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View Full Version : 11 months in business


joel29m
11-29-2009, 11:15 PM
im new to this website. well im from baton rouge, la where they have some grass that still grows in the winter. i started my business in jan. this year, started with a 21 inch briggs n stratton, a curved shaft weedeater trimmer and 4 accounts and now i have a 42 inch ztr and 38 inch beer drinking riding mower, 4 echo straight shaft trimmers, 1 echo bush wacker ( trimmer with blade saw ), 1 echo back pack and hand held blower, a john deere stick edger and old school mclane edger, 3 push mowers, and right at 30 accounts. i was pulling it with my titan but want to save the miles and the ware n tare on it and bought a 91 gmc pickup to do the dirty work, but the titan still gets its share. the lawn service was part time by having a full time job but now both jobs are full time. i know for sure next year will be my year, and im not trying to be greedy on the yards i want, at least 100 and a few commercial yards, about 60 to 90k a year.

DLAWNS
11-29-2009, 11:55 PM
Welcome to Lawnsite....good luck to you.

TwoBrosLawn
12-02-2009, 03:07 AM
your gonna do 100 accounts a week by yourself...good luck with that. 100 accounts you should be well over 100k a year if your season is longer than 7 months

joel29m
12-02-2009, 04:33 AM
Now you know it is impossible to do 100 yards a week by myself, of course I will have workers with me to do all of that, I can't lie on that and say it can happen I'll end up with a d@$m heat stroke!

helidriver
12-02-2009, 09:15 AM
I have a buddy in business for over ten years. He does like 50 accounts a year by himself. He is full time at another job and basically full time at this job. He clears 50k and is happy as a clam. Doesnt want any bigger and doesnt want any smaller. I think he could have been so much more....but, to each his own.

joel29m
12-02-2009, 10:41 AM
I have a buddy in business for over ten years. He does like 50 accounts a year by himself. He is full time at another job and basically full time at this job. He clears 50k and is happy as a clam. Doesnt want any bigger and doesnt want any smaller. I think he could have been so much more....but, to each his own.

That's how it is now with me. I work a fulltime night job and full time lawn service, but I'm sick of two jobs! My dad had a lawn service when I was younger making good $$$$$, but got messed up on drugs and lost every thing. So now I want to do it fulltime and get serious in it and pick up where he left off and hopefully be as sucsessful as he was in the late 80's and early 90's but hopefully I can be where I want to be by 2011.
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helidriver
12-02-2009, 11:40 AM
absolutely....You have to think like this. If you got ten more lawns could you do this full time and make it? understand that at this point you are your own boss and you can invest more time and take on more business. I think you could make the switch easily. I would suffer a little cash loss now to make my business better and work for yourself. I think the only thing you need is a little more of a push to go that way with it full time all the time.
Drugs have plagued many a small business man. I have a fix for that. DONT DO DRUGS. I think I have seen two business's ruined over this. One guy even went into debt 200k after loosing a business doing atleast 350 accounts big and small. He had winter contracts you would not believe. I think his house alone was a million and he wound up on the streets, literally.
Now thats a story. Good luck man......JUST DO IT!

Landscape Poet
12-02-2009, 03:22 PM
I started out around the same time last year - I am up to 36 year round accounts. I am happy with that but still need want to grow to about 60 accounts at least. This will allow me to work roughly a 8 to 4 or 8 to 5 everyday and have weekends off with some room in there still for extras projects. Sounds like you are doing good. If you are thinking about going full time I suggest taking off several months before spring and passing flyers and door hangers out yourself. This is how I started, it is cheap and has had good results for me. Hell I know they are not the best but they are cheap and get you better results than the yellow books etc that cost a fortune. You can use your off weeks during the winter to continue to do this like I am an pick up new clients here and there, if not clients you will just pick up a little extra work with someone wanting something planted, mulch etc.
When you do go full time, I suggest looking into Christmas light installs. I have had good luck with this this season. I am doing a few installs this week and next week for my clients. I charge $30 a hour and do not give them a solid time frame because you never know what you will run into while doing installs. Sent a letter out with last months bill and have 7 booked so far. Not bad considering it will all just be extra on top of their normal monthly bill.

Good luck, keep up the good work and welcome to lawn site.

MJG

BearWise Landscapers
12-02-2009, 03:50 PM
Good luck in your business, Joel.

