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jasonw
02-17-2010, 02:15 PM
Ok so I just got done with my taxes, I'm a little disappointed but oh well. A lot of things I thought I could get away with I can not such as writing a personal lone from myself to my business, Thats a big no no so for those of you that are planning on doing that don't bother. Anyway My numbers were rather sad. I went in Saturday to the tax person almost $200 in the red. This was my first year so this much was expected but after making the adjustments I ended up just under $800 in the black. Bad bad move because now I owe the state $207 but oh well. Now it is decision making time. Was it really all worth it? I am not really sure. I am a bit lost on it right now. Do I continue this year in hopes business will be better or just cave in and keep my 9-5? I mean $800 revenue for the year wont even pay my headlight replacement bill LOL:) Whats everyone's thoughts on this?

MountainViewGreenskeeper
02-17-2010, 02:26 PM
Depends on if you love what you do or not. plus if you pull through this economy with ur business still in tact you will be that much stronger when things look up. I dont know just my 2 cent and Im finally starting mine.

jasonw
02-17-2010, 02:57 PM
Depends on if you love what you do or not. plus if you pull through this economy with ur business still in tact you will be that much stronger when things look up. I dont know just my 2 cent and Im finally starting mine.

I am not sure if I really enjoy the work but I do enjoy working for myself. As far as pulling through I tend to agree. Recessions make millionaires for those who are able to hold on and invest there money and stay the course but A problem I have is knowing how things work and I know at least in this area lawn care is not a million dollar business and I wander if its worth it to continue investing my private funds into something that may not make it anyway. I mean we all know its anyone's guess. A business can fold in the blink of an eye in this environment and should mine fold then I am out everything I put in, sure I have some nice equipment to care for my own yard but the cash money interests me more than having nice equipment for my yard. Under normal circumstances things should start to be more self dependent in one year which I am approaching, I started in June of last year. Maybe just maybe I will give this until the end of 2010 and then jump ship if my numbers don't significantly improve.

Steve
02-17-2010, 03:13 PM
I went in Saturday to the tax person almost $200 in the red.

As you look back over last year and analyze it, what is your view on why this was the case?

MountainViewGreenskeeper
02-17-2010, 03:15 PM
Under normal circumstances things should start to be more self dependent in one year which I am approaching, I started in June of last year. Maybe just maybe I will give this until the end of 2010 and then jump ship if my numbers don't significantly improve.

Sounds like you already know what you want to do then. witch is good cause I would hate to hear of someone jumping ship in the same business im tryn to get into. my cusin does more install but but still sad to hear people leaven the industry.

jasonw
02-17-2010, 03:17 PM
As you look back over last year and analyze it, what is your view on why this was the case?

Steve. The biggest thing was the personal load I wrote to the company for equipment purchase. Once we deducted all the payments from the finances it put me almost $800 in the black. Being in the black is good but 80,000 in the black would have been better.

jasonw
02-17-2010, 03:27 PM
Sounds like you already know what you want to do then. witch is good cause I would hate to hear of someone jumping ship in the same business im tryn to get into. my cusin does more install but but still sad to hear people leaven the industry.

Trust me this business is nothing like I expected it to be, No way near as profitable and way way WAY more competitive. I did this work when I was 12yo and I knew going into this the cost for professional services has gone way up, I now get $50 for mowing a lawn where as at 12yo I got maybe $10 still with that you factor in a $3,000 truck, about $8,000 in equipment and retard that will scalp a lawn for $2 and its so very hard to put a dent in those initial $11,000 or so bucks to get started. Droping that much is not necessary but its the rout I took, I am starting to wish I stayed more conservative until I know where I stood. Now if I bail on it I have 11K of a truck and equipment I will most likely never use. This is not my first rodeo so I know how the business world works but I was amazed at how many things can just blind side you in this business. Must watch your butt at all times and never underestimate how powerful organization and a good filing system are. I know I had much more I could have claimed agents my profits that could have offset the entire tax bill for this year but I was horable at organizing things. For example I can wright off the hours my weed eater and all my other equipment was in use on top of the cost of the equipment. Lucky for me I keep a tally of hours for the oil change schedule but its little stuff like that that we don't realize. I mean do you really know exactly how many hours you ran your weed whacker last year? Cant be an even number ether or the IRS will assume its a guess and audit you. I can not believe how many tax laws are agents small business but at the same time if you keep awesome records and know the system you can take the IRS to the bank during tax time. A good example is we only brought in 86K last year but had 51K in wright offs bringing our taxable income to 35K That part was awesome. We made 86K but only paid taxes on that of someone making minimum wage.

Steve
02-18-2010, 08:15 AM
This is not my first rodeo so I know how the business world works but I was amazed at how many things can just blind side you in this business.

What other things did you feel blind sided you? I am sure a lot of member who havent gotten started yet are reading this and now thinking about all these issues.

A good example is we only brought in 86K last year but had 51K in wright offs bringing our taxable income to 35K That part was awesome.

