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  #21  
Old 07-04-2011, 05:11 PM
guitarman2420 guitarman2420 is offline
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Location: Midlothian, VA
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I agree that don't have enough revenue to support myself being a full time "office manager". As I said earlier, I am out in the field at least 70% of the time doing production work. I have tried to do the majority of my work in the landscaping/install area. As far as being the supervisor of the 3rd crew, that is exactly what I am doing - the 3rd crew is my install, special projects crew. I am willing to learn from whomever will help, my pride left along time ago. When you start losing money that you can keep for yourself, you leave your pride at the door. I have 2 crew leaders/drivers who do a good job of up-selling. One of my challenges is to match the extra sales with the labor available without paying overtime.
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  #22  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:16 PM
guitarman2420 guitarman2420 is offline
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What I mean by planning my labor better without overtime is that it is difficult to schedule my regular mowing maintenance business and then have the people exactly when I need them for doing the extra projects. I guess that's when it makes more sense to use temp agencies to provide the manpower for the specific jobs when we have the revenue to match up with it. Someone said something about finding employees on Craig's list. I've never done that - I use SnagaJob, which seems to work well.
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  #23  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:25 PM
guitarman2420 guitarman2420 is offline
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How do you manage to have the techs do the work while they are on site? When I've tried that it slows them down and they aren't able to get their entire route finished unless I end up paying them O.T., which then affects the way I priced the job in the beginning. Also, I've had a problem matching the route maintenance guys with specific, more challenging jobs such as irrigation heads, pruning, etc. Your thoughts?
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  #24  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:40 PM
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willretire@40 willretire@40 is offline
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This is why I offer mowing only. You know your cost every week. Charge there credit card that night and money in the account the next day. Then you pay the guys per job and teach them that working on saturdays suck and the get their work done by Friday with no problems. You don't have to worry about them milking the clock.
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  #25  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:42 PM
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94gt331 94gt331 is offline
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Guitarman i feel your pain. Your numbers of 400,000 a year seem to be really on track for a 5 man crew. You must have a high overhead and expenses etc.
But anyway i wanted to type a thread about this also. Buisness picked up really fast for me as well, i love this buisness so much and wanted to expand early on. I went from solo and 1part time guy making around 100,000 a year to 3 full time guys making 200,000 a year which sucks especially when you have 4 trucks etc. and mower payments. I would be working my butt off making decent money doing landscaping when i had 3 guys mowing making $500-600 a day mowing, in turn the maint grew was losing me money.. I was totally upset at the end of the last two years when winter hit and i didnt have any money in the bank account and owed a few thousand dollars to mulch accounts. This year i swear to stay solo with 2 part time employees. I'm making great money now. The bank account is stacked with extra money. My vendors are allways caught up too.. That's my story being big isn't for everyone. I'm staying where im at now ,but anyone that is larger than the mid zone and can make good money hats off to you. Bigger guys how did u deal getting out of the mid zone?
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  #26  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:43 PM
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willretire@40 willretire@40 is offline
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Oh and one mower, 2 trimmer and 2 handheld blowers and a 5x10 trailer with a Ford ranger.
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  #27  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:56 PM
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vencops vencops is offline
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Quote:
Then you pay the guys per job
How does this work?
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  #28  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:03 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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Location: Richmond Virginia
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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.


Yup, yup, I kept saying it, I've been saying it for a number of years now...
I'll keep a real long story short, what you speak of is just how it is.

There are so many customers, and there are so many companies.
The numbers do fluctuate some but they are real and they are pretty much what they are (read: good as fixed).
So the only way to get more than your fair share of work is to lower your prices.
And the only way to rake in the profits is to compromise your work load (by raising your prices).
Either way you can't ever quite win lol

So there you have it, some folks here think I'm disgruntled
In reality they're likely the ones who haven't seen the light!

Look man, it's actually funny once you get over that hump, way I do things is I got my prices a little on the high side so I don't work as much,
why I've been saying, why bust a sweat over it, you know it's all the same money at the end of the week anyhow

It's all the same, now I got time to do the maintenance, sit around play on the PC, dig?

Well, I tried to keep it short.

Last edited by topsites; 07-04-2011 at 10:12 PM.
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  #29  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:17 PM
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P.Services P.Services is online now
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With good people, good systems, good equipment, good marketing, good pricing you will blow any solo guy away.
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  #30  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:17 PM
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94gt331 94gt331 is offline
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Good point topsites about it allways is the same amout of money at the end of the week. good luck guitar man with your decision. You can still make good money on a small scale, don't be afraid to downsize. It's worth it to lose all the headaches. Just speaking from someone that went through it also
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