Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center



Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #51  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:10 AM
USA Lawn Care USA Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: all over the place it seems
Posts: 62
yes....back to the original OP.....had to look back to see what we were actually trying to answer here "how many years and any tips?" was the question.....

debt free 2 seasons.
ran a lawn business 15 years ago (did it for 5 years full time).
financed the crap out of everything because every dealer was willing to hand it over to me.
2 trucks, 3 guys, lots of equipment, cutting about 120 yds a week back then.
Got out for personal reasons....sold it all....
Back in again, paid off my personal debt and decided to carry that to my own business again and simply be patient, patient, patient and grow slow and steady with continuous positive cash flow.
Tip: patience, patience, patience.
Tip: I thought I had to have debt to grow.........my business has no debt and it is growing nicely just like it did years ago.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:34 AM
Florida Gardener's Avatar
Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Humid S. Fl. with sights set on San Diego
Posts: 5,203
Quote:
Originally Posted by willretire@40 View Post
That was going to be my next point. Business is all about checking your numbers almost everyday and making smart decisions. You do that alot better with cash. I am not saying that you shouldnt use credit but I think that cash is a smarter move. Also if you save for something you appreciate it alot more. If you start of with a push mower then you will appreciate the business more and that upgrade in mower down the road.
Appreciating something more has nothing to do with cash vs. Credit. I bought my 2008 wright stander brand new on a 1 yr. 0% interest. I paid each payment with my hard earned money and it was paid off in a year. I didn't have to fork over 5k up front for it. Emotions have nothing to do with financing.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:29 AM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,284
It took me 3 years (all part time) to pay for the following

New Exmark 48" Turf Tracer (0% and no fees, paid off after 1 season)
New Exmark 36" Belt Drive Metro (bought 2nd season 0% and no fees, paid off second season, sold 3 seasons after buying it for $300 less than I paid for it!!)
6x12 Landscape Trailer (bought with cash, sold for $100 less than I paid for it!!)
6x10 Dump Trailer
7x14 Dump Trailer (Bought at end of 4th season, sold off 6x10, put that as down payment + cash from landscape trailer, 0% + $125 fee for the rest, paid off the following season)

Small stuff such as hand helds, blower, chain saw, tiller, hand tools, and other misc equipment paid with money earned by business, not my income from my full time job. The mower and trailer that I sold for such little less than I paid for were because a friend of mine owns a business that sold this stuff and he gave me incredible deals on them. I also got in the 0% before they started charging those fees for the mowers.

If I had done this full time, everything could have been paid off much quicker.

- Get what you need not what everyone else has.

I bought a dump trailer because after working for someone for 5 years I got sick of having to shovel stuff out of a truck. Plus I was able to do 2-4 small jobs in one day because I could fill it up with all the debris from each job, dump it, then get the materials I needed to finish all of them. Wasn't happening with a pick up truck. But I also had other means of purchasing (full time job)

- If you do have financing put any extra money to pay that piece off rather than putting it in your pocket or into something not business related. Once it's paid off then fill your pocket!

- I agree with the slow and steady. You'll get better customers that way rather than rapidly expanding then needing any work you can get.

Last edited by MDLawn; 09-21-2011 at 09:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:35 AM
BPS##'s Avatar
BPS## BPS## is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WY
Posts: 828
Business debt......... $0.00


Personal debt (house, wife's car) yes


Cash is king!!!! I have a debit card for purchases.
NO credit cards. I had to learn the very hard and very stressful way that credit cards are not for me.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Hoss4x4 Hoss4x4 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle of Oil View Post
I'm sure the provability is pretty high.
Not at all. Just chose to pay cash and have savings. The best of both worlds.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 09-22-2011, 01:23 AM
USA Lawn Care USA Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: all over the place it seems
Posts: 62
I would have to add that in no way am I putting down someone who's business runs using credit. And, by no means can I say that the temptation has not been there to go out and buy something on credit (which I would qualify for I might add...). I've simply chosen to take the risk factor out of my business and use only cash which forces me to save $ and actually think about what I am doing and think about the pricing a little more and think of all the options before I spend my hard earned cash. Is it easy? Nope. A lot of people think it's dumb to drain my account to purchase something. But I'm not draining anything. I've saved for what I wanted to buy and with no payments to make, the cash comes right back into my account very quickly. I could park my truck tomorrow and not cut another yard and not have any expenses to pay that actually force me to go out there and pay off equipment. Again, I'm truly not knocking anyone using credit.....that's not for me to judge. Most of the time, credit works and makes life more convenient. I simply am choosing to do things differently and all I can say is that I have no monetary stress with this business anymore and I am actually in complete control of what I do. And, yes, a debt free business seems wierd and unimaginable to a lot of people out there. Never bank on money that is not in your hand yet, COLLECT THAT MONEY AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN, and operating 'in the black' is quite a fun way to run a business. It works and no one can tell me otherwise.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:39 AM
txgrassguy's Avatar
txgrassguy txgrassguy is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: south enough that spanish is necessary
Posts: 3,091
I have only borrowed money for larger ticket items I really needed like a new truck and a shaping 4X4 tractor. All are paid off and have been for several years.

