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500k+ Companies, how is your management structured?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lance L, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Lance L

    Lance L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    gettin close to the point where business plans need to be made.. and i need help managing things if i want to keep growing at a good pace and be prepared for whatever may and probably will happen. i could handle being strapped and working all day 7 days a week before, but i am getting to the point to where if there is a problem it could cause major problems... im just curious what type of structure has worked for you...

    i am going into the year grossing 350k. + growth and i am going into 3 more yellow pages and just by circulation numbers will increase my call volume by 3xs... i have been maint. only other than color changes and things like that. was thinking of going into all the books im in under the landscape column as well. so i am planning for some crazy growth. i have a few people that are ready to start with business and horticulture degrees and exp in management and landscaping, etc... and i was thinking 1 for landscaping and one for maint. and probably 1 person on the phones while the other 2 guys do their thing with bids and what not and if call volume is to much than bring another phone person in or have the call waiting calls forwarded to the slower of the 2 in management positions. while i help with what i can and work on planning and expanding.

    but how did you structure this as you grew and at what numbers did you see you needed more people???
  2. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    sounds like a lot of people for 350k...What are you gonna be doing? The office is critcal..you have to get someone in to deal with customers. I don't know your breakdown, but a good maint guy should be able to handle at least 300k if not closer to 1mil. Again..I dont know what you pay down there, but up here it's 45-70k to handle a million in revenue. Just make sure the incoming goes as smooth as possible.
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Ps...not to knock them..but most guys with hort degrees dont know much about caring for or how to install plants. They do however have a proven record of time management skills and follow through.
  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Too much overhead, not enough cash flow.

    I do not do maint but with an install crew you can easily hit $500k........three guys. Out of that you have yourself to pay as you do sales and if need be someone to keep your books. Once you are setup good with installs.....I would call less than $700k a year from one three man crew bad.....my area anyway.

    How are you using Yellow Pages? I certainly would not expect crazy growth just from putting your name in the Yellow Pages.

    Sounds like you're good with maint...have someone (foreman) run that for you day to day.....the labor portion. Then if that is set, get someone in line for doing installs and use your time to sell.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I agree with others, way too much overhead. We did over 3-mil with the office staff that you are proposing. Have one person to answer phones, schedule appointments do the accounting thing. Have paychex or a similar company handle your payroll. You do the bidding/scheduling/hiring and most importantly inspecting the work.

    Don't waste your time doing supply and other B/S that lower paid people can do. Granted no one is going to be as efficient as you but they are paid much lower than you and you need to keep focused on the business end at this point. Get your bids right, follow up and see that you are making money so adjustments can be made quickly and stay on top of your quality of work.

    Have weekly meetings with your foreman/supervisors and schedule the work out 3-4-weeks on a big dry erase board. Be sure you have the foreman doing the work help with the scheduling then they are more likely to keep on schedule.

    Hiring and keeping good help will be your bigger challenge. I suggest you get a good hiring system down. Know what steps are to be followed when you place an add. Respond quickly to applicants, have a plan. Mine goes like this 1. Resume to me 2. Set up interview. 3. Explain our company & the position. 4. Ask them questions. I have a script I always ask every applicant the same questions. 5 Decide if they passed phase one, do they still want the job after hearing about the good bad and ugly? 6 Testing, could be written simple IQ test to see if they can learn, could be labor oriented give them a set of directions see if they can follow directions and work smart. Planting flowers in a small pot is a quick simple test, you will be surprised what you find. 7 Job offer, pay benefits etc. 8. The Paperwork at this point you can hand them off to your office person. You or a supervisor needs to be there for #9. Orientation show them the ropes where everything is training them on the task no matter how menial. There are right and wrong ways even to dig a hole. One way gets your holes the right size no broken tools and no injuries in minutes. The other gets you all of the above in twice the time.

    You have to do the work. Good employees - Accurate bids - Quality of work - Being profitable - These are your big concerns

    The problem with getting big is the cash flow can be deceiving. Your doing the work and everything seems to rolling along fine but the books will tell you you lost 5-8-K one month. If you are on top of things it happened in the last 15 days and you can try and figure out why and make changes. If you are not focused on the big picture you may not notice consecutive months of losses until you have a cash flow problem then its often too late.
  6. John Zaprala

    John Zaprala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    We are well above six figures and have a President, 2 sales/designers (with over 15 yrs experience, no degrees), a construction manager, 3 foreman and 9 skilled laborers. We also have weekly sales meetings to project goals for our sales and also to review new ideas and marketing strategies (what worked what didn't) It's important to have employees with the intangibles like drive, pride in work and commitment to become better. I agree sounds like there are too many chiefs and not enough indians in your company.
  7. jcthorne

    jcthorne LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    One office lady who handles calls, books, payroll, etc.
    You as the chief and a supervisor to back you up with the crews is all you need for $500k in maintainance. A commission only sales guy is a plus as well.

    Installing and maintainance are two different animals so it would be hard to compare the two.
  8. Lance L

    Lance L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    no i wasnt plannin on hiring that at the moment just brainstorming but ya i wouldnt get that unless i actually needed the help. but yes i know now i am fine by myself but if i want to dive into landscaping and make a big splash i will need another person because i stay busy with maint calls as it is and i know more time is needed to bid landscaping jobs. was just curious on whats worked for others and when they needed it.
  9. Lance L

    Lance L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 330

    just ordered LA3 from real green systems, cant wait =) will save alot of time in the office!!!
  10. SLCINC

    SLCINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    Hey how much do you pay a commission only sales guy. I assume it would be different based on maintenance and landscape.

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