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View Full Version : Lawnsite.com Franchise Mowing???


boohoo
12-26-2002, 04:54 AM
Just a thought. Perfect opportunity here to have 1000+ Lawnsite members accross the nation form a corporation & list it on the NYSE. We could have market share in every county across the country. Leads to national mowing accounts, group insurance, group marketing, immigrant workers, Sub your Fert etc to Lawnsite.com fert ....tree.....hardscape....etc and not have to worry about them steeling your account. Any new sales lead in your area goes directly to you. hmmmm I think it may have been done before. Who knows after 2 years Service Master may buy it for 20 times its worth. Lets say a start date Jan 1st 2004. Any thoughts.

devildog
12-26-2002, 05:42 AM
There are no rational defences except fear, oposing the impact of a new idea.....why not? With Regards... devildog

MPhillips
12-26-2002, 03:03 PM
count me in...

rodfather
12-26-2002, 06:11 PM
Hummm...I have a couple of questions:

(1) Who is going to be in charge? From where?
(2) Are you going to a have a Board of Directors?
(3) How will you establish membership requirements?
(4) If it's on the NYSE, how will you issue shares? Valued at?
(5) And then there are a thousand more questions.

Not to rain on your parade, but this would take a lot of effort and even more than that, a whole ton of $$$.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-26-2002, 09:51 PM
With many of the questions I have seen asked on here, I wouldn't want to be assotiated with it.

That means you will be bringing in the 12 year old kid (that lied when he registered) into a multi million dollar liability.

Cannot and will not work!!!

boohoo
12-27-2002, 06:32 AM
I hope that 12 year old kid has a minimum $10000 to invest. He would have to show proof of insurance.
1. 10000 could buy you a territory.
2. Any sales lead commercial/residential in that territoy goes directly to you.
3. Royalties would be paid to Lawnsite.com (say 3% of gross).
4.Everyone keeps there current business names initially but have signage "proudly part of the lawnsite.com group"
5.This isnt for scrubs!!!
6. Proof of insurance not negotiable.
7. Financing available.
8.Training seminars.
8A. Lot easier to later sell.
9. Say 10000 bought you the rights to memphis. (The king is dead). Your area could be sold into smaller areas. Each smaller area would pay royalties to you and to lawnsite.com
10. "I aint paying 10000.....well you may land one account worth that the first year. Start dealing with regional managers and account size starts @ $50000.
11. % commission on all sales you refer/sub to a lawnsite group member.

Maybe a Superbowl ad too!
Justt a thought....
Has been done before.

MPhillips
12-27-2002, 10:08 AM
if everyone sends me $1000...I'll invest it wisely. All joking aside these kinds of groups/associations are really increasing in popularity...in our industry look at the Symbiot Group for example...they're already 2nd or 3rd largest landscape org in country...with good partner and affiliate benefits.

Toroguy
12-27-2002, 01:23 PM
I think Phil Nilsson once talked about this as a "Mega Merger". I find the concept interesting, but very difficult to encourage a solo guy to hand the reigns over to an entity.

I like the idea of tossing application or landscape work to a non competitor.

The 12 year old kid scenario. Kids may post here on lawnsite, but do not affect my business. If they affect your business, you have big problems. They shouldn't be a factor in this idea.

Toroguy
12-27-2002, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by rodfather
Hummm...I have a couple of questions:

(1) Who is going to be in charge? From where?
(2) Are you going to a have a Board of Directors?
(3) How will you establish membership requirements?
(4) If it's on the NYSE, how will you issue shares? Valued at?
(5) And then there are a thousand more questions.

Not to rain on your parade, but this would take a lot of effort and even more than that, a whole ton of $$$.

I think the NYSE listing is a little grand to begin. If an individual or group of individuals could begin this scenario in a local or county level, thus dominating the market share in that locality. Then enter an new market with the same or similar formula, much easier when there is a proven example of success, the idea would snowball. After a few successes in several markets, a stock offering may be a consideration? Only as a way to raise more capital for expansion.

