How Big?????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by steelcity, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. steelcity

    steelcity LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 45

    Now that we are heading into another winter and some much needed down time for me and my equipment i am faced with that question again how big do i want to get. Will i hire employees or get more equipment so that i can do more jobs myself without anybody else. this year was very busy for me and next year promises to be even busier. i also know someone who is getting out of this business and he is interested in selling his client list to me. this is a good list but it will definitely mean one if not 2 ohter people with me. I am slowly getting rid of clients that do not pay enough as i am raising their rates to get everything inline with ohter clients so i can create some room for better paying clients. next spring i may also advertise....maybe!! I was also thinking of how to get into gas stations for their landscaping and other local churches as i have 1 already(large area to mow).

    anyway sorry about the long post this is just me thinking aloud about this business.
  2. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533


    I am finishing my 1st year back in the business (worked my way through college for an lco many years ago) and I am part time. I do not pretend to give you advice, but rather, repeat some comments that I have heard on other threads. It seems to truely make the "big bucks" and insure the survival of your business (in case of illness or injury) you will eventually need to add employees. You possibly may want to start small with one helper at the beginning of next season. As you get larger and the strain on you and your helper gets to me too much you might want to add two more (ie. another crew). Hopefully by this time your original helper has developed his skills and you have developed trust in him and he can be the crew leader of the second crew. This is the approach that I am looking at.

    As far as doing service stations and convenience stores I have heard a lot of folks on here saying that they can be a pain with gobs of trash to clean so as not to damage your equipment.

    Please take what I say with a grain of salt as I am speaking from what I have heard, not what I have experienced. If I am way off base, I'm sure someone will correct me. Hope this gives you a little to think about. Sounds like you are taking the right steps, though, with getting rid of the low paying clients and asking for comments from the forums. Best of luck to you !!!
  3. Greenstar Services

    Greenstar Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    Make sure than when you do start the growing process that you keep up with public relations. When you have staff your running a babysitting service, unless your lucky enough to find someone with the skill and knowledge of landscape management. Also make sure that your pricing includes the extra cost of having staff such as payroll deductions, insurance, workers compensation. Also ensure that you keep up with safety on jobs sites with staff. All it takes is for one stupid move by someone thinking that they can do it quicker.There's a few point to ponder as you look to next season. As for the size of my business I've had a crew of 5 and been solo.I enjoy just having 1 other body with me. It allows me to keep the Quality of the job at a high rating.
    Good luck


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