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  #2471  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:00 PM
xclusive xclusive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etwman View Post
We've spent about $25k in computer hardware and software for our two architects that we now have in house. We are still adding plugins and enhancing the 3D imaging. This is just one of the things that's pretty cool for 2012 with us.
Those designs look great! The work your company does is amazing. What program(s) did your architects use for those designs?
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  #2472  
Old 01-11-2012, 02:45 PM
jg244888 jg244888 is offline
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very cool renderings! what programs you guys using now?
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  #2473  
Old 01-11-2012, 04:15 PM
ACA25 ACA25 is offline
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Originally Posted by etwman View Post
On another side note, as companies grow one thing I would encourage you all to do is to have some type of overhead recovery system in place. I haven't talked much about it, and when you are small (1-3 employees) its not super important, but as you grow you need to be able to recover fixed company costs accurately in job costing. And I mean accurately. You may think you do on a spreadsheet but I'd be willing to be the right ORS would prove you wrong. There are several available to our industry that are good. Vanderkooi has one, there's Manage 360 with Dynascapes, and a few others. Pick one, make the investment early on in your company, and it'll become a huge asset to you as you grow. There's your January advice.
Of all the advice I have seen on here, that is the single best. Most guys won't have much of an idea what you just said, but please don't let that scare you from learning about it. Vanderkooi is a great system, and one that I suggest, but the best thing to do is pick one and start integrating it into your business.
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  #2474  
Old 01-12-2012, 09:58 PM
jg244888 jg244888 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etwman View Post
On another side note, as companies grow one thing I would encourage you all to do is to have some type of overhead recovery system in place. I haven't talked much about it, and when you are small (1-3 employees) its not super important, but as you grow you need to be able to recover fixed company costs accurately in job costing. And I mean accurately. You may think you do on a spreadsheet but I'd be willing to be the right ORS would prove you wrong. There are several available to our industry that are good. Vanderkooi has one, there's Manage 360 with Dynascapes, and a few others. Pick one, make the investment early on in your company, and it'll become a huge asset to you as you grow. There's your January advice.
Which one do you guys use?
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  #2475  
Old 01-19-2012, 10:08 AM
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etwman etwman is online now
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We are using Dynascape / Sketch 3D / Manage 360 with a series of plug ins in conjunction with Google Sketchup.

Here's a very interesting statistic that a good friend sent me, some of you may have seen it before.

There are currently 73,000 Landscape companies nationwide as of last year.

5% have sales over 1 million dollars of revenue or about 3,650 companies.
5% of these 5% will go to 5 million dollars or about 182 companies.
1% of these will go to 10 million dollars or 2 companies.

Figure out where you are, and as you grow you will find that those you can relate with and bounce things off of will become fewer and fewer. The world of peers that truly understand the growing pains your enduring will become less and less. I'm not sure what the statistic is for company's that make it past 5, 10, 15 years is, I've seen it but can't remember it, but it really drops off.
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"Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc. is a high-end residential landscape & hardscape company that offers superior employment experiences for employees, exceptional opportunities for our architects, a premium service to our customers and value to the community through service and stewardship. We attempt to honor God in all we do by encouraging teamwork, pursuing excellence passionately, serving those who lead, and demonstrating stewardship of resources."
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  #2476  
Old 01-19-2012, 11:08 AM
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Those are interesting stats, but doesn't the Top 100 that Lawn & Landscape publishes every year dispute that? All top 100 range from 1.3 B to 13 M. In my area that are 2 companies that are in the 20 million/year range.

Or does this not include Nursery/Landscape companies?
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  #2477  
Old 01-19-2012, 11:57 AM
brian1425 brian1425 is offline
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etw - a couple quick questions: Last year at this time you were building an indoor display. What has the been the response to the display and how has it helped your business? Second, I am finishing reading "Becomind a Category of One" (great read), have you read Marty's book? What is on your desk that you are reading currently? It seems all good business owners are reading and adding information. I am looking for my next book.
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  #2478  
Old 01-19-2012, 07:13 PM
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etwman etwman is online now
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The display is working well. Unfortunately on a public forum I won't get into a whole lot of our marketing or customer relations work we do. That's just one road I won't go down for the world to see, we keep that pretty private to protect our company and its growth. We don't do alot of it, but what we do works and works well.

I would read Marty's book, its a good read. If you like Calloway's book you should go to GROW in Dayton from February 9-11 and hear him speak, he's very good.

Here's another good read for you. Never Eat Alone by Ferrazzi. That'll give you something to chew on for a little. I follow some of the principles in that book religously.
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"Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc. is a high-end residential landscape & hardscape company that offers superior employment experiences for employees, exceptional opportunities for our architects, a premium service to our customers and value to the community through service and stewardship. We attempt to honor God in all we do by encouraging teamwork, pursuing excellence passionately, serving those who lead, and demonstrating stewardship of resources."
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  #2479  
Old 01-19-2012, 07:34 PM
CM's CM's is offline
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Etw,

I would like to talk to you about Dynascape Manage sometime, I use their design software and talked to them extensively about Manage. It looks like a pretty good piece of software, but not all the modules were ready and we have been in on te ground floor with software before. How is it working for you? I would be happy to share some more info about myself over email. Let me know if you're interested in that. What you said about peers is dead on.
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  #2480  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:25 PM
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etwman etwman is online now
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We are young into Manage 360, our LA's use it, and with what I have seen and had my hands on it has my full approval. We made the decision to move forward with it last fall so we haven't had a full year in it yet.

Early on in my life I remember a friend saying to me the more successful you get in your business the less friends you will have that truly understand what you are going through. His words of wisdom could not be more true, though I didn't fully understand then.

Over many years I have had the opportunity to go through and see up close alot of very successful landscape companies. They've all ranged from $100k to $15M+. I've seen up close all the gears that make them function, numbers, and the list goes on and on. Some of my staff has had the opportunity to see them as well. One thing I hear over and over again is bigger is not often better. Once you break through that $3M and up company it becomes a beast of administration, equipment, staffing, and the list goes on and on AND it not always more profitable. When taking my "excited staff" to see a larger build company (because they think we need to be that big) I end up asking asking them really? Then they respond "hhhmmmm maybe not." So where am I going with this. I've seen alot of numbers, talked to alot of owners, and witnessed alot of size companies. This has really helped determine what that "sweet spot" is and how big I want to get to be most profitable and crazy efficient. Think about all this as you grow your companies and put together your long range plans.
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"Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc. is a high-end residential landscape & hardscape company that offers superior employment experiences for employees, exceptional opportunities for our architects, a premium service to our customers and value to the community through service and stewardship. We attempt to honor God in all we do by encouraging teamwork, pursuing excellence passionately, serving those who lead, and demonstrating stewardship of resources."
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