View Full Version : LawnSite and Landscape Supply Give Away

Sean Adams
02-18-2005, 05:03 PM
Dear Members,

It is time again for another great give away from LawnSite. This give away will be in conjunction with Landscape Supply - one of our sponsors.

We will be giving away a Brand New RedMax String Trimmer BCZ600s. The retail value of this piece of equipment is slightly over $300.

Like most other give aways from the past, you will need to participate in order to be eligible for the trimmer. A question will be asked and everyone can provide one response. After 30 days or so, Travis from Landscape Supply, and I will choose the best answer and announce the winner.


If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?

02-18-2005, 05:10 PM
I would not do it. the reason is that I am already debt free. I have tried to make it a point to stay out of debt.

that way, I am only working for myself. I do NOT want to be working to pay off a mower or truck.

being debt free also causes less worry. (I.E. if I lose an account, am I going to be able to pay my bill this month.)

02-18-2005, 05:26 PM
No way. Why limit yourself? I think this would lead you down the road to being slack and lazy (why bust your butt if your only going to make a certain amount of money?). To be motivated you must have a reason to get out and improve your business. If that means doing it for the love of the job, or getting it done because you have bills to pay, at least your motivated about something. Thats the wonderful thing of being self employed, the sky is the limit.

02-18-2005, 05:58 PM
Sean just to clarify is it a RedMax BCZ600s as you listed or a BCZ2600s?

02-18-2005, 06:34 PM
Sean and Travis,

I would do it, it is not about the money, if it was you would be trying to invent something or create the perfect software or wish you owned EBay.

It comes down to the freedom, you call your own shots, you make it what you want it to be. You walk away knowing you did that job or jobs to the best of your ability, that is what separates the men from the boys.

I can understand how some people wish you could have the entire market and dominate the landscape world, be the next Cingular, drive the baddest trucks and have the best equipment, but in the end a truck is a truck and a mower mows!

You can only cut one lawn at a time!

Enjoy life folks, because it is, so very short! :)

02-18-2005, 07:42 PM
20,000 net wouldn't pay the regular bills even if you were debt free. :waving:

02-18-2005, 08:07 PM
Financing when used wisely is a great tool for growing a business.
Being "debt free" may sound like a wonderful place to be, and at a time when you've grown your business to a satisfactory point and the income produced is sufficient for "cash" buying it may be a comfortable position to be in,
however the pros of limited debt almost always outway the cons from a small business standpoint.
A $30,000 piece of equipment could certainly produce more than the $20,000 of net you speak of, but why would I want to limit myself to waiting until I have that $30,000 on hand to produce that extra income?
A wise business owner once said " why use your own money when you can use someone elses?"

Financing is a part of business, the key is to use it WISELY.

02-18-2005, 08:27 PM
Just a note.............
I'm not interested in the trimmer, I just thought it would be fun to stick my 2 cents in.

02-18-2005, 08:42 PM
that will kill my 5 year plan, the plan plainly says "min. 20% growth" over this next 2 years, I would not allow myself to be held back for anything like that.
my current level of debt is included in the growth figures so it will be paid off within that 2 year period.
It's my plan and I'm sticking to it. :cool2:

02-18-2005, 08:46 PM
Is that $20,000 per year for the next 2 years, or $20,000 total for 2years averaging $10,000 per year? This is very vague question. I like the debt free part but why would I be limited in what I can earn, that's part of the attraction for being self-employed, unlimited potential income ?

02-18-2005, 11:01 PM
I don't think I would withstand the hit and take a cut for two years to eliminate all of my business debt,because it would be a really long, lean two years. Having everything paid for would certainly be nice, but not at the expense of my personal life. If I only netted 20K for two years, my quality of life would certainly diminish. That only works out to $ 1666.67 per month for 12 months. I would need at least 3 times that amount to function at a normal capacity. Now if you are including personal debt as well as mortgages in the "paid for" category, then yes, I could survive on 20K a year for two years to come out at zero liabilities after 24 months. The sad thing is, we all have some form of business debt at all times, and depend on the larger portions of depriciation schedules to knock down larger tax liability.Also , after the two years, what would you have to show? Two solid, hard years on current equipment that you could not afford to replace during those 2 years. The cycle would repeat itself in some form, rather it be directly or indirectly, you will always have some form of debt....

02-18-2005, 11:18 PM
NO,because I am already debt free.Cash for good used trucks and I buy my mowers on 1 year 0 interest and pay them off in 1 year! My thinking is if you make 100,000, live like you make 75,000 and save the rest.I could make it on 20,000 with the better half's pay but that would be hard even in West Virginia! It would put a crimp in my 5 year mortgage payoff plan. :angel:

Eddie B
02-19-2005, 03:15 AM
Yes. $20,000 net is more than I make at my current job. By being fairly new in the lawn business, having the equipment necessary to keep up a business, and not being in a financial hole, is well worth it for me.

Turf Dancer
02-19-2005, 05:51 AM
I would not do it because I believe in my new 2 year plan! If all go's as planned I will not have any business debt in two years and I will also have a business with about 5 times the income I have now as well as about 40K in new equipment. If for some reason my plan falls apart at least I will be able to look myself in the mirror every morning and know that I made a decision that did not limit my future. I can live with a plan not working out the way I wanted it to, on the other hand life is so short I cannot live with a decision where I knowingly put limit on my immediate future.

02-19-2005, 07:32 AM
No, I wouldn't do it. My business plan and goal doesn't include only $20,000. I'm planning on haveing enough high end resitdental and commercal to keep one crew busy, enough landscaping to keep myself and a crew busy and opening a landscape supply and nursery that my wife will run. Can't grow the business with only $20,000. But the trimmer would help to stay out of debt. :p

J Hisch
02-19-2005, 08:07 AM
I think the whole point is simply this. You are netting more than just the 20,000.00 All of your equipment is a hard assest with cash value. Meaning your business is money ahead. There a not many out there who can put out 65,000.00 and in 1 year begin to get a return on their investment. IN a pactical business situation this would be a dream investment. It is also a dream investment for any business including a lawn care business. To answer frankly, if I were solo I would jump at that business opprotunity. All this pish posh are people who really dont know business. I will buy any business if I can begin to turn a profit off of it in a year.

02-19-2005, 10:24 AM
If I had just bought all the equipment that I would ever need and my place was paid off. I would do it.

02-19-2005, 11:29 AM
NO, it would stifle my ambition for two years to grow the company.

all ferris
02-19-2005, 11:29 AM
I would not pay off my debt and only net $20,000 for the next 2 years. The reason would be because of compound interest. Lets just say you make $70,000 per year and you put 6% of that toward your retirement. That would mean you would put $4,200 toward your retirement. Lets say that this money earns an average of 7% annually. This $4,200 would be worth $27,771.66 in 30 years based on an annual capitalization frequency. So just imagine if you skipped doing this for 2 years because you wanted to pay off your debt faster. It would be 2 years lost that could never be regained. I also believe that this money is tax free.

02-19-2005, 12:53 PM
Without debt, what would I use for tax deductions? :laugh:

This would be like making a deal with the devil. It may be a tempting offer at first but you'd probably live to regret your choice.

Credit and debt are quite valuable when managed properly. I've purchased a number of items on various payment plans - X number of months with zero interest. I pay the balance by the due date and I've used somebody else's money free of charge! Plus, it made it easier to budget the equipment as I can pay it off over time rather than all at once. Large items are financed at reasonable interest rates.