To start this in many markets at the same time will end up causing rivalries amongst the markets. A one front war would be the easiest one to manage.

nu83
12-27-2002, 11:06 PM
Well the NYSE is out of the question. In order to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange you have to meet some very high criteria. Thes are not all but you I know you have to have 200 share holders with 100 shares each, 1,100,000 outstanding shares, a market value of $100,000,000. There are many more including, if they think you are in their opinion "worthy" of being listed.
I dont see why I would want to own the company, I just want the leads, right? How is the company going to make money? How would your corporation get the leads? Nationwide marketing? Its an interesting idea, elaborate on your idea some more.

boohoo
12-28-2002, 12:17 AM
Lets not get all hung up about the NYSE thing...just thinking out loud.

nu83
12-28-2002, 12:32 AM
Im just trying to understand what your idea is. From what I've read you want to form a giant corporation where everybody pays 10k to be a shareholder (owner). And each owner gets a territory, and any leads the corporation gets are referred to the owner in the respective territory. Is this your idea so far? What I want to know is how you are going to generate leads and why anyone would want to do this. The 3% royalty is a joke and also illegal, it reminds me of a pyrimid scheme. Also, since you are selling stock in the company for the initial $10k you would have to pay the "owners" earnings.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-28-2002, 12:34 AM
Easier solution.

US Lawns.

bilbo7021
12-28-2002, 12:34 AM
Ok, coming from the franchise side of things..........you run into quite a few problems to consider. Working for/with three or four small Domino's Pizza franchises for 7 years has some good sides after all :)

Ok, now here's some things to consider..

1. you will need a national center to generate the leads you are talking about.

2. you will also need to consider if you want regional advertising, national advertising, the kind of advertising, what percentage of the advertising is paid by the corporation and what part is paid by the franchisee/member.

3. you will need a person in charge of regulating what image and level of perfessionalism Lawnsite.com Inc. wants to convey. and then another person to cover enforcement of that policy.

4. are you going to run national specials that everyone has to adhear to? or are you willing to let the markets take what they can like they do now? (i.e. coupons, set special pricing for certain months like a $35.99 aeration for the month of whatever)

5. most, if not all, franchise corporations want their national name displayed more predominately than anything else. you can have your own little company, but it's listed as a franchise, or service member of ABC Corp. (example.....PSI Pizza is a franchise of Domino's, Davis Group Ltd. is a franchise of Orange Julius/Dairy Queen) you never see the company name, just the national identity.

6. would Lawnsite.com Inc. need to have people who go around and occasionally check to see that it's members are following whatever guidelines are in place?

7. would you allow more than one Lawnsite member to operate in a specific territory? if so, how many, and how big would the territory be? most franchises won't allow territory to overlap, or be within a certain distance of others so that everyone has room to expand.

8. would an existing member have to "buy" a new area before they moved in? would their move have to be approved by Lawnsite before they went into the area? and if so, who would be in charge of that? and how would you administer that function?

9. and yes, you could set the initial Lawnsite fee at like $10,000, but what would that include? the members would still have to buy their own equipment I'm sure. what would the $10,000 be worth?

10. what would happen if an existing member fell out of grace with Lawnsite? what would happen if an existing member wanted out of the group? could an existing member sell to another outside LCO without approval from Lawnsite first? or would that possible new owner have to gain acceptance before the transaction is complete?

11. and if the core of Lawnsite Inc. is made up of say, just the people who regularly post here, what happens when there is a differance of opinion as to how to operate? (and don't tell me that wouldn't happen either!)

I'm sure if I sat here and thought about it, I could make about three more threads alone on this topic. It's a neat idea, and it has it's merits; but there's alot of BS involved in the initial set up before it ever hits the ground in the first place.

bilbo7021
12-28-2002, 12:52 AM
actually, I just thought of something...:blob3:

what about forming a co-op?

Examples of what I'm talking about..... Shop Rite, IGA, Value Rite Pharmacies, ASE Certified Mechanics, Matco Tools (before they went franchise), Keystone Insurance Group, True Value Hardware, Ace Hardware.

These guys are all still independants yet have a national image and buying power behind them. You have the right to display membership in the co-op, you have national buying power, you have access to bigger and better benifits, and you can opt in to recieve parts of national accounts in your territory.

