Multiple Businesses

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wells, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Is anyone operating more than one business?

    I have enjoyed owning and operating a lawn care business for the past several years, but I don't feel ready to stop there yet.
    I was thinking about starting several more businesses in the next few years while still growing the lawn care business.

    I'm thinking about possibly starting some sort of new biz in 2005 and another one in 2006 or 2007. I have several ideas for the types of businesses to start up, but haven't completly settled on one yet.

    My question is I still want to maintain a certain portion of control over each business and I feel as though I might be trying to stretch myself to thin. Is it reasonable to assume that you can effectively manage multiple businesses at one time?

    Does anyone running multiple businesses have any advice on operating more than one business at a time. Specifically on how to manage both while still giving each one the attention that they need in order to continue to grow.
  2. tippi931

    tippi931 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    yes i had a lawn business at first plus a full time job working 12 hour nights when i had the idea of opening a custom automotive shop. all three were going pretty goodbut they started to conflict with each other. people would be wanting something at the shop when yard work needed to be done or it would be night to work. lets dont forget about the fact that it takes money to make money and i have a very small supply of green stuff. so ad far as putting money into a business i was trying to juggle the money around. imo the only way i would even think about doing this again is if the first business has been open for a while and was pretty established and i had a very good person to pretty much run both business that way it could take most of the headaches of day to day operations off me

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    One of my cousins owns two restaurants in Brooklyn, plus a cabinet-making business. I'm really not sure how he does it. He recently bought out his partner at one of the restaurants, so he owns them both 100%

    He said he just tries to hire the right people and tries not to micromanage things. Still, he very, very rarely takes a day off, ever.
  4. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    i think you would have to wait until the lawncare business is well established, ie, major equipment paid off, at least 2 crews and you're in a truly managing position. I don't think it is possible for you to be out there sweating with some guys mowing or doing an install and still have time or energy to get another 9-5 business on the ground and running. An internet based company may be a good option, however its like lawncare, lots of people out there with low overhead and the know-how kill the market.

    just my $.02
  5. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Great points... Thanks for the advice.

    I guess my opinion is once you have a company established with clients, equipment and crew, then it should be able to continue to grow without you having to oversee the operation 100% of your time, leaving you with more time to pursue other ventures.

    My number one priority will still be customer service and quality and I will not do anything to jeopardize that. Hence, my slight hesitation to jump in to it full force without doing some homework first.

    My thoughts on a second business would be to get it started this winter while the lawn maintenance business is not active and then next soring to turn the new business over to someone else to manage the day to day operation while I oversee the operation of both businesses. Then if it works out well, do it again the following year. Soon there could be 4 or 5 businesses bring in income rather than just one business that is seasonal.

    I guess I see it sort of like diversifying your money. Why have all of your assets in one basket? If one businesses starts to tank due to the economy, another might just get you through the hard times.
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Wells, that is my exact plan.. I started this business with every intention of turning it over to a professional biz manager within the next 3 years.. I then, will focus on other ventures and use positive cashflow from this business to finance others and get into rental properties and real estate as well.
  7. ratherbeboating

    ratherbeboating LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    Yep, I'm doing it right now.

    I started a constuction company 3 years ago with the intention of making some good hires and letting it run itself. Well, that didn't work out so good. I find that I need to be involved 75% of the time with the construction part of it.

    I then threw the lawncare/landscape business into the mix this year. It was a real time hog for the first couple months while training my employees but now for the past 8 weeks it seems to be running itself with minimal involvement.

    I had been thinking about the lawncare business for a few years (as you can see by how long I've been registered on but just couldn't make the jump into it money wise. I took on a partner for some cashflow and help. We purchased a couple mowers and truck and off we went. We did all the work ourselves until we hired and trained a crew. Now it's going well and could see ourselves going to 2 crews next year.
  8. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    in the future when im in my 20's i want to also have a roofing company, and a concrete company. but not until i well establish the lawn care and landscaping part.
  9. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I'm thinking about it.. Been looking around western NY for about 100 acres of good land. I am interested in building/opening a private campground by 2007. I have a few investors lined up and this may work out. Just need to find some decent land in the middle of nowhere lol
  10. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    U.P. of Michigan. you can get a LOT of land up there, but only hard thing is being able to build on it, because alot of it is swampy so it costs alot to build on it... Plus Upper P. of MI is fantastic! check it out if your serious about it.

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