Amt of crews & properties before you got out of the field the majority of the time

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JContracting, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,878

    Ouch! Sry to hear about a loss like that! Was it a cheaper bid that came in?
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  2. CLS_Birmingham

    CLS_Birmingham LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    I'm really sorry to hear this. I think this is a prime example of why owners are scared to step out of the field. Any advice for those of us (like myself) who are still in the field, but are looking to step out in the next few years?
  3. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    The smaller group of properties was a cheaper bid. I did 5 properties and the other company had it for a year before they were canned too and the properties went out to individuals. I had a chance to talk to the area manager and she said that individuals were cheaper still and "bigger companies had too much overhead".

    The larger property got sued by an old lady that fell on some crumbling concrete and broke her hip. They had to bring all of the concrete up to ADA standards and had to replace all the old handicap ramps, fix curbs and replace alot of sidewalks. They canned me and the existing management company for one that was smaller (one man show) and "also mows". 200 grand worth of work over two years.
  4. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,878

    The solo op that landed will quickly realize hes in over his head.
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  5. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    Well after two years and all the concrete work the property got sold and now CBRE manages it. They called me back to bid it and afterword told me I was almost 3times higher than the company that they hired when they took over(and currently) doing it. One of the lowball hacks here in town is doing it Waaaay too cheap.
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  6. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    I have one maintenance crew and haven't mowed grass in years. It all really depends on how much overhead you can afford to have (i.e. Owner salary, non-billable). Keep in mind though I am over 85% snow, and pretty much my entire overhead is paid for by snow.

    And whenever an install job comes our way, I have to be onsite leading the project as I don't have anyone who is high skilled enough to take a hardscape job from start to finish successfully. But I don't focus on that, so the workload is not there to hire someone to take it on.
  7. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    Let 'em.....they'll be out of business soon enough. Sounds like you'll be fine. I've run mostly solo since 2002, and may just stay this way. I am always advertising "help wanted" on my website, but only top performers will gain entrance to employment. Many say, "You'll never get that perfect diamond in the rough", but I'm okay with that because I don't really need employees that bad.
    I really can't believe how someone can start with me making $30K the first year with no experience, but won't. Heck, my commission rate is 5% of GROSS SALES!!
  8. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 1,551

    You had 5-6 empliyees just for that $100k? Loosing that deal was a blessing for you.
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  9. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    No, but those two contracts were about a third of my gross. Actually let two guys go immediately and kept the other two until the end of that mowing year.

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