The other myth is that because of their size, the Big Box Landscaper can do the work for less money. But remember that Material + Labor + Equipment + Subs = Price. Mere company size does not change the amount of any of these variables on a project.
Unfortunately, working for less money hurts everyone in a couple of different ways. First, some companies are putting work on the street for prices below what the market will bear, hoping that they can make up the margins with enhancements. But once you reduce the price of a project below market value, it is difficult to bring it back to the correct price.
Secondly, when you price work below the market price, your client suffers. There is no way that you can perform on a job if you do not have the correct amount of labor hours, material and equipment assigned to that project.
All contractors are affected by this push by the Big Box Landscapers to purchase market share.
8. Big Company, Mediocre Staff
Inexperienced and unmotivated staff can bring down a solid business—even a business with a knowledgeable management team. In their rush to obtain market share, large landscape companies often forget the need to hire and train field personnel.
Sometimes many of the Big Box Landscapers produce a country club atmosphere where everyone wants to be the boss. Many of the Big Box Landscapers have more than enough managers. In fact, they probably have more managers than they really need. This is not a “suite and tie” type of business where managers should be in meetings all day.
Your staff needs to be out in the field meeting with clients and spending time training new employees. When/if you are inundated with customer complaints, over very basic issues, you need to stop and ask yourself if your crews are properly trained and meeting the needs of your clients.
Not everyone can be the boss. You need key skilled supervisors, crew leaders and laborers to ensure that you produce a quality product.
9. Uncontrolled Growth
Ironic as it may seem, businesses that succeed too quickly often push themselves into an early grave. If your production fails to keep pace with your demand, or necessary expansion coincides with insufficient cash, the growth that you dream about can actually threaten your company's very existence.
I work with contractors of all sizes who want to grow their businesses. Most realize that it takes time, a well-developed plan and patience. The Big Box Landscapers do not have the same options when it comes to growth. They are under the gun to reach very aggressive sales numbers on a regular basis. They will often do whatever it takes to achieve these goals. When such a strong emphasis on growth, it is difficult to maintain a quality product.