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  #61  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:06 AM
arninglawns arninglawns is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Friendswood, TX
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs.landscaping View Post
How do you not have a job? There are companies around me that gross over 5 mil... and you know what the owner still shows up everyday. Do you have an example of these "systems" because I've been doing this for close to 9 years and I still wake up and go to work everyday.
In my opinion, it all boils down to spending your time training people and providing them with good equipment from weedeaters to scheduling software. I stuggled with, and I know many on here do, thinking I'm the only person in the world who can do what I do. Once you realize that is not the case, you can replace yourself. Always be thinking of ways to automate a process or make it easy for anyone to understand. I would highly recommend anyone to read the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books. It will change the way you look at your business. In the past 4 years, I went from mowing every single yard I have to not even knowing what yards in my neighborhood we mow, and taking Summer vacations to Europe with my family. I went from coming home filthy and exhausted to not even touching a weedeater for 2 years now.

Some examples of systems I use:
Train someone to bid yards over the phone at the time of the call. Create a formula that works for you, using square footage data found online. No more driving to every house, so they can waste your time with lowball offers, etc.

Send invoices monthly via email. Takes someone less than an hour. No more stuffing envelopes or (shutter) driving around knocking on doors to collect.

Scheduling software that maps your routes and optimizes them to reduce drive time for your crews. It takes a few minutes a week to sort the list for the crews. Send them as a PDF file to your crew leaders.

Stop offering services that require you to go hold the customer's hand. Or better yet, sub it out. You could develop a relationship with a tree guy or a landscaper, and have them go take care of these jobs that suck up all your time.

All of these things can be done from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Hope this helps.
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Arning Lawns
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  #62  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:07 PM
vinnieobrien vinnieobrien is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs.landscaping View Post
I think you are missing something in your example.... These are multi million if not billion dollar corporations. Chances are if you had the money they do you wouldn't be interested in Starting an LCO. This kind of sounds like my wife "you work for your parents can't you take a couple days off?" No one realizes even with crews I am the first guy in the morning and the last guy to leave, and last time I checked on those 90 degree days I wasn't in an A/C office, or on a yacht or hammock. I was trimming or sitting on a mower. If you really want to make that income right off the bat take out your checkbook and buy out a large well established business.
My wright stander is my yacht
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  #63  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:24 PM
FoghornLeghorn FoghornLeghorn is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 644
You must have a brain tumor that affects your cognitive ability if you're considering leaving that job for this crap industry...
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  #64  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:45 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ragland Al
Posts: 10,774
This is my second go around in this business.

I will say its my "PASSION" as I enjoy maintaing peoples homes.

I had the deciend job when I stated my current business.
I spent 1 year purchasing equiptment, I found a lot of graeat deals and most of my equiptment including truck is worth far more that what I paid for it. That in itself cut down on a whole lot of "RISK"
I worked part time in my business for 2 years, I was able to work 4 10 hour shifts at my regular job and one day was Sunday, that left me 3 days to build my business.
Ive been ful time for the past 3 years, the first year was a struggle, and its still a struggle to get through the winter.

If your debt free and can pay cash for your equiptment I would consider quitting a decient job. Jobs arent that secure anymore anyways. That is provided this business is your "PASSION"

All of the fellers in my aera are SOLO, I simply dont think a crew can compete with us on quality and price.

Accoisanlly some sell their business and thats also a good way to start.
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  #65  
Old 05-22-2012, 02:41 AM
DMVPropertyCare's Avatar
DMVPropertyCare DMVPropertyCare is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Waldorf, MD
Posts: 39
I did. I left my government job at Andrews AFB, MD to do what I enjoy. I was stuck in a position with no room for promotion. So i was locked in a GS rating that kept me from moving up. I am happy with being self employed. plus i work at night on a panama schedule as a DoD contractor. So im doing ok. My goal is for my business to excel but I know that takes time.
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  #66  
Old 05-22-2012, 04:04 AM
cgaengineer's Avatar
cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Winder, GA
Posts: 15,777
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
Wow that's funny $hit right there. You forgot some expenses.

Dave...
Yeah...like take about another 15k of that 41k

I'll call you later this morning D, wife's bday last night.
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  #67  
Old 05-24-2012, 03:00 PM
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The Yard Dog The Yard Dog is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by arninglawns View Post
In my opinion, it all boils down to spending your time training people and providing them with good equipment from weedeaters to scheduling software. I stuggled with, and I know many on here do, thinking I'm the only person in the world who can do what I do. Once you realize that is not the case, you can replace yourself. Always be thinking of ways to automate a process or make it easy for anyone to understand. I would highly recommend anyone to read the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books. It will change the way you look at your business. In the past 4 years, I went from mowing every single yard I have to not even knowing what yards in my neighborhood we mow, and taking Summer vacations to Europe with my family. I went from coming home filthy and exhausted to not even touching a weedeater for 2 years now.

