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Business growth rate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Russ, Jan 20, 2001.

  1. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    We had a good season here last year. I'm looking for advice on how to manage growth. We did 2055 mows with 3115 income producing events and I about went nuts. I went through 14 people trying to maintain a 3 man crew, Sehedualed 41/2 days work to allow for weather and ended up working 7, started work about 5AM (maint.) and was able to quit bout 10PM,and managed with diligent finnacial planning to produce about 16,000 less profit than the previous season (mostly labor). I would like to continue to grow but were just going to have to add about 10 hrs to the day 2 to 3 days to the week and 5 or 6 months to the year. I missed a lot of work I just could not get to. Now Im working on my schedual for this year.and I'm lost. How are you guys doing it?
  2. double e

    double e LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Up your rates?
    Work smarter not harder
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    What all are you trying to do?

  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    >Reasess your maintenance routes;
    >look at the options for more productive equipment;
    >evaluate what went wrong with employees and try to remedy the situation accordingly;
    >re-evaluate what your charging for services and eliminate those that are costing you money to maintain.

    Just my .02
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I got an idea he's got too many irons in the fire. Some of the other posters on the other forum here have made comments and references to the "mow and go" bunch! There is something to be said about finding your niche and sticking to it. One can try to take on too much, become too diverse, and lose control of the whole mess. I learned last year that 2 man crews can accomplish more than 4 on most properties, I think most will agree, the more people your trying to manage the more problems your gonna have. It takes very good foreman to manage YOUR interests. If you haven't found one better to manage it yourself.

    I'm guessing here so correct me if I'm wrong.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Maybe growth isn't what you should be worrying about. Start looking at being more productive with what you have first, and then look for growth. Find a way to make the same work more profitable.

    The others mentioned prices, equip, employee problems, your routes, to many fires, etc. Start with these. Find where your going wrong. Streamline these, make them more profitable or growth will always hurt you. Look at raising prices, you will cut less and make the same amount of revenue. With less maintenance and expenses from that alone will up your bottom line.

    You need to stop looking at quantity, that type of thinking has put many small business out of work. With the quantity mentality, you will always have ever increasing expenses and lower profitability. You alone must find "Herbie" (business school mgmt teaching tool). If your interested in what this is, let me know.
  7. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    Excellent advice from all above! The very first thing you should look at is your rates on new jobs. You're obviously doing a good job to be rolling in the new clients, so up your proposals. Charge what you're worth! I've read here on this forum that it's been said that if you're getting more than 15% of your proposals, you're charging too little! Whether that number is accurate or not, it should give you pause to think at the very least.

    Good luck!

  8. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    You're at that critical juncture where you have to stop mowing yourself. Hire a good foreman, (yes, for the big $) that'll run the mowing and you focus on your sales, paperwork, extra work, customer service and sanity.
  9. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    Thanks for the advice guys! This is a great board!! Here is a little more detail. I'm running 2 DC-60s and 1 48WB where the DC's wont hold the hills. Im 80% upper end residential and 10% commercial, 8%mid range residential 200 to $500,000 price range, 2%mercey mowing for disabled and elderly. We provide full service to residential, mow,apps,clean-ups, landscape installation where heavy equp. isnt needed. just about everything except irrigation(we do repair the heads we damage). I est. jobs at $30.00 per man hour and am about 80% accurate (spring is tough). Down time from equp., less than 5 hrs in 3 years. Laborers cant take the work. I pay $8 to start $9 when he can trim & blow without correction & $10 when he can mow, and they are leaving me to work at gas stations and fast food joints. Labor was 28% of gross last year. Routing is geographical(max is 22 miles away,$1,500 mow and we mow 2 on the way there and 1 on the way home). How do you turn down a 4 acre mow next door to one your doing in June?? I've beared my ##'s to the net? What is "Herbie Business" small and efective?
  10. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    P.S. Can I be under pricing at $90.00 per hr for a 2 man and me crew??? How are you guys doing it? P.S.S. Foreman? I can"t seem to find a guy who will stay with me over a month. Love to be able to speek spanish.

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