Full schedule

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Indiana, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Indiana

    Indiana LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I have been asked to give a quote on a very large piece of commercial property. My problem is not the bid, my problem is if I get it.

    I was wondering what you guys do when you get a (good?) opportunity to increase the size of your business but it will mean substantiantly increasing your overhead (employees, equipment, etc..)

    If your schedule is full, do you increase employees, trucks, equipment to handle more work. In the past my answer has been 'no', but I'm wondering. I am already in debt and hate it. I see only one side, more work/more problems. This attitude is not accurate, just the occasional problem. In the big picture I have a great business and great customers.

    I feel foolish turning the account down, but feel overwhelmed if I take it.

    I currently do landscape installs, maintenance, hydroseeding and licensed spraying. All these divisions are making money and too good to drop. All these divisions are also something I put a lot into both monetarily and personally.

    I am really tossed.
     
  2. How much of an increase in work would this be? Let's also take into consideration money making potential-
     
  3. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 527

    I think lawnboy is on the right track, how much revenue will this generate? Will it be multi year or for one year? If you do get it how much will you need to increase your business? Is there portions that are better offf being subbed for now to reduce stress and job completeness? If your not gonna make much after all the headache and increase in the size of your company than i think its obvious but its all in what you want. If this one large contract will be enough to buy you equipment and pay all overhead which will later allow you to grow even larger than go for it. Its all in how big you want, but as you stated it can be much more and bigger headaches. Whatever you decide good luck!!
     
  4. Indiana

    Indiana LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    This is a twelve acre site. Full industrial/commercial facility.

    Complete maintenance. Mulch, spraying, mowing, tree work, and annual instalation.

    They have a local company that is not doing all the work. It is being doing on a budget monthly basis. Basically they spend ? $ per month and the maintenance is done.

    Mowing is done on a per cut basis, weekly.

    Great opportunity. I don't know how to handle it along with the 60 or so homes, commercial sites, and others that I have. I guess it seems stupid to agonize over this. To most of you it probably seems elementary.

    I am at a cross-roads. Do I take it and hire help. OR Stay like I am. I am rethinking this know and probably will take it and take the risk.
     
  5. Double D

    Double D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Can you take this account, and then pick through your other accounts, keeping only the most profitable? Just a thought.
     
  6. Ok, new questions now. How many days does it take you each week to cut the lawns that you have now? How many people currently work for you? What kind of mowers do you have? If you are doing all the lawns on your own in 6 days with a ZTR, then maybe you could hire somebody and get that down to 3 days. As far as side work goes, if you do a lot of mulching / weeding / spraying / planting as is. Or if you have the opportunity to do it, then why not hire a single person who you can trust to go around on their own to do these jobs; one day here, one day there, two days over there... There are of course some jobs on there that require several people. Those jobs only need to be performed however once a year. I should think that you would only need one other person if you want to do this job. As far as equipment goes... that is up to you. For transportation drop the person off at the site early in the day, pick up at end of day.
     
  7. Grapevine

    Grapevine LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    In my opinion this is one of the most frustrating part of this business. We get calls constantly from potential customers who are referred by present customers. We take care of (6) reasonably large condos and the property manager of 2 of them has sent me 5 more proposals to bid on. I've got 2 full timers plus myself and we all run walkers. The customers love us because we're there all the time and we do a grat job for them. I have very little to no debt and I pay my guys well and I make a good living. My wife is constantly telling me to not take on any more work, but it kills me to see these accounts (which I could write my own ticket for) being given to someone else because I either don't have the balls or the brains to go big time... And I'm not even sure what that means.
     
  8. hustlers

    hustlers LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 257

    keep what you got.
    Be satisfied and just concentrate on your quality
    of work and also being able to pay your
    quality employees enough to help make them a good
    living,
    The walker is sweet but if you get in a hurry
    and can be a mess and look very bad.

    Profitability is key not gross rev
    How much $ per month is it?
     
  9. Grapevine

    Grapevine LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    Hustlers, that's basically the mindset that I have because we haven't taken on the new work and am always concerned with the quality of work that we do especially at this time of year when fatigue is really starting to become a factor.
    What I need to do is look at what we have and weed out the ones that maybe I'd like to get rid of in the future.
    My problem is that part of the reason our customers stay with us is that we get almost a personal bond with them and it's difficult to even cut the crappiest lawns loose because of the relationships we've built up over the years. Most of our people have been with us probably an average of 5-7 years and some since the beginning, and I've been doing this 14 years. It's definitely a double edged sword, you want to build a trust and have the loyalty, but it makes it difficult to move forward with new work if that's what you want to do.
     
  10. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    I think that the main question should be" Are you happy where you are right now with your business?" If you make decent money and are comfortable with the amount of income that you have, then there is no need to add more work that might change your attitude toward your business. If you could find some quality help, then you could expand a little more and still only work about 4 days a week. then, I am positive that your wife would approve if it means that you are getting to spend more time with her. There will be pros and cons in whatever decision that you make. But, when you decide go all out and do not look back because that will only make you question yourself. Good Luck!
     

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