PDA

View Full Version : Is the economy REALLY effecting you?


IN2MOWN
10-07-2008, 07:41 PM
I watch all the news programs and people are really freaking out about the economy. Where its been and where its headed. One guy out in CA killed his family and then turned the gun on himself because he could not find a job.

Have any of you noticed a change in the last year or so?

Honestly. I have not.

In fact almost the opposite. I added 7 new houses this year and in the last month another 5 from companies that shut down due to gas prices. 12 total and this is an economy that the "experts" are saying is headed down the crapper.

Gas bummed me out for a little but its now down $1.25 from 2 months ago and it looks to keep dropping.

I went through my books recently and noticed an increase in revenue at this time this year compared to same time last year.

Gotta love all the speculators calling for doom and gloom but IMO we are headed in the right direction.

Mike Fronczak
10-07-2008, 07:46 PM
I added a bunch of new residentials, but lost two long time clients, they started doing it themselves & there 60+. So I think it is affecting certain people more than others (depends on investments).

Charles
10-07-2008, 07:48 PM
I am hearing from customers who are losing a good bit of money in the stock market
The economy has to be hurting many ways and may be hurting us in ways we don't know or haven't felt yet. Very tight credit market. People losing big in the stock market. People in fear of losing their jobs. Gas prices are still high here and there are shortages. Making judgments on the overall economy just because you picked up a few accounts is not very scientific.
9 months straight of job losses in the US. 159,000 just last month. That's a sign of a recession

Genlandscape
10-07-2008, 07:48 PM
Lost five residential accounts in the last two weeks. All cancellations were clients who can no longer afford services, and yes all five are doing it themselves. We hold a 98% retention rate, so five in two weeks is a hit. Our design/build is down 60% from last year, and general cleanouts/renovations are down 30%. Glad to have mowing as a base line!!!

TNT LawnCare Inc.
10-07-2008, 07:52 PM
The economy hasnt been effecting us to much,yet ? Weve picked up 32 new clients and 2 commercials ..Of course knock on wood.This doesnt me much . Weve actually had a really good year so far and fall clean-ups havent even begun. People here are spending some money. I guess weve been fortunate and iam thankful . I no some are having a tough time. The areas that are suffering are car sales and of course home sales. Gas has dropped alot and probably will go a little lower thank heaven. I dont see a change at all were we are. Lots of people are losing there jobs thou ,i think next year we all will see rcord new start-up LCO'S

IN2MOWN
10-07-2008, 07:53 PM
I am hearing from customers who are losing a good bit of money in the stock market
The economy has to be hurting many ways and may be hurting us in ways we don't know or haven't felt yet. Very tight credit market. People losing big in the stock market. People in fear of losing their jobs. Gas prices are still high here and there are shortages. Making judgments on the overall economy just because you picked up a few accounts is not very scientific.
9 month straight of job loses in the US. 159,000 just last month. That's a sign of a recession



Probably not scientific but I cut grass for a living. Out of those 159,000 jobs can you tell me how many were LCO's that had an established business?

Charles
10-07-2008, 07:59 PM
Probably not scientific but I cut grass for a living. Out of those 159,000 jobs can you tell me how many were LCO's that had an established business?

One sign of a bad economy is a zillion people out mowing lawns for a living and/or doing it part-time. You make this thread like you can do some type of scientific study. YOUR area some other area's may be doing great. But here the job market sucks and people are mowing lawns and working 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet. There is a LCO for every 10 homes is seems. Because many have no other jobs to turn to. I have an established business but my phone rarely rings for new customers when it concerns mowing. I used to get 8 calls a week

IN2MOWN
10-07-2008, 08:05 PM
One sign of a bad economy is a zillion people out mowing lawns for a living and/or doing it part-time. You make this thread like you can do some type of scientific study. YOUR area some other area's may be doing great. But here the job market sucks and people are mowing lawns and working 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet. There is a LCO for every 10 homes is seems. Because many have no other jobs to turn to. I have an established business but my phone rarely rings for new customers when it concerns mowing. I used to get 8 calls a week

I made the thread for the purpose of FINDING OUT what other LCO's thought not because I had already done a study.

