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  #101  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:16 PM
DLONGLANDSCAPING DLONGLANDSCAPING is offline
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Yup, sad how that works.... seems to be a theme on LS.

Your yards look amazing! Some of the best mowing I have seen.
Thanks man, i think we should make a picture thread of screen shots of our bank accounts and liquid assets. I bet 90% of the people on here have more assets worth in equipment than in the bank. And let me tell you, i have 85% more in cash then i do in any equipment i own or plan to buy.

Just like my parents taught me when i was younger. Every 100 dollars i made when i was 5-13 i put 75 in the bank and could spend 25 on something i saved up for.

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  #102  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:20 AM
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There are an overwhelming number of young guys on LS that have also had the distinct advantage of "starting a lawn business" while 16 and living at home for the next 4-5 years... No taxes most likely, low business overhead, almost ZERO personal expenses (mortgage, bills, insurance, health, onandonandonandon...)

Cash can build quickly in some cases. It's a whole different story when you start up completely on your own. My cash on hand is not even CLOSE to my business assets. I'd be loaded if that were the case. Sometimes I dream about selling it off (and it really isn't even that much)

Equipment is fun. Work is more impressive to me.
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  #103  
Old 11-01-2011, 10:00 PM
jeffslawnservice jeffslawnservice is offline
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Originally Posted by PerfectEarth View Post
There are an overwhelming number of young guys on LS that have also had the distinct advantage of "starting a lawn business" while 16 and living at home for the next 4-5 years... No taxes most likely, low business overhead, almost ZERO personal expenses (mortgage, bills, insurance, health, onandonandonandon...)

Cash can build quickly in some cases. It's a whole different story when you start up completely on your own. My cash on hand is not even CLOSE to my business assets. I'd be loaded if that were the case. Sometimes I dream about selling it off (and it really isn't even that much)

Equipment is fun. Work is more impressive to me.
I am going to play devils advocate for your statement. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for both you and Delong and the work both or you do is some of the best I have seen on this site however, I am young (19) and live at home. And like you said very low personal and business expenses. However if you budget for the things that I am not paying now (mortgage on a house or business related expenses) I think down the road you should definitely do better than those who didn't.

The salary I pay myself is just enough to cover my college tuition, phone bill, food and a little spending money, the rest goes back into the business, whether that be cash on hand or into necessary equipment. I feel as if being young with minimal expenses does have its advantages because I can put a larger percentage of money into my business to help it grow than someone who has more personal/business expenses than I do.

I think that if you are smart with your how you manage your business/ personal finances then you should be fine. The same goes with equipment. If I decide tomorrow that i want to buy a Bobcat and I only use it 3 times a month then its a waste unless that is all I budgeted if for(which is unrealistic) but if I am using the machine everyday and I know that it has saved me and made me money then it is a wise decision.

I don't really completely disagree with you because there are a lot of people on here that are only concerned with equipment and not work or how much they are actually making because I was like that before, but I do think being young with minimal expenses does have its benefits. And by the way I do pay taxes and have insurance so I do know where you are comming from with very low expenses, because last year I did not do either and had zero expenses basically.
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  #104  
Old 11-01-2011, 11:16 PM
DLONGLANDSCAPING DLONGLANDSCAPING is offline
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Originally Posted by jeffslawnservice View Post
I am going to play devils advocate for your statement. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for both you and Delong and the work both or you do is some of the best I have seen on this site however, I am young (19) and live at home. And like you said very low personal and business expenses. However if you budget for the things that I am not paying now (mortgage on a house or business related expenses) I think down the road you should definitely do better than those who didn't.

The salary I pay myself is just enough to cover my college tuition, phone bill, food and a little spending money, the rest goes back into the business, whether that be cash on hand or into necessary equipment. I feel as if being young with minimal expenses does have its advantages because I can put a larger percentage of money into my business to help it grow than someone who has more personal/business expenses than I do.

I think that if you are smart with your how you manage your business/ personal finances then you should be fine. The same goes with equipment. If I decide tomorrow that i want to buy a Bobcat and I only use it 3 times a month then its a waste unless that is all I budgeted if for(which is unrealistic) but if I am using the machine everyday and I know that it has saved me and made me money then it is a wise decision.

I don't really completely disagree with you because there are a lot of people on here that are only concerned with equipment and not work or how much they are actually making because I was like that before, but I do think being young with minimal expenses does have its benefits. And by the way I do pay taxes and have insurance so I do know where you are comming from with very low expenses, because last year I did not do either and had zero expenses basically.

Very well written. I want to start off by saying that to be a successful business you need one thing. Cash flow. Without that, you are doomed. You cannot operate on credit and think you will pull yourself out of debt with expenses racking up.

Being young, we have the priveleges to either go to college or start working. For most of my friends, they are going to college, living off of their parents dime, partying, and not giving a crap for the next 4-6 years. For me, i am doing all of the above except living off my parents. Sure it is most of the time overwhelming and stressful but i am helping my dad out with him not having to foot the bill for my school(which he is stuggling still but gets by), my car and insurance payments, my spending, my hobbies, my vacations.

