am full of S**t and I am showing off. I'm disappointed, I guess I expected something different.

LwnmwrMan22
04-07-2010, 10:14 AM
It's not so much the smaller guys would give crap as much as the other larger companies going back and forth too.

You've got to realize that in order to get real big ($500k+) in maintenance / landscape a person most likely has to have a chip on their shoulder, be cut throat and have a competitive nature.

As I said earlier, these threads and others about "How big your business is" turn into a pi**ing match and "how big my dEck is".

It's just the way it is.

I agree that there are WAY more issues than "which blower I should buy" or "which trimmer to edge with".

I'm so far past those questions I have "We Mow" and "We Mow2" on the license plates on the trucks.

I have pieces of equipment that my shop is excited to see because no one else has them around here.

It's the specialty equipment that I like to talk about and get some feedback, but there's no one around that runs alot of it.

TheC-Master
04-07-2010, 12:48 PM
That's what I have been noticing. I started this thread, to confirm my suspicions. Like you said, larger companies were on here. They probably left because of such things as what happened earlier. Too bad, even though our companies are larger, does not mean we can not learn more from each other. I feel that companies with multiple crews, have different issues then smaller one crew operations.
The problem I have with this site is not only the fact that I don't have others my size to learn from but, that when I do say something to a smaller guy, they think I am full of S**t and I am showing off. I'm disappointed, I guess I expected something different.
You're never too big to learn, once a person thinks that they are truly a fool. I remember a big LCO named Kaferhaus who was on here. I think some are respected and are asked questions, and some of the larger ones can be mean as well. Not all of them though. The ones who are mean for no reason are still bad. Big or small.

LwnmwrMan22
04-07-2010, 01:46 PM
Costal Greenscapes, Rodfather, even Runner I believe runs more than just a couple of mowers.

Some of these guys have had run ins with the management of the site as well.

Sometimes people just get too big for their britches.

MarcSmith is a guy that runs for a university, but I don't seem him around much anymore either.

Just some names that you could look up for their threads and see if there's any info to be pulled out of there.

Ramairfreak98ss
04-18-2010, 12:08 AM
When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?


Profit margin is still descent, but unsure exactly what it is for each service.
We have 5 trucks, 7 trailers, lots of equipment including zero turns, skid steer, tractors, hydroseeder, everything for snow removal.

we were close to 500k in 2008, 2009 went down ~70k, 2010 were already over 500k so im pumped to see what the # ends up being this year.

Landscraper1
04-19-2010, 09:29 AM
Profit margin is still descent, but unsure exactly what it is for each service.
We have 5 trucks, 7 trailers, lots of equipment including zero turns, skid steer, tractors, hydroseeder, everything for snow removal.

we were close to 500k in 2008, 2009 went down ~70k, 2010 were already over 500k so im pumped to see what the # ends up being this year.

Good to hear, your increasing for 2010. Did you have to lower your prices to pick up that extra work?

Schrock Lawns
11-30-2010, 12:07 AM
theres a company around here run around 40 mowing crews 5 people per crew, also irigation crews, hardscape crews fert/app crew own a 800 acre farm own a matireal company got over 1.5 mill in wright standers atleast 25 mill in equip. the gross profit in 2008 was about 10 mill

JimLewis
11-30-2010, 06:31 AM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations.

You are very astute. And did you also notice that most are fairly newer companies, haven't been on lawnsite for more than a few years, and yet seem to dole out advice as if they are the Donald Trump of lawn care?

Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000?

Yes. We will end up at $1.5Mil at the end of this year.

When and how you started the business?
Started in May 1996 with almost no cash. Borrowed a $50 MTD 21" push mower, and used a broom (no blower) and trash bags to clean up and haul away the lawn clippings. Worked out of the trunk and back seat of my wife's Mazda 626 (Oh, she was real happy about that!). That only lasted a month or so and then I purchased a $50 old rusty truck bed trailer and hooked it up to my 1980 Chevy Camaro, which is what I hauled my equipment, that same $50 push mower, and clippings in for the next year. After several weeks I purchased a Ryobi stick edger and stick blower combo unit. And that was my setup for the rest of that year. Pretty humble beginnings.....

What you gross in a year? Like I said above, we will end up at $1.5 Mil.

How many employees? 20 Peak Season. 17 currently. And many of those will go down to part time over the next few weeks and stay that way throughout the winter.

What trucks and equipment you use?
I'm not going to bother to list all that. But a quick summary is we have a whole bunch of mid-90s Ford F150s and F250s. A few early 2000s Dodge trucks, and a 1998 Ford E350 service van. Several enclosed trailers for the maint. crews and several open trailers for the construction crews. All your usual mowers, trimmers, edgers, hedge trimmers, blowers, whatever.

How's your profit margin in these tough times?
Very good. But we got very aggressive with our marketing about 2 years ago and it's paid off big time. I'm making more profit than we ever have. But there is a down side to that. This year, I gave more bids for landscaping projects than ever before (about double the number of bids I gave in 2009) and landed a smaller percentage than ever before. We're doing well because of the sheer volume of bids we are able to give. But I am having to work more than ever before to give those bids. I've also refined our systems so bidding takes much less time than it used to. So overall, I'd say I spent about 20% more time giving bids this year, landed a smaller percentage, but ended up landing more jobs total than ever before and at a higher profit margin than ever before. So profit is good. And take home is very good. You want to get more personal about it, PM me. I'm not going to discuss much more than that in an open forum for all my competitors to read.

These are all good questions to ask. And I don't care what the others say, you're smart to want to learn from people who have large companies. You're obviously very ambitious, as I was. But don't be surprised to find out that most people here on Lawnsite are not as ambitious. In fact, I think you'll find many people here even poo-poo the idea of growing your company. I find very few people here have the desire, drive, dedication or resourcefulness to ever make it this far. In fact, I just read today in one of my landscaping mags that only 6% of landscaping companies ever break the $2Mil. mark in annual sales. I believe it. It's freakin' hard. And I don't think most people would have been able to go through what I've gone through to get here. The good news is it can be very rewarding financially and also you will eventually have a business that will be worth quite a bit to investors looking to buy. The down side is it takes a toll on you personally, in many ways. And that's probably one reason why a lot of people figure it's not worth it. Well, PM me if you want to talk more. I don't spend as much time on Lawnsite these days. And when I do, it's usually not in this forum.

coolluv
11-30-2010, 08:49 AM
When I joined this forum I did it in order to learn, and I guess in the very beginning I did learn some of the basics. But once you are around for a while it becomes redundant and besides the basics the continuing education is non existent. Too many solo and part timers and kids with nothing to add because of lack of experience in life and business. There are a few on here that are very successful, like you for instance, but the rest.......Oh Well we can dream can't we.

Lots of bull gets thrown around on here and the new guys believe it, I did too. There is a lot to running a successful business, money to advertise, for equipment, insurance etc etc etc. Its not as easy as some would have you believe and more accounts don't mean you are making money.

Anyway I wish it was more geared toward business and business management and the successful companies could share what has worked for them as far as marketing and customer relations and sales etc. There should be a locked and private area of the forum that is only open to business owners and not the general public. I understand the reluctance of others to share what has made them successful, and I don't blame them, you never know who is reading what.

I come here mostly for the laughs, not really to get educated anymore. I would love to but that is not the way this forum is set up, once you learn the very basics there is not really anything further to learn here.

I would love to have a forum for real business men that can exchange ideas etc.

Oh well.

Dave...

Landscraper1
12-10-2011, 12:11 PM
When I joined this forum I did it in order to learn, and I guess in the very beginning I did learn some of the basics. But once you are around for a while it becomes redundant and besides the basics the continuing education is non existent. Too many solo and part timers and kids with nothing to add because of lack of experience in life and business. There are a few on here that are very successful, like you for instance, but the rest.......Oh Well we can dream can't we.

Lots of bull gets thrown around on here and the new guys believe it, I did too. There is a lot to running a successful business, money to advertise, for equipment, insurance etc etc etc. Its not as easy as some would have you believe and more accounts don't mean you are making money.

Anyway I wish it was more geared toward business and business management and the successful companies could share what has worked for them as far as marketing and customer relations and sales etc. There should be a locked and private area of the forum that is only open to business owners and not the general public. I understand the reluctance of others to share what has made them successful, and I don't blame them, you never know who is reading what.

I come here mostly for the laughs, not really to get educated anymore. I would love to but that is not the way this forum is set up, once you learn the very basics there is not really anything further to learn here.

I would love to have a forum for real business men that can exchange ideas etc.

Oh well.

Dave...

Ditto. Exactly how I feel.

idealscape
12-10-2011, 02:20 PM
I haven't been on the site long...like a week at best. Our company is what you may consider large...$4-5m per year. Check out my thread on "pictures" page. I'm pretty humble and willing to help by answering questions you may have about proper growth, employees, time management and so on. We certainly dont believe in belittling anyone, and as you will read, we dont consider ourselves to be anybodys competition. Cheers guys, there is no such thing as a little company, just another company getting started. We started with an '86 Ford dump truck and a few shovels!
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Kiril
12-10-2011, 03:06 PM
All I see is yet another chest pounding thread. You could gross 100 million or 100 K and none of it matters if you ain't happy. Gross intake has no meaning in an industry as diverse as this one.

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 03:40 PM
All I see is yet another chest pounding thread. You could gross 100 million or 100 K and none of it matters if you ain't happy. Gross intake has no meaning in an industry as diverse as this one.

Ladies and gentlemen.... meet the grumpy old man of Lawnsite. :rolleyes:

FoghornLeghorn
12-10-2011, 04:17 PM
Hey, you! GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
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NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-10-2011, 04:28 PM
All I see is yet another chest pounding thread. You could gross 100 million or 100 K and none of it matters if you ain't happy. Gross intake has no meaning in an industry as diverse as this one.

I have to agree though, I know guys who work hours on end to load the bank account, but hate life, tired all the time, seems like a quick way to the grave to me, and besides that having to write the check to the IRS for $10k or more...

Dodge Boys
12-10-2011, 04:37 PM
I have to agree though, I know guys who work hours on end to load the bank account, but hate life, tired all the time, seems like a quick way to the grave to me, and besides that having to write the check to the IRS for $10k or more...

A whole lot of truth to that.... Regardless of the size of your company, you have to remember to live a little.... It's not hard to get buried in work and forget about what is truly important to you! P.S.>>> it would be nice to write that small of a check to the tax man!!! Cheers everyone!!!! :canadaflag:

Kiril
12-10-2011, 05:23 PM
Ladies and gentlemen.... meet the grumpy old man of Lawnsite. :rolleyes:

Hey now, I'm not old like boots, just grumpy. There is more to life than work and money. All the money in the world can't buy you time .... time for yourself, family and friends, time to live.

So let's rewrite the example.

Example:
Landscaper #1 Works 7 days a week averaging 12 hour days and grosses 3 million/year.
Landscaper #2 Works 4 days a week averaging 10 hour days and grosses 250K/year.

Landscaper #1 Dies at age 65 unhappy with almost no memories of any life outside of work.
Landscaper #2 Dies at age 83, happy with memories of a full life outside of work

Give me a choice ..... I'll take landscaper #2 life any day of the week.