Ok, say we went and made Lawnsite Co-op. Lawnsite could get the buying power of like Home Depot when it comes to purchasing things like mowers from one manufacturer or distributor (this could also work for trimmers, blowers and the like). Lawnsite could also apply for, and get national insurance premiums for it's members.

And say Lawnsite got so good with it's leads generation that it picked up every CVS (don't yell, it's only an example) in the country. Now, for each Lawnsite member that had a CVS in their neck of the woods, this woud be an automatic account wouldn't it.

And being as big as a national co-op is, you could probably do some kinda damage in everyone's fight with the Brickman Group, TruGreen, and whomever else is out there.

We'd all be able to keep our own little identity, and our own little companies, but, we'd also have a national name behind us and some leverage with buying and insurance and maybe advertising and other stuff.

Toroguy
12-28-2002, 02:17 AM
Very interesting suggestions bilbo.

How is a co-op formed?

So would my peice of the lawnsite co-op be: Toroguys' Lawnsite Lawn Care? My competitor might be Julios' Lawnsite Lawn Care?
And our company logos would all the same?

boohoo
12-28-2002, 04:06 AM
Thankk god someone with a view. As i said "any thoughts" and "thinking out loud". Its not how I would do something its how we as members of lawnsite.com would do something.
I was thinking the co-op route or possibly something like the
AAA where we are all members for a small fee.
With this many members surely we could do something so we can

1. Get Group Health insurance.
2. Have bargaining power with Lesco, Simplot, Syngenta etc etc .....receive better prices on material.
3. National accounts with Exmark, Scag etc.
4. any other ideas?

BigJim
12-28-2002, 06:16 AM
LGF has the right idea,hook up with a franchise that is ready running,no need to go through the headaches of starting one then.I can think of a large one that is available in the US,plenty of ground floor opportunities if you get in on the ground floor.http://www.jims.net/ .The big money is made in franchises if you get a Master Franchise early enough and build it up.The donkeys at the bottom generally dont get too rich out of the scheme.Don't bother listing on the stock exchange unless you want 10,000 little old ladies coming to the shareholders meetings and telling you how to do your job

jeffex
12-28-2002, 07:07 AM
Its a great concept! I've thought about it many tmes and posted about it several. I believe in the crawl-walk-run theory for starting something like this. A first step could be to organize a group that could get a discount on insurance rates for our business as well as health, disability, workmans comp, etc. That would take a leader willing to contact insurers and get rate quotes for x amount of members. At present time most things could be done online as far as registering information. A name for this asociation [I liked grassmasters] and logo could be developed as well. Through this site we could communicate and recruit members. We have sponsors here we could negotiate discounts from. It takes a leader.
Many could take advantage of the business help we give freely here. Right now we purchase software like clip on an indvidual basis. As a group WE could shareware the program and get tech suport from our fellow members. This would be a way to crawl

boohoo
12-28-2002, 07:38 AM
I have a business associate / partner who is an absolute genius when it comes to service industries. Owns & Consults ...I may see what thoughts he has. Say 1000 members put up $200 ea. a year. ($100000 total yr) to be members of the association. That would quite easily pay a professional and his/her expenses to negotiate our needs. Could be done cheaper on a consultant basis.
$200 a year if it saves me $1000 a year in Health Insurance alone sounds like a good deal.

AGG Lawn Maintenance
12-28-2002, 09:44 AM
Very interesting. Being able to get good rates on mowers & insurance. I know the insurance in New Jersey is a killer. So is the taxs on my house. My future inlaws pay the same as me in prop. taxs. ($3,800/year). They have 10 acres to my less than 1.:(
They live out in Oregon. I would pay into a membership if it was set up right. If I wasn't so close to my family in NJ I might have moved right out to Oregon. A customer of mine said that in our county (Monmouth) the real estate has the 2nd highest rates in the United States!!! Travis:blob2: :blob2: :blob2:

65hoss
12-28-2002, 11:25 AM
Honestly your having thoughts about something YOU don't own. That is Chuck's LAWNSITE.COM not anyone else's. Under your theory anyone can start making decisions on anyones business. What is the name of your company? Some people might want to start thinking of way to change your business.

