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  #1  
Old 07-19-2013, 03:04 PM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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I need a business coach!

I am wondering if there is anyone on here that could help me take a look at my business. It seems like this year has been really hard on me and I am beginning to question whether I even have a viable business. I don't run a large company, in fact I am working solo most of the time. Basically, it just seems like I bust my back every day and see very little returns for it. I don't know where I am going wrong (estimating, expenses too high, etc.).

If someone would be willing to PM and help me out a bit, I can send you copies of my financial records and more information about my company.

I would hire a business coach, but I don't got the money! That is the reason I am posting here.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2013, 03:30 PM
southern79 southern79 is online now
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Have you looked into S.C.O.R.E.? Retired executives that offer business coaching for free. Generally associated with the chamber of commerce.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2013, 03:51 PM
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APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southern79 View Post
Have you looked into S.C.O.R.E.? Retired executives that offer business coaching for free. Generally associated with the chamber of commerce.
I have never heard of that. I will check in to it though. Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2013, 11:04 PM
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94gt331 94gt331 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APLUS LAWN CARE View Post
I am wondering if there is anyone on here that could help me take a look at my business. It seems like this year has been really hard on me and I am beginning to question whether I even have a viable business. I don't run a large company, in fact I am working solo most of the time. Basically, it just seems like I bust my back every day and see very little returns for it. I don't know where I am going wrong (estimating, expenses too high, etc.).

If someone would be willing to PM and help me out a bit, I can send you copies of my financial records and more information about my company.

I would hire a business coach, but I don't got the money! That is the reason I am posting here.
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?
Do you have enough work?
What do you make a day working?
How much are your expenses a month?
How many hrs you work a week?
Are you over extended with debt and or personal debt?
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!
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:03 AM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
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Quote:
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?
Do you have enough work?
What do you make a day working?
How much are your expenses a month?
How many hrs you work a week?
Are you over extended with debt and or personal debt?
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!
Say if you want send to me See what I could see maybe help you out We from same state you out my service area But I know how this market works in this area
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2013, 01:30 AM
Stillwater Stillwater is offline
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Score is great , but do not contact them unless you are currently legal.
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2013, 07:48 AM
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APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillwater View Post
Score is great , but do not contact them unless you are currently legal.
I've already made contact with someone from SCORE. I think my business is legal...
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2013, 08:21 AM
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APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Quote:
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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  #9  
Old 07-20-2013, 10:43 AM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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Location: zone 6
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If youre billing $200 a day, call that $20 per man hour. Thats between $15 & 20 an hour to low. That suggests two things: 1) you are underbidding or 2) youre not working fast enough / doing more than youre being paid-asked to do.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2013, 11:01 AM
APLUS LAWN CARE's Avatar
APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efficiency View Post
If youre billing $200 a day, call that $20 per man hour. Thats between $15 & 20 an hour to low. That suggests two things: 1) you are underbidding or 2) youre not working fast enough / doing more than youre being paid-asked to do.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
I had never realized it until I read through all the information in this post, but you are exactly right. When, I am bidding I try to hit the $50 an hour mark but as I said in a previous post I don't have a system for estimating and what has happened is most of the properties I have bid on take me 2x or 2.5x longer time wise than I had budgeted. Simple mistake, but a very costly one.

For example, I mow a property that is not very big. It is about a 1/4 acre property without a lot of trimming. I bid it for $30 because I thought for sure I could get it done in 45 minutes or less. However, little did I know when I bid it that it is a VERY rough property and I either have to mow really slow or double cut - takes twice as long.
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