tipping point in the lawn industry?

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

  1. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    What you are asking is a standard amount of time to stop working so damn hard and allow others to do it? I've been in business 10years. like many since I was 15. I now have stopped landscaping and allow my procedures to work with my employees. My education is in Business and my trade is Masonry and Contracting. I personally am an Economics Instructor at a local college.

    The answer:

    The amount of time it takes is when the difference between the Total Revenue of your firm and the total cost of your firm makes you satisfied enough to relax and let your processes marketing and procedures take control. I, like many will never be satisfied.

    You don't buy stock in Mcdonalds and say... "They should stop expanding."

    You typically say, if what they do is profitable, they should continue growing.

    The problem is that technicians do not run companies. They are good at performing. They don't make money being in business,rather gardening.
  2. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    You should be reading this page - http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=392158 that way you can establish a procedure for leaf cleanup. Then you can make your technicians perform the task just the way you want while you are getting drunk. Or in my case rehabbing old buildings and renting them for passive income.
  3. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279


    Perfect thought. Write a procedure for dealing with one week of rain and no work. That means less drinking until you have operating dollars to pay for salary even with no billable hours....

    Solved. It called being in business. Not. Having a personal checking account associated with a Dba you creating for the sake of pretend
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  4. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,082

    10 years is a pretty good amount of time to learn a lot in this business.
    So you have crews that go out each day and complete a route?
    How do you bill for your work? And what scheduling software do you use?
  5. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,404

    BRADLEWIS.....I love your quotes from the book!!! Spot on!! I'm headed down that exact same path. Takes a lot of work and some smarts and lots of preparation but well worth it. There is a point where getting bigger will come with more headaches at first, but if you teach yourself and gain business knowledge and put some SERIOUS planning into the business then it can take care of itself. It can be worry free and happy with decent money. For a lot of solo guys - the reason they are happier staying that way is because that's how they are wired - they are wired to be happier working for themselves than directing others to work. Neither is BETTER than the other, it takes all kinds and to each his own. But all this to say that don't let some other solo landscaper across the country tell you that you can run a successful business in this industry without being tied to it, stressed out, with less money - because it's not true. It always CAN be done - depends on the owner, what he enjoys, envisions, and puts into action.
  6. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,404

    You have to act like a big business WELL before you can become a bigger business. So get to writing Policies and Procedures, business plans, budgets, Employee handbooks, financial forecasts. etc....etc...

    Cheers! To each his own and if you are happy with your work the way it is, that's what matters.

  7. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    As I tell my economic students. A firm should expand to where there marginal profit equals their marginal cost assuming that your marginal revenue is at anytime great than marginal costs. Cost are explicit and implicit. That is the. Oats you actually pay and your normal rate of return for investments and opp costs also. The goal is to actually have faith in someone other than yourself. That book I talk about says

    You can't manage people

    You am only manage processes.

    Even the Latino guys know to follow procedure. An they speak only 3/4 English. (all legal don't worry).

    If you are a good techinician, try writing down everything you do all decisions you make that make you good and then manage them completely. Manage your procedure not your people.
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    NJDLLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Spot on Brad. This is the approach I have in my business. My biggest problem is finding people to adhere to the processes. I always have plans for retention issues so it's not a major cash drain per say, but it is a nuisance when I could be spending time doing other things.

    I wish that one of these mower companies would put together some sort of program that helped funnel decent landscaper labor towards LSC's (maybe a certification course or something). I don't care if you work for me for three years and try to start on your own - you do so at your own peril, but at least I've got a guy that's passionate about the job for the time being.

    The company that does that would go a long way in gaining my business.
  9. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    My plan is to grow into a four man operation, 3 and myself. I call it the garage model. I see many small garages operating with the owner running the business from the office while he has 2-3 employees working in the garage. These businesses seem to provide a very nice income to the owner and a good paying job to the guys doing the physical work. I plan on growing slowly and reaching my goal before I get too old to complete the work on my own. I have certain thresholds to reach before taking each step. I hear many times about having a business plan on paper. For myself, I have written nothing on paper. I am constantly thinking about my plan and making small changes to how I plan on proceeding. The most important part of the plan is to have cash on hand to move to the next step. I know this way will be very slow, however when I make that step I will have enough cash to cover for when all doesn't go according to plan. Such as the week of rain with no income, break downs, employee issues, and not to mention customer issues. Having a nice cash reserve should allow the business to operate normally and work through the problems. IMO, a strong cash reserve is the key to success for everyone from solo's to very large companies.
  10. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,082

    my experiences in this industry is that many, if not a majority of employees want to be their own boss eventually--
    not to say that after experiencing the full monte of ownership, many will decide it is far better to seek the security and simpler life of being an employee-

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