Hiring The Right Consultant

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Rob Spread & Spray, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Is there any one part of your business that is giving you the most trouble?

    How many of you have hired Green Industry Consultants to come in and help you with some part of your business?

    How did you go about choosing them?

    Did you interview them as you would an employee?

    What was your ROI?
     
  2. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    Rob, Ive used a non green industry consultant in the past, He was a retired president of a national shoe company, now he is a consultant.

    I used him mostly for budgeting,purchases and planing for the future.

    I spend around $1,500 a year using his service.
     
  3. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    That's cool Jim.

    Hey you still planning on coming out this way?
     
  4. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    I used a consultant from Vander Koi a couple years ago when I was going to buy another company. I would reccommend hiring one but make sure it is a good one, and be ready to pay 1000-2000 for a couple of days. Wilson-Oyler is another group I would strongly reccommend, both are incredibly knowledgable, and actually helped build Valley Crest. I would reccomend a green industry consultant and not somebody from another industry simply because I feel this industry is more difficult to understand and operate. Labor intensive, equipment intensive, dealing with perishable materials and it is service oriented,,,,how many other industries have all of these factors?
     
  5. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    Rob, I saw compass system on the bottom of your post. Are you using this system and if so how is it working for your company?
     
  6. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Tony,

    I use some of it in my spray business and it works well. Thats the neat thing about it, you can use what ever bits and pieces of it you want. It may not be for everyone.

    I also work FOR Compass but out of respect for the owners of the site and other paid advertisers I can't really get into much more than that. Send me a PM if you would like to chat.

    I have spoken with Tom Oyler, he is most certainly a bright man. Got a chance to see him speak at an ALCA event last month in Jersey City. Very cool!
     
  7. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    Rob, I sent you a PM
     
  8. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 502

    Tony:

    Are you an Andy Kaufman fan?
     
  9. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    One of my residential customers works as a business consultant (not in the green industry) Anyway, I found this out after his wife thought my mulch estimate was too high. I was discussing it with him, explaining that I usually make better money mowing vs. mulching, plus after working 55-60 hours a week mowing, if I'm gonna take on any extra work, I'd like to make it worth my while. Then he told me what he did for a living. He said I should consider adding treatments as a new service. As he put it "people pay $30 for a mow, that may take you 45 minutes. But they'll pay $50 for fert, that'll take you, what, 5 minutes? When you're getting maxed out you want to take on only high-profit work" I felt kind of stupid, I've been in this line of work for years and never really thought about it in those terms. So this guy has helped me informally here and there for free, just to be nice.

    I guess I use Lawnsite as a consultant. I don't want to get too used to how I do business, its always helpful to consider other opinions/ways of doing business.
     
  10. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Hoolie,

    Your client is cetainly correct in his thinking here. I have talked with a number of guys who either subbed it out or were thinking of getting rid of that division.

    This service is typically known in the industry to have one of the highest profit margins for the work being done.

    Now the problem with guys never having done it is going through the licensing and aquiring the right insurance. Then there is the proper training, the book training, typically due to studying for the exam is one thing, the field experience, will take some time. Often times guys will just say forget it.

    I have helped a few guys get set up from scratch or tweak there existing structure. It usually works out pretty good to where they are happy they did it. If you are mowing that many lawns now, you have the best leads allready available.

    Go for it!!!!!!!!!
     

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