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JFGauvreau
12-09-2009, 01:42 PM
Hey there, i'm currently writing my business plan which is very long to do but I know I have to do it. They say you can get like 3k in cash or loans up to 15k , depending how well prepared is your business plan.

Was just wondering what was your experience with loans or cash from a business plan, and also how long did it took you to do your business plan, rough estimate, and how many pages?

Greenleaf Lawns
12-10-2009, 06:35 PM
3k in cash from who???

hackitdown
12-10-2009, 06:39 PM
Are you talking about an SBA loan?

JFGauvreau
12-10-2009, 09:19 PM
Well I live in Ontario/Canada so it might be difference but there is a way you can get 3k in cash by financial institute, depending if your business plan is very good, otherwise they lend you 3-15k.

NLSolutions
12-11-2009, 12:09 PM
Some of my experiences/thoughts...

Not sure about Canada but here is the State, there are many opportunities to get money from investors if your business plan is good. SBA is a great place to start. Due to the current economy, not sure what they will be offering anymore but they have awesome resources and can point you in the right direction if you want to raise money. Grants are another thought, there are a ton out there for just about anything and I think the SBA has a resource.

To get private money (Venture Capital) you are going to have to show them huge returns very quickly, typically they will want to see their money back in 2-4 years 5 max, and usually they hold on to their money tight until they see something big. Most of the groups I have worked with are not going to be interested in a landscape business unless you plan to take it to a Franchise position and can make them millions.

As for banks, I ve been to my local bank with not much luck for just a line of credit to start up. To qualify this, I am 24 with great credit, but still too risky even with my plan. Your situation may be different. I am going to go back soon to work on getting a loan for the equipment.

My point of all this rambling is that a business plan is a great tool that is never really 100% done. Ive worked on mine during my college classes and still change things from time to time. Right now it is around 16 pages with my exhibits not including the marketing plan which is being re-vamped right now. Ive also seen people moving toward powerpoint to make their presentations so keep that in mind if you do present to a group.

I definately think that a solid business plan is a must you are trying to get money from people, it makes you look professional and puts them at ease by knowing you have thought this out and are not just on a whim.

Hope this made sense/helped you out. Let me know if you have any other questions.

JFGauvreau
12-11-2009, 04:13 PM
Cool thanks a lot! I will definately use your tips in my business plan!

SangerLawn
12-11-2009, 04:23 PM
Going by a few of your posts I recommend taking a business class and probably working for someone else before you go into business for yourself. You only get one chance to make a name for yourself and its real easy to screw up.

JFGauvreau
12-11-2009, 06:31 PM
Going by a few of your posts I recommend taking a business class and probably working for someone else before you go into business for yourself. You only get one chance to make a name for yourself and its real easy to screw up.

Thanks but I am going in business next year, as for my business i'm very confident of making my own business I might only have 2 years of experience in core aeration and driveway sealing but doing 500+ driveways per summer is good for me. I have a lot of customer skills as well, the only thing i'm not good is all the paper work which I have someone hired for that.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-12-2009, 12:00 PM
Just my 2cents...go ahead with the business, but with cash! You may think thats not possible. If you are serious about being successful and have confidence you will be, invest in yourself. By that I mean sell everything you don't really need in life to invest in your company. If you don't have anything to sell for cash, then work two...maybe three jobs for a year and save every extra penny. If your sitting there thinking I'm not going to sell my "stuff" or work my ass off for a year to start with cash, then your not ready to start a business anyway.

JFGauvreau
12-12-2009, 12:24 PM
Ya I already bought my truck and now i'm saving on my equipment, except, its a property maintenance company not a landscape or lawn care, I will strictly do core aeration and driveway sealing in the summer to start off, and probably will except few other jobs to keep me busy.

so worst case scenario I can rent the aerator for a couple days till I can buy mine you know.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-12-2009, 12:30 PM
Is that the truck in the pic next to your name?

JFGauvreau
12-12-2009, 12:43 PM
Yes, if you want check in the truck and trailers forum, I have posted my truck with more pictures.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-12-2009, 12:48 PM
Is the truck paid for?

JFGauvreau
12-12-2009, 12:51 PM
Ya I worked for 2 summers at a lawn care/ property maintenance company, so ya its paid in full. Now i'm saving money for a enclosed trailer, don't know which size I should get to start off, and lawn aerator, (1-3k) and the sealing equipment which is around 3k. And the rest is just licenses, ads, Gas blower ect.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-12-2009, 12:57 PM
Thats a great start! Paid for truck. A good trailer to start with would be a 8X16. Mine is 7X16 and my next will be a 8X16 or 20, that extra foot wide makes a huge differnce. Good luck with the business...keep it debt free!

Lawn Man Dave
12-14-2009, 09:51 PM
Ya I worked for 2 summers at a lawn care/ property maintenance company, so ya its paid in full. Now i'm saving money for a enclosed trailer, don't know which size I should get to start off, and lawn aerator, (1-3k) and the sealing equipment which is around 3k. And the rest is just licenses, ads, Gas blower ect.

This is my first post and just signed up but I have been lurking for a while.

I did lawn care for most of the time I was in High School and a season or two after that and was the foreman for most of them. I am now going in it for myself and am also going to be doing appartment cleaning and stuff.

The best advise I can give is to go in it debt free. I could be full-time by now but I would have debt coming out my ears and most new buisness fail because they have to much over head. Having the truck paid for is a great start. Some will say to start with used equipment and this is good advise but you have to know what to get used and what to avoid used.

Enclosed trailers are nice but not something I would start out with for multiple reason's.

Hiring out work for paperwork is just another expense...... paperwork is something you will spend just as much time on as you spend on the mower..... I would not trust someone else with the papwerwork because if they screw up it only hurts you. Accounting is another thing though......

The only problem with starting up and not having much time in the biz is the things to look out for...... you can have all the customer skills in the world but will still get burned a lot of jobs that were really under bid or take out someones expensive flowers that you think are weeds (I did that once and only once)......... or don't look for wasp's nest's........ I did that once also...... once.......

To me a buisness plan is just a guide...........

Az Gardener
12-15-2009, 12:03 AM
My business plan is over 40 pages now. They are a good idea to have just to crystallize your vision and remind you of what you have and what your short comings are. This business is not so equipment expensive that it requires a loan to make a go of it. If you are growing so fast that you need to borrow money for equipment you are probably not charging enough.

If you can add 1 route /crew per season that is plenty fast to grow. Having a lump sum of cash available will get most guys in trouble. Taking the winter to retrain the crew, re-frame the vision of the company is a great use of the time. The business plan that has a need to borrow money for anything but land office etc is probably not very well thought out imho.

I take that back... if your business plan is to franchise and you need the cash to hire a professional to set up the franchise Then that would probably be a feasible reason to borrow money. That's all I can think of though.