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  #11  
Old 01-21-2012, 06:23 PM
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KrayzKajun KrayzKajun is online now
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Great advice & tools that can used by most of us.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2012, 07:29 PM
lawntennis lawntennis is offline
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Rodney- Great Thread. I think you would enjoy "The E-Myth Revisited". It talks a lot about working on your business rather than in it. Buy the CD's and play them when you are fixing something. It makes the time go faster and you learn a little.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2012, 06:25 PM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Thank you for your comments!

Hopefully it will help someone.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2012, 10:27 PM
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Turfdoctor1 Turfdoctor1 is offline
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Great thread, Rodney.

I got sick last spring, had kidney failure. I was in the hospital for 8 days, and was on kidney dialysis for 8 weeks. Thank God I healed quickly and fully. But, it was scary. I am also thankful that I had guys that I could rely on. Like you said, the business kept going without me.

I am not at the point where I have a GM, but like the idea.

Do you mind if I ask some questions?

What tasks does the GM do? Are you still busy? Or, are you just a figure head and enjoy your free time? Is the GM busy? Does he do your routing, daily stuff with the employees? Who answers the phone, does estimates, etc? If the GM does that, what do you do?

Finally, most importantly, how much revenue did this generate? Did the position pay for itself, or just take a load off you? We will hopefully do $500,000-$600,000 this year, but I can't imagine being able to afford paying a GM. Maybe I am just greedy though (and young and not ready to have spare time).

Again, I greatly appreciate the thread. I am very happy for you. Best of luck!
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2012, 09:41 AM
greenskeeper44 greenskeeper44 is online now
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great thread...e-myth is a great read for any business owner....alot of times we think we can do everything and thats what hold us back....at least me!......glad to hear people are doing well...turfdoctor havent been on in a while but thanks for your help a couple seasons ago! How many team members and accounts are you up to now? Just curious how many guys it takes to produce $500k in revenues profitably... Were at 3 people right now and considering adding another......just doesnt feel right yet
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2012, 09:56 AM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turfdoctor1 View Post
Great thread, Rodney.

I got sick last spring, had kidney failure. I was in the hospital for 8 days, and was on kidney dialysis for 8 weeks. Thank God I healed quickly and fully. But, it was scary. I am also thankful that I had guys that I could rely on. Like you said, the business kept going without me.

I am not at the point where I have a GM, but like the idea.

Do you mind if I ask some questions?

What tasks does the GM do? Are you still busy? Or, are you just a figure head and enjoy your free time? Is the GM busy? Does he do your routing, daily stuff with the employees? Who answers the phone, does estimates, etc? If the GM does that, what do you do?

Finally, most importantly, how much revenue did this generate? Did the position pay for itself, or just take a load off you? We will hopefully do $500,000-$600,000 this year, but I can't imagine being able to afford paying a GM. Maybe I am just greedy though (and young and not ready to have spare time).

Again, I greatly appreciate the thread. I am very happy for you. Best of luck!
Questions are fine but I think every operation and business is different so my answers may not fit anyone else. But there are several things that we must have in common when we are looking for a person like this.

Trusting, honesty, loyal, hardworking...and at the end of the day we must reward them for their efforts.

They must care and run the business as if it were their own. The only way they will do this is if you let them have "ownership" and reward them for the love and hard work they put into the business.

The reason I hired a GM is I was getting tired of working from sun up to sun down. I also farm and have another business that required time along with being a Twp Trustee and being involved in local county government.

However...if I were doing lawn care alone...I would will have him.

We are buried right now and we are in January. As of today we have 26 lawns left to measure from last weekends show. We are getting our marketing ready for next year and the busy office work that I hated so much.

And we still have 3 weekends of home shows left.

His duties are to manange the day to day operations. That is customer information, customer support, sales, routing, and billing etc. He also is currently running all estimates.

He has lifted a 2 ton weight off my chest.

Trust me I have a lot more time on my hands then I ever have but I still work probably 20+ hours a week with Lawn Plus. The rest of my time is spent with my other buisness's and politics.

As far as the position paying for itself...starting out I would say no, but you have to see what and where you want your business to be in the future.

I couldn't have grown anymore with just myself. Now the opportunity is endless.

For instance he cold called a landscaper back in August and we just signed $6500 in commercial contract applications in November.

We CLOSED $6300 from the Home Show last weekend and as I stated we still have to measure 26 lawns that are hot leads that we are trying to close.

So to answer you, yes he more then covers his wages if you will...but one must be willing to "step out" and see the big picture.

If you don't have goals or hire the wrong person I think you will fail!

Hiring the right person for the job is KEY!!!!!