1st off, by having people pay $1 to $10,000 you then have to take lawnsite off the open forum boards. Now all the other 8000+ members that don't give the $200 can't possibly get the info now reserved for the few who paid. Now it became a pay site which is not what LS wants. The sponsors pay to be here so volumes of people can see their products, not the few who paid your $200 assn. fees.

Next, lawnsite is an industry forum. It means nothing to customers. Do you have any idea what a national advertising campaign would cost. A few million will not cover it. That is just one of the costs, there would be many many others.

LS is here to help new people start correctly, help struggling businesses learn, help established businesses grow, and raise the level of professionalism in the industry. Its not here to become a monopoly. The way to use LS for it potiential is to learn, then help others to succeed. Raise the standards over the industry 1 level at a time.

Toroguy
12-28-2002, 11:36 AM
65Hoss,

The name Lawnsite is obviously Chucks. This is all thinking aloud and not intended as a coup to take the lawnsite name. Just ideas as you mentioned to better the industry. What better place to advertise this still hypothetical organization than Lawnsite.

jeffex has the right idea in crawl first, then walk.

bilbo7021
12-28-2002, 12:23 PM
Ok, before this gets any farther, I don't think anyone is trying to oust Chuck from his site. At least I'm not. I used Lawnsite.com as an example, since we're all here.

65hoss - if you had a chance to pay a simple $200 per year in exchange for better insurance premiums, better equipment pricing, and a possible way to better your advertising budget.....wouldn't you take it? I would.

Oh, and the advertising wouldn't have to be on a grand scale either. The Fox's Pizza franchise (out of Pittsburgh) does it with newspaper ads, flyers, doorhangers, and such. I think AAA does something similar. But that would be such a long way off yet.

Toroguy - you could go with that route (Toroguy's Lawnsite Lawn Care), or you could just put up a logo with "proud member of Lawnsite" type thing on your vehicles so that people knew you were part of the group.

And even if, and yes it's an "if", all this talking were to ever come to a point of organization...it would take alot more time and effort than just talking about it.

boohoo
12-28-2002, 12:30 PM
"Honestly your having thoughts about something YOU don't own. That is Chuck's LAWNSITE.COM not anyone else's. Under your theory anyone can start making decisions on anyones business. What is the name of your company? Some people might want to start thinking of way to change your business.

1st off, by having people pay $1 to $10,000 you then have to take lawnsite off the open forum boards. Now all the other 8000+ members that don't give the $200 can't possibly get the info now reserved for the few who paid. Now it became a pay site which is not what LS wants. The sponsors pay to be here so volumes of people can see their products, not the few who paid your $200 assn. fees.

Next, lawnsite is an industry forum. It means nothing to customers. Do you have any idea what a national advertising campaign would cost. A few million will not cover it. That is just one of the costs, there would be many many others".





Dont think you get it. Association would be a seperate entity to lawnsite. We all just happen to congregate here. Could be
guyswith6toes.com for all it matters. ......obvioulsy association members would only have access to member benefits.

Toroguy
12-28-2002, 12:31 PM
I did a quick search on cooperatives.

They can be started with as few as 3 or 4 members.

Imagine that your dealer would give you a better rate on a new ZTR if you purchased 4 instead of one? Now imagine the rate if you (we) bought 100.

boohoo
12-28-2002, 12:54 PM
I have seen the savings over retail with a national account but I wont upset our sponsors by mentioning them here. Geez all our customers are price shoppers why dont we start hardballing. Call it survivor ....were just forming alliances.

boohoo
12-28-2002, 01:07 PM
Members' participation in identifying common goals and understanding the co-ops bylaws are vital first steps in your co-operative education. A good set of bylaws includes:

∑ the date the fiscal year ends

∑ membership rules, including duties, eligibility, financial contributions, and termination

∑ what each member can expect in return for contributions (how profits are to be shared, the interest to be paid on shares, what investment will be returned upon leaving the co-op)

∑ when meetings are held and how they will be conducted

∑ how many seats are on the board of directors, their duties and how they are elected

∑ how the bylaws may be amended

∑ dissolution procedures

Changing the by-laws typically requires a 2/3rds majority vote of the membership. Any changes to your co-op's by-laws must generally be filed with the Co-op Registrar in the jurisdiction where your co-op is incorporated.
A cooperative is a business that's run like any other business, yet it has several unique aspects as well.

