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View Full Version : I've decided to give this a try...


E&MLandscapeServices
04-20-2006, 02:02 AM
Well, I am new to the business - extremely new. I haven't even mowed my first lawn yet... but I have two annual contacts signed and mowing begins next week. I am fairly certain that I will have about 10 contracts by the end of the month - of course, they are all people I work with. I am definately glad I found this site - its been extremely helpful.

I spent most of the day working on my business plan, registering my business with the SC secretary of state's office, applied for/received my federal EIN, set up my bank accounts, etc.

Tomorrow, I will negotiate prices with a local nursery for plants/supplies and see what happens.

Bustus
04-20-2006, 02:05 AM
You're on your way!:clapping:

E&MLandscapeServices
04-20-2006, 02:15 AM
It happened as a surprise actually. A coworker just completed his new house and was very 'proud' of it and I went to see it. He was talking about his landscape job and we started talking about his Japanese Maple and I told him I just bought a few of them for my yard... and then he said he knew nothing about maintaining a lawn, trees, etc - so I offered to 'take care of it' for him for a price. He took me seriously and here we are.... he is paying me $75 a week and I am having his yard mowed, edged, mulched, fertilized, etc - trees and hedges pruned... 'the works'. He will pay for those extra services as they are performed. We were at the office talking and our former manager overheard us and asked me if I wanted more business - and now he is a client also.

Now I am responsible for 2 lawns with more coworkers reviewing their own Landscape Maintenance Contacts. Since I work 40-60 hours a week, I have hired an employee part-time until the other contracts come back signed. Then he will move to full time. He has agreed to take several classes at a local community/technical college to learn the trade so he will be more efficient and able at his work. He stands to benefit as I gave him a 'small' ownership in the company - in addition to his hourly wages.

daveintoledo
04-20-2006, 12:19 PM
you shouldnt work for friends, familly, or neighbors......and hiring an emplyee is very expensive, you have to pay workers comp... match sos sec... taxes........ very hard to do when first starting out....

good luck

E&MLandscapeServices
04-20-2006, 02:20 PM
I'm not required to carry workers comp (yet) - not enough employees. I am offering him health insurance as a benefit - he can use that if he is injured. As an 'owner' in the business he doesnt actually count as an employee and his income will be his responsibility to file taxes quarterly, if necessary. I did arrange for him to use the services of my accountant at no expense to him. In case I ever need it, I did open a tax withholding account with the state Dept of Revenue. Would be nice if I did need it - that would mean my business was expanding the way I want it.

I decided to network to try to rapidly expand my new business using contacts I already have. I took today off from my 'real' job and met with a home builder that I have known for several years who agreed to distribute my marketing material to his clients - hopefully, that will work out because this particular builder has 2 subdivisions underway with the home prices starting at $200K (average home price in my area is around $135K). Then I met with a nursery to discuss prices and reached a deal - for landscaping services: they design, we plant. They have several certified landscape designers on staff. The cost to me will be the plants/materials which will be wholesale + 3% - no fee for the design services. I will be responsible for collecting sales tax and submitting the taxes to the state for the plants and materials.

I have a friend who is licensed by the state as a landscape architect - he does a lot of commercial/residential design work but doesn't do any of the installation or maintenance work... I am trying to set up a lunch with him for early next week to see if I can get any business out of him. I also found out another friend of mine is a Master Gardener with the Clemson Extension Service and she said that she would offer me any assistance I need for my clients - including visiting the client's homes and setting up fertilizing/pruning/etc schedules. I always knew that she loved gardening I just didnt know how much... and she is retired so she has a lot of free time. She said that she is 'required' to do so many hours of volunteer work for homeowners/farmers/businesses and she will use the time spent helping me towards her annual hour requirement.

I decided not to canvass my own subdivision - I know some of my neighbors and I would NEVER want them for clients, regardless of what type of industry I was in. I do have a state senator that lives down the street from me that desperately needs to have a service maintain his lawn - he keeps getting busted by our homeowners association for his yard looking like crap. But I didnt vote for him and I wouldnt want him as a client either... he probably would stiff me on the bill.

I thought I was hitting the jackpot when a friend offered me gas at 'cost' - until I learned his station only makes less than 15¢ per gallon. So gas will still be expensive... Nice to know that ExxonMobil made a higher profit in 2005 than any company in US history - bigger than the entire economies of 2/3 of the wealthiest countries in the world. I think I heard it mentioned before that ExxonMobil would rank 10th if they were their own country. No wonder they can afford to give their former CEO a $400 million retirement package - he did help them earn $36 billion in profit last year.

Badgerz
04-20-2006, 02:55 PM
Oh man, don't get that started again.

MSS Mow
04-20-2006, 06:39 PM
So gas will still be expensive... Nice to know that ExxonMobil made a higher profit in 2005 than any company in US history - bigger than the entire economies of 2/3 of the wealthiest countries in the world. I think I heard it mentioned before that ExxonMobil would rank 10th if they were their own country. No wonder they can afford to give their former CEO a $400 million retirement package - he did help them earn $36 billion in profit last year.

:realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

E&MLandscapeServices
04-21-2006, 12:36 AM
While I complain about gas prices, I'm definately not complaining about my Fidelity energy fund that is up more than 70% in the last year...

Thanks for the vote for success bobbygedd - I'm sure that most LCO's fail due to lack of business sense more than technical know-how, as is the case with most businesses. While I don't have very much hands on experience, I do have the ability to learn the trade - I also have an MBA which should help me avoid the pitfalls some would make when first starting out in business. I dont anticipate being out there mowing lawns - I can hire and train people for that. In the beginning, I do expect to check the work of my employee/co-owner but I won't micromanage him. I have known him for several years and I trust his ability to perform the work. When he was a teenager (which wasn't long ago), he was the person who mowed my lawn once a week for $25. He also had over 20 additional clients in our subdivision so he knows how to do lawn maintenance. The reason he stopped was to go to college... now he's back and I am offering him a business opportunity. Bobby - check back in 5 to 10 years so we can compare our businesses to see which is more successful & profitable.

Horticulture has always been a hobby for me - but usually growing trees (dogwoods, Japanese maples, Japanese Pagodas, red and sugar maples to give to people I know) and trying to get my zoysia to grow in places it doesnt want to grow. Now it has turned into a business opportunity and there is no way I would turn it down. I will be a certified landscape designer within a few months, followed by certifications in basic horticulture, lawn maintenance and then as a nursery and garden center. I may even turn the 15 acres I own out in the country into a nursery center - grow, design, plant and maintain... full service.

Hopefully, I can do a lot of large landscaping projects so I can justify buying a Bobcat skidsteer. My sister rented one over the weekend (for $238 a day) to tear up some of her land and start the process for her water garden. I went over and did the work for her and it was fun. The person working with me in starting the LCO said he would trade his car for a Bobcat. We are renting another one this weekend - I am sure we will find a use for it.

Badgerz
04-23-2006, 01:41 AM
Thanks for the vote for success bobbygedd - .... I also have an MBA ..... Bobby - check back in 5 to 10 years so we can compare our businesses to see which is more successful & profitable.

:clapping: :laugh: :clapping: If you need any help make sure and sign up for the online outreach course, "How It's Done" taught by Bobby G.E.D. :drinkup:

Runner
04-23-2006, 10:06 AM
:clapping: :laugh: :clapping: If you need any help make sure and sign up for the online outreach course, "How It's Done" taught by Bobby G.E.D. :drinkup:

Now that there's funny - I don't care WHO ya are!:)

bobbygedd
04-23-2006, 10:17 AM
good luck. tell us how you will dictate your policies- you know, your rain policies, your payment policies (this is a big one) , your policies concerning things like, for example: you take on a new client for fertilization. you price the work fair. you do your aplications as contracted. the results are not premium, and the client is unreasonable (complaining about weeds, etc). what will you do in a situation like this? do another aplication for free? tell the client that they must be patient, that this is a "proccess" that takes time? spray again at an additional fee? let this be your first test. please, in all seriousness, tell us about your companies policies concerning the issues above

Daner
04-23-2006, 02:47 PM
good luck. tell us how you will dictate your policies- you know, your rain policies, your payment policies (this is a big one) , your policies concerning things like, for example: you take on a new client for fertilization. you price the work fair. you do your aplications as contracted. the results are not premium, and the client is unreasonable (complaining about weeds, etc). what will you do in a situation like this? do another aplication for free? tell the client that they must be patient, that this is a "proccess" that takes time? spray again at an additional fee? let this be your first test. please, in all seriousness, tell us about your companies policies concerning the issues above
Ahhh life is so rough right Bobby...How did you first start out...the guy didnt want a big song and a dance
It sounds like your on the right track In your new adventure...best of luck to yaa

bobbygedd
04-23-2006, 03:32 PM
song and dance? wtf r u talkin bout? i'm being serious here. if he's gonna do it, he better do it right, for his own good

Daner
04-23-2006, 03:52 PM
song and dance? wtf r u talkin bout? i'm being serious here. if he's gonna do it, he better do it right, for his own good
He is doing it right:clapping:

bobbygedd
04-23-2006, 03:57 PM
i asked about his policies

Daner
04-23-2006, 04:10 PM
just what the world needs, another hobbyest
You can dance around it all you want Bobby...But it shur looks like to me that you are trying to discourage this guy

bobbygedd
04-23-2006, 04:12 PM
o no, i say, hey, the more the merrier. i'd love to see 15 other trucks on the same street i'm working on. it don't matter.

Daner
04-23-2006, 04:34 PM
o no, i say, hey, the more the merrier. i'd love to see 15 other trucks on the same street i'm working on. it don't matter.
LOL...I can see It now Bobby...You out there doing your fav customer...then 15 trucks come driveing in from all diretions and doing all your old acounts that you let go