I wish you the best on your way towards those 100 accounts. Keep everyone updated on your success and the marketing you use to pick up more accounts.

joel29m
12-02-2009, 04:24 PM
Thanks. Well i recieved about ten accounts from Craigslist, and the rest from seeing me out cutting yards and flyers. I want to make more than what I make now with a second job and lawn service.
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joel29m
12-02-2009, 04:47 PM
absolutely....You have to think like this. If you got ten more lawns could you do this full time and make it? understand that at this point you are your own boss and you can invest more time and take on more business. I think you could make the switch easily. I would suffer a little cash loss now to make my business better and work for yourself. I think the only thing you need is a little more of a push to go that way with it full time all the time.
Drugs have plagued many a small business man. I have a fix for that. DONT DO DRUGS. I think I have seen two business's ruined over this. One guy even went into debt 200k after loosing a business doing atleast 350 accounts big and small. He had winter contracts you would not believe. I think his house alone was a million and he wound up on the streets, literally.
Now thats a story. Good luck man......JUST DO IT!

Thanks for the real good advice! That's a motivation!
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kemco
12-02-2009, 11:15 PM
Man, best of luck to you. I cut lawns until I graduated college with an MBA, just did enough to "get by" and have some play money. Thought Id never cut another lawn again. Did the suit and tie thing for about 8 years, and never really found my calling. So got back into the lawn business, started from scratch with a buddy of mine. Got I think 35 accounts 1st year with two cheap mowers and a handheld blower. By the end of the third year we had 150 accounts and two part time workers. I say this just to tell you stick with it and you will get the accounts! I love this business, I hated being stuck behind a cubicle. My partner got out of the business this year due to health reasons, so Im at the point now that Im going to have to set up another crew as we are tapped out with the 150. Guess that's a good problem to have. Again, best wishes to your success.

joel29m
12-03-2009, 01:12 AM
Man, best of luck to you. I cut lawns until I graduated college with an MBA, just did enough to "get by" and have some play money. Thought Id never cut another lawn again. Did the suit and tie thing for about 8 years, and never really found my calling. So got back into the lawn business, started from scratch with a buddy of mine. Got I think 35 accounts 1st year with two cheap mowers and a handheld blower. By the end of the third year we had 150 accounts and two part time workers. I say this just to tell you stick with it and you will get the accounts! I love this business, I hated being stuck behind a cubicle. My partner got out of the business this year due to health reasons, so Im at the point now that Im going to have to set up another crew as we are tapped out with the 150. Guess that's a good problem to have. Again, best wishes to your success.

Well right now I'm a manager at a grocery store. I just came back in sept. Due to the economy at the plant I was working at and got laid off. Before the plant, been in suit and tie at this store for 8 years myself and I realize it don't fit me anymore. I like to do the get dirty jobs that shows them gals out there how hard we work with grass all over your boots and specs of dirt on your clothes from that trimmer you paid $$$$ for! Lol working all those hours at the plant only gave fri sat and sun to cut grass and only had 10 accounts in aug and when I got laid off that's when the yards was coming since I had more time and days to cut and was out alot. Even with this job I work now which is a evening shift I was still clocking dollars and manage to cut 4 to 5 yards before noon, get 3 hours of rest, and go to the night job at 4pm. But like I said before, I'm tired of working two jobs to make ends meet!
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g21
12-04-2009, 03:51 PM
Joel,
Don't heistate to ask for help in anything you might be struggling with, especially as you start to grow into the commercial market.

Good Luck!
Tommy

joel29m
12-06-2009, 12:36 AM
i do have a question, what is an average for insurance when i wanna bid on commercial properties and how?

T&J Landscaping
12-06-2009, 12:41 AM
your gonna do 100 accounts a week by yourself...good luck with that. 100 accounts you should be well over 100k a year if your season is longer than 7 months

its only 14 lawns a day 7 days a week,

chevyguy$$
12-16-2009, 01:35 AM
im goin 2 start my lawn care business next season what can u tell me????:hammerhead:

chevyguy$$
12-16-2009, 01:36 AM
what is the fastest way to get accounts????

joel29m
12-16-2009, 03:04 AM
dont be in a rush to get alot of accounts. when i started, it was looking kind of good at the time since i was only looking for only ten accounts due to a day job, and thought i was reaching my goal. i started with 4, then 6, 8, down to 5, back at 8, 13, 16, etc. now im at 27. word of mouth is one, do a good job on one yard and the gossip begins, knock on doors on yards that need a serious job done, place an ad on craigslist, its free and i picked up about 10 clients from there,try to bring up your lawn service to people you see in stores that youre having a conversation with, business cards, flyers and signs to place on your truck or trailer. with the us in resession you might not get alot of good news, but you will pick up clients if you do it right. you will have cheapscapes and picky ones so get ready for it and good luck!

kemco
12-16-2009, 09:09 AM
i do have a question, what is an average for insurance when i wanna bid on commercial properties and how?

