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Another One Bites The Dust

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ClayMcC, May 4, 2007.

  1. ClayMcC

    ClayMcC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    You all helped me get started. Now, I need help to get out.
    Two seasons ago I cut grass to earn extra money.
    Last season, I formed a company, got a license, and insurance.
    I bought a top o' the line rider, weedeater, and blower.
    First year in business I expected to lose money.
    I lost $7,000.
    This season started off great, and honestly, I had never been so optomistic in my entire life.
    But, the same thing is happening again. I don't have enough yards. If I get more, I won't be able to service them correctly. The price of gas is going up, up, up. I drive 60 to 100 miles per day. The money is gone, and I can't make ends meet.

    Please, I'm not a quitter. As the country singer Kenny Rogers said: You gotta know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em. I simply have to fold... stop wasting my time and find something to break even or even make a dollar... right now.

    How do I tell 'em... the customer? I don't want to tell them I'm broke and getting broker. I need a letter that explains it, without hurting them or myself.
  2. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    It doesn't matter what you tell your customers. They saw you circling the drain long before you did. Tell the lie that makes you feel the best about your self. Do some research on what your equipment is worth and have a yard sale. Don't feel bad about it, it happens every day. That is what makes America so great. You'll be back, a little wiser and a little stronger. Good luck.
  3. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Before you drop the business, try a few things. Look at your existing accounts and raise prices by 25% and see what happens. Some will drop you, some will pay up. That should give you more free time. Everyday, look into a commercial or condo project. Try to bid one a day, or one a week, doesn't matter, you're trying to branch out. Don't forget, residential has some of the very lowest profits ratios around.

    If you're lucky, you can turn things around.

  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Do you do this full time?

    I see a lack of motivation on your part. You're ready to give up without trying a few things.

    As was said, raise prices across the board. Can't handle the workload that would be brought on by more acccounts? Hire an employee. Sell sell sell. I'd encourage you to not give up....

    Whatever you do, good luck.
  5. ojpent

    ojpent LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    First off don't just quit the biz, Maybe you should not have dumped a bunch of money the first year out on top of the line equipment.. i started out a few years back really small just working out of my explorer sport trac, and with growth i now have an enclosed trailer and mow 40 lawns the first part of the week and then do landscaping the other 3 days... It will work out for you and try not to branch yourself out to far out with mowing, such as don't travel 30 miles away just for one lawn try to concentrate yourself to one or two areas of town!!! Just my 2cents!!!!!
  6. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    Good, one less lowballer.
  7. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,140

    1 man X 50 lawns a week at an average of $28 per lawn = $1400 a week X 4 weeks = $5,600 a month X 9 months = $50,400 a year. By the time you figure all your costs of operating your probably down to $30,000 in profit.

    1 man should be able to easily cut 50 lawns a week and have free spare time on his hands. I guess what I am getting at is how many are you doing a week and what is the average price that you charge? We have all been there and done that and managed to make it work. I am sure everybody here is willing to help you make a game plan to help you survive and eventualy thrive.

    Give us some details and see if we can help!
  8. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    60-100 miles a day? is that accurate? ouch.

    Do you have a guy, or anybody helping you?

    also, do you only do lawncare? or dabble in any type of landscaping?
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Brother, I mix my milk with water before I quit.
    Heck with it, I eat my cereal with plain water before I quit, and buy my cereal at the grocery salvage store.
    I stop using air conditioning before I quit, pull the fuse and sweat like a pig, wearing shorts helps.
    I hang my clothes outside to dry before I quit, and still do.
    I use 'recycled' motor oil like it was wd-40 before I quit.

    They broke my ribs and drew blood, they pushed me to the limit and beyond, they stole my equipment and laughed in my face, I went over the edge dozens of times, grabbed mofos by the throat and still they called me a lawn boy, then they put me in an insane asylum and told me I was mentally done, and still I didn't quit.

    They put me on kick-yo-butt medication (you can't MOVE on this stuff) and on a county mental health program, then they told me my cholesterol was too high and my health was suffering and that I needed to forget my business, that I should try one of their 'employment for the disabled programs' and they offered me financial assistance in ways of food stamps and these great jobs earning a decent wage doing basically nothing but drool at the mouth and I ignored them ALL!

    They will walk over my dead body before they take it away from me, that's my attitude, worst they can do is kill me, bring it on.

    Maybe I should've quit :laugh: I could be earning 14g a year sitting at a desk drooling, part time.
    About the only thing I learned is to not be so defiant about it, but at the same rate if that's what it takes...
  10. Loy's Home Services  LLC

    Loy's Home Services LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Play on player!!!!!!!!!!!:clapping:

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