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View Full Version : How did you do this season?


Trucklover
11-30-2011, 08:57 PM
How did everyone do this season? I did great for it being my first year and cant wait for the grass to start growing again !!

FYS777
11-30-2011, 09:12 PM
Its been 20 percent better this year. And looking up for next season.
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lawnman24949
11-30-2011, 09:16 PM
Sales were up just over 6% but expenses went up about the same.

RGM
11-30-2011, 09:20 PM
For me it had its ups and downs I started off great till about June then things dried up a bit. I had my best August ever and if not for all the rain would had had my best September. My October was good but to much rain and November has been good still cutting some lawns with the good weather here in Baltimore.

FYS777
11-30-2011, 09:21 PM
I should have said to, that a lot of that went to cover extra wages. For the work.
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Trucklover
11-30-2011, 09:27 PM
For me it had its ups and downs I started off great till about June then things dried up a bit. I had my best August ever and if not for all the rain would had had my best September. My October was good but to much rain and November has been good still cutting some lawns with the good weather here in Baltimore.

yeah Im down rt 70 in frederick

RGM
11-30-2011, 09:34 PM
Congrats on your first year

Trucklover
11-30-2011, 09:41 PM
Congrats on your first year

Thanks its going to be a long road ahead but im ready

RGM
11-30-2011, 09:44 PM
What equipment do you have do far

Trucklover
11-30-2011, 09:50 PM
What equipment do you have do far

Scag tiger cat with 52" deck
toro push mower
Stihl back pack blower
stihl trimmer
stihl farm boss chain saw
and hand tools etc

I plan on getting Door hangers made and pass them around and hopefully get more customers

I need a walk behind 36" or so if you know of anyone local with a used one

RGM
11-30-2011, 09:59 PM
How many lawns do you have, work by yourself or help. I have never tried door hangers I make my own fliers on the pc at home then get them printed up at Office depot. I just pass them out on the streets I'm already on and in the neighboring streets. Keep an eye on craigslist for mowers I see a lot of home owners selling 36" on there.

Trucklover
11-30-2011, 10:13 PM
How many lawns do you have, work by yourself or help. I have never tried door hangers I make my own fliers on the pc at home then get them printed up at Office depot. I just pass them out on the streets I'm already on and in the neighboring streets. Keep an eye on craigslist for mowers I see a lot of home owners selling 36" on there.

8 lawns and a school , just my self right now I need to expand and get more lawns but it takes time

GravelyWoman
11-30-2011, 10:31 PM
This has been my first season as well. For the last two days I have spent pulling everything together to go and see my accountant on Monday. So far, I was able to go from 1 to 30 regular accounts within 7 months and I am still cutting in this area.
It will be a "non profit" or "low profit" year due to all new equipment (paid cash) did not want any monthly bills...hopefully I should be able to turn a decent profit in about 2-3 years. This also includes saving $21,000.00 for taxes, my first year I have been afraid not knowing what to expect!
If you do this correctly, insurance, licensed, taxes, great equipment and good help, it will take a while to see a profitable year!
My goal this upcoming year is to watch my expenses and set myself up a budget based upon my figures from this year.

Looking forward to 2012!!

Gravely Woman

RGM
11-30-2011, 10:36 PM
8 lawns and a school , just my self right now I need to expand and get more lawns but it takes time

how big is the school you do

GoldStarMowing
12-01-2011, 01:11 PM
Glad to hear your first year went well! 90% of my accounts are irrigated so the summer sun doesn't affect business too much. The beginning of the year was horrible. A new landscaper came onto the seen and was charging $35 for 1.25+ acre lots. I was charging ~$90-160 for the same properties, so he stole a ton of my business. But two to three weeks later all the customers he took for me came crawling back. I had never seen such a horrible mowing job and so much dead grass pilled up everywhere. I ended the year on a real positive note and all things considered, it was a great season. I even squeezed out a few more November cuts than I usually do.

Here are some pictures of my competitions work. I have NEVER, in all my years, seen such a horrible job done by a "professional" landscaper. After de-thatching and mowing the yard 3 times at the owners expense, we had the property looking back to normal.

http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu277/redtundra/IMG00238-20110603-1542.jpg

http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu277/redtundra/IMG00237-20110603-1542.jpg

YOU BUY CHEAP, YOU BUY TWICE!

Here is what it looked like after we finished, not our best work but anything is better than the before pics.

http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu277/redtundra/IMG00440-20111027-1331-1.jpg

THIESSENS TLC
12-01-2011, 01:53 PM
This has been my first season as well. For the last two days I have spent pulling everything together to go and see my accountant on Monday. So far, I was able to go from 1 to 30 regular accounts within 7 months and I am still cutting in this area.
It will be a "non profit" or "low profit" year due to all new equipment (paid cash) did not want any monthly bills...hopefully I should be able to turn a decent profit in about 2-3 years. This also includes saving $21,000.00 for taxes, my first year I have been afraid not knowing what to expect!
If you do this correctly, insurance, licensed, taxes, great equipment and good help, it will take a while to see a profitable year!
My goal this upcoming year is to watch my expenses and set myself up a budget based upon my figures from this year.

