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Old 07-04-2011, 10:22 AM
guitarman2420 guitarman2420 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Midlothian, VA
Posts: 279
Help! Is there anyone making money out there as they grow?

I've been in business @ 4 years. I've grown from first year sales of $40k to 400k; yet I'm working harder and making less money than when I had only myself and one helper. Have many of you hit the same "bump in the road"? The economies of scale have not "kicked in" yet. The more business I get, the more insurance I pay, the more taxes, the more headaches from employees, etc. I'm about ready to blow the whole thing up and go back to doing mainly landscape design and installation work, where we make the greatest profit. My niche is upscale residential and small - mid size townhome associations. I have 5 full time people and 3 trucks. I believe I need to sell one truck. I work in the field doing production or maintenance work@ 60% - the rest of my time goes towards sales and quality, etc. Finding good employees that care about anything but getting to the weekend has been my greatest frustration. I've tried hiring the "experienced guys"; but they seem to be retreads who have been fired or laid off by other companies. We all know we don't let our best people go, so it's a never ending vicious cycle. So we're trying to find good hard working people who know nothing about our business and training them; but they tear up equipment and break windows, doors, etc., even with training. Any suggestions or lessons learned? I'm tired of hitting my "nose against the brick wall". Also, I do have a reliable operations manager, who runs the day to day maintenance (mowing) operations. I pay him 36k a year, without benefits. I manage the overall business and run the landscaping/project end of things. Our ratio is 70% maintenance and 30% landscaping. Profits are less than 0 for maintenance and 30% for landscaping.

Thanks for any help I can get!
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