As far as the chest pounding goes .... who cares how much you make or what equipment you own .... we aren't in highschool anymore (I hope). :rolleyes:

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 05:24 PM
Agreed. I guess I just got tired of living a "little". Before I started my company (and even for the first several years of the company) things were always a struggle. I never seemed to make enough money. Always had old cars or trucks and they were always breaking down and I could barely afford to keep them running. Couldn't afford a house and lived in small apartments. Never being able to fill my gas tank - always just pulling up and asking the attendant to please put "$10 of unleaded" in. Couldn't afford to travel anywhere fun. My wife and I worked too much. Always had to take whatever work we could get because there were always too many things that needed to be paid. Going without important things like car insurance, health insurance, life insurance. Having no savings or investments of any kind in case things got worse. Working 2 jobs at times. Only being able to afford to buy just enough groceries to last a few days. Couldn't even think about having kids because we couldn't even afford ourselves.... the list goes on...

Sometimes not making enough money creates so much struggle and hardship that you end up focusing all of your time worrying about it all. Not that you can't be happy and enjoy life in any condition (I believe you can) but it is sure a whole hell of a lot easier if you're not constantly stressed with all of the things I mentioned above.

But my business has provided a lifestyle we wouldn't have been able to have otherwise. We have a nice big house. My wife was able to quit work after the 5th year of my business and be home to raise the 3 kids we went on to have. I never have to worry about not having insurance, not having groceries, not having money to fill the tank. We can afford to put the kids in the school we want them to go to. We can afford to travel now. We have newer vehicles that don't break down. We can afford to help others and in fact spend quite a lot of money each year helping others who are less fortunate than us, church, charitable organizations. I never could have done that before. I spent more this year on this kind of stuff than I made the entire year at my last job (16 years ago). To be able to not only have enough for your own needs but help others is extremely rewarding. Being able to live in a nice, safe neighborhood. Security in terms of investments in case there are down times (and there still are, occasionally.)

Yah, there's stress. Running a larger company with 28 employees is demanding and stressful, for sure. But I wouldn't say that it's any more stressful than it was back before when we had nothing. In fact, in a lot of ways, it's less stressful. At least I don't have to worry as much about the little daily things anymore. And except me, the rest of my family has a pretty stress-free life. A life I never had when I was a kid.

So I think it's worth it. It's not like owners of larger companies are all about just chasing money. That may be true for some. But definitely not for me. I'm just about creating a nice life that I didn't have before. Having enough time and money so that I could quit worrying about time and money so much, if that makes sense.

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 05:34 PM
Hey now, I'm not old like boots, just grumpy. There is more to life than work and money. All the money in the world can't buy you time .... time for yourself, family and friends, time to live.

So let's rewrite the example.

Example:
Landscaper #1 Works 7 days a week averaging 12 hour days and grosses 3 million/year.
Landscaper #2 Works 4 days a week averaging 10 hour days and grosses 250K/year.

Landscaper #1 Dies at age 65 unhappy with almost no memories of any life outside of work.
Landscaper #2 Dies at age 83, happy with memories of a full life outside of work

Give me a choice ..... I'll take landscaper #2 life any day of the week.


Sure. If that was really the only 2 choices, everyone would chose #2. The problem is your two choices aren't the only options and really isn't even close to reality.

You make it seem like people who make more money in this business only do it by working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day and never do anything but work. The reality is; most people who are making really good money in this business and/or have larger businesses are still putting in about the same hours as most others in the industry. They're just leveraging their time better and building a company that provides a better reward financially. I know a lot of the owners of the larger landscape firms in my area. They all have very nice lifestyles and they're not working all day every day to do it. They were just smart building their company for a lot of years and now have a little better lifestyle. Their memories at the end of life are just as good or maybe better than the guy who only had a small landscape company. They got to see wonderful things, take their family to beautiful places, enjoy a lot of the wonderful things life had to offer, be involved in helping others to a degree that wouldn't have been possible otherwise, and they got just as many fun family memories as the next guy. They just have less stress about the little things.

idealscape
12-10-2011, 05:36 PM
I certainly hope you are not referring to me when saying chest pounding. I never have nor ever will do that. I'm here on this site to educate as well as learn from everyone. I am no more impressed by our company than I am with the guy who works by himself and makes a living and raises a family. We had a desire to grow larger than that, to each his own. I hope you don't think I am trying to be better than anyone.
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JimLewis
12-10-2011, 05:42 PM
I guess the whole idea that "rich people are miserable" or "rich people have money but aren't really able to ever enjoy life" is just an idea that offends me. Because it's not true. I have a lot of friends and clients that I know well who do pretty well for themselves and we also have very close friends who are on the government dole and can barely feed themselves and their kids. And yet I find people in each group who are able to be very happy and enjoy life. But I do find the people in the latter group still find themselves struggling to keep up with the expenses of life. And I feel bad for them. Because I remember what that's like.

But to imply that companies who do well or people who do well are just crazy work-a-holics who don't ever really enjoy life - that's just plain wrong. I know a lot who have a wonderful life. Nobody is free from stress and ups and downs. But it's just not true that people who are doing well are just mad, money-crazy, work-a-holics who don't have any nice memories, never enjoy life and die early. That's just someone with a gloomy outlook on life speaking out of their A$$.

Groomer
12-10-2011, 05:46 PM
Jim, you seriously love the keyboard. LOL.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-10-2011, 05:47 PM
Jim you sound like you'd be a great boss to have, are you hiring? lol

JB1
12-10-2011, 05:47 PM
whats wrong with writing a 10k check to the irs, it just means your making money.

Kiril
12-10-2011, 05:54 PM
Sure. If that was really the only 2 choices, everyone would chose #2. The problem is your two choices aren't the only options and really isn't even close to reality.

It is an example to make a point Jim, and I seriously doubt you have a handle on every possible scenario that people might face. I know I don't, and I also started from nothing ..... you know ..... one ass flapper to another.

I guess the whole idea that "rich people are miserable" or "rich people have money but aren't really able to ever enjoy life" is just an idea that offends me.

I don't think grossing 1.5 mil qualifies you as rich, but whatever.

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 05:59 PM
It is an example to make a point Jim, and I seriously doubt you have a handle on every possible scenario that people might face. I know I don't, and I also started from nothing ..... you know ..... one ass flapper to another.

I never claimed to. In fact, I even said that there are still ups and downs and still stresses. The thing is I just don't have to spend all my time worrying about stupid stuff like not having enough gas in the car, not having insurance, not having enough groceries, not being able to really enjoy life. At a certain point of success, you don't have to worry about small stuff like that. And it's nice. You can breath a little easier.

It's not about having a handle every possible scenario life throws at you. It's about getting rid of all the small worries in life so you can have time and money to focus on the big worries in life when they come.

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 05:59 PM
Jim, you seriously love the keyboard. LOL.

:laugh: Guilty as charged.

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 06:03 PM
Jim you sound like you'd be a great boss to have, are you hiring? lol

We are. Well, we were... Just hired 2 yesterday. That reminds me. I need to take the craigslist ads down...

We will be hiring for 6 more employees in the spring. But the 3-hour 1-way commute from Central Point might be a problem for you. I guess there's always audio books!!! ;-)

Kiril
12-10-2011, 06:05 PM
It's not about having a handle every possible scenario life throws at you. It's about getting rid of all the small worries in life so you can have time and money to focus on the big worries in life when they come.

I don't disagree with that, however obvious it might be. What I do disagree with is people who throw around gross earnings and equipment list. Who give a rats ass how much the other guy makes or what shiit he has? I don't judge people on how much money they make or how much equipment they have .... do you?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-10-2011, 06:07 PM
We are. Well, we were... Just hired 2 yesterday. That reminds me. I need to take the craigslist ads down...

We will be hiring for 6 more employees in the spring. But the 3-hour 1-way commute from Central Point might be a problem for you. I guess there's always audio books!!! ;-)

HA HA, yeah, I was kidding, wouldn't move unless it was an upper management position or similar ;)

Puddle of Oil
12-10-2011, 06:17 PM
Subscribed!

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 06:20 PM
I don't disagree with that, however obvious it might be. What I do disagree with is people who throw around gross earnings and equipment list. Who give a rats ass how much the other guys makes or what shiit he has? I don't judge people on how much they money they make or how much equipment they have .... do you?

No. I think you are mis-judging people though. You are assuming that when people throw around things like gross earnings that they are doing so to brag. Now that may be true of some. I can't speak to everyone's motives here. But as for myself, there are ever only 2 reasons I would mention my company's gross earnings:

1) Just to let people know that I am not just another lawn jockey who just started out. That I own a real, established company and have a pretty decent amount of experience relating to what I am speaking about.

2) To give smaller companies hope. I always used to wonder when I first started my company, "Could I really build a decent size business in the lawn care industry?" "Can I really make the kind of money I want to be making in this industry??? Maybe I need to consider going into a business that's more profitable..." I want to let others know that if they have dreams of building a bigger company from nothing and one day want to make some really good money in this business, that it's possible! That it's doable! That there are others who have done it!

As for posting lists of equipment or trucks, I almost never do that. But I do post photos of that stuff once in a blue moon. It's not to brag, really. I think when people do that it's more just looking for other people to validate that they've accomplished something. I think most people who post that stuff are just looking for a nice compliment, like "Wow! Great job. That's a nice rig! You've obviously been working hard to get that." We all love some positive encouragement from our peers. It keeps us going. You should try it sometimes.

Kiril
12-10-2011, 06:24 PM
So let's say I net 1.8 mil a year and have 6.3 mil in assets. Will that make my posts, knowledge and opinions worth more?

There are a lot of ways to measure success Jim. A huge house, lots of toys and money to throw around isn't the only option. Perhaps you might keep that in mind.

drenchedlawn
12-10-2011, 06:34 PM
No. I think you are mis-judging people though. You are assuming that when people throw around things like gross earnings that they are doing so to brag. Now that may be true of some. I can't speak to everyone's motives here. But as for myself, there are ever only 2 reasons I would mention my company's gross earnings:

1) Just to let people know that I am not just another lawn jockey who just started out. That I own a real, established company and have a pretty decent amount of experience relating to what I am speaking about.

2) To give smaller companies hope. I always used to wonder when I first started my company, "Could I really build a decent size business in the lawn care industry?" "Can I really make the kind of money I want to be making in this industry??? Maybe I need to consider going into a business that's more profitable..." I want to let others know that if they have dreams of building a bigger company from nothing and one day want to make some really good money in this business, that it's possible! That it's doable! That there are others who have done it!

As for posting lists of equipment or trucks, I almost never do that. But I do post photos of that stuff once in a blue moon. It's not to brag, really. I think when people do that it's more just looking for other people to validate that they've accomplished something. I think most people who post that stuff are just looking for a nice compliment, like "Wow! Great job. That's a nice rig! You've obviously been working hard to get that." We all love some positive encouragement from our peers. It keeps us going. You should try it sometimes.

Jim your second point hits the nail right on the head. Also I know when Im talking to business owners that grew their business on here I can understand the words are coming from experience in growing a business!

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 06:39 PM
So let's say I net 1.8 mil a year and have 6.3 mil in assets. Will that make my posts, knowledge and opinions worth more?

There are a lot of ways to measure success Jim. A huge house, lots of toys and money to throw around isn't the only option. Perhaps you might keep that in mind.
You're making analogies that are unrealistic again.... You always go to the extremes..... :rolleyes:

What I am saying is that I think people want to listen to others who are successful in their industry. Someone who is looking at how to handle a certain problem that comes up in the industry is going to naturally gravitate toward someone who has actually came across that problem dozens of times and figured out a solution to it.

When they are looking for a good method of installing something that they are new at, they will naturally take the advice of someone who has actually done a hundred installations over someone who has only done half a dozen.

