View Full Version : Timeline for New business growth

10-06-2010, 05:23 PM
Hey guys, just wondering how long it's taken everyone to get an amount of accounts that your satisified with. This is the end of my third season, and i feel like i'm way behind the growing curve. I've been talking with some local business owners and they seem to have crazy amounts. I'm seriously at like 30 weekly accounts. How long have you been doing this, and how long has it taken to get where you are? Where were you after three years?


10-06-2010, 05:38 PM
After my first year, I had 20 accounts. Then I moved and started over. I had about 10 accounts that year, last several, gained some over the winter and came back with about 10 again. This year, I ended with just over 20. Right about where I like to be, especially considering they are all within about a 2 mile radius. Next year I'll be marketing harder to get one step closer to going full time, but I'm happy where I am.

10-06-2010, 06:05 PM
I've gone from 30 the first to 17 over the winter. Back to around 35 and now I'm around 42 or so solid clients. I've been slowly losing my every 2 week people which I don't mind. Most of them are now monthly which is nice. Don't want to pick up more until I have a 48" gstand. So by the end of next year which will by my 4rth I plan on having 60 yards and hiring a helper. About 3 days of work.

10-06-2010, 08:42 PM
I think thats pretty good after 3 years...all relative to where you are living though and the size of the accounts so hard to compare that way. I can tell you I am still not "satisfied" with the amount that we have, but we reached goals and have decided to take on more...been in business for 12 years and its really been only the last 3 or so that its really taken off for us....

Unless if you have super connections with people constantly referring you, it can take a good amount of time.

Drew Gemma
10-06-2010, 10:01 PM
At three years I had 15 quality accounts. Then I purchased 56 from a fellow after Icut out stuff I didn't want I ended up with 48 solid accounts. Years 4 thru 10 i basically focused on getting accounts near my current accounts. Also I had all residential with only few very small commercial. Now we have a few of everything. Only grow as much as you can control. Also we try to add accounts that fill in needs for differnt times of the year. We are about maxed on mowing unless it is something big or high profit. We do only a limited number of landscapes pre year spring/fall. We always add more snow/salt accounts, leaf clean ups, and landscape maint. So right now we only have 70 mowing stops after 10 years in April. Me + 3.5 employees, lots of subs for things we can't handle or don't do.

truth in all I think I made more money when it was just me bustin my hump with 48 residentials. So numbers don't really matter unless they have a $ in front of them 1 big account could do more than 10.

White Gardens
10-06-2010, 10:12 PM
In every race, the tortoise always wins.

10-06-2010, 10:25 PM
I am at 51 regulars, but have an additional 10 or so that call me out several times a year for hedges/leaves. Yes, I'm solo (as many of you already know. Work seems to come easily to me, but finding a warm body to help out--now, that's another story (for another thread BTW).

10-06-2010, 11:29 PM
Well it seems like i'm in the norm i guess. I'm looking for a big growing year next season. Thanks for your input.

10-06-2010, 11:38 PM
It's been almost 3 years with my business and I have 25 quality, high end accounts that are located less then 1-5 min from each other. The commercial is far but I made sure I get payed while driving that far. Actually It takes me an hour total both ways and the lawns only take 15 each for the two.

Could of had 34 total but those were late cheap payers that wanted it down every 2 weeks. Since I got the ZTR late last year and with the drought and economy I need to get at least 10 more next year and milk every customer then move on too more. There is only so much each customer will spend on there lawn for the year.

10-07-2010, 02:23 AM
My first year I ended with 0 accounts. This my second year, I was up 30, but lost several of them for problems on my end. If i'm in next year I hope to make it back to 30-35 total. Maybe a few a comercials in there too.

10-08-2010, 03:56 AM
The size of the account can really make a big difference. Someone may have 100 accounts but they are all bi-weekly and bring in only $90 a month. Someone else may have only 40 accounts but they bring in $40 a week, or $160-$200 per month. I'd rather be the second guy! So comparing the total number of accounts, without making sure they're similar sized accounts is like comparing apples to oranges.

That being said, 30 is where I was after my first season. I started my business in May and I was at about 30 by the end of the season. Next year went to 50 and hired a helper. 3rd year broke 75 and hired another helper. And it's been up a little each year since. Sat at around 125-150 for several years as I turned my focus from maintenance to construction. Then hired a maintenance salesman / manager and got it up to 200 accounts within a few years. This year, the goal was to get up to 250. We're still a little short of that goal by 10 accounts or so. But still trying. We have all year-round accounts here. So you can still get new clients any month of the year here. Just a little harder to get them to sign up in the fall.

So right now we're at about 240.

It all depends on your level of ambition. I've always been a lot more ambitious about growing my company than most people. Which isn't always a good thing. There are disadvantages from growing too fast. But overall, I like it. I want to grow our company big as fast as I can.

As for how many I'm happy with, I've never been happy with the number we had. Always want more. There has never been a point where I said, "Great. I'm happy here. I don't need any more maint. customers." I'm happy on years where we met goals. Last year we had a big goal and made it. This year, almost made it. But I'm more focused on the landscape construction side of things these days. So I care more about that than I do about how much our maint. division is growing. Still, always want more! The more we get, the more profitable we've become and the less stress I have in the winter. Landscape Maint. is our bread and butter and sometimes the only thing paying the bills in the dead of winter. The more accounts we have, the more food my family has in the winter, the more likely we are to go on a nice winter vacation, etc.