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rodfather
12-23-2002, 06:03 PM
I was wondering how many of us have given a real thought as to what we want to do differently next year? Topics like:

1. New marketing approaches
2. New equipment purchases
3. New customer base
4. New company policy and procedures
5. Increase in business
6. New areas to obtain business

My #1 issue is getting rid of the dead beats (slow payers). I am tired of chasing after money from the same people again and again. Gonna put the ole foot down this year. It's either "my way or the highway". Maybe i need to employ jimlewis's autopay?

Would like to hear some of your thoughts. And, Merry Christmas to all.

AztlanLC
12-23-2002, 06:24 PM
1.- Advertise only in landscape, I have plenty of lawns.
2.- Get rid of the slow paying customers.
3.- Become a S-corp (LLC at the moment)
4.- Visit all the new houses that I've seeing around my area and give a business card.
5.- pay all my loans.
6.- buy couple of new mowers
7.- Get qbexpress or clip
8.- Paint all my trailers, and equipment (I do this every year)
9.- Get a portable printer for my truck.
10.- Write a better contract (maybe I'll hire a lawyer)
11.- Hire 1 more employee maybe 2, promote 1

Number 1 would be to check every night this forum

Lawn277
12-23-2002, 06:56 PM
I am considering taking Visa or Mastercard , seems everybody wants to pay that way. I have a couple customers that have a bill pay service that pays for them. I think in 2003 i will also hire a collection agency, then I wont have to worry about it

thanks
Rick

bob
12-23-2002, 07:01 PM
Every year I weed out the real slow paying customers. Also, if there are any lawns that I just "hate" to cut, I'll get rid of them too. Next year I plan on giving away most of my residential accounts. These are in the $20-$35 range and target higher paying commecial accounts.

crazygator
12-23-2002, 07:24 PM
For me in 2003:

1) Raise the customers that need to be raised (and bury the ones I cant...hahaha).
2) As above, dump the dead beats, and try to zero in on them before getting stuck again and again.
3) Follow this winter's business plan. Keeping on track as far as minimum per stop, per hour goals and all the other stuff I get written on there.
4) Cost effective advertising. Especially target the area I need to be in, and try and raise the % of closed contracts.
5) Start looking for an employee for the busy times (hoping there will be a busy time).
6) Continue to learn and grow in knowledge. Being able to put into practice many things that will help with the business grow.
7) Continue to surround myself with others who have the same goals, business practices, ethics and personal lives that I have, and giving back as much or more than I get from those relationship's. (This one is for my buddy HOSS.....Thanks dude)

And yes #8) BUY MORE EQUIPMENT! :D

odin
12-23-2002, 08:16 PM
Well im out with the family so im gonna be starting completely over solo until i can get built up.Started to stay quit but i cant sit around doing nothing.And this biz is in my blood now.

So for me i'll be starting out from strach.I do know my market and i know the biz already so that puts me two steps ahead of the average startup.

FrankenScagMachines
12-23-2002, 09:52 PM
I plan on doing all that rodfather mentioned. I can't wait :blob4: will have alot of fun and learn alot. ;)
Odin, thats great! I have to say that you're one of my favorite Lawnsite personalities! And awmarks. And alot of others. Too many to mention. Lets see I think I have been here since October of '00 or something like that. I have learned so much since then and been addicted to this site and feel like i know almost all of you (that post anyway). It's great! Anyhow, Yes I have big plans for '03 and I have ideas of what I'd like to do in years to come as well.
Eric :)

LakeSide Lawn and Landscape
12-23-2002, 09:59 PM
My plan for 2003?????GROW...GROW...GROW...:cool:

65hoss
12-23-2002, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by odin00
Well im out with the family so im gonna be starting completely over solo until i can get built up.Started to stay quit but i cant sit around doing nothing.And this biz is in my blood now.

So for me i'll be starting out from strach.I do know my market and i know the biz already so that puts me two steps ahead of the average startup. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.

