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Down Sizing (Kinda)!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TXLAWNBOY, Aug 5, 2004.


    TXLAWNBOY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Well guys I've learned my lesson, tried to get too big too fast. I have learned alot this year and still have lots to learn. I have 3 full-time guys right now, as of Monday it will be back to me and a helper. I hate to let them go but financially I have to. I should be able to keep all but a few of my clients (will get rid of a few accts. that I hate) and I'm going to only take on enough work to keep Vic (my helper) and I busy. I have ran some numbers and should be able to come quite abit better off. I have been thinking about it for awhile now and it will give me the chance to get Vic trained up on the way I want and expect things to be done. Then if things are looking good next spring I may hire 1 or 2 guys back and split into 2 crews, me and a helper and Vic and a helper. However next spring I will do alot of thinking and number running before I hire anyone. Looking forward to hearing any comments and suggestions and will check back to comment more myself, thanks.

  2. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I'm in the initial planning stages of a lawncare business, and therefore can't offer any insight that's specific the the business, but I know personally I would and will be happy as a solo operator. It's a personal state of mind, of course, and I will concede that the big money in this or any business necessitates expansion. Let me ask you about when you started, were you solo? If so, were you happier? Tony
  3. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Lawn boy, I think you probly made a wise desicion.. I looked at your profile and saw that you are relativelly new as well, ( I'm starting up this year myself, man have I made some mistakes!! ), and I agree, I really want to have my act together before next season starts myself.....If you get a real good plan made up over the winter, plus what you've already learned over the last couple of years, I believ you'l probly do great. I, myself had grossly underestimated the length of time it would take to establish myself, build a good rep, find a client base ( That's worth having ) and learning all the nuances and details of running a sucessful Corporation... Good luck man, And God bless you..

    TXLAWNBOY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Ursushorribilus - To answer if I was solo when I started, I was, and yes I was happer. I was clearing more then than I am now and you are right to get to the big $ in the biz you have to expand. Now saying that, you have to be smart and do your homework. I feel that I have done some homework but still have alot to do.

    txlawnking - I agree w/what you are saying, I am looking forward to next season and planning on doing alot this winter to prepair for spring. I hope to have one really good employee (which Vic is) who can run a crew and make things happen as well as myself and a helper out there, therefore we would have 2 good crews getting lots done in a efficent time and not killing ourselfs doing it.

    Thanks for the comments and good luck.

  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Don't mean to "rain on your parade", but I am a little confused about your situation. Presently, it is you, Vic and 3 full timers. Next week it will be just you and Vic (your helper).

    Next year if things are ok, you will hire back 1 or 2 people. What has to be different next year that you are not doing this year?
  6. newblade

    newblade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    What is a good figure to try and make for the year (profit), if you run a business by yourself?

    TXLAWNBOY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Hey Rod,

    Presently it is me and 3 guys (including Vic) so counting me there are 4 of us. Which equals to too many people for the amount of work we have. Last year I had about 45 cust., over the winter I lost about 20 of them due mainly to the fact that their husban's came home from Irac (the town I live in is supported by and is next to Ft. Hood Army base). I Knew that this was going to happen, anyways right now I am up to 105. Of this 105 only about 20 or so of them are military dependants, so if things go good in the winter and spring I could have the chance to get up to 150-175 clients. If I see in the spring that this is the case I will make Vic a crew leader w/one helper and I will get a new helper. I already have my truck and a work truck so spliting up is not a problem. I messed up this year by getting too big too fast and hiring too many people.

    As far as the work goes I have been doing this stuff my whole life so the work part comes naturally to me. As far as the "running a business" side of it I have a lot to learn and wish I had gone to work for a couple of LCO's to learn what to do and not to do.

    I hope I have answered what you were asking. I know you know your stuff from your posts I have read and am open to any comments you have.
  8. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Heck, I only have 25 clients and had to hire a helper. Ive had very few calls from residential and a whole lot of calls from commercial properties. I got busy quick this year.

    TXLAWNBOY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    That's awsome Scapes I wish I had some good commercial accts. w/contracts instead of all residential. Don't get me wrong I do have a few builders that have several properties that I take care of and one car dealer but I wish I had about 5-10 good commercial accts. and about 65-75 residential, I think that would be a good mix.

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