When they are seeking advice for what kinds of marketing works best, they are naturally going to value the advice of someone who has actually done TONS of marketing and tried every single type of advertising out there multiple times and can say from experience how they all work over some other guy with a smaller company who doesn't have nearly as much experience in that department.

When they have a question like, "How would you handle this situation....?" They will usually value the advice of someone who's actually been in that situation many times over a long time with a lot of different customers over someone who has only dealt with it once or twice with a few customers.

The more business you've done over the years, the more experience you have. And normally, people pay attention to those with more experience. Your company size, sales, etc. is a big indicator of how long you've been around, how many customers you service, and how much experience you've had in the industry.

And if you actually we're making anywhere close to the kind of money you were referring to - all from this industry - yes. I'd be wanting to talk to you a little more than most of the other guys on Lawnsite. I'd be writing you a PM asking if I could buy you dinner one night and pick your brain. Because if you had made that kind of money you're definitely doing a whole hell of a lot of things right. And I like to learn from people who have been more successful then myself.

Doc Pete
12-10-2011, 07:37 PM
You're making analogies that are unrealistic again....


Jim,
You need to remember just who (interneties):dizzy: you are attempting to have real dialog with.
Pete O..... Have a Great Christmas, and I will get you pics of my 40hp leaf blower.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-10-2011, 07:41 PM
Always love to read your posts Jim you got a certain style about your writing.

nepatsfan
12-10-2011, 07:45 PM
Always love to read your posts Jim you got a certain style about your writing.

X2 and trying to argue with Kiril is like trying to nail jello to a wall. Don't even bother.

FinerCutslawnCare
12-10-2011, 08:01 PM
subscribed

TJLANDS
12-10-2011, 08:01 PM
An old thread back>>

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2012!!

Puddle of Oil
12-10-2011, 09:23 PM
Always love to read your posts Jim you got a certain style about your writing.

X3, totally agree!

Kiril
12-10-2011, 10:13 PM
You're making analogies that are unrealistic again.... You always go to the extremes..... :rolleyes:

What I am saying is that I think people want to listen to others who are successful in their industry. Someone who is looking at how to handle a certain problem that comes up in the industry is going to naturally gravitate toward someone who has actually came across that problem dozens of times and figured out a solution to it.

When they are looking for a good method of installing something that they are new at, they will naturally take the advice of someone who has actually done a hundred installations over someone who has only done half a dozen.

When they are seeking advice for what kinds of marketing works best, they are naturally going to value the advice of someone who has actually done TONS of marketing and tried every single type of advertising out there multiple times and can say from experience how they all work over some other guy with a smaller company who doesn't have nearly as much experience in that department.

When they have a question like, "How would you handle this situation....?" They will usually value the advice of someone who's actually been in that situation many times over a long time with a lot of different customers over someone who has only dealt with it once or twice with a few customers.

The more business you've done over the years, the more experience you have. And normally, people pay attention to those with more experience. Your company size, sales, etc. is a big indicator of how long you've been around, how many customers you service, and how much experience you've had in the industry.

And if you actually we're making anywhere close to the kind of money you were referring to - all from this industry - yes. I'd be wanting to talk to you a little more than most of the other guys on Lawnsite. I'd be writing you a PM asking if I could buy you dinner one night and pick your brain. Because if you had made that kind of money you're definitely doing a whole hell of a lot of things right. And I like to learn from people who have been more successful then myself.

Interesting.

So again I will point out ...... success is subjective. You are not the only yardstick Jim. Further, what does throwing around gross earnings and equipment lists have anything to do with experience and knowledge?
I'll save you the trouble and answer that question ..... NOTHING!

nepatsfan
12-10-2011, 10:16 PM
So let's say I net 1.8 mil a year and have 6.3 mil in assets. Will that make my posts, knowledge and opinions worth more?


No amount of money will make your posts, "knowledge" and opinions worth more.

Kiril
12-10-2011, 10:36 PM
No amount of money will make your posts, "knowledge" and opinions worth more.

Yup .... you can't put a price on accurate and actionable information backed by experience.

JimLewis
12-10-2011, 10:51 PM
Right. And what exactly is your experience in Kiril? Because as far back as I can remember you've never posted any examples of your work or anything at all about your company, what you do, where you do it, or anything at all to tell us that you really have experience in this industry.

joel29m
12-10-2011, 11:49 PM
I haven't been on the site long...like a week at best. Our company is what you may consider large...$4-5m per year. Check out my thread on "pictures" page. I'm pretty humble and willing to help by answering questions you may have about proper growth, employees, time management and so on. We certainly dont believe in belittling anyone, and as you will read, we dont consider ourselves to be anybodys competition. Cheers guys, there is no such thing as a little company, just another company getting started. We started with an '86 Ford dump truck and a few shovels!
Posted via Mobile Device i tryed to pm you but its blocked?

old oak lawn
12-10-2011, 11:51 PM
Interesting.

So again I will point out ...... success is subjective. You are not the only yardstick Jim. Further, what does throwing around gross earnings and equipment lists have anything to do with experience and knowledge?
I'll save you the trouble and answer that question ..... NOTHING!

A large Gross earning and equipment list DO have something to do with Knowledge and experience, If you are making $ and buying equipment you must be doing something write. Growing a business is what most people want to do and they want to hear from others that are successful. Sadly There is not much to learn here because people like you come on here and act like a$$ hole to people like Mr Jim Lewis who are all ways trying to help others.

coolluv
12-11-2011, 08:46 AM
Always love to read your posts Jim you got a certain style about your writing.

I agree, its nice to have Jim here and I love to read his posts.

Dave...

nepatsfan
12-11-2011, 10:17 AM
Yup .... you can't put a price on accurate and actionable information backed by experience.

I don't think anyone would argue with your extensive typing experience.

Zen Lawn
12-11-2011, 02:23 PM
I've read on that too, and from all the successful people like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Millionaire Mind, and Donald Trump, I believe you make your own destiny and reality. Unfortunately many people have a "poor mind", they want to "just make it' and that's what they do. It's why Donald Trump was in 900 million dollars of debt and he came back on top and why people who win the lottery end up broke, they just can't handle the money.

Most of it comes from their parents and backgrounds telling them they can only be really poor (government assistance) or middle class ( just getting by), but to get to the top you have to take educated risks and get out of your comfort zone. I don't find it feasible how someone can work somewhere they hate for the rest of their lives. I've done grind jobs (quick jobs) I hated as I moved up and I'm not that old. But I plan on having complete passive income (meaning I don't have to do the labor myself, and I make money when I sleep) in a year or two. It's doable.

Some people have more of a knack for money, but you still have to expand your reality and content to keep moving up. Those who are the best always want to learn more, while those who stay where they are don't want to learn anything and rather stick with their beliefs. I never understood why people think things just fall into my lap, when my peers are generally doing nothing with themselves overall and I'm working hard and even had to do a second job while in school.

And example of a poor mind. I tend to wear suits everyday when I'm not out, because I find them comfortable and because I like them and how they look and the professional aspect behind it. Older people, foreign people, and other successful people understand accept and appreciate it, but the younger generation doesn't understand as much. He asked why I wore suits because I mowed lawns and wasn't a businessman. He was only 12 but I had to explain to him the concept of business and applying it. I don't even like people to know what I have or where I live because of the jealousy anyways, and people would rather hate someone who has more than them instead of trying to find out their secret and move towards it. I try to hang around other large thinkers and successful people, as negative and lazy people tend to drag you down.

Rant over.

fantastic post. Learning the tangible part of lawncare is the easy part. Opening one's self to unfamiliar perspectives is the challenge.
Posted via Mobile Device

JCLawn and more
12-11-2011, 09:47 PM
I can't see myself grossing $500K in lawn care unless I went all out and got into hardscaping, fertilizers and such. Lawncare can only pay so much these days. Everyone's getting involved. I got a flyer in the mail last weekend, he had lawn aerating for $45, lawn cutting for $25 and some other services at rather reasonable prices, but he's not insured. I know, I phoned him. I couldn't rent an aerator and do my lawn for $45 here, so that in itself seemed like a good deal, but if that aerator manages to go out of control and buggers up my house foundation or something, who's to pay? I am, for going cheap.

Anyway, I gross 15K in a good year, and take about about 8-10K depending on my labour costs. I have a couple part time students that help out in the summer and I don't mind paying them for a half days work each, when it would take me 12hours to do on my own. It makes it more relaxing and enjoyable. Most of my equipment burns less than 1L of fuel an hour, and my most powerful is 6.5hp. So, expenses are low. Largest expenses are insurance ($1050/yr), WSIB ($200/yr), and taxes (18-22%), with vehicle fuel & maintenance in there as well. I keep track of mileage to keep things as separate from personal use as possible, this makes calculating fuel use easy, if I combine things into a half-a-buck a mile maintenance cost. My trailer costs me $100/yr (averaged out over the last ten years), between tires (on it's third set - always bought used!) and bearings (just replaced last fall).

I'm not in it at the moment to go all out full time, but I plan to pick up a bit more this year only so I don't have to turn down any potential clients this year.

Running full time year round (with plow) solo, you could push for $80K net profit after all expenses, but you'll WORK for it. Gross would be in the $150K range, plow truck maintenance can be a killer. A friend of mine had a hydraulic line blow out on him at a client at 2am, since he couldn't lift the plow he phoned for service and they charged him not only an after hours fee of $150/hr (min 1 hour), but $82 and change to fix the hose on the spot. With taxes he had nearly a $300 bill, just for that. His plow system was in its third operating season and he paid $7200 for it installed. Us Ontarioians get raped even at the worst of times.

ya, i'm 20, I run solo, its my 3rd year, a full time college student, and with only 6-7 months of strictly mowing I grossed about 35k. If I got smarter on my prices and charged 50-70 a hour I could gross 100k by myself and have good profit margins.

douglee25
12-12-2011, 02:23 PM
Subscribed.

Doug

Landscraper1
12-12-2011, 06:34 PM
I certainly hope you are not referring to me when saying chest pounding. I never have nor ever will do that. I'm here on this site to educate as well as learn from everyone. I am no more impressed by our company than I am with the guy who works by himself and makes a living and raises a family. We had a desire to grow larger than that, to each his own. I hope you don't think I am trying to be better than anyone.
Posted via Mobile Device

Don't be discouraged. You will find all kinds on this site. Many are here to learn from each other and appreciate input from successful companies. Others are just bitter and jealous.

Landscraper1
12-12-2011, 06:58 PM
I don't disagree with that, however obvious it might be. What I do disagree with is people who throw around gross earnings and equipment list. Who give a rats ass how much the other guy makes or what shiit he has? I don't judge people on how much money they make or how much equipment they have .... do you?

If you don.t give a rat's A## then why do you bother reading this thread? This thread was started to find out if their were any mid sized or large companies on this site.

I'm sorry if it offends anyone but, I don't understand why. No one has a problem when their is a thread asking about solo operators or LC's making under $100,000.

So, what's the problem asking who has a larger company. Many come on this site to learn form each other. I think we all can learn alot from these companies. When I first started out, their were not many places I could learn from but, anytime I came in contact with a more successful company, I would take advantage to learn what I could.

If you are happy as you are, then that's great. But, don't ruin it for others who want more in life.

GraZZmaZter
01-16-2012, 02:44 AM
What seems to have went back and forth between individuals of this thread is their particular ideology of the exact definition of success. That can neither be defined or disputed!! What success is can only be defined from within. If your happy trucking around by yourself for 30 years banging out 45 accounts a week... than that is success!! If you knock out 10 million a year, work with 60 employees and have a list as long as the mississippi of equipment... than that is success as well. I feel we can all agree that success is defined as happiness. What makes you happy? Whatever you like to do... and only you can define that! Make your hobby a job and never work a day in your life....

