Is it possible?What do I do??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 25nbl, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. 25nbl

    25nbl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I'm 26 years old and I have been in the lawn busniess in Texas for 6 years now and make a really great living at it, I grossed over $260,000 last year, but I don't have my freedom(I don't want to work everyday). Myself and one worker do 81 residential and 7 commercial accounts in 4 days, 12 hours a day and we leave the other day to do clean-ups, etc. How do I go about expanding where I can stay home? I don't see how that is possible to keep great paying customers if I am not there? I am very afraid of loosing what I have if I let 2 or 3 guys do all of the work....how do you guys do it...do I need to always drive the truck? How do you find someone that will care as much as you to make sure everything is done right? How do all these million dollar lawn companies do it that have 500 accounts, do they make that much profit in their pocket when its all said and done?

    Thanks for any suggestions!!!
     
  2. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    A 2 or 3 day weekend every week aint bad, IMO. You're not ready to retire at 26 are you? Keep in mind NOBODY will ever care as much about your company as you do. You are the owner, everybody else is just an employee. Maybe you're at the point where you could start to expand, eventually have multiple crews and a supervisor or two under you to run things. Then you can really kick back.

    Seriously though, having 2 or 3 days off each week is great. If you are looking to attain Donald Trump status, you entered the wrong line of work.
     
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,411

    If you want someone to care as much as you your have to make them owners this is very hard for any of us to do and I know I can't do it. But honestly if you want them to love your company as much as you do that’s about the only thing that will bring that feeling out. I think you will find your work quality is going to slip a bit and you may upset some of your pickier customers as you grow to large to do all of it your self. But the rewards can out way the risks sure you could lose 20 or 30 good accounts of your 81 but that’s not the whole story. You can also go for less picky clientel and push to 200 accounts or 500 accounts. If each customer was good for 2k a year 500 will make you a million in sales.

    You are going to run face first in to the wall that most here are afraid to push through short term your profits will slip and your income will drop as you add more men on and do less yourself. But at a certain size the overall income exceeds that what you could ever make on your own and you obviously see that. The question is can you stomach the changes required to reach that size if your as fussy as your customers then you may find you can not release a little on the reigns and there fore it might cause you more stress then you can handle. It almost sounds like you want to live the good life now and work is behind you I think you need some soul searching and you need to take the path that’s right for you there is a reason more then 90% of all landscapers never go over 1 crew it really is that hard to let go and trust others to do quality work for you.
     
  4. economiclawncare

    economiclawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    well what you can do is add another employee and keep working this may knock you down to 10 hour days or better. then do that for a while till you see that they are good enough on their own. Then you start a second crew the same way. Another thing is have your crew take pictures of the lawn when they are done. You wont be able to see everything wrong but it will make them make sure that their work is good.
     
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Let them know that you will be doing inspections on their work, and actually perform the inspections.
     
    Kelly's Landscaping likes this.
  6. stump

    stump LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    If you find the right crew leader you shouldn't need to ask them to take pictures of every job. That is just insulting, if you can't trust your foreman to do the job right maybe you have the wrong foreman or you should be doing it yourself.
     
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,411


    That is a great idea if they feel they cannot get away with anything they do tend to be more careful and check their own work for fear of being caught by you. It can be quite embarrassing if they keep asking for raises and claim they do great work and you pick out all the flaws they made that day. Something you could consider is a bonus system tied to the weekly inspection report and complaint list. If it cost them something for doing it wrong that can often be enough to change bad habits.
     
  8. all degree

    all degree LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 344

    I agree with the checking up thing and it doesnt have to be every lawn. We all have those that never look great. You could probabally check every lawn in a few hours if they were not that far apart. Just keep an extra trimmer and blower with in case.

    I would also try and make a point of letting your customers "catch" you in the act of checking up. That will ease their worry of you not doing the work and they will see you more as a business man and less of a lawn monkey.
     
  9. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    First I want to say... NICE! Two guys... $260,000.00 is impressive.

    Doesn't the current worker know what you expect? Is he capable of being a crew leader? Make him top dog and pay him top dollar.. to keep the high standard.
     
  10. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Posts: 186

    yeah, what lawn-scapes said.
     

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