View Full Version : So..was 2008 What You Expected?

09-09-2008, 10:46 PM
remember early season posts about the economy and fears of $7 & $8 gas prices. the sky is falling crowd has gone away and pretty much business as usual for me so far this year. A little slow on the start of aeration and seeding season but things are starting to come in there as well. numbers look good for me and the fall can be a good season as well. what was your season like? doom and gloom ? or business as usual? anyone have a breakout year so far?

09-09-2008, 10:56 PM
I would say that I am about 20-30% ahead compared to last years' profits. The constant rain up here, even through out the heat, really kept the grass growing. Gas is eventually coming down, and I think fall clean ups are going to occur around here earlier than last year which should give me enough time to get them all done before Winter.


dura to the max
09-09-2008, 11:15 PM
hard to say, tax time aint here yet...LOL. '08 has been pretty good.

09-09-2008, 11:23 PM
I priced my lawns at the start for $4 gal gas . I know landscapers who do installs and hardscape who are down . Mowing for the most part has held its own but no big profit boosts . I purchased a lazer ZHP and managed to make it work on my smaller lawns. I wish I would have made this move 10 yrs ago but my thick skull believed I didn't need one on 1/4 acre lawns. looks like another solid year for me and it's raining again as I type so gotta MOW!

09-09-2008, 11:40 PM
Been a good year for me as well. God has doled out an extra generous supply of blessings this year.

09-09-2008, 11:45 PM
It has been a good year. However, usually my phone is ringing and lots of people are flagging me down asking for estimates. I have had noticeably less of that this year. I picked up a new account 2 weeks ago, and that one fell in my lap. But that was the first new account in a few months. I can still see the effects, but since I am established, it has not really hurt me.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
09-10-2008, 12:14 AM
Been a good year. Started off slow, but picked up. My goal has been to focus more on mowing rather then doing the new installs. Started off with only 18 returning customers (lots of deployments and people moving), had up to 50 with a helper, he quit, and I downsized to 40. I stay busy. Lots of highend yards, most are 1/2 acre plus, with lots of trimming. I just wish people would pay for fall cleanups here.

09-10-2008, 12:21 AM
it has been a roller coaster to say the least. I quit my full time job in April to make a go at this after being part time for 15 years. Started out great with plenty of rain. THen it got hot and dry in mid June and I got a little concerned. Then since the middle of August we have been getting decent rains. Actually having a hard time keeping up with all of it right now. Grass is as lush right now as it was in the spring. Leaves haven't even really started falling yet, but we are looking at highs in the 70's next week....

09-10-2008, 07:01 AM
It was a good year for precip. excpt for August, The remnants of these storms lately have killed the drought and things Are green again. People are asking about how many cuts are left though so I can imagine this is a bill they are ready to get rid of. I break up leaf season into several mulching/ mowing visits with a final cleanup and rain gutter cleaning . This keeps the bill resonable and people are used to this service from me.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-10-2008, 10:33 AM
2008 is not over yet! Still have 3-4 months of lawn service left to go down here

09-10-2008, 04:16 PM
I believe the thread asks, was 2008 what you expected... no statments were made saying its over!!!???? pay attention..I say, pay attention son.. just a general overview of your year . with all the early talk of the ecomomy going south and the gas scare I am right on track this year . of cource there are many weeks left to harvest the suburban landscape!!

Richard Martin
09-10-2008, 04:49 PM
I have gone above and beyond my expectations for my second year cutting grass down here.

09-10-2008, 04:58 PM
08' mowing season has been great, have about 3 more full rounds to go, then leaves. Hope the 08' plowing season is just as good!

Mike Blevins
09-10-2008, 05:19 PM
Great year so far. Will reach money goal for 2008 this friday. Still have more mowings and fall leaves to do. Alot better than last year to say the least.

09-10-2008, 05:50 PM
I started with only 20 (good) lawn accounts, got up to about 38. I think next year will start with about 32, and get up to maybe 50. I also got about 6 decent installation jobs. I used a helper all summer, and that was an excellent experience.

I spent about $8K on equipment (trailer, dump insert, aerator, BP blower), paid for all in cash, and have way more cash on hand than last year.

One major thing I never considered in the past...Every year the quality of my accounts get better. I drop the losers, some drop me, and it all just works out for the best.