32vld
01-16-2012, 02:35 PM
What seems to have went back and forth between individuals of this thread is their particular ideology of the exact definition of success. That can neither be defined or disputed!! What success is can only be defined from within. If your happy trucking around by yourself for 30 years banging out 45 accounts a week... than that is success!! If you knock out 10 million a year, work with 60 employees and have a list as long as the mississippi of equipment... than that is success as well. I feel we can all agree that success is defined as happiness. What makes you happy? Whatever you like to do... and only you can define that! Make your hobby a job and never work a day in your life....

Success is not a good word because it leaves to much wiggle room. Most response's will be from small business' and solo operators. The Brickman's will not be here because they have no need to learn anything from us. We won't hear that much from mid sized because they are few in numbers. And most here don't have the knowledge base on mid sized experince to assit the mid sized.


One can be happy making $50,000 paying his mortgage and bills.

Thing is there is no one that would not be upset if $500,000 in sales fell into their lap. Or $5,000,000 for that matter.

You ever here of a person winning $10,000,000 lottery and say no keep $950,000 I only want $50,000.

Thing is if your not going hungry, eating good, paying off or paid off that mortgage, affording heat/AC, buy a new truck when the old one dies, health ins, etc.... they are content because needs are being met.

All this does is show we can be happy getting by, but would not be upset if luck caused us to continuely increase our sales.

nortonlawncare
01-16-2012, 03:19 PM
Great thread, even though i don't make 500k or ore a year. if the thread offends anyone then don't read it. but the OP wasn't saying grossing less doesn't make you successful, just wants input from larger companies such as his own

tyler_mott85
01-16-2012, 08:21 PM
I feel like some readers need to be aware that profit is not what you pay yourself. Profit is how much money is left after you pay yourself.

I know different business models and different accounting theories will reflect this differently but any company that is grossing over $500,000 in sales is probably going to show their profit or loss after they pay all the employees and themselves.

Let's say two companies that gross entirely different amounts have the same profit margin. While they may have "profited" different amounts at the end of the year, the employees and the owners could all still be paid the same amount.

Profit is not what you take home at the end of the day.

JimLewis
01-23-2012, 04:09 PM
Close...

I think a more accurate definition of profit is what you have left over after all of the company expenses are paid for [before owner salary]. Then, what you do with that profit is your business.

Let's say Company A grosses $1Mil a year in sales. After all business expenses, the company has $200,000 left over. The owner decides to leave $50,000 in the company account and pay himself a salary of $150,000.

Let's say Company B also grosses $1Mil a year in sales. After all expenses the company has $200,000 left over. This owner decides to leave $120,000 in the company account and only takes a salary of $80,000.

In either case, the profit of the company is basically $200,000. It's just been divvied up differently. That's the number that someone looking to purchase the company is going to look at - the $200,000. Because that's the number that the buyer has to work with. Then the buyer can decide how he wants to divvy that money up after he purchases the company. He's not going to be too concerned with what the previous owner's salary was. Because he is going to chose to do that differently. He's just going to be concerned with the gross profit (before owner salary).

This is the way we should look at it too. If we just looked at Company A having a profit of $50K and Company B as having a profit of $120K, that would be an erroneous assessment. Each company had a true profit of $200K. It's just what they did with that $200K that is different.

torotorotoro
01-23-2012, 08:22 PM
great read

FoghornLeghorn
01-23-2012, 08:26 PM
Jim, articulate as always. Thanks for sharing.
Posted via Mobile Device

tyler_mott85
01-23-2012, 08:34 PM
Close...

I think a more accurate definition of profit is what you have left over after all of the company expenses are paid for [before owner salary]. Then, what you do with that profit is your business.

Let's say Company A grosses $1Mil a year in sales. After all business expenses, the company has $200,000 left over. The owner decides to leave $50,000 in the company account and pay himself a salary of $150,000.

Let's say Company B also grosses $1Mil a year in sales. After all expenses the company has $200,000 left over. This owner decides to leave $120,000 in the company account and only takes a salary of $80,000.

In either case, the profit of the company is basically $200,000. It's just been divvied up differently. That's the number that someone looking to purchase the company is going to look at - the $200,000. Because that's the number that the buyer has to work with. Then the buyer can decide how he wants to divvy that money up after he purchases the company. He's not going to be too concerned with what the previous owner's salary was. Because he is going to chose to do that differently. He's just going to be concerned with the gross profit (before owner salary).

This is the way we should look at it too. If we just looked at Company A having a profit of $50K and Company B as having a profit of $120K, that would be an erroneous assessment. Each company had a true profit of $200K. It's just what they did with that $200K that is different.

I agree 100% with this for a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership business.
The reason I stated that there are different ways of setting up a business is to take into account the differences between your way of looking at profit and the way a Corporation would look at it.

Take a large national corporation. When they talk about profit margin they are looking at the money they have after they pay everyone. CEO, President, etc.

I realize the large majority of users of LS or going to fall under the Sole Proprietorship and they are going to be taxed on the "profit" they show before they pay themselves anything.

Either way, this thread is a great read.

Az Gardener
01-23-2012, 11:47 PM
I will reluctantly admit to grossing over 500-k per year, mostly to encourage other larger companies to contribute. This board has gotten so big but there are so few bigger businesses contributing that it is hardly worth the time for me to wade through everything to learn anything new myself. I don't mind sharing what I have learned but I have posted most of it over the years. Its all there if you're of a mind to use the search feature.

Ideal thank you for your contribution it has given me reason to come back around more.

gscapes
01-24-2012, 01:48 AM
i look a profits this way. company grosses 1 million. After all buisness expenses, $200,000 is left over. My salery is a business expense ( if i didnt do my job, i'd have to pay someone to do it!) Then, on average for every million my company brings in we put 5% back into the company (everyone equipment depreciates each year). So i put 50,000 of that 200,000 back into my company, my profit is 150,000.

gscapes
01-24-2012, 01:51 AM
Close...

I think a more accurate definition of profit is what you have left over after all of the company expenses are paid for [before owner salary]. Then, what you do with that profit is your business.

Let's say Company A grosses $1Mil a year in sales. After all business expenses, the company has $200,000 left over. The owner decides to leave $50,000 in the company account and pay himself a salary of $150,000.

Let's say Company B also grosses $1Mil a year in sales. After all expenses the company has $200,000 left over. This owner decides to leave $120,000 in the company account and only takes a salary of $80,000.

In either case, the profit of the company is basically $200,000. It's just been divvied up differently. That's the number that someone looking to purchase the company is going to look at - the $200,000. Because that's the number that the buyer has to work with. Then the buyer can decide how he wants to divvy that money up after he purchases the company. He's not going to be too concerned with what the previous owner's salary was. Because he is going to chose to do that differently. He's just going to be concerned with the gross profit (before owner salary).

This is the way we should look at it too. If we just looked at Company A having a profit of $50K and Company B as having a profit of $120K, that would be an erroneous assessment. Each company had a true profit of $200K. It's just what they did with that $200K that is different.





i look a profits this way. company grosses 1 million. After all buisness expenses, $200,000 is left over. My salery is a business expense ( if i didnt do my job, i'd have to pay someone to do it!) Then, on average for every million my company brings in we put 5% back into the company (everyone equipment depreciates each year). So i put 50,000 of that 200,000 back into my company, my profit is 150,000.

Landscraper1
01-24-2012, 06:18 PM
Profit is a funny indicator of a successful business. I am the sole owner of a landscape business that is incorporated. As far as finances are concerned, I try to be slightly profitable. The more profit you end the year at, the more crazy taxes you will pay. In a good year my main concern in Nov - Dec is, how to lower that profit before the end of year.
This year I purchased a 2012 Chevy 2500HD, with a SS FIsher V plow, a slightly used S250 Bobcat, and a 2012 Honda Civic for my 18yr old daughter(yes, it's legal). So, what would have been a very profitable year is just slightly profitable, on the books.

FoghornLeghorn
01-24-2012, 10:42 PM
That's the beautiful thing about being in business for yourself. You can write off a new car for a kid if they run errands for you every now and then, if they use the car to pick up dry cleaning, pay their phone bills if they ever conduct any business related conversations on it.

Heck, I formed an LLC for my boat and have my landscaping company rent it every time we take it out. We write it off as client entertainment expense. Making the tax laws work for you instead of against you is the beauty of business.

lawn care St. Cloud, MN
01-25-2012, 01:38 AM
Don't get too big too fast. The more you gross the more bills and much larger the bills come in. Being a small company is not a bad thing and keeps your income tax bracket more fair. Once you start getting past 150 to 200K in sales the more your going to have to work to keep gross margin at a healthy level but again it depends on your bills.


LawnXperts St. Cloud http://www.saintcloudlawncare.com

douglee25
01-25-2012, 08:45 AM
That's the beautiful thing about being in business for yourself. You can write off a new car for a kid if they run errands for you every now and then, if they use the car to pick up dry cleaning, pay their phone bills if they ever conduct any business related conversations on it.

Heck, I formed an LLC for my boat and have my landscaping company rent it every time we take it out. We write it off as client entertainment expense. Making the tax laws work for you instead of against you is the beauty of business.

Be careful with the boat stuff. Entertaining on a boat is something the IRS scrutinizes very careful.

Doug

Landscraper1
01-25-2012, 09:51 AM
Don't get too big too fast. The more you gross the more bills and much larger the bills come in. Being a small company is not a bad thing and keeps your income tax bracket more fair. Once you start getting past 150 to 200K in sales the more your going to have to work to keep gross margin at a healthy level but again it depends on your bills.


LawnXperts St. Cloud http://www.saintcloudlawncare.com

Of course your bills will get higher but, so should your Income. Let's say you have a 3 man crew. You give youself a salary of $50,000. At the end of the year you profit $50,000(not including your salary). Sounds good, right?

Now, you pick up enough work to start another crew. Put in reliable employee to run your 1st crew at a salary of $30,000. You take over the new crew. If things go well you will make $50,000 profit per crew plus the savings of $20,000 from the foreman getting paid less than you were. That's now a profit of $120,000 at the end. Sounds great, right?

The numbers I used are examples but, if you play your cards right, each crew can at least double your profits.

This should be done slowly and in my personal experience, I will not grow any larger than I can control. In other words, I control my company with out much help. I am the boss, manager, estimator, salesman, mechanic, accounts payable, and I continue to work with crews when needed.

gscapes
01-25-2012, 06:30 PM
People shouldn't include their salary in their profits. You are an employee too. If you were not running the business yourself, you would have to pay someone a salary. Profit is whats left over after all business expenses including your personal salary. When i look at my profits for the year, my salary isn't part of that profit. I'm a paid employee because if im not doing the work, i have to pay someone to do it.

Landscraper1
01-25-2012, 06:36 PM
People shouldn't include their salary in their profits. You are an employee too. If you were not running the business yourself, you would have to pay someone a salary. Profit is whats left over after all business expenses including your personal salary. When i look at my profits for the year, my salary isn't part of that profit. I'm a paid employee because if im not doing the work, i have to pay someone to do it.

Who's including their salary in thier profits???

gscapes
01-25-2012, 06:38 PM
Most of the people on here think that their salary is included in their profits

JimLewis
01-25-2012, 09:33 PM
People shouldn't include their salary in their profits. You are an employee too. If you were not running the business yourself, you would have to pay someone a salary.

