Originally Posted by etwman
It's all about money...but, it's also about WORK and charging properly for it!
True, but it's not all about the money. You have to do what you like to do. Truthfully it's really about:
1. Not having non-billable hours, they'll kill you everytime. If the guys have worked 45 hours that week, you should be billing 45. Are guys running out to lunch? Why? They should be on the job site. Every time I see a truck/trailer parked at a McD's at lunch there is no way they are only taking a 1/2 hour. By the time they get there, eat, and get back to the site you're paying them to eat.
2. Exceeding the customers every expectation and don't cut corners.
3. Having the right equipment most of the time. You'll never have all the equipment you need, but you can get pretty close. More importantly you have to charge for that equipment each day, whether it sits on a jobsite or gets used. Example, each of those Freightliners get charged $141.00 a day to be attached to a job. When we do a landscape/hardscape/grounds care job the computer brings up what equipment is needed and charges for it correctly either to compile an estimate or bill. If you don't charge for equipment you won't be able to replace it when its worn out. And you had better figure in fuel and insurance into that as well.
When everything comes together just right that's when you start making money. With new businesses I'd say it's 4-5 years before you really start reaping rewards. It's one thing to think your making money it's another to really be doing it. Ask yourself at the end of your season what's left over? Can you make it through the winter with adequate start up funds? Are you banking on snow removal to carry you? You shouldn't be! Tough questions but reality sets in quick. I'll be the first to tell you that this industry is not an easy one to make huge money in, it can be done, but you have to be prepared to turn away business. I can't even imagine how much "unneccessary work" we have turned away in the last five years. I bet our sales would be triple but our bottom line would be the same. One of the things we do to weed out the "unneccesaries" is our appointments are only from 8-4 M-F. If you want us to do your project you'll make a sacrifice from your job to be there during those hours. If not, you don't want us that bad. Do you know how much less running around I do? Huge! Do you know how much higher our job retention rate is? Enormous.
Just some things to ponder over.
Do you bill for equipment when you are only mowing a lawn? And if so, what is a good starting figure?