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View Full Version : For multi-crew owners or managers only


BrendonTW
01-14-2013, 05:22 PM
I'm wanting to get an idea as to what kind of NET your crews are bringing each year. Preferably full landscape maintenance operations running 3-4 guys per crew. I understand that 3 or 4 guys is a large difference in man hours, still wanting to get an idea.

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 07:19 PM
They bring in 1000-1400 gross maybe 900-1000 net . This is just mowing

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 09:42 PM
oh by the way 2-3 man crews

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 09:46 PM
10 percent is a joke I will not run a crew for that.

P.Services
01-14-2013, 09:51 PM
You might gross 1,200 in a day and pay two of your sorta works a 100 bucks a piece and 100 bucks for fuel to claim your making 900 net but your not.

I could list off no less then 200 other things that are costing you money to provide that service....everything from the big wear and tear on equipment all the way down to that 43 cent stamp on a envelope to the 8 cent envelope/invoice paper package.


Your living in dream land.

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 09:54 PM
We email all our invoices . And take credit card only . My biggest expense is payroll which is 52000.00 a month

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 09:55 PM
All workers sre legal and we pay workmans comp.

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 09:57 PM
Actually we are clearing about. 39 percent to be technicsl this includes overhead everything gas light utilities.

BrendonTW
01-14-2013, 10:02 PM
39 percent is MUCH more realistic than 70-90 percent. 39 percent is very very good for a large company.
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grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:04 PM
All of our welding painting and repairs are done in house about 95 percent of the time . We paint our trucks and trailers oursekves and do all fabrication in house this helps keep cost down . We send out the trucks to get lettered afyer we paint them . There is a lot of expense when running that many trucks per day. We just switched over to fuso cabovers which helps reduce trailer maintenance

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:05 PM
Yes 39 percent is good but its a lot of work keeping it there.

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:09 PM
Cash flow is the key thats why we went to credit card only. Only our commercial customers pay by check and we probably have less than 100 residential our older clientel that still get invoiced through usps. But we charge those customers 1.95 to mail the invoice. And believe it or not we get it. Very few have complained. We have had some but bot a lot

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:15 PM
Hey check us out on facebook at www.facebook.com/grasshopperslawn like us and we will like you back. Check out our website at www.grasshoppersonline.com

P.Services
01-14-2013, 10:21 PM
Well 39 % is a hellllll of a lot different then 90% now isnt it?

P.Services
01-14-2013, 10:25 PM
Not to bust balls but if your rolling 52k a month in payroll and your website looks like that of a 16 year olds and "home of the 24.95 cut"

Your kinda hard to believe, sounds like b.s to me.

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:26 PM
Yes it is . Its good money though especially the months we we do 160k plus

grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:29 PM
Relly we just paid a web company to re do it i
n november I think ot looks good thats your opinion. Maybe if you ever go to one of these lawn conventions you might here me speak about marketing . Which I do all the time

KrayzKajun
01-14-2013, 10:29 PM
Grass, i got your PM. maybe we can meet up for lunch one day this week.

wbw
01-14-2013, 10:50 PM
Not to bust balls but if your rolling 52k a month in payroll and your website looks like that of a 16 year olds and "home of the 24.95 cut"

Your kinda hard to believe, sounds like b.s to me.

I think they have a terrific website. I think it would be very effective and that is the purpose of a website. They get your attention with the $24.95 and they keep it with the guarantee. They accept all major credit cards, even AmEx. I searched "lawn care Slidell" and they were near the top. All in all my guess is that the guys are running a heck of an operation. I am not so sure that the poster is the brains behind it though.
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grasshopperslawn
01-14-2013, 10:54 PM
I think they have a terrific website. I think it would be very effective and that is the purpose of a website. They get your attention with the $24.95 and they keep it with the guarantee. They accept all major credit cards, even AmEx. I searched "lawn care Slidell" and they were near the top. All in all my guess is that the guys are runni g aheck of an operation. I am not so sure that the poster is the brains behind it though.
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Actually I am the brains behind the operation . We started it from Scratch . I just like how some people get on here . Talking about things they know nothing about. I kept quite for years on this site but finally decided to speak. Oh and thanks for the compliment . It was BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS TO GET IT TO THIS POINT

wbw
01-15-2013, 12:35 PM
Actually I am the brains behind the operation . We started it from Scratch . I just like how some people get on here . Talking about things they know nothing about. I kept quite for years on this site but finally decided to speak. Oh and thanks for the compliment . It was BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS TO GET IT TO THIS POINT

Congratulations. I am behind you. I spent the last three years getting a solid base of pool service customers and am just now preparing to do some serious internet marketing. I am currently trying to learn about google adwords. Next I want a better website geared to selling more work. Keep us posted as to your progress.

snomaha
01-15-2013, 01:11 PM
Actually we are clearing about. 39 percent to be technicsl this includes overhead everything gas light utilities.

