looking at my options for next year

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JCLawn and more, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. LandscapeSavannah

    LandscapeSavannah LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 112

    You are not going to make more working at some "shop" than being the CEO of your company if you do this right. It sounds to me like you just need to take a step back and look at your own company. With that many accounts, you could be really making some money. Also, 7 days a week at 14 hour days, I think you are burnt out on it and discouraged. It seems you may NEED the help. I'm sure your helper is tired. Another person is designed to lessen the burden, and in turn lessen everyones hours. It may COST you a little more per hour but you should also be able to DO more. You should form systems for your business, and spend time managing your business instead of running it so much. I'm not saying sit at home and have someone do all the work, but you need people that can step in and take charge if you need to go look at another job, or speak with a customer, or talk on the phone. If youre doing your man hours correctly then that should include a percentage of pay for you also. So if you are on the job but you need to spend an hour talking on the phone and another 30 minutes stopped by a potential client across the street, you are still making money from the guys working for you. You need to face the fact that you cannot do everything yourself to the point where running your business gets in the way of running your business. If your straight out of high school give it time. Youre probably making double what people your age are.
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    learning I can't do everything has been a 3 year lesson. I am 22. What you said is the reason for this thread. I am realizing this. the reason for a shop job is keep a steady income while I rebuild my company and manage it rather than doing it all myself and I could have my heath insurance payed for. I have the mentality I need to be there for everything, I can't do that and grow. I was thinking a second shift job, dropping most my customers and reworking my routes and keeping my most expensive accounts. That would be like $1300 for 30 hrs of work. Thats a good profit for paying someone solo to do it. That would train me to work from 8 am till 3 or 4 pm like I really should. I do want to get married someday, I can't expect my future wife to put up with this craziness. Also I want my company to support full time year around employees. So i need to be in the position of paying them 30k a year at some point.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    THe whole thred is confusing, one pose the op is grossing 10k per month and in another thred it takes over an hour to do a 35$ lawn, which would be around 300$ per day or around 6000$ per month.

    JCLawn what you need to do is keep track of everything on a daily basises, even personal stuff.

    It sounds to me like you need to be organized.

    I started out working full time and doing lawns part time. I didn't keep good records because income was great.
    When I went full time I started keeping close records both personal and business wise.
  4. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    Yes with drive time solo $35 lawn will take alomost 1hr. That's going rate for here. I have 2 lawns that are $194 a hour. When I lived at home and did not have house responsibilites every dollar was accounted for. I could look everything up, I just don't know the numbers right now. The off season is when I normally polish my records because I only work 6 days a month.
  5. dllawson

    dllawson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    JC, take some time to understand your numbers, your business, and your customers before you make any major decisions. If you are too busy to look at your business, hire someone for two to three weeks while you step back, catch your breath and evaluate things.

    1. What are you doing that is currently making you money? How can you do more of that?
    2. What are you doing that is not making you money? Can you fix the problem, or do you need to stop doing that type of work?
    3. What do your best customers have in common? How can you get more of them? What do your worst customers have in common? Can the problem be corrected, or should your drop them?

    After you have some ideas on what is good and bad about your business, spend some time evaluating your accounts. List the accounts that are actually costing you money. Fix the problems that make them unprofitable, change the price or drop them immediately. At this point you should have a little clearer picture of your business, as well as fewer and/or more profitable accounts. Now you can make an educated decision about the future of your business. Send me a pm if you like, I have some tools that can help walk you through many of these steps in about 3 weeks.
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I'm reading from you.

    The numbers you're posting make it sound like you're too cheap. 100-120 lawns doing 10-12k a month makes it sound like they're in the price range for a mow and go lawn that will take 10 minutes (about $25 a cut). But then when you said you're working 7 14 hour days that makes those numbers go down the tube. Like someone else said, they're averaging $60 an hour solo, that means with drive time and all. I'm assuming the 7/14 thing you said meant office time, shop time and all or I hope atleast.

    You need to start tracking stuff better, keep time on places and on drive time, tighten up the route and raise prices. The fact that you're saying you don't know how much or how many lawns you even has is really scary. I'm not trying to be mean or rude here but that should be something you could say off the top of your head.

    Don't be the guy that just wants X amount of lawns, be the guy that was X amount of money out of X amount of lawns. I know a guy thats about your age and lives in my neighborhood, same thing as you he's been in business for 4 years and started in high school. He now has 3 guys working for him and he works a full time job plus mows all evening everyday. I wondered how he was growing so fast, then started to realize he was landing all the jobs in my neighborhood that I was called to in the past and turned down because I was always "way too expensive" per the customer. I started talking to him and as we'd talk more it started coming out how he charges between 12-17 a lawn! And the 17 number is his new prices because he "couldn't work for free" as he said. He had no clue, and just kept seeing he was adding 5 lawns a week and thought it was because he did awesome work and the fact that he was 18-20 at the time that he started blowing up and had a full time income also supporting the company he had no clue he was working for free.
  7. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    The thing is I can fluctuate 10 lawns a week. I get one offs a lot, I have a property management company that can go from 5 lawns to 15 in a week. My lawn count is kinda like the stock market on a daily basis I just had a company call over the weekend and wanted me to pick up 20 lawns. I picked up 4 lawns last week. I don't keep a lawn tally in my truck and change it every day... Also with the 100 not all are every week, which I esablished, and $60 a hour single is impossible in MI when the going rate is $45 a man hour. Also yes 7-14's is working on equipment, book work and all that jazz. My employee works 30-50 hrs a week depending on what goes on that week and if I have a truck down or something.
  8. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    45 a man hour for employees aren't bad. In my area it's 35-45 for an employee, an owner should turn 60-90 honestly.

    You had mentioned cutting back to 1300 in work and it taking an employee 30 hours to do I believe. That'll never work out. 1300 in work will be what roughly 40-50 places? An employee on his own will be lucky to do 1-1.5 an hour without you there cracking the whip. I still say you need to keep better track on everything and make sure you're getting a good rate. Your statement about the management company giving you 5-15 lawns a week tells me again you may be too cheap. I'm constantly telling management companies to get lost because they call with these jobs that are horridly low. Around here the construction guys that are hurting for cash are the only ones that do the property managed places.

    You said in your first post how at the end of the month there's no extra money really, that means something's wrong and needs reevaluated, and when you said you're lucky to get 1.5 lawns an hour done with an employee, it leads me to believe you're too stretched out. How many miles does the truck get put on it per week during the mowing route?
  9. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    It would be $1300 in 8 properties. They are my cash cows.
  10. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    So by your math you've told us, you do 1300 at 8 places which means you do 92ish more properties that make 1200. So 13 a lawn for other places. Or if we go with the 12k a month figure with only 100 lawns that's 18.50 a lawn.

    I'm confused.

Share This Page