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  #441  
Old 03-07-2014, 07:56 AM
t-10yrs2retire t-10yrs2retire is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: MidCoast Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishkabibll View Post
Hey Guys! Not necessarily new to the site, but first time posting...I'm located in the Midcoast Area, and have been doing landscaping for 3 years now just in the summers...about to enter my 4th - and go full time. Long story short, I'm looking for recommendations for insurance providers and suggestions on general business acumen, as that's really what I struggle with. Got quickbooks, but my accounting chops are weak at best. Any peeps down my way here around Belfast? Looking into Lavoie's resources, haven't bit on that yet....
Hey give me a call. 944-7711. Im in Stockton and pretty much in the same boat. I may be able to save you a little change on the accounting and point you in direction for insurance. Nothing wrong with a lil networking either...lol

Todd
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  #442  
Old 03-07-2014, 08:32 AM
NEUSWEDE NEUSWEDE is offline
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Location: Maine
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If anyone is looking to add a Walker Mower I have a 2010 26EFI with 48" ghs deck great condition and has the upgraded deck adjustment 960 hours I am the only owner/ operator of it. I am in the Portland area, pm me for more info and pictures
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  #443  
Old 03-16-2014, 08:38 PM
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McFarland_Lawn_Care McFarland_Lawn_Care is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sedgwick, Maine
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Well, here we are middle-late March and still tons of ice on the ponds for fishing. Who'd have thought it. This has been a crazy winter but I'm thankful - pretty smooth and successful overall. Now, any bets on when we can start cleanups? There's going to be a lot of sand and winter tree damage to clean up for sure. I am going through the hiring process this week, which is always tough. It's hard for me to find the perfect fit - hiring 1 full time year round, 1 full time seasonal, and 1 part time. Many many applications, but the weeding through them can be challenging. I really don't have many BIG goals for this season, maybe get a better loader and probably have to replace one of the trucks with something better, but other than that, just focusing on processes and good employees following good systems set in place. We will see. I always have many plans this time of year and then it hits the fan and about half of them pan out. hahhahaha...
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  #444  
Old 03-21-2014, 05:08 PM
t-10yrs2retire t-10yrs2retire is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: MidCoast Maine
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I sent out a bunch mailings to drum up a few new jobs yesterday. Starting to get my paperwork back from last years customers which is a good sign. Going into my 3rd year and with all the information I gathered last year was able to better understand my pricing and had to raise a few folks to meet my pricing. I would say its pretty firm now but will continue to check and double check to make sure. Went through my budget again and other then a few small things im pretty set for this year and should come close to my break even point. I am expecting a bout a 20% increase in lawn maintenance which will just about fill a couple of my 3 days off per week. Thats about my limit right now. I also have a couple of last years clients wanting smaller patios and walk ways. I have done a couple personal ones before and these are bare bones basic so I am going to give them a shot. What the hell right? I think my cleanups will probably start a couple weeks later then last year so mid April?? ALOT of sand this year. Im a one man show so I will be busy. Other then that just learning what I can when I can and moving forward without drowning in debt. Hope a prosperous year to all.
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  #445  
Old 03-25-2014, 06:03 AM
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TML TML is online now
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I don't think clean-ups will start anytime soon even down here in the southern coastal portion of the state. Some lawns are showing partial bare spots but there are still large piles of snow and ice everywhere. Let's hope this storm goes out to sea even more than anticipated it is going to be a late enough start as it is. Whenever clean-ups do start I'm thinking there will be a very short window to get them done before the grass greens up and takes off.
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  #446  
Old 03-30-2014, 08:20 AM
t-10yrs2retire t-10yrs2retire is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: MidCoast Maine
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Has anyone taken any of the ICPI courses at Gagne and sons? I have some experience doing patios (personal) but nothing I would want to sell over maybe a 10x10 garden size job. Willing to take the time for education but instead of spending the money on travel for the courses this would be ideal.

