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Benarb

Business expansion.

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11 hours ago, AHPP said:

The person whose input could really benefit this thread is Benedict Edmonds. I've learnt more about business from him than from anyone else on arbtalk.

I appreciate the comment, but I am not sure I have the best business advice. I did write a post on my phone but for some reason it did not upload.  Probably due to the fact I was rushing around as I don't have enough hours in the day..

 

I am fairly sure expanding does NOT make sense (in the short term) and I think the Skyhuck model of investing in the best kit and keeping small is the most trouble free way of working.  Sometimes I regret not taking this approach. I could have some really nice kit, running really well, being loved and cared for..

 

The other extreme is going all in and going BIG. A firm local to me has done this and certainly outwardly looks to be doing well. To do this you have to be prepared to take on HUGE debt and get lots of big contracts.  I am not sure I could cope with the debt and stress.

 

We went the middle road and if I am honest I am not sure it is best financially or for work life balance.  Don't get me wrong we do OK but there can be a lot of stress.  As soon as you get off the tools the productivity drops and the breakages increase. 

You have to spend less time out doing what you got into tree work for and more time fixing things, quoting and doing office stuff.  The buck stops with you, so you also have to deal with more customers and complaints...  When jobs run over it is your problem, if a machine breaks, a group of angry locals stop works you still have a guys that expect paying. Dealing with staff and their problems can be extremely draining and frustrating, they don't have the drive or commitment the business most just want to get whatever they can out of you.

 

I didn't want to be on the tools forever and this was always a rough sort of exit plan, if anything the getting off the tools has happened sooned that I wanted but it is easier to find a tree worker than someone who has to do what I do. The end goal is to get to a size (without getting into silly debt) where we I can employ decent people to do a lot of the running of the business and I can take a modest salary and just do the bits I want to do. I am unfortunately still not there.. The trouble is once you spend a few years going down this route it is difficult to turn back.

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12 hours ago, skyhuck said:

Thats another consideration, if work slows you can find you dropping your prices to "keep the lads busy" this can in time can lead to "buying work" waiting for the good times to return.

 

I'm happier with more work coming in than I can handle, pricing it to make good money and not worrying about paying the bills.

It is HUGELY stressful when you have employees and the diary is not rammed.. And just stressful when you are rammed and can't find enough employees...

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There’s a “stress honey zone”...
Just enough to get you out of bed, but not enough to keep you awake.
It’s different for everybody at different times in your life.

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Hi Benarb,  I have quite a lot of experience in attempting what you are currently considering.  I've been in the industry just over 30 years and my business is 20 years old.  We run similar kit to you, 3 arb trucks, Hilux, 2 chippers (one tracked) 2 grinders (big and small), mulitione and tipper trailer.  I have waxed and waned over the years between 1 and 3 teams and the limiting factor has always been staff.  The work I can find, the staff is the difficulty.  If you are going to stay with the domestic and occasional commercial job then you will struggle to maintain the quality of work combined with throughput necessary to make it finacially viable.  Sure, you will have days when all goes to plan and will even mutter the words 'this time next year Rodney....' however it doesn't take much to absorb the cash reserves you have built and maintaining the continuity is utterly exhauting. 

I concluded that I would rather have a life, give energy to my family, limit the stress I was inviting into my life and be comfortable with the person I am and the small business I was running, rather than chase the opportunity to have a masive ego.

The concern for us all is how long our bodies will enable us to continue at this pace. I am fortunate that my mortgage is mostly paid off and the persistent financial pressures are waning and therefore when I chose to not work, that little voice in my head no longer bothers me.

There has been some sage advice before my post, so cherry pick what you want to hear and make your decision.  I wish you the best of luck.

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15 hours ago, Scottish Cleaning Service said:

I'm also getting busier but don't want to employ but I get help now and then. I have started chasing the cream and dropping the users because I feel it works a lot better. I have just upgraded my equipment to the point that it makes my job a lot easier. Seems too much stress running two gangs unless there was plenty of money involved. Let us know how it goes but I think there is plenty of work out there at the moment.

Dammit!

 

Moral dilemma.....

 

I found myself nodding sagely whilst reading the post and finding much to agree with....

 

 

(then I noticed who’d posted it 🤯)

 

(No, I’m being unfair, I do think this is a good post 😂)

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51 minutes ago, kevinjohnsonmbe said:

Dammit!

 

Moral dilemma.....

 

I found myself nodding sagely whilst reading the post and finding much to agree with....

 

 

(then I noticed who’d posted it 🤯)

 

(No, I’m being unfair, I do think this is a good post 😂)

Even a monkey will write something that makes sense if you let them bang away at the keys for long enough. 

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8 minutes ago, Retired Climber said:

Even a monkey will write something that makes sense if you let them bang away at the keys for long enough. 

Ah, the Dianne Abboot theory of a stopped clock being right 3 times a day 😂

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dont take too much notice of the moaners, go for it. Run as many teams as you can manage. The more you have the more you can make.

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6 hours ago, Retired Climber said:

Whilst it may work for you, it's not good business advice. You are simply engineering disadvantages into your business. 

What ever mate...you crack on then and over complicate a simple problem...shouldn’t have wasted my time trying to help. 

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Whilst it may work for you, it's not good business advice. You are simply engineering disadvantages into your business. 

Could you expand? At first glance it just looks like he’s exchanging liability for labour and it’s working nicely. Not being arsey. Genuinely interested in the rationale behind why it’s not as good an idea as it seems.

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