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Replies

  • I'd imagine the prospect of some big contracts/jobs on the horizon, or that you're working at full capacity and hence turning work down. The machinery and employees are only of use if you have the work to begin with. 

    • PRO

      Hi Charlie, 

      Its more of a conversation starter rather than specifically our business.

      We tend to plan a year or so ahead if we can, although this year has thrown a spanner in the works! 

      But it would be interesting to see the views and ideas of other people. 

       

       

       

       

  • Sub-contracting. I recently subcontracted out some work I didn’t like doing. I found a good firm who do large scale gang mowing and work to a very high standard. They quoted me half the price I am getting for that part of the contract.

     This way requires no large investment in new machinery and no commitment to taking on employees. It has also freed up much needed time.

  • PRO

    I'd like a mini excavator. I'd use it on so many jobs and save on hire and be able to charge it out too. Just need somewhere to store it. I've run out of space.

    • PRO

      It is my intention to build a customer base closer to home , A realistic goal which will increase productivity yet free up valuable time requiring minimal investment .

       

  • PRO

    I think getting work closer to home is a sound idea although not really growth if you are dropping the work further from base.

    I tend to invest in my state of mind, health and happiness.  I started that in 2012 with buying a full range of Pellenc battery powered tools which changed my working life considerably for the better.

    Next was working closer to home as i find travelling demoralising and not good for state of mind. I then turned my attention to getting increased levels of interesting work which involved using my mind more. More interesting work keeps me more motivated and happy to go to work which equals increased turnover.

    Clients are important too. I have been in this game a long time and have become very good at judging prospective clients on first meeting. I can assess which ones i am likely to enjoy working for the most and act accordingly.

    Invest in your brand and image for future growth in the area and dire tion you want. My eco stance has brought my a constant trickle of interesting work that gets me excited and eager to get going and improve the environment we live in. It has been a small trickle over the last ten years but i am finally where i want to be. 

    I no longer worry about how much i am earning that day or what the point of my existence is. I hope this current crisis brings more of the work I crave as people become more environmentally aware.

     

    All the best, Stu

    • PRO

      Working closer to home is for all the reasons you point out Stu . Certainly mental health benefits , the travelling is getting me down . 

      Although initially i worked close to home when i started out , probably too close to home as i had customers knocking on my front door and also when i was out enjoying my leisure and family time if i bumped into a customer they would always bring up my next visit nattering me to go do their garden and i found it intrusive when i just needed to stop thinking about work so i decided to go work in a different town 11 miles away , 22 miles a day , thats how bad it got , but i would never allow this to happen again as i have become much more assertive .  

      I agree the cordless kit can certainly improve the quality of our working lives significantly .

  • PRO

    1/ Marketing

    2/ Every thing else follows marketing

  • Reading through the thread about working closer to home makes me realise how fortunate I am. The job I have which is furthest away is only a distance of seven miles. The vast majority of my work is less than five miles and a few about one mile away. The Hilux does well under 6k miles per year. After 30 months of ownership it has now covered only 14200 miles.

    It is true that working closer to home is very desirable. It makes life so easy. I did have a four weekly job that was 20 miles away on a trading estate [the organisation has now moved much further away], but they agreed to pay me for traveling time and fuel as well.

    Marketing keeps coming up on the forum, but I don’t advertise as I don’t need any new work and new work finds me anyway. Most of my clients have been with me for many years. I don’t have a turnover of clients and so don’t keep needing to replace them with new ones. Although I do take on new work when it comes my way and if the client is someone I like and the work is good and profitable.

    Having the right sort of work where your skills are seen by many people and not just the client is a big help in gaining other work. This is where mowing cemeteries, churchyards and school playing fields etc. pays dividends. You and your work are seen and known about and so this is in effect your advertising. Believe me this does work.

    As I said above, subcontracting is something I have recently done. It is the same principle of employing people. You charge their time out for more than you pay them in order to make a profit. For them to generate income for you. Subcontracting does this without the commitment to find wages when times are potentially leaner like over winter.

    So I may well do more of this in the future. I can now factor this in when looking at large council contracts, which I have and which are offered to me from time to time.

  • PRO

    This is a great question and I've been struggling to answer it. This is suggesting to me that we've got everything together in the right proportions at current. 

    More leads only works if they're your target customer and at the right cost to be profitable. It's open not a rapid road to profitability. It's also of little use if they become too high a volume to handle effectively. 

    We will add an additional scarifer and a larger van within the next 12 months but that time isn't now. 

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