Looking forward to 2012!!

Gravely Woman

did you end up buying that prostance?

FoghornLeghorn
12-01-2011, 01:59 PM
Glad to hear your first year went well! 90% of my accounts are irrigated so the summer sun doesn't affect business too much. The beginning of the year was horrible. A new landscaper came onto the seen and was charging $35 for 1.25+ acre lots. I was charging ~$90-160 for the same properties, so he stole a ton of my business. But two to three weeks later all the customers he took for me came crawling back. I had never seen such a horrible mowing job and so much dead grass pilled up everywhere. I ended the year on a real positive note and all things considered, it was a great season. I even squeezed out a few more November cuts than I usually do.

Here are some pictures of my competitions work. I have NEVER, in all my years, seen such a horrible job done by a "professional" landscaper. After de-thatching and mowing the yard 3 times at the owners expense, we had the property looking back to normal.



YOU BUY CHEAP, YOU BUY TWICE!

Here is what it looked like after we finished, not our best work but anything is better than the before pics.

http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu277/redtundra/IMG00440-20111027-1331-1.jpg

You should put those pics on your website. "Here's what you get for $35 and no liability insurance. Now here's what you get for $90. We are fully insured and hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional turf maintenance yadda yadda yadda."

GoldStarMowing
12-01-2011, 03:04 PM
You should put those pics on your website. "Here's what you get for $35 and no liability insurance. Now here's what you get for $90. We are fully insured and hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional turf maintenance yadda yadda yadda."

That's definitely not a bad idea! We're going to try and build a website this winter while I have some more free time and see how that goes, I've been saying that since 04 though :rolleyes:. I walked into this person's back yard and just stood there for 5 minutes dumb founded. I couldn't believe someone would even leave a property looking like that.

FoghornLeghorn
12-01-2011, 03:42 PM
I won't even do a 1/4 acre for $35
Posted via Mobile Device

GoldStarMowing
12-01-2011, 04:20 PM
I won't even do a 1/4 acre for $35
Posted via Mobile Device

Same here, I have no idea how this guy was making any money off this property. The one pictured is just shy of two acres.

FoghornLeghorn
12-01-2011, 04:34 PM
Crazy. I charge well over $100/acre even for wide open mowing.

The way the guy does it is called deferred maintenance. As soon as a transmission/hydro/engine whatever goes out, he can't afford to fix it and he's out of business
Posted via Mobile Device

GoldStarMowing
12-01-2011, 04:56 PM
Crazy. I charge well over $100/acre even for wide open mowing.

The way the guy does it is called deferred maintenance. As soon as a transmission/hydro/engine whatever goes out, he can't afford to fix it and he's out of business
Posted via Mobile Device

I think he put himself out of business by doing horrible work.

RGM
12-01-2011, 05:03 PM
Crazy. I charge well over $100/acre even for wide open mowing.

The way the guy does it is called deferred maintenance. As soon as a transmission/hydro/engine whatever goes out, he can't afford to fix it and he's out of business
Posted via Mobile Device

You can't get that price here in Baltimore wish I could around here $50 to $65for 1 acre yards and honestly when I can cut and trim in less then an hour by myself how can I charge more.

Trucklover
12-01-2011, 07:11 PM
You can't get that price here in Baltimore wish I could around here $50 to $65for 1 acre yards and honestly when I can cut and trim in less then an hour by myself how can I charge more.

yeah thats about what I charge we have alot of competition around here. But im fine with that I have full coverage so my customers are always happy.

GravelyWoman
12-01-2011, 09:13 PM
did you end up buying that prostance?

Yes, this is my third week of using it! So far, so good! It does have a beautiful finished product after cutting. I still have the BOP 15 hp kawasaki for sale. I am getting ready to send some pics to a guy that called tonight.

Take care-
Gravely W.

lifetree
12-02-2011, 08:05 AM
I think he put himself out of business by doing horrible work.

Yes, he did !!

lifetree
12-02-2011, 08:07 AM
... saving $21,000.00 for taxes, my first year I have been afraid not knowing what to expect ! ...

Congratulations, not many people have the self discipline to do that !!

lifetree
12-02-2011, 08:09 AM
I won't even do a 1/4 acre for $35

That's about the going rate for a 1/4 acre around here !!

lifetree
12-02-2011, 08:13 AM
did you end up buying that prostance ?

Yes, this is my third week of using it ! So far, so good ! It does have a beautiful finished product after cutting. ...

Congratulations, I assume you paid cash for that as well !! If I may ask, what did it set you back ??

David Haggerty
12-02-2011, 08:25 AM
I lost a customer worth $25,000 a year! You'd think it'd put me under! But NO!!
The overhead on that customer was huge. I fired my sole employee, now work by myself and my bookkeeper wife says I've made the same profit as last year. And I'm working less! Putting fewer miles on the truck too.
At least I can still spend my winters in Florida.


