Don’t give up just yet! You may be closer to a successful lawn care company than you realize.
I’d like to ask you a question that I hope you’ll think about, and that is, have you decided to throw in the towel or give up on growing your business a little too soon? Have you said good is good enough? If I could just be $400,000 a year in gross revenue, I’d be happy. Have you chosen a number that might be just slightly too low to get you to a place in the business where things start to get good?
I know hundreds of companies. I know actually over a thousand companies. I’ve worked with so many different people at this point and gotten to know so many people and just had casual conversations that I have come to believe that the majority, or a very significant numbers of companies, give up just a little too soon or say this is all I want.
The number that they want is just a little too small. Whereas, if they pushed on just a little further, learned a little bit more, became a new version of themselves, maybe got a coach to help them get there, they would have achieved something that would have delivered to them much more money and much more satisfaction, a higher level of confidence, a higher level of peace.
What I experienced in my own business was until half a million in gross revenue, keep in mind it was maintenance not design build or project based work. At about half a million, I started to see the light. I thought, “Okay, this is a good business.” I could see the potential. Anything less than half a million, had I never gotten past that number, I wouldn’t be in the business today. I would have taken my money and my time elsewhere to something that I thought had more potential. Fortunately, we got past half a million. I saw the light. I saw the potential.
Now, if you think about the numbers in the industry, the vast, vast majority never get past half a million. That tells me the vast majority have never experienced what a good business might look like. Now half a million was just the first milestone in my mind, because around 900 to a million, that’s when okay, now it’s much better, because now we’re seeing more money, not just in gross revenue, but you’re seeing more profit to plow back into growing the company bigger. Of course, you make more money and you also can afford a couple people, at least one, but probably a couple people to be on what I’d call the leadership team to help grow the company and take some of the stress and frustration and challenge off your shoulders.
Now, the next big number that was really interesting was five million. I realize that’s a really big jump for a lot of people, but I really believe that the number is about a million, million and a half, and the next really interesting number is about five million. The number between a million and a half and four and a half or a million and a half and five million, it’s good. It’s a good business, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck there. You go through these ups and downs of investment in the company. These ups and downs of profit. Your profit dips as you’re growing to the next level. You’ve got all these challenges. Processes are breaking. You need key people because you’re growing. You need key people in place. You need backup plans.
I could go on and on for two hours on why the one and a half to five million range is a challenging range. Once you get on the other side of that it’s like the seas part and you realize, “Wow, okay, now I can see the big potential.” I could see ten million. I could see twenty million. It’s very hard to see ten million when you’re at two or two and a half. There are so many things going on, so many things you have to learn and so many people you have to put in place. So many systems you have to put in place.
The takeaway here is that I’d encourage you that if you’re at three hundred or four hundred and you’re saying, “I just don’t know.” Go to at least 500 or plus and then re-evaluate. If you’re at 700 and you’re saying, “Wow, it’s way better than it used to be but I’m just not seeing it yet.” Get past a million and re-evaluate.
Now, you have to do it right. Just generating a lot of revenue and getting to a million where you’re still the bottleneck and everything, that’s not a good business. If you’re starting to bring a couple key people onto the team at a million, I think you’ll start to see what I’m talking about. My encouragement to you is don’t throw in the towel too soon. Don’t settle too soon. Don’t say good is good enough too soon. Go a little bit further and I think you’ll find that there’s a lot of really good stuff on the other side of a certain sized business that can support a certain number of people and a certain amount of revenue.