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  #41  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:02 AM
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SRT8 SRT8 is online now
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
On the first point, your statement is only true if you are offering something unique in the marketplace and can demand good money for the services provided. If you are just doing menial tasks of mowing, mulching, bush trimming, etc, you have nothing unique to offer. You are just one in a long list of others doing the same thing, and in most cases, doing tasks that a home owner could do for themselves. These menial tasks cannot provide a basis for much revenue.

On the last paragraph, I do not agree. We read on LS thread after thread of solos doing some really stupid things, because they don't understand much about business and finance. How many threads are started over the course of a year, "What can I use to make invoices ....?" When asked about using financial management software, the thread goes dark. In other words, these folks are running their operation (not to be confused with business) our of a shoebox. They don't know the source of their revenues, they don't know the streams of money for expenses, and probably aren't even balancing their bank account.

No, this is not the stuff of "guru" but it is the substance of what makes or breaks a business. The primary reason for any business failure is lack of financial management. That could be lack of capitalization, lack of meeting financial obligations, overextending themselves with regard to credit, or other. But, the bottom line is managing the operation as a business, complete with full management of finances. After all, why are we doing this? For the fun, for an altruistic exercise, or for a profit?

Being able to make straight lines, lay down nice stripes, having shiny wheels on your truck, and nice uniforms is not the stuff of what is ultimately important. Managing the operation as a business, regardless of solo, or not, is more important.
Roger,

Im sorry i didnt make myself clear.
Im talking about growing a multimillion dollar commercial operation. Residential and commercial or a different ball game
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  #42  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:03 AM
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Landscraper1 Landscraper1 is online now
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Originally Posted by 205mx View Post
Thank you. I appreciate the encouragement. I'm trying to do this. I'd like to have 2 employees full time by 2015. I know for a fact I could land more Jobs if I had more time. I hate that in late spring I'm turning away work because everyone says "stay solo"

I think you being as large as you are--- it's a rare thing for guys like you to be active members here. It's most of us small timers. <100 accounts.
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I have spans of time that I will stay off. Some members just piss me off. I think that is why many large companies have come and gone. Too bad. I would like to hear advice from companies my size or bigger.

I think you have the right idea, to grow slowly. Many LCs sometimes go under from growing to fast. Keep it slow but steady. I have been doing this for over 35 years. Made alot of mistakes but, learned from them.
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  #43  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:11 PM
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Tharrell Tharrell is offline
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Location: Mount Airy, NC aka Mayberry
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Originally Posted by Landscraper1 View Post
I love to see posts on many of the solo's profits. Like: Grossed $90k and profited $70K. That's one hell of a profit margin. The only solos I see making that much profit are solo drug dealers. lol.
hahahahahahaha, that's about what I was thinking.
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  #44  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:33 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake beach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscraper1 View Post
I have spans of time that I will stay off. Some members just piss me off. I think that is why many large companies have come and gone. Too bad. I would like to hear advice from companies my size or bigger.

I think you have the right idea, to grow slowly. Many LCs sometimes go under from growing to fast. Keep it slow but steady. I have been doing this for over 35 years. Made alot of mistakes but, learned from them.
Do you do a lot of maintenance? I'm just curious.

The company I worked at was almost all commercial. About a handful of residential properties. Which were usually people that owned our commercial properties. We had one property in va that was 40k a month. Took 3 crew of 4 a whole day to cut

They made most of their money in hard scape and installs
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  #45  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:42 PM
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Landscraper1 Landscraper1 is online now
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Originally Posted by whiffyspark View Post
Do you do a lot of maintenance? I'm just curious.

The company I worked at was almost all commercial. About a handful of residential properties. Which were usually people that owned our commercial properties. We had one property in va that was 40k a month. Took 3 crew of 4 a whole day to cut

They made most of their money in hard scape and installs
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Yes, mostly commercial maintenance. I do most all of my landscape construction work, for my regular accounts, only. I won't bother with any outside calls for work to price.
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  #46  
Old 04-03-2013, 07:26 PM
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SRT8 SRT8 is online now
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Originally Posted by Landscraper1 View Post
Yes, mostly commercial maintenance. I do most all of my landscape construction work, for my regular accounts, only. I won't bother with any outside calls for work to price.
Yea im on the same page as you
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  #47  
Old 04-03-2013, 08:15 PM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ragland Al
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscraper1 View Post
I currently have 6 crews. The only good thing I can see about being solo, is not having the employees to deal with. If you are ambitious and able to handle employees, your golden. Don't let solo operators knock down the idea of growing. They are happy with their lifestyle and that's fine. If you want more, then go for it.

I have a good business and am able to afford many luxuries because of that. I live in a 4300 sq ft house, with an inground pool, playground, on over 2 acres. I am also able to go on great vacations, afford to put my kids through college, and have something to retire on. If I had stayed a solo, I would not have this lifestyle for my family.

Again, I am not knocking the solos, it's just not for me anymore.
I have all that stuff and Im a solo operator.
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  #48  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:08 PM
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SRT8 SRT8 is online now
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Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
I have all that stuff and Im a solo operator.
I just do it because i enjoy it.
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  #49  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:10 PM
TFLE TFLE is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Hollidaysburg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscraper1 View Post
I love to see posts on many of the solo's profits. Like: Grossed $90k and profited $70K. That's one hell of a profit margin. The only solos I see making that much profit are solo drug dealers. lol.
It's not that far off... If your billing 2500k a week for eight months (80K) Winter work (10k lets say) = 90k. Now as a solo operator nearly all my equipment is paid.

10000k gross a month
- 6% tax
- 150 garage rent
- 200 mower payment
- 100 cell phone
- 300 truck fuel
- 400 mower fuel
- 50 liability ins.
- 300 misc.
7900 net over 8 months = 63k plus winter profits (around 7k) not an unbelievable total.
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  #50  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:20 PM
TFLE TFLE is offline
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As for my business all I want is three good employees, two crews. Me on one and a good guy on another. Both crews maxed out. All I want is to mow grass. Don't want to touch a landscaping project again. I want to pick my work and turn down the BS. High yield, high margin accounts. Do want to run a huge company just a solid one that sneakily makes a lot of money. Low overhead. I want to be that company that nobody thinks there is oodles of money in the bank. Guys can be flashy but I've found the flashy guys with rims and wraps and all new stuff with payments are also the guys that can't pay their bills for materials or parts. Cool graphics and a sweet truck will get you the job once... good work will get the job and keep the job. Anyway. I'm 26 I want to stay solo til about 30. I'm maxed out now though so maybe it's sooner rather than later.
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