You can't be debt free forever, especially under the scenerio you propose. Eventually, something will need to be replaced and at $20,000 over two years, where's the money going to come from? My Walker mower cost around 9 grand. Probably wouldn't be writing a check for it's replacement under those kinds of restrictions.

02-19-2005, 01:10 PM
First bad point. No credit means no report on file with credit co.
Scond bad point. 20,000 per year would not qualify for large loan.
Third very bad point. could not pay for health Insurance.

02-19-2005, 01:49 PM
Sure would, could use the raise!

double e
02-19-2005, 03:11 PM
Yes I would do it- before the deal starts I'm going to go out and finance about 250K in equipment. Then make me debt free.

In reallity- No- why limit yourself. I started my business b/c I like to determine my on fate.

Good Question.

02-19-2005, 07:11 PM
I would not do it-I would not want to be so limited on the income possibilities. :drinkup:

02-19-2005, 07:36 PM
$20,000 would not pay for my health coverage for my two sickly children, and the amount of money i give to various charities each year. i contribute to feed the children, save the whales, save the seals, our local homeless shelters, senior citizens, the church, and all others who are in need. i am greatful to have my health, and the ability to help others. so you see, the weedwacker, it wouldn't be for me, it would be for those in need. thank you

s and s mowing
02-19-2005, 10:13 PM
some people dont mind debt,some are making a 100,000 grand a year,some are solo and probaly just making 20,000 after everything is paid.as for me im part time and grossing under 20,000 so im at a disadvantage at this ?.but i can say my mowing business is almost debt free(will be by end of year),and every day it gets closer the feeling gets greater,i have very nice equipment and will probaly plunge again,but being debt free and not oweing anybody anything is priceless.peace of mind is worth a whole lot more than 20,000 grand.and yes i have never won anything,and dont expect to win trimmer,but if i do i will be one step closer to that great debt free feeling.thanks to lawnsite and travis for the trimmer giveaway to whoever wins it

02-19-2005, 10:49 PM
No way,no way. I have been poor and working hard to make other people rich long enough.This year is my first to go full time and nothing's going to stop me. I will do anything (legally) in my power to make my business work. By doing so, I have to take risk, and part of that risk is to be in debt. So, at this point of life, netting only $20,000 income for the next two years debt free is not good enough.

B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc
02-20-2005, 02:17 AM
Just to put my two cents in. "You have to spend money to make money" Nobody who works in this business can say the don't think about growing their business. If they plan to grow they "MUST" and will spend money for advertisement and equipement. I would have to say probably the only time i will be debt free is when i'm dead but then i'll be in debt to the good lord above. I do try to stay as close to debt free as possible.

02-20-2005, 02:56 AM
YES i would, for only one reason you did not say how much equipment would be debt free! Give me 1-2 mil. worth of paid for equipment and I can suffer through 2 lean yrs,knowing at the end of those 2 yrs I will have the equipment to do any job I would want and have very little over head. So what I loose in those 2 yrs could easily be made up in 1 yr plus the fact that now I own all my equipment debt free there would be many more yrs of high profit low over head jobs available that I can bid at a fair but lower price than someone carrying that much debt. The more you bid the more you grow and to think if you reinvested some of that money you could remain debt free for a life time. Easy choice payup


Shadetree Ltd
02-20-2005, 03:09 AM
My debt is fundamental to the level that I have grown my business to. Your proposal would see me lower my personal net considerably from what it is today while in debt. Being debt free is great (I assume, mortage, equipment and toys mean I really don't know what debt free feels like), As a business owner I had to take risks in order to achieve my level of success. The risk had been in the form of debt. Besides, if I were to sell everything I would cover my debt and still have a good net left.
For those that don't believe in debt, you should calculate the value of credit. In todays interest marketplace I have a number of 5-6% equipment loans and vehicle loans that allow me to make considerably more than the interest I pay. Due to a large theft in the fall I did not have cash to buy a salter going into the winter, I financed it at a total interest cost of $300 (6%), that piece of equipment grossed 500% on my total investment. All the while I had some cash in the bank for other things. If I didn't go into debt to purchase it, I would have made much less money this winter.

IMO, debt is part of being in a growing business. It doesn't mean that you aren't doing well.


02-20-2005, 03:49 AM
I would take that offer if it was in my first or second year. The reason for this is that most companies in the first few years really don't make a profit, because they are trying to pay everything off they just bought. Money would be really tight those 2 years though. then after that you would have unlimited possibilities being debt free!!!!!

02-20-2005, 10:32 AM
YES i would, for only one reason you did not say how much equipment would be debt free! Give me 1-2 mil. worth of paid for equipment and I can suffer through 2 lean yrs,knowing at the end of those 2 yrs I will have the equipment to do any job I would want and have very little over head. So what I loose in those 2 yrs could easily be made up in 1 yr plus the fact that now I own all my equipment debt free there would be many more yrs of high profit low over head jobs available that I can bid at a fair but lower price than someone carrying that much debt. The more you bid the more you grow and to think if you reinvested some of that money you could remain debt free for a life time. Easy choice payup


Thinking outside the box. Thatís why I said I would do it. And besides there is a big difference between NET and Gross. You can gross 10,000,000 in a year and only net 20,000.
Now if they said gross 20,000 a year for the next two years, I would have to pass.

02-20-2005, 10:50 AM
I am debt free at the moment but I realize in order to grow you must spend money in order to make money. If I were to successfully bid a large commercial job that would require the purchase of more equipment I would not hesitate to do so.

02-20-2005, 12:50 PM
Not in a million years. You know what they say; being in debt is the ameircan way. I don't feel that a business can grow and prosper without reaching out and taking chances. For some it comes easier. Remember, it's not what you know- it's who you know!

02-20-2005, 01:12 PM
I most certianly would! Every chance I get to make a steady income every year is something that I value more and more every year. Three years ago I was faced with a drout that certianly cut me short of twenty thousand. Atteneding college the next year scared me because I needed the money. A steady income at 20,000 a year is great thing to plan on.
And just to think, If you are someone that knows you can plan on $20,000 a year, and your equiptment is all paid off. A new line trimmer worth 1.5% of your yearly income for just replying to a question, is a great way to adding to your debt free equiptment.

02-20-2005, 08:38 PM
Yes, I would do it. Freedom is worth limitations on money. It would also give more time to do quality work and expand the business while passing those years. For those of us with 5 years or less in bussiness it would be a great kick in the butt to become firmly established in the business world. Most start up companies don't make it 2 years! I have been in business for 7 years and would still take that offer as I have purchased new equipment and that would even me out for the next 2 years. Just my situation...


02-21-2005, 12:11 AM
Yes, I would definetly do it. There is plenty of time to build a business. If you had all your debt paid for with all new equipment, I think it would not be hard to make it on your own with $20,000 net profit. Then after 2 years you could start building bigger. Thats more than I make now, plus I have financed equipment that I pay for every month. I think the ones that are just starting a business would do it in a heartbeat.


02-21-2005, 01:19 AM
As for the part time job, heck ya :D

02-21-2005, 03:46 AM
I would do it because most of the less fortunate people are the happyest people youn will ever meet.

02-21-2005, 06:11 AM
yeah I would do it we are only part time and that plus my salary from my regular gig would help to grow the co with the right investments I could turn the money 100% back in to the co and grow it twice the size it is in each year, so in 2 years it would be 4 times the size and still debt free.
(freedom begets freedom)

02-21-2005, 12:56 PM
only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?

