Any tips for expanding?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ACutAboveKevin, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. ACutAboveKevin

    ACutAboveKevin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I have had my business for 7 years now, started when i was a little kid. Last yeat was more profitable that this year and i had one full time employee. This year i havent had so much luck and had to let go of that employee just to stay in business. Now i know that its time to buckle down and advertise advertise advertise, but at what point do i stop and who should i make my target customers. huge houses? mid size? or small houses? anyone have good input as to which would get me the most return for my time? at what point is it smart to have 2 empolyees with me? i have two friends that are hard workers and both need better jobs (working for me) but i also want to be rakin in the dough. thanks guys.
     
  2. jwscroll

    jwscroll LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    Friends rarely make good employees, good luck w/that one. My company will not touch a residential home big or small. Home owners are pita and there are way to many of them. I personally like to go after Condos, commercial buisinesses, and large estate properties( mansion's with large property area).

    There are many reasons for this, the most important to me being I don't have to deal with 100 homeowners just 1 property manager, or property maintenance people. These folks are usually much less demanding and much more understanding of how lawn care works. Alot less time spent on billing too.
     
  3. jbone

    jbone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    I couldnt agree more. It will be tough having friends as employees. Mainly because most people take things to personally. If you had to let them go because of similar circumstances as before they may not be your friends anymore. I also agree that if you are going to expand go for commercial. Once you get the contracts its guaranteed money (depending on which type of contract you use). Its less hassle and less people, less billing. hope this helps
     
  4. Desertdweller

    Desertdweller LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    I'll third the no friends deal. Except under special circumstances I would also add no relatives.

    How are set up? Do you have the equipment for commercial work? Are you ready to run a crew and all the problems that go with it? Can you offer a service where there aren't many guys in town doing it? While commercial is great remember if you have 1 or 2 large accounts and they go elsewhere you just lost most of your business.
     
  5. ACutAboveKevin

    ACutAboveKevin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Well actually, one of the guys was my employee before he became my friend. It just sort of developed. and i do keep all that in mind when having friends work. Currently i do have 3 commercial accounts but they arent hardly bigger than a regular home. i have 2 36 in. mowers and one 54. an f350 truck and 18 foot trailer. ive also got my old smaller 6-7 foot trailer i could send somebody out on.
    How is it that you go about getting larger contracts like condos and such. i would love to get some i just dont know how or who to contact. i am fully insured and have workmans comp and such. where do you find your workers at?
     
  6. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I hate commercial window cleaning and stay away from it, it's priced out too low, I'm not sure about lawn care yet but I'll bet its the same, I'll bet you need humongous mowers which themselves cost a frigin fortune. Myself (this is my first year in lawns) I want to try to get larger properties for residential, probably next year though because I can't see me affording 48" mowers this year. I need to spend money on other things like a lawn vac and a 4x4 and a plow. I want to get ready for fall clean up and winter snow.
     
  7. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Posts: 680

    advertise, and get your name out there more at all cost that doesnt break the bank. put ads in the mags at highschools or w.e, my take on the friend thing is. if you do hire them dont raise their pay b.c they want or need more money, dont be afraid to fire them, and dont let them slack off
     

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