PDA

View Full Version : Lawn Application Invoices and other doesy questions.


Joshuakwhit
08-03-2008, 02:44 AM
What kind of invoices do you guys use?

What do the invoices need to say as far as EPA # ,amount, time ,date?

Do ya'll use carbonated type invoices?

Where do ya'll get them?

One last question and this is a dosey. Is next year a good idea starting my own business?

One more. Is 2 years expierence good enough to start my own operation?

:dizzy

Runner
08-03-2008, 02:19 PM
Do ya'll use carbonated type invoices?:dizzy

I try not....the fizz and bubbles tickle my nose.:laugh::drinkup:

Whitey4
08-03-2008, 02:38 PM
I'm a small time operation, and not very computer savy. In NY we have to have contracts for any pesticide application, and on that the target, chemical and EPA reg no. must appear. I staple a carbon between two forms that I made myself... has to be in 12 point type or larger. Then it gets signed by the customer and I get the original back.

As far as invoicing, I use a standard form I created. It has "boxes" that include the date of the service, and I hand write what service was done... not very professional, but it works well enough. Then I just make copies for my files before sending the invoices out at the end of the month.

I need to get this done entirely on the comp next year, and that is one of my planned winter projects. I may look into software to help me get more streamlined and more professional.

Joshuakwhit
08-03-2008, 11:13 PM
Any more advise on this and the other questions, please.

I meant carbon copy type invoices. Scotts who I work for now uses this type.

mngrassguy
08-04-2008, 12:20 AM
My local print shop has two part carbon-less forms that I use for both my contracts and invoices. The State of Mn dictates what must be on my invoices.

Starting a business next year? I don't even know if I can afford to stay in this next year and I've been doing this for over 20 years!!!

Good Luck

jdmcat
08-04-2008, 01:15 AM
What kind of invoices do you guys use?
I print two part invoices with my laser printer and just rip the customer copy off when I do the job.

What do the invoices need to say as far as EPA # ,amount, time ,date?
Your states Dept. of Ag. will be the most reliable source for that kind of info.

Do ya'll use carbonated type invoices?
No.

Where do ya'll get them?
I print them myself

One last question and this is a dosey. Is next year a good idea starting my own business?
I don't see why not

One more. Is 2 years expierence good enough to start my own operation?
If you have to ask that question, probably not.

LushGreenLawn
08-04-2008, 06:48 AM
Its going to be tougher for you than for someone who has no experience, because you have spent two years being taught what not to do by TrueGreen.

My suggestion would be to spend alot of time doing research. Go talk to the guys at JD/Lesco, search the web, learn as much as you can about proper lawncare techniques.

Spend the winter doing this, and putting your business plan together, and make sure you are comfortable with you knowledge level before starting.

GREEN-UP
08-04-2008, 08:30 AM
I use quickbooks simple start. Got on ebay for 25.00 brand new. Does what I need to do for invoices and looks very nice. Tried the carbon from printers,$$ adds up over time.

LushGreenLawn
08-04-2008, 02:33 PM
um, you paid $25 for simple start? You can download it from the Quickbooks website for free.

I have a copy of Adobe Acrobat I can sell you for $25 though!:drinkup:

jdmcat
08-04-2008, 04:31 PM
yeah I got simple start for free to, I think you got taken...:hammerhead:

MrBarefoot
08-04-2008, 04:43 PM
What kind of invoices do you guys use?



I made my own with Microsoft Word. I attached a sample as a pdf.


What do the invoices need to say as far as EPA # ,amount, time ,date?


They need to have that info on the invoice so the customer can have it.


Do ya'll use carbonated type invoices?

No.

Where do ya'll get them?

A local printing shop makes them for me.

One last question and this is a dosey. Is next year a good idea starting my own business?

Do you have a business plan written yet? If not then do that first. Can you get the credentials to lawfully apply in your state? If not then get those too before you think about starting a business.

One more. Is 2 years experience good enough to start my own operation?


That depends on what you learned in those 2 years. Keep in mind running a business is a different skill then servicing your clients lawns. You'll need to do both to be successful.

Joshuakwhit
08-04-2008, 07:54 PM
Let me fill ya'll in on my expierence. I have owned and operated a small lawn care and landscape business for more than ten years. While doing some college I was hired at Scotts. I think I know quite a bit about diagnosing lawn conditions, but it is the products to use some good some not as good. Here at Scotts we primairly use the same products from Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, all the same.

I would like to start a company that that I can combine both, I like squirting and ferting, I like cuttin' and trimmin' more.

Now that all of that is on the table do you think there is a good chance to start this kind of company first of the year. I know all of the prices are though the roof, but I don't see any shortage of customer base, still seems one is greatere than the other just maybe smaller margins.

Any how thanks for the replies and the all of the advise, any more appreciated!

Runner
08-04-2008, 08:57 PM
Did you get your email?
Also, however,...you stated.
"Now that all of that is on the table do you think there is a good chance to start this kind of company first of the year. I know all of the prices are though the roof, but I don't see any shortage of customer base, still seems one is greatere than the other just maybe smaller margins".

Unfortunately, we are going to see a MAJOR decrease in customer base in the lawn care industry (fert. and chem. - not mowing, which is lawn maintenance) as a whole. Most of the average and above average customers are going to be cutting back significantly. The mowing can't be reduced...it has to be done. People are going to want 2, 3 and 4 ap. programs to reduce costs, as next years program prices are going to be roughly 75 to 100% higher in price than what they were priced this year. That is close to twice the cost of this year's. The people that WILL be paying for our services? The actual high end customers. the ones in the 500,000 to 1 million dollar homes with the Lexus and Hummer parked in the driveway. The problem is, they are about 10% of the average lawn care company's market share. that means that there are going to be ALL THESE LAWN SERVICES - going after the top 10%. Anything under this top 10% that will take the 6 applications at almost twice the cost as what they were this year, will just be the average "can you do it for this much, and/or can you just do this many aps".

Now, there WILL be many lco's that will accommodate these people...even with a full series of visits. However, they will be doing the philosophy of what I sometimes tell people as part of my sales routine.
I say. "Sure,....That is the beauty of it. I have this $5000 machine that allows me to dial it down to however much you want to pay. That is what everyone else does. The first 10 dollars goes in to my pocket...Every thing after that goes into you lawn. Other companies, myself included,... can not cut down the amount they pay for gas...that is already set. They can't cut how much they pay for insurance,....They can't control how much they py for material,...All they can control,...is the amount of product that YOU are getting for your dollar! So, do you want a NICE lawn? Or do you just want an average lawn? Because for 20 dollars more (meaning per visit), you can have a real nice lawn. If you DON'T,.......I totally underSTAND.......Because my lawn doesn't look ANYthing like what this lawn could. As a matter of fact,....I mow my lawn when the neighbors complain! (this usually gets a little laugh from them.)
You have a nice house, you have nice looking landscaping, you have a sprinkler system, and you even pay someone to come in and mow your lawn. Now,...s a gorgeous lawn worth twenty dollars to you?"
Anyway, this usually sells them. I don't use this line all the time, but when it fits in, it gets used. Anyway, good luck with it.