I've been telling you for a few months you couldn't stay retired. :drinkup:

bubble boy
12-23-2002, 11:38 PM
slower growth...no new mowers (21" excepted)

MAYBE hire another guy, but most of all this yr i'd like to knock down some debt. if i can do that might do a blitz in the fall to add another snow plow route.

but gonna be a little dull...we prefer things be in high gear, but don't wanna overcook...

joshua
12-23-2002, 11:42 PM
10 posts and no one mentions quality of work.
my 2003 outlook for me

1. don't advertise
2. add some more extras
3. get rid of all debt
4. raise quality alittle bit
5. to just keeping doing what i do well and imporve it

Lawn Specialties
12-24-2002, 12:30 AM
Get a hold of so much work it kills me to keep up with it.

LAWNGODFATHER
12-24-2002, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by odin00
Well im out with the family so im gonna be starting completely over solo until i can get built up.Started to stay quit but i cant sit around doing nothing.And this biz is in my blood now.

So for me i'll be starting out from strach.I do know my market and i know the biz already so that puts me two steps ahead of the average startup.

Ghee I wonder why that is going to happen??? Hummm...

I am with Hoss on this one.

odin
12-24-2002, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by BushHogBoy
I
Odin, thats great! I have to say that you're one of my favorite Lawnsite personalities!
Eric :)

Thanks bushhogboy ive been called a lot of things by a lot of people ive lived life pretty hard.
But thats the first time anybody ever called me a personality:D

Yeah hoss you was right i gotta get back on a lazer next spring:D
This new house this new neighborhood drives me insane .I hope i can take it until spring time comes and i can get to work on a new business.

thanks guys
jack

crazygator
12-24-2002, 01:45 AM
Hey Odin,

To help you with your changes, do you need a new DC?..........:D

GarPA
12-24-2002, 06:13 AM
1. try to not get too big for my britches...continue to return every phone call promptly
2. tighten the route...within 5-8 miles
3. get 20% more residential (yuck)
4. do a much better job at getting my receivables out more quickly
5. do better with CLIP...paperwork is killing me
6. drop accounts that beat me up physically
7. get a website built
8. double my order of Geritol

rodfather
12-24-2002, 08:36 AM
GarPA

Only a double order of Geritol? You think that's gonna be enough for ya? LOL

PR0 TURF
12-24-2002, 09:08 AM
For 2003:
-Would like to enforce a stricter dress code...we seem to be slacking there...we all wear the t-shirts 90% of the time...but i want the rest of the outfit to try & match without going overboard
-Drop the lawns that are a pita to mow...too many obstacles..kids toys...etc
-Re-evauate operating costs
-Do up an enclosed trailer for maintenance like ETW's...with the generator & air compressor setup
-Leave a job sign at customers houses for every job performed besides mowing...
-Leave a job sign at all 75 mowing accounts after we do the first cut until we come back for the 2nd cut
-Focus more on irrigation work then maintenance
-Graduate from UMass in Decmeber 2003 with my bachelors degree in MIS!
-Start a website
-Pickup numerous plow contracts, enough to keep 3 trucks busy!

walker-talker
12-24-2002, 09:27 AM
1-leaf box setup
2-logo-DONE
3-TTHP 36"-DONE
4-side gate on trailer-DONE
5-purchase LM-DONE
6-get to know LM
7-increase client base
8-get applicators license
9-get more organized and prepared for new growth PLAN...PLAN...PLAN...PRAY
10-less time here reading and more time doing

