Expanding the business....thoughts from those who've done it...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TriCityLawnCareLLC, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    Are u selling by appointment or paying employee to load trucks. $13 a yard profit has to pay for the employ wages loader payment insurance fuel tires maintenance break downs. It takes a lot of $13 profit to make it. I'm not saying don't do it just go over your thoughts. I don't want to see anybody get stressed out like I was. Spring rush on landscaping jobs mowing etc. then tore would be so busy u would need 3 people there to keep up and employees not showing up rain etc. it was just to overwhelming. But I would encourage anyone to try it. Just go in prepared. I think that was my big problem. Thought it was a gold mine. When it was offered to me the owner had just passed away and his kids lived hours away and sold it for just the cost of inventory. Already established business how could it not be a gold mine. Maybe it wasn't for me. I loved having it and it was a great experience. I picked up a lot of landscaping mowing work from it and made a lot of friends and contacts on where to buy what at the best price
  2. TriCityLawnCareLLC

    TriCityLawnCareLLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,025

    Those are good thoughts-ones of which i've thought of but placed in the back of my mind. I'd like to be open for sale Mon-Friday but I wouldn't be able to justify the expense (even if it is minimum wage) to have someone sit at the shop to load people up.my first year (2014 possibly) we would probably only open it up to the general public Friday & Saturdays when I can be there to load people. Good thoughts Nash.
  3. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    Or have them call and load by appointment so you can load say 5 trucks at one time. One other thing to watch. When you buy mulch try not to buy during a wet spell. They say there is 80 yards but they will only bring dot limit. If its real wet you might get 65 yards but pay for 80. Then struggle to break even on entire load. But summertime u might get 90 yards and pay for 80
  4. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    Open Monday-Saturday. Saturdays are always 5 times busier
  5. TriCityLawnCareLLC

    TriCityLawnCareLLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,025

  6. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    As a contractor, if you made me make an appointment I would find someone else. Lots of this stuff is convenience. I know if I go to a place at 4 pm and they give me a hard time buying something since its close to closing time I never go there again unless I have to.
  7. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Messages: 1,041

    As far as equipment goes I would stay away from selling anything you can buy at Home Depot or Loews or any other big box store.
  8. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    I have thought about soon this as well. I ha an old boss that did this and he made a killing, but most of it was luck on the property he bought for the business. Then he had too much land so he sub-let to other landscapers for parking. Advantage then was he was the 10 LCO that leased spots all got their material from him, even though he was a buck or two more than a competitor 3 miles away. He had a guy loading trucks at 6 am.

    He was slow at first and I think only sold 300 yards the whole season, and that was with his landscape company taking most of it.

    I think what hurt him the most the first 3 years was that he only sold mulch. Thus if a contractor needed seed, he was going to the supplier 3 miles away.

    Also he didn't have anyone manning the office and yard. He posted the sign to call for info. He lived 3 mins away but I think if the place looks closed it effected him.

    Now that he had a guy there full time they sell over 1 semi per day, some days 2 semi.

    He also has a great advantage because if they want they'll installed his landscape company does it.

    Other wise he has a slick truck set up with a custom back gate, pulls the lever behind the cab, and dumps in the driveway.
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  9. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    I like your idea, hopefully it works for you. I currently am trying a mulch yard as well but I'm not fully committed right now. I have a shop on 3 acres with plenty of room for mulch ect. My biggest thing about my own mulch yard is the price of mark up you can make when buying in bulk and selling it for retail, even just for selling it to your landscape customers alone seems worth it to me. The only thing thats holding me back is my shop is in a country setting about 20 mins from town and where we work there is mulch yards we pass on a constant basis that are closer than running back to my shop. I only have a dump bed insert in the back of a pick up for now, so I can't make it work right now with only a 4 yard dump bed. I plan on getting a ford 650 or something similar to be able to haul alot of product on a constant basis so I can make my mulch yard work for me. I currently have a few mulch bins for 3 different mulches, topsoil and mushroom soil also. But hope to have bins for all types of decorative stones gravel, sand also have a trailor stock of grass seed, straw, landscape fabric and other common used landscape products so I can make some extra money buying them off myself instead of some one else. I get sick of those huge acount bills for mulch etc at the end of each month ugh!
  10. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,783

    As a service business, why add the challenge of becoming a retailer to your life? Stick to what you are good at and do more of it - thats expanding in a smart way

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