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boog
02-11-2012, 10:49 PM
this will be my 2nd year in biz i have 30 yards most are every other week & 5 commercial clients just picked up 3 of them i am hoping to pick up 20 weekly yards this year. last year i busted a$$ i flyerd almost every house in my town i took adds in paper and trading post lettered my truck and at the end of the season i was broke not sure how that happened . i only had like 5-6 leaf jobs and small low paying job a month since Oct. what lil money i had saved is now gone and my work truck needs repair i hope i get some $ back on my taxes ....has any one else delt with this ?? if so what did you do to change it

CHEESE2009
02-11-2012, 11:03 PM
I usually just try to ignore how screwed I am.

Things for me always happen last minute. The day before big trouble, I always find a way out... I've been very lucky with my life.

What you can do, is continue working now. Either shoveling snow or cutting grass (I don't know the weather in your area).

I find keeping a database of your finances will help you manage your money better.

If you learn how to use Excel or OpenOffice (free), these programs will be very beneficial to you.

Always ask for a receipt, and keep track of what you are spending.

bruces
02-11-2012, 11:20 PM
first year can be tough as you probably bought a lot of equipment ,and theres a good chance you were not charging enough for the work you did get .

Steve
02-13-2012, 02:07 PM
What are some of the reasons why you feel this happened? I think a lot of new lawn care business owners fall into this and never realize what happened so any input you can share would be helpful.

Ducke
02-13-2012, 08:11 PM
this will be my 2nd year in biz i have 30 yards most are every other week & 5 commercial clients just picked up 3 of them i am hoping to pick up 20 weekly yards this year. last year i busted a$$ i flyerd almost every house in my town i took adds in paper and trading post lettered my truck and at the end of the season i was broke not sure how that happened . i only had like 5-6 leaf jobs and small low paying job a month since Oct. what lil money i had saved is now gone and my work truck needs repair i hope i get some $ back on my taxes ....has any one else delt with this ?? if so what did you do to change it

Man you sound like my twin brother,
I two an going into my second year and thought i was doing OK till it didn't snow this winter, I have spent all the money I had saved and now living off my wife's pension and unemployment. April May can't get here soon enough,
I look at my finances and see were the money went I did have a bit more strat up cost then I originally thought, I should do OK once I get my tax's done as well or so my book keeper says I will. Hang in there buddy it will come around or at least that what everyone keeps telling me.

Steve
02-14-2012, 04:23 PM
I did have a bit more strat up cost then I originally thought

What do you think newer start up business owners need to watch out for when it comes to start up costs sneaking up on them?

Ducke
02-14-2012, 04:38 PM
Well Steve
It's like this you can research and plan and budget but there is always things out there that will cost you.
I look back at last season and i see there are a few expenses that I incurred that I could have lived with out but I bought them anyways. and then there was two major truck break downs plus I had planned to buy my new commercial mower in 2012 but dew to my residential mower breaking and my back up failing as well I had to purchase a new mower so I went all out and bought my Honda.
So If I was to give any advice it would be try to keep to your Business Plan as best as you can. Also you have to realize you are not going to make huge money in your first year.Some business professionals say you may not see a large profit for your first 4 to 5 years.

willshome
02-15-2012, 09:08 AM
Is there any way of talking your every other week customers into weekly and are you charging more for biweekly? tell them how its better for the lawn to only cut upto 1/3 off at a time....

dpld
02-16-2012, 08:30 PM
Is there any way of talking your every other week customers into weekly and are you charging more for biweekly? tell them how its better for the lawn to only cut upto 1/3 off at a time....

when i used to do residential i used to have people ask for a weekly service quote and then they would hire me and wait a couple weeks and then try to switch gears on me and say " can you cut the lawn every other week ".

in the begining when i did not think of that scenario i did not have any provisions in my contract for that and i would have to take my lumps like a man.
but then i started giving a weekly cut rate and a bi-weekly rate.
customers were like hey why do i got to pay half of the cut price more for a single cut and i would be like cutting your lawn evey two weeks may work out for you and your budget but i am cutting twice the grass and most times i have to double cut the lawn when it gets too tall which in turn takes double the time, so why should i do twice the work for the same price.

people don't realize that it is not only bad for your lawn to have to cut that much off of it at any one time it also makes it harder for me doing twice the work.
it is easier and cheaper for me as well as quicker to cut your lawn every week because it is kept up with.

i know some guys are starting out and need everything they can get their hands on but for me at this point in time when someone tells me to cut the lawn every other week i tell them to find another company to take care of their lawn. it is not worth it for me to fit someone into my schedule for half the money and then if we have a rainy week and i miss their service due to weather then i am cutting 3 weeks of grass for one weeks price.

Steve
02-17-2012, 01:29 PM
i know some guys are starting out and need everything they can get their hands on but for me at this point in time when someone tells me to cut the lawn every other week i tell them to find another company to take care of their lawn. it is not worth it for me to fit someone into my schedule for half the money and then if we have a rainy week and i miss their service due to weather then i am cutting 3 weeks of grass for one weeks price.

I think this brings up a great point. If a lawn care business owner finds themselves pulling their hair out because of such issues, just try your best to keep pushing forwards. Work on your company policies as you grow to tailor fit it to the direction you want to take your business.

If all goes right, there will come a time when you don't need such problematic customers and you will have the freedom to cut them loose and not have to deal with them on a daily basis.

Ducke
02-17-2012, 02:46 PM
Well last year I did a couple of bi-weekly cuts but only as they were beside or across from a weekly cut, Plus I charged them a premium for the Bi-weekly cut.
I would not take a bi-weekly were I had to go out of my way.
Yes I think its easy to get caught up in the having to make the rent no matter what syndrome but you also have to take all the work you can get so if you can lay it out right a bi-weekly can make you some money.

Made up Example
Mr Smith has a 3500 Sq Ft lot I charge $45.00 for a weekly mow. Mr Jones next door has a 2500 sq ft yard no fences or hedges in the way so I take him on as a bi-weekly mow for $45.00 I do both jobs one shot no stopping or extra travel and I get $90.00 for a 6000 sq ft mow. What I normally charge for a 6000 is $75.00 so you can see how you can make profit with Bi-weekly mows but its not easy because it dose not always work out like this example.