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lawnman24949
12-23-2012, 07:15 PM
After reading several threads from the bigger companies that are on lawn site it made me notice some things. As these guys start sharing there stories it becomes apparent that they really love what they do and spent a lot of time working to have a successful company. After posting many pictures many people always say one day I want to be a company that size which got me thinking about this. Since so many people on lawnsite say I want to be the one with the big company everyone in town goes to. I thought it would be interesting to see who wants to be the big company or who doesn't and why not. I know it may seem like a silly question but if everyone wanted to be a big company there would be no work. I also realize some say I would love to be that big company but they know it will never happen. I personally would like to be a company of about 6-8 trucks one day but I realize that may not happen because of various reasons but if it does I would be thrilled. Currently I am in high school but I maintain 50 customers per week and would love to keep growing. I realize there are many advantages and disadvantages to being solo or being the big company but I thought it would be interesting to see what you want your company to evolve into.

mowerbrad
12-23-2012, 07:33 PM
Sure, lots of people would like to be a very large operation...but few ever become that. There are plenty of guys who are quite content with being solo and have zero intentions of ever getting much bigger, as long as they have a full schedule and can support their families, they are happy.

For me, personally, I am not quite sure what I want out of my business. I've tossed ideas around and just haven't decided. I like doing this just part time and keeping my customer base small, kind of allows me to stay more personal with customers. On the other hand I don't really want to be working out in the field all day, every day...that's when I would like to have employees do that and me just go out on occasion. Right now, I plan on keeping things small and continue doing this part-time as I continue my college career. After graduating college I would like to have my business sort of run itself, where I can do most of the office stuff and occasional field work and have one or two guys running a truck all week for me. Essentially I'd like the business to run itself for the most part so I can continue with other ambitions of mine in life.

weeze
12-23-2012, 08:34 PM
i prefer to stay solo and just have enough to fill my schedule. i don't wanna be working weekends and 10hrs a day and having to keep other guys in check and so on and so on. the bigger companies have alot more to deal with. alot more headaches. i enjoy just being able to work alone at my own pace and do things how i wanna do them. i can make my schedule however i see fit. i don't have to work 10hrs a day to make a living. i can work 6hrs a day and make a living and enjoy the rest of my life and not be worn out at the end of each day.

i'm not trying to be a millionaire i'm just doing it to have a job that i actually don't mind doing every day. it's nice to be able to sleep in a bit and not wakeup dreading going to work lol. that's what it's about for me. freedom. i don't have to work like a slave to please someone else's unrealistic, unobatinable goals.

T Scapes
12-23-2012, 08:36 PM
For me want to expand into running a couple crew total maybe 5-7 trucks. I dont wanna get in over my heard with a massive company. Idealy i would like 3 cutting crews a hardscaping/install crew and 1, 2 man bush hogging crew/ matience that does hedge trimming and tree work. I also would like to not get to big incase something were to happen and i am in debt with truck payments and other stuff. Im 20 right now and my goal is to add a second crew in 3 years and a 3rd in 6 years. Bush hogging is my next venture right now so i plan on having 1 crew cutting grass 3.5 days a week. The other day and a half, i will have them doing whatever else is needed, and i will be bush hogging and ill have 1 other guy part time. Hardscaping i would like to get more and more into over the next 2 years. Do some smaller stuff this up coming year to get a portfolio going and then expand from there.

jrs.landscaping
12-23-2012, 08:36 PM
My goal would be 3 mowing crews, 1 install crew, 1 sweeping crew, and one fert tech. It's all in the 5 year plan, will I get there :confused: I hope I do but every year things change and we have to adapt to those changes.

LandFakers
12-23-2012, 08:37 PM
im not trying to kill myself out here. Im trying to provide for my family, put my kids through college, and just live the life. My schedule is usually full and that more than pays the bills. and not having to worry about employees, quality control, payroll, etc is nice

pseudosun
12-23-2012, 08:42 PM
Agree with jasonslawncare. I want to remain solo. I'm one of those creative types who needs hobby time, or i'm no good. I just want enough to live good, and that's happening. I'm actually looking to downscale my equipment and radius. I'm looking for ways to be more efficient; it's like a game. Close customers, the right equipment, minimal equipment/repairs, etc. I'm happy with my slow growth and fine tuning my business.

orangemower
12-24-2012, 09:22 AM
On average, I added about 1/3 more weekly accounts for the start of next season. We'll see how that goes. I might be that much closer to the sweet spot I want to be in. My previous work load was enough to sustain a living and keep things going. This year I should make a good bit more with just one more day of work. I have 3 large mulching jobs from them for this spring as well. I also have a huge (for me) snow plowing deal with 11 private homes setting on top of a mountain with two private drives leading to them. 3 of the customers are doctors at the local hospital, one is a retired F-14 fighter jet pilot. The list goes on but the amount I stand to make per push plus salting IF we get snow will be more then I was making from all the others I have on my list combined!

smallstripesnc
12-24-2012, 09:32 AM
I just posted a thread about staying solo vs going the employee route.

After being solo since I started and going to working with someone I can safely say staying solo is what I want to do for now. Just having one employee is a headache and with being solo I dont have to worry about quality control or paying someone. Another plus to being solo is that I can kind of pick and choose my accounts instead of having to take on whatever I can get to keep employees busy and with a paycheck.
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djagusch
12-24-2012, 10:18 AM
My goal would be 3 mowing crews, 1 install crew, 1 sweeping crew, and one fert tech. It's all in the 5 year plan, will I get there :confused: I hope I do but every year things change and we have to adapt to those changes.

