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How quickly did your business grow?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Yard Cowboy, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Yard Cowboy

    Yard Cowboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Hi guys. New to the site and have a feeling I will be here often for answers and ideas. I have worked with others in the industry part time on the side that already had established territories. I have now taken on a partner and am looking to slowly get this thing going. We have several friends and family members helping us via word of mouth and flyers, and plan to drop about 3-5,000 flyers in our area. I have seen a 3% callback rate on those, which would be about what I would expect. However, how quickly can we expect to be doing this full time (we both work together presently for someone else in a completely different industry) and will be working on this on days off and evenings.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    Word of advice Drop the Partner, I know personally!!
  3. Mow It All llc

    Mow It All llc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    I wish i listend to this advice when it was told to me.....I bought my buisness established. I had 45 accounts with it, and wanted more. i was told to start with that for the first year.....I then added about 50 accounts that same year, then went and got 2 apartment complexs and a strip mall..I hired 2 guys and bought some extra equipment. Within 3 weeks I was getting frazzled as more people called. i turned some people away and gave a few of my accounts to a friend. That was all last year......Im now going into my second full year with enough work for me to handle but not to much where i can keep up. I agree with Daughtry NO PARTNER. I thought about it with a friend who also owns a landscaping company.Take your time.........
  4. CoreyD

    CoreyD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    welcome to the site yard cowboy... what part of SC are you from?
  5. Turf66

    Turf66 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    NO PARTENERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!PERIOD. If it is a friend then leave it at that. I to made this mistake with a friend and almost lost a business and a friend. It cost me some money to buy him out and a lesson learned. You want total control of your own destiny, when I was ready to grow he was ready for a pay raise. You said you both work another job, I also work another job and operate two maintenance crews and one spray truck and am expecting big growth in the chemical business this year. All the money is mine as well as all the headaches but at the end of the day I don't have to answer to anyone.
  6. LawnSharks

    LawnSharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 300

    You've received some very good advice here! My suggestion, again, take your time. You may want 100-150 accounts now but wait until June/July when you are covered up, it's 100 degrees outside and it has rained 3 days in a row. You'll quickly realize... man, I wished I had grown a little slower. Time management is key!!!!! Helpers are great but partners seldom work out the way you anticipate.
    Good luck!
  7. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I don't know how long it will take to grow your base, but I do know from personal experience that partners are a nightmare. My first business venture out of college was a pizza/sub shop. It was all my money and my credit that opened the place. I stupidly brought in a partner, one of my best friends (at the time) and a guy that supposedly knew a lot about the industry. You really don't know a person until you enter into business with them. Needless to say the **** eventually decended into a total nightmare and culminated in the only fist fight I have ever been in in my adult life. I lost a bunch of money and a good friend. I don't know if your partner is also a good friend but be very cautios....
  8. Yard Cowboy

    Yard Cowboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Thanks for all of the responses guys. Although, I would count him as a friend, he is more or less a partner now (we don't hang out too much in our off time). Together, we run a Fitness Equipment business presently. We have turned it into a million dollar a year gig and have little to show for it as we run it for someone else. Again, I appreciate where you guys are coming from, but at this point, there isn't much I can do, as the LLC is already formed and most advertising (business cards, flyers, etc.) are done.

    Our plan is to start it together slowly since we aren't counting on the income. However, we both do desire to eventually get out from under the corporate rug and on our own. We have been to the lawyer and have written up a partnership agreement within the LLC. My biggest question was how feasible is it to be doing this full time within 1 year? After a year, our hope is that we will both have our own crew(s).

    Oh yeah, Corey. I'm in the Upstate. Greenville.

    Again, Thanks for all of the info guys!!
  9. Baywatch

    Baywatch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    The only time you want a partner if you can't do it yourself, or you don't have the capital. I often have friends wanting to be partners on some of my real estate purchases and I always ask them why? Though they don't say this, the answer is that they don't know how to do it and they don't have enough money to do it on their own. Do it yourself, you will be much happier in the long run.

    If you end up with the partner, make sure that everything is spelled out in writing as far as who owns how much etc. etc. Remember this, who ever brung the money keeps the money and the guy with the deeper pockets always wins!!
  10. Yard Cowboy

    Yard Cowboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    That is pretty much it. Being a Father and a full time employee that works 50+ hours a week, I do/will need some help. At this point, we are both evenly vested and again have a written key man agreement to protect each other that spells out most everything; he goes to jail, gets hooked on drugs, dies, etc. We will both be bringing some of our own equipment, but the lawyer has outlined who brought what.

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