First of all, it belongs to the folks who use it - those who have joined together to provide themselves with whatever it is they need. In other words, the "raison d'Ítre" for a co-op is to serve the needs of its members.

Generally, the member-owners share equally in the control of their organization - they may meet regularly, elect directors or advisory boards from among themselves, and even hire people to manage the day-to-day affairs of the organization.

In any case, members are expected to invest in shares in the business in order to provide capital for the operation. This is usually accomplished through imposing an initial membership fee to join the organization, and then an annual fee thereafter to remain a member. In addition to the obvious benefit of having greater buying power, all net savings left after expenses are traditionally returned to members -- either in the form of greater discounts on purchases, or annual cash pay-outs in the form of dividends, or both.

Some of the steps involved in forming a co-op include:

1. Contacting like-minded persons to discuss the need that forming a cooperative might meet.
2. Hold a meeting, and appoint a steering or advisory committee.
3. Once the advisory committee has completed a survey or needs analysis, a vote can be taken on whether to proceed.
4. Develop a business plan, and draw up the necessary legal papers to incorporate.
5. Hold a meeting of all potential charter members to adopt the by-laws and elect a board of directors. Assign responsibilities to implement the business plan.
6. Conduct a membership drive and acquire facilities, if necessary.
7. With the power of numbers, approaches can be made to retail operations for member discounts.

There are more than 47,000 member co-ops registered in the U.S., with a combined membership of more than 100 million people. Almost any consumer need can be met by a cooperative. Although legal documentation requirements may vary from state to state, incorporation as a co-op is usually not difficult, and can result in huge savings in time and money for its members.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-28-2002, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by bilbo7021
if you had a chance to pay a simple $200 per year in exchange for better insurance premiums, better equipment pricing, and a possible way to better your advertising budget.....wouldn't you take it? I would.

Why would I let all you newbies get the same opertunities I earned with my blood sweat and tears?

Next huge advertizing is not always what you want, that doesn't garuntee quality customers.

You want all this stuff go with an existing franchise.


Also, as many times I have seen threads like this I have yet to see anything come of it.

bilbo7021
12-28-2002, 01:27 PM
more thinking out loud.....

ok, first, IF the co-op route was followed to it's finish and became reality and all, what would be an idea is to have a separate section, or sub site, off of Lawnsite for the members. In exchange for this, Chuck could get a small contribution towards his hosting costs or whatever. That way Lawnsite would still be free to anyone who wanted to come, yet there would be a separate area for those who are part of the membership. Heck, you could even possibly advertise in some small way as a sponsor for this site. That alone would give alot of credibility towards both Lawnsite and the co-op.

As for voting and such, the polling system that Chuck has in place now would work very well. That would almost eliminate the need for meetings all the time, except when really needed.

And another idea would be to see if the co-op could possibly help Chuck with hosting, and in return get some of the bandwidth or space for members websites etc.

sorry, you got me thinking again.:D

boohoo
12-28-2002, 01:36 PM
Personally I have 12 years in the green Industry world wide hope that doesnt mean I am a newbie. Member registration date dont mean jack as I have lost count of how many times I registered and forgot passwords, full email accounts, etc. over the past 3 years ....Just as easy to re-register.
Forget the Franchise thing ..in hindsight I am using the wrong forum but this is (in my newbie opinion) the perfect forum to initiate a "buyers Co-op"

GroundKprs
12-28-2002, 02:06 PM
Green industry co-op already exists, for way less than $200/yr. Check http://www.pricebreakusa.com/ .

Any other grand ideas? Really new ones, please. LOL.

DLCS
12-28-2002, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
Why would I let all you newbies get the same opertunities I earned with my blood sweat and tears?

Next huge advertizing is not always what you want, that doesn't garuntee quality customers.

