how big are you??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by supercuts, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,814

    before i start i want to say im not trying to offend anyone with my comment and would like others thoughts and opinions on this without starting a debate.

    with so many on here, many of whom are just starting out, posting in the wrong forums, etc, it makes sense to me that we should all post how many accounts you have for reference in our signature and perhaps how many years of service and if Part or full time.

    if i want help in some areas, i don't really want to know what a guy doing 10 lawns on the side with no overhead and not paying taxes does. i know account sizes vary, a condo complex might take the place of 20-40 residentials depending on size, but a ballpark figure would help i think. and if i ask for help on a bid for a type of job ive never done i really don't want a response from someone with little overhead using a push mower with no business or health insurance, not paying taxes, growth plans, or investing for retirement. the help i want is from similar or larger sized career businesses owners. if not id at least like to know that the 16y/o who cant be legal yet because hes not 18 is offering me advice.

    so, perhaps we should all put in a rough count of accounts, could be broken down into large or small accounts, or just a total, years of service and PT or FT. that way we can each make up our own opinion on the opinions we've received. not sure if this came out ok so again, dont mean to offend others but think it may help.

    Thank you
  2. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I started off small, with one push mower, when I was 15.

    I liked my job.

    I grew the business over time. At its height, I had two mowing crews (3 people each) cutting 325 residentials and 5 commercials every week, plus a stakebody truck (2-3 men) doing landscaping, plus me in a pickup by myself doing odd jobs. Revenue was around $10,000/wk.

    I hated my job.

    Now I'm back to one one-man crew: Me.

    I like my job again.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I understand what you're saying, but I'm afraid what you ask will not resolve the dilemma of whose advice you should follow.

    Because I can have 40 accounts and gross 35k / year, the next guy has 60 accounts grossing 40k / year, still another has 18 accounts grossing 400k / year... One is solo, the other has a PT helper, the last is an 8 truck Lco but it still explains nothing.
    No, because anybody can get 100 accounts in short order by lowballing, sheer numbers are no indication.
    There's no telling, without knowing all that is involved, if the 400k guy has it made, what if those 18 are 16 acre accounts each?
    Uhhhh... hehehe....
    Anyone with some credit (or more money than sense) can grow into a huge company in short order as well, but is it smart?
    Myself and the second guy are purely residential, the last guy is all commercial, I've been in business for 6 years the second guy 4 and the last guy's fixing to retire, it still doesn't answer who knows their stuff.
    Because what if I'm about quality, the 2nd guy is about quantity, the last guy doesn't care, thou it might make sense, it still is no indication of success or otherwise.

    Ultimately what works for one Lco may or may not work for another.

    Thou I suppose if one could glean some bs from the numbers then that might indicate a loser or a winner?
    But there is the matter of honesty, or perhaps it is some of us have a sense of humor, it is not unusual to have to wear tall hipboots around here, things can get a little bit deep (somedays you can almost drown in it, but overall it's not bad lol).

    My recommendation is use your own best judgement in this matter, you might can glean some stuff in the user's profile.
  4. smcunningham

    smcunningham LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 775

    I think its a good idea, I'm 26 and my operation has'nt been around nearly as long as yours and I don't have the years experience you have.......
    8 years experence, 1 year as a crew member and the 2nd year as a crew leader for a major lawncare company. 1 year for a fert & squirt company.
    2 years part time, 1 year full time,the last two years full time and legit.
  5. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    OK.. So your saying you only want people on here who have AS much or more experience then you and that have ALOT of accounts? To help you. PFFFF... I have less than 20 accounts, but Ive been in this field since 1989.
    Ive maintained from a 30acre Apartment Complex all the way down to weed whacking a 10' strip of grass. I was running a 4 man crew at the age of 18.

    Why should it matter how large a company is or what there account level is. Experience is Experience..

    Have a nice day..
  6. Myk

    Myk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    I think you have a great idea.

    For me I started when I was 15 (thanks dad for driving me around to mow yards) when I turned 18 went in partners with an older gentleman and grew fast, second yr went from 15 accounts to 60+. Was partners for 4yrs and relized I could go on my own with half the accounts and make as much or maybe even more. So thats what I did went back on my own. Started with 5 accounts/25yards and have grown to 14 accounts/45 lawns and making more and enjoying being solo.

    The only concern is someone like me with 6 yrs experience and 14 accounts doesn't look like I've done much but I've been around the block long enough to know stuff yeah I still have a lot to learn thats why I'm on this site and its so nice to talk to you big guns about Lawn care. I bounce back and forth from commercial to starting lawncare just depending on what I want to thread. Hope I haven't offended you. Just here to learn to grow as big as I want to get. and yes I pay all that crap too I'm legit.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Mark....I'm afraid you did open up a can of worms....

    If you need help on a bid and you only want help from a so called guy who made it.... your in the wrong place.... ya may want to go to the JUST STARTING IN BUSINESS section I think most of us here know how to bid....
    It would be cool to have a mentor of the worlds best LCO... but lets face it.
    what works for you may NOT work for me....

    advice most of the time is from someone who's been there. like how do I rebuild this carb..... hardly noone will be looking at your jobs "from this board" there is Just no way for someone here to make your bids for you.

    Good luck my friend
  8. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,814

    you are correct, im not trying to limit people to responding to me simply based on size, im saying i dont want advise from the "oddjobmowerguy" in the commerical mowing forum and then see him leaving posts stating he is brand new asking what to do in the "starting a business" forum. i tried to state that it will never be clear cut based on size, but it helps to have an understanding of how big someone is and how long they have been doing it. obviously the ultimate dissicion is mine and i will make my own judgements but wouldnt you agree its nice to have a bit more of understanding of who the comments are coming from? my comments about asking for help bidding was merely a hypathetical. i think some are reading too deep into this and missing the point which is, it helps in understanding who your talking to!
  9. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,814

    again, you are correct as well, so for you stating how long you have been doing this will be more important to me than how big you are. perhaps rather than making it how big are you it should have been how much experience do you have.

    i guess this thought popped into my head after reading the forum today about needing help with a 33" craftsman WB. in it, he asks a question about the mower and states he only cuts 3 lawns. its that type "business" advice that can be misleading on here. thank you for you comments
  10. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Alot of the guys on here have way too much to sit and list everything they own, or years in business etc. Sound advice is sound advice... period. Whether it comes from a veteran or a newbie. If you have been in the business for 60yrs and have the attitude that you know everything and nobody can teach you anything, you can keep your advice. It is truly impossible for one single person to know everything in every field of landscaping.

    I too started off very young, got tired of it got out and now started all over again. I have been back full time for about 4yrs. I offer everything from maintenance to hardscapes, containers, construction, sprinklers, to snow and ice management. Hiring the right employees makes a world of difference, and can make you or break you.

    Back to your original question as far as maintenance is concerned, we maintain 150+ accounts on a weekly basis. :)

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