Ideal Landscaping

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by idealscape, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Andy31

    Andy31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    I have a few more questions:
    1. I know you said to grow slowly, but is there a sweet spot for annual growth? I know in the dairy industry they say expect to grow at 1% a year...please tell me a higher percent than that, or not, I can handle the truth.

    2. Have you developed a preference in hiring workers as in hiring guys with experience or do you prefer to train them yourself?

    3. Like I mentioned before I am a solo op for now. Do you feel having a mowing/ maintenance crew is essential to an aspiring business. I am thinking yes, because it keeps your company in the door for future work i.e.: hardscaping/landscaping. Is this correct reasoning?

    Thanks in advance,
    Andy
     
  2. lawnpropm

    lawnpropm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 579

    Debt free??!! Now that is something obviously now im sure you can walk into any dealership in town an point out 3 trucks and drop cash for them. Has this always been how you operated or did you start off, financing everything? Or did you take it one job at a time and just bought equipment as you did jobs?
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  3. idealscape

    idealscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    Our average growth rate per year is between 10-12%...some years are better than others.

    We like to hire guys with experience, but nobody is thrown into a management position without working and learning our system for at least 6 months.

    Maintenance is a very important part of our business. We offer lifetime guarantees on plant material if a homeowner/business owner agrees to our site management proposal and continues to use us. The lifetime warranty is obviously void if they terminate our contract. If they do not use us for management after the installation they will get a 1 year plant warranty and after that it is up to them. We have replaced trees that were 11 years old for a customer before...a strong site management division gives your customers piece of mind that their landscape is being taken care of properly.
     
  4. idealscape

    idealscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    We have been debt free since the beginning. The reason we are is because we DONT walk into dealerships, pick out 3 trucks and pay cash for them. We have bought what we need for the job and used it until it is time to replace it. Now John Deere has offered us 0% on a few skid steer loaders and we financed them for about a year, but that was just because it was 0%. Other than that, we pay cash. Again, do not get in over your head...just because you can finance a mower for $100/mo doesn't mean go get it. Really think about if you NEED it. Save your money and pay cash for it!
     
  5. Andy31

    Andy31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. I like that idea of lifetime guarantees with continuos site management. That would definitely give clients peace of mind when considering a large install and an excellent selling point.
    I have a feeling this thread is evolving into a "must read".
    Would you be willing to share a synopsis of your first few years in business?
     
  6. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,203

    Awesome thread and a great business you've got!
     
  7. idealscape

    idealscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    Yes, it has been a great selling point for both residential and commercial properties.

    Our first few years in business were pretty basic. We got in real good with a few residential builders that were building at a good price point. The homeowners were very involved in the design of the landscapes and it was a great learning experience for us. We did everything from raking down crawl spaces, waterproofing foundations, rough grading, drainage and final grading. We started out as Ideal Landscaping and Grading. But soon dropped the grading from our name as we wanted to focus mostly on the landscaping side of things. The request for landscape maintenance continued to grow until the demand was so high that we had to develop a site management division. When doing this, we decided that we didn't just want to "cut grass", rather we wanted to provide quality site management for all of our clients, big and small. There were plenty of mow, blow and go guys already, but the areas finer homes and their owners needed more from a landscape company...that is where we came in. The Triangle area where we are located has been one of the fastest growing areas in the country and we have been riding that wave of development ever since the beginning. The past few years have been a little tough, but we have consistently grown our company each year despite the downward trend in spending. We have started to take on jobs that other companies simply cannot handle, this is where we have found our niche and it seems to suit us. We are excited about what the next few years have in store for us. We have signed contracts on 4 large projects that will take us into 2014. Our site management division is growing each season as we now have someone in the office in the business development role. Constant contact with clients as well as prospective clients continues to show positive results. We have had a great 2011 and are looking forward to 2012. I will be in the field this week and will try and snap a few pictures of our properties, this time of year isn't the best for photos, but I will have plenty more come spring. Merry Christmas everyone!
     
  8. idealscape

    idealscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    Some of our snow equipment...guys from up north, don't laugh, we don't do much snow removal here so we don't have the best stuff available. One of the shop and "toy truck" and one of the commercial crews all helping on one big site.

    saltdog.jpg

    t25.jpg

    11duramax.jpg

    bctrucks.jpg
     
  9. LawnMan19

    LawnMan19 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,284

    I love those big SaltDogg tailgate spreaders.
     
  10. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,176

    How do you like using the cab over trucks for maintenance crews? Luck with them? How do you have them setup, any pictures of them? We're strongly considering replacing a truck/trailer combo with one or 2.
     

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