I would not participate in this task. First and foremost is due to the fact that my salary and company's net profit are combined into only $20,000 over two years. For simple calculations, that is only $10,000 per year! That is selling myself, my family, my employees and my company short. Now if this net profit was as it should be, Net Profit that my company has made in the fiscal year, that would be a different story. My salary is considered into my overhead, so therefore, if my company makes any profit for the year, then it is just that ...... PROFIT. I personally strive for a NP of a minimum of 10% every year. However, a profit is a profit and in my books, any profit is better than a loss! As for the concept of being debt free, I don't believe there is such a thing in the business world. I have several vendors that I pay strickly on credit (net 30, net 45, etc.) and I rely on that credit to grow my business and to provide me with the resources to produce the jobs that I sell. Sure, I try to pay my vendors regularly, but the credit process continues because I continue to sell jobs. I look at it like this, if I am successful at what I do, my vendors and creditors are successful.

02-21-2005, 12:57 PM
I would not do it either. I am debt free as of now but I want to continue growing my business and invest in rental property in Florida. The only way to make more money is to get the equipment needed to complete the task. I dont think $20,000 will allow me to run the business the way I want.

Turf Solutions
02-21-2005, 04:55 PM
If i was doing this as part time and had every piece of equipment that i would need from commercial and residentual customers i would do it. but when you dicide to own your own business you are saying that you can make more money by putting it in your business than doing anything else with it from saving it or investing it. So if i was doing this as a part time job i would do it in a heart beat. But since this is my full time job i wouldn't do it. Because there are alot of business out there that you can work for and make more that $20,000 and have no money in the dept of the business. In my business i wont to make more than $20,000 even though i wouldn't be dept free. So i would rather have dept so i can profit more money in the long run.

02-21-2005, 06:49 PM
If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?

Simple answer, if the $20,000 is more than you are netting now then sure why not do it. But, if you are already netting more than $20,000 now , after all expenses ,then taking this proposal would be like taking a paycut. The key is properly manageing your debt. No one is going to give anybody a business for free and few people have the resources to just pay cash for an established business. Financeing is how most people get started in business. Getting a return on those borrowed dollars is the profit you get to keep.

02-21-2005, 10:34 PM
No, a net of $10,000 per year would barely cover the electric bill and so on.
If I had all brand new equipment (truck/trailer...) then I would at least be hopeful that nothing major would break, but maintenance of the equipment, registration and insurance would eat the $10K like a canibal in the middle of Mexico city!!

PM me for directions on where to ship the
trimmer! :waving:

02-21-2005, 10:54 PM
No way,
I live for the challenge of bettering my previous year. Knowing what your business is going to do for the next 2 years takes away the challenge of
owning your own business and is boring. From what I read daily on this site,
I think most posters love the day to day adventures of owning a business.

02-22-2005, 10:33 AM
"Debt-free" sure sounds good...but there is NO WAY that my family of 5 could survive on $20,000/yr in good ol' New Jersey!!!

02-22-2005, 11:25 AM

If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?


Yes. If these first two years were worked out in say a five year plan. These first two years would be my building years. Paying off all of the trucks, and equipment I would need to push my business to a healthy size. By pushing all of the payments, and associated debts from the life of the plan, say 5 years, into 2 years, I would be taking on the hardest days of the business in the begining, which is assumed anyhow. Then come year three, I could begin the second phase of the plan, which would be to operate without any debts or loans holding back the cash flow. With all of the equipment paid off, and more cash flow available, I would enable myself to begin expanding my business, rather than keeping it the same "healthy size". Now with the freed up income, I could pursue possibly adding a second crew. This would enable me to increase the gross sales of the company, and with the now available cash flow, it would not be such a burden, as I could re-invest a portion of the money which in the first two years was used to pay off the trucks and equipment. From this point, I could then pursue other aspects of the field as well, and add on other areas of work to increase the business if desired. By not limiting myself to look at only those first two years, I can plan on the future of the entire company, and not just my net for the first two years. Simply looking at the net for only 2 years is a job, looking at the first two years of a business in its expected lifetime is creating a business, which should be the goal. If a company is to be successful, it will outlive the person who created it.

02-22-2005, 12:38 PM
If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?
Well ill be the jerk and say that you are not actually talking about net. Net is profit, after your salary.

To answer the question, no i would not give up my debt. Debt is also known as financial leverage and is one of the 4 components of a business' sustainable growth rate. If you lower (eliminate your debt) your leverage you are lowering your growth rate you can achieve without changing the financial structure of the business. To give up debt is to give up growth and i will have none of that.

02-22-2005, 01:20 PM


02-22-2005, 08:46 PM
The question is too vague and there are a lot of different scenarios that could change ones answer. I would think if you have a family $20,000 a year is no where near enough to live on. However if you are single $20,000 a year is still rough but you could make it work on a strict budget. Also in this area you are not going to be living in a house making that type of money a year single or not. Property taxes alone are $5,000 a year so unless you plan on living in the truck you paid off you might as well work for someone else.

If I can use the banks money and pay my self more a year why on earth would I want to be out of debt? You have to pay for it one way or another but what is important is how much you bring home. The company should be able to with stand the debt as well as pay you a decent salary other wise why work so hard.

02-23-2005, 01:35 AM
YES life would be alot less troublesome

why not be debt free plus 20K my wife has a great job :D

02-23-2005, 04:39 AM
Being debt free is an overwhelmingly welcomed accomplishment. I have spent the last 5 years of my life in college at Purdue. I graduated and decided to move back home to be with the girl I love and my family. I have recently taken a position with a company who makes MRE's for the military. I have alot of pride in the work i do however my compensation is lackluster. With 5 years of college loans staring me in the face, on top of my other expences, i have a lot to manage financially. Recently my father and i have decided to start a commercial and residentail lawn care service for a couple of reasons. One, we need some extra income. Two, we love working hard and being outdoors. And finally, what more could you ask for to be a buisness partner with the person you look up to the most.
I am not going to sit here and tell you that i would be comfortable only bringing home 20k a year, its about what i bring home now. By no means is this what i am willing to limit myself too. However, when i graduated college I had it in my head that companies would be knocking my door down. Well that quickly wore of and I ended up with a position in a company that has lots of room for advancement. That is how i look at my new challenge in starting our buisness. I have learned never to over indebt yourself no matter the oppertunity in front of you. I believe that when i work my way up and show my customers that i will take pride in what i do, my opertunities will be endless. A new buisness, no debt, money to bring home, well sounds like a darn good place to start.

02-23-2005, 08:36 AM

If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?


YES, That would be a wonderful opportunity to get out from under what I currently owe for mortgage and the wifes Jeep Overland, besides being retired with a Pension and being on Social Security the extra 20K would make my life most enjoyable. Thanks for the trimmer.


02-23-2005, 09:07 AM
I make much more than that and I right off the interest payment on the equipment so their is absolutely no real incentive for our business to go debt free. Every time we pay something off we replace or update equipment. If you gaol is to be an under the table tupe or small, one man service, I can see this as being an attractive move but if your goal is to have several crews in the field it's not tax wise or prudent. Besides I like new equipment and so do our clients.

02-23-2005, 09:54 AM
Absolutly, I would be thrilled to net $20,000 yearly. Maybe a Redmax trimmer could help?

Terry Rogers
02-23-2005, 10:57 AM
I would have to do it. I was a soldier and after 911 I was shipped out for two years.
And had to leave behind a wounderful wife and my brand new baby boy (2wks old at the time). I have alot of time to make up to him. Money is not everything.

