Building a multi-million dollar landscape company is a challenge. To accomplish this feat once in a lifetime is reason to feel successful. For Chuck Richardson of Landscape Resources in Florida, he has, “been there and done that” two times in his two plus decades in the green industry.
Chuck has traveled a career path that many landscape contractors would love to emulate. Build a profitable company generating millions in gross revenue then sell the company for nice seven figure profit. Take some time off, really enjoy the family life and wait until the non-compete contract expires from the sell of the business you had made your first fortune with. Then, take everything you learned about building a multi-million dollar enterprise, the great, the good and the costly mistakes and begin the building process again. The best part, for this second business birth, “Being able to step back and take a big picture view of what really works and focus on it everyday” says Chuck.
Company Name: Landscape Resources
Year Founded: 2002
Look at the Numbers
“I became a student of business and focused on revenue generation”, Chuck explains. “Commercial work is highly competitive and may sell 10% to 15% lower than high end residential work. So today we focus on estate type residential properties that require a half day stop or longer.” When you talk with Chuck, you learn quickly that understanding exactly what your ideal client will look like is key foundation for business success. He prefers to stick with year round service contracts and provide a full range of services becoming a one-stop-shop for outdoor needs.
In order for a company to build a seven-figure valuation, it must generate millions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits. Profitable companies like Chuck’s grow sales aggressively and watch their expenses carefully. “There were some areas in my previous company that had room for improvement. Everyday of my life I was faced with headaches that were driving me crazy. I faced huge workers compensation costs from back injuries and slip and fall accidents directly related to the heavy, slippery ramps on my trailers. We had accidents with guys jack knifing trailers. We constantly had to repair trailer lights. Almost every month we had equipment stolen from our trailers. We also wasted a tremendous amount of valuable time with the frequent fueling stops.” Before Chuck would build his second multi-million dollar enterprise, he knew he had to get control of these issues.
A Roadmap to Greater Performance
“I began to plan my re-entry into the landscape business. A friend of mine who knew Tony suggested I take a look at the Super Lawn Truck system”, Chuck explained. “The first time I saw the Super Lawn Truck, I knew many of the headaches I had faced in the past would be solved for my next company. I purchased my first truck in 2002. We built a nice book of business quickly with the help of the unique logos and billboard advertising. The next truck we asked for special customization of the enclosed truck body and Super Lawn Truck delivered! We learned about the crew cab option and increased the size of some crews. Today we will generate over $200,000 per year with one crew cab truck! We thought that was impossible in the past!”
Chuck continued, “The pick up truck and trailer combinations that we had relied on the past would last us 4-5 years. After that, the trucks were almost worthless. The Super Lawn Trucks will easily last us 10-12 years. Our capital cost for equipment has gone down for my second company. We are more profitable. But most importantly, I don’t have to deal with the distractions of the past. Accidents, injuries and theft have been greatly reduced saving us thousands of dollars per year in wasteful expenses.” As you talk with Chuck you feel the passion he has for landscaping and the satisfaction he has building a company with fewer distractions the second time around.
Old School Verses New School
“I can’t understand why my competitors stick with truck and trailer combinations today”, Chuck says. “Just last week I had a conversation with a manager of a national landscape company operating a branch in my area. He complained about having three new mowers stolen off of one of his open landscape trailers. I suggested that he take a look at the Super Lawn Truck system and the security provided with the enclosed truck body. The manager explained that corporate is set in its ways and slow to consider changes in new equipment.” Chuck says, “So I just smiled and said too bad. These trucks have lowered my cost of doing business, especially in the soft cost areas of accidents and theft. If the corporate guys would look past initial price and evaluate the life of the truck and the soft cost areas, they would learn what I already know. Using these trucks are a smart way to do business!”
Today Landscape Resources is a company with a mission. Already a multi million dollar company, they are adding the seventh Super Lawn Truck to the fleet. They have a lower cost business model that the first time around. They have an incredible portfolio of clients who appreciate quality services and are willing to pay for that quality. They are profitable and have goals that challenge the team.
“I know that many small landscape companies look at the Super Lawn Truck and get a little scared about the initial capital cost. So I predict that the new lost cost SLT Eco Series you guys are introducing to the industry will be a homerun! When I got the e-mail announcement of this new truck I checked it out right away. I expect more of my competitors will be looking into eliminating trailers and improving security for their company too.” We hope Chuck is right about with his prediction!