It sounds like you never wrote out a business plan. A business plan answers the questions, "What is my purpose? What are my goals? How am I going to achieve my goals? What steps do I take if hard times hit?" and the like. If everything is written down in a business plan, that takes the stress off of you because your plan serves as a go-to guide.
Next, you need to KNOW with absolute CERTAINTY how much profit you pull from each client, and the profit margin for each. Anyone netting you single-digit profit margins should really be re-evaluated. Example: You have an $80.00 lawn, and a $40.00 lawn. The $80.00 lawn is 45 minutes away, and takes three man-hours to complete. The $40.00 lawn is 5 minutes away and takes 1/2 man hour to complete. The $40.00 lawn nets you a profit of $30.00, the $80.00 lawn, $15.00. Which one would you keep? The smart choice: the $40.00 lawn, because you could do 5-6 of them in the time it would take you to do one of the other type.
If I were you, the Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving (next week) would be spent putting together a business plan. Start with where you are at. List your assets and liabilities. Next, write down where you want to be next spring. Plan for it. Then, write down where you want to be one year from now. Plan for it. If you see that 10% of your clients account for 30% of your time (and yield very little profit margin), you may want to stop serving them, sell some things you don't use, and use the money to advertise to gain new replacement clientele.
Several years ago, I was in the same shoes you are in now. I did what I am suggesting. I am glad that I did. By the way, I work the same market you do. Best wishes.
Last edited by Chilehead; 11-15-2012 at 09:14 PM.
Reason: Info error