The salary I would pay someone to run our company would be a whole lot less than what I make, I guarantee you that. And he'd still be making 6 figures. But the salary I pay myself is way beyond what most company managers would ever make. So that statement is not accurate. That is a bad analogy. As an owner, I take money in two ways. One is salary. The other is in owner capital (the return I get on the investment I've made in building my business.) If I hired someone to do this for me, they'd just make the salary. And even that would be smaller than my base salary.

Profit is whats left over after all business expenses including your personal salary.

Then by that standard, you would look at my company and say we weren't very profitable. Because although we brought in over $2Mil in revenue last year, I didn't leave much of that in the company bank account at the end of the year. A lot of it went to my salary and a lot of it went into investing in newer trucks, more equipment, new trailers, a new shop, etc. So if you were just looking at our company "profit" the way you look at it, we wouldn't be very profitable. But if you took out my salary and all of the investments I made into more trucks and equipment and shop and so forth (that I didn't necessarily have to buy) then our company would all of a sudden look VERY profitable.

If you're just counting what's left in the bank at year end and counting that as profit, you're all screwed up. I'm sorry. But the fact is it's much more complex than that.

gscapes
01-25-2012, 10:24 PM
So how much of that new equipment you bought was to replace older equipment, equipment that you have depreciated in value. Idk about all you but my equipment depreciates each year but I keep it in he'll of good shape.
Posted via Mobile Device

gscapes
01-25-2012, 10:28 PM
Okay you leave your company you think one persons Gunna replace you. Personally if I left my company I'd have to hire two people to do my job at a very high salary. Not saying the two people I'd hire to take my job over would be idiots but I'm sure they wouldn't be has efficient has I was
Posted via Mobile Device

JimLewis
01-25-2012, 11:05 PM
Put it this way, let's say I am looking at two different companies:

Company A: $2Mil. in total sales. $300K in owner salary. They spent $50K on upgrading the company trucks and equipment that year. Only $20k was left in the bank after all this.

Company B: $2Mil. in total sales. $75K in owner salary. $50K invested in upgrading trucks and equipment that year. And $50,000 left in the bank account after all this.

In this scenario, you'd consider Company B to be more 150% more "profitable". But that company would be a bad investment compared with Company A.

Company A really had a profit of $370K to work with (after necessary expensese). The owner just chose to hog a lot of that for himself. But this company is still making a whole lot more extra money - or profit - than Company B is. Over 2x more money, in fact!!!

With your method, profit is totally subjective. Some owners (as in the Company A scenario) may chose to hog a lot of the company profit for themselves. That doesn't mean the company is less profitable. It just means the owner is keeping a lot higher % of the profits for himself. So the way I look at it is less subjective. You take owner salary out of the equation and just look at how much money is left after labor, materials, overhead, and other necessary expenses. Then what's left is what you consider profit. Then you can compare one company to another equally.

BINKY1902
01-26-2012, 12:30 AM
In a proprietorship, owner withdrawals cannot be written off as a salary expense. Drawing is a reduction in capital, which is the amount the owner has invested in the business. Net income is the taxable amount. Revenues minus expenses equal net income. If owner withdrawals are subtracted from revenues along with expenses, net income will be understated. A salary paid to an employee can be expensed, but the owner cannot expense the capital he takes out of the business.

gscapes
01-26-2012, 12:58 AM
So your telling me if you had an accounting company come audit you, they would include the owners salary has profits? Because although there may only be one shareholder in the inc.,end of the year profits and CEO salary are not added together to give the companies total profits for the year when you have a accounting firm audit you. So yes in your post according to a tax audit of the two companies, company B is more profitable because you are not your company, your company is basicly its own person, and you own that person. But the CEO who owns 100% of stock in company A is a lot richer (Because his salary is a lot higher) than company B whos CEO owns 100% of stock of company B. Company B will look more profitable for many different reasons. Company A may be doing the job of 2.5 people and working 75-80 hours in peak seaons(maybe even half the year). He may be doing the job for 2.5 people while company B CEO is working 20 hours (maybe even less in the slow months) a week and has two extra people making working, one making $135,000 working 50 hours( VP, Operation manager, General manager) year round and another person making $90,000 a year working an average of 45 hours a year. (more hours in the busy season and less hours in the slow season). There can be many vairables that goes into this. But just because one CEO makes more money off his company than another CEO, and the company with the higher profit at the end of the year (just profit, Not your wack idea of profit) is the company with the lower paid CEO doesnt mean the company with the highest paid CEO is the most profitable.
Sorry for the long responce but your are actually the screwed up business owner that thinks profits are CEO salary plus end of the year profits

gscapes
01-26-2012, 01:21 AM
Yes you are correct Binky! Learned that before i got my four year management business degree. But i am a corporation not sole proprietor so that means i am an employee of that corportation, and my title is CEO! Just a question, either of you go to college? And Jim, a Guy who runs a company your size for 16 years should know that if your company is incorportated than you are an employee of your company even if your title is all these CEO, CFO, President, VP and own 100% of the shares of stock for your company

JimLewis
01-26-2012, 01:22 AM
Ok. :rolleyes:

BINKY1902
01-26-2012, 02:12 AM
...................

BINKY1902
01-26-2012, 02:24 AM
Yes you are correct Binky! Learned that before i got my four year management business degree. But i am a corporation not sole proprietor so that means i am an employee of that corportation, and my title is CEO! Just a question, either of you go to college? And Jim, a Guy who runs a company your size for 16 years should know that if your company is incorportated than you are an employee of your company even if your title is all these CEO, CFO, President, VP and own 100% of the shares of stock for your company


Yes, how the business is set up changes things. I was a sole proprietor, corporations have different standards. I just wanted to throw that info. out there because I know there are a lot of sole proprietors on here like me. I actually have a business degree as well, I'm still in school trying to finish my hours to become a Certified Public Accountant.

gscapes
01-26-2012, 08:46 AM
Binky congrats on trying to finish up your CPA and running a landscape business. It is very hard to do both. Then binky since you studied accounting, would you agree with me that your profit is what is left over after expenses, and the CEO salary in a corporation is a business expense, Jim Lewis who is a corporation thinks profit is his salary plus end of year profits.

Landscraper1
01-26-2012, 10:36 AM
gscapes, I know where you are coming from but, I don't think your understanding JimLewis. You are looking at what comes down on paper but, that is not always a good indicator of the success of a company. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I had to spend alot of money at the end of the year. The reason was because I was about to have a big profit that year. If I didn't spend that money, the taxes would have eat a large portion of it.

So, if you look at my financials for 2011, it looks OK, not great. But, the truth is, It was one of my most successful years.

32vld
01-26-2012, 10:46 AM
Yes, how the business is set up changes things. I was a sole proprietor, corporations have different standards. I just wanted to throw that info. out there because I know there are a lot of sole proprietors on here like me. I actually have a business degree as well, I'm still in school trying to finish my hours to become a Certified Public Accountant.

All I know is that numbers don't lie but liars use numbers to lie.

As you pointed out you can't use just one number to say one business is more profitable then another.

My question for you is can you point out when it would be better to draw out money from a business as salary or profit?

Mitt Rommey paid 13.9 % on $24,000,000. I was told that he must have had himself paid mostly through dividends.

32vld
01-26-2012, 11:03 AM
Politician speak.

Is stating info that projects the message you want get people to believe.

Example:

Whether Sol Pro, LLC, Corp

Co A I made $25,000 Salary and $75,000 profit
Co B I made $50,000 salary and $50,000 profit
Co C I made $75,000 salary and $25,000 profit

A claims he's had the best year because he made the highest profits.
C claims he's had the best year because he made the largest salary

B does not claim but states their full of baloney because they all put $100,000 in their pocket at the end of the year.

Now a SP, LLC, and Corp have tax rate advantages and total gross size effects tax rates as well.

BCR840
01-26-2012, 12:28 PM
I have a full time job for AT&T and operate the Lawn Business as a 2nd income. I have been doing this for 8 years off and on, but got very serious with in the last 3 years. I am fully insured, all equipment is insured, business license, taxes etc. 3 years ago my gross was $8k and my net was $4k. The next year my gross was $30k +_ and my net was around $15-$17k. Now in 2011 my gross was $62k and my net (still calculating) is $24-$25k. Now the difference is the amount of work I took on last year. I did my normal maintenance contracts (12 only) and the rest was all landscape jobs, clean-ups, and one-time visits. I was amazed at how much I grossed as a side business. I did all of this myself except on the larger landscape jobs I had 2 guys help me. I was also amazed at how much $$$ it took to produce that number, i had $14k in just material for jobs. It left me wondering if I should just focus on the maintenance side of things more for this year. I could add a couple of lawns (high end) and just do that and reduce my overhead. But then here comes the tax hit. I was fortunate to be able to use my extra income last year to purchase a used 48" Grandstand, Walker MCGHS, and 2 new Redmax blowers. I got a great deal on the Walker to (2005, 285 hrs., $5700). So all my equipment is paid for now. But I cant help to wonder what taxes will be like this year. My normal expenses will still be there like... insurance, Maint. repairs, license, fuel, labor, materials etc. It was a lot of late nights, studying my plant materials, drawing, and headaches trying to get all of this scheduled around my primary work schedule, a wife, and 3 kids. I am always looking for more ways to save money and make more profit. but really dont feel like i would want to grow to much more and take on that kind of stress and responsibility.

BINKY1902
01-26-2012, 06:08 PM
Binky congrats on trying to finish up your CPA and running a landscape business. It is very hard to do both. Then binky since you studied accounting, would you agree with me that your profit is what is left over after expenses, and the CEO salary in a corporation is a business expense, Jim Lewis who is a corporation thinks profit is his salary plus end of year profits.


Yes the owner of a corp. would expense his salary. Sole proprietors actually don't have a salary, they reduce their equity when they draw. LLC's are also treated like a prop.

BINKY1902
01-26-2012, 06:26 PM
All I know is that numbers don't lie but liars use numbers to lie.

As you pointed out you can't use just one number to say one business is more profitable then another.

My question for you is can you point out when it would be better to draw out money from a business as salary or profit?

Mitt Rommey paid 13.9 % on $24,000,000. I was told that he must have had himself paid mostly through dividends.



Romney pays low tax because investments (dividends) are favored when it comes to taxation. He makes his money from investments, not labor. Basically this is in place to promote the wealty to invest money. This is why the super wealthy pay less tax percentage wise than people working. It is controversial to say the least.

gscapes
01-26-2012, 10:48 PM
an llc has the choice to do whats best for the company. It can be taxed has either a prop or corp

Az Gardener
01-27-2012, 12:04 AM
But he paid tax's on the $$ when he earned it the first time.

The corporation that earned the money that paid him the dividend also had their income taxed prior to passing out the dividend.

So now that money is getting taxed for the third time...

When is enough enough?

Landscraper1
05-15-2012, 09:03 AM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations. Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000? If so can you post some info about yourself and your company? Such as:

When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?

You don't have to put down your business name. I am just curious to see the response as, I am sure you would be as well. Thanks:)

giving this a bump!

snow4me
06-02-2012, 12:48 AM
When and how you started the business? August 2010 as a snow removal company while I was in school studying project management. Decided to give it a go doing lawn care as well after graduating Feb 2011 and having a hard time finding work. I worked for 21 years in printing before getting laid off in Dec. 2008

What you gross in a year? Last year was first full year in business and I did 59K gross

How many employees? 1 (myself) I hire helpers from time to time

What trucks and equipment you use? 4 Chevy Silverado 1500 4x4 Trucks with Snoway plows, 14ft. dump trailer, 14ft. landscape trailer, Exmark LZ60, Scag Turf Tiger 61, Brown Bed Edger, Stih BR600 (2), Shindaiwa (Swisher) multi-tools (3), Ohio Commercial grade poly dump cart (2) and lots of hand tools.

