Best ways to expand....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LandscapeSolutions, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Yeah, she knows very well what I intend to do.....hell, she's already volunteered to help out with my leaf clean-ups this fall!

    I completely understand the whole insurance/benefits thoughts. Right now Im covered with crappy student insurance. Shes still under her parents policy. When we are married, as a last resort, we can still both be under student insurance just as long as she remains a student (she is just a sophomore) After that I can only hope I played my cards right and make more than enough to afford insurance. As far as retirement, well I haven't looked well into it, but its definitely not something I have overlooked either.

    She has stated she would be my secretary, but if needed I'm sure she'd work somewhere else, as she has said she would work in a bank (apparently her major is worthless).

    Now if my whole thing doesn't work out I'm prepared to move to someplace like Kansas City and work for a landscaping company there. With all the design experience/ talent (not to brag) that I have I'm sure landing a landscape design job would be of little challenge.

    The way I look at it is that I'm 24 and still have a full life ahead of me. I already have once sold a lawn care business along with a clientele of near 100. I later regretted it. I just owe it to myself to try and live my dreams....at least once.

    Oh...and I'm playing with the thought of starting a satellite company in her hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas (home of the famous Leavenworth prison) in a few years down the road....all depends how things work out here first though. There are just a few landscaping companies there right now...it should be easier to establish a company there than it would be here!
     
  2. MrFangs

    MrFangs LawnSite Member
    from Zone 8
    Posts: 119

    If you had 100 clients before, why are you asking us how to expand? How much did it sell for?

    Second, with your major, that'll put you STEPS ahead of most of the competition.
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    To be honest, 26k is not bad for this business, that's what I grossed my 2nd year and it's the MOST I grossed until I 'expanded.' :)

    Truth be known, I tried some employees and am not impressed by this method, but then that is because I've been doing it solo for several years now and am no longer willing to tolerate what others call 'normal' or 'acceptable' behaviour. Let me not delve into this, other than to say that employees are for those who don't mind dealing with it.

    The way I expanded is by spending money on 24/7-365 advertising - This not only boosted production by 20-25% but it also allowed me to raise prices by 10% or so without further ado. That, and the demand stays strong which means I do what I want, take it or leave it, I don't have to do work I don't WANT to do. Specifically, if it doesn't involve grass-cutting, mulch, core aeration or hedge trimming, then I am not interested (dig that, because for YEARS I had to do all kinds of other stuff which slowed me down and kept me down, I didn't know how much I was hating life until things got to where I am today).

    Mind you, this is my first year with hardcore advertising and I'm looking at a total gross of 30k but that's a prediction and as you know, nothing is for sure, thou I AM past 18k right now so 30k *shouldn't* be a problem. Next year I hope to break the 33k barrier (which is an IRS barrier) by several thousand and try and kick it to 40k because once I break 33k, the IRS throws several new forms my way as they now officially treat me as a small business. but anyway...

    What kind of advertising? Either a non-stop ad in the newspaper (I liked that because it gives me the option to discontinue within 2 weeks notice) OR a nice 2 thousand dollar ad in the yellow book / yellow pages (I LIKE that because I get about 20% more respect for free).

    Then with the extra money I buy better (NEW) equipment, OMG it is so nice, first time in 4 years I have a brand-new WB :) I also bought a new 4-cycle backpack blower (first of its kind as well) and an edger (never had one before). As you can see, this 'expands.'

    I also got into weed treatment this year just by 'trying' something new, so another thing I suggest is to try doing ONE other thing sometimes and if you like it, expand thusly by including this as a new service, and if you don't like it, try something else and keep doing that until you find new stuff to do :)

    Hope is help
     
  4. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Oh I say it was 100 doesnt mean it was 100 lawns a week! It was only about 70-80 a week. I really didnt advertise to get that much work either. But it took at least 4 years to build up to -- half referrals/ half from classified ads.

    Just wanted to see what advertising I SHOULD be doing.....thats all.

    BTW, it sold for $0. I gave it to a friend and just sold the eqt. I had for $6000. It all fell apart right away after he took over. He was SUPPOSE to give me a 5% royalty off the gross income he made that year....never did get anything though! :cry:

    All is ok though, when I started up again, I called a select few old customers and they didnt hesitate to welcome me back. Some still dont know im back in the mowing gig again. Ill likely call the rest next spring. Apparently im doing something right :D
     
  5. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Forgot to mention the last business I had I built up borrowing no money over those years. Even though I was lucky then, I don't think I could do the same again.
     

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