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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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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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  #571  
Old 11-11-2009, 11:27 AM
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Hi Steve,

Welcome to our forum!

Being in business 15 years must have been quite an experience. If you could offer any startup advice to new business owners, what would you suggest to them? Were there any pitfalls you ran into when you got started you wish you could have avoided?
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  #572  
Old 11-11-2009, 12:48 PM
joe2025
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Talking New Business - Northeastern Mainenance LLC

Hello All. I just started my new business last year. Landed two large commercial snow plowing accounts with a partner. We all know how partnerships turn out. Anyway my wife and I started our own business now. I have learned a lot from this site and enjoy visiting when time allows.

I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on zero turn mowers. I have narrowed it down to two that I am looking at but can not decide. I like the Ferris 1500z (48") or the Scag Tiger Cat (48"). I have heard that the Ferris gives a better looking cut but I can not decide which one to get. Any help would be appriecated.

Thank You
Joe
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  #573  
Old 11-11-2009, 12:52 PM
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Welcome to the forum Steve and Joe!
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Last edited by arthur712; 11-11-2009 at 12:55 PM.
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  #574  
Old 11-11-2009, 12:54 PM
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Hi Joe,

I'd love to hear some of your insight into partnerships.

What advice you would have for others considering getting into one and what you would do to resolve issues before they happen.

As far as the mowers go, are they both fixed decks? Doesn't one of them have suspension and the other one doesn't?
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  #575  
Old 11-11-2009, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Hi Joe,

I'd love to hear some of your insight into partnerships.

What advice you would have for others considering getting into one and what you would do to resolve issues before they happen.

As far as the mowers go, are they both fixed decks? Doesn't one of them have suspension and the other one doesn't?
Hello Steve.

Yes. The Ferris has suspension while the Scag does not. Both have floating decks if I;m not mistaken. I've been trying to get and honest opinion about mowers off the internet but can seem to find anyone with a straight answer. If I can't find the answers I'm looking for then I'll just have to go with my gut feeling.

About partnerships: I have a lot of considerations and opinions about partnerships. My first bit of advice would be that if you do not have to get into one, then don't.

By this I mean unless it is totaly necessary for you to have a partner I would recommend going it alone. Although having a partner can be a motivator for both parties, your best bet is to start your own company and hire some part time help if you need it. Get everything in writting up front and I mean everything. From who will handle the paperwork (sending quotes, billing, communications, etc...) to which accoutant you will be hiring. Not having every aspect of the business in writting can only lead to misunderstandings and possible leagal action in the future.

Until you have things in writting between the partners, do not do any work as a company. Make sure that you get a business agreement made up and signed before you start. Not doing so can cost you thousands of dollars.

Of course this is just basic advise and theree is a lot more to it. I wouild just say be careful who your going into business with and think about if it is worth having a partner or not.

Got to go pay the bills. Later...

ps. sorry about any spelling errors.
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  #576  
Old 11-11-2009, 01:55 PM
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As far as the mowers go, it seems from previous discussions here, the Ferris weighed more but the suspension made a big difference after a long days worth of mowing. I don't know what the cost difference is but if comfort is a factor and it is YOU doing the mowing, you may want to consider the suspension model.

When you were getting your partnership going, why do you feel you decided to go with a partnership at first? There must have been some sort of allure to attract you to that business model.

Are you happy you went through that experience because it brought you to where you are now or was it a dead end experience where you feel you wasted time?
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  #577  
Old 11-12-2009, 01:45 AM
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As far as the mowers go, it seems from previous discussions here, the Ferris weighed more but the suspension made a big difference after a long days worth of mowing. I don't know what the cost difference is but if comfort is a factor and it is YOU doing the mowing, you may want to consider the suspension model.

When you were getting your partnership going, why do you feel you decided to go with a partnership at first? There must have been some sort of allure to attract you to that business model.

Are you happy you went through that experience because it brought you to where you are now or was it a dead end experience where you feel you wasted time?
Hello Steve.

Thanks for the advise on the mowers. The Ferris only weighs about 50 lbs more that the Scag. I'll keep doing research before I purchase.