Doing a study would mean that I had already gathered facts and researched the topic which Im doing now by reading them. I did not put the cart in front of the horse so to speak.

Companies have always come and go around here. I live in a thriving and growing area of KC but the companies come in spring and go in the fall when they finally figure out what it takes to run a business.

chilibean
10-07-2008, 08:23 PM
It will begin to affect us, like some have mentioned homeowners will go back to doing it themselves. I was at Lesco today (have you seen what fertilizer prices are?) the days of marking up fertilizer 3x and adding labor are gone. Who is going to pay you over $100 to put down 1 bag (12,000sq. ft) of fert. The guys at Lesco and i disagree. They think the little guy (like me) will go bye bye and the big companies will only get bigger. I think the big companies will downsize their work force because some big commercial companies will go back to having their own maintenance crews. They will either cut back on fert and other services and big company profits will go down.
When i started back in the '70s there were very few lawn companies in business. Most commercial properties had their own guys doing the maintenance. When the walk behind and ztr came on the scene lawn companies popped up everywhere. I may be crazy but if we have to charge soo much for our overhead (not our fault) i think we may be pricing ourselves out of business. Let us know what everyone thinks.

Charles
10-07-2008, 08:24 PM
I made the thread for the purpose of FINDING OUT what other LCO's thought not because I had already done a study.

Doing a study would mean that I had already gathered facts and researched the topic which Im doing now by reading them. I did not put the cart in front of the horse so to speak.

Companies have always come and go around here. I live in a thriving and growing area of KC but the companies come in spring and go in the fall when they finally figure out what it takes to run a business.

Yea and what you are going to get and these threads always get is--Ya, I am doing fine here, no not here, yes here, no not here and so on. All depends on where you live.
Carry on lol

TNT LawnCare Inc.
10-07-2008, 08:27 PM
I have to agree with CHILIbean on the fertalizer guys. Who is gonna pay that kinda moneuy when home owners can go get a bag a homedepo and put it down themselves. Last year the truegreen trucks were evreywhere,you no i didnt see them that much this year.

IN2MOWN
10-07-2008, 08:29 PM
Yea and what you are going to get and these threads always get is--Ya, I am doing fine here, no not here, yes here, no not here and so on. All depends on where you live.
Carry on lol



I would hope I would get repsonses. Kind of the point huh? lol

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-07-2008, 08:29 PM
Biz for me is not being affected one iota by the economy.

You can either be one of those that says "Woe is me" and take it to the tank OR you can go with the cup half full and take advantage of the woefully underpriced stock market and quality company stock that is horribly underpriced. I wish I had more cash to put in the market here over the next few months....

IN2MOWN
10-07-2008, 08:30 PM
It will begin to affect us, like some have mentioned homeowners will go back to doing it themselves. I was at Lesco today (have you seen what fertilizer prices are?) the days of marking up fertilizer 3x and adding labor are gone. Who is going to pay you over $100 to put down 1 bag (12,000sq. ft) of fert. The guys at Lesco and i disagree. They think the little guy (like me) will go bye bye and the big companies will only get bigger. I think the big companies will downsize their work force because some big commercial companies will go back to having their own maintenance crews. They will either cut back on fert and other services and big company profits will go down.
When i started back in the '70s there were very few lawn companies in business. Most commercial properties had their own guys doing the maintenance. When the walk behind and ztr came on the scene lawn companies popped up everywhere. I may be crazy but if we have to charge soo much for our overhead (not our fault) i think we may be pricing ourselves out of business. Let us know what everyone thinks.