Net 39%? - does that include a fair market wage for you as an expense?

grasshopperslawn
01-15-2013, 03:38 PM
Congratulations. I am behind you. I spent the last three years getting a solid base of pool service customers and am just now preparing to do some serious internet marketing. I am currently trying to learn about google adwords. Next I want a better website geared to selling more work. Keep us posted as to your progress. Don't use adwords. Been thinking about it. I like the organic listings better.

jrs.landscaping
01-15-2013, 04:27 PM
Yes 39 percent is good but its a lot of work keeping it there.

How many crews do you have? Also do all of them hit this mark?

grasshopperslawn
01-16-2013, 12:00 AM
Sometimes a crew won't hit there mark we try to keep at least two crews in close proximity of each other that way if one crew finishes early we send it to help out the other one . When we do the routes we try to make sure they overlap each other or are within close proximity at the end of the day . That way if one gets behind thebother one helps. It also helps to have gps in all the trucks that way we can dispatch a crew if we have to . We have 8 crews by the end of this season we should be running 11 crews. Currently during this off season we are runing only 3 trucks

Central Florida Lawns
01-16-2013, 09:50 AM
Grasshopper, it looks like we run similar numbers in the way of net margin (we're at about 36% working our way to 39% as our fixed stay flat and we grow). We run only 8 crews to your 11, but we are primarily residential.

My question for the group is do you find it more efficient running 2 or 3 man crews for residential work? I haven't run the numbers, but 2 men can do about 80% of what 3 men can do, but then you have the expense of an extra truck.

Also, any input on running NPR's instead of truck and trailers? How do you guys handle debris?

Thanks

grassmasterswilson
01-16-2013, 10:12 AM
I don't run multiple crews but seems there are a lot of variables in this poll. Some guys are getting questioned on their numbers.

Everyone's overhead is going to be different. So someone could net 40% on a gross of 50k or net 20% on 100k

Wages, drive time on routes, lawn sizes, etc are different everywhere you go.

Efficiency
01-16-2013, 11:20 AM
this one time I went fishing and caught a fish this B.....i........g..............

grasshopperslawn
01-20-2013, 02:00 PM
We run 8 crews also . But by the end of this season it will be 11. I would like to chat more with you if we have similar numbers. We are also about 95% residential

grasshopperslawn
01-20-2013, 02:02 PM
To us if we have a lot of properties in one area then a 3 man crew seems more efficient. But when we are spread out more we use 2 man crews .

BrendonTW
05-27-2014, 05:44 PM
Just wanted to bump this and point out the fact that two people voted that they bring in 15K net with one crew and two people also voted that they bring in 150K + with one crew. Crazy how much the numbers varied.

snomaha
05-27-2014, 06:47 PM
I think you posted the wrong poll - "how many people understand basic financial concepts" might be a better one.

BrendonTW
05-27-2014, 06:49 PM
I think you posted the wrong poll - "how many people understand basic financial concepts" might be a better one.

Lol you may be right. I figured that those who ran more than one crew would at least have a basic understanding.
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RoyalTree
05-28-2014, 10:52 PM
We net different amount on different crews. We have crews that are barely profitable because they end up doing alot of odds and ends that might not be very profitable but need to be done to keep customers happy.

I have a large crew that does over 400k gross per year. Our crew sizes vary greatly from 1 guy running a bobcat or grapple truck to 7-9 on our largest mowing crew.

So many of the different crews overlap on the same accounts that it is impossible to say exactly what dollars is earned by which crew sometimes. It is the final bottom line that I look at. I am not in the 30s in my profit margins but we still do ok.

mwalz
05-28-2014, 11:38 PM
Solo guy here but an interesting thread and poll. Hopefully i will be a big company after college like the rest of you guys.

gcbailey
05-29-2014, 09:00 AM
We run 2 crews, one is 70/30 residential/commercial and the other is about 65/35 commercial/residential.... There are definitely variations on what each crew brings in due to the clientele... You haven't thought about that in your poll either.

Locqus
05-29-2014, 03:24 PM
2, 2 man crews pulling in about $12-$15k Net a year each. Try to keep in manageable. We over reached last year with work and ran them ragged. pulled in an extra $15k gross per truck but for far less in profit. Scaled back this year and things are much steadier.

