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CEW900
03-31-2003, 02:15 AM
Hi Guys,

Im new to the board, and this will be my first year in the landscaping business, although i've been helping other companes many many years. Here is my plan for the year.

I'm investing in the following:

Equipment-
32" Ferris Hydro Walk Behind/$3200
2/21" Snappers/$400 each
2/Echo trimmers/200$ each
2/Echo blowers/200$ each

Marketing:
Month-1
25,000 Fliers & Newspaper ads

Depending on success of fliers and ad I will continue on with the same marketing schedule till a particular customer database is achieved the first year.

Goals:
140 Residential Accounts/ (Month 1-2)
10 Commercial Account/ (Month 1-6)

End of first year aprox. 250 residential accounts &
20 Commercial Accounts


Employees:
Begin with 1 crew of two guys, work 7 days a week from 8:AM to 5:00 PM. As business grows bring in another crew of two men.


Pricing:
$20 Minimum
Includes, Mowing, Trimming, Edging and Blowing.

Our rate for each yard will basically be $1 for every minute working on their property.

Im curious to see everyones fliers and contracts..
If you guys have a chance and could email it to me:
cew900@yahoo.com
It would be greatly appreciated, thanks..

Also, let me know what you think of my plan and projected numbers for new customers, equipment, etc...

From everyones responses I've read you guys seem awesome about helping each other out, I think this has got to be the best site on the web for new & old comers into the business.

Thanks again,
Chris

rodfather
03-31-2003, 07:49 AM
I have 2 questions for you.

1. Why are you paying so much for that Ferris 32" WB? They retail for like $2400 (not $3200). Or is that a typo and you mean a 36" Ferris hydro?

2. Why are you working 7 days a week? Don't you/your crew have a social life?

BTW, you will need a whole boatload of more equipment if you plan on doing 140 residential and 10 commercial accounts (no matter what their size is).

$1/minute/man is a good rate to charge. Good Luck...

adrianvbarrera
03-31-2003, 03:21 PM
Chris,
I am pretty new to the business, but to me it seems that your goals are very aggressive.
140 residential accounts in the first 1-2 months sounds like alot to me.

How much are you going to pay your guys?
Are you carrying Liabiltiy insurance? Workmans Comp?
What about trucks to actually get to the jobs? Trailer?

And offer the service for $20?


Have you ever had a business before? I know you are in business school but theory and practice are two different things.



I don't mean to insult you it is just that those are very high goals...I might be wrong. If you achieve them...more power to you.

Just a thought.
Adrian

wacamaster
03-31-2003, 05:05 PM
How do you plan on handing out 25,000 flyers? I handed out like 3,000 last year and that seemed like a lot of work. 140 accounts is out of the question. I know it's easy to get GUNGHOE about your business but you need to come back down to earth.

MacLawnCo
03-31-2003, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by wacamaster
How do you plan on handing out 25,000 flyers?

It would be easy and fairly cheap to have them all stuffed in the news paper, or better yet...one could use 1MajorTom's beautiful idea.

CEW900
03-31-2003, 09:16 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks for your input. I would like to answer some of your questions.

I have a 5' X 10' Trailor
An f150 truck

Why do you think I don't have enough equipment for 140 account and 10 commercial accounts? Tell me what you recommend as far as equipment for that number of accounts.

And yes, I have no life.. Im a work acoholic. Workin 7 days a week is no problem. As I said it's two employees. As our database of customers increase I have some part time employees that will help with completing the commercial property. Although the property isn't anything huge. I am not paying for workers compensation. Im sub contracting my guys so i dont have to worry about all the liability stuff. They will be payed $9 an hour.

One more thing to ask about why 140 accounts and 10 commercial accounts seem unreasonable.. Everyone has told me the ratio of fliers is between 1-2%. The first month I am passing out 25,000 fliers. I have 5 friends of mine that are helping me out for 8 weeks. 5 days a week 8 hours a day. Im expecting within the firt two months to hopefully get out 50,000 fliers.. Thats why my expectations are high for the first two months. If in deed it is overwhelming the number of clients calling I will put together an additional crew.

1-2% of 50,000 fliers is between 500-1000 calls. Like i said if i need to put together more crews that is not a problem.

And yes, the minimum is $20 I charge. Which is for a yard that takes aprox: 15mins

I have run a business before. Im currently living in NY running a franchise my family owns. We formed a corperation last year and im now going to school and the store manager.

Well, hope this answers some questions. Keep em coming pleaseee.. I love people critiqueing this. The more input the better. I want to have every last detail down to perfection before next month when I get this show on the road.
Thanks again guys,
You are the greatest

bruces
03-31-2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by CEW900
Hey guys,

Thanks for your input. I would like to answer some of your questions.

I am not paying for workers compensation. Im sub contracting my guys so i dont have to worry about all the liability stuff. They will be payed $9 an hour.



You may be doing this, but you'd better hope no one gets hurt or wants to draw unemployment after you fire them or they quit.

Your people are employees!! Unless they are furnishing their own equipment, setting their own hours, etc., they are employees. If they get hurt, you will be liable.

Be smart, handle them properly and legally, and save yourself large potential problems.

adrianvbarrera
04-01-2003, 10:49 AM
Subcontracting ?


Do you mean from a temp agency or something similar or do you mean just NOT labeling them as employees and giving them a 1099?

Adrian

Andrew S
04-01-2003, 10:59 AM
follow Bruces advice it will save you a lot of heartache and money

CEW900
04-01-2003, 10:59 AM
Adrian,

I would 1099 them.

Hey thanks for all your input

-Chris

adrianvbarrera
04-01-2003, 11:20 AM
CEW900,


That will get you into alot of problems.

Check the IRS website for a definition of what an employee is and what subcontract labor is. The thing is that you can 1099 them for years before the IRS decides to Audit you then you will be liable for all the Taxes that were not paid. By that time some of your employees will be nowhere to be found. You must keep records for 7 years after you file.

I have looked at it every way that I can and there is no LEGAL way to set them up as contract labor. We would all love to do that....having employees is such a pain.

They must meet some or all of the following criteria for them to be Contract labor:
1) they must have their own equipment
2) They must function independently from you....you can tell them what needs to be done but you can not tell them how to execute the work.
3) They do work for other LCO not just you.
4) They must have some exposure to LOSS. Employees are not exposed to loss they get paid no matter if you underbid or not.

In some states Workmans Comp might not be required at all or if your company is small. Please check your state. But really the risk that you take by not haveing WC is great.

Liability Insurance is another thing that YOU must or is highly recommended to get. If a rock goes through someones windshield or hits someone......you business will be toast.

You can do what you want I am just telling you of things to look out for. That is all. I really am trying to help you.
If I am wrong please enlighten me. I want to know the right thing.... even if it is not what I wrote.

Just a thought.
Adrian