Revamping your business

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Mike Fronczak, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    I have been doing this since 1997 fulltime, part time before that. As most I started with residential properties, the moved up to commercial/industrial, still have some residentials. At one point had 4 guys working (summer), six winter (alot of snow work). What I have run into lately is that the bottom is dropping out on pricing for the larger accounts. I can bid what I have been doing a $ 10,000 account for (with no increses for 6 yrs), & loose the account to a lower bid. Have called about it its not a quality issue, it's "stictly bugetary". It's to a point of in 2005 I had the four guys, this season it was me & 1 helper, & I allready lost one contract for next season (about $ 5000), & the account was not a money maker to boot. One week the cutting to me by myself 5hrs, montly billing for cutting was $450, cut weekly, that means I was working for probably less than min wage, went to a lower bidder, they can have it.
    I am going to start to get out of this market(commercial/Ind) one way or another & back to residentials (& solo). What have you found to be the most effective way to market (I spent $ 4000 last year with ADNET (local advertising paper & got vertually nothing to show for it). What point (house value) is the starting point, the housing market in our area the prices are some of the lowest in the country. Any other tips?
  2. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Gaining accounts in general is a marketing nightmare. I am in charge of all marketing and operations here and would love to know "the secret" if there is one. The best suggestions I can make are:

    1. Always re-market the same area multiple times per year.
    2. Don't take "mow, blow, and go" accounts like the commercial ones were.
    3. Make sure your truck and sign is visible from the main traffic area at ALL times
    4. Pre-screen clients as well as possible
  3. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    My initial plan is as follows:
    1. Concentrate on aproximatly 4-5000 homes, for all services & products.
    2. Push pruning, mulching (& deliveries of mulch), aerating, renovations more so than just mowing. I did several mulch,cleanup, & pruning jobs in spring that were very profitable(will make sure these clients are contacted).
    3. One of my friends does design/install doesn't want to be bothered with maintence, possiblly hook up with him for additional referals for mulch/pruning. He has mentioned it several times.
    4. Looking at ways to utilize or may liquidate some equipment. Over the years I have accumulated a mind boggling array of stuff.
    5. Starting to get in other business ventures (firewood processing, growing christmas trees, selling mulch, brushcutting & other Bobcat work).

    I have several goals to accomplish with this revamping both personal & business. First I want more personal time with my wife & kids (they grow to fast). Second I want more flexibility & more profitability, & clients that pay invoices better (not slow paying commercial accounts). I am in a good position as most of my stuff is paid or nearly paid for, low hour or mileage.
  4. jbone

    jbone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    Maybe you can find some ways to reduce your overhead. Look at every little thing you and your business does, and make it run as efficient as possible. If you have no choice but to lower prices due to competition, then do so and take on more accounts. Offer services that your competition doesnt. If thats not possible then do what they do but better. A friend of mine is normally substantially higher than others when bidding contracts, but he has such a good reputation he normally gets the jobs regardless of price. Imnot expert but hopefully this helps!!!
  5. kosty

    kosty LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    yea im in the same i boat i started in april this year and i spent alot on adv. and i did do alot of work but i also booked alot more and still havent got to it. My plan for next year is to have two guys out with me so we can work fast im going more into the more maintance and landscaping of this bussiness. the mowing is just cut throat around here everyone just wants to mow but no one wants the labor work. which i want to do. what part of town do u work

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