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Bringing in a consultant

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JLC, Mar 16, 2001.

  1. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    Has anyone ever brought in a green industry consultant? I am trying to grow my business considerably over the next few years and wondered if the right consultant would be able to help me come up with the "recipe" for success. I a quite aware that this could in fact be expensive, but if it works I would have no trouble parting with the money. Does anyone have any thoughts?

    Ben Johnson
    Johnson Lawn Care
  2. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Well I would say you have nearly 2,887 consultants here. You just ask the question and see what responses suit you're needs and makes sense.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Not to sound pompous, but if you were to search the archives I am betting that you would find the answers to 8 of 10 questions you might have on a smaller scale.

    For the other two, just ask!:)

    I am not opposed to consultants, but I think that more often than not what people need to do is put together a business plan, and then seek the advice of the consultants later.

    Just my .02
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    I agree with the above post.But if you know an
    successful operator, you can trust, you might try to get him
    to spend some time with you.Might learn a lot.
    Better yet spend some time at his operation and watch and listen.
  5. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860


    First of all, welcome to LawnSite. There are tons of people with real world experience...nuggets of wisdom that will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in mistakes avoided, efficiencies gained, etc. Use the search feature to mine the riches held within.


    LawnSite cannot supplant the services of an industry consultant who will sit with you, help you determine your unique and individual skill set, market factors pertaining to your area, assess financial needs into the future and as you said put it all together into a roadmap for success.

    If you plan to move forward with the idea, I would recommend you contact a few well known industry consultants. Ask them specifically how they can help you. Get references. Check them. The initial consultation should be a 'get to know you' session and be free.

    As far as who? I don't have any names for you but they're out there and likely, those names will pop up soon within this thread. When they do, many will step up and say "he's no good" or "he helped me". Ultimately this decision will have to be yours. Don't seek a consensus here on such an important issue as the future of your livelihood.

    There's good people here. And good advice. Don't misunderstand me.
  6. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    I want to say that I in no way wish to disagree with the fact that this is a very helpful site. For the day to day questions about different aspects of the business and the interaction between fellow professionals it is perfect. What I hope to achieve through the help of a consultant is what turfquip touched on, a total marketing stratagy. I, much like probably most of you seem to find myself with many hopes and dreams, but I question the best way how and to implement them, not to mention finding the time to do so. By hiring a consultant with a proven track record to coordinate and implement these by proven methods, with consideration to my operation as a whole I would feel more comfortable. I hope this makes sense. I just wonder if anyone else has been in this situation and what they did if they used a consultant, who was it.
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    first thing a consultant will want to see is your business plan (how many have one) ....what is your mission statement ....1-3 -5-10 year goals.....know your strengths &.weakness ...what is your market ....who is the competition ....your cash flow & books ....how much profit did you make last year ....cash receivable ....etc.
    if you can answer those ?? I'd say if you know these issues ....than you have a great feel of what is right & wrong ....the local community college's offer great small business coarse which will help gain Your Own Personal Knowledge.
  8. will vary with your need. As a consultant I can offer 25 years experience in the green business and a proven system of procedures and financial process that bring standardazation to your business.

    I have said many time before and base portions of my consulting practice on the premise, that this business is so mathamatical in nature that the operational and financial side of the business can be established and set in stone, leaving an owner to concentrate on the more tangible subjects like sales, marketing, image, and proper execution of services, which can also be structured in such a way that it's a plug and play system.

    McDonalds and other business that are challenged with a workforce that is not exactly what you would like it to be, developed a process of creating strong systems and procedures to overcome the human weakness inherent in that labor portion of the business. Same concept can be used in this business as well.

    A consultant can offer solution's and systems that will allow you to concentrate on your particular business. If you are weak in certain areas, you can hire that type of help, or you can hire a consultant on an as needed basis for specific projects.

    I specialize in start up to 1 million dollar companies. There is a great need for affordable consulting services for the smaller contractors and recomendations for business help. It makes more economical sense to spend the money and reduce your particular learing curve and take advantage of a consultants experience and implement that into your business.

    There are more resources avaliabe now than when I started in the business some 20 + years ago. I would gladly have paid to shorten the learning curve and get going a little faster than I did. There are more materials avaliable now as well that can be integrated into a business system.

    Systems, stucture, procedures, financial knowledge, business help. Most operators do a great job of providing the horticultural services in this business. It's the business side that bites you in the behind eventually.

    This business is a process of taking the inputs of labor, materials, equipment and execution and converting them into a product, that being your landscape services. You need a road map to do that.

    [Edited by KirbysLawn on 03-16-2001 at 11:57 PM]
  9. thefarmer4

    thefarmer4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71


    Check out your local colleges and economic develpment agencys first. In Buffalo we have alot of business services for free right at the UB college. I have not used any of the services, but plan to in the future. One draw back would be that they are not Green industry specific services.

    Just a thought.

    Also don't forget CO-OP extension office in your area.
  10. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Some of the Green Industry consultants may be able to help you and what I'm about to say does NOT apply to them. Beware of business consultants that are eager to send in 'their team of experts' to analyze your business, but have no lco experience. Some want to spend a week pouring over your books and get you to pay $10K for a simple report with info that you could get from your bank or from industry magazine reports. One of these guys came to our company yesterday with a very slick,misleading approach. It took a lot of questioning to figure out that he was just wanting to do that $10K report. So---buyer beware, ask questions before opening your checkbook.

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