Single LCO when to expand ?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Maxwells, May 2, 2005.

  1. Maxwells

    Maxwells LawnSite Member
    from NZ
    Posts: 73

    Hi
    I would like to ask those guys who have gone from a one man band to several employees how it went ? Was it worth while ? maybe it still is ? does it increase the bottom line $$$ a lot ? When did you decide to expand 2nd year 3rd year etc.
    I am now gaining a lot of work and at the stage where i will need help soon, what is the best way --- go to the bank and get a loan then buy a second set up and advertise like mad ?
    Anyones help ideas would be great !!!
     
  2. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    We're looking to move from 2 guys to 3 and basically what we are doing is getting a ton of work first, then getting the employee liability insurance, etc. Basically I would say advertise like mad until you have just a little more than you can handle by yourself, then get an employee, then advertise like mad until you have more than the two of you can handle, then get another employee, etc.

    That is basically our plan, but I can't say I've got experience in the area.
     
  3. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    The question is not uncommon at all, but to answer it. No I would not go get a second set up and then expect the business to come. I always add emplyoee when work cannot be kept up with in a reasonable time frame. However understand this will probably hurt your profit margins. Untill you reach the level where the extra employee justifies himself and then some. Only then will you be as profitable as you are now. I have seen may operation hamstring themselves by hiring employee's. They constanly wonder where the money went. I personally have five employees and myself. It took 2 years for the investment in employees to start to pay off. Good luck....
     
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569


    First, you've only been in business for 3 months! Next if you are fulltime and at your age you can easily do 50-60 weekly accts by yourself. Heck we were behind and I personally at 13 years older than you cut 18 by myself on this past Friday alone.

    So based on what you also said above then you are NOT ready (big enough, enough clients) to hire employees yet if you have to borrow money for equipment and the "advertise like mad".
     
  5. Maxwells

    Maxwells LawnSite Member
    from NZ
    Posts: 73

    Hi Mike
    I have been in biz for 6 month snow and have 50 accounts + i am just trying to look ahead and `try` to plan Cheers
     
  6. SCW

    SCW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    We have gone from solo op to 4 employees in 2 1/2 years. When my husband first started, he answered the phones, handled the estimates, and mowed in addition to his FT job. He worked like that until it got to the point where he had to either quit his FT job or quit taking on customers. At that point, he quit his FT job and went FT with the lawn business. When it got too much for 1 person, he hired a helper. We've worked that way---waiting until the work was almost too much to handle before adding on. Now we have 4 employees plus my husband; we run 2 crews (3 on mowing crew, 2 on clean-up/landscaping crew) and I answer the phones and handle the office stuff.
     

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