Growing too fast

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by zackvbra, May 30, 2014.

  1. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 554

    Okay I've got way more work than I can handle for 3 workers including me. That's two mowers and one weedeater man. I want to grow, but in order for me to accept any more work, I'm going to have to get another truck and trailer and equipment and crew and a foreman. How do you make the transition from one crew to two crews to be able to accept work. I really want this to happen, but I just simply don't want to go into more debt. Debt of course being my truck and mower payment. Yeah sure I'm making it, but this is a cut throat business. It can all change next season for the worst. And that's what I'm scared of. I don't want to grow another finger and then have to cut it off to save my whole hand next year.
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  2. Triple L

    Triple L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    Just stay the way you are, raise your prices to make the most you can with what you have, then stack the cash until you can add the next crew debt free and also worry free
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  3. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,025

    You'll probably lose money if you take on more. Welcome to the middle zone. It's hard to get out of.
     
  4. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    The middle is tough, you really have to plan and work smart to get out of it. The ones that succeed planned their moves, the ones that don't often go out of business.
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  5. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 554

    Let's just say I have the cash to go buy a truck trailer equipment and a 2nd crew. What if I stop getting as many calls as I've gotten this year? That's what's so risky about it. I mean I want to grow and get big, but at the same time I don't want to go bankrupt and my profit margins will just keep getting smaller and smaller.
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  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,103

    Yup. Plan plan plan

    Buy a used truck and/or a new mower. No need for a 40k truck for a part time crew. Next year upgrade if you need it.

    It's also good to have back ups around as well
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  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,103

    Do you have a business plan? If not contact score.org. Of you plan you'll be fine
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  8. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,467

    It sounds like you and I have a pretty similar sized operation.

    Here's a few things that helped me transition from one crew to two. Maybe some of it will help a little.

    Equipment.....I always retired my mowers well before they were worn out. I'd generally keep them around for spring/fall clean ups, and as back up machines. So when I needed to start sending guys in different directions I already had enough machines without having to buy new ones. Same thing with a trailer. Once my trailer got old enough to the point that it needed major repairs I just bought a new one. Then repaired the old one and kept it as a back up.

    As far as manpower goes, I used to run a 2 man crew. Once the work became too much for 2 guys....I added a third to the crew. Once the work became too much for 3 guys....,I split the route, 2 guys going in one direction, 1 guy by himself going in another. Workload got too much for one guy by himself so I added another guy to that crew. And it goes on and on.

    This way I never had to make too significant of an investment either in machines or people without having the work and income to back it up.
     
  9. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,253

    Zack, you can't operate a business on "what ifs". Be confident and keep advertising.
     
  10. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 554

    Well, update guys looks like I'm gonna be working non stop 7 days a week. Just picked up 14 more today from a friend who gave them to me and that's another working day. Gonna hire one more guy. It was too good to pass up, they were free and I wasn't gonna let someone else take them. So now I guess I'm gonna be working like a wild man. That extra guy will make a difference though.
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