How's your profit margin in these tough times? Too busy to tell but I had to work by myself today doing lawn care only and grossed $459 working 12 hours. I'd say my profit margin had to be around 35% last year and bit higher this year, but I own everything outright and keep investing a large % of my profits back into the business. This year my goal was 100K gross but a weak snow season (21k Jan-March) may have put that out of reach. It does seem like people are wanting more landscaping side work done this year. I've already done close to 200c.y. of mulch.

Mark Oomkes
06-02-2012, 01:36 PM
Interesting thread. Still trying to wrap my mind around the guy that claims 95% gross profit. But neglects all his expenses.

Sort of explains a lot of the "advice" that is given to newbies by those that have the world by the tail because they're one or two man outfits.

Marketing Pro
06-02-2012, 02:28 PM
Not grossing $500k a year yet but growing VERY fast. My contribution to this thread is more about maintaining high margins. It is possible.

When and how you started the business?
Started up two years ago. Going into our third year. I started the business after a 20 year career in the media industry. Specifically as a business development and innovation executive. I got tired of making other people millions of dollars from my ideas. Landscaping has always been a passion of mine. Used my own money. Financed nothing. Own everything and have no debt. Created a sound business plan and worked the plan.

What you gross in a year?
Into six figures but under $500k. Not going to be more specific. I'm new to this site and want to keep that confidential. 90% from property maintenance and lawn service. 10% from landscape installations. On pace to make goals for this year at 50% increase. Landscape work remains inconsistent at best. Was great around tax refund time but has since fallen off again. Lawn Service is exploding for the third straight growing season. Important to note: we're located in South Florida where property maintenance and lawn service are a year round business on it's own.

How many employees?
Other than myself, one full time and 3 part time guys as needed. As we've grown my wife and my Mom pitch in with administrative work. (they work for free)

What trucks and equipment you use?
1999 Ford Ranger
2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2004 BMW 3 Series (used for sales calls)
2010 Pace 6x12 Trailer
2007 John Deere Z757 Mower (just purchased 2012)
2009 Troy Bilt Mustang zero turn (not a commercial mower and the transmissions are now about dead after 620 hours)
All Echo brand trimmers, blowers, edgers.

How's your profit margin in these tough times?
There is a significant difference between landscape margins and property maintenance margins. Landscape margins are all over the place and can be between 10% and 75% depending on the project. As such I'm only referring to property maintenance since that makes up most of our business.

We're holding at 50% in 2012. Nothing the first year as everything went back into covering start up costs and into marketing. How do we keep a 50% margin? There are many reasons but I will focus on the key areas.

1) A very smart, savvy marketing and business plan that keeps logistics VERY tight. We target specific zip codes, even specific sub zip neighborhood areas and saturate it with marketing and sales pressure. We follow very strict marketing metrics. We only offer property maintenance to these specific cost effective areas and do not go outside it for residential work. As we gain high market share in these areas we move into new areas close by and the process starts all over again.

2) This plan keeps fuel costs for the trucks VERY low. Less than 5,000 miles per year! All our fuel costs are mowing time. This means fuel is spent more on revenue producing mowing time than travel. If a potential new client is not within our defined area, we turn them away...unless they are in an area that fit our marketing plan metrics.

3) This plan keeps labor costs efficient and productive. More time spent on actual work than traveling to the next location. We have clusters of clients per day with as many as 30 within a 5 mile radius. We have specific stops with between 4 and 7 residential clients without moving the truck. We have as many as three commercial clients at a single stop.

4) An absolutely insane focus on customer service and quality work. This gives us a VERY high customer retention rate and a VERY high neighbor referral rate. The only customers we lose are the ones we fire for bad debt...and I've learned how to control these losses.

5) Smart cost management. Should go without saying but this does add % to our margin. We buy everything in bulk quantities. Some items (trimmer line, 2 cycle oil, weed killer, edger blades, etc) are now an annual purchase. Even our insurance premium is paid all at once...no payments with added fees. We also buy equipment outright. No financing.

I haven't read all the posts in this thread. Frankly some of them are just a waste of time. But browsing through I did notice a few that stood out so I wanted to join the conversation.

I am interested in growth models. I have a fantastic problem. My ability to market and gain new clients is far beyond the ability of my business to keep up with it AND keep margins high. I noticed a few people mentioned small operations versus multiple crews and larger operations. Specifically a "diminishing return" on labor. Even growing smart (and keeping costs controlled as mentioned above) there are margin obstacles to revenue growth and none bigger than labor. In order to grow through specific revenue thresholds margins have to suffer. I'm getting close to one of these thresholds and have figured out one possible way around it. I'm looking for more. Perhaps you are too? Hope my comments were beneficial to you.

Set Apart Lawn Care
06-02-2012, 09:49 PM
Marketing Pro those were some great tips. Specifically the focus on small areas. I accidentaly found this out this year, I had to sell out of one part of town because I was to busy to keep the work up and I only had time to market certain areas. What resulted was having all of our work in 2 zip codes and it has been awesome. We are present in area more often so we can address concerns more quickly. We can are seen more often because we spend so much time there which helps with branding. Of course there is less drive time between yards.

I have 3 part time guys plus myself and we gross maybe $125,000 ish in a year, most of that in the spring and summer. I could easily see growing to $500,000 gross over the next 5 years and not expanding beyong these 2 zip codes.

milkie62
06-03-2012, 12:06 AM
I try to get $45-50/hr mowing.Sometimes I get it and sometimes slightly more and other times slightly less.What kind of profit margins are there on just cutting grass ?

Landscraper1
04-08-2013, 08:29 AM
I try to get $45-50/hr mowing.Sometimes I get it and sometimes slightly more and other times slightly less.What kind of profit margins are there on just cutting grass ?

Though to say. Every business has different expenses. In my business I figure 20 to 30% on the mowing.

Landscraper1
11-16-2013, 11:31 AM
Marketing Pro, interested to find out if you did increase by 50%.

TheLugNutZ
11-16-2013, 11:43 AM
Thanks for bumping this, interested as well. That was a great post and certainly my primary marketing plan as well.

Dr. Cornwallis
11-16-2013, 05:55 PM
One of the common trends I notice here is people wishing they were still a one man operation. I know a fellow landscaper who owns a lawn business that grossed 1.4 million last year and only does commercial work; he's told me a couple of times that he wishes he would have stayed a one man operation with mosty resi and a few commercial accounts.

Edit: I plan to stay a one man operation.

Posted via Mobile Device

StockmanLawnscape
11-16-2013, 06:04 PM
I am curious. I have not been a member here for very long. In these few month's I have noticed that most members have very small companies, if they are a company at all. Most seem to be one man operations. Are there any landscapers out there making over $500,000? If so can you post some info about yourself and your company? Such as:

When and how you started the business?
What you gross in a year?
How many employees?
What trucks and equipment you use?
How's your profit margin in these tough times?

You don't have to put down your business name. I am just curious to see the response as, I am sure you would be as well. Thanks:)

Our business was started by my father in 1996. He did the solo thing for a long time, then hired a few guys. Made enough money to put myself and my older brother through college. We both earned degrees and decided to come back to the family business and make it bigger. Last year was our first full year together, actively trying to grow.

We gross over 500k, but under 1 mil. Should be at the 1 mil mark in a year depending on a few things.

We currently have 11 Employees, plus myself, brother, and father. So there's 14 total.

Ford Trucks - 7 of them
Toro Mowers - Lots
Stihl Handhelds - Lots

Our profit margin remains very healthy. We have been steady around the 10-15% mark. We try to keep it a little lower, by updating trucks and equipment so that taxes aren't an absolute killer. It differs year to year obviously, but we are working on small things, such as new systems, to improve each and every day.

We're growing quick, so I'd love to talk to the bigger guys on here to see if we can help each other. I know our company has a lot to learn as we grow.

Bumpmaster
11-16-2013, 07:21 PM
Hoping to hit $50,100 this year My Man. Gettin down to the wire here an gotta crunsch some #'s n'at!

americanlawn
11-16-2013, 10:11 PM
answer: yep

JimLewis
11-17-2013, 07:04 PM
One of the common trends I notice here is people wishing they were still a one man operation. I know a fellow landscaper who owns a lawn business that grossed 1.4 million last year and only does commercial work; he's told me a couple of times that he wishes he would have stayed a one man operation with mosty resi and a few commercial accounts.

Edit: I plan to stay a one man operation.

Posted via Mobile Device

Not me. I would have never stayed in this business if it meant I was going to be mowing lawns the rest of my life. I love the challenge that owning a larger business brings as as as the lifestyle. It's not easy. But neither is mowing lawns all day, in the rain for half the year (here). No thanks. But it is rewarding managing a company, designing and installing beautiful landscapes and hardscapes. Bringing landscapes to life day and night. Designing and installing water features, amazing outdoor lighting displays, outdoor living areas. All those are things I never could have ventured into had I just kept solo and mowing lawns.

We'll break just over $3mil. in annual sales for the year within a few weeks. And I wouldn't change it for the world. I like what I do.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-17-2013, 09:20 PM
Mowing lawns is only an entry point into the green industry. A low barrier to entry point at that.
You gotta do something that requires skill, licensing, knowledge etc to really pull it in.
I plan on adding topdresing to my menu soon, as NO ONE does it around here.
Ask yourself, how can you distinguish your business?

Groomer
11-18-2013, 11:10 AM
Always love how a thread like this turns into a business tutorial and financial advice column. lol

To the OP. No.

milkie62
11-18-2013, 03:48 PM
Though to say. Every business has different expenses. In my business I figure 20 to 30% on the mowing.

So in my situation at say $50/hr,I mow a $100 that takes exactly 2 hrs to mow.I am 7 miles from the site---I live in a rural area.So at even a 40% profit margin that equates to 40 bucks that I throw into my pocket which does not seem like much.I run a 3100Z Ferris and it is a smooth ride.So after an 8 hr day the max I could profit is $160.And I am not considering travel,load and unload times.Granted the other possible 60% should cover mower costs,gas,trimmer string,2 cycle oil,ins etc.How does one increase their profit margin without working crazy hours ?
I work a regular job also ,mowing is a side thin
ng.My base salary is $65k plus benefits.I have made up to $100k with time&1/2 and dbl time overtime.And I do not kill myself at work.
I also have had friends help me on big mulch jobs and cleanups..I have paid anywheres from $15/hr to $20/hr depending on their abillities.How do you guys get good help at and keep it at what some pay,say $10-12/hr ?

Landscraper1
11-18-2013, 04:36 PM
One of the common trends I notice here is people wishing they were still a one man operation. I know a fellow landscaper who owns a lawn business that grossed 1.4 million last year and only does commercial work; he's told me a couple of times that he wishes he would have stayed a one man operation with mosty resi and a few commercial accounts.

Edit: I plan to stay a one man operation.

Posted via Mobile Device

Why doesn't he do I then. My business also grosses about that and I do mainly commercial. If I really wanted to be a solo, I can easily do it.

It's one thing to be nostalgic about when we started out as solo and think back about the good old days, it's another thing to give up the lifestyle you now have, because you gross 1.4 mil.