MATT

AGG Lawn Maintenance
12-24-2002, 09:27 AM
Well I'm getting Married in 2003 to start. Yea I know boo hoo. No more strip clubs and wild partys.(like many years ago) LoLs. We plan to have one kid maybe two. On the business side I plan to take on more commercial accounts increasing my % from about 25% - 50% commercial. I plan to make my company an LLC. Build a web site sometime this year. And I 2nd what crazygator said. Continue to learn and grow in knowledge. Continue to surround myself with others who have the same goals. Travis

walker-talker
12-24-2002, 09:40 AM
AGG Lawn Maintenance, that's a good idea to surround yourself with others with the same goals. This reminds me one day I was telling my supervisor at my full-time job that I wanted to grow my business to where I can go full-time with it. He said that being a business owner and this industry is not what it is cracked up to be and how tough it was to make a living doing this kind of work. He said that he had frends in this industry and had was failing. I asked him what they were doing wrong and if he had any friends in the industry that were succeeding. Went on to tell him that those are the ones that I want to talk with and why would I want to talk to owners of a failing company. He didn't say much after that.

MATT

crazygator
12-24-2002, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by AGG Lawn Maintenance
And I 2nd what crazygator said. Continue to learn and grow in knowledge. Continue to surround myself with others who have the same goals. Travis

Travis, good plans except you havent learned anything from all of us married guys yet. Your getting hitched to start 2003? Ouch!........LOL just kidding.

Wish you the the Mrs. Travis all the best! Sounds like your year will start with a bang.

Superiorlandscaping
12-24-2002, 11:30 AM
Although this is my first year on my own, this is what i plan on changing. I have a similar company to the one i used to manage, but since the owner took off, i kind of wanted to start over and do stuff my way.

1) I want the yard (place of the business) to also be a store. I want to start selling things like sprinklers, hoses, irrigation systems, low voltage garden lighting, maybe some flowers and plants but i dont really want it to be a nursery. I am not going to sell anything that is going to take away from my business for instance lawn mowers, or fertilizers.
2)I want everything to be computerized.
3)After a crew does a job, I want the foreman to go around and take several pictures of each job site. He will be told to take pictures of what he feels was done the worst and the best. Then when i go double check, ill get to see what kind of person he truly is. ( i check every job anyways.)
4)Might be farfetched but I am thinking of selling the service of putting up christmas lights. I dont really know how this would fare, but one person at 35 bucks an hour, may be profitable may not be.
5)I am going to do alot of advertising, newpapers, flyers, business card, pens, phonebook, and possible do a commercial since I have all the cameras and stuff and the knowledge of how to do the editing so all i would have to pay is for the commercial on the air.
6)expand expand expand. I am going to keep my profits real low this year. Just enough to get by, the rest is going to expnad the company.
7) I am going to start taking classes on pesticide applications. I live around 45 minutes away from stockbridge at umass amherst and they offer several classes which will help me pass the test.
8) I want more comericial parking lot contracts. If you get a chain store like demoulas or kmart, it is quite profitable. The company i worked for last year did Victories supermarkets. They always pay on time and want you to do an unbelievable job. That is my type of client.
9)At the beginning of the year, I am going to give my employees a day of training. From little stuff like how to not fill up gas tanks on the customers lawn and how to restring trimmer line quickly, to techniques on how to get perfect stripes and how to prune. Unlike my last boss, I am not going to give them enough information on how to start their own company.
10) Try to forfill my goal. My goal is to be the number one landscaping company in central mass. I want people and companies from 50 miles away to call me (and pay for travel time) to do their properties. There are alot of jerk landscaping companies out there that are not very good and definately not very friendly or helpful to other landscaping companies. I want them gone. I would definately not slander or anything but just from word of mouth of the quality of my company rather then thiers shall do it.

There are more but that is all i can think of off the top of my head. Does anyone else have any opinions on starting a store of that nature or the christmas lighting business. I hope everyone has a magnificent holiday and new years eve.

-tim

bobbygedd
12-24-2002, 11:42 AM
changes for 2003: figure out a way to be full time in biz, and drop the "real" job.

rodfather
12-24-2002, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
changes for 2003: figure out a way to be full time in biz, and drop the "real" job.


What's the "real" job bobby?

bobbygedd
12-24-2002, 05:40 PM
the real job, im in the graphic arts field. im feeling its impossible though for me to make enough doing this to be able to leave .