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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to get your thoughts and see if other owners have thought thru where I am today and could give some insight.

I am struggling to figure out where to spend my time, do I add another crew member, do I go solo, do I drop a couple of accounts so I can focus on the extras or do I try to add 20 more accounts and go the cut, blow and go route, etc...

Background:
40 accounts - 8,000 gross per month (3 days per week avg)
I bill somewhere between 2k and 3k per month in extras- hedge prunning, mulching, fertilizing etc... snow plow in the winter avg 2.5k per storm.

Expenses - approx
9k per year truck
6k per year gas
5k per year repairs
24k labor (1 full time employee)

Total 50K in expenses

Right now I am going 1,000 miles an hour and will net somewhere between $35-45k after expenses.
 

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Add the full time employee's income to your income and ask yourself, is this what I want to make? If you said yes then you need to go solo and maintain your accounts that you have. You'll make more money going 1000 miles an hour. :D
 

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You said you were going 1000 miles per hour. I wonder if you said that because you dont have enough engine in you to go another 10 mph?

Sounds like you have done very well for yourself with the number of accounts you have. And I'm sure that took a hell of a lot of hard work. You certainly dont want to loose that already gained investment of your time - accounts and reputation.

You are wondering where to spend your time for best results? That all depends on what you want. If you are like me, then you want to work yourself out of a job ... but not the paycheck.

There is only 1 you of course and there are only 24 hours in a day. If you are already going 1000 mph, then you might just blow your engine taking on more physical work for yourself.

There are 2 kinds of business men in the world. 1 kind works for a living. He has traded his job from the man, for a job for himself. The other kind of business man makes the same amount of money, but has the whole day to do what he wants to do. He did that by finding trustworthy and reliable people to work for him, then delegating responsibility.

Sounds like to me you have mastered the first type of business man, and now you are ready for the second?

You have a good base now, it can survive some fluctuation with your next step. Is the guy you have worthy of being your number 2? If not, replace him. If so Train him to be you on the job. Offer him a huge raise in 12 months with bonuses along the way. This person will do 99 percent of what you are doing now with the same accounts. If he takes on your work load, perhaps he will work 5 days insted of 3, can you pay him for the extra time? The extra expense of this person will pay for its self times 100 down the road.

As he / her begins to take over your role, you will be out starting the same business all over again (the fun part) finding new customers, hiring new guys as needed, and doing the books. Once this new project is finished, rinse and repeat. If you want to take the next step, get off the mower. You have already done the hard part, creating your base.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great advice.

I think I am going to concentrate on servicing the heck out of my top accounts and try to capture all of the dollars that they are spending on their property. I make most of my money on 15-20 accounts. I am going to make sure that they don't go anywhere and focus on getting new accounts or existing accounts to spend more money with me.

I have to spend more time thinking thru hiring a possible #2. I would need to pay this person a lot of money to keep him from wanting to go out on his own. Also, the cost of another truck, insurance equipment etc...

What I might want to do. Is invest in more fertilizing equipment and build that part of the business up. I could pay this person a commission for new business that he brings on while using the 40 accounts as a base of business
 

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YOU DID NOT FIGURE IN YOUR SALERY INSURANCE AND THAT SEEMS HIGH FOR REPAIRS FOR 2 GUYS, geting chemical liscen in NY is a pain the ass I have one i rough it out and say 1 employee costs about 20 accounts for the year, it high est but always est high, so its good to have 2 guys so you can stay home if you want or what ever you want to do but now thas more insurance etc.. and when 1 gets sick it screws up the day. i have 10 guys working for me its a pain but i enjoy it if i could do it over again i would have stayed with 2 guys and keep higher end clients that let you do all the work cut and run with the price of gas is tough unless you have groups of houses together dont worry about the number of houses worry about the profit keep the good ones drop the cheap ones that are out of the way may bee keep some of the close ones that are near good ones and up sell the good ones and look for more near them
 

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Rsails, you make a really interesting point that most of your income comes from 15 to 20 percent of your clients. That is the classic 80/20 rule .. 80 percent of your profit comes from 20 percent of your work and vise versa.

I suggest duplicating the 20 percent that works well for you. If you start up another type of business there may be another learning curve involved.

Analyse that top 20 percent. Why are the on top? How did you find them? How can you find more of the same thing?

You dont need to buy goats when your cows are full of milk, ha ha

Tony
 
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