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Business Growth??

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Buckhunter, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Buckhunter

    Buckhunter Member
    Messages: 33

    Hey guys, just looking for a little input and advice from some of you that started and have been running your own businesses for awhile. I started my own company in early 2008 doing landscaping and plowing in the winter. For the winter I knew that I wanted to focus on quality rather than quanity of work because I only have 2 trucks. I have a really reliable person that runs my second truck and we really focus on quality work. Now comes my problem so to speak. Just through word of mouth I am getting calls from people all over my area that want not only one time pushes but to set up contracts for the rest of the season because they are unhappy with the current service being provided and have heard good things about my service. Naturally I really love the extra business and its what I need but it is stretching us thin. I fear that we will begin to sacrifice quality to keep up with the demand. Should I start turning customers away or do I have to bite the bullet and get a third truck. I worry with the recent financial troubles in the stock market how much people will be looking to spend on landscaping this summer. I had a great year my first year but I don't want to get ahead of myself with new purchases if people will cut landscaping costs to put food on the table. With all the daily expenditures for insurance, wages, and truck payments, I don't want to get a third truck to run for plowing and then only get small amounts of work during the summer that would put me in the loss column. Just looking to see what you guys are doing now and/or how you got started and managed your growth.
     
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    If I were you I would snatch up al the work I can. Remember, a plow customer can be a mowing customer and the opposite as well. Can you sub out any work to someone you know does a good job? You'll have the customer on your books that way, but keep your workload at a comfortable level.
     
  3. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Honestly snag a used half ton truck for cheap.I agree with the above poster never turn down work and if it doesn't pan out you have a decent back up for the other 2 trucks.

    Congrats man this shows good hard work and word of mouth can make one successful in this business keep it up.
     
  4. Buckhunter

    Buckhunter Member
    Messages: 33

    Thanks. Yeah I also started offering what I have been calling next day service. For those that want it we show up the next day after the storm once all the plowing is done and take care of all extra shoveling and snowblowing of roofs, decks, pathways, etc. Obviously they get billed for this too, and so far it has really helped. Gives us an extra work that pays.I don't know if that is common in your areas but I think Im the only one in my area that does it.
     
  5. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Wow you snow blow roofs!?!?!? That is a new concept for me.
     
  6. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    How about looking at ways to make your routes & equipment more efficient? How long are you out for now in each truck? Eliminating one of those 'way out there' accounts allows you to pick up 2 new clients that are closer to your core business? I would consider a third truck too, you don't need to drop $30K on a nice truck. Find a reliable older truck with the same type of plows you run now and run it or keep it for backup. You should be able to pick up something decent for $5-7K. Last year I ran one truck with one for backup. This year we're running 3 driveway trucks and the backup truck is doing one commercial lot and all the salting. We've been plagued with truck problems and if we didn't have the backup truck we would have lost a lot of clients. You need a contingency plan in this business. That almost always requires a backup truck. Never count on a friend or fellow contractor to help you, because they're going to get their stuff done first then worry about yours if at all.
     
  7. Buckhunter

    Buckhunter Member
    Messages: 33

    Haha no I don't snowblow roofs. Worded last post a little wierd. Snowblow pathways and around decks and other areas that need to be cleaned up. I shovel the roofs or use a roof rake.