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Up North
10-04-2004, 11:34 AM
I just want to say thanks to all you guys that helped make our first season in this business a success and enjoyable. Back in February when we (wife & I) decided to give it a try part-time, we had no clue if it would fly or not. We started with a John Deere L120 rider, Toro 21", Craftsman trimmer, Homelite handheld blower/vac, a single place tilt snowmobile trailer, a bunch of flyers & a ton of excitement. We're finishing up the season with a Snapper 52" ZTR, Toro 21", Echo trimmer, Echo blower, Big Tex 6.5x10 trailer, 12 good commercial customers (all are very happy with our service), Blizzard snowplow, a bunch more flyers for snowplowing & a ton more excitement, and hopes of going full-time next season.

I learned a lot about this business via "on the job" training, but also learned a ton from the advice & direction of you guys. I think I found lawnsite.com around April or so, and wish I'd found out about it sooner. Anyway, our mowing season is winding down here, it was 24 degees last night. We have a couple fall clean ups (most like to wait till spring around here), a week or two of mowing, then it's on to snowplowing for the winter. I'd like to list everyone that gave direction & advice, but I know I'd forget someone and don't want to do that so I'm just going to say a big THANK YOU to all.

Buck
Up North Yard & Drive

GreenMonster
10-04-2004, 11:43 AM
We started with a John Deere L120 rider, Toro 21", Craftsman trimmer, Homelite handheld blower/vac, a single place tilt snowmobile trailer


Another scrub story turned good :rolleyes: j/k.

Buck, this is a perfect example of guys jumping on each other based on their equipment. You started out how you had to, in order to get rolling, and looks to me like you're growing real nicely. :)

Congrats on a successful first season, and I wish you continued success through the winter and into next year!

Up North
10-04-2004, 11:55 AM
Another scrub story turned good :rolleyes: j/k.

Buck, this is a perfect example of guys jumping on each other based on their equipment. You started out how you had to, in order to get rolling, and looks to me like you're growing real nicely. :)

Congrats on a successful first season, and I wish you continued success through the winter and into next year!

Mark, I agree. That's why I'll never knock someone for using something that others may consider scrubbish. Sometimes folks can't afford to start off with the best equipment. It took me longer to complete the job, but it still looked good with finished, I made sure of that. I had an incident early this year that was directly related to "inferior equipment", if you search for "what goes round comes round" that'll expain it better. Good luck to you as well!

Buck

Norm Al
10-04-2004, 11:59 AM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20041002/mdf715303.jpg

GreenMonster
10-04-2004, 12:01 PM
I had an incident early this year that was directly related to "inferior equipment", if you search for "what goes round comes round" that'll expain it better. Good luck to you as well!

Buck

Yes, I remember it. That's what I thinking about actually. Kudo's to you for rising above that BS, and making your plan work. It really looks like is coming together for you.

Up North
10-04-2004, 12:30 PM
Thanks, I think it's coming together. We didn't make a ton of money this year as a lot went back into the business. But I think it'll be "up and to the right" for next year and hopefully many years to come. I have a master plan that needs to be fulfilled, and this is only step one...


Buck

LawnBoy89
10-04-2004, 01:41 PM
Good job. I hope mine comes out as succesful as yours.

I just have one question for you, how did you get the commercial accounts?

Gravely_Man
10-04-2004, 01:48 PM
Buck glad to hear all of this has worked out for you. Lawnsite has a lot of great information but it is up to you to decide what info is correct/beneficial and go for it. It sounds like you made a lot of good choices and did the right thing to keep your customers satisfied.



Gravely_Man

olderthandirt
10-04-2004, 02:08 PM
Thanks, I think it's coming together. We didn't make a ton of money this year as a lot went back into the business. But I think it'll be "up and to the right" for next year and hopefully many years to come. I have a master plan that needs to be fulfilled, and this is only step one...


Buck
Well how about sharing the master plan?
Mines not working the way I thought, suppose to be on a beach in Tahiti with bikini clad ladies bringing me drinks yr rd. :D

Mac

Up North
10-04-2004, 02:23 PM
Good job. I hope mine comes out as succesful as yours.

I just have one question for you, how did you get the commercial accounts?

Lawnboy89,
By a little of everything. Flyers, knocking on some doors, referrals or word of mouth. Most of my accounts came via word of mouth (referrals), and one good thing was that they weren't all from the same person/source either. 7 of the 12 accounts were referrals, 5 from customers and 2 from other people that saw our work and passed our name on.

