Good idea or not??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brinlee lawn, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. brinlee lawn

    brinlee lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I will be going on my 3 rd season this spring, right now it is just me and one employee. Yes I hold taxes and have gen. liability, workers comp, inland marine, the whole nine yards. I think to take my business to the next level I need someone to be a salesman. I am no salesman by any means. I have a friend of about nine years, who ran a successful l.c.o. he had 190 accounts 60% commercial and 40% residential. He sold out to a large company about 5 years ago. Said he was just burned out, trying to wear every hat in his company. Anyway he is a heck of a salesman, I have in the past tried to get him to come in as a partner. He doesn't what the headaches of running a business again he says. I asked if he would take the initiative to go out and look for work, commercial only if he would be interested in making some % of every signed contract he sold. I just need some feed back if anybody has ever done this, if it is a good deal, and what would be a fair %, and for how long. Thanks in advance for all your help. :waving:
  2. brinlee lawn

    brinlee lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I know somebody has to have an opinon on this.
  3. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Well, if it does happen, just make sure that the guide lines on pricing, size of jobs and scope of acceptable jobs is set in stone. The last thing you need is for him to be out getting jobs but have them be way underbid for what they actually take to do.

    However, if he was an LCO before, he should have a pretty good idea of the costs to job breakdown.
  4. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    Never done it like that but I think its a good idea. GETTING work is why salesman make big money. GETTING work is the key. If its not your best quality then getting a % of something you didn't have before is better than not running at full capacity. How many people have employees who can do the work but can't break away and get their own customers as well as run the business end. KEEPING customers is your job! Sounds like you are good at managing the business end and hiring a salesman is a good sound business practice.
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    my opinion, with just you and a helper you can't afford to pay for a salesman. Real salespeople work 40+ hours building leads and drumming up business. What is he gonna do after he lands you a few big jobs and you can't handle anymore work.

    Can you grow to fit his ability to sell? I don't know about him, but if all I had to do was sell, I could grow my business to a huge degree. Problem is finding decent employees, getting enough equipment, keeping it all running and more iportanly going from 2 employees to 4-6 overnight is very difficult.

    My suggestion, just spend more on advertising and get some books on the basics of selling.
  6. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    The best method to grow for someone whose forte is not selling is to buy lawn routes . Your initial cost to buy the routes will be reduced by a % each time you cut the lawns until you have paid off that investment. Paying someone to BUILD you a route a % is the same thing only you don't have to pre-pay for the accounts. ex. pay $10,000 for a lawn route that nets $40,000 and you pay 25% premium to get the route. You pay it off in 1 season. Or you pay 25% commission to salesman and he gets you $40,000 worth of work that year. He gets paid $10,000 and you net $30,000. Next season those additional lawns will yield the full $40,000 to you. NO difference in the 2 final out comes just the risk and initial expence of one vs a no risk slower return with the salesman. which one fits your plan.

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