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  #1  
Old 03-07-2014, 05:06 PM
Muddyboot Muddyboot is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Leeds, AL
Posts: 6
New business owner... Nervous! Anxious!

Hello all, I am just starting up in Central AL and my head is spinning: business licenses, taxes, equipment, signs, cards and websites. I cant sleep thinking about all the possibilities... And risk!

I was recently laid off from a decent sales job in the industry (many of you have probably purchased wholesale grass seed, fertilizer and chemicals from former employer), and I just couldnt stomach going to wirk for someone else again. At the age of 35 and recently married I am venturing out on my own to the lawn and landscape biz. Though it will be mostly lawn care at first, i intend to ease into the landscaping side of things quite quickly.

I have an Ornamental Horticulture degree from Auburn Univ (no Cam Newton jokes please), but I do lack the hands on experience that all of you guys have so I am open to advice regarding operations and office activities like invoicing and quote strategies. I also browse the forums for equipment advice as well.

I am geared up with the basic echo tools (backpack blower, trimmer, edger, hedge clipper, etc...)and I think I am going Grasshopper 48'' outfront on my first mower. Thats the only decent dealer within 25 miles of here, and i hope to get some aeravation biz going pretty soon. Thats me in a nutshell, so let me know if I can help you guys in any way, and I wont hesitate to ask you seasoned guys for some advice. Thanks in advance for the support--Im gonna need it!
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2014, 05:57 PM
cmo cmo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 177
I have found in my 4 months on this forum their are two kinds of people on here. 1. The majority are extremely helpful and willing to give you any advice that you may be wondering about no matter how much of a newbie question it is in which I greatly appreciate. 2. There are a few people that most likely get aroused by BASHING us new guys that are not doing it how they do it, Even though in the long run we will be much more successful than those type of people, because they are norrow minded, selfish, have a low IQ oh and they love to tell you what your doing wrong and not tell you what you should be doing.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2014, 08:56 PM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1,304
Welcome from Fort Worth, Texas.

Get yourself a good accounting software like Quickbooks.

Make it easy for your clients to pay you by emailing them invoices through Quickbooks which contain a link to pay their bill online through Quickbooks Intuit Payment Network. This is an electronic funds transfer from the client's bank account to your bank account. It only costs $0.50 per transaction.

Create a standard service agreement form that only requires you to enter the amount you will be charging so that you can quickly fill out the form and get the client's signature. Make sure you get your proposals back to the potential client as quickly as possible.
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2014, 09:29 PM
cmo cmo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by A. W. Landscapers, Inc. View Post
Welcome from Fort Worth, Texas.

Get yourself a good accounting software like Quickbooks.

Make it easy for your clients to pay you by emailing them invoices through Quickbooks which contain a link to pay their bill online through Quickbooks Intuit Payment Network. This is an electronic funds transfer from the client's bank account to your bank account. It only costs $0.50 per transaction.

Create a standard service agreement form that only requires you to enter the amount you will be charging so that you can quickly fill out the form and get the client's signature. Make sure you get your proposals back to the potential client as quickly as possible.
Good response sorry mine was a bit negative.
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2014, 09:43 PM
RonWin RonWin is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 443
Make sure you figure out your cost of operation. This will help you when you are doing estimates. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is throwing a price out there and having the customer agree to it, then down the road finding out that you are not profitable on the rate you set. If you're giving sound estimates and being rejected don't be so quick to lower your rate either. If you are providing quality work then people will see it and agree to paying your reasonable rates. And remember, low ballers never succeed. Good luck
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2014, 09:55 PM
Muddyboot Muddyboot is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Leeds, AL
Posts: 6
Thanks guys, honestly my biggest concern is confidence in my estimates at this point. Cost of operations is so hard to establish before youve cut the first lawn. I totally agree with that analysis though, and am trying to work through it. I suppose there will be some mistakes i just hope i can minimize. Ive discussed quick books with the cpa and he seemed to view it as overkill but i do like that structure and organization for sure.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2014, 12:01 AM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1,304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddyboot View Post
...Ive discussed quick books with the cpa and he seemed to view it as overkill but i do like that structure and organization for sure.
If my accountant told me that Quickbooks was "overkill", I'd find myself a new accountant who recognized the importance of a good accounting software and encouraged me to get the most out of the software as possible so that I can become a better business owner who is more informed and has intimate knowledge of the company's finances.
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2014, 12:12 AM
Muddyboot Muddyboot is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Leeds, AL
Posts: 6
He said to grow into the quick books, but Im thinking like you. I might as well go ahead and take the plunge now and learn the system while things are manageable. Hopefully things will be busy in a month or two. Im not sure he has much faith in my drive! I do like him though as hes a small business 'solo operator' cpa. Kind of like me ya know? Id rather be over equipped than under, right? Quickbooks it is! Ive pretty much put all my eggs into this basket, so i may as well go all the way I guess. Its a small investment anyway compared to the equipment I've already purchased.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2014, 01:32 AM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1,304
I like supporting small local businesses but if your cpa is encouraging you use a less than optimal accounting system, it is time to find a new cpa.

Quickbooks is pretty easy to use and you will save yourself a ton of headaches if you do things right from the beginning. Easily invoicing clients via email and accepting online payments via electronic funds transfer will be such a huge timesaver that will enable you to focus your time and energy on other aspects of your business. I don't even remember when the last time was that I was at my bank.
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2014, 05:13 AM
easy-lift guy's Avatar
easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Venice, FL. USA
Posts: 2,073
Greetings and Welcome from the Sunshine State. Your present condition is normal and as expected.
Just remember your now exclusively pimping yourself for yourself. I believe you will be fine, congratulations on your recent nuptials.
easy-lift guy
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