02-23-2005, 03:27 PM
I run this company for my kids. My youngest baby was born in May and our older was born three years ago in October. I would always do this job. If I was debt free and still was making $20,000 NET each year for the next two years - I would still do this job. $20,000 is enough to spend time with my three favorite loves - my wife, my kids and my clients yards. I actually run my company as an organic company (we've gone 100% Organic just this year). I do this because my oldest boy has asthma and is effected by the chemicals spraying on our properties and on our foods. I LOVE this job! My great-grandfather was a grounds maintenance person when he arrived in Canada in the late 1800's, then my grandfather took up the green-thumb and continued working for a company doing grounds maintenance work, my father runs a great lawn care company in our city and we've started our own lawn care company that compliments everything that I believe in. I believe in family - having time to spend with them, having time for hockey games, school projects, movie nights, and just going for a drive. My company represents my heritage, my family, my name. I believe in keeping our earth a living earth for our children and for our children's children - keeping the soil alive. Debt free would be great - making $20,000 NET is enough to live on (afterall we ALL spend what we make and it just doesn't matter how much you make - you still spend it.) - and running my company for my family, my children, my name, our community is what I'm in it for.

Thanks for the great question - gave me time to contemplate and put my purpose back into perspective.


Critical Care
02-23-2005, 09:44 PM
Being in debt is the millstone around my neck, and there are times when swimming the course becomes a bit challenging. At least to me, the debt that I carry is a great weight, one that I know some of us have gotten accustomed to carrying around as if it were part of us. I can only speak for myself, but there would be a bit of freedom in releasing myself from such a bond.

One might consider twenty thousand a measly amount to net for two years, and shun such an opportunity to have their business debt free, and yes, Iíve taken advantage of being in debt, as well as having fallen prey to it, but as hard as it is may be to envision, innovation often comes from creative destruction.

02-23-2005, 10:20 PM
Please give terry the trimmer.

Terry, thank you for your service. :waving:

green leaf
02-23-2005, 11:40 PM
Is the $20,000 in us funds, because that is like 200,000 in Canadian dollars with the exchange. payup

This will be my first full year on my own and with all the debt of new equipment plus the $20,000 it would put me in good shape for my 3rd year, and then have a new plan from there.
With a new trimmer I could finally give my poor goat some much deserved R and R. ;)

Lawn Dog2001
02-24-2005, 12:39 AM
No I wouldnt do it.

richard coffman
02-24-2005, 02:14 AM
i wouldn't feel it would be worth it. even if you do go debt free, but only bring i $20.000 for the next 2 years, money sure helps build our businesses, and that amount shurly wouldn't cut it. I'f i went along with that kind of deal, my wife would have me sell my equipment cause of the strain it would put on my family since I'm the bread winner. it's better to be ahead than to be behind. besides, what would you do if you had one of your big mowers neeeding some repairs and other equipment needing maintenance, sure would drain the pocket book pretty fast.


salt lake city, Utah :D :D :D

02-24-2005, 06:09 AM
I wouldnt do it. I'm in debt, I always will be, I have come to terms with that, but hey thats the American dream. A $20,000 gross for 2 years wouldnt cut it for me, I need money to make money and I would struggle trying to expand my business with such limited funds. Although my debt would be paid the cash flow to keep the business running and growing would be way to limited. I wouldnt have the stress of bills due, therefore I would sleep really good and probably right through the day and my customers wouldnt like that. Bills give me motivation :cool2:

Big Dawg473
02-24-2005, 09:38 AM
qUOTE=Sean Adams]Dear Members,

It is time again for another great give away from LawnSite. This give away will be in conjunction with Landscape Supply - one of our sponsors.

We will be giving away a Brand New RedMax String Trimmer BCZ600s. The retail value of this piece of equipment is slightly over $300.

Like most other give aways from the past, you will need to participate in order to be eligible for the trimmer. A question will be asked and everyone can provide one response. After 30 days or so, Travis from Landscape Supply, and I will choose the best answer and announce the winner.


If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

lawn perfection
02-24-2005, 10:22 AM
Being a solo and doing this part time (keeping 15 to 20 accounts) I would take that deal. Although my mowing equipment is paid for (not the truck though) it would be comforting for me. If I was a full time buisness, and depending on the income of 20,000 to pay the bills I could not do it. I would go under and have to watch someone else mow my accounts. I take pride in my work, use top of the line equipment,give my customers the best of service.Where do I sign up?

02-24-2005, 11:27 AM
Why would i want to stay debt free? So i can pay more taxes on the money i make. I would rather have more debt so i can grow and expand my business. i will also always have nice things. If i buy a new truck every year then i have that much of a deduction, and a new truck that i wont have to worry about the hastle of. if u are running a successfull business you will always have debt. it just depends how hard u work and how fast you can pay that debt off so u can buy new things. what is 20,000 in two years. that wouldn't even cover my gas.

02-24-2005, 11:47 AM
Sean & Travis,

The reasoning for my title is simply this; my wife and I have 4 children. Their ages are 10,4,2, & 10 months. That is girl, boy, girl, boy. In other words if it was me by myself then yes I would do it because I do not need a whole lot to survive.On the other hand my children do require alot more than the $20,000,and they mean more to me than anything in the world; including financial freedom or being my own boss, or basically anything. I hope that I am not the only one that gives a two-sided answer as I am a person that hates to ride the fence, but you wanted the truth so that is what you got.

Thank you for this opportunity,

02-24-2005, 03:18 PM
I would do it without batting an "eyelash"..... :dizzy:

Debt free from the business & make a profit and pay myself a salary..Oh ya, now we are talking.

BTW....My wife hit the lottery (powerball) a few years ago, so I dont really have to work. I just do it to keep busy and enjoy the outdoors and the customers and getting on LAWNSITE.....but somehow I dont seem to make a profit according to Uncle SAM.

I luv America :cool2:

02-25-2005, 04:40 AM
It's such a comfort knowing that a banker gets down on his knees every night and prays for MY health and well being, so I would not want to be without the indebtedness that keeps him so interested in how well I'm doing each day !!!

And if something does happen to me, at least there will be one person at my funeral with genuine tears of regret running down his cheeks.

02-25-2005, 05:37 AM
Please give terry the trimmer.

Terry, thank you for your service. :waving:

I couldn't agree more!

Terry and his family sacrificed a great deal for us and that is a debt that can never be repaid.

Terry God Bless you and your family, and Thank you from mine.

William Camp
02-25-2005, 09:16 AM
From the time you are born until the time you die you are never out of debt so you might as well make as much money as you can. So I say No.

02-25-2005, 09:37 AM
Tempting........not really. I would not limit myself to $20,000 when I could make alot more than that and be closer to being debt free because of it. If planned correctly, and if that ws my goal at this point, I could be debt free in two years and still make more than the $20,000. Problem with that scenario is a fact of this business is buying new equipment, trucks, trailers, ect. For most of us that means financing it. Which at the current 0% rates is just fine, can't go wrong using someone else's money to make me money. In the meantime I'll continue getting up in the morning, jumping in the truck and doing what I love. Not many other people can say that about their jobs.......and I'll be debt free soon enough.

02-25-2005, 12:18 PM

If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?

No, and here is why. First, in today's world $20K net is really not much money at all and will not go very far, even for a single person. $20K only comes to about $9 an hour in an average work year of 2080 hours (40 hrs a week and assuming 2 weeks of Vac/Sick). Just about any hard working self movated person, even as a solo can make more than that with not much problem. So by doing this to just be "temporarily" (see below for further on that) debt free you really have limited your income very much and not really gained anything in doing so. Why? Because in limiting your self for that two years you have allowed your business to be stagnate while other LCO's will have grown, and one of the most important reasons you would have done it is to be debt free equipment wise. The problem with that is that at the end of that 2 years a lot of that equipment is probably at or near it's life span and will have to be replaced anyway, so you have limited your income to gain nothing really.

