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Inundated with work.

Does anyone else find themselves overloaded with work atm? Sure its great to be in demand but honestly I can barely keep up atm, what with being on site doing a bit of graft, visiting potential clients, doing the quote calculations and garden designs plus all the extra inevitable crap like family life, delays and delivery suppliers destroying walls lol!. I'm working from dawn till gone 11-12 most days 7 days a week now. Talk about burning the candle at both ends! Getting the work in doesn't seem to be the problem, just the amount of hours in the day lol! I think I'm losing alot of potential revenue by not being able to get prices back to potential customers quick enough. It seems hard to make the jump to the next level so to speak, we have alot of avenues to explore and alot of very promising ventures ahead but how to balance and shift from being on site to essentially project managing (which obviously is the goal eventually as I'd rather make money on other people digging holes lol!) It seems nigh on impossible without extreme risk, and all moving too fast tbh 

Anybody else in or have been in a similar position, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you coped or are coping with it.

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  • PRO

     See my post Starting up in S Wiltshire? https://landscapejuicenetwork.com/BOG/starting-up-in-south-wiltshir...

    I am getting one or two enquiries to the website a week - + a referals from existing clients... then when I look on, and clear down Bark there are around 40 leads a day!!!!

    I'm now passing things onto a guy who started up last autumn and one of our Pro members here. I don't want to take the website down or put a "sorry full" message on it, in case the garden of our dreams knocks on our door.

     

  • It looks like you are landscaping/garden design rather than maintenance.

    Obviously if you are landscaping then you will need a constant supply if new customers. Those of us concentrating on maintenance don’t need new clients all the time, if at all. It’s a very different situation.

    If you are so snowed under and winning every job you quote for, could it be that you aren’t charging enough? In fact, this is how most of us filter out the clients we want from the ones to be avoided, by charging a proper commercial price. It really does separate the wheat from the chaff.

    ‘If you work for nothing you will never be short of a job’, as the saying goes.

    Do you need to be working 18 hours a day 7 days a week? You won’t be able to sustain this forever and if it makes you ill then who will run the business. I think you should possibly reassess what it is you want from the business and from life in general.

     I would rather earn £1k per week and have a good and stress free life than earning £2k per week and be the richest man in the cemetery. I spend enough time in them already mowing. Better to be the one above ground for as long as possible.

    • PRO

      If you are serious about converting your opportunities into a thriving expanding business or even taking on a right hand person to delegate to check out to see if there are any goverment support  incentives or grants available, In the current climate with many people out of work there might be something available . 

       

  • Atm my phone rings 3 times a day on average just new customers and like you I'm struggling to keep up but I Was told when starting out that you've got to look after your existing clients, I'd happily mow lawns all day, everyday...

    But If there's bad weather or winter arrives I'd have to relax...

     

  • PRO

    Just keep increasing your prices until you can handle the demand.

    • PRO

      Like

       

    • Correct.

  • TBH Our prices I think are fair for where we are, we basically have two areas, one very affluent.. and one not so much that varies in price alot, with some areas to avoid. It's nothing to do with what we are charging.

    It is literally the amount of work coming in at too fast a rate (we could probably triple our revenue!) to keep up with and obviously needing more staff to cope with demand on the ground to free myself and the other director up for the design/quote/admin side of things (which is the biggest risk, taking people on who may/may not be any good especially with skilled trades), and obviously being less a maintenace mowing/strimming round company, its harder to pick up those kind of odd little jobs enough to get a few 'rounds' going as we don't have the time, let alone employ people to do so and make a profit, I'd be using that as a very big loss leader atm and I'm not sure its worth it. I'm not mowing lawns myself, even overgrown first cuts tbh!

    Atm I have some very promising design jobs for very good money (and also a chance to actually do something interesting) on the go which is more where my strength lays, but juggling this timewise with being a smaller company atm where I need to be on site to make sure things are being done to standard and occasionaly push a barrow is hard. Another very, very big point for me is that I know it would be easier to focus on patios/fencing or something bog standard and have that constant churn out everyday crap, but I would go insane very quickly lol!

    We are looking at getting some extra help in next week, but I think its a case of not biting at the carrot so to speak, the opportunity is there to go yes we'll take on a ton of projects but have to take on lots of (untried) staff with the high risk /high profit. However it could go tits up which in my view is more than likely..

    • PRO

      The one off jobs and the routine maintance jobs are two different worlds , I find it difficult to balance both but the routine stuff is bread and butter . 

      The obvious thing to do as i learned from a mentor is to allocate your landscaping and fencing jobs to the winter months . 

      Is all this work coming in as a result of advertising or your good reputation ? 

      Sometimes when its through advertising i find you get a lot of time wasters and it can be draining trying to work and then run all over the place putting quotes together which go nowhere but its also easy to get ahead of yourself and see every enquiry as having potential . Totally different when its word of mouth its almost guaranteed and those customers will wait for you . 

      If you only do a few one off jobs you can fit in which give you job satisfaction maybe its better than putting all your eggs in one basket and taking a leap into the unknown with unknown people . 

      They usually say that anyone who is any good in their field of expertise is running their own show  but perhaps plenty out there who can excel as an employee with a bit of guidance and training and not just thrown in at the deep end . 

      Its natural for applicants to talk a good job how else do they balance selling themselves to get the job with their actual true potential It can only be up to you devise questions /response which fit in . 

      My old boss used to say 'to applicants 'if you are so good then why are you here '' ? A bit harsh in my opinion but you heard some very interesting responses . 

      On the other hand i have known some really good contractors who are very skilled at what they do but not so good at running a business and fail which puts them back into circulation so you might be lucky . 

      I dont look for routine maintenance any more it always failed probably because i cannot bear repitition but my one off work took off and became more interesting and more rewarding financially but you cant always rely on word of mouth as the work spec is more complex so advertising is always necessary

      one way to manage jobs which are overwhelming is to introduce colleagues with complimentary skills to the potential client and let them negotiate their own terms but synchronise the timing of everyone's availability on the calendar . 

      I have trusted colleagues but we are not joined at the hip .

  • I am almost completely maintenance, but I also have done much soft landscaping over the years and a little hard landscaping and the odd fence years ago.

    I would take issue with the idea that maintenance [mowing is what we are really talking about] is repetitious and boring and that ‘one off ‘jobs are more interesting.

    So the question is this, how is it more interesting to be laying patio slabs on site ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’ than it was on site ‘A’. In the end you are doing the same thing over and over again every day, but just in different locations and for different clients. Yes, the patio design or slab type or where the fence or wall is will be very different, but the nuts and bolts of the actual work is exactly the same.

    So it’s really still the same activity all the time, but with the added difficulties of new clients, all the time, effort and costs of measuring up, finding out what they want and then not necessarily getting the work.

    I also will be doing the same activities this season, the same as the ‘one off’ landscapers, but with no finding or dealing with new clients. No running around pricing up work. No chance of a client defaulting on payment or complaining that things aren’t right because they are idiots but that didn’t show itself at first.

    All my clients were waiting for me to return. I personally would not relish the vast amount of time and effort running around pricing up new work every day. I would rather be earning money.

    I suppose that if pricing up new work is all you are doing and it’s other people doing the actual labour and not you yourself, then I would admit that measuring is easier than working. If it’s the labourers who are generating your income for you and you are just doing the design work on paper, then that might be considered to be more interesting than mowing - or laying patio slabs.

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