It sounds like in the bigger picture you took in a good amount of money. Is there any possibility you could cut back on expenses this year to improve your income?

jasonw
02-18-2010, 11:52 AM
What other things did you feel blind sided you? I am sure a lot of member who havent gotten started yet are reading this and now thinking about all these issues.



It sounds like in the bigger picture you took in a good amount of money. Is there any possibility you could cut back on expenses this year to improve your income?

Steve as far as my income, I was actually 20K short but only 800 of that was from lawn care. I have many sources of income so $85,700 of that was not from lawn care. As far as things that blind sighted me hmmm let me think, this is a good one. Ok first off my truck. You remember my last rig? I know you do because you used it in an add LOL:) When my vehicles started dieing on me I had to do something. I had a car but nothing to haul equipment with so it was ether lose my clients and toss away all that hard work or go shopping. 3K later I have my truck. That was a huge unexpected expense albeit a great deal I got. Another one would have to be the jackass clients. We all get them. If you haven't yet you will. I will be damned if I am going to mow a law for $5 just not happening and the fixed income old timers kinda run you into the ground when they here it will cost them $100 per monthly or more. I almost jumped ship because one of these you may remember. Another good thing back to the equipment expense is like me most of us start out with the equipment we already have and use on our yards. Those old mowers work great but once you start over heating them on tall lawns several times a day they will cave in fast. I lost a mower and WW back to back so that sucked up another $400. Remember if you don't have the cash to replace the equipment then you are out of business. I had a great client who allowed the use of there mower when mine broke to finish there lawn. This was good but it was there very first service and looked way bad for me as a business owner. Another good one is I was hired to cut a fire break, the client had piles of limbs all over his property, he needed them shredded, I gave an estimate which he agreed to and said he would call me before the weekend to schedule it. I rushed out and spent a small fortune on a shredder and equipment and all and never got the call. I purchased the shredder used and it only worked one time in my yard and still sits out in the bone yard broken so now I have a broken shredder and never made a dime. Its really hard to list everything. The best advice I can give is just sit and think of anything that can go wrong and bet your butt it will go wrong. Plan for it all to go wrong and have a drink when it doesn't. I didn't plan on anything going wrong but thank god I have money to spare to get me out of these situations.

JP Landscaping
02-18-2010, 12:22 PM
at $50 average lawn, sounds to me like you should be making good profit. I think, (an accountant's opinion) your expenses are too high. And remember, the first year or two of starting a business (in general) show the least amount of net profit due to the start up costs. Once they are paid off, you will be left with basically all profits because, like you found out, you can write off the usage of your equipment as depreciation.

It doesn't necessarily have to be hours used. lets say you have a trimmer you bought for $200 and you plan to use it for 5 years until it's unusable and worth $0. Then you could deduct $40 each year. But if you do have a timer or can log your hours, then it is easier. lets say you have a mower you can use for 1000 hours before it's worth $0 and you paid $10000 for it. then you could deduct $10 per hour used. (figurative numbers)

Talk to your accountant and run over your numbers. he can help you decide if it is a good investment or not. If your company cleared $800 this year out of the $1100 you invested (800/11000=7.27%) 7.27% is not a bad return on investment if you consider what the banks are paying to have your money sitting there. Of course this also depends on how much you paid yourself.

jasonw
02-18-2010, 01:09 PM
at $50 average lawn, sounds to me like you should be making good profit. I think, (an accountant's opinion) your expenses are too high. And remember, the first year or two of starting a business (in general) show the least amount of net profit due to the start up costs. Once they are paid off, you will be left with basically all profits because, like you found out, you can write off the usage of your equipment as depreciation.

It doesn't necessarily have to be hours used. lets say you have a trimmer you bought for $200 and you plan to use it for 5 years until it's unusable and worth $0. Then you could deduct $40 each year. But if you do have a timer or can log your hours, then it is easier. lets say you have a mower you can use for 1000 hours before it's worth $0 and you paid $10000 for it. then you could deduct $10 per hour used. (figurative numbers)

Talk to your accountant and run over your numbers. he can help you decide if it is a good investment or not. If your company cleared $800 this year out of the $1100 you invested (800/11000=7.27%) 7.27% is not a bad return on investment if you consider what the banks are paying to have your money sitting there. Of course this also depends on how much you paid yourself.

Oh I agree its nice I only worked for 6 months out of last year and actually pulled a profit but 1100 was only for my lawn tractor. If you add up everything I am closer to $8K which means a greatly lost for last year. Unfortunately I a horable at accounting and sense my truck was used a lot but only a little for business I got stuck with the 3K expense and I had no entries for my weed eater and lawn mower and the hundreds I spend on strays for weeds and bugs. The bottom line is I need to keep much closer track of things this year so I can take full advantage of it.

