CT.er may be relocating to N. FL.(Lake City Area)

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by wildwood 1, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. keithslawnc

    keithslawnc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    I have lived in Ocala for 30 years and have been in business since 1998. This is a tuff area to be in business! My yearly gross has only grown 30% combined in the last 4 years and then lost that gain with the loss of one big job last August. Thats is with a lot of money spent on advertising and knowing a lot of people. The problem is everyone knows a couple of people in the business in this county. The only oppurtunity here is in the retirement communities but the pay is ridiculous! Average lawn is $ 45-60 per month in those communities. ValleyCrest and Brinkman have moved in the past few years and really started taking big chunk of the commerical work! Brinkman alone out bid me on $ 150 K a/year worth of bids last year. The unemployment rate is the second highest in the state. If I was going to start fresh it would be here!
     
  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    Brickman and Valley Crest wouldn't be doing it if they weren't making money.
     
  3. keithslawnc

    keithslawnc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    What they can make money at and what the average company can make money at are to different things! Can you survive of there net %? Also offering multi city contracts at discounts! Can you or I service properties for the same company state or nationwide?
     
  4. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I wasn't going to get in depth with my response, but I will since you asked. Valley Crest and Brickman are way larger companies. Just because they're large doesn't mean they can conduct business at a lower rate than you or I. They may only net 2-4% of their gross but when its 200million a year or whatever it's still good money. If you can't compete then you have no business bidding on those properties. If you want to net 20-70% like on residential properties then you have no business bidding on commercial because it's apples to oranges. I use to make 8% profit on the local Walmarts I had with USM. I was undercut by a bunch I could have still broke even but I decided I wanted out of commercial as I was just growing to fast and trading off to much net. I rather grow my business slower as I'm still pretty young and trade off less net for growth as I have a ton of personal bills. By saying breaking even this would be after paying myself a salary to conduct the work just nothing going towards my companies profit. I wasn't setup for the work and could have cut my cost a ton with different equipment and another employee. Those companies have shops, offices, storage yards, office employees, HR, managers, board of directors, brand new equipment, benefits, and tons of other employees. Most of that the common LCO isn't going to have. If you can't do the volume you won't make any money. The difference is businessmen run those companies and yard guys run most of the LCO that complain about the bigger companies.
     
  5. keithslawnc

    keithslawnc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    I understand where you are coming from but these were bids that were local hoa's or businesses that 4 out of 5 I had some type of personal relationship with someone involved with bid. Two of the bids had very specific bid outline that is not being followed by the bigger companies. I have no intentions of trying to operate at a very low profit, for a business my size it would be to tuff to manage cash flow. I guess why they bother me is because the small and medium companies that are ran by the " yard guys" had my service area to ourselves until a few years ago. Point is the market in my area is not that great and continues to get worse as like many other areas in Florida.
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

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    Keith

    I would think the the Horsey set might be a hard CLICK to crack as a newbie or out sider?????




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  7. keithslawnc

    keithslawnc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Your right Ric it is a pretty tuff nut to crack. Also the horse business has taken a hit the past few years as well. Lot of farms for sale
     
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    Keith

    In my younger days I fooled with horses a lot. Yes the horsey set can be very snobbish. Judged Events are won by Politic not Skill.



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