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Old 03-02-2010, 05:36 PM
LwnmwrMan22 LwnmwrMan22 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by meicher806 View Post

I can and will say that i am currently 1 or 2 payments from going under, I can also say that there is work being done to right the problem. My problems were non existant untill I was in a accident, well actually 2. accident #1, In 2007 I was cutting a log at our shop, the saw jumped out of the log and into my foot.
Here is the thread from August 2008 when I broke my foot....

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=241193

It's now March of 2010 and I am still feeling the effects of hiring two VERY VERY good employees.

I crunched all of the numbers, and figured I could pay the guys each $17 / hour. Again, these were two top notch ANYONE would want to have working for them. One was 18 and just out of highschool, the other was laid off 1 week before I broke my foot.

What I didn't really plan on was all of the issues. "Where'd the trimmer go?" "How did that 12" x 6" dent get in the tailgate?" "How did you bend the rear bumper pulling the trailer?" "What do you mean the truck is on its side?"

It got to the point where I could no longer have employees working for me. They knew that money was going to be tight as wages were not in the business plan at that time, but after I broke my foot, I realized how nice it was to come home at 4-5 pm instead of 9-10 pm every night. Start at 8 am instead of rolling out of bed at 4:30 am.

They knew I was paying them a VERY good wage for just cutting grass, because they were good guys and I wanted them to be able to live on the wage I was paying them. I even took out a $35k loan to pay wages for the 2008-2009 winter for them to help me triple my firewood sales.

The bottom fell out of the firewood. Firewood in this area had been going for $350 - 400 a full cord, now it was down to $175. We started getting an influx of guys plowing for $40-45 / hour, 1/4 hour minimums.

If I wouldn't have had to incur all of the "dumb" expenses, I could have struggled and gotten by. Even with those expenses, I kept the guys on for about 2-3 months longer than I should have.

I got behind with payments and now I'm playing catchup. I'm not using any more credit either, so not only am I playing catchup, but all repairs, fuel, salt (winter work) I'm paying cash for.

One other thing, when you start living check to check like I am, you can't have customers slow pay you out of nowhere, which is what's happening.

Customers that I've had for 10+ years are now going 45-60 days on work that's already been done and invoiced. I have a good friend that's got about $10k outstanding yet from work done last summer.

I'm slowly trying to get debt free. Next month I'll have both a mower and trailer paid off ($800 in payments gone) and then about every 4 months for the next 4 years I'll lose another $400 / month payment on average.

It's a complete struggle right now.
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