Originally Posted by etwman
I started the company in the fall of 1999. We started out primarily maintenace with very small design build projects. We were never really strong in mowing, mainly commercial sites and a few residential. I knew early on that I did not want to aggressively pursue mowing and we redirected the company about 5 years ago to where we are today. We will stay in that direction. Read The Pumpkin Plan by Michael Michalowitz. Good book that talks about all this.
$0 to start it out. I went to a bank with my wife for a small loan for our first truck. The loan officer questioned my business plan simply because this industry has such high turnover and there's so much competition out there. I cautiously responded that doesn't bother me. From the start I did not want to ever borrow any funds from family or friends. I've very adimant about that. If it were to fail or succeed it was on me. I wanted to be able to sit accross from my good friends / family at a dinner table and know that there are no strings attached. You could argue this both ways, but that was a decision that I made from day one.
The irony in this? We still deal with that banking institution today, and the vice president will stop by often just to say hi, thank you, and remind me that "we have money if you ever need it, its companies like you we want, and trust me were not saying this to too many businesses right now."
Look no one is perfect with finances in this industry, its a beast to manage, but you have to be disciplined with it. You have to have budgets, know your expenses, and know when to take wise risks, or you're done. Its a simple as that.
The Pumpkin Plan by Michael Michalowitz. Another fellow lawn guy talked about this book in this post. What is it all about? Is it about the business of lawn care business? And where can I get it?