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  #101  
Old 09-26-2013, 08:23 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: adirondacks, NY
Posts: 1,800
Hey fellas, I am 32 years old and I have been in the industry for just over 15 years. I finally bit the bullet this season and started my own (legal, tax paying) company as an owner/operator. I had came upon Lawnsite a couple times when googling certain things but it wasn't until about a year ago that I signed up and started mining for information. Needless to say I was immediately hooked.... I am ALWAYS digging deep for answers and information and it always amazes me to see the dates on the threads... Just wanted to say thanks to you guys that have built it up to what it is now because the site is really priceless if you know how to use it.. And please, don't let these disrespectful ****** scare you away because there are a lot of younger guys on here who are really looking to learn and looking for solid advice as well... I know, I read the threads and posts... Folks more concerned with everything other than the industry and the other guys that only want to argue. But for the sake of the up and comers who really have a passion and really want to educate themselves, keep the knowledge coming! And thanks again...

Dave Armsden
Armsden Landscaping

Last edited by Charles; 09-27-2013 at 05:35 AM. Reason: Personally attacking members of the forum
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  #102  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:27 PM
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Keith Keith is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Central Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Gardens View Post
I've been trying to figure that one out for ages. Seems like the 90's (so I hear) was the golden age for mowing accounts.



........

I agree with that. For us the 90s were the booms years. In the late-80s we finally saw people willing to go monthly, year-round. That's when the 21" mowers left the back of the truck and big mowers rolled off the trailers. A perfect storm. An expanding and better paying client base with equipment that allowed them to do them quicker. By 1993 a lot of small guys were turning away work. $60 a month lawns became $100 a month lawns. $80 became $125. The recession of 2001 was when we saw the first big pullback and had to actually start hunting for customers. Prices stayed pretty much the same. Then of course the last recession, along with a dwindling customer pool, it brought out the guys willing to do the $125/mo lawns for $60 to $80. There has been a little recovery. People finally are starting to realize they may have to pay more to get reliable service. But those $125/mo lawns should have been paying $175 by now. They will struggle to get back to $125. Long-time, retired customers saved us. While we weren't really picking up customers, we were not having to drop prices for existing ones.
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  #103  
Old 09-27-2013, 09:03 AM
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Groomer Groomer is offline
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Location: south west ohio institute of lawn grooming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I agree with that. For us the 90s were the booms years. In the late-80s we finally saw people willing to go monthly, year-round. That's when the 21" mowers left the back of the truck and big mowers rolled off the trailers. A perfect storm. An expanding and better paying client base with equipment that allowed them to do them quicker. By 1993 a lot of small guys were turning away work. $60 a month lawns became $100 a month lawns. $80 became $125. The recession of 2001 was when we saw the first big pullback and had to actually start hunting for customers. Prices stayed pretty much the same. Then of course the last recession, along with a dwindling customer pool, it brought out the guys willing to do the $125/mo lawns for $60 to $80. There has been a little recovery. People finally are starting to realize they may have to pay more to get reliable service. But those $125/mo lawns should have been paying $175 by now. They will struggle to get back to $125. Long-time, retired customers saved us. While we weren't really picking up customers, we were not having to drop prices for existing ones.
well said, Keith. Now compound that with location.
Here in the rust belt where industry has been scaled back and real estate values declined while the client pool was leaving, the market became saturated as "the big mower started rolling off the trailers".
Perfect storm, indeed.
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  #104  
Old 09-27-2013, 12:44 PM
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Charles Charles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I agree with that. For us the 90s were the booms years. In the late-80s we finally saw people willing to go monthly, year-round. That's when the 21" mowers left the back of the truck and big mowers rolled off the trailers. A perfect storm. An expanding and better paying client base with equipment that allowed them to do them quicker. By 1993 a lot of small guys were turning away work. $60 a month lawns became $100 a month lawns. $80 became $125. The recession of 2001 was when we saw the first big pullback and had to actually start hunting for customers. Prices stayed pretty much the same. Then of course the last recession, along with a dwindling customer pool, it brought out the guys willing to do the $125/mo lawns for $60 to $80. There has been a little recovery. People finally are starting to realize they may have to pay more to get reliable service. But those $125/mo lawns should have been paying $175 by now. They will struggle to get back to $125. Long-time, retired customers saved us. While we weren't really picking up customers, we were not having to drop prices for existing ones.
That has exactly been my experience. The 90s were great. Fuel and advertising were much cheaper. I got a lot more quality calls off my one ad. If your prices were reasonable, you got the job most of the time. I was cutting so many lawns, that I reached a burn out stage. The downhill slide started in 2000. 10s of 1000s had lost their jobs in the Textile industry
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  #105  
Old 09-27-2013, 04:50 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is offline
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Hopefully you 90s guys were savvy enough to do other stuff with your money. Greatest lesson I learned was the good times never last forever or even as long as you think they should. The bad times seem to last forever. Diversify, diversify and diversify some more. When you think you've saved enough, save more. Think about every purchase. Not saying don't enjoy life, just find the most efficient way of doing it.

