Remote Management of your Lawn Business ?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by kjohnson, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. kjohnson

    kjohnson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Hi,
    I have an opportunity to purchase a Lawn Care business. I do not want to (cant afford to) quit my full time job. My regular full time job makes me 107,000/yr Salary.

    Question:
    Can I manage a lawn care business hands off? Ony helping on the weekends?
    Does anybody do this?

    Thanks
     
  2. Doug1966

    Doug1966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    how many hours a week does this 6 figure salaried job take you?

    If you somehow have the worlds best job where you make 100k a year, and only work 40 hours a week, then it might be possible to do what you are saying.

    But anything more than that forget it. It will stress you so much that your salaried job performance will suffer, which is obviously your bread and butter.

    Don't forget - this is a manual labor industry. If you leave your guys unattended, they won't work hard for you and they'll be sloppy. If you find a foreman that actually does give a rats ass and does take care of it for you, you'll end up having to pay him so much to retain him that you'll end up with a profit that is not worth your time.
     
  3. kjohnson

    kjohnson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thanks Doug.
    I only work 40 hours a week. Im in the Computer IT industry. I was going to use it to simply suppliment my income.

    Sounds like to me that you are saying, If I want it to succeed, I need to play more of a hand on role.
     
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I know it can be done.

    You just have to approach the business end as vigorously as most approach the purchase of new equipment or making the straight cool stripes.

    This means hiring carefully, having systems, training. You also have to pay enough to have a productive member of society want work for you. That means you have to charge enough to hire that person. That means your product has to be worth the price you charge.

    So what came first, the quality service or the trained professional that does the work? It is not easy but if it was everyone would be doing it.

    I guess the question you should ask is are you buying a business (if so some portion of this should be in place and functioning) or a Job?
     
  5. kjohnson

    kjohnson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I am purchasing a fully operational business, that rund 2 crews (4 people) and does 100-150 yards a week. Grosses over 200k / yr.
    Does that answer your question?
     
  6. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    Is There Any Management (forman, Etc.) Already In Place Or Is It Just 4 Laborers. If It Is Just Four Laborers, You Will Loose A Lot Of Your Base To Poor Performance B/c You Can't Expect Day Labor To Manage Itself. If There Is Management In Place And They Are Good At What They Can Do, You Can Maintain Everything You Have Until You Get Aclamated To What Is Going On.
     
  7. kjohnson

    kjohnson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Not sure yet what their current positions are. I havent met them.
    Thanks for all of the responses.
     
  8. shiveslandcsaping

    shiveslandcsaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Find out what your employees are going to be like b/c you will need someone top notch that you can trust to be in charge. I have a friend that does it and the only thing he really does is estimates and deals with the phone calls and has like 15 guys working for him doing the work but he has top notch guys and pays them well. I will say he works his ass off with doing both but makes it work.
     
  9. dutchhook

    dutchhook LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    2 most important questions not asked or answered yet.
    What is the purchase price and what is the cash flow or profit. You don't have to answer these to us, but it better be on the top of your list for your decision.
    at 200K gross sales per year, with you working at a full time job, if you're paying $50K for the business and it makes $40K (20%) even if you keep it going, you're working for free for over a year, and you also need to find out how active the owner is in selling or mowing or managing the business.

    Gotta tell you, it doesn't sound like a great fit. This business is ALL ABOUT PEOPLE. People meaning Employees, Customers and even Suppliers. If you aren't around to nurture these relationships, it doesn't sound quite right to me. Then when the equipment goes down, or it's a rain day, etc... the costs can add up.

    If you do decide to join us, I wish you luck! I'm sure we'll be here to help you through!

    Steve Hoogenakker
     
  10. kjohnson

    kjohnson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Wow.
    There are some great people on this site. I appreciate the input.
    H
    e hasnt given me and offer yet. Probably in April. Im thinking around 100k for the business.
    I havent seen any tax returns or documents as far as net profit. He told me that I would get close to net profit (my bring home) of 70-80 k depending on if I worked or had someone do my work for me. It sounds like a lot.

    I was thinking that if I hired a manager at 40k / yr ( or whatever). I could just me the owner and let him manage. I would still net 30-40 k yr as the owner.

    Thoughts?
     

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