Landscraper1
11-18-2013, 04:50 PM
So in my situation at say $50/hr,I mow a $100 that takes exactly 2 hrs to mow.I am 7 miles from the site---I live in a rural area.So at even a 40% profit margin that equates to 40 bucks that I throw into my pocket which does not seem like much.I run a 3100Z Ferris and it is a smooth ride.So after an 8 hr day the max I could profit is $160.And I am not considering travel,load and unload times.Granted the other possible 60% should cover mower costs,gas,trimmer string,2 cycle oil,ins etc.How does one increase their profit margin without working crazy hours ?
I work a regular job also ,mowing is a side thin
ng.My base salary is $65k plus benefits.I have made up to $100k with time&1/2 and dbl time overtime.And I do not kill myself at work.
I also have had friends help me on big mulch jobs and cleanups..I have paid anywheres from $15/hr to $20/hr depending on their abillities.How do you guys get good help at and keep it at what some pay,say $10-12/hr ?

When you look at profit, you have to take into consideration all expenses, including travel, load and unload times.

I have good employee retention by having Healthcare, Dental, Bonuses, and throwing company get togethers.

JimLewis
11-18-2013, 05:21 PM
Why doesn't he do I then. My business also grosses about that and I do mainly commercial. If I really wanted to be a solo, I can easily do it.

It's one thing to be nostalgic about when we started out as solo and think back about the good old days, it's another thing to give up the lifestyle you now have, because you gross 1.4 mil.

I agree with that. If he really wanted to go back to being a Solo Op. he could easily do that. Any of us could.

More than likely, it was just a comment he said out of frustration. I know I have had days - even weeks - when I thought and probably even said stuff like that. Sometimes you wonder whether it's really worth it. It's not easy running a company with a lot of employees and hundreds/thousands of customers. It's more like babysitting sometimes. And that can get so annoying sometimes it makes you want to quit. But if you press on, learn how to delegate, how to prevent problems before they come, learn how to take care of employees and customers better so as to prevent them from constantly complaining about stuff, then you can eventually get it to where it's fairly manageable. And to make it better, you can get it to where when challenges do arise, someone else in the company can put that fire out instead of you. It relieves stress to be able to delegate some of the stuff to others. Then, later, when you're taking that tropical vacation or sitting at home in comfortable shorts watching a movie or typing on your computer while all your workers are out working you think back to your comments and think to yourself, "Ok. I guess I won't go back to being a Solo Op. Days like this are pretty nice!" and you press on.

.

jrs.landscaping
11-18-2013, 05:22 PM
Great thread, I'm no where near 1/2 mil in revenue but I enjoy reading from the guys who are. I have learned a lot from Lawnsite, both from the larger guys and the ones making less than 50k. On the business side though Members running larger LCO's have more experience handling that type of income and the challenges that in itself can create.

I wish there were more threads like this, I agree that the "how much should I charge" or "what equipment" threads are good for a laugh but these threads really help me evaluate where my business could go ......

Landscraper1
11-18-2013, 06:15 PM
I agree with that. If he really wanted to go back to being a Solo Op. he could easily do that. Any of us could.

More than likely, it was just a comment he said out of frustration. I know I have had days - even weeks - when I thought and probably even said stuff like that. Sometimes you wonder whether it's really worth it. It's not easy running a company with a lot of employees and hundreds/thousands of customers. It's more like babysitting sometimes. And that can get so annoying sometimes it makes you want to quit. But if you press on, learn how to delegate, how to prevent problems before they come, learn how to take care of employees and customers better so as to prevent them from constantly complaining about stuff, then you can eventually get it to where it's fairly manageable. And to make it better, you can get it to where when challenges do arise, someone else in the company can put that fire out instead of you. It relieves stress to be able to delegate some of the stuff to others. Then, later, when you're taking that tropical vacation or sitting at home in comfortable shorts watching a movie or typing on your computer while all your workers are out working you think back to your comments and think to yourself, "Ok. I guess I won't go back to being a Solo Op. Days like this are pretty nice!" and you press on.

.

Well said, Jim.:clapping:

Bumpmaster
11-18-2013, 06:23 PM
Well said, Jim.:clapping:

Yep, however Jim did get a little long winded in his comment n'at.

StockmanLawnscape
11-18-2013, 06:33 PM
I agree with that. If he really wanted to go back to being a Solo Op. he could easily do that. Any of us could.

More than likely, it was just a comment he said out of frustration. I know I have had days - even weeks - when I thought and probably even said stuff like that. Sometimes you wonder whether it's really worth it. It's not easy running a company with a lot of employees and hundreds/thousands of customers. It's more like babysitting sometimes. And that can get so annoying sometimes it makes you want to quit. But if you press on, learn how to delegate, how to prevent problems before they come, learn how to take care of employees and customers better so as to prevent them from constantly complaining about stuff, then you can eventually get it to where it's fairly manageable. And to make it better, you can get it to where when challenges do arise, someone else in the company can put that fire out instead of you. It relieves stress to be able to delegate some of the stuff to others. Then, later, when you're taking that tropical vacation or sitting at home in comfortable shorts watching a movie or typing on your computer while all your workers are out working you think back to your comments and think to yourself, "Ok. I guess I won't go back to being a Solo Op. Days like this are pretty nice!" and you press on.

.

Exactly! There are days, like today for example, where it is more babysitting than anything. Especially when you have an employee or two that decide to be difficult all day. But like Jim Said, there are days where you could never imagine being solo again. If you keep learning and developing your business, the rewards are worth it for sure.

JimLewis
11-18-2013, 06:42 PM
Yep, however Jim did get a little long winded in his comment n'at.

Me?? Long Winded???? NEVER!!!

:laugh:

Bumpmaster
11-18-2013, 06:56 PM
Me?? Long Winded???? NEVER!!!

:laugh:

:nono::nono::nono:

:headphones: http://youtu.be/POPbq--BAvU :headphones:

Tyler259
11-18-2013, 09:21 PM
I am interested in growth models. I have a fantastic problem. My ability to market and gain new clients is far beyond the ability of my business to keep up with it AND keep margins high. I noticed a few people mentioned small operations versus multiple crews and larger operations. Specifically a "diminishing return" on labor. Even growing smart (and keeping costs controlled as mentioned above) there are margin obstacles to revenue growth and none bigger than labor. In order to grow through specific revenue thresholds margins have to suffer. I'm getting close to one of these thresholds and have figured out one possible way around it. I'm looking for more. Perhaps you are too? Hope my comments were beneficial to you.

Any comments on this Jim and the other guys? Constantly hearing about barriers to growth, even heard some comments at a Charles Vanderkooi event I went too.

Also remember several threads of guys reaching certain points and having trouble with whats on the horizon. Some failed some sold the biz etc.

JimLewis
11-18-2013, 10:36 PM
Yah, I definitely agree with just about everything in that statement. It is definitely more of a struggle to keep up with growth than I had imagined. We have grown just about every year I've been in business. But the growth we've seen in the last 5-6 years or so ($1Mil annual sales to $3Mil) was a little faster growth than we had seen before.

At first, as you start to grow, it seems like everything will be super easy as you grow. You sort of run the numbers in your head and it goes something like this:

"Wow. I was bringing home $7,000 a month on my own (gross). Now with two workers, I'm able to to way more accounts and do way more side jobs. Now I'm bringing in $15,000 a month (gross). But my employees are only costing me about $4,000 a month. So now I'm making another $4,000 in revenue, even AFTER I count the employees! This is awesome!......Well, sure, I spent $5,000 on that second truck the other day... And $3,000 on that trailer.... a few grand on mowers and trimmers. But heck! I can afford that. I'm making $4,000 more each month now! I can't wait to get more employees! This is great. Soon, we'll be billing out for $20,000, then $25,000 a month. And most of that will be coming back to me!"

It seems like the employees are making you really good money. And they might be. If you just stopped there and didn't grow any more than that. But for one, it's never quite as good as it sounds in your mind - once you look at all of your REAL costs for the month. Then you realize you really aren't making quite as much as you thought you were. A lot of that is labor, overtime, etc. But a lot of it is in new expenses you now have. New equipment, vehicles, lettering, more advertising, uniforms, more cell phones, a lot more taxes, and the list goes on. For two, there are probably some things that you should be paying for, that you aren't yet. So then those expenses start to catch up to you.

It's easy to be making $20K a month but still having to struggle meeting a payroll of $5k or $6k. Because maybe you have an accounts receivable problem that didn't used to as big of a problem when it was you. If you got paid from some customers late, not that big of a deal, as long as you could make rent or mortgage. If the rest of the money trickled in over time, it was no big deal. But now you have employees who want to get paid ON PAY DAY. And half of the customers you billed out for haven't paid you yet. So something has to give. This is maybe one of your first big challenges. And it can cost you real money if you don't find a way to fix it fast. There are lots of other reasons it could be a struggle to make payroll. Unexpected expenses, forgetting to take certain expenses into account, you're not charging enough $$.... etc.

Then you get that challenge like an employee is showing up drunk or stoned to work. You gotta fire him and take his place until you find someone else. That means you can't be doing whatever you and your crew was supposed to be doing that week. Missed opportunities = decrease in money. So does training the new guy. You take a little bit of a loss that month. No big deal. You're making good money. You'll be back in the black next month.

Next, you start getting threats from your workers that they are going to start looking elsewhere for work if you cannot guarantee them at least 40+ hours a week. Pesky employees! So you realize that now with 3-4 guys you really need to get out and start marketing more, so that you never run out of work for them. So far, it's been pretty easy to keep them busy. But lately there have been a few weeks where they had a day or two off, because you hadn't landed enough jobs. The solution is more marketing and more money spent on marketing/advertising. More money you didn't realize you were going to have to spend. So you spent a little more on extra hours and marketing this month than you had planned. It's all good. Revenues are going up. You can afford it. You'll be making more profit soon.

You finally get that all working, workers are busy, jobs are coming in and that 2001 Ford F250 you bought just broke down. Needs a new tranny. Holy crap! Those things are $2800.00. "You gotta be kidding me!" It's all good. You're making good money, right? Company can afford it. So that month you have an unexpected expense. It's just a one-time thing. You'll be back in the black next month.

Next month you got all the trucks running well, employees are fairly happy, jobs are coming in. But you show up one day to your shop and 2 mowers and some equipment are missing. WTF? Your shop is out in the country, away from traffic. Nobody hardly even knows you're here. How'd they know to steal these mowers? You start to suspect maybe an employee did it or who knows? Fortunately, there were some good lightly used ones on Craigslist. So you're back in business. But it was still $5k down the drain. Fortunately, you've taken corrective measures to make sure everything is securely locked up now. It's just a one-time thing. Buy some insurance that covers you if this happens again, take corrective action to secure everything. And....You'll be back in the black next month.

Next month things are going even better. Went from 4 to 5 employees. But now you need another truck. It's all good. The money is really coming in. So you drop some good change on a truck, trailer, and they can share some equipment for the time-being. You'll buy just what's necessary and maybe the rest next month. But there's thousands of dollars gone. It's all good. Just a one-time thing. You'll be back in the black next month.

Next month comes and nothing goes wrong. You make an extra $5,000 than you had before. "Awesome!", you say, "I love owning my own business." The wife loves it too. Especially this month. She's finally seeing you bring in some decent dough.

