How I started my business

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lance Isaacs, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    could you send me more information on the ztr or where I could search for more info? Thanks

    I do pressure washing, cleaning gutters, small roofing repairs, replacing old guttering, mulch, lawn care, shrubcare, irrigation main+ installing, retaining walls, pooper scooper service, clean pools, aeration, fertilzer, seeding, installing sod and seeding lawns, minor masonary repairs, refurbing old decks, staining decks, building new decks, weed pulling service for places that only hvae rock beds, hardscaping, hauling trash off for, tree and stump removal.
    You ask how I manage all this simple subcontracting is my best friend and 4 cylinder to check on all these places average over 1,200 miles a week. My acct is very busy. We do also clean basments and not all this goes on at the same time most of it is seasonal, leaf removal sucks so I sub it out.
  2. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 916

    Chris whats up,
    1200 miles per week sh!t we do that with our 3 crews a week. Make sure your chargin alot becasue that 4 cylinder wont last that long with you puttin 150 miles on per hour (8hour day) And 62,400 miles per year for only work purposes! Thats 2080 gallons at $1.50 thats $3,120 per year we spend on the upwards of $1000 per month but this also fills machines and our best mileage vehicle has to be one of my dodge turbo diesel's at 17 miles per gallon to the downwards of 6 with one of our dump trucks. Chris if you found a loop hole in the system about subing work let me know because for subing work by law you cant supply the equipment to them. Also how is your payroll 120 hours per week if you are subing the work out, if your subing it would be more along the lines of a cost to your company per hour from somone else. I had a kid that i went to school that i think is doing it sort of how your doing it he has been doing it for some time know and he got in trouble for paying his employees (subs) by the hour and they pay the taxes and they pay for insurance etc... And he got himself in a whole heep of trouble i wont go into more detail on that unless you would like to know so you dont make the same mistakes. I have 5 spanish guys that work for me know and we left his "company" in the dust. I just want to help you out i dont want toseem like an arse.

    Thanks Jason
    ( I cant wait to pick up my new truck on Wed)
  3. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    My mowing and landscape crew gets about 120 hours per a week.
    Everything else is sub out with their own equipment. I was in a rush when I wrote my last reply. I understand completely about what you area saying about getting into trouble. I pay my guys on payroll. On most days we start about 6:30, that is pulling weeds or doinig mulch. We don't mow until 8:30 a.m. sometimes later or earlier depends on how much it rains and all that other stuff. My guys also get paid for maintance like blades,oil changes.
    When I first started out I didn't have many lawns so I did most of the stuff myself or with my workers. Once my lawn care took off I began subing small compaines or individuals who work for someone else.( not in lawn care but wherever.) Its my job to check on each in every job. If any thing goes wrong it is my fault not the sub. Always remenber that. I charge a small fee to the customer for handling this. Usually 40% of the cost of the job. If I do alot of work for them I may lower it to 20% it all depends.
    I have to go study for my general contractor's exam.

    Thank you for the advice.
  4. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I started trying to do too much myself. Wish I had utilized labor earlier.
  5. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    What I did is that I did not have many lawns at first then it was dry in my area for a few years so we only mowed maybe 22 times for the year not our normal 34 for the people who did not have irrigation. I got in to pressure washing everyhing. After I would pressure wash they would want to pay me by the hours to paintor stain. I got into hauling stuff to the dump for customers. I would charge $50 for a trailor load and $25 for truck bed load. I only charge $ 25 when the trailor was being used being used. Then i got into cleaning gutters, basically if your not busy stay busy by doing odd jobs. That help me keep the money coming in and occupying my time

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Wow, You do 20-25 hr windshield time per week. Thats a lot! With paper work and selling do you do labor too or all done by your help. Don't forget to take time off for the 500 in April. BEST RACE OF THE YEAR!!
  7. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I always go to the Bristol day race. I only live ten minutes away.I have been to the night races a few times but I like the day better. I go free to the race. My friend's dad is big whig at a local bank called People's that has grown real fast, and he gets us tickects in the nosebleed section but who cares where the seats are if you ask me. I go on a look of weekend trips to ashville n.c. and galtinburg t.n. with the future wife. But the bigger your business is the more overhead. I even got a call on christmas day to mow a lawn. I didn't do but the person was upset that there grass was a little high. I was out of town and had to call anther lawn care business to mow it on the 26. He called me from the location an said that it ddin't even need so he didn't mow it. I got back in town on the 28th and look at it and said that it didn't need it but they said I was wrong. I lost $40 a week year around. Beware of customers who are after image not the true health of the grass.
  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    By "image" do you mean wanting their bushes round and stripes in their grass with emphasis on the presentation aspect?
  9. Lance Isaacs

    Lance Isaacs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I have help in the office I hired a local collage girl that wants to make a few extra bucks who does all my billing, payroll,and a few errands. I pay her as sub because its all her own equipment. She loads in on a disk for me to transfer to my business computer.
    I do a lot of driving but I use an Acruca RSX 2004 for most of it. What gives me so muck milage is that I travel to six cities. Johson City,Gray,Bristol VA.,TN, Kingsport, Erwin, Elizabethon and some near greene country.
  10. mowerman5

    mowerman5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I am just starting out in the landscape business. What if any advice would you give. I am wondering about new vs. used equipment, advertising, pricing, and all the uncertain particulars. I have a lot of experience of managing a businness for others, but none on my own. Any advice to avoid mistakes?

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