PDA

View Full Version : Amt of crews & properties before you got out of the field the majority of the time


JContracting
01-22-2013, 03:45 AM
As the title states.... for those that have done this within their business. Whether you do installs and/or maintenance.
In regards to properties, commercial or residential, sizes, amt of man hrs on an avg week, etc. I just had this pop into my mind and thought it'd be interesting to see what this topic brings as I'd like to get myself out of the field as soon as possible.
Posted via Mobile Device

JContracting
01-22-2013, 05:23 PM
Really? Nobody????

StockmanLawnscape
01-22-2013, 11:18 PM
This year we have 5 crews and it will be the first year the boss, my father, is truly out of the field. He still likes to get dirty but we aren't going to let him this year. Our crews consist of: 2 Lawn Maintenance crews, 2 Landscape Install crews, and 1 other maintenance crew that does things at our biggest clients area 5 days a week. So we have 12 guys plus the boss. Each crew works 40 hours a week from March through December usually. The additional maintenance crew (2 guys) will work all winter, but only Mon Wed Fri for about 25 hours per week per man. Hope this helps. Any questions feel free to ask!

JContracting
01-23-2013, 01:18 AM
Where are you located? When I'm on my phone it doesn't show. But that's the only issue I've come up with for why I wouldn't want to get totally out of the field, I like doing the work, when I am out of the field, maybe ill just mow my own house's/shop's lawn and do the fert over the lunch hour haha. At what point did the owner begin to step out of the field? How many crews?
Posted via Mobile Device

StockmanLawnscape
01-23-2013, 08:56 AM
I'm located in Pittsburgh, PA. Last year we had 4 crews and that's when he started stepping out of the field. It's a process, you can't just remove yourself immediately. He's constantly doing productive things for the business as well. You have to make sure you always have business related tasks every day. That way your still bringing money in even though you aren't physically working.

Efficiency
01-23-2013, 10:20 AM
Where are you located? When I'm on my phone it doesn't show. But that's the only issue I've come up with for why I wouldn't want to get totally out of the field, I like doing the work, when I am out of the field, maybe ill just mow my own house's/shop's lawn and do the fert over the lunch hour haha. At what point did the owner begin to step out of the field? How many crews?
Posted via Mobile Device
When does your budget tell you that your business profit is sufficient to cover your desired salary? isnt that what this question boils down to?
Posted via Mobile Device

dnc19694339
01-23-2013, 02:01 PM
I did it in steps. I run lawn and landscape crews.

First I got the lawn crew to a point where they could manage without me and i could trust they would do the job right.

Then I did landscape jobs with helpers and turned one of the helpers in to a foreman. When he was able to do jobs on his own then I would send him out with a helper.

At this time I started to spend about half the week out of the field doing estimates and administrative work. When I wasnt busy with that stuff I would go help on the landscaping jobs to reduce labor and help support my salary.

At some point I was able to add a second landscape crew and at that time I was able to be out of the field full time.

I now have 2 lawn crews and 2 landscape crews. It took me about 4-5 yrs to get totally out of the field.

Im sure some people can do it alot quicker, or if you have the funds and skills could probably start a business like this without ever being in the field.

JContracting
01-23-2013, 08:01 PM
I did it in steps. I run lawn and landscape crews.

First I got the lawn crew to a point where they could manage without me and i could trust they would do the job right.

Then I did landscape jobs with helpers and turned one of the helpers in to a foreman. When he was able to do jobs on his own then I would send him out with a helper.

At this time I started to spend about half the week out of the field doing estimates and administrative work. When I wasnt busy with that stuff I would go help on the landscaping jobs to reduce labor and help support my salary.

At some point I was able to add a second landscape crew and at that time I was able to be out of the field full time.

I now have 2 lawn crews and 2 landscape crews. It took me about 4-5 yrs to get totally out of the field.

Im sure some people can do it alot quicker, or if you have the funds and skills could probably start a business like this without ever being in the field.


That's actually how I've thought out my plans, build one or 2 maintenance crews, train emoloyees to run them and then a design & install crew that I'd work with and slowly work my way out of the field and grow from there.
Posted via Mobile Device

branchoutshrub
01-24-2013, 11:43 AM
Some great advice and knowledge. We are slowly growing and hope to expand with another crew this season. Come on Spring!!!