The first person I hired back in January FAILED ME within months! All he wanted to do was sit in the office and drink coffee and collect a check. After I let him go he even put a bogus workmans comp claim on me. He could have cared less about my business...and his attitude was "what can you do for me?"

My new GM has been with me since August and he is taking us to a whole new level because he cares, has a vision and truly cares about me and my business.

Just as I care about him and his family and want to see him do well.

But at the end of the day you can't be greedy and want to keep all your money. It comes down to you have to spend money to make money. And what could be a better way then to reduce stress, pay a guy to manage your business and increase sales.

This may sound stupid...but where would the owner of McDonalds be today if he still tried to do his own marketing, order his own supplies, cook it and sell it etc.?

See where it went when he hired people to run his business?

Again...a far fetched example but I think you see what I am saying.


Hope this isn't too long but you asked!
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2012, 11:07 AM
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Harley-D Harley-D is offline
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Great thread.

An industry quote comes to mind: "Let Go and Let Grow"

On the flip side, be leary of growing too fast. By this i mean become familiar with the law of diminishing returns. I would google it and read up on it. It mainly applies to production of materials but i think it applies to service as well.

I have been asking customers and other company owners for about 4 years now...Don't you get what you pay for!!!???? Hire someone, give them responsiblity, pay them and if they don't work, go to the next one.

Great job Rod!!! That's awesome.
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2012, 11:49 AM
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Lefet Lefet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcreech View Post
Questions are fine but I think every operation and business is different so my answers may not fit anyone else. But there are several things that we must have in common when we are looking for a person like this.

Trusting, honesty, loyal, hardworking...and at the end of the day we must reward them for their efforts.

They must care and run the business as if it were their own. The only way they will do this is if you let them have "ownership" and reward them for the love and hard work they put into the business.

The reason I hired a GM is I was getting tired of working from sun up to sun down. I also farm and have another business that required time along with being a Twp Trustee and being involved in local county government.

However...if I were doing lawn care alone...I would will have him.

We are buried right now and we are in January. As of today we have 26 lawns left to measure from last weekends show. We are getting our marketing ready for next year and the busy office work that I hated so much.

And we still have 3 weekends of home shows left.

His duties are to manange the day to day operations. That is customer information, customer support, sales, routing, and billing etc. He also is currently running all estimates.

He has lifted a 2 ton weight off my chest.

Trust me I have a lot more time on my hands then I ever have but I still work probably 20+ hours a week with Lawn Plus. The rest of my time is spent with my other buisness's and politics.

As far as the position paying for itself...starting out I would say no, but you have to see what and where you want your business to be in the future.

I couldn't have grown anymore with just myself. Now the opportunity is endless.

For instance he cold called a landscaper back in August and we just signed $6500 in commercial contract applications in November.

We CLOSED $6300 from the Home Show last weekend and as I stated we still have to measure 26 lawns that are hot leads that we are trying to close.

So to answer you, yes he more then covers his wages if you will...but one must be willing to "step out" and see the big picture.

If you don't have goals or hire the wrong person I think you will fail!

Hiring the right person for the job is KEY!!!!!

The first person I hired back in January FAILED ME within months! All he wanted to do was sit in the office and drink coffee and collect a check. After I let him go he even put a bogus workmans comp claim on me. He could have cared less about my business...and his attitude was "what can you do for me?"

My new GM has been with me since August and he is taking us to a whole new level because he cares, has a vision and truly cares about me and my business.

Just as I care about him and his family and want to see him do well.

But at the end of the day you can't be greedy and want to keep all your money. It comes down to you have to spend money to make money. And what could be a better way then to reduce stress, pay a guy to manage your business and increase sales.

This may sound stupid...but where would the owner of McDonalds be today if he still tried to do his own marketing, order his own supplies, cook it and sell it etc.?

See where it went when he hired people to run his business?

Again...a far fetched example but I think you see what I am saying.


Hope this isn't too long but you asked!
Very inspiring, very well thought out. Excellent advice.
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2012, 12:01 PM
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whoopassonthebluegrass whoopassonthebluegrass is offline
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This is anecdotal, but a close friend of mine owns a screen printing company. He and his wife ran it together for a few years. Then they decided to quit being slaves to the job and began hiring employees.

Long story short, their income did not rebound and surpass their original earnings as a couple until they had 14 employees!!! YET, now they are completely secure, free to do as they wish, and are some of the most charitable and benevolent people I've ever met... and NONE of those traits would be manifest if they had continued to run the business themselves.

I'm happy for you, Rodney. I've been too chicken to cede control of any part of my business, and as a result, I've been stagnant for 3 years now. Working on changes right now...
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  #20  
Old 01-23-2012, 07:39 PM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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And to think Rodney, a couple of years ago you were seriously thinking about getting out of the lawn care business!
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