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Old 07-20-2013, 09:21 AM
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 584
Originally Posted by 94gt331 View Post
I take a look at your information if you want to pm me stuff. I'm not the best for advice I struggle also but maybe I can help alittle bit.
First thing first what do you struggle the most with? It is hard to pinpoint one single thing, I struggle with a lot of different aspects.
Do you have enough work? Yes and no. I have enough work to keep me pretty busy but I don't have enough work to make as much as I would like/need to. I currently mow 4 cemeteries (1 small, 3 large (over 5 acres each) and around 20 yards.
What do you make a day working? Depends upon what I am doing, obviously, but a typical day I make around $200 average.
How much are your expenses a month? It depends, but my expenses generally run $2-3,000 per month. My expenses take about 54% of my gross income.
How many hrs you work a week? I typically work about 30-40 hours a week mowing, spend about 5 hours a week in the shop doing repairs and maintenance, and 8-10 hours a week doing administrative/office work. For example, this has been a busy week. It is now saturday, I already have worked 49 hours so far this week and I have at least a half day of mowing left to do.
Are you over extended with debt and or personal debt? I have very minimal business debt (a few thousand dollars, and I wish I didn't have that but I got in a pinch and had to get a little credit to get out). As far as personal debt goes, I am pretty deep in debt (Mostly student loans but have a few credit cards, etc.).
I honestly think being solo is the best bet financially I feel, especially if you have low overhead. You should be able to do well if your busy enough. Let's hear some info so we can give you some advice. Will be nice!
After considering it, I guess I don't really need to PM anyone, because I don't have anything to hide. So let me give you some more information. Thus far this year I have made around $18,000 (around $12,000 in maintenance and $6,000 in installation services). That is more than I have made in prior years already and I still have a few months to go plus winter time income. So I am feeling pretty good about that, I only wish that number was quite a bit higher.

So part of my dilema is, that is not a lot of income (I'll probably gross about $22-24,000 by the end of the year). Earlier I said my expenses were about 54% so, even if I took everything that was left I would bring home about $10-11,000 for the year. That is not enough. It doesn't cost me a lot to live but I need to bring home at least $24,000 per year. My problem is I don't know how to get from here to there. As said earlier, I am already working long hours so I can't hardly take on any more work without getting help (which opens up a whole different can of worms). It seems like if I am busy all the time but not making enough money then I probably bid jobs too low. I have done quite a bit of research and I "thought" I was pretty close on my pricing to keep competitive. I don't know if I was and I still don't know. I know I get quite a few of the jobs I bid, but that doesn't mean anything. Not to mention, I have no cash reserves to cover any emergencies that would come up and I don't have any money saved up to replace equipment.

I do not have any systems in place within my business (for estimating, etc.) because I don't know how to create systems within my company. I do not have a business plan because I don't know how to make one for my company (I was a business major in college so I know how to do one, just not for my own company). I don't have any marketing strategy. I don't even have any advertising because I can't afford it. I did advertise quite a bit in the spring, but I don't have that now.

Here is what my financials look like:

$6,300 in installation income, $11,700 maintenance income for a total income of $18,174. I have a COGS of $2,108 so my gross profit is $16,066. Moving on to expenses,

Advertising - $654
Bank fees - $83
Contract labor - $1959
Equipment Rentals - $118
Fuel - $2,347
Handheld Expenses - $187.37
Insurance Expense - $395
Mower Expenses - $268
Office Supplies - $237
Tools - $107.98
Trailer Expenses - $285
Truck Expenses - $302
Total Expenses: $9,119

Basically, I don't know where to go from here. I want to grow my business, but I don't know how. I want to be able to survive financially without coming home so wore out I can't get out of my recliner to spend time with my 14 month old son. Nobody ever told me it would be easy to run a business, but nobody told me it would be this hard either.

Thanks guys.
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