And as far as Goldstar's standards of professionalism... All my lawns look like the before picture in the spring. That's what you get with rear discharge mowers unless you cut every 3 days in the spring. If there weren't clippings on top when I finished my customers would be carping that I'm cutting too often. They're factories and do NOT want their lawns looking like a golf course.
Just different clientile.

nortonlawncare
12-02-2011, 01:01 PM
this year was better than my previous years, i got a new truck and a plaow so i can extend my service into winter. I did have one hiccup in august and september, i thought i was all set on billing my clients but missed half of them it was embarrassing to admit to it but they were all cool about it.
My plan for next mowing season is to finally get all the people who ask about my services to sign on and become clients of mine.

Gravelywoman good job on saving the cash for taxes, i don't think you'll have too much to worry about because you said you turned little or no profit because of your business purchases those are all write offs and work out to your advantage. My advice is to get a tax pro to do your taxes for you they look at all the ways to save small business people money, its well worhth the money spent!

lifetree
12-02-2011, 06:04 PM
... All my lawns look like the before picture in the spring. That's what you get with rear discharge mowers unless you cut every 3 days in the spring. If there weren't clippings on top when I finished my customers would be carping that I'm cutting too often. They're factories and do NOT want their lawns looking like a golf course.
Just different clientile.

WOW ... alot of LCO's would love to have commercial accounts like that !!

lifetree
12-02-2011, 06:06 PM
... get a tax pro to do your taxes for you they look at all the ways to save small business people money, its well worhth the money spent !

Ditto on that !!

hackitdown
12-02-2011, 06:20 PM
I had an excellent year, about 15 or 20% growth over last year. I think the local economy is getting better, and it is happening pretty fast.

GoldStarMowing
12-02-2011, 09:30 PM
WOW ... alot of LCO's would love to have commercial accounts like that !!

I'd kill for a commercial account like that! haha

Lawn Enforcer
12-02-2011, 10:19 PM
Business was crazy good this spring, rained enough to mow every 6 days or so. Everything was going awesome until about August 15 and then someone turned off the rain. Worst drought I've ever experienced in my 6 years...add to that a late start to spring and I only got about 3 months of a complete mowing schedule in. Had to throw a new tranny in the plow truck too before winter so it's going to be a challenge financially.

David Haggerty
12-03-2011, 06:45 AM
I ain't saying the whole lawn looks like that. The couple of acres by the front entrance are kept up. But if the back lot starts looking like the back nine of a golf course it's the first place they look when they're cutting expenses.

Another LCO explained it as the "Presidential" method of lawn care. Where the president of the company parks his car and enters the building looks the best. The level of care goes down from there. Like a golf course, greens, fairway, then rough cut.

Being professional isn't maintaining every square foot of lawn in a pristine condition. It's providing a level of care at a price they're willing to pay.

CLARK LAWN
12-05-2011, 11:42 AM
Around here it sucked. Almost everyone I've talked to is down, myself included. We are having the wettest year in history. April and May were wash outs, rained almost every day. Then June and July was super hot and dry then back to rain. For the last three months we have only been able to work about 40-45 days. Even if its not raining the ground is so wet that you can't do anything without making a mess.
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ny scaper
12-05-2011, 03:11 PM
Had a good year. Went from 6 accounts to 12, more than half are full service. Got them all within 4 miles of each other so that's even better. Made a mower purchase in the spring and thats working out well. I'm only P/T on top of a 40hr /week job - that is plenty with a young family at home. Got a bunch of side work pruning, topsoil/seed, etc... and did 8 cleanups this fall. Just finished on Saturday!!! I also did a small 20' x 3' dry stacked wall for a customer. That was a learning process for sure as I've done them for myself before but never for a client. I would be willing to do it in the future for sure and the client is happy so thats what counts. I pretty much made my mark on all but 3 jobs this year. Its all part of learning how to estimate, but I sure learned a ton this year!! Next year i'll be getting the Backpack I've been wanting for TOO LONG!! Now on to the snow...I actually hope we dont get any Lots of contracts this year after the winter we had last year!!

JBlawn
12-05-2011, 03:14 PM
we were up 22% this year and even had to turn away alot of work since we were booked up. Next year should go up about the same, at least Im hoping.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-07-2011, 11:44 AM
Great summer and early fall season but the hits wee took this spring are hard to over come. Very cold and it cost us 2 entire mowing weeks we normally get. So where does that leave us well I am not entirely sure if I go by sales meaning how much have I billed out I am down about 10k with 26 more clean ups to go perhaps more. So I many be looking at 1-2% loss of business over the previous year. But that's not what the accountant sees he sees what did we collect and since we do about 55-60% of our fall clean ups in Dec and they get billed at the end of the month they carry till next year. And so not including Dec income I billed out 30k on Dec 1st were 12 k from last years numbers so the potential is there to show an increase by the end of the month. Perhaps as much as 5% increase but if you asked me id say the year was flat there is no question it has been a recession here the entire year.