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Steve
01-17-2008, 04:42 PM
This is a post from our friend Dave at Top Notch Lawn Service.

Quote[/b] ]



Hi everyone. My name is Dave and I own a landscaping company in Toronto Canada named Top Notch Lawn Care.

Ive been running my company for only a few years. I am my only employee, get help from a buddy when I really need it.

I started from the back off my brothers old jeep. Now I have two trucks, a plow, a large snow ex salter, a 32inch ferris walk behing mower, echo trimmers and two powerful leaf blowers.

I made some money in 2007 but lost a ton on the plow and salter. I really want to do well in this industry.

I would be very grateful if I could get tips on marketing and saving money at the same time. Also getting commerial cutting bids and customer retention. I want to cut lawns for 50 per residentail visit. I do quality so I hope I can charge this...I will accept and feed back.

I want to learn. Thanks


and here was Tim's reply.

Quote[/b] ]Hi Dave

Sounds as if you have a good start, Welcome to Gopher.

There are a lot of marketing materials in the download setion at the top (door hangers, customer letters, contracts) there you can find things you can edit for your own use.

Saving money is all up to you.

Marketing is how you present your business and the areas you market. As you have proabibly found out area is the key factor, marking to blue color will get you less than marketing to upper class. You will need to set up a budget for marketing. Take some time read through and watch some of the video's throught the site, this will help you with questions you may have right off.

Good Luck and Welcome Here @ Gopher
Tim

Steve
01-17-2008, 04:43 PM
Hi Dave,

Welcome to our forum!

Can you give us a little insight as to what happened when you said "I made some money in 2007 but lost a ton on the plow and salter. I really want to do well in this industry."

Top Notch Lawn Care Service
01-18-2008, 09:16 PM
Thanks for the Info Tim.

Here is what I ment By Quote[/b] ]"I made some money in 2007 but lost a ton on the plow and salter. I really want to do well in this industry."

I now feel that I should of leased my plow and salter. Both together costed over $12,000. I purchased them in full up front. I think I need info on to lease or not to lease. What is the best way to operate.? http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

realhuntin
01-19-2008, 01:50 AM
Quote[/b] (Top Notch Lawn Care Service @ Jan. 18 2008,10:16)]Thanks for the Info Tim.

Here is what I ment By Quote[/b] ]"I made some money in 2007 but lost a ton on the plow and salter. I really want to do well in this industry."

I now feel that I should of leased my plow and salter. Both together costed over $12,000. I purchased them in full up front. I think I need info on to lease or not to lease. *What is the best way to operate.? http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif
Hi Dave,

If you can afford to purchase equipment then great. Leasing agents are tricky and there arent many for our industry, bobcat sales has a leasing company, scag has a leasing company, i think most do use the same one but these I know have them. IF you have already spent the cash to purchase the plowing equipment, good for you. This is an addition to your Company's Value. When you purchase equipment it become Fixed Assets and adds value to your company.

When to lease or when to buy. This is a tough question because you are the only one that knows how strong your company is in Buying Power. Owning is always better, but if your short on capital cash then with leasing you receive tax benefits on the lease and it will adventually become part of your Fixed Assets.

Factors to consider when Purchasing Equipment;
1. How fast am I getting return on my investment? Basicly how fast is this thing going to pay for itself. 1, 2, 3 seasons?
2. If I use this once or twice a year do I realy need to purchase it?
3. If I purchase this equipment will I still have operating cash if something like a rainy day hits?

These are just some of the things I ask myself when deciding to purchase equipment.

HOpe this helps answer your question, Oh BTW I notice your in Canada I'm not sure about the tax laws and leasing benefits there, What Info I have give is based on US Business

Good Luck Tim

Steve
01-19-2008, 01:59 AM
Hi Tim,

I think this is a fascinating topic. In a previous post weren't we discussing that it was better to lease mowers than to buy them? Or did I get that confused?

Do you feel it is different when it comes to snow plows or sanders or even trucks?

realhuntin
01-19-2008, 02:25 AM
Hi Steve,

Maybe I wasn't as clear as I was trying to be and caused some confusion.

Only lease 3 years IF you don't have the Capital to purchase.
Both ways have their benefits, and only the LCO will know what is best for them and their current Buying Power, anytime you make a major purchase, 5k and over you really need to think and ask yourself many questions weighing out the PRO's and CON's. I would say anything like trucks and New large equipment should be discussed with your Accontant he/she will be able to help with this if you are unsure which is best for your company.

Steve
01-19-2008, 09:47 PM
Tim,

If you were advising a new start up lawn care business, would you suggest they go out and get a loan or lease a commercial mower or would you suggest they just start with what ever they have, even if it was a consumer mower?

pmblair
01-19-2008, 10:32 PM
Well, here's something Jason and I were discussing the other day... we're on the verge of landing a $6,000/month deal... if we do that, then we're going to need some new equipment... If this contract is for $6,000/month for 12 months, then we can theoretically get $12,000 worth of equipment to be paid off at a rate of $1,000/month (so long as we're 100% sure the contract won't be cancelled before the 12 month period). With the way we split money, it would be $2,000 for each of us and $2,000 for the business. This would leave $1,000 in the bank every month for miscellaneous supplies and an emergency fund.

Of course, that's only theoretical. We will NOT go buy $12,000 worth of equipment! lol What I'm getting at, though, is if you're SURE you'll be making the money to pay it off and still operate in the black, then by all means, buy it... lease to purchase it... finance it... do whatever you have to do to get the equipment you need to make your business run as smoothly as possible... just remember that you don't have to go into debt to do it.