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  #1031  
Old 08-22-2008, 06:59 PM
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TXNSLighting TXNSLighting is offline
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Its amazing the difference from the beginning of this thread... What a biz youve grown! I think this winter you need to take a pic of everything now! like a side by side. that would be cool. pavers are awesome by the way.
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  #1032  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:04 PM
Tony Clifton Tony Clifton is offline
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Originally Posted by cleancutccl View Post
Jarod, did you write the estimating software or are you using a box software? I'm looking to speed up our estimate process by moving to a software that we can add production times for different processes and just fill in the blanks and watch the calculations. We estimate using the MORS system which might be similar to what you do. Thanks.
How's that system working for you, and when did you purchase it?
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  #1033  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:00 PM
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etwman etwman is offline
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One's estimating program is only as good as knowing your employees talents and efficiencies. I have custom built our program over the years and it works very well for what we do. I can take look at an extensive plan, do a quick site visit, and usually project (within a couple man hours) how long it'll take to build it in a short time. Take me out to your project and ask me how much I would charge using your guys, equipment, etc. I'd be lost in a minute.

What estimating program is better than another? Find what works for you, know your company and its talents, and charge what you need to charge to make money. Furthermore, know what your operating expenses are, that is so vital to the success of a seasonal business. If you don't know those numbers you might as well sell now.
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  #1034  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:59 PM
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STIHL GUY STIHL GUY is online now
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nice equipment
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2005 Chevrolet 2500HD LS 4x4 6.0L
8' Fisher MM Snowplow
6.5' x 14' Big Tex Open Trailer
61'' Scag V-Ride 29 HP Kawi
48" Exmark Lazer Z HP
48'' Bobcat Ransome Mower
21'' Husqvarna Mower
Stihl FS55R Weedwacker
Stihl FS100RX Weedwacker
Stihl BR600 Backpack Blower
Stihl MS180C Chainsaw
Giant Vac Walk Behind Blower
Kawasaki KHT600S Hedge Trimmer
Giant Vac 16HP Leaf Loader
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  #1035  
Old 08-23-2008, 12:55 AM
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meets1 meets1 is offline
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That is so true - know your operating expenses! That can't be said enough.

I see so many guys come and go but yet i am still here. I think to myself - at times I wonder if I am doing the right/wrong thing but something is working for me and my company.

Just got word today that a competitor of mine been in business for a while, 4 man crew, new everything - sold out today to a window washing business. He said there was no money in it, guys need badysitting, etc. Bottom line - operating expenses! KNOW THEM!
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  #1036  
Old 08-23-2008, 08:33 AM
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etwman etwman is offline
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There is a number, which I just happened to call the "Golden Number", which is what it cost you daily to operate your business. This would be what you have to net each day to just cash flow your company. This doesn't include gas, employees, etc. These are your fixed costs, insurance, rent/mortgage, equipment payments, and the list goes on and on. You probably could put your salary in there because you have to be paid or the company doesn't exist, but that is arguable. So many guys don't know that number, or know it and divide it out over 365 days and feel confident they'll make it work. You are in a seasonal business, divide it by 365 and it will put you in the poor house real quick. Take out winter (forget snow removal, don't even bank on that) 10 weeks, less weekends, less holidays, less .5 rain days a week, and what are you left with? About 200 working days a year. Take your annual fixed costs and divide them by 200, that'll give you your golden number of what you have to earn each day, NET, than that'll cover your operating costs. You actually want to make money, you have to exceed that golden number consistantly. Is it overly conservative, maybe, but you end up working more than 200 days a year that's money in the bank. When someone outside the industry thinks its so easy to make money in this line of work you can slap them upside the head and give them this scenerio. Tell them they would be have to work all year long, stay in their current house, make 2/3 their salary, and find a way to make it work, you'd get a good look for sure. The less debt you have, the lower that golden number. Mega debt and no assets will burn you fast. There are lots of ways to lower that Golden Number. The lower it is, the better you position yourself, the longer you will last in slow times. Lets call this business 101.
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  #1037  
Old 08-23-2008, 09:27 PM
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meets1 meets1 is offline
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ETW - that is awesome!

Enough said!=))
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  #1038  
Old 09-04-2008, 02:10 AM
GroundScapesIncorporated GroundScapesIncorporated is offline
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Jarod, how bout quick tech tip on running string lines?
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  #1039  
Old 09-04-2008, 02:35 PM
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mag360 mag360 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundScapesIncorporated View Post
Jarod, how bout quick tech tip on running string lines?
Hire employees who can run string lines
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  #1040  
Old 09-15-2008, 08:15 PM
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etwman etwman is offline
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Here's a couple from a project we are wrapping up in Hershey. There was about 480 linear feet of fieldstone walls and 300 or so pieces of plant material. There are Integral lights about every 8 feet that have to be hooked up along with quite a bit of uplighting in the beds. We have another sizable natural stone project coming up shortly, so yes we do natural work as well.

The second was a small firepit that we did in the same development.

With the signing of another proposal today we are just about booked for the rest of the year. We are into mid December at a minimum.
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