You want all this stuff go with an existing franchise.




I agree!

I wouldn't want to have someone controlling my business for me. Why, would you want to give your competition a easy ride. What about the members who live in the same town or city as other members. How will this effect them? How many franchise/coops can their be in one city? Seems like too much of a problem to me. Do you really want every joe blow jumping into this business at your level? "The voting system that Chuck has in place now would work very well". What, I don't think I would want business decisions riding on some online poll that would be too easy to rig. Get real people.

Mike

LAWNGODFATHER
12-28-2002, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by boohoo
Personally I have 12 years in the green Industry world wide hope that doesnt mean I am a newbie. Member registration date dont mean jack as I have lost count of how many times I registered and forgot passwords, full email accounts, etc. over the past 3 years ....Just as easy to re-register.
Forget the Franchise thing ..in hindsight I am using the wrong forum but this is (in my newbie opinion) the perfect forum to initiate a "buyers Co-op"

I wasn't singling you out "Jack"....

BTW why didn't you click the "Forgot my password" button or "delete mail" buttons?


DLCS

That's right we have enough bosses to tend to, why add more.

boohoo
12-28-2002, 02:19 PM
I guess i'll just keep on paying thousands more for that ZTR than I should. Have a nice day.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-28-2002, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by boohoo
I guess i'll just keep on paying thousands more for that ZTR than I should. Have a nice day.

You do that.....................

DLCS
12-28-2002, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by boohoo
I guess i'll just keep on paying thousands more for that ZTR than I should. Have a nice day.


Do you honestly think, if you pay $200.00 a year membership to a coop that would save you thousands on equipment?


Mike

Toroguy
12-28-2002, 03:11 PM
Simmer down people.

PricebreakUSA had a basic 10% off discount. Not a very good discount for my small operation.

They charged $95.00 per year.

boohoo
12-28-2002, 03:13 PM
1000 members
100 buy 1 ZTR a year
Retail $10500 Our Price $8000
100 @ $8000 = $800000
Over 5 years $4000000
hmmmm something National sales manager @ Exmark /Toro/Scag/ Walker etc etc may be very interested in.
Forget the Brand Name Hype the National sales managers are the wheelers & dealers. Ask and you shall receive.

Toroguy
12-28-2002, 03:31 PM
Remember when you all decided to work for yourself.

Why?

To do a better job, to make more money, have some say in it, make it more interesting.

Working for someone is the easy way, for non thinkers. You people are thinkers or you wouldn't be here.

This is a self/group directed buying approach. Like a gang with pockets full of money.

Maybe we should just take the only offer out there in PricebreakUSA. How many here have raved about the great deals there?

Or, maybe we can change things?

LAWNGODFATHER
12-28-2002, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by boohoo
1000 members
100 buy 1 ZTR a year
Retail $10500 Our Price $8000
100 @ $8000 = $800000
Over 5 years $4000000
hmmmm something National sales manager @ Exmark /Toro/Scag/ Walker etc etc may be very interested in.
Forget the Brand Name Hype the National sales managers are the wheelers & dealers. Ask and you shall receive.

You wont get "10" to pay the $200....

Those big org's by direct, that's why they get a lower price.

Again why should we give the newbies the same bennies that we have earned?

boohoo
12-28-2002, 04:11 PM
I thought that with many bragging how much money they make 200 would be a drop in the ocean. $200 investment to save that and more....pity the school system that teaches this math.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-28-2002, 04:15 PM
The school system doesn't teach this.

It's punching keys on a key board that lets some of these people have balls they wouldn't use in real life.

Be lucky to get 10.

$200 so you can save big on that 1 ZTR you would buy in 5 years.


NO they don't deserve it.

Toroguy
12-28-2002, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by boohoo
I thought that with many bragging how much money they make 200 would be a drop in the ocean. $200 investment to save that and more....pity the school system that teaches this math.

Some folks will spend their way out of anything, and end up working, not because they want to, but because they have to for the rest of their lives.