Buck

Up North
10-04-2004, 03:00 PM
Well how about sharing the master plan?
Mines not working the way I thought, suppose to be on a beach in Tahiti with bikini clad ladies bringing me drinks yr rd. :D

Mac

Mac, I think your snapper (tattoo) is chasing them off! LOL! I don't know if my/our master plan is something that will work or not but we're going to shoot for it and see what happens. Okay, if you promise not to laugh. My wife plans on going back to work full time as a speech pathalogist in either 3 or 4 years (when both kids are in school) and we can live off her wage & benefits. From now till then I'm going to try continue growing our LCO, but until she goes back full time, we'll have to live off our company. After the 4 years and she's back to work, we would like to invest a majority of our profits from the LCO business for x number of years to a point that we can purchase another business or businesses that is/are more tangible. We'll still run the LCO as that is something I really enjoy, but when WE decide it's time to retire, selling the LCO business will not bring a ton of cash. However, the other business or business should if we've done our homework and bought the right type of business.

I know we could just invest our money and done with it, but I like to be involved in business, it's enjoyable to me & my wife. Plus our boys might be interested in being involved or taking over at some point, I don't know as that's years down the road. But from what I know and have seen, when it comes to selling off an LCO business, you basicly sell off the equipment and maybe get a little bit for the customer base but not much. Another business such as a Outdoor type retail store, resturant, refuse company, or apartment complexes, etc., can be more profitable when it comes time to get out. I know, there's a lot more involved but I'll spare you the boring details. Like I said, who knows if it'll happen or not, we're going to give it a try. But we have to first grow our LCO a lot more then go from there. Phase II will be starting before we know it!

Buck

Norm Al
10-04-2004, 03:05 PM
snapper tattoos? check out mine!
http://www.blackhumor.gr/Photos/Paraksena/freak.jpg

olderthandirt
10-04-2004, 03:20 PM
Buck
Its great to hear that you do have a master plan for the future not many do think that far ahead. I'm sure that the biz will continue to grow as you have done well the 1st yr. just don't expect the same rate of growth as there are growing pains with all businesses. Speaking of side business, think tanning booths! The ladies just love to be tanned and after the initial investment you will not incur a lot of on going cost :D Glad all went well and keep your cold air up there.

Mac

Branchland
10-04-2004, 03:42 PM
Buck,
I agree with you that this site is great. The people here have been most helpful. This year my wife decided to do this fultime, I'm still part-time. And we have grown a lot more than we planed. We have grown alot more than we had planed for this year. We are well ahead of our business plan. Best of luck and good furtune to you and your wife.

Up North
10-04-2004, 06:05 PM
Buck
Its great to hear that you do have a master plan for the future not many do think that far ahead. I'm sure that the biz will continue to grow as you have done well the 1st yr. just don't expect the same rate of growth as there are growing pains with all businesses. Speaking of side business, think tanning booths! The ladies just love to be tanned and after the initial investment you will not incur a lot of on going cost :D Glad all went well and keep your cold air up there.

Mac

Yeah Mac I agree. I think our growth next year can be decent due to being pretty small this season. But after that I can see it being a little tighter as far as new accounts and such. But since I plan on staying solo my equipment and big capital purchases will be less after this first season. There are still ongoing costs associated with them, but the initial investment has been done.

Nice idea on the tanning booths...wonder what my wife would think about that one? :D :D

Buck

olderthandirt
10-04-2004, 06:12 PM
Yeah Mac I agree. I think our growth next year can be decent due to being pretty small this season. But after that I can see it being a little tighter as far as new accounts and such. But since I plan on staying solo my equipment and big capital purchases will be less after this first season. There are still ongoing costs associated with them, but the initial investment has been done.

Nice idea on the tanning booths...wonder what my wife would think about that one? :D :D

Buck

Just show her a roll of cash you made frm the others :D

Mac

Up North
10-04-2004, 07:51 PM
Just show her a roll of cash you made frm the others :D

Mac

It might look more like a roll of quarters if we went the tanning booth route... :blush:

Buck

Tonyr
10-05-2004, 12:23 AM
G'Day Buck.

Just goes to show what determination can do....

You did what you had to , to get the wheel turning and upgraded as you went, the smart way! Mate, good on you, and I wish you even more success next year....under one condition!












You keep your devious Loooooose Moooooose away from my trendy torrrrro! :blob3:

MOW ED
10-05-2004, 06:41 AM
Congrats on the first year and it sounds like you are gonna be even better in the coming years. To tell ya the truth, you started out on the same lines as I did and I am sure many others. I had 12 customers the first year and used homeowner grade equipment.
My business grew from word of mouth after I met some good customers thru my letter. It was neat to see that you are still excited about it even though I know there were some downs with the ups.
The benefit of this site is seen once again. Congrats and the best in the future.