If you are asking for how much liability you will have to carry, generally you have to show $1mill for commercial. At least that's the way it is in my area. I have heard some want to see more.

helidriver
12-16-2009, 09:15 AM
Yeah kiddo...I have 1 million 2 million. I would say you will be paying atleast two grand a year for a commercial poicy. It pays out if you have a problem and its totally worth covering you ass...ets in the long run.
case in point...I have a new guy back the new salter and truck into a light pole in commercial parking lot........ten grand to fix the light alone! Truck was a couple hundred. the guy who did it??? Lets just say he is home for the Holidays!

joel29m
12-16-2009, 10:01 AM
When I did a few quotes some will not give me insurance claiming I need to be at least two years in the business and some will not or didn't have a million dollar coverage. Now what's 100,000 dollar coverage for 75.00 dollars a month? Sounds like something isn't right about that.
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joel29m
12-16-2009, 10:08 AM
Do I have to have two types of insurance own my vehicles or it will be covered under the business insurance?
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helidriver
12-16-2009, 08:15 PM
yeah, the auto insurance covers auto accidents and everything as it does for everyone. The contractor insurance covers liability. Like if you get hit at a red light...thats auto coverage. If you get hit on a job site, or hit someone else, or if your truck or equipment is stolen or truck and trailer with all your stuff is ripped off. thats contractors insurance with the exception that your auto insurance would cover the truck if you are quiet about the business end of life.
The Policies here in pa are called 1 million 2 million. they cover up to those amounts and are minimum required here really to do commercial work. Try Metropolitan insurance and Nationwide. See what they tell u. I had metropolitan and its reputable so try it and let me know ok.

joel29m
12-16-2009, 09:05 PM
yeah, the auto insurance covers auto accidents and everything as it does for everyone. The contractor insurance covers liability. Like if you get hit at a red light...thats auto coverage. If you get hit on a job site, or hit someone else, or if your truck or equipment is stolen or truck and trailer with all your stuff is ripped off. thats contractors insurance with the exception that your auto insurance would cover the truck if you are quiet about the business end of life.
The Policies here in pa are called 1 million 2 million. they cover up to those amounts and are minimum required here really to do commercial work. Try Metropolitan insurance and Nationwide. See what they tell u. I had metropolitan and its reputable so try it and let me know ok.

One more question, what is an average a month on a million dollar coverage?
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helidriver
12-16-2009, 09:15 PM
My buddy is a one man operation and he pays five hundred quarterly, or two grand a year. It is all up to the insurance company, try this company...Merchants insurance group, Thats who my buddy is with and they are giving him the two grand policy. I just talked to my buddy and they had alot to offer a new guy. Like, adding a part timer to the policy for and extra four hundred bucks a year. Thats a nice thing to know and have available. Please do yourself the favor of checking around alot and remember to tell all the companies that you have been doing this business for many years as a lead crew boss and that you have never filed a claim. ok.

joel29m
12-16-2009, 09:21 PM
My buddy is a one man operation and he pays five hundred quarterly, or two grand a year. It is all up to the insurance company, try this company...Merchants insurance group, Thats who my buddy is with and they are giving him the two grand policy. I just talked to my buddy and they had alot to offer a new guy. Like, adding a part timer to the policy for and extra four hundred bucks a year. Thats a nice thing to know and have available. Please do yourself the favor of checking around alot and remember to tell all the companies that you have been doing this business for many years as a lead crew boss and that you have never filed a claim. ok.

10-4, I'll let ya know
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kemco
12-16-2009, 09:43 PM
You can also call progressive commercial, they can quote you through a number of companies. I ended up going with a local guy through Montgomery. Also be aware that you might save a few $ if you go with a BOP and keep your work vehicle on your personal auto policy. Some companies dont want you to do that but others are ok with it. Just be sure to tell your personal auto insurance people you are using it for work as well as personal. You need that coverage on your deck page.

joel29m
12-16-2009, 10:24 PM
You can also call progressive commercial, they can quote you through a number of companies. I ended up going with a local guy through Montgomery. Also be aware that you might save a few $ if you go with a BOP and keep your work vehicle on your personal auto policy. Some companies dont want you to do that but others are ok with it. Just be sure to tell your personal auto insurance people you are using it for work as well as personal. You need that coverage on your deck page.

i thought about that. im trying to get as much info i can for the new year. i started with a homeowners ztr, and need a upgrade asap. need to get everything straight if i wanna go fulltime in this.