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How large to grow?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by klsgc, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. klsgc

    klsgc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Its spring and lots of posts are made about marketing, advertising, and new sales which leads me to the question. Is everyone always trying to grow? How big is big enough? For myself-I have 3 tecs, 1500 fert customers, 200 perimeter pest customers this year. I would like to add only 200 more fert customers next year, hire one more guy, and just be able to have lots of time myself to do a really good job of management. I feel that for me, that size is a good cross of making good money and work not running your life. I will quit advertising and just let my referrals cover my cancels. Where are you guys at? Where do you want to go? Just grow like crazy and sell out and cash in?
     
  2. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 1,517

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  3. greenskeeper44

    greenskeeper44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 361

    I agree....the point of owning a business is to set it up so it can work without you...otherwise you just own a job.....the book the emyth is a great read for all of us because we all want to work in the business instead of on it. I struggle with it alot because my background is in turf management so I get in technician mode all the time...but slowly creating systems and strategic plans so that one day it can run without me!
     
  4. klsgc

    klsgc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    HAHA with an avatar like that somehow I knew Efficiency was going to chime in. I somewhat agree with what you are saying, but I feel that with the size stated, I can hire an office manager and do minimal work and still clear 100k plus a year. Thats good enough for me. I don't need to be "rich biach." On another note, I have talked with several larger fert companies and their cancellation rate is much higher, and their tech turnover is huge too. I firmly believe that the larger you are, the more you are going to have quality issues because of poor tecs. If you only need 4, you can pick the cream of the crop, if you need 24, you are getting the bottom of the barrel.
     
  5. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 1,517

    Thats Chappelle, not me. Im neither black nor rich. lol

    When I was hiring this winter, I had my two back up candidates get pissed at me because I they were not my first choices and didn't get hired. We have no problem getting and keeping good guys in here because the pay is top rate, they all get ride ones, and we keep them on 40 hrs thru the winter. Its just a matter of identifying priorities. I choose to forgo an extra $xxk in my pocket each winter in exchange for keeping top guys on the clock and intern that grows my wealth thru client retention and business growth.
     
  6. klsgc

    klsgc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    I'm not going to disagree that it is possible, I would just say you are the exception, not the rule. Most larger companies get too large and loose sight of what is important in life. The employees see this first hand and leave fast. How many guys are yourunning right now?
     
  7. georgialawn88

    georgialawn88 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    if you dont mind me asking when you say you pay well how much is this pay that you keep your guys happy?
     
  8. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    I don't know any business owners that don't have day to day responsibilities within the company.

    We aren't talking Microsofts here with boards of directors and if you wish to be hands off and not work and let others run "your" business, this tells me you don't enjoy what you're doing in the first place.

    To the OP. You opened the can of multiple employee worms and are set up to do that so why limit yourself at this point?

    You don't have to grow it fast with a vengeance but don't put limits on it.
     
  9. klsgc

    klsgc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    4 employees is a small can of worms. 24 employees is not. Even if you have a couple of quality control/training guys, I would still argue that the quality of some of the tecs would not be up to the owner's mark. You will have much higher customer and tec turnover and I at this point that just doesn't look good to me. I agree with the previous poster- I love what I do so I want to be involved. Not necessarily with the actual applications, but with hands on management. I see way too many company owners get too big for their shoes and get someone to run it for them, coming back in 5 or 6 years to a mess, and sometimes its not savable. I'm not saying its not possible, but in general, businesses with hard working, active owners succeed at a much higher rate.
     
  10. klsgc

    klsgc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Where is everyone at right now? What is your 5 yr plan for growth? What is your ultimate goal, and what makes that look so appealing?
     

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