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How fast did you grow in the early years?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by zz4guy, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    How fast do you grow from year 1 to year 2? To year 3, 4, 5, etc? I'm wondering how much you guys have increased your sales in your second, third and fourth years from the years before?

    Is 50-100% growth from year one to two a doable number? What kind of growth number do you level out at after you're in this for 5-10 years?
  2. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    I grew about 100% in my second full year, this year I grew about 20%. I bought out another company to get about 80% of my growth in year 2 and made up the rest just hustling. This year it was almost all word off growth.

    I expect to grow about 10% again next year. Next year growth isn't going to be my biggest concern, I want to focus more on training/ executing properly the work we have and drop the lower margin work. I plan to hopefully increase profits far more than my gross sales.

    Not sure what type of numbers you are looking to double, but as long as you are up to the task and can put out a good service it should attainable in the early years. Don't just take any job that comes along to increase your sales, net is the impotant number not gross. Make sure it is worth your while and don't try to take on more than you can handle this will only hurt your reputation and be counter-productive.
  3. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    Thanks for the insight.

    I grossed $9100 in my first year, part time. Net was about $2500 with depreciating the equipment each year.

    I'd like to shoot for $15k next year, still part time, since I'll be adding fert and weed kill. Also will be dropping the low-rent places and trying to get some larger properties in the 8000-20000 sqft range.
  4. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,472

    growth comes quick when you are young in about the 4 th year you will have to either grow or stay where you are at.
  5. mowing grass 1111

    mowing grass 1111 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 433

    my first year i grossed about $8,500
    second year i grossed $25,000
    third year i grossed around $85,000
    fourth year i went back to being a solo and gross around $45k-$50,000 year . i only do mowing ,no spring/fall cleans no fert, no mulching just 24 cuts a year.
    i have been solo for the last 4 years .........ohh i do use help one day a week on a few big apartment complexes
  6. Lance L

    Lance L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    last year i grossed 60k this year i will gross160k with what i have with no growth i will gross 300k next year

    for a few years i floated around at 30-45k young and lazy sometimes but still makin more than my buddies. so i was happy, if you start to do some real advertising you will grow very fast then as you get bigger you get more word of mouth, its kind of like compound interest... but dont jump in unless you are ready. dont go into debt for this if you cant grow with what you have you are not ready to grow!!

    o and this is a maint only company, i probably put down 10 bags of fert last year. this year we are going much more full service so the 300 should jump a good bit, we are dealing with alot of very high end clients now, all we have to do is sell to them.
  7. LemkeLawns

    LemkeLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    13k First
    75-80k Second
    160k Third
  8. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    First year was only 7 months full time. I didn't really do any part time, it was all cards in when I went out. Looking back those 7 months are sad looking but I learned a TON. This year I'm finishing about 400% up........but I've also had 5 more months to work vs last year. Next year I'm looking conservatively around a 50% increase in gross. A few business 'adventures' I'm meeting with people on could push me to 100%+. That aside, I want to concentrate on getting a dedicated crew in place. I am were I am because I was in the field every day busting my balls with everyone else but with all of the other business responsibilities my growth will be limited if I continue to do this. I want that dedicated crew in place so I can concentrate more on sales, managing/operating like a true business and getting to where I need crew #2.
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I would suggest you concentrate more on the profit than the growth. I was doing more clients with more trucks and more employees a few year's ago but making less profit. Its not how much you grow but how much you collect and keep.
  10. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    We went from $150K in sales (included Me, my wife, one full time summer helper, and one full time fall helper) to $230K (me my wife, 2 spring helpers, 3 summer helpers, and 2 fall helpers) in sales from year one to year two. As we move into year three our expectation isnt so much growth in terms of sales( hopefully $250-275K, but the ability to get my wife and myself solely into the management of the company. Now that we have firmly figured out our processes etc, we can train a foreman into our methods to help grow the company. I know its going to be hard to let go a little bit but we need to because we cannot (or shoudl I say do not want to) work in the field all day, then do bid preparations, pay the bills, do payroll etc. which normally extended most days to 12+ hours per day spring and fall. We just dont want to live that way so since we have a foreman we trust to help lead a crew, we can free ourselves at times to go and runt he business instead of just doing the labor.

    We do offer full lawn and landscaep maintenance services. We also do small installations, bed remodeling, and small projects, we do not do large installations and no hardscape installation. Only edging, mulch, trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, etc.

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