Grn Mtn
02-26-2005, 09:06 AM
I want my kids to see that as long as there is food on the table and a roof over their heads, enjoying what you do is paramount.Basically I've been running my business this way, I have no business debt and I throughly love what I do. My customers see this, and I believe it shows in your work.

02-28-2005, 02:06 PM
I would do it. $10,000 per year is pretty high for somebody my age. That would pay for all of my expenses and would be significant enough to save for my college education, that would fuel my future ahead of me. This part-time job of mine isn't just about the money, but also the freedom of making your own decisions and being independant.

02-28-2005, 02:15 PM
I'm sorry. I believe Terry deserves the trimmer. Please give it to him. He left to fight for us, the United States of America, for our freedom. Its the men and women like him who fight for our freedom, in fact come to think of it, we owe it all to our serviceman, like Terry. Terry, THANK YOU for your service to your country. I hope you get the trimmer.

Thank you.

02-28-2005, 11:45 PM
No, because that would limit the expansion of our company. I think that you need to have some debt otherwise you end up paying most of your money in taxes. Also, that amount of money is just minimum wage anyone can earn that working for a fast food restaurant.

03-01-2005, 05:27 AM
Yes I would simply because at the moment I an only mowing part-time. still carry a full time 60 hour a week job. Only my 2nd year going at it aggressivley. If not for this initial stage in the business, no way but for now, that level of income would fit into my 5 year plan.

03-01-2005, 06:37 AM
I would do it in a heartbeat. I would like to know how many of you guys did/could have paid off your truck(s), equipment, trailer(s), etc. etc. etc. in your first 2 years and still profit 40 grand? You would have many more years left on these assets. If we are talking shop paid for too then it is definitely a no brainer.

To be honest this is a question that is nearly impossible to answer correctly without more information. What is the idealogical cap of expenses? Are we talking just enough money to get one crew going (I noticed you used truck(s) plural) and working out of your home garage? I imagine that you might be talking about what each and everyone of us started with, but then how can the answer be judged without knowing what/how we all started? I started with a 38" walk behind, one Stihl trimmer, one Stihl hand held blower, one Craftsman gas hedge trimmer, Stihl 16" chainsaw (the only piece of equipment I still have), various hand tools, with a retractable ramp in the back of a old Ford F-150 that I got practically given to me by my father (I think I paid more for the ramp). I didn't have enough work to have cleared 20 grand either so If my investment capital would have allowed it and I could have cleared 20 grand at the end of the year with no debt then I would still have to say yes to this question.

My ideal 2 man crew setup for lawns up to one acre not including truck and trailer (we could spend an enormous amount of money just on these two items) would be a 52" Hustler Super Z ($9000), 54 (why they don't make a matching 52" is beyond me) Hustler SWB ($6000), two trimmers (no brand specific but in the $350 price range per trimmer), Two Edgers ($350), Two BP blowers ($500 range), Two hedge trimmers (different lengths and in the $300-350 range) one Extended reach hedge trimmer ($400), an extended reach chain saw ($400), 16" chain saw ($200), one walk behind aerator ($2500) one ZTR attachable aerator ($2000), A bagger for the ZTR ($2500), JRCO tine dethacher for ZTR ($500), miscellaneous items such as gas cans, various hand tools (rakes, pruners, shovels, soil probe etc.) ($300). I'm sure if money was no object, I could come up with more items. But this would get the job done for general maintenance, not including any landscape work etc.

We now have the problem of lawn applications. For argument sake we will also set this up on the same crew to save the expense of a extra truck etc. Lets add $4000 for a descent tank and spreader. We won't count any start up cost for materials because we will itemized that in with all other expenses which we are not calculating at this time. Note: I would ideally setup a separate rig for this and if I was to do it reasonably? I would use a 1 ton cargo van. But most would start a new company with one truck and utilize that truck as much as possible before expanding.

This brings the total without means of transporting to $30,850. I know it will be pointed out, so here goes. We didn't add any small mowers for fences. In my area we don't have a huge problem with fences and it would be more cost effective to enlarge around 5 fences per year, but you can generally get by with more if you are splitting the cost with the customer. If you can get them to enlarge the fences at no cost to you then it is obvious a smaller mower is not needed. Contract is needed when using company money to enlarge gate.

I don't have truck prices stored in my head but lets say we buy Sean's recommended Super lawn truck, at I don't know $40,000?(if cheaper then we will right it off as miscellaneous expenses that we are not calculating so a little off in pricing will not effect my example) now that brings your total to $70,000. With all other expenses insurance, labor etc. it would be hard to think I could pay everything off in 2 years and still walk with $40K. Throw in the possibility of a shop with a fair value of $100k because I wouldn't want to be unreasonable. It would be a no brainer. I am sure the above has some flaws, but I threw it together because to get technical would take a lot more planning then time would allow. But it all boils down to what the question really is?

If the question pertains to what each one of us started with? well, I didn't net $20K so the question would be simple to answer. I was young, dumb, and full of ***. Today I would suggest that any new startup company that is serious about doing this kind of work should invest a minimum of $10k on marketing alone, or possibly buy a well established company that you could grow.

Now, why should I win :). Because I gave a honest thought out answer with out bragging that $20K isn't good enough for this boy. Truth be told most of us wouldn't be making much less then the jobs we left at time of start up and we would have assets and future payoffs. Success isn't usually achieved overnight or even in 2 years. Most business are happy to just get by, and not fail in the first 3 years because of the strain of start up cost. Then you could always pick me because I spent a lot of time entertaining you on this post :).

03-01-2005, 08:45 AM
I think to be debt free is the way to be, no head aches. You could still grow your business at a nice rate each year if you were a smart business person. Thanks for the opportunity to win a new trimmer.


03-01-2005, 11:50 AM
I'd go with the debt free and here is why.
The nature of our seasonal business is that we incur debt early in the season with marketing, employee costs etc. The first part of our revenue generation goes toward paying this debt before we see any profit. $20,000.00 is low enough on the Tax scale that most of it will remain in hand with even the standard deductions.

$20,000.00 is roughly $1600.00/month and if you are truly debt free it can be enough to live. And for 2 years it might be a refreshing change of pace.

03-01-2005, 01:59 PM
I think that being debt free would be nice, yet like others here have said why limit yourself. I for one would not. I am out to feed my family and make a living. I have yet to find a way to do this and be debt free at the same time.

03-01-2005, 07:04 PM
Leverage is the key word here. It is using other people's money to make your own. Being debt free may sound good, but it means you are not getting a return on someone elses money. You can work for money, or let money work for you. Example: if I can borrow at a rate of 5% and invest it at a rate of 10% I net 5% for having borrowed it. I hope we all net a lot more return on investment than that! Profit can be attributed to labor, capital and entrepenurial action (which is the initaitive to combine the two before). You have the entrepenurial spirit, why not let others provide the other two ingredients?? If you cannot net more return on investment than you are paying in interest then you probably should get another job. Here's hoping you all have a good season!!!

03-03-2005, 10:27 AM
Sure only because I am a full time firefighter part time lawnman.

03-03-2005, 10:38 AM
I could give a great, long answer but, the last time I saw this question was a while back. I also read that the winner was chosen at random. Why bother... Stick the money in a safety deposit box.

