Thinking about not doing installs anymore

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bmwsmity, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Posts: 276

    So I've been doing installs for about 7 years now, each year with between 40-100% growth over the previous year. Its now gotten to the point that I'm just getting burnt out on it. I had 4 full time guys earlier this year, and kept them busy, but its such a pain in the ass dealing with employees as well as the stress of selling to keep them busy.

    Seems like more work and less money for me and more stress and less of a life.

    So, I have around 200 service accounts at this point. If I can push that to 300 next year (shouldn't be all that hard), I can basically just work for myself doing service and MAYBE an install here or there for extra $ if I feel like it.

    I also do landscape lighting (started the biz as just that), so I would be doing those installs some too.

    I know at least one of my competitors (and a good friend) does just service and doesn't even fool with install, and he's been in the biz for a long time and knows it well... thinking he has the right idea.

    I already have a nice wire locator too... and I kept a full time service tech busy all year.. and thats starting the year with only about 125 accounts.

    The installs I get leads for I would just sub out....possibly to my long-term employee if he wants to do his own thing, and then I just get the service on that install (same setup I've had with a large landscape company I do sub installs for, and it works well)...

    If I sub'ed out the installs to him, I know it would get done the way I want for the customer, and most of my work is referrals...so my customers would already know him to some extent.

    Thoughts??
     
  2. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,301

    Can always just slow down on them. I used to do 100 or so a yr. Now I doubt I do more then 25 as we are mostly service. I will not even book an install till late May.
     
  3. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Posts: 276

    well the thing is, i'm just tired of dealing with employees period... and i don't want to do install jobs by myself.
     
  4. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,301

    Ya just need to find good employees. I enjoy working with my guys.
     
  5. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Posts: 276

    well if it were that simple i would do that. but even when i have good guys, i still have the stress of keeping them busy, meaning, i have to spend tons of time selling. just burnt on it. service is way better money too.
     
  6. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Posts: 1,283

    if it was me i would do both for sure...i personally enjoy installs, plus you SHOULD get the service automatically on it, so the more installs you do, the more service you get

    i can see you wanting to give it to your main guy, but i can also see that being a problem as well...i would hate to only install and not get the service
     
  7. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Posts: 1,283

    that's the hard part of owning your own business...i hate it too at times, but we do everything from mowing to complete landscape installs, so we can usually put our guys to work somewhere if we need to...i had our main install helper help me install M/T/W of last week, then let him help with seeding the last couple days because we decided to hold off on the next install until next week

    i know exactly where you are at tho, but keep in mind, you are at the hardest part...once your business takes off, you will have no problem booking install after install, just try to keep them 3 weeks out...also, have a trailer that you can set on site, then you take the truck and go sell
     
  8. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Posts: 276

    well, my main guy is great at installs and he enjoys them, but isn't so great at service... so it would be a win-win. and he would just gimme a flat fee for using my vibe plow on each job... so its not like im getting rid of my equipment. could always go back.
     
  9. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,099

    Hire better people. Hire a manager. Hire someone to sell for you. Diversify
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,331

    Service and nothing but service is certainly do-able for a solo operator, but the crunch during heat waves is a drag.
     

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