The partnership was started out of my desire to get into the business. My x partner has been doing it for about 6 years now. We were discussing how he wanted to expand but did not have the time to do so and I wanted to start into the business so it seemed like a great opportunity. The deal was that I would try to land commercial snow management accounts for the new partnership venture then we would start a new company to do snow management and lawn care. Well as luck would have it I managed to land two large commercial accounts within the first month of trying. The problem as I see it now was that the week after I landed the accounts it snowed and last year was a bad year weather wise here. We were out every other day for most of the winter. This left no time to get everything in writing. At the end of the snow season my partner stopped communicating with me. Would not return phone calls and such. I started hearing from people that he was like this and not the right type of person to get involved with.

Long story short, he stole one of the accounts off "our" company for his own and got us fired from the other account. So now I am starting over on my own. Do not need a partner nor would I get into another partnership again. This is why I said that everything has to be in the form of a business agreement just in case it does not work out.

I dont feel the partnership was a waste of time, if anything it was a learning experience as is anything in life that you do. The one thing that bothers me the most about the way it turned out is that as most people in the industry know, landing a large commercial account is not the easiest thing to do but once you have them you can keep them for a very long time provided you are doing a professional job. And the amount of money you can generate for your company is great.

Landed a few medium size commerecial accounts for this winter and have some good leads on summer work. Will bw pushing for residential lawn care very heavily at the beginning of next year. My feeling is that this company WILL be sucessful in both residential and commercial accounts.

Well that's enough blowing off steam for know. Hope this short story helps others. time for my 4 hour of sleep for the day.
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  #578  
Old 11-12-2009, 11:31 AM
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Keep us posted on which mower you decide to go with.

That is a really fascinating story on the partnership.

How do you feel you were able to land your initial snow plow accounts? Did you happen to know the decision makers or are did it come down to just being good at sales?

Do you have any advice for others looking to land commercial snow plow accounts in their area? I am sure others would appreciate any insight you have.
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  #579  
Old 11-14-2009, 01:09 AM
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Keep us posted on which mower you decide to go with.

That is a really fascinating story on the partnership.

How do you feel you were able to land your initial snow plow accounts? Did you happen to know the decision makers or are did it come down to just being good at sales?

Do you have any advice for others looking to land commercial snow plow accounts in their area? I am sure others would appreciate any insight you have.
Landing the commercial accounts last year was just luck I guess. I am sure it had a lot to do with my approach and attitude for wanting to do the work. I did not know any of the decision makers when I first made contact. You need to spend a great deal of time to find who is really in charge. Sometimes I will spend hours making phone calls just to try and get some contact information and that is just the start or trying to land a commercial account. I have one here in the area that I have been working on for two years now and have not landed any business so far. I will keep trying however because I want the account.

As far as advice for landing commercial snow plowing accounts I would recommend that you try and find someone who knows someone connected with the facility you are trying to land. These guys and gals get so many phone calls for services that if they donít know you chances are you will not get to first base with them. I find that having a referral is the best way to make contact. It gets your foot in the door and then the rest is up to you. Depending on the type of commercial account it is you might need to be available 24/7 during the winter months. There is a lot of prep work and a lot of behind the scene work that you need to do in order to perform a professional job.

This year has been very tough to break into commercial accounts. I had two large accounts that I have been working on for the past two years and I got the impression that I was in for this year. I got this feeling from conversations that I was having with the persons in charge. I spent three weeks trying to get a detailed quote together for one of them. They wanted the service quoted several different ways. Turned out that both told me they were staying with their current company. My felling is that with the economy as bad as it is this year you have people trying to land accounts just to try to survive. Most are under bidding and I would guess that most will fall flat on their face when the time comes to service the accounts. You can not do a large account with a small pickup truck and a 7 foot plow. One other piece of advice is that when I look at a possible account I try and decide how much I want to profit on the account before I put a bid together and stick by my guns. I will not take an account for little profit just to get the account.
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  #580  
Old 12-07-2009, 02:27 PM
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Default how many of you are on west coast

hi ! from molalla oregon
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