03-03-2005, 10:43 AM
I could give a great, long answer but, the last time I saw this question was a while back. I also read that the winner was chosen at random. Why bother... Stick the money in a safety deposit box.

Why bother to be part of this site at all?

03-03-2005, 10:53 PM
I'm just trying to win, but here's my response. I just about already did! When we started out we put all our expenses on credit cards and factory financing. A few years later we found ourselves in debt to our eyeballs and paying for equipment that had broken and was long gone. We tightened the old belt and lived lean. We've paid cash for all our equipment since. It is almost scarry writing a check for $8k for mowing equipment but it beats paying twice that over the next 3 years. Pay cash and be free!

Pal Meadows Prop. Mg
03-04-2005, 12:22 AM
The earning of 20K for two years (assuming it's 20K each year of the 2 years), is not that bad. (Each person would have a different opinion, due to relative living expenses), but for my family & I, I think it would be an advantageous move.
Lets dissect this scenario:
Truck(s) I priced out the Chevy 4500 series with a grain body 12ft- 43K
Machine(s) Pricing of some is??? Guess at 10K each
Misc equip. 10K
So totaling this we are looking at approx 116K. Not bad to sacrifice 2 years of labor.
Each and every one of us have had to sacrifice. When I started this business I took a big hit, now with the winter really sucking as much as it does my finances got worse. :cry: Thank God for 0% balance transfers!!!!!!!!!!
But the future benefit of owning all of the equipment + the potential future business exposure, that has been created while working the 2 years would definitely out-weight the 2 year loss. payup
Just like the stock market, you should be in for the long haul. If U R in for a quick buck, I don't think it's the business for U. :nono:

03-04-2005, 12:51 AM
Being in debt and limiting earning potential do not go together in anyway.

Here is what I did. Started by making payments to myself, $250.00 a month (over the winter) for 6 months, I now had $1500.00. Being a home owner I had a small mower, trimmer, blower, misc. tools,a 1993 Dodge P/U (paid for), one of those cheap 4 x 8 fold up trailers (if you do not have trailer, save for one more month, you can find something that works for $250). I bought a good used 48" w/b mower for $1200 and misc. stuff with the other $300. Printed some fliers on my home computer and started finding work, at this time I sill had a full time job.
I still made $250 payments to myself and as that account starting growing I began to look for new equipment. 6 months I had another $1500, bought my first mower right, sold it for $1000. Now I had $2500, bought another good used mower for $2000 and a better trailer for $500. Almost through first season.
Kept making those payments to myself, so season two I am ready to add some more equipment. I also have one season of knowledge behind me so I can make wiser equipment decisions as now I am preparing to spend more money for better equipment. 6 months, $1500 and now I purchased a new trimmer, backpack blower, handheld blower, and a stick edger, $1000. I kept my $500 balance there and added to it thinking at end of season two I am planning on purchasing another mower and trailer.
Now it is the start of my third season, kept all old business, added some new. Kept making my payments to myself. $1500 plus $500 old balance, sold mower for $1700 and trailer for $500. New balance $4200. Bought 48" w/b hydro, 33" w/b belt drive, $3200 both used , real good equipment, new 5 x 14 trailer for $1000. Now I have equipment that will last me for at least 2 seasons. I will keep paying myself that $250.
I am debt free, I do not pay finance charges or deprecation, which both total a lot of expense. My earnings are above that $20,000 mark. I am getting ready to start my third season, very anxious, I have good equipment and provide excellent service to my clients. I believe thats why everything is going good and as planned.

Craig Leslein
Leslein Lawn and Landscaping

03-07-2005, 02:52 PM
Absolutely not. The reasoning is fairly simple. It all revolves around tax strategy and write-offs. Debt is cheaper than equity.

$20k in salary is something to live off of, certainly, but it is not nearly what the average LCO looks for as his target salary for the year. We tend to shoot much higher. So given a chance to operate with some debt and make a little more in the end game, I'm all in.

Equity ownership is completely taxable. With no debt, any and all revenue is taxed in the appropriate bracket it falls into. If you own everything outright, you do not have a "tax shield" working to reduce your taxable income. Debt is a cheaper way of financing revenue sources. If you make a purchase and take out a loan, you begin loan payments as well as interest payments. Loan payments are written off in their respective category (equipment, for example) and the interest is written off as a direct business expense. These reduce your total tax liability. Thus, by operating with debt, you could easily pull more revenue (increasing the size and value of your business) while still maintaining roughly the same tax liability (and "take home" income) that you would if you were running with no debt and $20k in salary. It makes better business sense to operate with debt.

03-07-2005, 05:21 PM
I agree with the most of the others on this site... I do not think that I would be able to settle for 20k as well. I am in debt for some equipment but I think that because of the equipment that I have it allows for my company to pass that amount of money in sells.

03-07-2005, 07:38 PM
I would do it in a heartbeat. Get 20K and be debt free all at once is fine with me. After the 2 years you could really bring in the money.


03-07-2005, 07:58 PM
Why would you want to have a pre-determined salary when there is easily more than that to be made? Besides currently some very creative financing with extremely low interest rates are available. When you can use someone's money for less then you can get for yours......

03-07-2005, 08:16 PM
Why would you want to have a pre-determined salary when there is easily more than that to be made? Besides currently some very creative financing with extremely low interest rates are available. When you can use someone's money for less then you can get for yours......

The money you did not have to pay back is also profit. It really depends on were each company is as far as debt. There is no right answer.

03-07-2005, 09:52 PM
Yes, because its more than I make now.

03-07-2005, 10:31 PM
no i could not pay all my other bills with only 20000 a year

03-08-2005, 01:01 AM
I would say no. I have to provide for my family. I have to bring in a certain amount of money a month to provide an acceptable lifestyle for us.

I bought all my equipment with cash. I didn't start of with all the nice new equipment either. I knew what I need to get the job done and just bought what I could afford. I can remember how much faster my competitors could get in and out of a yard compared to me because they had the rite equipment for the job. I was so envious of them but I gave me something to strive for.

It took me a couple of years working longer hours than most but I finally acquired everything I needed to become competitive. I just acquired all my equipment without making my family sacrifice their style of life and without getting into debt.

03-08-2005, 10:18 AM
"A chance to be debt free". I'm gonna run with that statement. If you are talking completely debt free for 2 years then the answer is yes I would do it. I would make 20K work for my family per year and if that didn't work, I would find the means by taking a second or third job if need be. $1666.66 per month isn't a whole bunch of money these days but with no debts I would manage.

Now if you are talking debt free in only not having to pay for running the lawn care business, I would have to say no I would not do that for 20K. If I still had to make house payments then the answer would be no. I make more than that now and it would be a step backwards. I don't think anyone in business would take a step backwards without some future benefit from doing so.

03-08-2005, 01:55 PM
Yes I would do it. I am doing it but making more money. The reason I would it is because after two years you own everything. So if I decide to do something else I could. I would not be tied down to the bank. The less interest I pay the bank the more money that goes into my pocket, so instead of paying payments I could start to save for upgrades, retirement, and kids college. As long as I have a good business plan set up for years 3, 4, & 5. It is always better to be debt free.

03-08-2005, 09:58 PM
Well that depends. If only the business would be debt free then I would say no. But if that includes my personal expenses then definately YES.

03-09-2005, 07:45 AM
I would do it in a heartbeat! I have been in retail since I was 16 (42 now) and have dreamed of having my own lawncare business forever. The problem is that I have always been blessed in retail and it seams the more I make, the harder it is to break away. However, I am also blessed with a wonderful wife, who has made the decision to go back to work (she stopped working when our children were born). So I am going to live my dream this year and start up "Kransco Lawn Service" ! It would be great to start it out with a new string trimmer. Either way it's gonna happen. It's bigger than all of us !!!!!!!!