Oxmow
01-25-2013, 12:44 AM
I was out of the field for two years before I lost my largest single location contract and a smaller multi-location contract. Lost 100 grand a year on the same day. When that one tanked I cut my two maintenance crews down to one and went back into the field. Went from 7-8 employees down to me and 2. Been that way for two years now. Haven't tried to build it up again until this year. We will see how it goes.

JContracting
01-25-2013, 12:52 AM
Ouch! Sry to hear about a loss like that! Was it a cheaper bid that came in?
Posted via Mobile Device

CLS_Birmingham
01-25-2013, 03:06 AM
I was out of the field for two years before I lost my largest single location contract and a smaller multi-location contract. Lost 100 grand a year on the same day. When that one tanked I cut my two maintenance crews down to one and went back into the field. Went from 7-8 employees down to me and 2. Been that way for two years now. Haven't tried to build it up again until this year. We will see how it goes.

I'm really sorry to hear this. I think this is a prime example of why owners are scared to step out of the field. Any advice for those of us (like myself) who are still in the field, but are looking to step out in the next few years?

Oxmow
01-25-2013, 08:38 AM
Ouch! Sry to hear about a loss like that! Was it a cheaper bid that came in?
Posted via Mobile Device

The smaller group of properties was a cheaper bid. I did 5 properties and the other company had it for a year before they were canned too and the properties went out to individuals. I had a chance to talk to the area manager and she said that individuals were cheaper still and "bigger companies had too much overhead".

The larger property got sued by an old lady that fell on some crumbling concrete and broke her hip. They had to bring all of the concrete up to ADA standards and had to replace all the old handicap ramps, fix curbs and replace alot of sidewalks. They canned me and the existing management company for one that was smaller (one man show) and "also mows". 200 grand worth of work over two years.

JContracting
01-25-2013, 01:06 PM
The solo op that landed will quickly realize hes in over his head.
Posted via Mobile Device

Oxmow
01-25-2013, 01:29 PM
Well after two years and all the concrete work the property got sold and now CBRE manages it. They called me back to bid it and afterword told me I was almost 3times higher than the company that they hired when they took over(and currently) doing it. One of the lowball hacks here in town is doing it Waaaay too cheap.
Posted via Mobile Device

merrimacmill
01-25-2013, 09:44 PM
I have one maintenance crew and haven't mowed grass in years. It all really depends on how much overhead you can afford to have (i.e. Owner salary, non-billable). Keep in mind though I am over 85% snow, and pretty much my entire overhead is paid for by snow.

And whenever an install job comes our way, I have to be onsite leading the project as I don't have anyone who is high skilled enough to take a hardscape job from start to finish successfully. But I don't focus on that, so the workload is not there to hire someone to take it on.

Chilehead
01-25-2013, 11:32 PM
Well after two years and all the concrete work the property got sold and now CBRE manages it. They called me back to bid it and afterword told me I was almost 3times higher than the company that they hired when they took over(and currently) doing it. One of the lowball hacks here in town is doing it Waaaay too cheap.
Posted via Mobile Device

Let 'em.....they'll be out of business soon enough. Sounds like you'll be fine. I've run mostly solo since 2002, and may just stay this way. I am always advertising "help wanted" on my website, but only top performers will gain entrance to employment. Many say, "You'll never get that perfect diamond in the rough", but I'm okay with that because I don't really need employees that bad.
I really can't believe how someone can start with me making $30K the first year with no experience, but won't. Heck, my commission rate is 5% of GROSS SALES!!

Efficiency
01-26-2013, 11:33 AM
I was out of the field for two years before I lost my largest single location contract and a smaller multi-location contract. Lost 100 grand a year on the same day. When that one tanked I cut my two maintenance crews down to one and went back into the field. Went from 7-8 employees down to me and 2. Been that way for two years now. Haven't tried to build it up again until this year. We will see how it goes.
You had 5-6 empliyees just for that $100k? Loosing that deal was a blessing for you.
Posted via Mobile Device

Oxmow
01-26-2013, 07:32 PM
You had 5-6 empliyees just for that $100k? Loosing that deal was a blessing for you.
Posted via Mobile Device

No, but those two contracts were about a third of my gross. Actually let two guys go immediately and kept the other two until the end of that mowing year.