Last edited by Patriot Services; 09-27-2013 at 04:56 PM.
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  #106  
Old 09-27-2013, 05:09 PM
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Charles Charles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
Hopefully you 90s guys were savvy enough to do other stuff with your money. Greatest lesson I learned was the good times never last forever or even as long as you think they should. The bad times seem to last forever. Diversify, diversify and diversify some more. When you think you've saved enough, save more. Think about every purchase. Not saying don't enjoy life, just find the most efficient way of doing it.
That is how I outlasted most every large company in my area. They low balled their way to the top which led to the bottom
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  #107  
Old 09-27-2013, 05:23 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
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I can thankfully say we've never had much of a downturn. There was a 6-month period there in 2008 where we started going backwards in sales due to the recession. But thankfully we landed a huge $200k job that year that corrected that situation. Then I got on marketing like crazy that winter and we've continued to grow ever since. 2009 was 10% growth, 2010 was 45% growth, 2011 was 45%, 2012 was 35% and this year will be a good 35% growth again. It's been pretty good for us all along for the last 17 years. But don't think that just happened to us. It took a lot of hard work and careful planning to make all that happen that way. We work a lot harder to land jobs and keep the growth up than we used to. But profit margins are still good. We're able to raise prices every year. Can't complain. We've certainly bucked the trend.
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Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon
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www.lewislandscape.com - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

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  #108  
Old 09-27-2013, 05:39 PM
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zturncutter zturncutter is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Interior South Florida
Posts: 1,219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I agree with that. For us the 90s were the booms years. In the late-80s we finally saw people willing to go monthly, year-round. That's when the 21" mowers left the back of the truck and big mowers rolled off the trailers. A perfect storm. An expanding and better paying client base with equipment that allowed them to do them quicker. By 1993 a lot of small guys were turning away work. $60 a month lawns became $100 a month lawns. $80 became $125. The recession of 2001 was when we saw the first big pullback and had to actually start hunting for customers. Prices stayed pretty much the same. Then of course the last recession, along with a dwindling customer pool, it brought out the guys willing to do the $125/mo lawns for $60 to $80. There has been a little recovery. People finally are starting to realize they may have to pay more to get reliable service. But those $125/mo lawns should have been paying $175 by now. They will struggle to get back to $125. Long-time, retired customers saved us. While we weren't really picking up customers, we were not having to drop prices for existing ones.
Right on, this business is a constant learning experience, Downsize, Up size, Diversify, look for the niche no one else is working, be conservative with the money at all times. It's what makes it interesting though, always some thing to learn.
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  #109  
Old 09-28-2013, 09:08 PM
Getmow Getmow is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: VA
Posts: 432
Thanks Mike for getting me back up and running!
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  #110  
Old 02-02-2014, 09:36 PM
goose goose is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Birmingham , Alabama
Posts: 176
Anyway to get this back to the top , its been 6 years since someone posted. I have been around since 2000. In 2000 I was doing about $280,000 a year now its between 3.5-4 million. I can honestly say this site helped me get there.
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