Put your money where your mouth is...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Eirik, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. Eirik

    Eirik LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I was curious, in all my lawnsite reading, how well we are all doing...You know, a chance to bang your collective chests and sound off about all that money rollin in. I bought a business from my previous employer that nets 60k annually, and I'm not lookin to pick up anymore, not yet anyway.
    I have one employee and 50-60 accounts depending on the season, (some drop for winter months, others don't.)
    I didnt start from complete "scratch," I had been the foreman of the company I bought, for three years, before I purchased the maint. Div.
    So, all 45 accounts knew "of" me. That was April 1 2002.
    Now Feb. of 2003 I have brought on an additional 15 accounts to the table.
    I am interested in the pace of turn over and pick up of accounts you guys go through, throughout the course of your trials and tribulations in the industry.
    Thanks-
     
  2. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    20% of those you have today, will be with you come this date in 2008 (maybe, if your good and layoff big rate increases), just a fact of life. With Regards... devildog
     
  3. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    W/ due respect to Devildog, If your work is good, your price fair & you relate wellw/your clientele, I think that the stay w/ you factor is 80% after deaths & moving.

    Bob
     
  4. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    Bob, I agree, its possible. However, the realities are so much different nowadays. If a small operator wants to stay small, that retention rate can be reached.

    The site has seen alot of good posts the past few days about just this subject, growing the biz. Unfortunately, if you do grow it, it means employees, crew leaders and thus the owner/operator becomes that much more removed from the clients he developed thru the early years.

    Its a model of growth that can't be changed. I would also offer two other thoughts, sooner or later some startup operation is going to see these accounts and target them... and get them, principally because your gotten comfortable and failed to improve the product: your service.

    Secondly, at some point these accounts will become un-profitable, that can't be changed. Rate increases just don't keep up with your initial weekly rate. Typically, that happens about 36 months into the relationship. Look at some of your accounts, you'll find them. With regards... devildog
     
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I currently have not lost a customer because of poor service in the past 5 years. The only way that a customer has moved on is because they have moved, died, etc. But I usually lose about 2% of customers a year because of death or relocating.

    But then again I gain on average about 18% more of the previous years customers.
     
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    $$ amounts---NO. But I will say that 2002 season was up 68% over 2001. So far 2003 is shaping up better than 2002. Only time will tell for this year.
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    For those of us that reside in any of the states between Maine and Georgia, we would tell you it could have been better without that drought. My company's business was up in 2002 over 2001 and would have been a lot more if the weather had cooperated.
     
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    If thru the numerous babbles I have basted on here, just a few guys are able to put that couple $$$ more into their bottom line then all was worthwhile.

    I couldnt agree with Rod more that if weather had played fairly last season instead of bein snotty we would have done even better than we did.

    Gettin the ball rolling early this year to try to beat the summers heat, and lining up fall work already!!

    Best of Luck to You This Season!!!
     

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