The newbies shouldn't be a concern, a lawn mower and an idea does not equal instant customers.

cantoo
12-28-2002, 11:51 PM
Some here were complaining about their local Dealers going out of business. What will happen if these 100 (approx) mowers are also taken from them? I agree with the insurance thing but not so sure about the rest. Of course me and the other 12 guys here from Canada wouldn't be invited anyway, the laws are too different. We all might be better off if Chuck could become a Distrubitor for all commercial brands and we could get discounts that way. He wouldn't actually have the equipment it would just go thru his office. Damn, I just realized I'm not Chuck's boss.

bilbo7021
12-29-2002, 12:43 AM
Well.........in the six months that I've been here as part of this whole forum thing, I've seen many many complaints from pricing to "raising standards", why everything costs too much to trying to figure out how overhead could be reduced, figuring out how to standardize the industry without government interferance to people complaining about all the national and big regional operations without a heart, crying over the little dealers going out of business to why Home Depot and such are crap. Yet this is the FIRST idea that came along to mention anything of a possible way around some of those problems. And here we all are feuding over why this idea is good or bad. And I can't really understand that at all. It's just a simple idea, THAT'S IT, and that's all it is. Without the first simple idea things never get changed for the better do they? The lightbulb would never have gotten invented, cars would never have come into existance, heck pockets were started out of an idea on how to carry money better. It's an idea, it's not meant to take away anybody's freedom, or their business. And so far, I haven't seen any other people come up with any other ideas to match this one yet. If there's another idea out there, somebody say something!

I may only be a "newbie" to just about everyone out there, but damn it even I can tell there's a bunch of problems out there that have to be solved. And this seems to point towards a possible (I did say "possible") solution to some of the problems we all face. And yes, both newbies and old timers have the same things to deal with no matter how old, young, experianced, or otherwise.

We ALL have to consider things like "how can I cut my overhead", or "why the heck is my insurance so dang high?", or "how do I increas my marketing efforts to gain the most value?". And it doesn't matter what the h*** your experiance level, age, or size..... you still deal with all this crap if you are a legit business! So now somebody please tell me why when there is a legitimate idea raised on how to solve some of the problems we ALL face, why there are those who just say "no" without even looking at the merits of such. I'm not saying it's the best way, heck if I know if that's true; but at least somebody had the rocks to post a solution.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-29-2002, 12:58 AM
Lets face the truth here, you have you mom n pop lco's and then you have tgcl.

You put your self in the same leauge with them, they will cut your head off dispite your face.

It's a ripple effect, you take out the small dealers by trying to save a few bucks you become Home Depo.

The list goes on and on.

You want a CO-OP there is one already, join it.

nu83
12-29-2002, 03:08 AM
Your idea is nothing new, and doesn't add up PERIOD! I doubt you have any clue what you are talking about, your "idea" started with being listed on the NYSE as a giant public corporation, then evolved into a co-op (which already exists).

boohoo
12-29-2002, 05:49 AM
Love the rocket scientists with the view "it dont add up". Well Einsteins come up with a better idea. Every mower, weedeater,
you name it whatever bought through a national account still goes through your local dealer. this is from personal experience!.
The "noahs" (because they know everything) can please themselves but if 200 of us with families to support find a way to get cheaper health insurance as a minimum and not the type found in a cereal box then all the better. We can talk all day about which mower, truck, blower, blah blah ...each situation is different. How about some suggestions that involve some thought. :)

LAWNGODFATHER
12-29-2002, 06:04 AM
Sorry try again.

I watched Brickman unload many mowers off a semi. It didn't say Erb Equipment on it.

Like I said before, I am not going to give someone who paid a few dollars the same benifits as someone who worked their rear off.