One way to ensure you get maximum life out of your equipment is to shorten the maintenance interval for whatever you are operating. This includes cleaning the machines/equipment at least one time per week. Doesn't cost much and really adds life to the equipment. I still have a couple of machines well over 2,500 hrs and still running strong. Now they aren't first line use but make for valuable back ups.

Regarding appearance, one sure way to separate your business from the low ball people out there is to have clean, rust and dent free, truck,trailer and equipment. The higher socio-economic demographic does take notice of a more professional appearing outfit. Do you really think a family that has spent hard earned money buying a large house and grounds wants Earl the cable guy in a beat up truck and cheap equipment seen around them? If you think No, you had better think again.

Also, never underestimate uniformity. You don't have to dump tons of money into silk screening shirts. Buy in bulk from Costco good heavy weight T-shirts all in the same color, spend $60 a door for decent vinyl lettering for the truck and attach simple metal plates to your trailer (if it isn't enclosed) with the same logo/info. I cannot tell you how often I am stopped either at a light or while re-fueling by people in larger expensive vehicles wanting to speak with me - all because they noticed the uniformity and logo's and prefer having my rig verse an oil leaking Exxon special in front of their property.
__________________
Nice Try = You Suck Spelled Differently
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 09-22-2011, 10:41 AM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by txgrassguy View Post
Regarding appearance, one sure way to separate your business from the low ball people out there is to have clean, rust and dent free, truck,trailer and equipment. The higher socio-economic demographic does take notice of a more professional appearing outfit. Do you really think a family that has spent hard earned money buying a large house and grounds wants Earl the cable guy in a beat up truck and cheap equipment seen around them? If you think No, you had better think again.

Also, never underestimate uniformity. You don't have to dump tons of money into silk screening shirts. Buy in bulk from Costco good heavy weight T-shirts all in the same color, spend $60 a door for decent vinyl lettering for the truck and attach simple metal plates to your trailer (if it isn't enclosed) with the same logo/info. I cannot tell you how often I am stopped either at a light or while re-fueling by people in larger expensive vehicles wanting to speak with me - all because they noticed the uniformity and logo's and prefer having my rig verse an oil leaking Exxon special in front of their property.
I know that this subject you have started is a little off topic but I couldnt agree more with it. I think with opening this topic you just struck a match near gasoline, but whatever. The guy I worked for never had logo's or letting on vehicles but we had shirts and man his stuff (truck, trailer, equipment) was kept in great shape! The jobsite was always kept clean too. He got a lot of compliments on how neat and clean his stuff was. People were happy he had that so they didn't get a beat piece of junk sitting in front of their house. I think I had nice stuff and kept it clean too and got compliments for it also. No one every gave me the line "that must be expensive" or "you must be doing REALLY well for yourself". Why? Because they drive a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, etc... Not to mention my trucks are used, but clean. If you service Joe Schmoe, he's going to be envious. Serve a wealthy client and they don't even notice what you have just how neat & clean it looks.

I know even for myself, who is far from rich, I appreciate well taken care of stuff. I recently had a nice window done and the window company subbed out the trim work. I pulled in my driveway next to this beat pos dodge with so much garbage in the bed and stuffed in the cab. They did a just ok job with the trim but when I came home I wasn't sure if I was being robbed or guys doing work! Small things, like apperance, go a long way. You don't need new, just clean and well kept.

Last edited by MDLawn; 09-22-2011 at 10:45 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 09-22-2011, 11:39 AM
stan the man's Avatar
stan the man stan the man is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 705
15 years in business 10 years debt free. 4 houses debt free. all trucks and all equipment debt free
__________________
2010 4x4 f450
2010 4x4 f350
2011 4x4 f450
2011 4x4 f250
2008 4x4 f250
1999 4x4 f250
5 fisher plows
2 fisher sanders
2010 kubota l4400
2007 kubota kx 161-3
billy goat truck vacuum 23 hp
2011 exmark navigator
2010 exmark navigator
2011 walker
2010 walker
2008 walker
2 7x16 trailer
7x14 trailer
6x12 trailer
equipment trailer for tractor
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 10-03-2011, 03:14 PM
lawnagent lawnagent is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Kentucky zone 6
Posts: 523
I know for a fact that in the automotive industry, you pay more for a 0% finance vehicle than you do if you pay cash. Therefore its not really interest free if you pay more for it. Every time I ever figured it on anything else mowers, atv's it came out the same. Paying more principal for 0% than if you payed cash. You need someone besides yourself to ask a dealer their cash price. They are to smart to give one customer both parameters up front. You would figure it out.
__________________
God does not beleive in atheists!
http://kyoutdoors.org
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:12 AM.

Page generated in 0.08907 seconds with 7 queries