Double your profits not your route!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CharlieBingo, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    I see a lot of threads about getting bigger, doubling your route etc. PLEASE THINK. My biz is half the size it used to be and I'm making double the money. CHARGE WELL. THIS IDEA OF GETTING A LOT OF CUSTOMERS FAST ALMOST ALWAYS MEANS PRICING LOW. It plagues our industry. The idiot with three hundred accounts going out of business. It's too common. I've never seen anyone go out of biz because they charged too much;ever! A bigger biz does not make you a bigger man. It certainly makes you a man with more headaches.
  2. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593


    Totally agree, I started a thread last spring about the differences in the two company structures. I tried it this year, I sell a lot more services to my existing clients than ever before and my profit margin is much higher. I do not want to have 14 trucks rolling out with 42 employees to manage and still make the same that I make now or quite possibly even less. The headaches and stress are not worth it to me.

  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    I Guess your refering to my thread about doubling my route for 2006. I also agree with your post, but in some areas this is not always fesable. I would love to do 30 accounts for $60.00 per cut, but youcan't charge that when ten other companies will do it for $30.00. Maybe $35.00.

    The way to not go out of business is to run "Lean and Mean" we only buy what we really need. More volume is the way to go for me.
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    The key is not in volume, but rather upselling to the customers you have now. And investing in other services that bring you in more $$, diversifiying. You have to learn to work smarter, not harder. Eventually you hit a point in your life where you can't work any harder, that's when the volume theory starts to drop off.
  5. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    I agree with a lean and mean company. The problem is more accounts means more workers, higher payroll, more equip, abused equip, big and constant repairs, workers comp etc. I've never seen a big company with multiple crews as efficient as one or maybe two "super crews." Many big company's owners really believe there is no nonsense within their biz. Sadly I see their employees smoking pot and milking the clock everyday. There is a lot of money in that "fat".
  6. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Thats only one type of business structure, im not talking about a solo operation I'm talking about a 2-3 man crew with me as a chaffuer, the most I would be doing is riding a Z. I'm looking to specialize in mainly mowing, with only a hand full of full service accounts, most of them being commercial $$$.

    I'm not looking to do mr. & Mrs. Smiths mowing, fertilizing, mulching pressure washing, tree trimming, gutting cleaning, and what have you. I just want to mow there lawn every week, and maybe trim the shrubs twice a season, and lay some mulch in March. IN my case volume IS key, it doesn't always mean Cheap prices either.
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    LOL...that's the company Im trying to be the one with the Two "Super Crews". Our definitions of "big" are different. Im not talking about the guy with 10 crews and 35 employees.

    I shouldn't say big,it's misleading. I should say BIGGER. In all actuality what im talking about is still a very small company. I just want to be a few steps above "solo". The solo gig gets old quick IMO.
  8. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    I think you have a good plan and future.
  9. mjean

    mjean LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I run two two man crews but we do alot of work other than mowing we trim trees and schrubs on 95% of our jobs we plant seasonal color on almost 80% of our jobs we fertilize all of our jobs and about half of our accounts get holiday lighting. I can't stress the upsell enough every lawn I do that has mulch beds we freshen them every year. I use to be alot bigger but I watched my bottom line drop out from under me it's not even selling your jobs for a high price but it's sell all the other services that go with a maintenance company and it will set you apart from your competion. I even got away from doing landscaping a couple years back I still sell it but then sub it out. during the slow (dry) of the season you need to have some other work lined up try landscape lighting quick and ez but good profit margins. don't just mow grass and hack can do that and that's why you think you have to bid low and mow alot of grass. the grass should just get you in the door for the additional work.
  10. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Thats why I would have that hand full of full service accounts, which would be mostly commercial. These full service accounts would get us through the slow times. It's kind of like the way my biz is set up now, I just want to do it on a larger scale. 2-3 times my current size.

    One thing I did notice about being solo, I usually have more than enough $$$ during the slow times. This past summer I was working 1-2 days a week for atleast a month, and I didn't miss a dime. It didn't make a difference to me wether I got to trim or lay mulch. I guess with employees I would have to get them work in order to retain them. I won't however be like the guys around here (BIG BOYS) who will cut a lawn that looks like they just left and is burnt to a crisp. That really pisses customers off, I will do it once or twice, but I won't keep doing it week after week.

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