28 Acres...no clue where to start!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HPI_Savage25, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 6,227

    Wow... That must be a hard pill to swallow everytime you think about it... Glad you have learned and glad you can share it for the rest of us to learn from
     
  2. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    It is, but I only have myself to thank. I was young and irresponsible with my spending and saving habits. Things are finally starting to turn around. I've got my spraying license back, got myself another sprayer, a line on a few mowing accounts, and finally talked my banker into helping me again. I'm basically starting from scratch again, but I have the past experience on my side now. I hate to see anyone make the same mistakes I did. I know and understand fully how the larger higher paying accounts can be luring and seductive. I'm not discouraging against taking on these jobs by any means. They're probably the fastest way to build a business. I'm just saying don't tie up all of your time and base your equipment purchases on 1 or 2 large accounts. Even if they pay really good. They help out big time on building, but they also swing a big chain at your business if and when you do actually lose the account/s.
     
  3. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    No doubt it sucks. What he did was what everyone in a service type business should know, is to not put all of it in one basket UNLESS you have a signed contract for a handful of years. At least then you can manage that and take on more work so you can cover everything if you lose the big one. If you go big, you have to go big on a bunch of places to cover your bases.
     
  4. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    I agree with this statement.
     
  5. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    And watch the contracts that state "this contract may be cancelled at anytime without reason upon the city manager's decision, etc. etc. etc." I forgot the wording in mine, but it was something along those lines in 07 and 08. Sometimes knowing that it's a $30,000+ contract will make a man ignore that clause and take the gamble. And unfortunately when working with a city, they write up the contracts the way they want them to read. You can accept it or let the next lowest bidder on the sheet take it. It's their way or the highway in other words.
     
  6. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 857

    In my opinion 1 good account doesn't justify buying a new machine.
     
  7. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,716

    I think it depends on the situation.
     
  8. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 857

    Maybe if there was a long term contract, then you can justify it.
     
  9. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,205

    What comes first? The job or the tool?
    How do you get the (future) jobs if you dont have the tool (other than continually renting or subbing)

    No, I wouldnt buy an expensive machine for one job, but I'd certainly buy one if mowing etc was what I wanted to do long term.

    The OP already has a Walker, why not invest in a mid mount? He'd probably end up using the MM more than the Walker due to speed, less maintenance, possibly more rougher work etc.
     
  10. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    I agree, if you plan on mowing long term and have this business in your heart (and can afford to make the payments no matter how many contracts you lose or don't acquire) buying a mower is an investment that should be made. That's the position I'm in now. I have my full time job driving a truck which enables me to make the payments on a mower even without having any customers acquired yet. I drive local, so I'm home at night and off every weekend. I work 12-13 hours a day. My plan is to get a mower and trailer (still have my hand helds and sprayer) and start securing clientele. Once my weekends are booked with mowing customers I will turn loose of the 65 hour a week trucking job and switch to a regular 40 hour a week job. At that point I will move the weekend customers to evenings. When I get off work I will go do 2 or 3 yards, Monday through Friday. This will open up my weekends again, enabling me to book more mowing customers. Once I have the evenings filled and the weekends filled again, I will be able to turn loose of the 40 hour a week job and go full time in the green industry once again.
    This is my plan. Although I would be happy just to get to the point where I have a 40 hour a week job and 2-3 mowing customers to go take care of each evening after work. 10 to 15 residentials maybe. Then have my weekends to go play :drinkup:
    Moral of the story, I agree about buying the equipment you need or will need. Just be smart about it. My situation is a little different because I have a 65 hour a week driving job that brings me about $50,000 a year, so I'm able to make the payments on a mower even not having any clientele yet. And like you said.... it's hard to go around giving quotes and turning in bid proposals when you don't have the equipment already on hand to full fill those agreements if and when you do secure the jobs.
     

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