Ask the Expert Q&A with Ken Hutcheson of U.S. Lawns: June 29, 2016

Discussion in 'Franchising' started by Michael J. Donovan, Jun 10, 2016.

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  1. Cuttgrass

    Cuttgrass LawnSite Member
    from 7
    Messages: 9

    David,

    Yes, measure the turf, linear feet for edging/trimming. Each piece of equipment, for example, should have a factor associated with how much it can accomplish with competent operator. For 1,500 SF of turf, lokely will use push mower. How long will it take to mow that with the push mower. How long do your factors tell you it will take to perform each operation?

    Have factors for EVERYTHING. Then, take into account cost of using equipment, labor rate, time to do the work. Add it all up and then determine what profit margin you want to sell the work at.

    First step is a cost factor for each piece of equipment and materials.
     
  2. David Thornton

    David Thornton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I had never heard/thought to break it down to that level. Even though we only have a few commercial properties, that can be helpful for residential and commercial. Many thanks Ken and have a blessed day.
     
  3. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I know a common question we typically receive is "should I focus on residential or commercial, or a combination of both".

    Here is what I have to say about that. It depends on your goals. You can make a good living doing residential work. However, if you are looking to create a business that is scale-able, that can operate in your absence, and that does not have the season to season fluctuations that many businesses experience ... you may want to focus on commercial.
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  4. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    My pleasure David. Thank you for the question. An accurate estimate becomes your job budget. A job budget allows you to predict your success and monitor your performance on a visit to visit basis.
     
  5. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 3,575

    hey Ken, here's something I thought I would throw out there for your thoughts/opinion

    We all know that finding, and keeping, quality employees is a common challenge in this industry. Any advice that you can share on this matter?
     
  6. David Thornton

    David Thornton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

  7. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    There are plenty of great people out in the market. The question you need to ask yourself is "why are they not working for you". Let's sweep pay off the table. You need to pay competitively and fairly. Take it a step further ... are you the best place to work? Are your current employees referring people to you? Do you treat your employees with respect? Do they feel safe when they come to work? Are they proud to wear your uniform? Do they have the right equipment to do the right jobs? Do you train them on a consistent basis or let them figure it out on their own?

    Additionally, you need to let the market know you're hiring. Include multiple channels, such as: media, print, digital.
     
  8. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 3,575

    excellent, thanks Ken Thumbs Up

    keeping with the franchising idea...if a current landscaping business owner is interested in franchise opportunities, why should they look into U.S. Lawns?
     
  9. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    That's a great question Michael. First, ask yourself are you stronger as part of a team? It's a lonely world out there as a small business owner. It's nice to have a network of professionals supporting your business. Additionally, while cutting grass is a simple task, business is complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, from sales to operations to financial management. Having a proven business model with developed systems expedites your growth and helps mitigate the risk of business ownership.

    Finally, keep in mind, developing yourself as an owner is as important as developing the business. We provide mentorship and leadership training to help you grow as an individual.
     
    Michael J. Donovan likes this.
  10. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I think there are a lot of misconceptions regarding the cost of investing in a franchise. I encourage you to reach out to us and investigate on your own. We offer a conversion program as a cost effective way to join our franchise family.
     
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