How does he do it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WoodBrothersLC, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    One of my friends dads owns one of the largest lawn and landscape companies in the city. He is a very successful business man, but i don't know how he does it. All of his truck range from late 70's to mid 80's, he runs very old scag belts, homelite weedeaters and blowers. Does not own 1 ZTR. He has a full time car mechanic, and 2 part time mechanics. He refuses to use computers, so he stays at the office every night doing paperwork way into 11:30-12, and he does it all the paper work with his brother. He has over 50 employees. He does own one of the largest privately owned snow plow fleets in the city, with 30+ blades on his side every winter. He also does fert., pest control, heating/cooling, and subs out some small remodeling jobs. Again, i don't know how he does it all w/o using a computer, and using all of that old equipment. I put this on here for open discussion. Thanks.

  2. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    as far as the cheaper equipment, like the homelites.... with that many employees, the equipment probably gets trashed. rather then constantly spending alot of money on exspensive stuff, he probably hits wal mart and cleans out there stock..
    and if the trucks run good, it doesn't matter the age. i use an '84 dodge every single day.
  3. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Probably able to do it because he has been doing it the same way for years. Computers might make him more profitable but maybe he is happy with the money he is making, and wants to be able to "touch" every aspect of the business. Computers really haven't been in the small business all that many years. Wouldn't be a plan I would try to copy, growing a business years ago, you didn't have the luxury of computers, so you did what you had to do. Now changing his business to computer may just be too overwhelming for him to attempt.
  4. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    I understand about the weedeaters, I'd probably do the same thing, but throw in a few stihls or shindaiwas, like a 4 homelite to 1 stihl ratio, but the truck i have a comment. He has all mexican employees working for him, and 1 white crew leader. I know from talking to him that the white guy is the only one taking care of the truck, and he drives that crew. The other crews tear the hell out of the trucks, beat them up, break windows on accident. He even has like 20 spare back windshields because they break them so much. I would probably get a few responsible crew leaders and maybe buy a new truck every few years. The only new trucks he buys are his car every 5 years or so, his brother(the other owner's) car every 5 years or so, and his nephew (who runs the fert. department) every 5 years or so.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Where is prairie village? Is the name of the place Grass Roots?
  6. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    It is not Grass Roots I will tell you that, and just for the business' sake, even though they are a very established business I will not say their name.
  7. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    Prairie Village is a suburb of KC Kansas, and this company works in and out of the KC Kansas suburbs, and even goes to some further destinations to mow some yards.
  8. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Thats cool. The reason I asked is because Grass Roots started doing all UMB banks in the St. louis area. I know they are from Olathe. How can they send a crew out from kansas to do just 14 banks? Why don't they try to sub it out?

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Score one for the low overhead side.
    As far as the computer goes- At 42 years old I had to learn computers and I am still learning. My kids grew up with them and don't know anything else, but if you are 50 or older you worked a lot without them and the learning curve may not be worth it.
    And when his pencil crashes he just sharpens it.
  10. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Sounds like a hard-working guy who's built one helluva successful business to me.

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