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UnitedEnvironment.com
07-05-2006, 10:53 PM
Ok, for starters, i must apologize for my absense as of late. Our web editor is hanging on to his life by a thred right now. It has all of us extremely upset right now, and we have not been able to do any updates regarding The Landscaper yet. However once things calm down, we have a few great ones on the way. The healthy landscaper episodes of course, an episode on Landscape Lighting, building water features, and lawn chemicals.
We have been busy in other areas, and you can check those out at these two web adresses
www.myspace.com/fitin6
www.myspace.com/ratred
let us know what you think

OK HERE IS WHERE I NEED HELP

I live in Netcong Hts in Northern NJ
in 2 years are rent has gone from 835 a month to 1025 for a 1 bedroom apartment. With all the costs I have for operating my businesses, I can afford the latest increase. So I have to be out by the 31st of the month. We cannot find anywhere to live that will allow pets (we have a 20 lb dog) for a reasonable price. We just found one 2 bedroom house for sale. My wife really wants it, but Im going to need to make about another 2000 per month. How can I in one month, obtain enough clients to profit that amount. (There arnt any tradeshows around here till january) I need to pull this off somehow, I know it may seem impossible, but we have got some of the brightest minds here. If we all put our heads together we might be able to pull it off, and what a learning experience it would be for others. So I guess when its broken down, I need some kind of flyer that is just simply the most hooking landscape flyer around. Something that when they read it they will have no choice but to pick up and call. Now, Im figuring that since i need to make a pretty decent increase so fast, I will have to target higher income homes, lawns that take a half hour will only make me about $37 a cut, at that rate it will take about 15 accounts to turn a profit of enough to hit that $2000 mark (thats probably off, i dont have a calculator in front of me) but anyway, if i was able to get more in the range of $55 per cut, thats like 10 accounts. and so forth, and so forth. Also, I will have to distribute by hand.

Any thoughts on how to accomplish this goal?

tiedeman
07-05-2006, 11:35 PM
Instead of trying to get more customers, how about cutting costs instead for you can still stay at your current place until you have that extra $2,000 a month income. Here are some things that I came up with and don't laugh, because a lot of these I have done:
1. cancel cell phones,
2. cancel extra phone lines,
3. cut cable
4. cut back electricty
5. reducing travel time
6. tightening up routes
7. increasing rates for customers
8. remove extra stuff from phone lines such as caller id, call forwarding etc.
9. use mower blades longer
10. go longer between oil changes (save on oil and oil filters)
11. turn down water heaters.
12. install CFL light bulbs in house
13. don't advertise (I know it's a double edged sword)
14. use word of mouth and referrals
15. use cheaper products: fertilizer, grass seed, oil, trimming line, etc
16. buy cheaper type of foods and not name brand
17. reduce eating out or going to movies
18. consolidate some of your current debt or bills
19. reduce bank fees
20. reduce postage on your bills and customers invoices
21. refinance your truck payments
22. reduce your internet bill
23. reduce using paper and ink cartridges
24. use scrap paper over
25. try to put together a paperless scheduling and billing system
26. get a fuel rewards card
27. buy cheaper pet supplies
28. turn down the air conditioner
29. things to improve gas mileage for you vehicle and equipment
30. reduce the weight in your vehicle and truck when traveling to increase gas mileage
31. deal with local vendors on price brakes for products
32. start hitting up past customers for additional work
33. leave invoices at customers properties
34. no unnecessary uniforms, and with embroidery
35. don't buy equipment that you will only use once
36. combine credit card bills
37. don't buy hand tools that are just going to sit there
38. only wash laundry with a full load
39. use dryer sheets more than once
40. turn down the frig and freezer
41. cook in the microwave more, not on the stove
42. reduce writing checks to save on checking orders
43. reduce drying clothes in dryer (hang clothes out to dry)


These are just some of the things that I have done in the last 6 months. I too ran into a tight budget problem, and I am still slowly getting out of it. It's hard to do. Don't laugh, but a lot of those little things add up. Such as turning down your water heater, frig and freezer. That can save you around $20 a month. It did for me.

tiedeman
07-05-2006, 11:41 PM
Like I said, I did a lot of those things and still am currently working on other things. There are two things that I am working on now and they are:
1. bank fees
I am trying to combine checking accounts, reduce my service fees, reduce the amount of checks I write a month because I get charged for when I write over 50 checks a month, reduce the check orders, and trying to use more of a debit card. I am also figuring out whether to stop credit card processing.
My savings yearly for doing this:
A. Credit Card Fees: Approx $240.00
B. Check Orders: Approx $75.00
C. Service Fees: $78.00
D. Check Fees: Approx $24.00

That is a $417.00 savings yearly.

