Register free!
Search
 
     

Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-22-2013, 03:29 PM
Mbt23 Mbt23 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 7
Any strictly landscaping/hardscaping companies?

I am located around Buffalo NY and have been working alongside a family business for 11 years and I am wanting to go on my own for personal reasons. Currently my company cuts lawns (both commercial and residential) and does landscaping. I greatly enjoy doing the landscaping aspect of the business (especially hardscaping), not so much the mowing side of things. I know there are greater profit margins in the landscaping side of things which is very appealing to me. I guess my question is, is it possible to start a company and continue to grow it, without the lawn cutting side of things? I would much rather focus on the installing and tear out process of things as well as the hardscaping side.

Although I don't have to much experience in irrigation systems (have done 2), I would not be apposed to that. Most local guys in the area don't mix irrigation with landscaping, they strictly do irrigation.

What do you guys think?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-22-2013, 03:43 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 2,958
The diverse services that you offer the more equipment you will need. This will increase your start up cost.

There have been posters here that never want to touch a mower. Others that would not let go of their mower. The reason is that it provides diversification. Times go bad people do not do hardscapes. Though people always need mowing.

Then some say they get more hardscape then they can handle every year. Others say the mowing keeps the money flowing when the hardscape work drops off.

No wrong or right way.

I remember a poster though not his screen name. All he does is mowing and only mowing, and that's all he wants to do.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:12 PM
cpllawncare's Avatar
cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 2,647
I started out strictly maint, then eased into design build, actually still easing LOL, for the very reason vld mentioned start up cost is high not to mention finding truly good help on the design build side is super tough, a lot of guys THINK they can do hardscaping but they basically just want to throw some stuff in there and call it a day, you won't get very far that way you HAVE to be very quality conscious because most all of the people you do work for are high end and will pay but the quality HAS to be there.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:34 PM
93Chevy's Avatar
93Chevy 93Chevy is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 32,091
I work for a company that only does high-end design build. I run the sole maintenance crew which is only highly-detailed bed maintenance for completed projects, if the customers want us to maintain their landscapes for them. Since I don't have enough maintenance work to keep me busy throughout the weeks, my other time is typically spent detailing the tail end of jobs and working on small planting jobs, etc. Our other 4 crews implement the designs. Our grass cutting and fert is subbed out.

It takes a long time to build a company of that caliber. We've been in business more or less about 40 years. We very rarely do small projects anymore, typically our projects range from months to over a year in one case. It's not feasible to expect that for a long time in business.

I'm not a businessman, I can't help you figure out how to build your business. I can only say that if you expand your knowledge, take good care of employees (above and beyond all your competitors), vastly exceed all customer expectations (going above and beyond all set concepts of customer service), and explain why your company is worth double the price to customers who are worth your time, then, if your market will bear it, you'll have a fantastic business model.

Just my two cents.
__________________
"Please report all incidents of vomitus and fecal contamination to management immediately"

Pittsburgh/Western PA Landscapers Networking Thread

For Sale Chevy truck parts
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-23-2013, 12:32 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: County Jail
Posts: 5,689
It's all about numbers and cash flow.

Look at it this way:

Ok, a new car dealership not only sells cars but they also do maintenance and sell parts.

So think of installation as selling cars.

Here is a fact: if car dealerships sold ONLY new cars (and trucks) - they would go bankrupt. They rely on the maintenance and parts for cash flow.

The same analogy applies to landscape install and Hardscape.

You NEED cash flow. And for a small landscape / Hardscape co - there are slow periods. Winter. The last two weeks of July and 1st 2 weeks of August. And the week of school starting is slow. As well as December, due to the holidays.

Mowing equals cash flow.

Mowing does not have to be profitable, you can use the install work for the profit. Mowing should at a min make enough to pay the bills. And the install make the profit.

Hardscaping is very competitive. Cut throat rates. And for a small operator tht focuses on quality and craftsmanship - it's really hard to make a living and be competitive.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-23-2013, 08:18 AM
cpllawncare's Avatar
cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 2,647
What DVS said!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:59 AM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
LawnSite Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake beach
Posts: 4,475
DVS what do you do for cash flow? I always assumed you were strictly hardacaping.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-23-2013, 01:06 PM
alldayrj's Avatar
alldayrj alldayrj is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Long island, NY
Posts: 2,756
I dont even mow my own grass if thats any help lol. Just know that you need to sell a new patio etc every week or work runs out. So where are your leads coming from?
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-23-2013, 02:05 PM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: County Jail
Posts: 5,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiffyspark View Post
DVS what do you do for cash flow? I always assumed you were strictly hardacaping.
Posted via Mobile Device
I don't have the final numbers, we still do hardscaping, and will continue to do so for about another 5 years. But for 2013 hardscaping only accounts for less than 12% of my revenue. Where as before it was over 80%.

Good things can and do come from bad. The recession inadvertently got me into a whole other service pertaining to the excavation and demolition industry. In the next 12-36 months I plan to register the other service under its own name for marketing purposes. Cash flow is no longer an issue like it was when we did hardscaping. However, cash flow is ALWAYS an issue for EVERY business, no matter what type of business it is. So even though you do something that is making you money - you always wanna have a plan or a system in place that will keep money flowing, even if its only a little bit of money. You don't wanna cut your legs off at your knees.

When I got into hardscaping I sold the maintenance accts. BIG MISTAKE. but it took me about 5 years to realize it.

When I got into hardscaping I quit plowing snow. BIG MISTAKE. but it took me about 5 years to realize it.

At the end of the recession I did dabble back in mowing residential lawns. And yes.....I had CASH FLOW once again! And it WAS profitable! But.....at that same time I was also building the excavation and demo side of the biz and didn't have the energy or desire needed to sink into the mowing, so I abandoned the mowing.

I'm very proud of our hardscaping work that we have done over the years. We have some great jobs we've done. It's enabled me to buy the place where I live and plan to until the day I die. Hardscaping has also taught me a lot about business, money, and sanity. You need cash flow. And if that's not possible - you need to be in a market where there is no recession and people have expendable income, such as the D.C. Metro region. Everyone needs sanity, and working for rates that were in place in 1997 is not a fun way to operate.

I started plowing snow again last year. But it's only for the community where I live, which is about 3-4 miles of roads, doing it for a hobby and the little bit of money I charge does come in use.
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-23-2013, 02:20 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
LawnSite Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake beach
Posts: 4,475
I'm not far from you. I'm in Calvert county. We work mostly in Annapolis area. Sometimes I'll go up to Bethesda, but I try to limit that.

I took a pool out in Bethesda in one of our raininest springs in history. 4 day Jon turned into almost 2 months before we were done. That job almost ate me alive

That good thing is I can get my mhic in the spring and expand some
Posted via Mobile Device
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 07:25 AM.

Page generated in 0.07576 seconds with 9 queries