Some examples of systems I use:
Train someone to bid yards over the phone at the time of the call. Create a formula that works for you, using square footage data found online. No more driving to every house, so they can waste your time with lowball offers, etc.

Send invoices monthly via email. Takes someone less than an hour. No more stuffing envelopes or (shutter) driving around knocking on doors to collect.

Scheduling software that maps your routes and optimizes them to reduce drive time for your crews. It takes a few minutes a week to sort the list for the crews. Send them as a PDF file to your crew leaders.

Stop offering services that require you to go hold the customer's hand. Or better yet, sub it out. You could develop a relationship with a tree guy or a landscaper, and have them go take care of these jobs that suck up all your time.

All of these things can be done from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Hope this helps.
Great post.
Posted via Mobile Device
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  #68  
Old 05-24-2012, 03:08 PM
The Yard Dog's Avatar
The Yard Dog The Yard Dog is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by kse1221 View Post
Simple question.....

Who would quit their job making $58000 to start a landscape maintenance business. thats with 401k matching 6% and paying $315 for health benefits a month. Just curious.. how many crews would i need to make this in the business?
It can be done and I am in the process of doing it now. I am a coach and a teacher and I have a crew that mows 135 yards per week. 2 years ago I mowed 20 yards per week, last year I hired 2 guys that did 80per week and by the end if this summer we will be doing 150 or more. Ive seen less than half of my yards and we make good money every week. Also I have done this while still working my other job. Do not listen to the naysayers on here talk about what can't be done. If you are organized and have a plan you can be successful and make plenty of money in this industry. Feel free to PM me your cell and I'll call u and talk about some of the things that have worked for me.
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  #69  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:03 PM
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PerfectEarth PerfectEarth is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 1,677
Great thread. Reading it so far has been very therapeutic for me, lol... many great points.

1. No one will EVER dedicate themselves to your business as much as you- this takes hours that even the hardest of workers will struggle with.
2. Wife/Gf/fiance issues- MUST have someone who understands. I couldn't fathom doing this with a woman who groaned about my schedule- it simply wouldn't work.
3. The actual WORK is easy. I can trim shrubs, weed eat, and plant trees all day long. Try wearing 87 hats (accountant, banker, salesman, mechanic, laborer, estimator, secretary, driver, manager, boss, delivery guy, hand holder...... and so on) and see how that goes.
4. You pay yourself last.... I'll probably hit 100k in revenues at the end of this month and I've paid myself 3,000.00 this year.
5. CASH FLOW, receivables, material expenses, suppliers, you must be on it ALL, all the time.
6. Expect to do all "fun" things on weekend and evenings completely exhausted and wanting to crawl in a hole.
7. Seasonality- as was said, how much cash goes out the door at the start of the year and then you have to wait until now to start actually building it up... OH, then you have a truck or machine that goes in and needs 4,000.00 in work... OH, then it's quarterly tax time...bye bye money... OH, then you're third guy quits. Rearrange the schedule....

I'm preaching to the choir. Thank God it's rewarding work. ha
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  #70  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:17 PM
highlander316 highlander316 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectEarth View Post
Great thread. Reading it so far has been very therapeutic for me, lol... many great points.

1. No one will EVER dedicate themselves to your business as much as you- this takes hours that even the hardest of workers will struggle with.
2. Wife/Gf/fiance issues- MUST have someone who understands. I couldn't fathom doing this with a woman who groaned about my schedule- it simply wouldn't work.
3. The actual WORK is easy. I can trim shrubs, weed eat, and plant trees all day long. Try wearing 87 hats (accountant, banker, salesman, mechanic, laborer, estimator, secretary, driver, manager, boss, delivery guy, hand holder...... and so on) and see how that goes.
4. You pay yourself last.... I'll probably hit 100k in revenues at the end of this month and I've paid myself 3,000.00 this year.
5. CASH FLOW, receivables, material expenses, suppliers, you must be on it ALL, all the time.
6. Expect to do all "fun" things on weekend and evenings completely exhausted and wanting to crawl in a hole.
7. Seasonality- as was said, how much cash goes out the door at the start of the year and then you have to wait until now to start actually building it up... OH, then you have a truck or machine that goes in and needs 4,000.00 in work... OH, then it's quarterly tax time...bye bye money... OH, then you're third guy quits. Rearrange the schedule....

I'm preaching to the choir. Thank God it's rewarding work. ha
BINGO! You really gotta have the heart and soul for this business.
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