Huge Growth This Year

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Wow. This has been an unbelievable year. I just took a few minutes to compare our year with last year, in terms of total sales. Here are a few stats:

    We passed our last year's total sales on August 7th.

    As of today, we've had $105,000 more in sales than we did for the entire year in 2005.

    As of 8/29/06 our sales are $252,000 more than total sales were on that same day in 2005.

    Growth of almost 65% this year. Biggest dollar growth ever. Biggest percentage growth in over 7 years.

    Profits are at the highest level ever too, which is nice. Because I've had some years where sales went up and profits seemed to go down.

    It's just been crazy and exciting all year - In a good way. Just thougth I'd share some of the good news. This is a crazy business. But when you get it down, it can be rewarding. This year has been particularly rewarding. Keep working hard guys. And never stop learning!!!
     
  2. ACutAbovesiny

    ACutAbovesiny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 590

    Congrats!! I hope I can be saying the same over the next few years.
     
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Very nice Jim...any growing pains going along with this btw? Not enough help, not enough equipment, etc?
     
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Sounds good Jim...would love to know what brought about the big improvements! Congrats
     
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    My guess would be economy of scale, clustering, name recognition, and perhaps most importantly quality management by Jim.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. When I grow up, I want to be Jim Lewis.:waving: :)
     
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    It has been amazing this season hasn't it Jim? We grew 260% to date and are well over $15,000 in gross sales for this month. Thank God for HGTV!!!!
     
  7. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Same here Jim, we have grown alomost 60% in both lawn maintenance and 35% in landscape installs. We are at a point where we need to find a good foreman to run the show in the field so I can do more estimating. I feel bad but we have turned down way too much work just because I was 2-3 weeks from even looking at their property. One good thing is that our profits seem to be much higher, I atribute that to tighter routes while mowing and some specialty equipment purchases. So far so good.
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Well, there have been some yes. But overall I've been a lot less stressed this year than I have been the other few years. Not to say this year hasn't been stressful. Just less stressfull.

    Some of the pains we've seen is not enough help, yes. Even though I hired a LOT more people this year, we still have more demand than we can handle. Finding good, relible, experienced employees has been a challenge too. Even immigrant mexicans are becoming hard to find these days. I live in an area that is experiencing a lot of growth. Most contractors are doing real well. So that means the labor pool of Mexicans that used to be here is very limited at this time. But we've been getting by okay. Wish I had a few more. But I just end up over-working the ones we do have. They are all getting 10-15 hrs. OT each week.

    Equipment problems have been relatively minor. There have been a few problems with rented equipment. But overall not much problems. Been using the Dingos and Bobcat MT55s a lot more this year than I ever did in the past. Those things rock! I'm amazed at how much time they can save on certain jobs.

    Our biggest problem with lawn maintenance right now is our 2 maintenance crews are totally maxed out and we're still getting a good 2-3 new customers starting service each week. I could really use another pickup and mower set-up. But I hate to buy all that stuff and hire a 3rd crew this late in the season, just to have to take them out of use and lay them off in a few months. So that's something I'll address next spring. Until then, our maintenance guys will just have to enjoy some serious OT.

    The biggest problem by far, is not having enough estimators for larger landscaping projects. But I am working on that. I'll have that resolved by next year too.

    Yah, when you start growing so fast you quickly realize where your bottle-necks are. And if you don't fix them they can eventually stiffle you.
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Mostly just hiring more managers and puting them in the appropriate places is what did it. I should have done it a few years ago. But I always thought I couldn't afford more management people. It actually worked out to be the opposite. I couldn't afford NOT to hire more management. I was drowning trying to do it all myself.

    Hiring an office manager to handle all the phone calls and set up appointments for me and the other estimators has helped more than I can say. Hiring a FT Irrigation technician helped a lot too. Not only has he turned out to be the most profitable employee but he addresses a need we really had in our area for customers with sprinkler systems that were falling apart.

    Hiring a maintenance manager really made a huge difference in our maintenance business too. Now I have been able to totally remove myself 100% from the maintenance side of our business. From estimating, to managing maintenance customers' complaints or additional requests, to termination, it's all handled by our new maintenance manager. He bids them, keeps them happy, and handles things when and if they ever cancel service. Scheduling too. So that alone relieved a lot of stress from my daily life and allowed me to focus more on estimating larger projects, hiring, etc.

    I also hired a construction manager to oversee all of the construction projects that we are doing each day. That free'd up a lot of my time too.

    All these things made a huge difference. But in addition to these things, more name recognition, a LOT more nice projects behind our belt, more experience, a website with a lot more pictures on it than we had in previous years, and a lot bigger list of referals have all made a big difference too. Now when I go give a bid I can usually blow the customer away with our experience, pictures of jobs, a list of 100+ referrals, etc.

    Finally, I raised prices last winter by almost 20%. And yah, I've noticed we don't land quite as many bids as we used to. But we're still swamped and we still land a decent percentage of them. So it was a good solid decision, even though I was worried about it at the time.
     
  10. TJLANDS

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,669

    Good work Jim,
    I know its tough to manage a growth spurt like that.
    Also nice website!
     

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