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Old 01-03-2013, 02:38 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is offline
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Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by snomaha View Post
Good discussion on a relevant topic.

My experience has been that between start-up and $1,000,000 in revenue the owner is wearing many hats and takes sweat equity in lieu of a fair market wage. Once that 1m in revenue hits you better be profitable and paying yourself a fair market wage because you no longer can handle all the functional roles of the business - seems like around the 20 employee mark this happens.

The next jump from 1m - 3.5m in revenue is tough. You are adding management infrastructure to continue to grow which drives down profitability. I think this is one of the most important points i discuss with my accountant - you have to have capital in the business to survive the push from 1m - 3.5m. Live off your wage and leave the profit in the company to fund growth. This is also the point when many realize that managing the balance sheet is just as important as managing the P & L statement. Try and get a line of credit increased or consolidate equipment debt if your balance sheet is out of whack - banks don't like it!

just my 2 cents for now.....
Very true statements

The business owner oversees everything from maintenance to books until it become necessary to put other people into those roles.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:28 PM
rbljack rbljack is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
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this is a great discussion that im following closely. I started tracking my numbers a bit closer last year using an excel spreadsheet, so i can start to break down my numbers and see where Im at...and where im going. My resisdential crappy mower broke last season, so i went out and financed a new honda hrc 21 inch mower (most yards i do are smaller) and im very happy with it. Long story made short, at some point, that mower will have to be replaced. So even after its paid for, there still has be a way to replace that mower down the road, so it must be calculated into the man hours cost. Im taking notes yall....LOL.

Im taking a lot from this posting, so thanks to everyone for their contributions and points of view.

debt free or paid for equipment does allow you to be more competivite on your prices, but you still have to break down your numbers and determine what your costs are, and from there, determine what you want your profit margin to be based on where you are currently at. interesting..... and makes sense. As time goes by and the buisness grows (hopefully) the numbers game continues, and you must be staged to grow with the buisness and the grass that we mow...LOL.
Equipment Stolen/ Please Help and watch for:
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer with 3 place trimmer rack and two blower racks
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2014 Stihl KM130R edger and trimmer shafts

2013 Stihl BR600 Backpack blower

Last edited by rbljack; 01-03-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:12 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
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It is a great topic and hopefully this thread is read by many - good info @snomaha
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:33 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Location: Greenville, SC
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I'm currently bidding landscaping jobs at 45/mhr with a 20% markup any subs prices and a 10% markup on materiel handling cost and take the total and add another 10% for uh oh factor so far it's worked out good, we dont get every job we bid but the ones we do get we make decent money. The market here won't really bear much more than that, I've been told on a few occasions we are high but it was a fair bid they just didn't have the budget. I think when you break down your prices within reason for the customer and educate them it makes them feel better about your bidding. I had a phamplet made up about RED FLAGS in the contracting industry and give it to the customer and tell them weather they choose us or not please be careful about the so called "Low price leader" and that great price usually comes with the long term consequence of a poor job. Just today, I was ask to bid on a repair job because the customer got a great deal but can't get in touch with the contractor to fix the poor workmanship he did.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:44 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Well Some one spank me if I am wrong but Vander Kooi has some good info on mark ups and how to bid work.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:33 AM
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lawnpropm lawnpropm is offline
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Cant beat free info thats valid and relevant! Lawnsite needs more threads like this...Subscribed
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:24 AM
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Location: GSO NC
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A easy way to think of it is!

When you grow or expand,the profit level will drop as you expand.But as you expand the profit level will slowly catch back up. This will continue as you grow the business. Its a cycle that ALL business go through,its no way around it.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:59 PM
Charity P. Charity P. is offline
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Location: Frederick, Maryland
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Check out these info graphics - they walk you through step by step on how to calculate your man hour rating and then how to figure out if your customers are paying you the man hour rating you want/need.


CLIP Software - "Your Success is Our Business!"
For routing, scheduling, job costing and billing made by and for Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping Companies.

CLIP Lawn Care, LLC - Take back your Saturdays!
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:27 PM
Barrett Landscaping Barrett Landscaping is online now
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It also depends on what, if any equipment is being used....
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:26 AM
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chrisvinky chrisvinky is offline
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Location: Central City, KY
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Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
From what I have encountered there are so many guys in this industry who are truly craftsmen - EXCELLENT at working "in" their business. They know how to do the work very, very well. The problem is, this is probably only 25% of the challenge.

We've all seen it before, and our industry is no exception. A guy is really good at making pizza. He likes cooking. He doesn't want to work for someone else making $9 an hour, so he opens his own pizza shop. How many pizza shops are for sale right now on Craigslist? Plenty.


Because they know how to make pizza, but they have know idea how to run a business.
You must have read "The E-Myth"
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