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How many big guys on here?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by joshman108, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,338

    139,800 members now how many are active or non active I do not have a clue. But 1% would be 1,398 and from what iv seen we are not even close to that number. So the guys here are right less then 1% id take it further and say less then 1/2 of 1%. But iv been friends with at-least a dozen that are over that number here. It's funny my recycling and supply yards is on this site now and I was watching them get chewed up by some newbie this spring about how they didn't know what they were talking about with mulch and obviously didn't have a clue. Yet I know a 2 million dollar a year plus operation when I see one and they sell probably 100,000 yards of mulch and top soil per year. But they are not that good at arguing and thus do not have the image they really have on here. Hell I give them 8-10k a year every year.

    A better question would be what % of guys on lawnsite gross under 50k a year? That number would very likely be 50-65%

    Or what % of guys on lawnsite make anywhere near the numbers they dreamed of when they got the guts to finally jump into business ownership?
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    From what I've seen, the major overall attitude of guys on here is that "the less employees the better" or "just enough employees to keep up with the work," etc etc.

    This tells me they don't have a business mindset. They have a self-employed mindset. Which means they can't see the benefit of the increased revenue that more employees can bring in. Nothing wrong with that mindset, I just don't agree with it.

    What about the headaches, you ask? It's not worth it, you say.

    I disagree. Put good managers and delegate authority to people you trust. If you aren't willing to trust anybody below you, then you're going to have a problem growing your business.

    Nothing wrong with having a small business and wanting to control everything yourself, but some people see the benefit in growing their business and having people work for them to make them more money.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,342

    So how many employees do you have?
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    I'm a failed business owner.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Yea, I'm with ya on that, I do troll the newbie's, try to give advice, a Lot of times the responce I recive is so out of touch, it's VERY simple but a ton of people dont even belive it. in this thread, I even noticed a comment. the guy is NOT stupid, he simply doesnt know.

    I took one of my lead men, that I really liked and set him up in Business. he had some issues in life where he was divorced late in life and today, his life is somewhat in GREAT shape. he too fought me the entire way.

    It's so easy to make money, the hard part is hanging on to it. I have seen guys have 4 to 9 customers and go spend 15,000.00 only to have mon pay the bills 3 months later.

    there are a Lot of Good people here. But so many give up or just dont belive numbers. and or get a big head.
    I have been called a lier, and almost everyname in the book form some of my comments here. and refered to as other people.
    the truth is, VERY FEW here have had any business experance and they simply are too Greedy to hire someone to take care of the money.

    I would like to know how many have a business plan.....? and then the numbers of those who follow it ???? and the numbers of those who update it.

    I will go out on a limb here and state that, the number would be close to those who remain stagnate, give up, and FAIL.....

    I have also seen people here who there lead man makes more than they do.
    and people here giving away there services for free with the agreement that they MIGHT get another customer...... I cant fanton the possabliltys of working for free, " saying a lot of waht they think of there service " and then trying to get another FREE CUSTOMER..... this is simply a plan to fail.

    But it's nice to see an experance business man as your self. that does know what he's doing.

    thanks for the post.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,338

    Well that hits close to home and it is something my partner and I have been debating a lot lately. And we may simply fire both our guys this coming season and replace them with 4 new ones at much more affordable pay rates. Set up a new plan that allows us to concentrate on where we make the most money our lawn cuts while eliminating the stuff that has us getting slammed with OT every week. We currently do 185 accounts perhaps a few more with 2 two man crews mowing Wen-Fri we work extreme hours on those days and have the weekends to cover any weather or equipment issues. But that leaves Monday and Tuesday where we do all the side work the accounts generate but they only seem to cost us money. Sure some days we do hit grand slams and bang out 2 k worth of work but we do 1600-2000 a day mowing. But mostly we settle for 500-700 days chasing trimming jobs and working on our equipment.

    Where if we bump up to 2 three man crews 4 days a week cutting 300 accounts with one guy getting one cutting day off so he can join me on Mondays. And my partner can continue his fert work solo on Mondays then we should see a massive increase in sales. Instead of 5k and change a week from mowing that will jump to 9k and change. and the Mondays will not be squandered as they often are now because there is no tomorrow. But the best part is the pay will be based on 4 day work weeks so 40-45 hours would be the norm not 55-60s. So the guys get a taste of OT but not enough to crush us under it like happens now.

    I guess that counts as a plan now if I can make it work we should see sales move from 240k to 375k in one year from just 2 employees more but at the cost of just one since the current set up is to inefficient and kills us in OT

    If you can not admit something is broken you can not plan how to fix it. And my guys making more then I do doesn't sit well with me.
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,342

    And how many employees did you have before you failed and make such bold statements about others who don't want a bunch of employees?

    Why don't you split up the work more?

    Monday-Thursdays for mowing for 2 crews. Or a combo thereof.

    Monday-Thursday your partner does apps.

    Monday-Thursday you do the extra work. Or hire someone and you run the mowing crew.

    Leaves Friday and Saturdays for rain outs or catching up from breakdowns, whatever. It sounds more like you aren't scheduling your work properly than anything else. Not slamming you, JMO from what I am reading. Or, you are just scheduling too much work and need more help.
  8. NOVAMowing

    NOVAMowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42


    I dont have the time right now to respond to specific points made in your posts on this thread but would like to respectfully disagree with pretty much your entire sentiment.

    First, Could you please provide sources for any information that talks about your tax rates getting bigger as you get larger? The largest companies in the country pay tax rates FAR less than most everybody on this board (Like anybody who makes more than the standard deduction)

    You turned down 20 clients at $100 bucks a cut last month, and think an additional crew to run the new laws would cost you "hundreds of thousands" per year? Employees are an asset. Replication of your own labor is the only way (besides lottery, inheritance and being a sports star) to get truly independently wealthy in this world. so 20 clients at 30 cuts/year @$100 per cut grosses you $60,000 per year. If you cant expand by 1 truck and trailer and 2 employees for under $60,000 in costs, including taxes, I am thourogally confused.

    There ARE real, in your face, logistical problems with expansion. Limited Yard Space, capital and credit plus enough funds to float payroll and payments before the first billing cycle. All of these are real, legitimate reasons to stay small. Also, at the top of the list for reasons to not expand are people who dont want the headache or dont have the business/financial strengths to take on he responsibility.

    With all of that being said, I cannot fathom how purchasing $30 - 50K in equipment and bringing on X hours of payroll to gross $60,000 for the year could cost you "hundreds of thousands of dollars" and take "years to recoup".

    Please understand, Im not trying to start a piddle match but as someone with a sound grasp on business, financial and tax; I truly cant grasp your POV. Any supporting documentation would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,338

    I don't see where your going with this other than you would see us mowing 2 days earlier then we currently do. But people fight for late week cuts just going to Tuesday I'm going to catch hell but Monday would put many over the edge.

    We manage to get through 185 accounts in a span of 3 days scheduling that work isn't the problem. Its the extra work those accounts generate that causes the issues and we feel we would be better served doing more lawn cuts and passing on more of the extra bs that quite frankly no one likes doing. As for hiring some one to run it we are looking more at firing and starting over. Some employees cannot be fixed and that was the point of my post which is were making plans to fix some issues that use our strengths and minimize our weaknesses.
  10. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,067

    I feel your pain. One of my crew leaders has made more than me a couple pay periods this summer. Of course he will make almost nothing for 3 months this winter...

    What sort of extras are causing issues? For me extras tend to be much higher profit than the weekly service is.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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