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growing the business

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by samsaira, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. samsaira

    samsaira LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Last year was my first year as a lawn care company in Toronto and let me tell you it was buuuusy... so much so that I couldnt handle all the calls coming in. I wanted to ask people out there, what should be my next step in growing the business? I want to grow, but how? Advice?
  2. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    Good for you, starting the second year. I wish I had known about this site during my first couple of years.

    To comment on your question I would have to know more about where you are at, and what you mean. Growth comes in many ways; more accounts, bigger accounts, better accounts, doing more services, charging more. Many ways to grow.
  3. samsaira

    samsaira LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    My business is in Toronto, Canada. I want to grow in terms of having more employees and equipment because my customers are coming by advertising in the local newspaper. So, in order to keep up with the demand, I decided to pose this question. Thanks for your reply.
  4. Potomac Lawns Inc.

    Potomac Lawns Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    Well if your making more money and can afford to hire some one then go for it.
  5. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    Every situation is different, but the typical second year is about adding equipment and making money. It all depends on your resources available.
    If you have the work and resources to pay, then hiring may be an option.
    You will find many threads about hiring and working with hired help, it is a flea circus in and of itself. A lot of guys hire a friend or relative when they start out, and then a couple years later tell the story of how it all went wrong. But, every situation is different.

    Something most of us would agree about is that growth can be best pursued by taking the customers that you have and working them up to full service. Start by touching base with your clients to make sure they are on board for service this year and let them know you can also do other services, maybe work up service agreements. Also, put flyers or doorhangers at the neighbors of the accounts that you have, less travel means more production.
  6. samsaira

    samsaira LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Thanks for your advice. I would also like to thank everyone else who have given me advice. Alot to think about going forward. I like what you said about two things: 1. less travel more production 2. working the existing clients to full service. Spoken like a true businessman. :laugh:
  7. samsaira

    samsaira LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    The good thing is that the lawns here in Toronto are small and most can be cut in about 15-20 minutes and they are close together like sardines in a can. Thanks
  8. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Sit down and figure out exactly what all your expenses are, make a budget. Find a good supervisor, general labor will come and go, but you will NEED a good supervisor. They need to be able to communicate with customers onsite and communicate with you daily, also make sure they are good with paper work.

    A good advertising plan also. Most adds in the paper are " Jims Lawn Care, Lawn mowing, Spring/Fall Cleanup, Free est" Its not hard to make yours stand out.

    Whatever you do, dont get in over your head, buy as much with cash as possible, but leave yourself a cushion to fall back on.
  9. samsaira

    samsaira LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Awesome advice. thanks. I'm glad I joined this site for honest advice from members. I have been buying everything with cash. Trust me, I was in another business before and I was a little over my head with debt. Lesson learned. Not this time.
  10. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    Just don't get in over your head, with work AND money. If get calls for work that you know you can;t take on, its better to tell the potential customer "I'm sorry, but I can't honestly say that we have time in the schedule to take on this project right now" and that will go over a lot better than saying you'll do it and then getting backed up and have to keep putting people off because they will get annoyed really fast. Yeah, either way you lose the job, but if you are up front with them, most people will respect your honesty and at least you'll be considered for future projects from them.

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