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Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2013, 02:13 PM
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CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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With the right amount of pacing in this field, you shouldn't need a loan.

I understand that a vehicle is a pretty big necessity and it's easy to get ahead of ourselves, but you're better off asking family to help you with the repair bill versus the banks.

If your family is unwilling, you're better off purchasing a working vehicle by working for someone else longer to make money, before going into business for yourself. You will have a greater advantage than starting near bankrupt.

As for making 10K per your first season, congrats, this is normal for those on the right track; however, $10K turns into something like $8K after taxes, and then that can turn into $4-6K with operation costs alone.

From what I'm assuming, your business is safe, but there isn't a lot of money going into your pocket, and you don't have the ability to afford new purchases yet. There's no need to rush for you.

If you're really hurting to get a vehicle so that you can supply your current clients, any vehicle will do so long as it can last you at least a year.

Pick up a junker for $1k of kijiji or craigslist maybe?
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2013, 07:49 AM
affordablelawnmgmt affordablelawnmgmt is offline
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I have a yukon that has a new transmission and is in very good shape. It needs a motor which my dad has already found, it costs between 650-1000, it is a 350 vortec which me and my dad will install ourselves. On the trailer, it basically has the frame and floor on it. I have been looking at designs online we have access to a welder and metal shaping/cutting tools so I am going to create a design that will allow for weed eater racks,water cooler, storage for gas tanks, etc..With marketing tools used on the trailer as we customize it. I would like to create something that no one in my area has that will allow me to be unique. Any ideas would be appreciated. This trailer was basically free to me so I can do whatever I want with it.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2013, 07:51 AM
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I will post pictures of truck and trailer as we get started on both projects to get input from you guys. My goal is to have them complete by the end of February because March starts the beginning of my season.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:02 AM
affordablelawnmgmt affordablelawnmgmt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
With the right amount of pacing in this field, you shouldn't need a loan.

I understand that a vehicle is a pretty big necessity and it's easy to get ahead of ourselves, but you're better off asking family to help you with the repair bill versus the banks.

If your family is unwilling, you're better off purchasing a working vehicle by working for someone else longer to make money, before going into business for yourself. You will have a greater advantage than starting near bankrupt.

As for making 10K per your first season, congrats, this is normal for those on the right track; however, $10K turns into something like $8K after taxes, and then that can turn into $4-6K with operation costs alone.

From what I'm assuming, your business is safe, but there isn't a lot of money going into your pocket, and you don't have the ability to afford new purchases yet. There's no need to rush for you.

If you're really hurting to get a vehicle so that you can supply your current clients, any vehicle will do so long as it can last you at least a year.

Pick up a junker for $1k of kijiji or craigslist maybe?


Yeah I am leaning towards doing what I can without the loan. I have access to my uncles company truck/trailer so I am going to wait until money starts rolling in before I complete my truck/trailer. I don't wanna go into debt this early the more I think about. My operation costs consist of almost nothing but gas because my boss takes care of maintenance because I work with him also. So everything I make is into my pocket. I am just trying to get my own stuff running because I like being my own boss lol I plan on doubling if not tripling my accounts this summer so I need to be able to meet demand so I am getting anxious to start. Thanks for the feedback
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2013, 12:43 PM
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I am glad to hear it! Keep us posted on how everything goes with all this.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:03 PM
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Good to hear you are growing. Don't lose track of marketing your business. We all get tied up in the equipment & stuff, and forget that marketing is JOB #1.

If you can pick up 10-15 new customers, those deposits will help you with your repairs (I always get a 1 month deposit at contract). Then, figure out how many more customers it takes to hire someone to take your spot on the crew. I'm at a place now that if I continue working on the crew, I lose focus of my business and I lose sales & control.

You mentioned you like to increase efficiency, but don't do it just so you can lower your pricing. That is well earned profit. It's like the guy who buys a $12,000 mower and cuts his mowing time by half, and then drops his mowing price because it takes less time. That defeats the reason to spend capital to increase your efficiency.

Good luck!
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2013, 06:45 AM
kslawn kslawn is offline
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you may also inquire about a line of credit with your bank for a few thousand,that way you can use the money as you need it and only pay on what you use,same as a credit card, but cheaper interest rates for sure...
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  #18  
Old 02-05-2013, 07:52 AM
affordablelawnmgmt affordablelawnmgmt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob E View Post
Good to hear you are growing. Don't lose track of marketing your business. We all get tied up in the equipment & stuff, and forget that marketing is JOB #1.

If you can pick up 10-15 new customers, those deposits will help you with your repairs (I always get a 1 month deposit at contract). Then, figure out how many more customers it takes to hire someone to take your spot on the crew. I'm at a place now that if I continue working on the crew, I lose focus of my business and I lose sales & control.

You mentioned you like to increase efficiency, but don't do it just so you can lower your pricing. That is well earned profit. It's like the guy who buys a $12,000 mower and cuts his mowing time by half, and then drops his mowing price because it takes less time. That defeats the reason to spend capital to increase your efficiency.

Good luck!

Thanks for the insight. I had to step back and take in to account what you said, because it is 100% true. Strategic marketing was how I developed this business in the first place. I have began to devote more of my time to working on my marketing plan for 2013, and put the equipment on the back burner for a couple of weeks. I am preparing my 2013 flyer for new customers and newsletter for my current customer describing the new features that I will be offering this season. Any ideas you have for marketing strategy would be appreciated. I will be mainly using flyers as it has worked very well for me in the past. I am mapping out major subdivisions, rental properties, real estate agents, and other places that I believe will me good targets. I have always kept my customers once I get them I just have to get my foot in the door with their being so many people in the business today. I treat all my customers with the utmost respect and they really appreciate someone doing good business.
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2013, 08:51 AM
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in an earlier post you mention your costs are only your gas because your boss is supplying the equipment ,I just wanted to say that because your getting equipment free now,doesnt mean it will always be that way ,so for pricing work,be sure to include the costs associated with the purchase and upkeep of equipment .And if I was your boss ,even if it wasent mentioned in our deal ,I would really appreciate a few bucks now and then for the use of my equipment .
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  #20  
Old 02-06-2013, 08:17 AM
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One of the most successful smaller ad campaigns we did was to go to a golf course community (where they build a subdivision around a golf course). The properties are small (5,000 SF). You could do it on any subdivision where the properties are relatively the same size throughout.

What we did was we made a 8.5 x 5.5"post card with an annual package price for the season and sold it as a monthly payment. We took an average price for mowing X 28 wks, added in spring & fall cleanups, and a fertilizer program, and priced it at $99.00/mo for 10 months. We ended up with 15% of the community the first season.

Price it as if you are going to get 10 or more. Pass on SOME of the savings for less travel time. We averaged 7 properties per hour with 3 men (1-48", 1-36", and 1 -trim/blow).

I think with the pricing right on the postcard, there was no mystery for them. Either they wanted it or not. My mistake is that I didn't repeat it. I should have re-did it 2 more times 2-3 weeks apart.

Another tip: Know your overhead. Price out everything you will spend and divide it over your season. We have 35 or so weeks here. I cut only 4 days/ week. I break my overhead down to the hour so I know what it costs us.
(ie: $35,000 per year/ 35 weeks = $1,000 per week/ 4 days = $250 per day/8.5 hrs per day = $29.64/ hr for overhead) Now add your labor & taxes and you know your cost per hour and what you need to charge. Too many guys don't know their real costs. Make sure you bank $$ for winter bills. Sorry for long post.
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