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What's stopping you from growing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I know a lot of guys just want to be solo operators. But for those who are trying to grow their business into multiple crews, what is stopping you from growing and adding another crew?

    Is it a lack of capital?

    Or is capital not the problem, but rather, fear that you won't have enough work for the new crew?

    Or fear that you've already got too much to manage as it is and you don't think the cash flows can adequately support an assistant manager?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,180

    what about lack of jobs?

  3. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob2: what stops my desire to grow even more? very impatient customers
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I can't say from experience, but I suspect that lack of management skills is the thing. It can't be easy to learn to juggle all the equipment, employees, customers, supplies and the zillion other things that go into a multi-unit operation.

    Look, guys, it aint everyone that's wired at birth to keep all those balls up in the air. My guess is that those skills are learned. The history of organizational behavior is littered with examples of those who knew just how to juggle a lot of disparate elements.

    I don't know how I'm going to do it when the time comes, but I do know this: I will learn how. I also know that there will be times when I'm gonna just wanna tie one on and say "F*** it!!" But you know what? You either grow or die of boredom. Easy choice, eh?
  5. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    DFW stop telling people that you went to OSU

    This will help your business
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,855

    Growth is great. I have seen better growth in different areas from year to year. It takes alot of management and I am probably too hands on. I an up by 4:30, doing whatever needs to be done. Getting gas, changin blades, trailers, maybe going over a proposal that I have later in the day. I feel I have to be out with the guys.

    This my limit some of my growth due to not returning phone call until the next day. Not getting the billing out by the 1st but by the 5th of the month. Things like that take time, priortiy, and patience. It seems that after 2, 4, 8 hours of "office" work netted you nothing. But a that is where is all starts and stops.

    I am always looking for the next oppurtunity to come my way or else I make that oppurtunity happen.

    I guess you have to be satisified where your at. Look at your goals, long term plan, and see where you want to be in course to where you are now.
  7. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Employee's is the biggest problem. I downsized this year and may do so again next year.

  8. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,683

    Its capital for us it is keeping growth at a much slower rate then I would like but I can only grow as fast as I can raise the money to invest in equipment and trucks and buildings.

    Management will likely not ever be an issue with us both my partner and I are very hungry and so is his brother whom works for us as well. I am considering bringing in another old friend next year Like my partner he has no previous experience in the trade but like my partner I see in him everything else I want in a captain. I can teach the trade easy enough teaching some one to be a man and act like a responsible adult is a much more difficult task.
  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    ++++Employee's is the biggest problem++++

    Would you classify that as the inability of the business to generate enough cash flow to pay an assistant manager? Or is an assistant manager not necessary, you just prefer not having employees because it's easier being solo?

    I'm tempted to go out and buy two more pickups, a second trailer, hire three more employees and send a two man crew out with door hangers every day for 40 hours a week while I call on commercial accounts. The business isn't making enough money for me right now, I'm working my azz off and capital isn't an issue for me. If I make this change-up, I'll have zero in interest expense, otherwise I'm not sure I could consider it. My concern is being able to fill the schedule, and how long it would take. I have a pretty good idea based on the response rates from door hangers this May. It would certainly take some payroll and time to get two schedules completely full.

    I've been doing a lot of thinking about this issue lately. If I can't grow the business such that I have the potential to make the income I want, I don't want to continue doing what I'm doing. My opportunity cost of doing the solo thing with only one employee is tremendous as compared with what I'm capable of earning in corporate america. Not to mention, I'm always one injury away from being out of business all together. It's obvious to me that I'll never be able to grow this business slowly, as what little cash I can generate each year working solo with one employee has to be consumed by my cost of living. Each month that I continue on like this, I'm that much closer to my wife's pink slip in corp america. Right now, she's the one who's really paying the bills. My little Mickey Mouse income is squat next to hers and it really makes me feel lousy.

    I'm guessing that other LCO's who have grown to muliple crews after having been solo had to make this change. Any insight on this guys????

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Easiest way to grow your business is to buy out your competition.
    If capital is no problem buy the accounts and only the equipment that you need and you just expanded.


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