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Steve
12-29-2009, 09:25 AM
Have you gotten a chance to sit down and think about this past year. What you were able to do and what you didn't get done?

What are you looking forwards to most this new year to do differently than last year?

How will next year be better than this year?

justin_time
12-29-2009, 11:49 AM
Have you gotten a chance to sit down and think about this past year. What you were able to do and what you didn't get done?

What are you looking forwards to most this new year to do differently than last year?

How will next year be better than this year?

That I've managed to get myself a ZTR which can lead to more work in the spring right off the start.

I'd love to pay the whole machine off, hopefully, if not it won't take long.

Steve
12-30-2009, 08:44 AM
How important do you feel it was to get the ztr? I bet a lot of readers are on the fence about using a lawn tractor or going for the ztr.

justin_time
12-30-2009, 11:01 AM
How important do you feel it was to get the ztr? I bet a lot of readers are on the fence about using a lawn tractor or going for the ztr.

I understand a ZTR cannot go some places a tractor can go but it all depends on the situation and for me, it helped alot since i had a lot of flat surface to cover. It helped alot to get my 5 different schools done.

I also will be getting better customer service. I will be changing cell phone companies May 1st

swstout
12-30-2009, 02:59 PM
Have you gotten a chance to sit down and think about this past year. What you were able to do and what you didn't get done?

What are you looking forwards to most this new year to do differently than last year?

How will next year be better than this year?

This was a learning year. I found that Door Hangers, Flyers, Posters, and Door to Door had less than desirable results.
As far as marketing results, newspaper ads and having a Blog that I got listed on the local City web site was by far the most productive.

I found competing with the competition didn't work. Offering the same services and products they had was just spinning my wheels.

Differentiating me from them was the key. I find organic lawn care is much more profitable than mowing. I won't turn down mowing contracts but I don't seek them out anymore.
Organic lawn treatments, sod, tilling and re-seeding are what I will concentrate after organic lawn treatments.

Steve

picframer
12-30-2009, 03:57 PM
Have you gotten a chance to sit down and think about this past year. What you were able to do and what you didn't get done?

What are you looking forwards to most this new year to do differently than last year?

How will next year be better than this year?

2009 was a really year for me learning and revamping the plan.I wish I knew then and had the equipment I do now when I started.

I was performing various cost brake downs, every job we do landscaping at takes four trips, two delivery and two pick up, I average 10 mpg tops pulling gear so it really added up so I bought a 14,000 pound trailer that is 19 feet long, I can now transport everything in one shot.

I learned there is a limited market for me in mowing which is fine, I have private divisions and a few residential, basically enough to keep one crew going, no plans to expand in 2010 unless it falls on my lap.

Big money in Pressure washing, Organic Spraying, wood cutting and chipping, Post Hole digging and excavation, landscaping. Also determined that using a tractor with a chipper was a very poor choice so I traded them all in for pull units to free the tractors up where they make a lot more money, simply use one of the ATV's to pull the chipper around the clients site.

In 2010 we will build septic fields, I am told it's a license to print money and I start my course next week.

Hiring educated operators of machines from college has for me been a joke, it's simply faster for me to train someone that knows zip.

City core is not my target market and it shouldn't be, I found the area where I fit right in and we do extremely well.

Probably more but that is what comes to mind.

lawncrafter56
12-30-2009, 07:42 PM
reflections of the past year. Who on this forum was the one that motivated me to take my little company to the next level with his cornicopia of biz experience?
Thank you picfarmer!
just went and bought a new Bobcat Toolcat 5600 today from a John Deere dealer, for snow removal this winter and commericial work this summer.
With potential to utilize over 50 attachments! Without a doubt this machine will work out just perfect and will be the talk at the all important coffee shops in town.
The Golpher hangout, it's iconic leader:) and the regulars have been all very helpful!
Thank You all!

picframer
12-31-2009, 05:14 AM
I have never seen one of those before and didn't even realize anyone made one, I have seen the Gators which Deere makes but they do not have the loader that this one does, the dump cart on the back is amazing!

What attachments did you get for it?

Andy

Steve
12-31-2009, 10:56 AM
Also determined that using a tractor with a chipper was a very poor choice so I traded them all in for pull units to free the tractors up where they make a lot more money, simply use one of the ATV's to pull the chipper around the clients site.

