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What will define my company?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mrusk, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    After reading lawnsite for a year i have learned more about this industry then i have ever imagined. I now have a clear plan for what i will need to do to build the size company i would like to run. I figured i'd make a post of the basics i learned that will give me an advantage and seperate me from the other 95% of LCOs in my area.

    If i want to be treated like a pro, i have to act like one. I need to have clean cut, well groomed workers. They all have to be wearing the same uniforms. All trucks will be similar. They will all be custom painted and will stand out and be noticed where ever they are. They will all have larger signage on them. I will build my company by advertising. I plan on doing a combination of newspaper adds, direct mailings, and door hangers. This year i am only cutting a few lawns. I plan on saving a minimum of 2500 dollors to put towards advertisint in the spring of 2005, which is when i am lanuching my business big time. I plan to target high end devlopments, where people acctually care about their properties. I want devlopments because i know it would be real possible to have several accounts per a stop. I will also offer a referal program for my customers. I am not sure what kind of incentives i will give them yet. I also plan on giving my employees incentives to get me more accounts. I am also undecided on those incentives.

    I feel one of my greatest advantages will be my youth. Since i live at home, i really don't have any expenses. I don't waste money on stupid things. I sold all my quads, which were a real money eater, to buy my mower. For the first couple of years i plan on taking minimal pay (maybe only 100 a week) and reinvesting all the money back into the company. I feel if i market my company right, i will be able to increase the size of my company quickly. Then when i come to a point where i can take a good pay check i plan on investing in real estate. My dad knows several people who are extremely succesful in real estate who promised to give me guidence and advice when i am ready to venture into real estate.

    I plan on watching every cent my business takes in and puts out. I figure if i can cut out unneccesary cost, i might be able to pay my employees alittle better then the other guys in town. I want all the other people in my town who work for another LCO wishing they were working for me. When i have employees, i plan to fire slakers, no matter how bad i need the labor, to set examples for other workers. I plan to search for employees even when i already have all i need. I want to try to keep as many of my workers year round as possible. I am hoping to buy a old home each year and have my guys work on it during the winter and sell it for a profit in the spring.

    The main thing i plan on doing is not buying equpiment i do not need. Alot of companys go under when they can't make their payments. I will buy equipment as i need it, and take advantage of low interest rates if they are availabe at the time. Sometimes it is not always best to pay off everything in full.

    My plan for growth is to not hire any help untill i can not possible do anymore work by myself. Then i will look for a good employee and train him to be a leader. When there is too much work for the both of us, i will hire another worker. My 1st worker will incharged of the new guy and i will be my own crew. This plan will only work if i find good, responsible, honest, hardworking people though.

    This year i am only going to mow a few lawns and do a couple patios i have lined up. Next year i will do lawns, extras, and hardscapes. The following year i will invest the money in the right spaying equipment and go into that. However, i plan to get my applicators license later this year, becuase i will have the most free time this year.

    I am not sure if i will get a degree or not. I am going to be working for a landscaper this year doing just hardscapes. This guy is 40 and ran a company with 10 employees at one time but cut back due to personal reasons. He has no proablem teaching me the things he knows about this industry even though i will be running my own company next year. I plan on buying loads of books from turf to fertilizing. I am determined to be the most knowledgeable landscaper in town.

    Thats it guys. Not to bad for a 17 year old eh? Sorry its so long i justed needed to tell someone my plan, becuase no one i know wants to hear all of it!

  2. Ajays

    Ajays LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Its easier said than done... but I think you can make it happen.
  3. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Ahh the joy of youth. But you know, it's sooo much easier, considering you have the right drive, to do what it is you want to do before all of the other obligations of life get in the way.

    I applaud your drive and think you have a real good plan laid out. Wish you the best and I will be looking forward to hearing about your trials and tribulations. But more importantly, I'm looking forward to hearing of your overwhelming success.
  4. energy

    energy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    Wait until you hit the real world to decide these things. You are way ahead of yourself with the employee stuff and the real estate. You might not even be in the business in a few years. Listen, rich people never tell you their secrets and you are trying to tell them before you even start. They have plans and ways to execute them. No one wants to listen to you because you have not proven anything. Keep it inside of you, let your wealth and assets get their attention when you achieve it. in the mean time let it burn inside of you, thats what motivates. Dont worry what others think or dont, just do it.
  5. precisioncut

    precisioncut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    Sounds like you have thought things out, stick to it and work hard. Best of luck to ya.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,351

    I do love the dreamer, as I have been my whole life I think if you are one you have a huge advantage over those with no vision. I think you will do fine. But I do think the road may be much longer then you foresee. I still want all 3 of my trucks to match and now I will be getting a 4th this spring and still no lettering Ill get to it when I got cash to waste. Uniforms are nice but I have never gotten a call cause they read the number off one of my guy’s shirts. As for clean cut you will settle for good manners a guy with a beard or long hair can be every bit as good as one with a little geek hair cut. The firing of employees that slack is needed but you cant be that stern the rest have to know you did everything in your power to make him change before you cut them or you moral will be zip. Also do not threaten your employees with " I have 2 or 3 guys lined up waiting for your job" this very stupid statement is what is getting my Poncho this year he is a friend of mine who is a foreman and at 13 years experience has nearly as much as me. And the reason he is leaving the stability of his current job is constant threats like that. Key to building the company is good foremen here is a serious problem you will have as no one is really ready to lead after one year in fact you probably still have a lot to learn in that area and your youth will be your biggest draw back not your biggest asset.

    One it will effect the employees you have for the near future no self respecting 20-24 year old is going to work for an 18 year old and iv never seen an 18 year old that was ready to lead a lawn crew for some company yet. This I am experienced with, as I have trained more then 100 employees in the last 15 years. Problem two will be getting accounts some have no problem going with some one so young but many including the commercials are very reserved about that. You really cannot blame them they want to know if they hire you that you will still be interested in doing their lawn mid season. It could be you are great at what you do but that reservation will be there well in to your mid 20s if not your 30s.

    As for the hardscaping that will be the toughest of all your plans many are willing to let someone under 20 cut their lawn but few will let that person design garden beds for them and one reason is you can not learn that in a year that takes a lot longer to master that some in this site have been at it for 20-30 years obviously they will have seen a lot more then you could have in a year working for one other landscaper.

    You have many strengths you willingness to live off of next to nothing will be one of your greatest assets many cant or wont do it which hurts them if they wish to grow where you can spend allot more of your money by reinvesting in to your business this is something I know to well as all of my March and April clean ups this season are going in to my new mowing fleet I will be buying in May with truck and trailer its close to 70 k most would not commit that much but like you I am after growth and can see my lawn cuts at 35-45 k a month this year so of course I am investing. Your idea to advertise is great that is what builds business fast the door hangers were a absolute failer for me but iv seen as much as 10 % hit rate on direct mail last season. The real estate is a great idea but obviously could be 5-10 years before that becomes something you can play with. Keep your enthusiasm and don’t be afraid to modify your master plan as needed never be so rigid that you are unwilling to reason example I have hated some past employees but to fire one when I am behind because of rain could cost me several accounts by not getting to them obviously you have to think out moves like that. Don’t be to hasty to get your self in trouble always think out your move and like a good chess player think out what the results will be not what you want them to be.


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