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  #1  
Old 02-27-2003, 09:38 AM
1mowlawn 1mowlawn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: southern il
Posts: 44
Small Bus. Management

I need some advise from the veterans on this site.
I have a very small part time lawn service, maybe 15-20 acct's this year.I have bought most of the equipment last mowing season, Trailer, ZTR , trimmers etc and I don't anticipate any major purchases this year. The area of this business that I need to do better on is management. Last year which was my first year I tracked my customers by using a simple ms excel spreadsheet that I created. Since I had only 10 customers last year this was easy to track. I would like to take advantage of all deductions but I'm not sure what I can deduct. I guess for starters I will open a separate checking acct for lawn service only, which I will use for gas, equipment etc. I will need basic software to track everything better, any suggestions. Do I need to be INC. ?

All suggestions are welcome, remember this is a partime bus. but I would like a more efficient way
to manage it, also be able to use deductions properly
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2003, 11:08 AM
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rodfather rodfather is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Clinton, NJ
Posts: 9,632
First of all, you do not need to be incorporated...maybe if you went at it full-time you might look into going INC or LLC.

Get QuickBooks Pro. Great software for really managing your business, tracking expenses, cash flow, invoicing, etc.

You can email me at rspronck@aol.com if you have any questions about QB's. We've been using it for about 6 years now and think it is the best. Good Luck.

Last edited by rodfather; 02-27-2003 at 11:56 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2003, 11:33 AM
gpriddy gpriddy is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: MD
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1mowlawn,

First off, unless you are grossing around $50K, the Inc. costs way too much to file. I do recommend the LLC (Limited Liability Company) it is fairly cheap to file if you use a lawyer, however it is easy enough that you may be able to do it on your own. This LLC will seperate your liability from that of the companies. Protection is the name of the game...

Just thoughts...

Gary
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2003, 11:36 AM
Brother1 Brother1 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Metro NY
Posts: 37
I totally agree with Rodfather on this. If there is one thing you're going to purchase this year get QBPro and it will make life much easier. Will also help if you use an accountant to do your taxes. I just give my guy a backup data file from QB at the end of the year and he can do all my taxes right off of that. One more suggestions is if you can get a credit card and use that for all your purchases. Makes things alot easier to keep track of and with all the cards out there now you could take advantage of something like airfare miles for dollars you spend or get the GM card and use it to build up a good rebate if you're in the market to buy a new truck or vehicle. We do that and you wouldnt believe how much we charge on fuel alone and what those rebates will add up to after a few years. Good luck and send an email if you have any questions - Joe
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2003, 12:20 PM
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paponte paponte is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Islandia, N.Y.
Posts: 2,366
Yes, Quick books is a great way to go. I started out with Groundskeeper pro, and switched over to Quick books contractor once we were over 100 accts.. You can pretty much use any program (Clip, Grounds keeper, Quick books), I would just make sure it had a quick-books extension to make your accountants life easier.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2003, 01:03 PM
1mowlawn 1mowlawn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: southern il
Posts: 44
Thanks on the advise

Great advise !! I think I will look into purchasing QB this weekend and try to get it setup before the season starts in a month or so. Few more questions, do I need to get a tax ID? if so how.How about equipment purchasing, like I said I bought most equip. etc last season.

So far I have:
1.Equipment
2.Insurance
3.Customers

I need :
1)Software QB's
2)Separate Checking acct.
3)Separate credit card
4)Accountant

Don't Stop , Keep the suggessions coming - Thanks to all!!!!
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2003, 02:50 PM
EcoSystems EcoSystems is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Memphis
Posts: 9
Business Steps

I agree with all the advise above. I would also suggest going to the library and finding a sample business plan. I beleive it is best to develop a business plan, but being part time you might just want to review a sample landscape company's business plan and you should get tons of ideas from that source.

Good luck
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2003, 03:41 PM
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precisionlawn precisionlawn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: chicagoland area
Posts: 254
Community College

My advice would be to attend a Small Business Management class a local community college. Most of them offer night classes a couple days a week. That would be your best bet. However if that is not an option I would opt for the quickbooks, like everyone said.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2003, 03:43 PM
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rodfather rodfather is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Clinton, NJ
Posts: 9,632
An accountant can also help you with setting up your Chart of Accounts and Lists Sections (items, customers, etc.) with QB's. Although, I found QB's to be fairly self-explanatory with a great tutorial and help section.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2003, 04:04 PM
barryd barryd is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: KY
Posts: 9
Where are you in Southern Illinois 1mow, I'm in Mayfield, KY
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