Locqus will help the one man crews become two man crews! :P

BrendonTW
05-29-2014, 10:14 PM
We run 2 crews, one is 70/30 residential/commercial and the other is about 65/35 commercial/residential.... There are definitely variations on what each crew brings in due to the clientele... You haven't thought about that in your poll either.

That may be true, but shouldn't your rate be the same per hour for residential and commercial? If the commercial crew is pulling more man hours per week then it would generate more revenue but if both crews are pulling say, 55 hours per crew per week, shouldn't you bring in the same? Given that the crews have the same number of guys.
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RoyalTree
05-29-2014, 11:34 PM
All clients do not bring in the same rates. Not even close. They differ for a variety of reasons.

BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 12:02 AM
Elaborate if you would. If you bill at $30 per man hour and run a 3 man crew on a residential property for 2 hours, your price would be $180. For us it would be the same pricing structure for any property. Obviously some clientele you can perform more than just your standard service each time you're there. Sprinkler repairs, fertilize, stick a few plants in the ground, etc... Maybe this is what you're talking about?
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RoyalTree
05-30-2014, 12:28 AM
We simply dont bid all properties at the same rate. Our cost and opportunities include much more than how many minutes we spend on site.

Even if we tried it would not be possible. I dont know anyone who can estimate the exact amount of time it will take THAT specific crew to finish that property. When you get to larger properties you will find that you can be way off at times. The property you had estimated 5 hours for 4 guys actually takes 6 hours but the property you had estimated 3 guys for 8 hours is done in 6 hours.

We also take into account what equipment will be used on this property. Reel mower costs more to operate than a ztr. If i put a 60k wam mower versus competitions 52 inch ztr i will spend less hours reflecting a very different hourly rate. What other expertise is needed on this property? Debris generated also needs to be taken into consideration.

The main deciding factor on what our hourly rate is what the market will allow us to charge. High end residentials who seeek out your expertise, professionalism and reliability are willing and happy to pay you a premium rate. On the other hand there are large hoa and government contracts that can have cut throat competition, not allowing us to charge what we would prefer. We are currently on the tail end of a very large government contract that most of you would probably call us low ballers if you saw the numbers. It gives us very low profit margins but with the sheer volume of work performed it all adds up to a pretty penny at the end of the year.

RoyalTree
05-30-2014, 12:33 AM
Bottom line is we try to get as much as the competition or customer will give us for each property. It is up to us to find ways to be as efficient as possible to make a greater return on each dollar spent.

We can spend 6 man hours on a property while the competition spends 16. The property is still worth what it is worth. I might simply have a more efficient way of working, does not mean I will drop my price. That is how you get ahead in this business.

BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 01:02 AM
It seems like it would be more difficult to scale that system. I know it can be done - just seems more difficult than having a set rate. My theory is that my price will weed out the customers that I don't really want. I too will major exceptions though sometimes for less margin for large volume. Makes sense to do that unless your a very picky operator lol.

Of course specialized equipment costs more to operate but you shouldn't see that in your net it you take that knot account when preparing the bid, right?
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BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 01:07 AM
You are right about estimating. We get pretty close with our averages per unit per tool, but some times you just miss something. For example, we have one property that we bid last year, 7 guys are there for 3.5 hours. We bid it at 4 hours so we make a bit more than we should net that day.

Another property was a different story. Bid it at 3 hours for 6 guys, 7 guys spend 3.5 hours. Less net on that day, lol. Fortunately we were able to get it corrected this year.
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RoyalTree
05-30-2014, 01:15 AM
When you uppgrade your equipment and hire guys that make 5 more per hour because how fast they are you can now cut that yard in one hour instead of two. Should you now charge the customer 90 instead of 180?

Remember a 1000 job is a 1000 job no matter how long you take to do it. How fast your equipment and employees can complete the task will determine your hourly rate.

If you have a set hourly rate your best bet is to send out guys with a 21 inch mower.

We have a park that is 257 acres. The right equipment is the only reason I can do it and still make money. Most people would cry if the saw the price but jump for joy if they calculated my hourly on it.

TPendagast
05-30-2014, 02:32 AM
there are 6 people (17% of voters) here who don't understand what NET means… lol

gcbailey
05-30-2014, 07:48 AM
That may be true, but shouldn't your rate be the same per hour for residential and commercial? If the commercial crew is pulling more man hours per week then it would generate more revenue but if both crews are pulling say, 55 hours per crew per week, shouldn't you bring in the same? Given that the crews have the same number of guys.
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Not really.... We have 5 accounts that are state/federal wages and that skews the commercial side some. Also, there are some accounts on the commercial side that both crews work the same time, so how would you technically count it? So no, our rates aren't always the for residential vs. commercial.