Next month comes and you get a call from the Worker's Comp. insurance company. They're asking for an audit. "What? An audit? Don't I pay you guys enough?? What the heck is this? I don't have time for this crap. Don't they know I'm already working 60 hours a week trying to keep this thing running?" Turns out that after you spend 5 hours digging up all the records they want to see, you owe them $4,300 more! "What? How did this happen?" Well, remember at the beginning of the year when you estimated your payroll at $3,000 a month? Because you were trying to get a good rate on worker's comp. insurance? Well, it was actually more like $4,000 a month, wasn't it? Be honest. You know you fudged a little. And so do they. This isn't their first rodeo. That's why they audited you. And now your payrolls are more like $8,500 a month. So you've been underpaying for a while now. That's why you owe. $4,300 ding to your account. But no big deal, right? You're raking in the dough. Besides, it's just a one-time thing. You've adjusted your payments so this won't happen again. You'll be back in the black next month.

Next month comes and business starts to slow. It's fall and all the sides jobs you were doing aren't coming in at quite the same pace. Some of your accounts are starting to cancel and without new ones coming in to replace them, like there were in the spring and summer, your revenue is dropping. But you remember your workers saying earlier in the year that they really had to have 40+ hours. So for a few days this month, you just find some busy work for them. You can't lose your top guys, right? Gotta keep them happy. But all this means you lost a good $4,500 this month. This is starting to hurt.

Now you're beginning to realize that you should have maybe raised prices earlier in the year. But it's too late now. Can't raise prices in the fall. Damn, you didn't realize owning a business had so many surprise costs!!! You still have to make your estimated tax deposits for yourself, you're liability insurance is due, auto insurance renewal policy is due and you know it's going to be higher this year because one of those guys you fired earlier in the year got in a dang accident. You had to move to a bigger shop that's $500 a month more than the smaller one was. You can't believe the cell phone bill was almost $400 last month. "How'd that happen?" Guys are treating the nice uniforms you bought them like they are shop towels and replacements are costing you a lot more than you anticipated for uniforms. Vehicle and equipment repairs are starting to cost you more than you figured it would and leading to down time. You're starting to think maybe you need to buy a back-up truck and get back-ups for all your equipment. How much is that going to set you back? "Damn! I really should have raised prices earlier this year!"

So you some how make it through the winter, layoff some workers, cut expenses dramatically to try to keep a few key workers on and keep customers happy. Then the next year it's more of the same.

It all keeps going like this until you finally sit down and a) figure out your true costs and start charging accordingly and b) start having key policies in place to control loss, make equipment last longer, control expenses and put some key people in place that are really on your team and dedicated to helping you get all this under control.

It's constant learning and correction. Figuring out where you're problems are and taking quick, corrective action. While at the same time trying to figure out how you're going to justify raising your prices to where you're higher than other companies and then finding customers willing to pay those higher prices!

God forbid you don't end up going through a bout with cancer or some other major life challenge, like I have. That just makes everything even more crazy. Fortunately, by the time I had mine, I already had a fairly established company with people to run everything for me for a while, while I had to take some time away and get treatment. (All clear now, by the way. No worries. :)) But God forbid anything unexpected in your personal life happens. Because it's already hard enough to keep a business going with total focus and dedication.

It ain't easy. We've had to make big course-corrections all along the way. We made some of the biggest ever this year. As you grow, problems that didn't used to be that big of a deal start to become a much bigger deal. But if you have the right management team in place who are really loyal to the company and dedicated to making it work, you can make it through just about anything. You just have to be willing to be open minded and keep working at correcting the problems, as you begin to realize them. Because there will always be new challenges.

I think some of the challenges we've had could have probably been prevented if we hadn't grown so fast or had been willing to increase prices sooner (to both control growth and to raise profits). Nevertheless, it's been a fun ride. I still enjoy it. And there are times where it's not nearly as stressful and more relaxing too. This year has been a little more relaxing than other years for me. Especially this fall. I got a good sales team and good project managers and a great office manager. So there isn't as much for me to do this time of year other than just relax and watch over it all. Working just 20 hours a week. And 15 of that is just stuff I want to do, like work on the website. So it can have its rewards, eventually. But if you think it isn't going to come with a lot of pain, frustration, surprises, and stress along the way, you're sorely mistaken. Be prepared for that. If you're not, stay small.

Tyler259
11-18-2013, 11:12 PM
I appreciate the input Jim. And I had a wake up call with health issues this year also, guess I'm not invincible after all.

Starting early on know your expenses, price accordingly and develop systems to make everything visible. Adapt to changes and growth with a keen eye on what's coming in and going out, prepare for the unexpected. In summary.

JContracting
11-19-2013, 01:02 AM
I've read on that too, and from all the successful people like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Millionaire Mind, and Donald Trump, I believe you make your own destiny and reality. Unfortunately many people have a "poor mind", they want to "just make it' and that's what they do. It's why Donald Trump was in 900 million dollars of debt and he came back on top and why people who win the lottery end up broke, they just can't handle the money.

Most of it comes from their parents and backgrounds telling them they can only be really poor (government assistance) or middle class ( just getting by), but to get to the top you have to take educated risks and get out of your comfort zone. I don't find it feasible how someone can work somewhere they hate for the rest of their lives. I've done grind jobs (quick jobs) I hated as I moved up and I'm not that old. But I plan on having complete passive income (meaning I don't have to do the labor myself, and I make money when I sleep) in a year or two. It's doable.

Some people have more of a knack for money, but you still have to expand your reality and content to keep moving up. Those who are the best always want to learn more, while those who stay where they are don't want to learn anything and rather stick with their beliefs. I never understood why people think things just fall into my lap, when my peers are generally doing nothing with themselves overall and I'm working hard and even had to do a second job while in school.

And example of a poor mind. I tend to wear suits everyday when I'm not out, because I find them comfortable and because I like them and how they look and the professional aspect behind it. Older people, foreign people, and other successful people understand accept and appreciate it, but the younger generation doesn't understand as much. He asked why I wore suits because I mowed lawns and wasn't a businessman. He was only 12 but I had to explain to him the concept of business and applying it. I don't even like people to know what I have or where I live because of the jealousy anyways, and people would rather hate someone who has more than them instead of trying to find out their secret and move towards it. I try to hang around other large thinkers and successful people, as negative and lazy people tend to drag you down.

Rant over.

I can't agree more with the bolded statement. As Tony Bass says in E Myth: Landscape Contractor, I dont remember the exact quote but it went along the lines of: to succeed, one must think of this industry as full of abundance not scarcity.
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JContracting
11-19-2013, 02:58 AM
Just spent the last 2.5 hours reading this thread. I hardly ever read the commercial mowing section as I mostly focus on the business side when I come on here but I'm glad I found it. Thank you Jim Lewis as well as many others for the great insight for those of us who want to grow & expand our companies to 7+ figures.
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SRT8
11-19-2013, 11:20 AM
Great post Jim!
Being a big operation is no joke. Its easy to get tons and tons of work, sure thats the easy part. managing the business and operations so that everything doesnt collapse, now thats the hard part. I hate to be a bubble burster but i am a realist, and most LCO's arent cut out to ever run a big operation. It takes a lot of work to round up the right management team and put systems into play and until then you have to do everything yourself. But erverythings possible if your commited and willing to put in the work.
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JimLewis
11-19-2013, 04:16 PM
I agree 100%.

I guess my personality fits it better. My whole life I always dreamed of running or owning a big business. My major in college was Business Administration. I never planned on or wanted to have a really small company. And I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of ambition. So I guess maybe not everyone is ambitious as me in this regard. You may be right, it isn't for everyone. But it can be very rewarding, if you do it all right.

One of my mottos I always told myself was, "I will do today what others will not do so I can have tomorrow what others will not have." Can't remember who I lifted that phrase from.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-19-2013, 05:10 PM
I agree 100%.

I guess my personality fits it better. My whole life I always dreamed of running or owning a big business. My major in college was Business Administration. I never planned on or wanted to have a really small company. And I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of ambition. So I guess maybe not everyone is ambitious as me in this regard. You may be right, it isn't for everyone. But it can be very rewarding, if you do it all right.

One of my mottos I always told myself was, "I will do today what others will not do so I can have tomorrow what others will not have." Can't remember who I lifted that phrase from.

Dave Ramsey

meets1
11-20-2013, 12:46 AM
Great thread. I understand the fact of getting or being bigger. Everything Jim stated in that post is oh so true. Owner/operators...take a week off. Sit in the office, run some numbers, watch your business day to day operations with you watching from outside looking in. I love the chase. Love the equipment. Love the challenges. Love the life.

recycledsole
11-20-2013, 07:20 AM
To me net income is relevant, am I missing something?
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Bumpmaster
11-20-2013, 09:50 AM
To me net income is relevant, am I missing something?
Posted via Mobile Device

White collar Blue collar, my man.

32vld
11-20-2013, 10:13 PM
To me net income is relevant, am I missing something?
Posted via Mobile Device

Nothing is black and white.

Last year you net $100,000.

This year you net $60,000.

So was last year better?

Was this year just as good as last year?

How about you netted $60,000 this year because you bought a new $40,000 pick up truck this year?



Numbers do not lie.

Though liars use numbers to lie with.



Not calling any body a liar here. Just making a point that just stating a "net income" can be misleading.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
11-27-2013, 06:55 PM
Great point 32VLD. However, I believe asset purchases are not involved in the income statement. Net income should not change. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that is what accounting is about. You can still deduct it on taxes etc and depreciation would be subtracted as an expense, but not assets. Theoretically you still have that same "money from the income" it's just in the form of a shiny mower or truck or whatever. Now, as it looses value, THAT's an expense. See what I'm saying? I may be off a bit, but the bottom line is, you are right - how businesses "figure their profits" and share their info on here could be all over the place!!

McFarland_Lawn_Care
11-27-2013, 06:56 PM
"Numbers do not lie.

Though liars use numbers to lie with."

Great point!!!

JCResources
11-27-2013, 11:37 PM
subscribed

great thread

Groomer
11-29-2013, 01:32 PM
I bought a new truck this year.

I have no idea how much money I made.

ryde307
11-29-2013, 05:12 PM
I read the first 10 pages of this thread or then realized it was old. Skipped and read the last 2. It's funny how these threads go. Landscaper I understand your point in making it. I have done my best to sift through the BS and find some of the bigger companies on here. I would say Jim is one of them and has lots of great stories, advice, pictures to follow. Alot of others bigger ones come and leave quickly.

I have a picture thread that has a bit more of our story but to your original questions:
The business was started by a friend 13 years ago or so. He never did anything with it. I joined 8 or 9 years ago I think. Started to take it serious 4 or 5 years ago.
2012 was at the 500k mark 2013 will be between 600-700k
7 summer employees winter 3 full time 1 mostly full time and on any snow event 20-25 counting subs.
Trucks again lots of pictures in picture thread but mostly Ford, Exmark equip, Cat, and some Bobcat stuff.
Profit I don't have in front of me but 10-15%

The thing about these threads is everyone jumps in and says Gross means nothing its all about profit. I understand the idea they are pushing but profit is about the easiest number there is to change. You and others have gone about explaining why a company with 5% profit may be worth more than a company with 20% profit so really no need to keep going.
I believe for the purpose of this forum and comparing company A to B Gross is more relevant than anything. to hit certain marks 500k, 1M, 2M ect if you took 10 companies at each mark I would guess they are very similar in amount of employees, equipment ect. It gives you a mark of companies that are or have probably gone through similar situations to your own.

Landscraper1
11-30-2013, 08:56 AM
ryde307, your right about the profits vs gross. Near the end of each year, I struggle to reduce that profit as much as possible, to pay less taxes. I meet with my accountant to go over the numbers and see what needs to be done. By the end, we only show a small profit, on paper. Just the way I like it.