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tipping point in the lawn industry?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MowingIL, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. MowingIL

    MowingIL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    what's your guys thoughts as far as there being a point were your to big yet to small at the same time. I hear far to often about "the tipping point" of this industry. so what would you guys rather due stay small or take that leap?
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    NJDLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Take the leap. If I'm not working to grow as fast as humanly possible, I don't see the point.

    The biggest question is, at what point do you as the founder need to step away from the operational (day-to-day) stuff and towards the strategic. Or - hire someone to do the strategic while you do the operational. There will come a point where you cannot do it all by yourself.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

    Im choosing to stay small, its far more profitable.

    NJDLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Only if you scale your business completely wrong, otherwise what you propose is impossible.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

    Im just choosing to stay solo.

    Most of the long term fellers in my area have remained solo.

    I dont know what point you have to reach to make has much as you do solo.
    I would think 3 trucks might do it.

    Ive looked into a helper, and figure the very slight increase in money wouldnt be worth the headach.

    NJDLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Now that makes sense. There are benefits to staying solo, and there are step-change costs that make growing slowly less profitable in the short term. Plus, there are the added benefits of only having yourself to worry about.

    I chose to go the other way and continue to try and grow, but to each his own!
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

  8. Spring Valley Lawn Service

    Spring Valley Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    I want no more then me and two other guys can handle. I d rather keep it to me and one other guy.
  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Every time you have to add employees or equipment. You add costs.

    Every time you grow to the point where two guy's can't handle the work. So you add the third person.

    Then you have to add another truck trailer and equipment. Spit off the two employees with their own truck trailer and equipment. You pair up with the new employee. You are now running two trucks.

    Thing is to add a second employee when you are working solo when you only have 40 hrs of work a week you will cause a huge cash drain on your business.

    Now if you wait till you have 60 hrs at the end of your last season and add a second employee at the start of your nest season you have more business to cover the cost of paying an employee. Could add 10 more hrs at the start of the season but did not because you were at your solo limit then you will have 70 hrs billable labor. So you should be ahead.

    Same with moving to your second crew. You have to have enough business to cover the costs of running the second crew before you add a second crew. Eventually the second crew will do the volume to provide a good profit.

    As a business grows the breaking points change. 10 truck operation probably can generate enough profit to start the 11th truck without there being any work to justify an 11th truck.

    Thing that happens is many businesses grow too fast and let their costs get out of hand eventually sinking them in debt. This can happen even to large companies.

  10. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,463

    Stay solo with one helper part time seasonal. The only way to be profitable is by at least doubling your business and hire two people to run the daily show and You work on projects and special requests. Otherwise the cost of insurance and worker comp, truck, trailer maintenance costs, payroll and basic stress will bankrupt you. Everything is way overpriced in this world today and only getting worse. Worry about yourself and efficiency of what you have and you will make more money. There is a limit of the solo operator and I've been at that limit for many years now and am happy as can be. I'm not rich I'm not poor. Keep things simple and be happy.

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