Managing a Business/Company Expansion
Hello, my name is Glenn. My buddy William "Billy" and I have been in business since 04-01-2009. Billy is in charge of on the ground operation. Our main facility is located 27 miles outside Ocala, FL. I facilitate the paper end of the business; invoicing and tax questions from all levels from Fort Myers where I live and work another job for 32 hours a week. We have 69 year round customers who are really happy with Superior Lawnscape Service, Inc. service. Billy cuts in an avid golfing community outside Ocala. He has six years golf course maintenance and brings that style of manicure to his customers. Walk-behind mowers are used where requested at a premium. Superior Lawnscape does not own or use heavy ZTRs! The weight of the ZTR over months of same cut pattern forms ruts and the speed at which ZTR's operate often sprinkler heads and downspouts are casualties. Former "cut, blow and go" companies spend as little time as possible making the work inferior to Superior Lawnscape Service, Inc. caliber of care. The word LAWNSAPE in our name describes our unique manicure service of cut. Cutting in a diamond patterns give the lawn a well manicured look; similar to a baseball field. Most have seen that in their mind's eye. And our customers enjoy it very much.
We want to expand our services to double the customer base. The one main challenge is the ability to add new people. Every business person knows labor is the highest expense a company has. How will we make this possible? Superior Lawnscape charges $65 per cut, edge and cleanup. This requires 2 people and usually takes about 45 minutes. The yard size varies but not by much. Weekly cuts are Superior's financial base. Extra services include mulching, hedge trimming, pine straw, pine bark, stone of different aggregate, replacing island contents from and to any of the previous mentioned products. The fee for these extra services is $30 per hour per laborer up to three.
In the front office of Superior Lawnscape Services, Inc. is database driven. This software keeps track of everything from remote and local invoicing to daily cut schedules and who owes what. Billy says he wants to go for 120 customers this year but weekly payroll taxes scare both of us. We don't want to hire people we can't keep. Can anyone shed light on a financial solution to growth? Thanks.
From what I am reading from your business plan you offer excellent service and have built a cliental that appreciates the quality work you provide. To continue to grow and expand you will need to invest in the same quality people needed to continue to provide quality service. You have a good handle on cost and labor so that is not an issue. Take your time and hire quality people that will stay with you for the long haul and feel the same as you about doing a great job. I would not be concerned about cost of labor for the right person. If you expand and try to slim down labor your quality of work will suffer and the crew will get stressed out and you will contend with unhappy employees.
Find the right people train them well and pay them well and you will not have to worry about expansion or covering labor cost. Hire cheap labor who does not give you 8 hours of quality labor will cause your company to fail at what you base everything on. Sometimes the answer is not something you can figure on a calculator.