03-09-2005, 02:06 PM
What's the challenge in being debt free? Having debt makes yor brain think. Think of ways to get out of debt. Part of being in business is the all the challenges that come with it. If all I had to worry about was to mow $20,000 in lawns I would get pretty bored. And without debt, we wouldn't be asking lawnsite readers for advice. That would be the real loss!

Mo Green
03-09-2005, 02:43 PM
I wouldn't do it. Hell.....being in debt is the American way. Why change now?

03-09-2005, 05:53 PM
I wouldnt take the $20K a year and be debt free as i owe only $15K on machines/trucks. So at $15,000/24 months=$625.00 in monthly payments. With my paycheck i would rather pay it out of my own pocket than take the pay cut! Unless I could go shopping first then i might take the offer LOL

basic lawn
03-10-2005, 01:12 PM
Dear Members,

It is time again for another great give away from LawnSite. This give away will be in conjunction with Landscape Supply - one of our sponsors.

We will be giving away a Brand New RedMax String Trimmer BCZ600s. The retail value of this piece of equipment is slightly over $300.

Like most other give aways from the past, you will need to participate in order to be eligible for the trimmer. A question will be asked and everyone can provide one response. After 30 days or so, Travis from Landscape Supply, and I will choose the best answer and announce the winner.


If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?

Why be in business to live at or close to the poverty level. Having chosen the path of no growth one might as well secure a position of salaried worker which insures no debts, liabilities or capital investments and still the possibility of making $20k.

At any rate, debt is important if it is necessary to grow a business. Additionally if your returns are higher than the interest rate a bank charges to lend you that money then debt is good for you. But if not, then debt is not good for you.

The Turf Pro
03-11-2005, 06:01 AM
:blob3: :blob3: :blob3: yea I'll take the twenty. I'm flat broke and could use it. :blob3: :blob3: :blob3:and could use the trimmer right now :D

03-11-2005, 11:29 AM
I think the question is a bit openended.

scenario #1
Solo op with family....20k per year net might not be enough for them to survive and make all their payments for the entire year. Good news is that they don't have any debt, bad news is that 20k per year is only 1666 per month. That probably won't pay all the bills.

scenario #2
solo op without family....20k per year might squeak them by for the first 2 years if they are a frugal person. That 3rd year may take off and then they will be sitting pretty.

scenario #3
multi crew company with owner not working in the field....and a family to support....see scenario #1

Scenario #4
multi crew company with owner not working in the field...and some other form of income....20k net this year and next year might very well be enough to help support the family.

scenario #5
solo op company...owner owns another company in another state....(my scenario)...20k this year and next would be wonderful....I don't work the business much in Arizona....I schedule calls and do the daily books...I make a decent net...I am starting up here in Colorado and 20k is actually about my target net...If I achieve this I will be happy as long as I don't incur any debt while reaching this goal.

As you can see, my opinion is that 20k net is different for different companies and situations.

Personally I would feel great about this 20k net as a solo op...and If I ever have a crew or crews...I will still be pretty happy with 20k. I subscribe to the notion of multiple streams of income. My goal is to have 3 or 4 streams of 25k per year income rather than one stream of 100k income. I believe that this is more protection and security...perhaps a bit more work in the office and administratively, but safer.
I don't believe in putting all my eggs in one basket.
You only live once.
Work smarter not harder.

03-11-2005, 12:26 PM
I wouldn't accept the offer! Why would you limit your potential income to $20,000? I currently have very low debt, but would consider adding more if I needed to add certain equipment to increase efficiency or to expand my business. Credit/debt is a powerfull tool when used with common sense.

Little Guy
03-12-2005, 11:33 PM
At the size of my company it's the only way to go. As of this moment I owe no one anything all my equipment is paid for and I update as needed. Selling old to update the new. It was not easy, I bought a piece at a time and still do. It's a short list long list approach. Yearly directional changes usually dictate whats bought or sold. Its about evolution. Change the business to fit the needs of the prospective client. I am the one with my hand in my pocket of cash to buy out overstretched LCO at pennies on the dollar before the bank takes it all, because they blew a large wad starting out, with no base income or client el.

I could use a new trimmer its on my short list, but if not mine works fine!


None of my equipment is Junk.

Thanks for this site, you guys got me my where I am.

Bill payup

03-13-2005, 12:24 PM
debt or no debt, if I wanted a set income I'd work for someone else!

03-15-2005, 03:06 AM
I am going to answer this as if I were not already debt free.

I would do it. In the question it says only for the next two years you will net $20,000. If anybody on here thinks about it, how many days a week would it take to make $20,000 in a season. I would say two to three days tops. If you did that and then held another part time job for the remainder of the time you can be making pretty good money or enough to get you by. I believe that would be enough motivation to get you up and out the door to generate new business so you don't have to go back and work for someone else. After the two years are up you will be able to pick the jobs you want keep the business at a smaller level with no employees or make it even bigger and bring people on and not worry about if you can afford someones salary and your normal monthy business expenses.


03-15-2005, 08:56 AM
If anybody on here thinks about it, how many days a week would it take to make $20,000 in a season. I would say two to three days tops. If you did that and then held another part time job for the remainder of the time you can be making pretty good money or enough to get you by.

First of all, I don't know of any "part time" job that will pay me enough, with the additional $10,000 per year I would get from my "part time" company, that would add up to what I am accustomed to bringing home. The $10k won't even pay my mortgage for an entire year, yet I am supposed to stiffle my lifestyle and income for two years? That is absurd for me! As I said before, I would not do it for several reasons, but mostly because it sets a constraint on my potential income level. Actually it prevents it. If I were to profit $10k in the first fiscal quarter, then I will only break even the remaining 3 quarters of the year. That would not be acceptable in any business world. I would rather continue to increase my annual sales while increasing my profit and pay my debt as I go. Thanks anyways!

Cuttin 7N7
03-15-2005, 08:12 PM
Being dept free is nice but I think limiting you income is just a plan for disaster.
My motto is make it today because tommorow is no guarantee!

03-16-2005, 05:29 PM
The new trimmer would be sweet, and I am at this part time now so the 20 grand would also be great. But, that mean 2 whole years more before going full time. I still have a dream, even if I am struggling. As far as being debt free, the only thing I owe on is my new mower. Two clients a week will make that payment for me. :dizzy: :dizzy:

03-16-2005, 08:51 PM
as it is i am just starting out, i was a designer and printer, but our company is probably closing and i need to support my family so i am committed to this..... as i am starting with crap for equipment, 20,000 is not enough for me to get by on , that is why i will be working more then one job, mowing and ????? unless my flyer's create unreal results, could really use a GOOD trimmer instead of my weed eater brand 7 year old model....

03-16-2005, 09:32 PM
Yes I would do it. The equipment that I would have paid off is 1375 trucks, 1225 dump trucks, 1600 ztrs, 1400 walkbehinds of various widths, 2000 redmax trimmers, 2500 blowers, 1500 chainsaws, around 300000 dollars of work clothes, 100000 dollars of work boots, around 50000 pairs of gloves, 300 tractors, and a 6 dollar home depot bucket.

Since you didnt say what my debts would be I would like to imagine. I may suffer for 2 years but that gives me 2 years to come up with my new improved game plan. The mega payday.