Right now I have one crew doing about 57 hours/week and another doing 45... I'm working Saturday's, first time in 9 years, but no complaints really. So my crew (2 man) will have different numbers.

Also... We are 3 full time guys and 1 part time guy, the part time guy is a floater so depending on the day I could have a 3 man/1 man crew or 2 man/2 man crew or both crews working together as 4 men.

I just feel there's some variables to put in his equation if you really want to get technical and find out how much each crew is really bringing in. I know I can tell you $XXX amount per week that we are invoicing based on crews and 80% of the time that will be the same weekly. But throughout the year for add-on jobs (bi-weekly mowing, monthly brush hogging, mulching, pruning...). That can affect things.

I know I'm just one of these guys who can over analyze things, I've got a M.S. in IT so I approach the business differently....

RedSox4Life
05-30-2014, 08:26 AM
To the OP:

I'm surprised at your willingness to discuss such specific numbers on an open forum, 3 posts before linking your facebook and website.

I can imagine being a potential customer and googling grasshoppers lawns and finding this thread.

It seems like you're running a decent outfit so you don't need me telling you what to do. But to me it just seems like a bad idea to give customers so much insight into your financials.

RedSox4Life
05-30-2014, 08:29 AM
By the way, you should contact the guy who did your site, a bunch of pics in the photo gallery are upside down or sideways, and there's one pic that looks like a half completed mulch job.

BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 08:37 AM
To me, if you price a job at $180 and then buy equipment that allows you to drop it to $90 and still be profitable that means that you've been lucky to not lose that job to someone who has the proper equipment. If you are trying to have a 20% margin and you buy a piece of equipment that can increase it for that one job to 60% (difference between the margin on $90 and $180) there is competition who will going to move in on you because they have access to the same equipment that you do.

Regardless of the size and state of your company, I think you have to price for your current skills and equipment. So if you're new and are cutting half an acre with a push mower, you can't price it like a guy with a 48" whose been doing it for 15 years - you just won't get ahead - and theses jobs aren't necessarily as competitive. But I feel like when you're bidding commercial that your only option is to give them your best estimate on man hours, plus materials, plus equipment hours, plus your desired profit margin, plus any extra amount for difficulty in terrain, property layout, customer, etc..
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BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 08:39 AM
If you're in a niche market commercially you can definitely get away with margins that are quite a bit higher.
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BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 09:26 AM
To the OP:

I'm surprised at your willingness to discuss such specific numbers on an open forum, 3 posts before linking your facebook and website.

I can imagine being a potential customer and googling grasshoppers lawns and finding this thread.

It seems like you're running a decent outfit so you don't need me telling you what to do. But to me it just seems like a bad idea to give customers so much insight into your financials.

By the way, you should contact the guy who did your site, a bunch of pics in the photo gallery are upside down or sideways, and there's one pic that looks like a half completed mulch job.

You must have the wrong guy. My company is not grass hopper lawns, my Facebook and company name aren't linked to this, and my website works correctly.

Also, this thread isn't for opinions about whether or not to give out financials, it is directly asking for financials. If anyone posts in this thread it should be because they have a discussion to contribute. If you don't have applicable discussion to bring forward, please don't spam up the topic with unrelated issues.

RedSox4Life
05-30-2014, 10:39 AM
You must have the wrong guy. My company is not grass hopper lawns, my Facebook and company name aren't linked to this, and my website works correctly.

Also, this thread isn't for opinions about whether or not to give out financials, it is directly asking for financials. If anyone posts in this thread it should be because they have a discussion to contribute. If you don't have applicable discussion to bring forward, please don't spam up the topic with unrelated issues.

You're right, it was the guy that posted under you. Sorry for the confusion.

Although I fail to see how what I posted could be considered spam. This is a discussion board after all, where the entire point is for people to chime in with their personal opinions. I'm sorry if YOU feel my opinion isn't what you were looking for.

BrendonTW
05-30-2014, 11:20 AM
You're right, it was the guy that posted under you. Sorry for the confusion.

Although I fail to see how what I posted could be considered spam. This is a discussion board after all, where the entire point is for people to chime in with their personal opinions. I'm sorry if YOU feel my opinion isn't what you were looking for.

It was taking the thread in a direction that was unrelated to the topic at hand.
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TPendagast
05-31-2014, 12:54 PM
It was taking the thread in a direction that was unrelated to the topic at hand.
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its a free board.

OPs don't have "ownership" of a thread.

Find a paid site for your ownership distress.