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  #2811  
Old 07-29-2013, 10:14 AM
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etwman etwman is offline
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Firemagic and Sub Zero appliances in the kitchens.

VTS system is working very well. Just replaced the tracks on it for the first time in 4 years, which is normal. Have had zero maintenance issues on anything else with them.
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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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  #2812  
Old 08-14-2013, 04:39 AM
Bryan27 Bryan27 is offline
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Reading this entire thread is like reading a book that you just can't put down, but I finally made it to the end! Inspiring work y'all do up there, certainly worthy of the praise and reward gained by it. Two questions that come to mind after reading this saga are: If you were to lose it all today and had to start from scratch tomorrow, what would you do differently? What would you replicate about your business?
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  #2813  
Old 08-14-2013, 07:34 AM
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etwman etwman is offline
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Valid Questions. Here's a few answers.

1. Grow slow. I'll hear guys all the time say I'm doubling my sales this year. Be very careful with that. If we grow more than a certain percentage in one year I get concerned. You'll play too much catch up with systems and policies.

2. Implement a good overhead recovery systems around $400k in sales. That is key for good profitable growth. It's probably about a $8-$10k nut to spend but it'll pay for itself within a year and make you more profitable.

3. Rely on a good group of peers in the industry for advice. I have a list of guys that I could call anytime that would have my back for advice. They are all accross the country. You won't learn it all yourself on your own, so don't even try.

4. Use a good green industry consultant. Have them come in every year or two. You dont have to spend $10k for this, maybe half that, but it's well worth it.

5. Stay focused and learn to say no more often then yes. Don't be a jack of all trades.

6. Don't try and hire just cheap employees. Hire people that are good, pay them well, and establish a level good work ethic. I laugh all the times when I hear guys say I can't afford to pay someone $9/hour when I'm paying them $8/hour. If they are the right person then that is something you need to do. Hire people that can bring great things to the company.

There's a quick 6.
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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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  #2814  
Old 08-14-2013, 10:33 PM
xclusive xclusive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etwman View Post
Valid Questions. Here's a few answers.

1. Grow slow. I'll hear guys all the time say I'm doubling my sales this year. Be very careful with that. If we grow more than a certain percentage in one year I get concerned. You'll play too much catch up with systems and policies.

2. Implement a good overhead recovery systems around $400k in sales. That is key for good profitable growth. It's probably about a $8-$10k nut to spend but it'll pay for itself within a year and make you more profitable.

3. Rely on a good group of peers in the industry for advice. I have a list of guys that I could call anytime that would have my back for advice. They are all accross the country. You won't learn it all yourself on your own, so don't even try.

4. Use a good green industry consultant. Have them come in every year or two. You dont have to spend $10k for this, maybe half that, but it's well worth it.

5. Stay focused and learn to say no more often then yes. Don't be a jack of all trades.

6. Don't try and hire just cheap employees. Hire people that are good, pay them well, and establish a level good work ethic. I laugh all the times when I hear guys say I can't afford to pay someone $9/hour when I'm paying them $8/hour. If they are the right person then that is something you need to do. Hire people that can bring great things to the company.

There's a quick 6.
ETW what do you mean by # 2? Can you go in depth a little more with that?
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  #2815  
Old 08-15-2013, 09:07 AM
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etwman etwman is offline
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I go into this more in detail somewhere in this thread but here's the short of it.

You can't estimate jobs on price per sf, materials plus mark up, flat hourly rates, etc. and grow a company sucessfully long term. I don't care what you think, I'll bet you my truck it won't work. And I don't care how glamourous your spreasheets are either. We had some that had formulas out the ying yang, but pale in comparison to a real ORS.

We use Manage 360 through Dynascapes. There are others out there that work real well. We plug in our annual budget into the program with estimated sales. As we complile estimates by entering materials it assigns labor hours to install everything. This data comes from input of our staff and deligently tracking over the years. Once the estimate is done it may say at the bottom of the screen raw cost is XX%, overhead is XX%, and true profit is XX%. The overhead number is what so many company's ignore. They think they are making money and they are losing it. Overhead is insurance, maintenance, and the list goes on. You have to recover that somewhere and it becomes a line item in the estimating program.

That's an overhead recovery system. Guys say I billed all this work for the whole year and collected everything, but at the end of the year I don't have anything left. I don't get it. That's why!! You're not recovering overhead or you are spending too much. One or the other.

Vanderkooi has one too i'm pretty sure. I think its call MORS or something like that.
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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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  #2816  
Old 08-15-2013, 06:35 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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Thanks ETW
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  #2817  
Old 08-21-2013, 01:23 PM
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etwman etwman is offline
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More projects

Here's a few more with our trademark on them. Both were built last year.
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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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  #2818  
Old 08-21-2013, 01:42 PM
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CashinH&P CashinH&P is online now
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My god your work companys work is amazing!
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  #2819  
Old 08-21-2013, 02:33 PM
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lawnpropm lawnpropm is offline
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Looks so good it doesnt look real. Looks like its 3D on design software or something. Thats some nice photography!
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  #2820  
Old 08-31-2013, 09:40 AM
allinearth allinearth is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Arkansas
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What a ride you have had. I have skimmed this thread a few times over the years but never took the time to read until the last week. (took me that long) An hour here and there. Very interesting. I realized while I was reading this that I have lost focus in my business. I have also realized that I have seriously reached the glass ceiling that you have mentioned but reading this has helped invigorate me into re focusing on what I need to do to reach new levels. Question: What do you see as your biggest obstacle/problem to overcome at this point? Or are there any?
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