I have my housing paid for, as well as my phone and internet and bfast usually(im not home for lunch or dinner) and i have my weekends to go party and live it up with my friends.

Back to talking about cashflow. Since i have little personal expenses, i choose to save almost all my money and reinvest around 15% of what i make into equipment. I have cashflow to buy something if i NEED it! The way i look at it, is when i am out of school in three years with a B.A. In Finance, i will have the capital to buy a house in cash, not have any college bills, not have any car payments(because i own two trucks, most likely i will have a personal 'car') and i will be able to either find a job in the corporate world and do landscaping part time as my hobby, or go full time into landscaping with a boat load of capital and Degree as a backup plan if anything happens.

Also, with saving i have many funds contributing to the business but i dont "use" them per se. I have a rainy day fund, a maintenance and repair fund, a new equipment fund, business checking account, personal savings and checking accounts, 3 or 4 CD's, an IRA and a 401k for future and a spending account.

I have them set up to be percentages. So lets say when i deposit 10k, right off the bat, 3k of it goes to taxes.

After that(for example)

-75% goes to personal (75% SAvings 25% checking)
-5% Rainy day
-5% Maintenance
-10% Reinvested
-5% IRA AND 401K


I budget for the future not to purchase a new piece of equipment. I spend a ton of money the last two years on equipment, but i spend it to not make payments but to pay off everything in cash


Im not saying getting a mower financed or a truck financed, because financing is great if you need cash flow, but i personally thing savings is the number one key to my success and to have money in my pocket at the end of the day shows me what i can turn this company into with an education and the right workforce.
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  #105  
Old 11-01-2011, 11:46 PM
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JContracting JContracting is online now
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You definitely have a good head on your shoulders, when did you graduate high school? And one thing I have to disagree with you on is the "having the degree only as a back up". You can take your knowledge from investing in a bachelor's degree and use it to your advantage with your biz, not just a back up plan for a job. Not sure if you mentioned that in your post or not...
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  #106  
Old 11-02-2011, 01:16 AM
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944own 944own is offline
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Work looks great, nice stripes. Good luck
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  #107  
Old 11-02-2011, 05:17 PM
DLONGLANDSCAPING DLONGLANDSCAPING is offline
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You definitely have a good head on your shoulders, when did you graduate high school? And one thing I have to disagree with you on is the "having the degree only as a back up". You can take your knowledge from investing in a bachelor's degree and use it to your advantage with your biz, not just a back up plan for a job. Not sure if you mentioned that in your post or not...
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Thanks man, i graduated in 2010 from highschool. So a year and a half ago. I didnt mean not using my degree at all, i meant go full time in landscape with the knowledge i will gain from a bachelors!
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  #108  
Old 11-02-2011, 05:34 PM
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JContracting JContracting is online now
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Just reading your post and many others on here I'm rethinking my plan of education, I'm definitely planning on finishing my Associate's in Hort but instead of a Bachelor's in Hort I'm thinking of changing it up and going for a Bachelor's in finance or accounting. Which was my original plan but at a college that offers the classes in the evenings. I wasn't happy at the university I was at, I also struggled with the high level calculus that was required for the program.
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  #109  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:36 PM
DLONGLANDSCAPING DLONGLANDSCAPING is offline
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Just reading your post and many others on here I'm rethinking my plan of education, I'm definitely planning on finishing my Associate's in Hort but instead of a Bachelor's in Hort I'm thinking of changing it up and going for a Bachelor's in finance or accounting. Which was my original plan but at a college that offers the classes in the evenings. I wasn't happy at the university I was at, I also struggled with the high level calculus that was required for the program.
Im glad this thread has opened your eyes a bit. While horticulture degrees are great , i have taken a year of it so far and absolutely dreaded going to class. I sorta overloaded myself. I took 3 hort clases(4 credits each) and 3 general ed and accounting classes(3 credit each) I have enjoyed learning about real like mathematics and formula's rather than what the scientific name is of a plant. Also, i have found that i study a lot hard and want to learn the material in finance classes, rather than hort class's . Dont get me wrong, i loved my Hardscaping and irrigation classes, and my soil science class but the ID classes kill me!
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  #110  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:39 AM
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JContracting JContracting is online now
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I hated my soil science class! Lol. But the ID classes aren't too bad. The trees one (I'm in it right now, actually have an ornamentals ID quiz tmrw) helps out quite a bit with being able to identify trees when doing estimates, etc, they're hard to learn but worth it. I love my hardscape class I'm currently in, my teacher owns a company himself (Waterstone landscaping.com) and have learned a TON! But I want to follow through with accting because the knowledge learned will help me with my biz in a great way as well as if things go south or both of my biz's run themselves and I could obtain a higher level accting job and make a ton of money. In reality the only thing holding me back is the damn calculus classes and obtaining more accts so I can buy a new truck and a house (planning on doing so asap with my buddy who I'm starting that second biz with), but the futures looking bright.
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