Do some shopping, I did and found all the right places without joining anything.

jeffex
12-29-2002, 10:59 AM
Crawl!! don't get mad boohoo We're not worthy of some of the lofty here .
In the beginning of anything there are 3 phases. Like people going to a pool party. There are those that jump in without testing the water. Then the next group sees that its ok and are talked into getting in. finally there are those you have to throw in! There is always someone on the side who tells you what a fool you are.
I'm not a joiner by nature but I thik the idea is dooable. If a group could get a better rate initially just think of the advantages that would come as more people got in the pool. It still comes down to someone with the time and initiative to start. You may be better off starting a chat room and inviting the less hostile to explore the "what ifs".

jeffex
12-29-2002, 11:10 AM
Probably a good place to start would be to call your health insurer .Ask them for a rate quote for individual and family for a group of 100 people compared to what you pay as an individual. See what if any savings there would be. Ask them what criteria is needed to form "the group". Check auto ins. too. E-mail exmark and see what kind of price you can get ordering 50 lazers . Get me a price on a 23 hp 52" zhp. All they can do is shoot you down but your getting that here anyway. Shut some of the doubters up and give us some numbers.

GroundKprs
12-29-2002, 12:01 PM
Lots of talk about insurance, but one should learn how it works before conjecturing so much. There are no INDIVIDUAL coverages anywhere in the insurance industry. Yes, you may buy your own policy, but you are looked at by the ins co as a member of a group of similar individuals, and your policy is one of that group. If the experience ($$ paid out) for that group, goes up, your rates go up. As the group ages, and costs go up, your rates go up.

In some types of insurance - auto, business liability, & others - your rates may be discounted based on your own good claim history if you have been with a carrier for a while, but general rates for you are set by experience with a group of individuals similar to you.

Some discounting may apply for large groups. Easier to write policy for 100 people all at once, than 100 individual sales. But then you're going to have to have a management staff for the group (franchise, co-op), and that staff has to be paid.

Brickman
12-29-2002, 01:20 PM
I think it is a good idea and one that could work to have a co-op. I can't help but think that some of the large outfits like Brickman Group, TruGreen and maybe others would not like the competition.

I think the $10,000 entrance figure is too high. You will get very few takers. But the $200 figure could be too low, some thing more expensive will help to keep out the riffraff. Maybe $1000??

boohoo
12-29-2002, 06:23 PM
Guys ...anyone know the current retail price on a 27hp Kawasaki 60" Liquid cooled Exmark.

boohoo
12-29-2002, 06:33 PM
The 10000 price was a nominal figure for a franchise and as I said I am using the wrong website to mention that concept. It may be something I do as a personal venture at a later date. $200 fee is also nominal but like anything it is an opportunity cost concept. $500 or a $1000 might be a better number... more likely to attract established or career landscapers. Dont take it the wrong way but two years from now 100 members might invest another $2000 each ($200000 total and buy a Landscape Business somehwere in the nation. As it grows we might buy more each year with the profits......see where I am leading...could be worth a boatload if invested properly. Heck we might buy an established exmark dealership and receive savings that way.

Just dreaming but sometimes you have to think outside the box.
Dont plan on working past 50 !

nu83
12-29-2002, 06:49 PM
You would rake it in taking 1/100 of the profits from an exmark dealer. Really "raking it in". You have no clue what you are talking about, you change your idea every post. Its fine to dream, but Im afraid you are lacking in your understanding of business, investing, insurance and risk/reward.
I do wish you luck though.
Dan

boohoo
12-29-2002, 07:01 PM
geez you have to write a business plan and 10000 word thesis for every thread to appease some people. Pity the money I wasted on college. I have no concept of Risk/Reward. You missed the point sunshine I could buy an exmark mower for cost price through the dealership and any other ITEM AT TRADE PRICES for that matter.
Heres a quarter ring 1800CANTREAD.

Soupy
12-31-2002, 04:25 AM
It sounds like a good Idea to me. If you are really serious about this. Then you should take some time and wright a plan, do some research by calling some companys then come back with some facts. If you can get a discount on Insurance for Health, Auto, and business then count me in.

My main consern would be how you would get everyone to pay for their share of the insurance cost. I business that offers discounted insurance for their employees take the money out of their pay. How will you get everyone to pay up.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-31-2002, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by boohoo
geez you have to write a business plan and 10000 word thesis for every thread to appease some people. Pity the money I wasted on college. I have no concept of Risk/Reward. You missed the point sunshine I could buy an exmark mower for cost price through the dealership and any other ITEM AT TRADE PRICES for that matter.
Heres a quarter ring 1800CANTREAD.

Simple ask about fleet pricing.