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Let's take a minute to talk business

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Hollowellreid, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,581

    My biggest problem is making contacts..
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,082

    one time jobs or once a year jobs are fine, but they make it tough to expand -

    We used to do a lot of call in work and I could never count on the jobs to retain employees--also, we did a lot of different work to fill the days--this is a tough living-though to plan and to get all the equipment necessary to make it efficient.

    moved many years ago to contracts--I wanted regular work for my guys, mowing is the easiest to get...all on contracts, regular weekly/biweekly mowing and regular monthly income---its allow us to expand have a full time irrigator workign for us--in addition, there is lots of add on jobs such as landscaping, mulching, flowers that comes my way--

    though, this is Texas, and the economyhas been booming, even through the last 5 years things have been good compared to other parts of the country
  3. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I feel your pain. It is tough for sure but I will add that over time it will come. Be patient, honest with your work and never meet a stranger. Put your buisness card in every permit box on job sites and if you see a truck with a GC's sign on the side introduce yourself. I actually had really good results advertising in the local paper.
  4. Hollowellreid

    Hollowellreid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    First and foremost I guess we are landscape contractors- have been in business one way or another for nearly 40 years.

    That being said, we don't do maintenance or snow removal, just new installs and work.

    Jobs range from 2k-50k most of the time.

    Lots of site work, drainage, light excavation, stone work, etc. We do build things as well, fences, decks, patio's, natural stone work, etc. Don't have a real niche so to speak but we cater to a higher end client I would venture to say.

    We do work with a few builders on a regular basis and I sent out ~50 packages to other local remodeling companies/builders this spring to try to create some new relationships. Included some promotional materials, brochures on services, and so forth.

    When a crew of 2-3 guys is busy they do ~2k a day in work on average. With 2 crews going 20k a week gross sales is not out of line.

    We have some good sales logged so far this year and hopefully it keeps rolling!

    Not so much looking to "expand" or grow, but to fill the empty/down times we have now and keep the pipeline full at all times. The current size is manageable but there is room to make things more efficient.
  5. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    do you not work in the winter? Mabee try snow removal . Sounds like you have to find a niche in your area that no one is doing and capitalize on it. Or mabee try to concentrate on one or two things and get really good at them.
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    If your averaging 2k a day thats only 150 days a year of work based on 300k. Thats alot of down time for your employees. How do you keep them? As asked do you work in the winter? I am from the south so we work year round.
  7. Hollowellreid

    Hollowellreid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Have 2 full time guys that stay on year in year out. We also buy/renovate/rent apartment buildings as they present themselves so there is usually some sort of project or renovation that needs doing. That being said, things can be spotty in the winter but these guys have enough of their own side interests that they are usually happy taking a month or two off. We spend time repairing trucks and equipment at some points as well.

    The landscape/construction season is 8-9 months or so for us.

    Did snow removal many years ago and in all honesty have zero interest in getting back into it. Hasn't really snowed here in years and I can't see it being a worthwhile endeavor for all of the headaches that come with it. That being said some additional sources of winter work wouldn't hurt. I'll put some thought into it.

    Yes, as AWJ said there is some down time- that's what we are hoping to eradicate.

    Hoping to get back into and pursue commercial work more seriously. We have been almost strictly residential for the last 10 years now.
  8. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Take my opinion for what its worth(which isnt much) but it almost sounds to me like you are doing to many things. While it is good to be diversified i would take a look at what your main money makers are and try to focus most of your time on those things.

    And while focusing on mostly residential work may work excellent for lots of companies , i try to focus on work that may not be so volatile. ie- mabee try to make one of the types of work you focus on be somewhat of a more recession proof market.
  9. Bleed Green

    Bleed Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,514

    15,000 in payroll is all....your guys work cheap!
  10. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I used too have employees, now I have equipment. If I can replace a guy with equipment I do. Much more dependable. I actually pay my guys well during the busy season for septic but thats the winter and the work weeks are short. During the summer I mostly work by myself when I am slow. I usually have a 2 month period in the summer when I have no work. I used too do high volume low profit work like lawn maintanence, now I do high profit margin jobs only. I work less, make more and have few headaches from employees. Not saying my way is the right way but just giving a different perspective. I started out Mowing and ended up here.

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