Opening your company in multiple cities

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by wintergreen82, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. wintergreen82

    wintergreen82 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Is there anyone out there that has opened there business in multiple locations thru out their state? We are looking at expanding and trying to look into the viability of being able to open another location about an hour and half away.
     
  2. stephen@freedom

    stephen@freedom LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    That is what I started this past season, and it is a little painful on the wallet at first if you plan on doing a large portion of the work by yourself. Most of the expense is lost drive time and of course fuel. With growth like that will come growing pains it did for me.
     
  3. TheCuttingHedge

    TheCuttingHedge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    It's very tough, especially initially. The issue arises that you want to charge your first customers more, in order to compensate yourself for the trip out there. Unfortunately, it becomes very tough to get more business if you charge your only customers in the area a high rate.

    When we began our expansion, we had to actually give discounts to our first customers, even though it really hurt the books for a couple of months.
     
  4. wintergreen82

    wintergreen82 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I'm talking structured priced scale with a complete set of equipment and crew in another city. I have a Foreman who I've trained for over a year who would run one operation. I would focus on the second operation. Business is good but there's more out there. Feel like expansion is the only way to seriously cash in. This is new territory for me.
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  5. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,425

    It is tough. No back up. I think you would be better off expanding where you are.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    There are well over 100 companies in New Castle County. I have 25 accounts after one full season within 15 minutes of my house. Just this past weekend I bought out another company one hour South of me in Dover that has 20 lawns. My goal is to get 6-10 more lawns in Dover so I have two full days there and to get another 5-15 lawns close to my house so I have 2-3 days of lawns locally.

    -Michael
     
  7. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Bump to top...this is an interesting thread.
     
  8. TheCuttingHedge

    TheCuttingHedge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    What would the foreman require from you? Would he be working there on full-time wages? Or would he remain local on the days where there wasn't enough work to warrant the trip?
     
  9. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,716

    I was wondering the same thing. Paying him 3 hours of drive time per day. How many crews do you have to warrant an expansion? I would drive from my existing shop 1.5 hours if the margins were right. Starting a new location IMHO wouldn't be worth it unless my current market was pretty much tapped out or I had outgrown my current space and wanted to split into a new market area.
     
  10. stephen@freedom

    stephen@freedom LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I think this is where I made my mistake. I had not tapped out the city I am in or the cities joining my home base. I went to the heavy populated areas first with hopes of getting several accounts to both cover the expense of the growth and have profit. I didn't get everything I had hoped for but working on some really huge accounts in the growth area now for next season. If you get the breaks you need and use the winter to get leads and put in bids anything is possible.
     

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