The good news for the fert guys is that compared to mowing and or landscaping its a business with a fairly low overhead. Truck and spreader comapred to truck, mowers, trailers, bobcats....and so on.

mississippiturf
10-07-2008, 08:38 PM
My lawn business has been thriving. If I lose one customer I gain one or two more! I also do handy man work in the off season. I've got several of those jobs lined up already and continue to get more calls. Woe is me!!!!

chilibean
10-07-2008, 08:48 PM
I am definitly not a woe is me guy. I have been in this business since 1977 this is what i know and do best so i will charge on. But for the first time in business i am worried. I hope everybody keeps making a living at this.
Not to get off this topic but the guys at Lesco here said the Salt supplier here may not be producing any bagged salt and salt in general is going to be in short supply. They still cannot tell me what the price per bag is going to be this season.

topsites
10-07-2008, 08:59 PM
There's no starter fertilizer in any stores around here, but don't worry about it.

I drove to four different locations until I found some, but it was 10-10-10 and that ain't no starter fert,
also that was their last pallet and it was marked up 50% from last year's prices.

No fertilizer, no problem, we got food, right?
Right, and besides using fertilizer on a lawn who else uses the stuff?
Farm...

ahhh F'it.

I am hearing from customers who are losing a good bit of money in the stock market
The economy has to be hurting many ways and may be hurting us in ways we don't know or haven't felt yet. Very tight credit market. People losing big in the stock market. People in fear of losing their jobs. Gas prices are still high here and there are shortages. Making judgments on the overall economy just because you picked up a few accounts is not very scientific.
9 months straight of job losses in the US. 159,000 just last month. That's a sign of a recession

Look there's nothing doing here, best to just let it go.

J&R Landscaping
10-07-2008, 09:04 PM
Some larger jobs are being put on hold but mowing is good. Mulch jobs are still comming in. Business is up roughly 35% or so from this time last season.

I must say though, I lost a few customers at spring who decided to do it themselves. I was a bit disappointed but I have gained it back and then some! The way the economy is worries me though. I'm watching where I'm spending money and not making as many big ticket purchases as I would like. I'd really like a few more things for fall and winter but I'm kinda leary of taking a jump, espically this time of year.

Turf Commando
10-07-2008, 09:06 PM
Business is and will always be location, location, location...
Were in a recession, no doubt and no politician will fix the problem, it's been brewing for to long and nothing was done now we face the storm....

My business is OK. I never went full force (LCO), I'm no dummy anyone can cut grass were nothing special nor do we offer a skilled trade..

puppypaws
10-07-2008, 09:19 PM
Yea and what you are going to get and these threads always get is--Ya, I am doing fine here, no not here, yes here, no not here and so on. All depends on where you live.
Carry on lol

It is effecting everyone where they believe it or not. People must pick up more business, because you can't raise prices enough to offset the difference in cost of doing business.

The truth of the matter is, go back 2 yrs. take your total gross income and subtract every penny spent, this will be your true savable income, no one elses money but yours to do as you please.

Now, take the year of 2008 and do the very same thing when it is finished. Then see how many of you have more savable income in 2008 than in 2006. This will give you the true facts of how well your business is doing.

It will take a great deal more generated income to offset the difference in all cost. We are talking about everything from insurance to the price of food going on your table, "every penny spent for anything".

lawnman_scott
10-07-2008, 09:35 PM
I went through my books recently and noticed an increase in revenue at this time this year compared to same time last year.

Gotta love all the speculators calling for doom and gloom but IMO we are headed in the right direction.Do you have the same percentage of increase in profit, or just revenue?

puppypaws
10-07-2008, 09:54 PM
Do you have the same percentage of increase in profit, or just revenue?

This is the question that must be answered. You can have an increase in revenue over the same time last year but if you also spend more than the increase covers, you are losing money. You can look at the books and say I am $10,000.00 ahead of where I was at this time last year and have a big smile on your face. Then you add up all expenditures and find out you spent $12,000.00 more than you did at the same time last year, that smile has a tendency to fall.

Like I say, no one knows anything until the tally is on paper. This is the exact amount that came in and the exact amount that went out, not excluding anything. What you have left (if anything) is the "tale of the tape."

IN2MOWN
10-07-2008, 10:49 PM
Do you have the same percentage of increase in profit, or just revenue?

Its the same thing.