My dad once asked me a question and it was would i work for someone for a penny a day and everyday that penny would double. Then the 2 pennys would double. And so forth. My immediate answer was no. I was wrong.

Metro Lawn
03-16-2005, 11:04 PM
No, we don't really have any debt. We buy everything outright, and lease the newer trucks. Add a few more zeros and we may reconsider...lol :waving:

03-18-2005, 01:57 PM
"If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?"

I would definitely do it. After buying all the top of line equipment, and be debt free? That would be great due to 3 reasons.

Reason 1: With all the top of line equipment that are provided, you can operate your business a lot faster and easier.

Reason 2: Rolling out with top of the line equipment visually presents you as a professional. Who said looks doesn't matter? It does! After you attract customers by your appearance, you then get a chance to prove to them your experience level.

Reason 3: Sometimes you got to give in order to get a greater return at the end. Even though, the net profit in the next two years is $20,000, imagine what happens in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th year.


03-19-2005, 02:10 PM
I realize that making MONEY is the Bottom line as We all have to have MONEY in order to LIVE & becomming DEBT FREE! is a Good Thing-but-I think in LIFE doing the Best Job You possibly Can! at Every Thing YOU DO!-is the Real Meaning in LIFE!--I*M a Retiree & in Keeping My Home Landscape looking as Good as I possibly Can!--was Noticed by a Real Estate Owner-that Contacted ME--& inquired? if? I was interested in taking Care of properties Up for SALE!--that were being Neglected by their Owners!--& as I personally had never Done this Before?-We discussed Price?--as It could become very Time Consumming!-WE finally desided on a Hourly Pay Scale--I started this Type of Work last FALL!--& to My Surprise!-I had only Completed a Couple of Neglected Homes!-when I statedd getting Calls from other Home Owners--in those Areas!--I have NOT Advertised!--I Did talk w/ a Young Feller who just started Out in the LAWN CARE Business--He had a older Truck & Trailer a Used Ridding Mower & an Assortment of other Tools & confided in ME His Business was NOT All that Good!--So I gave Him some WORK!--& Hes a Hard Worker!--I assisted Him in Up Grading a few Pieces of His Equipment--& He does most of the Hard Stuff--& We have become pretty Close--Hes Married w/a Couple of real Nice Kids a Nice Wife--I have made HIM the BOSS!--as Hes Doing most of the WORK!--WE look at Jobs together! & a Few --We simply Turn Down!--as far too much has to be Done!--[the Homes need complete Landscapping!]--& NOT just to Spruced UP!--We have Hired several helpers--for the Comming Spring & Summer Work!--SO I Guess? I in my Retirement I have started a new Lawn Care Co--I*M still the Middel Man that does most of the Pricing--& I hand out the Bills & collect the MONEY--& place It into HIS bank account--& give all the Paper work to Him & His Wife!-& They make out the Checks!-for Payroll & ECT!-- as I Don*t Need IT! & its Kinda NICE!-Seeing a Good clean hard working Young MAN finally get AHEAD!--& Me & Mother! after 40 yrs of being Married! have a New SON & Daughter & Grand Children-- & Thats what LIFES All About! HELPING One Other!--GOD BLESS ALL!--Ole JIM--

03-20-2005, 07:45 PM
I wish i could be debt free plus 20 grand. i work hard to satisfy my customers but the cost of equipment seems to keep pace with profit for a Owner Operator like me...http://www.grassgroomers.com check me out if you have time. Any suggestions welcome.

Green Edge
03-20-2005, 11:00 PM
No, I would not do it. I started this business because its my dream. I love This business and wouldnt give it up for anything.I have set certain goals in life and want to earn them. To live debt free is one of those goals, but to rise above and beyond even my own expectations is the ultimate goal. I couldnt allow myself to be limited financially, even if I was debt free. Just because you have no bills/debt, doesn't mean you should turn into a slacker and let others pass you by. Life is way too short and far too important to let it slip away, you must strive to be the best at what you do, and I'm sorry but holding back when you can do so much more with your life is not the way to live.

03-20-2005, 11:06 PM
Not a chance. In two years I should be netting well over $20,000, part time! A good business plan and some hard work in the right demographic area and anyone could be netting $20,000 in two years. If your not, a jump-start will not save you. The lack of experience you will suffer from going the easy road would most likely put you out of business your third year.

Earn your business, you will appreciate it more and respect how easy it is to lose it.


03-22-2005, 08:58 PM
I would have to say I would for many reasons. For one, who wouldn't want to be debt free? I also would do it just because I enjoy doing the lawn care service. I enjoy getting my equipment ready and thinking about different ways to make success. I like being able to work with people and getting to know my clients. The money is just a bonus on top of it all.

03-22-2005, 10:35 PM
When you use the term debt, you have to put it in perspective of debt to income ratio. I could only be in debt, say $30,000. But my Business net could be say realistically $500 grand. That is a pretty good ratio. It is always good to be debt free, but if you are constantly adding new equipment and employees to keep up with demand. You must be doing something right.

green with envy
03-24-2005, 07:50 PM
No. The oppertunity to generate a profit after expenses is much higher than $20,000. Maybe someone who does this part time would but for people who do this to put a roof over our heads and food on our tables and something to retire on etc.etc. $20,000 does not come close.


03-26-2005, 04:56 AM
man this is the longest 30 days or so i have ever seen :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping:

03-27-2005, 01:35 AM

If you had the chance to be debt free (truck(s), equipment, trailer, etc.) and only net $20,000 for the next two years (net meaning your salary plus the profit of the business) would you do it? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

After having survived cancer and still being under doctors care my old employer would not let me come back to work till a full release from doctor and doing a IV daily for 12 hrs a day My dad had a tractor and we did custom bush hog and other tractor work it seemed that some of our regular customers was in need of a lawn mowing service so I decided to try it as I felt well enough to do it that was in 2000 in 2002 I purchased a single axle trailer and a stealth su tech mower it went with my husky 42 " mower I paid for the trailer and mower that season and a little money left over to start the next year on The city had wrote my dad wanting him to bid on mowing the city owned property he gave it to me to read and I asked him what he thought and he said he did not know I ask my wife as she was my home health nurse before we got married what she thought she said to go ahead and bid I did and my mom asked me what was I going to do if we got the job told her that we would not as I bid way to high any way we ended up with contract so we bought a 6 ft finish mower one that hooked up to a tractor was not pleased with quality of cut after we finished so I started asking questions from other LCOs and they steered me to a scag dealer who had a customer owned Scag saber tooth tiger mower for sale so we bought that and business just keeps getting better we are still paying as we go we only equipment we owe on is a Kubota zd 28-60:pro but to answer question yes I would be willing to only net out $10,000.00 a year but it would probably be to much work for me to do as I only work about 2 to 3 hs at a time and then come home and rest a hr or 2 but it keeps me going as I feel like I still have a purpose in life I know understand why people that retire end up going back to work cause you can only do so much of them honey do projects with out losing your mind Tony J

AK Lawn
03-28-2005, 06:56 PM
i guess it comes down to preferences and whether or not you can afford to make that amount of money and how large your company is. Personally i could afford to live with those terms and live comfortably, you have to ask yourself why are you really in the business, to make a lot of money or to be happy, if happiness comes at a price of less then 20000 over two years without debt then it is worth it. I love the ability to set my own future and enjoy what i have been doing for the past 10 years.
AK Lawn

03-30-2005, 01:00 AM
One word - NO...... One reason - WIFE!!

03-30-2005, 01:07 AM
The winner has been chosen, please see this thread.