View Full Version : How much did you guys make/lose in...

09-09-2003, 11:17 AM
Just getting an idea on our first year in business here, and was curious how much some of you guys made, or lost, in your first year of operation?
It may be uplifting to hear some other people's experiences while I am going over all of our records.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome, as well as tips to help my books. We are a legit business who pay taxes, insurance, etc., and have heard such tips as buy new equipment end of year to try and not show a profit, etc. Tips like that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all of your help, as I know it will start coming in!

09-09-2003, 02:18 PM
Pretty much my first year and after fall cleanups I will have grossed about 20,000. Hopefully lots of snow plowing this winter. With new equipment purchases that were a must, taxes and my expenses, my bank account is, well just say not very big.

09-09-2003, 04:24 PM
curious how much some of you guys made, or lost, in your first year of operation?

As far as the government is concerned... Loss...Loss...Loss. :D

09-09-2003, 09:43 PM
With all the money I spent in year one I wrote it down to pretty much zero. I picked up some good customers that year that are still with me today. Many have referred many $$ my way over the years. Years 1-3 will have some tight moments. After that things start to really pick up speed.

09-09-2003, 10:49 PM
First year, I was very part time, and I made enough money to pay off our equipment. Second year, part time but more work, we made enough to buy more equipment and brought home a goodly amount. 3rd year was the charm for me, no major equipment purchases. The lawn business is still far better than most other businesses in that you can expect to start bringing in a profit quickly. If you can do it smartly, you can avoid a lot of the major overhead that other businesses have to deal with and have a nice margin quickly. But it all depends on how hard you are willing to work, and if you go all out and buy all kinds of equipment at first, or slowly add pieces as you an afford them (I did the latter).

Good luck.

09-10-2003, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the help guys,
MTDmaster, we are taking your same approach, buying equipment slowly as we can afford it, and as jobs require it.
I think we will be close to even by the end of the year, which would be a great start, considering this included a vehicle and all of our equipment. Our goal is to save up enough to go with a larger walk behind next year, as we are only using 21" so far.
Keep the advice rolling in!

09-18-2003, 02:36 AM
was in the red the first two years. First year in the red about $1,200, second year in the red about $3,300 (and it was because I went out and bought three new snowthrowers at the end of November)

Rustic Goat
09-18-2003, 04:54 AM
That's for me, my CPA, Uncle Sam, and I guess the wife too, to know.
Getting kinda personal here aren't we?

09-18-2003, 10:44 AM
I make between



Thanks for asking.......;)

09-18-2003, 12:06 PM
Ok, sorry to be so intrusive guys/gals.

What I really meant was I did not want actual $$, but rather how did it go. Just kind of trying to get an idea on how we are doing, and what to expect. For instance, like should we expect to be in the red for 1-2 years, or 3-4, or not at all, that's all.

I understand how you wouldn't want to give out money info, no problem.

Thanks for the responses though.

09-18-2003, 09:14 PM
Depends on how you buy your equpiment. If you make payments you should profit. If you buy outright, you will lose.

09-19-2003, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by wacamaster
Depends on how you buy your equpiment. If you make payments you should profit. If you buy outright, you will lose.

At the same time, you don't want to be overextended on credit. Don't go crazy buying equipment that you'll be left paying for for the next 5 years, whether or not your business survives. I know a couple guys that went under in their first year who had all kinds of nice equipment, and all kinds of nice equipment payments to make when they went under.


09-19-2003, 01:43 AM
Originally posted by wacamaster
Depends on how you buy your equpiment. If you make payments you should profit. If you buy outright, you will lose.

how completely wrong...by looking at your profile i can clearly see that you have not yet had the experience in purchasing/financing much of anything...while financing may work for some people i am a true believer to make purchases as you need them..if you finance you are giving money away, the finance charges...i really don't understand how you will lose if you buy outright...makes no sense...just my opinion..

09-19-2003, 10:35 AM
I actually really ruined my credit for a while because of the financial promotions that I used for my equipment purchases. Now everything I pay in cash for. I am still paying off equipment from only 1 1/2 ago.

09-19-2003, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the advice guys.

We are strictly trying to not put anything on credit. We started with some cheaper equipment we could afford, and are working toward being able to buy better equipment each year, as we require it.

I agree though, buying on credit has it's advantages sometimes, but I like to go in the store with big fat green pockets, and walk out owing nobody!

Keep 'em coming! :p

10-13-2003, 04:21 PM
now that the season's getting close to the end, any more help will be greatly appreciated.
We are looking at possibly breaking even, maybe down a few hundred, but this includes a van, and all of our equipment, although modest right now.
Not bad for a first year, plus our name is getting out there nicely!
:blob3: :D :blob3:

10-13-2003, 04:51 PM
Lets just say that I broke pretty much even the first year.

10-13-2003, 05:33 PM
I took a chance and maxed out a few credit cards, although I did pay a lot in cash to but I couldnt do that for everything. It was stressful knowing that I had some pretty big credit card balances but now I owe only a few grand and for me it was worth it.

10-14-2003, 05:19 PM
Like I said, be happy if you cleared a dollar profit after purchases,taxes and other fixed expenses.

Been in this trade for over 30 years, 20 on my own and can tell you it's feast or famine. Hopefully it's more feast than famine.

Our trade is tied to how well everybody else is doing. People losing factory jobs, no pay raises, can expect to see more competition and less available clients.

If you cleared money this year, your already on a successful road.

Your ideal of only paying cash for purchases in the beginning will only help you when you buy on credit later on. However, at some point you should learn how to manage purchasing things on credit and paying off in a timely manner.

To be honest, it makes me wonder when somebody has to pay by credit for a $20 purchase.


Let it Grow
10-14-2003, 05:32 PM
It was my first year as well. I bought two new Honda hrc 216 (the best mowers they make) a Honda Trimmer, a 5 x 12 trailer, the best Stihl hedge trimmer they make, vairous hand tools, a circular saw, and a few other minor things.

As of today my net profit is $3,918.00

I will add probably another $2,000 to that number from the rest of the mowing season, leaf cleanups, and one last retaining wall.

I'm VERY pleased with my business so far (I have only been going for 6 months) and I think next year will be a year of HUGE growth. I'm planing on buying a ztr mower, and a bigger truck for my landscaping jobs, and maybe a new trailer (for hauling equipment).

10-15-2003, 12:51 PM
Thanks for all the help guys.
Next year we are getting excited about actually having some growth, and the ability to buy some quality equipment to make the jobs easier, and come out better.
Definitely would have to say it's been a good year for us. Still very small, but right where we wanted to be at this point.
Keep the advice coming in! :D

scott's turf
10-16-2003, 11:30 AM
For those of you that claim your net is close to $0, how do you live? Who is supporting you at this time?