09-11-2008, 07:32 AM
yesterday I got word the my full time job is offering and early out program. I may qualify!!!! the retirement check will barely cover my mortgage but its a chance to get something for my time spent there. At 59 1/2 I can tap my gov. 401K like fund and at 62 SS kicks in. My original plan was to leave in 2013 and build my business up to replace the $ difference. The plan would put me out on my a$$ at the end of FEB. just in time to start up the season. After a season of drought like 2007 and a season of injury for me in 2008 I survived both with diverse services and equipment investment. I know I will need to enter the world of hiring help to elevate my income. its a scarey thought but where I work (mailman) it is one of the most negative places I have ever worked. The problem is I get 5wks vacation and 11 fed holidays.

09-11-2008, 08:34 AM
I stayed about the same this year. There were too many guys cutting for too little money around here and I wouldnt bid that low. Even their customers couldnt believe the low prices. My hobby is golf, not driving a Zturn for next to nuttin. I played alot of golf this year!

B & B Yardscape
09-11-2008, 08:52 AM
I bid a major job in the spring that has kept a crew of two mowing for me all summer. All the areas are irrigated so the rain hasn't been an issue. Except when it does and they have to quit.

Installs are down sugnificantly from last year. People just don't have the money in MI this year. Gave out a lot of bids, but when they got the price, they either went to HD to do it themself or put it off until next year.

So to answer the question, I'm down only because of the amount of installs. But WAY up on the mowing side. Actually going to make more money than last year, but expected more money than this this year.

09-11-2008, 11:21 AM
so far it has been a great year for me. i hope that my number doubles next year.

09-11-2008, 11:32 AM
Cant really complain too much.

We certainly expected to have part time jobs and landscape part time and that hasn happened (yet).

August was a horribly slow month and september is faltering.

Winter up here is long and so that is scary too.

We have all had talks about relocating to florida.

Gas was not as bad as I thought it would have been, with all the talks about the gas scare, customers werent really resistant too much (some where) when they asked you why your prices were so high all you had to say was "gas".

This was a start up year for this business, and for start up I would have to say not that bad.
Been in landscaping for 15 years, Ive owned two previous business before, said Id never own another one and here I am.
still not sure if it was the right thing to do. But no one was really hiring high end senior techs or managers either.

09-11-2008, 12:08 PM
Raised all prices 5-10% at start of season to cover for increased expenditure and inflation, plus added a floating fuel surcharge which has been charged the following:
May - 3%
June - 4%
July - 4%
August 3%

Had an extremely wet spring that put revenues up 50% from last year. Late-summer and fall has been dry but still up about 10% this time of year from last.

Overall.. been a good year. But like someone else said, won't really know how good until I get my year-end back from the accountant and see what I owe Uncle Sam :usflag:

09-11-2008, 12:52 PM
woah, how do you figure floating surcharge? I want to make more money off the same work? What if you made too much money? would you have given 2% back?
What that surcharge based on?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-11-2008, 05:36 PM
Blessed here..

Grew my customer base, sales, and income (and its only Sept)

Only thing that is hurting a bit is this drought we are in. Some cuts 10-14 days now whereas last season it was pedal to the medal with all the Aug/Sept rain we got.

09-11-2008, 08:31 PM
woah, how do you figure floating surcharge? I want to make more money off the same work? What if you made too much money? would you have given 2% back?
What that surcharge based on?

Just told customers that fuel surcharge percentages may change at any time with no prior notice. People have been very understanding (have received no questions or complaints).

The surcharge is calculated so that I'm not actually making more money off the same work, just making what I am supposed to be making when I bid a lawn when gas is $3/gal, but then rises to $4/gal a month later.

My actual calculations in the percentages are unique to my business' gasoline expenditure and pricing structure.

09-12-2008, 03:00 AM
MIne has been much better!

09-12-2008, 10:01 AM
Good year here also. August was really dry and shut me down but a wet September so far.

What I have noticed was less add on accounts this year than others. Which is, While doing a yard and a neighbor asks to get on the list.

Receivables are slowing down. I bill monthly but I'm finding another 30 days after the original invoice was sent a 2nd and a third are needed to be sent.

I do plan on tightening the credit terms for 09 a bit.

A lesson for the newbies out there....limit your favors you do. I find the people I give breaks to are usually the ones that bight me in the ass with slow pay etc...Run it as a business and that will cause less disappointments.

dura to the max
09-12-2008, 04:22 PM
by the way, im on my 3rd employee for '08 if that says partly how the year is going:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:wall:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::dizz y:

TNT LawnCare Inc.
09-12-2008, 04:25 PM
Its been a Great year for us. 30 new clients and 2 commercials,couldnt be happier this year. Lots of rain to !:)