This is fascinating. It's one of those things you just wouldn't realize at first glance until you crunched the numbers and saw the reality of the situation.

So having a chipper attached to a tractor costed more to operate and brought in less money because you now needed to run two units to perform the service and you couldn't charge as much as you would need to chip wood as you could charge for using the tractor in other ways?

That is really interesting!

What about factoring in the cost of buying a stand alone chipper? Even after such a purchase, it still made more sense to have a stand alone unit? That is amazing!

I guess some tractor attachments are worthwhile, while others may not be as profitable.

lawncrafter56
01-01-2010, 07:45 AM
Wow!!! What a machine! Only does about 20 mph but what a money maker this baby is going to be. It is everything and more than I researched out.
Went cold calling for work yesterday and picked up plenty. Check it out Andy.. Pics and more to follow.

snoblower, blade, bucket for now and I WILL rent anyone one of the over 50 attatchments when needed.

picframer
01-01-2010, 09:14 AM
This is fascinating. It's one of those things you just wouldn't realize at first glance until you crunched the numbers and saw the reality of the situation.

So having a chipper attached to a tractor costs less to operate however brought in less money because you now needed to run two units to perform the service and you couldn't charge as much as you would need to chip wood as you could charge for using the tractor in other ways?

That is really interesting!

What about factoring in the cost of buying a stand alone chipper? Even after such a purchase, it still made more sense to have a stand alone unit? That is amazing!

I guess some tractor attachments are worthwhile, while others may not be as profitable.

A Chipper that attached to the tractor runs around $8,000 +/-, the issue is the most I could get for a tractor and chipper per hour was $45.00, but the tractor on a job site doing loader work or whatever brings in $75.00 an hour, the cost of the tow units is not cheap as I wanted Diesel with auto feed so they run close to $22,000 each, there is very big demand as the rental places rent manual feed for $240.00 a day, issue is manual feed kills your arms within an hour, with ours we simply feed the entire tree (I only chip up to 5" however it will do 8" but that should be cut into firewood which we do for $35.00 an hour and split it with a splitter we have for $45.00 an hour.

The issue is the tractor is cheap to run however it could and does bring in a lot more money elsewhere so I now simply load the chipper attached to one of the ATV's on a trailer and take it to the site, staff can then pull it whereever it's required.

picframer
01-01-2010, 09:16 AM
Wow!!! What a machine! Only does about 20 mph but what a money maker this baby is going to be. It is everything and more than I researched out.
Went cold calling for work yesterday and picked up plenty. Check it out Andy.. Pics and more to follow.

snoblower, blade, bucket for now and I WILL rent anyone one of the over 50 attatchments when needed.

That is excellent and glad to hear you can run so many things, two big money makers if you can rent the attachments is post holes and tilling, it's a great way to get the cash flow going in the spring!

Steve
01-01-2010, 06:15 PM
City core is not my target market and it shouldn't be, I found the area where I fit right in and we do extremely well.

This is another interesting point. Something may not necessarily work in one area but it may work in another. So it's important to experiment where you market your services.

Andy, do you have any suggestions as to how a business should experiment with the different places they market to?

odin_telamon
01-04-2010, 12:31 PM
I'm just hoping here in Britain the weather picks up,the last twelve months have been really bad and it's hampered any notion of me starting up on my own big time,but to be honest I'm feeling quite optimistic about 2010 so fingers crossed

Steve
01-05-2010, 12:07 PM
I'm just hoping here in Britain the weather picks up,the last twelve months have been really bad and it's hampered any notion of me starting up on my own big time,but to be honest I'm feeling quite optimistic about 2010 so fingers crossed

Are there any services you can offer when the weather is inclement?

odin_telamon
01-06-2010, 02:29 PM
No not really to be honest the weather he been a little eratic a while now the snow over here has now caused mass panic almost, and people just don't want to know over here when it snows or when it rains (which before the snow was a lot) basically I just need a break in spring and some decent breaks, I'll be trawling through gopher haul soon looking for some great hints and advice plus some of the links you've already sent me, but as I've said come spring I hope I can get my little venture up and running mainly through cutting and
Pruning etc

Steve
01-06-2010, 04:24 PM
That sounds like a plan! Keep us posted on how it goes!