Your Opinion s on this plan? Not looking to get one course and start laying 100's of sqft of pavers. Looking to continue education and build up to it over the next 5-7 years. Continue working at my job full time then on my days off continue with my lawn cuts, clean ups, mulch, garden beds, some small patios less then 100sqft. I would have to make sure my insurance would cover the patio work if not add it if I pick something up. Continue learning how to run a business and keep myself out of debt! Thoughts?

and its t-7yrs2retire now...I will be 55 at that point. You may need this info when forming your opinion. Thanks folks.

Todd
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Last edited by t-10yrs2retire; 03-30-2014 at 08:25 AM.
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  #447  
Old 03-30-2014, 09:26 AM
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McFarland_Lawn_Care McFarland_Lawn_Care is offline
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Location: Sedgwick, Maine
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Yes, yes! Education is always a good thing - whether you end up using it regularly or not. I haven't had the time to take any of the paver courses but would love to find the time at some point. We put in a few smaller ones last season, but in this area people like granite and natural stone a lot more than pavers so we really haven't had much demand. Todd, listen when it comes time to do some hardscaping you are going to want some help! haha. I'm a lot younger and I always have at least one helper on the site - there is a lot of work involved and sometimes it's just running the compactor or lugging cobbles over or whatever - but that extra hand will really help you out. Anyone with some background in construction will have a good eye for this type of work.

......

As far as spring cleanups - ya, finally got my spring newsletter sent out (later than usual) but getting good feedback and looking forward to a good season. Have a few parking lot sand cleanups that came in and a few landscaping estimate requests are starting to trickle in as well, so that's good. But I'm guessing it will be another 10 days at least before we can get on most of them. Not going to be much of a window before the grass starts growing again. Ah well, bring it on...=D
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  #448  
Old 03-30-2014, 09:31 AM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Todd, how many employees do you have?

Not being nosy, pavers and walls are hard on the knees and back if you're lugging and setting by yourself.

If your business plan is to branch that direction than that certification and training will set you apart from other contractors.
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  #449  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:11 AM
t-10yrs2retire t-10yrs2retire is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: MidCoast Maine
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Thanks guys for your input. Jrs. Im still a one man band at this point. I spent the last couple years learning some of the ropes. Mostly trying to get to where im pretty comfortable with my pricing and learning some basic accounting things. Also getting my name out there and networking with a few of the guys in the area. This may have paid off this morning. Last season I had a customer that wanted several large trees taken down and set him up with those. This morning he called me and said he was getting out of his lawn care end of things and wanted to know if I was interested in taking his jobs. He is going to talk to his customers tonight and give them my name. Holy crap this stuff really works..lol

As for employees if I get to where I am flowing over to a 3rd day of mowing, edging, weeding, some small hardscape projects ect I will try and get some help. Im just getting to the point now where im ok with pricing a job with one person (me) let alone paying someone else. Not quite sure how to do it yet. I know what I need to make per hour and if it was as simple as saying with one person it takes and hr it is this much. If 2 people are doing it it would take half the time and its still the same amount. I could do that. But im sure it dosnt work that easy. This year I am going to end up in the black and making the leap to trusting someone isnt easy either.

Also every day when I get home from my regular job I see my truck and equipment sitting there not making money. I have to stop myself from just hiring a couple guys to be running it. Time is my limiting factor as on my own I only have a max of 3 days. 4 on everyother week. That is working sundays before I go to work sunday night. (Not an issue at this point). Finding a trustworthy crew keeps me awake some times. I want my name on this and have worked as hard as I can with the time I have to develope a good honest rep. Another thing is even if im cutting a full 2-3 days what kind of quality helper would I get for those days and hours??

Sooooo as you can see hiring someone has made me very nervous...lol. I WILL NOT fail at this!! Obviously I will have to take a chance at some point but for now I can hang in there. Quality cant take a hit for sure.
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  #450  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:30 AM
t-10yrs2retire t-10yrs2retire is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: MidCoast Maine
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Jr. you also mentioned buisness plan. I dont have a formal one but my dream sheet is: in 7yrs I want to have atleast 5 full time mowing crews, 2 hardscape crews, and several snow crews. In 13 (60y/o+-) years I want to have key people in place that will allow me to sit back somewhat. Atleast Jan, Feb, and Mar. Is it possible? Im sure. Can I do it? Yes. do I know how I am getting there? Nope. but I will!
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