Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:17 PM
Efficiency's Avatar
Efficiency Efficiency is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: zone 6
Posts: 1,032
shoot me a pm and we can talk that way or I can give you my cell if you want. Talking numbers excites me like most dont know.
__________________
If this post seems mean, it's probably because I'm drunk posting. Maybe my next one will be better...
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:00 PM
swbluto swbluto is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Too far north and not hot enough, Spokane, WA
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by vencops View Post
But, I'll say this.....this allows me to personally up-sell each and every one of my customers.

I can't imagine "most" employees having the drive to do this. I could be totally wrong, though. And, IF you're not at your accounts, personally, it's hard to do any sales of "extras".
I would venture to say they need to have a financial incentive like a sales commission. Even that might not be effective for "most" employees, but it'll motivate some a bit, I'd imagine which can only help your sales.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 07-05-2011, 05:57 AM
coolluv coolluv is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman2420 View Post
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!
Here it is in a nutshell. You sound like you grew too fast by being a lowballer and now that you have all these cheap @$$ accounts you are realizing that you are not making money. You must not have been watching your numbers and just growing without putting pen to paper. But isn't that what everyone on this site thinks, I need more accounts.

What everyone fails to see is that more accounts at low rates = you losing money. But wait, look at all the accounts I have. Who cares. I don't want a few hundred accounts that I have to run around chasing my tail every week.

Heres the lesson folks. Don't focus on how many accounts you have, focus on how many good profitable accounts you have. Drop the cheap ones and scale back and you will make money. Not much but you will make a profit.

Don't count accounts count profit.

Dave...
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:39 AM
Agape's Avatar
Agape Agape is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: salem or
Posts: 1,569
You have the perfect opportunity to raise prices- send out a letter saying economy,ever increasing labor costs, fuel etc.... and raise prices $5 a week to "help" offset your costs.

if you have 3 trucks going I assume you have over 100 accounts, so $20X100 = $2000 bucks a month if 10% drop off then you are still ahead cause the rest are paying more and you don't have the expense of those 10%

For the "nay sayers" if the OP is making no money, what's he got to loose?

People seem to think that if you loose a $150 account, that you're loosing $150, but what you're really loosing may be closer to $60 because of the cost involved to care for the account.

Especially if you do good work, if your guys do a crappy job, then reconsider price raising, but if the quality is there, then most people won't hate you for it, and $20 is not usually enough for most people to shop around and use up their time.
__________________
Don Bullis-

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.p...10#post4099310

Ex-mark 60" mulch kit with oregon high lift blades for sale MAKE OFFER! http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=364386

http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t...ighlight=agape

Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:46 AM
Texas Lawn Texas Lawn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Great State of Texas
Posts: 262
you should never be afraid of growth. If you are, you dont have systems in place. A lot of people say its easy as a solo operator, I think its harder, because you have to do all the work. With systems in place, you can have others working while you handle the business side or the aspects of your business you enjoy the most. I know what I am describing is the ideal situation, but it is obtainable. In most companies, the guy at the top usually has the easiest and most fun job. Why? Because he worked his tail off to build it, then got people in place to run it.

You need to put systems in place from the beginning, so that as you grow, they are already there. Its a lot easier to put in systems with 1 employee when your doing 40K a year then it is at 5 employees doing 400K a year. Good luck and dont give up
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:55 PM
Get Some...'s Avatar
Get Some... Get Some... is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 651
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agape View Post
You have the perfect opportunity to raise prices- send out a letter saying economy,ever increasing labor costs, fuel etc.... and raise prices $5 a week to "help" offset your costs.

if you have 3 trucks going I assume you have over 100 accounts, so $20X100 = $2000 bucks a month if 10% drop off then you are still ahead cause the rest are paying more and you don't have the expense of those 10%

For the "nay sayers" if the OP is making no money, what's he got to loose?

People seem to think that if you loose a $150 account, that you're loosing $150, but what you're really loosing may be closer to $60 because of the cost involved to care for the account.

Especially if you do good work, if your guys do a crappy job, then reconsider price raising, but if the quality is there, then most people won't hate you for it, and $20 is not usually enough for most people to shop around and use up their time.
Now that's a good plan.
__________________


Self employed for over 35 years..
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:07 PM
delphied delphied is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Flint Michigan
Posts: 2,064
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
Here it is in a nutshell. You sound like you grew too fast by being a lowballer and now that you have all these cheap @$$ accounts you are realizing that you are not making money. You must not have been watching your numbers and just growing without putting pen to paper. But isn't that what everyone on this site thinks, I need more accounts.

What everyone fails to see is that more accounts at low rates = you losing money. But wait, look at all the accounts I have. Who cares. I don't want a few hundred accounts that I have to run around chasing my tail every week.

Heres the lesson folks. Don't focus on how many accounts you have, focus on how many good profitable accounts you have. Drop the cheap ones and scale back and you will make money. Not much but you will make a profit.

Don't count accounts count profit.

Dave...
Bingo, we have a winner. This guy is a textbook case and the reason mowing isnt worth doing anymore. At least half the guys in lawn care do it for too cheap and cant figure out why they dont make money or even dont realize they arent making near enough. Anyone that charges 50 per hour knowing a crews labor costs alone are 60 per hour must have taken a sharp blow to the head somewhere along the line.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:51 PM
coolluv coolluv is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by delphied View Post
Bingo, we have a winner. This guy is a textbook case and the reason mowing isnt worth doing anymore. At least half the guys in lawn care do it for too cheap and cant figure out why they dont make money or even dont realize they arent making near enough. Anyone that charges 50 per hour knowing a crews labor costs alone are 60 per hour must have taken a sharp blow to the head somewhere along the line.
Exactly, you have to think ahead. What I mean is you have to get out of that solo mentality even while your solo. I don't win many bids because I price my work to make a profit and that way eventually I can pay a helper and then eventually get out of doing the physical work and run the business.

Guys want to grow too fast and will trip over their Dick to get accounts. Same with commercial. What good is having work and chasing your tale if your only making peanuts and wearing everything out including yourself.

Slow healthy profitable growth is the way to go. That way you can afford to hire when it is the right time and still be profitable.

I can work my @$$ off and go broke or I can sit on the couch in the A/C and go broke. Id rather sit in the A/C.

But hey that's me.

Dave...
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:01 PM
newtostone newtostone is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NY
Posts: 681
If I am correct he said his labor rate is 50 per hour. I would assume it would be 50 per hour per worker, Or for a crew it would be 150 per hour. I really don't think he could be where he is at now if he was losing $10 per hour every day. Even making 150 per hour its still hard making money mowing when you take in consideration the overhead involved. I would love to hear others input that have been in the same boat many of us are stuck in. Please keep this thread on track boys.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 07-07-2011, 07:41 AM
delphied delphied is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Flint Michigan
Posts: 2,064
I think that in one thread he said his labor cost alone was a little over 60 per hour. In another thread he said he bids the jobs at 50 per hour. I think there are a whole bunch of guys stuck in this situation too and thats why it is a good business to get out of.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:26 PM.

Page generated in 0.08469 seconds with 9 queries