2. fuel prices
I am looking into fuel rewards cards, tightening down routes, doing multiple services while at the same property (pruning shrubs and mowing the lawn), better air filters and air intake for vehicels, reducing debri in mowers air filters, cleaning throttle plates, reducing my service radius, etc.

I only have approx $1,450 left in fuel budget for the entire year, and so I am trying to figure out what to do to save.

UnitedEnvironment.com
07-05-2006, 11:55 PM
that was one huge list, unfortunately staying here is no longer an option. If we didnt renew by july 1st we have to be out by the 31st.

i have been doing actually a lot of whats on your list, but it doesnt add up quick enough. It helps, just not enough.

Steve
07-06-2006, 08:40 AM
First off, congratulations on the movie project Ratred. Keep those creative juices flowing!

Troy, those were a lot of great ideas.

Quote[/b] ]My wife really wants it, but Im going to need to make about another 2000 per month. How can I in one month, obtain enough clients to profit that amount.
My view is it would be very tough to scale up another $2000 a month in one month's time.

I am not saying it can't be done because you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it, but I haven't seen it happen yet.

My thought is to keep looking for a place to rent. Try to save more money and try to scale up your operation. Don't jump into a house payment you can't afford because it's not only going to cause you stress, it's going to cause stress on your marriage and that's just not worth it.

I am a big proponent of scaling up versus swinging for the fences because I think it gives you a better chance at business survival.

How has everything else been this year with your before and after photo books? What have you found to be working for you this year? What have been your best services?

NickN
07-07-2006, 10:43 AM
Honestly,you're only option for achieving that figure in 1 months time is to get a second job and/or just move out of NJ.You guys are taxed to death up there.

Steve
07-07-2006, 03:07 PM
Could you maybe find a place to rent that needs lawn care at their facility and barter with them to lower your monthly fee?

UnitedEnvironment.com
07-08-2006, 09:52 AM
actually, im working with someone on that exact deal, maintaining the lawn there. Its a 2 bedroom apartment, my wife really likes it, we still have to up our income but not as much. So im workin on it, and where both gonna gat a second job to make a little extra.

as far as the photo books and such, this year has been kinda lousy in general, past lawn care we have only done one walk, and two child play areas.

Many companies I talk to are down 40% this year in installs. The economy is horrible right now.

Steve
07-09-2006, 08:41 AM
Quote[/b] ]where both gonna gat a second job to make a little extra.
What other type of work might you do?

UnitedEnvironment.com
07-09-2006, 09:21 AM
on her end, who knows, im gonna put in some xtra hours over at the gym where we have been filming fit in 6

Steve
07-09-2006, 10:12 AM
Reflecting back on the first part of the year. Would you have done anything differently or would you advise someone in a similar situation to do something differently?

UnitedEnvironment.com
07-11-2006, 07:12 AM
hmmm, what would i have done differntly?
Well for one, I should have pushed The Landscaper into stores much earlier, the DVDs still are not in stores yet. The display is at the printers now for 2 weeks, im not exactly thrilled. The work that needs to be done on it is not that difficult at all.
I dont know really, we put out a lot of flyers at the beginning of the season, they did alright I guess. The thing is, once the season starts you tend to push marketing off to the side because your busy. Thats a mistake.

Steve
07-11-2006, 12:08 PM
As you look ahead to the 2nd part of the year what are you looking forward mostly to doing?

UnitedEnvironment.com
07-11-2006, 01:40 PM
Filming, This fall we have a very hectic shooting schedule. We will be wrapping up season 1 of Fit in 6 the last week of november. What was nice about that show is that Anytime Fitness sponsored the whole thing, so we did not have to pay for anything. We have been filming 4 days a week there for over 2 months now. The show should be really good when it is finished. In the meantime we hope to get another 5 landscaper dvds done and distributed.
Then for December we start filming Ratred.
October 4-8 we will be attending the Eerir horror film festival for which we are up for the best new screenplay award. George Romero of the Night of the living Dead series is Hosting the show.
Very exciting!!!
We are hoping to score a budget for the film there. This was we can make it in a much higher quality. By 2008 There is a very good chance you may see Ratred:The Following up on the movie marquee of your local theatre.

Steve
07-11-2006, 04:39 PM
I really want to hear more about this project as I am sure others do as well.

I started a new post (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=17;t=2840) here to talk about it.