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  #21  
Old 02-04-2012, 10:26 AM
bcg bcg is offline
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Location: Tx
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I agree, you only need a remote if you're primarily service oriented but if you get a remote, hourly billing is unfair to you. I bill a flat rate for repairs because with a remote I can do them faster than the guy that doesn't have one (almost 2x as fast) and I don't believe I should be financially punished because I made an investment in tools to improve my efficiency. Billing flat rate for standard repairs also insures that you aren't making the customer pay for a learning curve. When we get into retrofits or something super difficult then we'll go to a T&M billing but most of the time you can quote the flat rate and do fine.

You don't need to carry a bond, you're still not going into the house. Liability insurance will be fine but when you talk to your agent, make sure they differentiate between lawn/landscape irrigation and plumbing. My agent tried to classify me as a plumber when we added irrigation and it would have more than tripled my policy cost.
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:10 AM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcg View Post
You don't need to carry a bond
Hmm, that's odd. Up north a bond is necessary for the State to issue your ticket. I remember when I was just starting out, I had to inventory every tool I had to get my first bond. From what I understand, the bonding company, if you stiff the supplier, will come on over and take everything, including your first born. If you have to use the bond once, you might as well apply for the job down at the local burger joint.
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  #23  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:24 AM
bcg bcg is offline
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We're actually not even required to carry liability insurance in Tx, though it would be stupid not to. Texas is a lot more business friendly than most of the country, right to work, at will employment, no insurance requirements for most businesses (exceptions for things like pesticide applicators, etc.), no workman's comp requirement, low taxes, etc. It's great in that it makes the barrier to entry low but also bad in that it makes the barrier to entry low and responsible companies that choose to carry insurance can have a hard time competing with those that don't. Of course, if you're competing on price alone, you're not going to last long whether you have insurance or not.
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  #24  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:11 PM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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I agree with you on the flat rate BCG. After billing hourly for 15 years plus I coudn't mentally make the transition. Fortunately I didn't lack for work either. Bottom line....The customer got a far more efficient irrigator and more bang for their buck. That alone can keep you easily ahead of the competition.
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  #25  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:38 PM
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Sprinkus Sprinkus is offline
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Originally Posted by jvanvliet View Post
Gonna study for that test?
Naw, the grading system only goes up to "P".
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  #26  
Old 02-04-2012, 03:10 PM
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TuffWork TuffWork is offline
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Location: Amarillo, Tx
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Thank you for answering my questions quickly. I'm not new to this owning a business thing, and yes carrying insurance and actually paying your taxes (especially sales tax) in TX can suck because most don't. As far as license numbers go I'm 19918. So yeah it's up there. But of those I bet only 10k are active. So, I don't feel bad knowing that I only have maybe 500 to 1k direct competitors as compared to lawn maintenance where everybody that owns a toro is charging $5 a yard.

Looked into remotes, and I won't be buying one soon since I'm already used to paying some yahoo to be with me all the time anyhow. Also, my yahoos are worth their weight in gold as well. The remote will come in time.

(Speaking of yahoos being worth their weight in gold has anyone figured out how to convince someone not to graduate college and just keep landscaping forever. I'm about to lose the best employee I ever had. Good news is he will probably be my new CPA in a few years. So I guess I'm not losing him completely.)
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  #27  
Old 02-04-2012, 06:55 PM
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Mark B Mark B is offline
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Let him go to college and be your CPA later, then you will wish you had done the samething. That is my .02
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  #28  
Old 02-04-2012, 07:07 PM
txirrigation txirrigation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuffWork View Post
Thank you for answering my questions quickly. I'm not new to this owning a business thing, and yes carrying insurance and actually paying your taxes (especially sales tax) in TX can suck because most don't. As far as license numbers go I'm 19918. So yeah it's up there. But of those I bet only 10k are active. So, I don't feel bad knowing that I only have maybe 500 to 1k direct competitors as compared to lawn maintenance where everybody that owns a toro is charging $5 a yard.

Looked into remotes, and I won't be buying one soon since I'm already used to paying some yahoo to be with me all the time anyhow. Also, my yahoos are worth their weight in gold as well. The remote will come in time.

(Speaking of yahoos being worth their weight in gold has anyone figured out how to convince someone not to graduate college and just keep landscaping forever. I'm about to lose the best employee I ever had. Good news is he will probably be my new CPA in a few years. So I guess I'm not losing him completely.)
I graduated, and now I am still doing irrigation. Just at a larger scale. There is very good money to be made, you just have to do it right.
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2012, 07:52 PM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuffWork View Post
Looked into remotes, and I won't be buying one soon since I'm already used to paying some yahoo to be with me all the time anyhow.
The first remote I had was called a "sidekick", which meant that your yahoo could be making you more money doing something else than standing around, yelling, "fire zone three from the clock."
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  #30  
Old 02-04-2012, 10:34 PM
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TuffWork TuffWork is offline
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Actually I have a bachelors in entrepreneurship, and I love working with my hands too much to ever go to a desk job again. I just kinda wish my main helper wasn't going off to bigger and better things. Replacing him is gonna take a while. Even if I find someone with his work ethic he'll still need to spend a year or so in training.
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