Yard Elements
02-18-2010, 01:27 PM
Ok so I just got done with my taxes, I'm a little disappointed but oh well. A lot of things I thought I could get away with I can not such as writing a personal lone from myself to my business, Thats a big no no so for those of you that are planning on doing that don't bother. Anyway My numbers were rather sad. I went in Saturday to the tax person almost $200 in the red. This was my first year so this much was expected but after making the adjustments I ended up just under $800 in the black. Bad bad move because now I owe the state $207 but oh well. Now it is decision making time. Was it really all worth it? I am not really sure. I am a bit lost on it right now. Do I continue this year in hopes business will be better or just cave in and keep my 9-5? I mean $800 revenue for the year wont even pay my headlight replacement bill LOL:) Whats everyone's thoughts on this?


1. I kind of jumping in the middle here, but. IF you are making money and enjoy being you own boss even if you are struggling have faith and work smarter, faster and harder. It might not always be possible to work more or harder but you can always work smarter.


2. My wife is going to school to be an accountant. Here are a few ways to save on taxes. Number one is section 179 you can deduct up to 125,000 of equipment expense in the first year instead of deprecation.

3. Make a home office and take the deduction. Measure like you o a lawn figure the percent of your office to your home. you can deduct you rent, utilities, internet and a second phone line.

4. Deduct everything you can, read "Tax Savy for the small business" Read read read and learn.

5. You can deduct a personal loan to your business if your business is a separate entity. Your business has to be a corporation. The only problem with this is you get taxed when the money comes in through the corporation, then when you get paid.

So if you like what you do and like being your own boss. Keep on movin. Most sucessfull people have bad years and losses. take Fed-Ex for example there first couple of years in business they lost millions! But they keep movin and kept the faith that they could do it! Don't give up 9-5 is a rip off!:eek:

Steve
02-19-2010, 09:31 AM
If your company cleared $800 this year out of the $11000 you invested (800/11000=7.27%) 7.27% is not a bad return on investment if you consider what the banks are paying to have your money sitting there. Of course this also depends on how much you paid yourself.

This is an interesting thought but I was wondering how does all the labor factor in? Sure it pays more than a bank but with a bank, you aren't working for that interest, the money is working for it.

In his business, he is putting in a lot of man hours. What's your thought on that?

It would be interesting to know how many man hours were spent last year and then divide that by the profit to find out how much was made per hour.

But still how much does any of this matter in your first year when you are trying to figure a whole bunch of things out.

Even if you lost money your first year, if you walked away with a better understanding of the business and you felt you were in a better position for the following year, I would think you were in a good spot.

Yard Elements
02-20-2010, 12:15 PM
It would be interesting to know how many man hours were spent last year and then divide that by the profit to find out how much was made per hour.



I always wonder what people mean bby man hours. Is that the hours spent working in the field , everyone that I know that runs a business might make a good yearly income. I know a guy doing property preservation and Home Inspection that clears 150 thousand each year easy, but he is always working in some way or another. If I were to figure all the hours I worked I wouldn't make much per hour.

Steve
02-21-2010, 10:07 AM
You mean extra time like prep work, billing, equipment maintenance, marketing etc?

JP Landscaping
02-21-2010, 12:20 PM
don't know how to quote so I'll answer's steve's question of having money work for you when you put it in the bank....

I was thinking his company cleared $800 after he paid himself. Then the 800 would be net profit from the company. In that case, you wouldn't devide the 800 by the hours worked because you would divide your salary for the season by the hours worked. This $800 is left over money.

Basically after you paid yourself and all your expenses, if you had $800 left over, then that was your return on your investment of 11000. and it would have been that 7.27%.

Another example, if you would have paid someone to do what you did that season and paid him/her what you paid yourself, and all you did was invested those 11000 to start up the business and at the end of the season the company made $800. then it's kinda like putting your money in the bank and letting it work for you, except you put it into a company.

Now, if he didn't pay himself a salary and used what was left ($800) as his personal profit, then you have a problem.

* I'm hoping $800 was all company profit :)

MikeO
02-21-2010, 01:01 PM
You made a few comments in older posts about staying and working then you dont want to. I know when the phone isnt ringing you start thinking about the what if's. You said you dont like to work all that hard I mean, who does?

Ive always wondered what your in it for if its just to be your own boss, theres other things you can do besides this kind of job. I don't know Jason, If your going to get truley serious about being a lawncare business, then I personally think you need to step it up and do it. I dont know how your area is for servicing clients on lawncare and other household maintenance. Sounds like your really not hurting for the money to make this work, I think your a numbers man and maybe looking at it too hard? You have to spend the money to make it. I dont think a one week ad or month ad cuts it. I think you can do it might just have to change and tweak some settings. The real question is how far do you really want to go with all of this and where do you want to be in 5 years?. I think you look at the residual aspect more ?

Have you been reading about this organic fertilization? Is that something you might be interested in? I don't know. Most of us either have to work and work hard and some have built it up so well that they can hire employees and some are just lucky and have alot of money to begin with and have been at it for 20 years. Do people really want a $10 lawn cut? seriousley? I know that bugs you. Either build it or close it down. Good years and bad.