I'm not picking on you JRS many posted the same and just using as an example.

3 mowing crews and a fert tech should hit 1 million in sales no problem. Having 5 to 7 trucks, etc shouldn't be the overall goal, a sales number should be along with a net profit goals for each part of the biz (install net is much different than a mowing crew net).

Or another goal could be a percentage of your market area population.

Heck I consider myself a small company but have 4 trucks (all for plowing, but only 2 used for mowing), a van for irrigation, a skidsteer, and 6 mowers.

I'm working on getting the second mow truck with a full work load. Irrigation I just bought a company last year and hit all the old owners sales numbers without marketing so that will take off this year.

Finding work is not the hard part growing it's finding the right people to work for you that show up and you can trust.

jrs.landscaping
12-24-2012, 10:40 AM
In over ten years of mowing.....

I have
10 gas trimmers
9 CY of salt sand
8 total mowers
7 plows
6 Walker mowers
5 trucks
4 trailers
3 Backpack blowers
2 John Deere's
And a Multi Terrain Compact Track Loader :laugh:;)

Also have a loader but it didn't make it into the list

lawnman24949
12-24-2012, 10:53 AM
3 mowing crews and a fert tech should hit 1 million in sales no problem. Having 5 to 7 trucks, etc shouldn't be the overall goal, a sales number should be along with a net profit goals for each part of the biz (install net is much different than a mowing crew net).

Or another goal could be a percentage of your market area population.

Heck I consider myself a small company but have 4 trucks (all for plowing, but only 2 used for mowing), a van for irrigation, a skidsteer, and 6 mowers.

I'm working on getting the second mow truck with a full work load. Irrigation I just bought a company last year and hit all the old owners sales numbers without marketing so that will take off this year.

Finding work is not the hard part growing it's finding the right people to work for you that show up and you can trust.[/QUOTE]


Since you mentioned it I think that is a much better way to show how big you want to be. We all know 5 install crews will bring you in a lot more than 5 mowing crews. For me I would like to see sales between 1-1.5 million and net between 175,000 to 250,000.

djagusch
12-24-2012, 11:29 AM
In over ten years of mowing.....

I have
10 gas trimmers
9 CY of salt sand
8 total mowers
7 plows
6 Walker mowers
5 trucks
4 trailers
3 Backpack blowers
2 John Deere's
And a Multi Terrain Compact Track Loader :laugh:;)

Also have a loader but it didn't make it into the list

Nice smart arse response. I'm not the one listing my goals of equipment owned.

My point is not want a person owns it is what a person makes and keeps. I don't consider equipment/trucks much of a asset if it doesn't make money. If a truck sits all it does is lose value.

djagusch
12-24-2012, 11:32 AM
3 mowing crews and a fert tech should hit 1 million in sales no problem. Having 5 to 7 trucks, etc shouldn't be the overall goal, a sales number should be along with a net profit goals for each part of the biz (install net is much different than a mowing crew net).

Or another goal could be a percentage of your market area population.

Heck I consider myself a small company but have 4 trucks (all for plowing, but only 2 used for mowing), a van for irrigation, a skidsteer, and 6 mowers.

I'm working on getting the second mow truck with a full work load. Irrigation I just bought a company last year and hit all the old owners sales numbers without marketing so that will take off this year.

Finding work is not the hard part growing it's finding the right people to work for you that show up and you can trust.


Since you mentioned it I think that is a much better way to show how big you want to be. We all know 5 install crews will bring you in a lot more than 5 mowing crews. For me I would like to see sales between 1-1.5 million and net between 175,000 to 250,000.[/QUOTE]

So you want to net 17.5% of sales or so. Is that hardscape, maintenance?

jrs.landscaping
12-24-2012, 11:44 AM
Nice smart arse response. I'm not the one listing my goals of equipment owned.

My point is not want a person owns it is what a person makes and keeps. I don't consider equipment/trucks much of a asset if it doesn't make money. If a truck sits all it does is lose value.

I agree with you, they aren't goals, I already own them and they make me money. My goals are still what I listed and you are close on the gross numbers I would like to be at. I would be happy with 7.5% return at year end grossing 1 mil.

Duekster
12-24-2012, 11:56 AM
I just want to grow at a nice steady pace. I do not have an end in sight just to keep growing nice and steady. My immediate goal is to make sure the company is profitable and each client is profitable.

This business seems to grow in spurts simply because of the nature of "service" and capacity.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-24-2012, 08:28 PM
I have both growth goals and cap goals meaning there is a point when I say I am here. I have 2 cutting crews now I run one my partner the other. I am 42 Iv been at this a long time my goal is to be out of the field by age 50. That is my goal to not go out each day and work, to be a glorified errand boy. To keep 20-35 employees in the field. With my partner and I solving the problems and selling the work. To max out one location I don't want another. To put in place the most efficient ways to do things I now know but cannot always implement because of budgets. My goal is transform from Owner/Manager/Worker/Salesmen too just 2 of them and my partner can pic 2 as well. I want a 2-3 million dollar operation I have spent enough time in the small to mid size range and want something that can be called large.