Anyone else feeling the anxiety?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mattfromNY, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Having only been doing this two years, and coming up on the end of the mowing season, I am starting to get nervous/ anxious about what awaits for the fall/ winter. I have gotten comfortable with the scheduling of my mowing/ maintenence of the summer months, and have been able to pay the bills plus put a little away. I plow snow, and have enough accounts already signed to justify putting a plow on my other truck so I'll have two trucks running, but I'm getting really nervous with the 'What if's', what if no snow, what if a break down, what if I spend money to buy another plow and need that money for something else....
    Last year I did just fine, so I dont know what I'm worried about, but I seem to get this way in the transition times of year. Just ranting, and wondering if anyone else feels this way?!?:cry: :cry:
  2. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    You should take topsites advice and SAVE up when you're making money.

    For me, I'm not feeling any anxiety because I know what will happen. Tons of window cleaning, eaves cleaning.. I'll avoid leaf clean ups cause I don't like it.

    and it ALWAYS SNOWS in Winnipeg. I'm already getting my 5 month customers for snow lined up.
  3. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    Ya I hear you brother, this is the time that I turn my focus toward getting as much as I can, fall clean ups, aerations, anything to keep the money coming in. I too plow snow but that puts you in the hands of mother nature. do all you can when you can is all I can say.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    Feel it every year you will get use to it. Part of doing buisness. There are
    "There are what ifs" all year around if you think about it.
  5. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    What if it rains? What if it doesn't rain? and on and on...:laugh:
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653


    I tell you it wasn't always like this, I got burned more than once before I learned that trick. My first year we had a drought worse than this one, not a whole lot doing anyhow, I couldn't have saved it if I had it, first's are always rough and I took that beating with a crooked smile.
    My second year was pretty good, not great but good enough to make me think the worst was over, still no savings but I made it through the winter saving THAT money towards the end...
    Then came the third year, another slow one and I saw it but I kept telling myself no biggie, it'll be alright, and boy I took a beating.

    The WORST part is when it gets so bad we compromise ourselves, we might as well bend over and just let them ride us, that's the part I hate. After so many rides, I swore things would change, I just got tired of it.

    And that's also about when the old man where I used to park my equipment told me that story I keep repeating, about saving the money. It still took a couple more years, my 4th year was much better but I was too stupid and bought a 48" in early spring... I got lucky it was a good year but I saw this time my stupidity.
    My 5th year I finally got smart and saved my winter money first thing in spring, nothing was purchased until I had that money saved!
    Correct, RULE: ALWAYS save the money you need to survive winter FIRST! Supplies and equipment come next, even taxes can wait.
    I'm still not perfect, but I'm within a g of having my winter money this year, it's been hot and dry and slow...
    Yes I took a beating financially but I didn't compromise myself, that in itself helps a lot, a whole lot, to be able to walk away even when things are so slow, it's great when it blows that person's mind who was just ohhh so convinced they were going to get over on me.
    If it wasn't for that, I'm not sure I could take it one more time.

    One thing that also helps, you're about where I was when I started to stock up. Saving money was hard (still is) because it likes to burn a hole in my pocket, so what I do when times are good AFTER I got my money SAVED is go shopping and find supplies on sale, stuff my business needs to stay functional... That is, with extra money that's over top of savings.
    First I like to get at least 20-30% off, 50% is even better, more is great but sure it's hard to find, just have to look around: This in turn becomes an investment, as a rule I like to buy no more than 3-4 or 5 years worth of whatever... Now what happens if I use something in 5 years that I got 30% off of, first it fights inflation, second I get ROI.
    For example I'm still using Synthetic blend motor oil I bought 2-3 years back, at 1.59-1.99 a quart (retail now is $3.50+ on blend).
    That also takes years to build up a nice stockpile of back parts, but at the beginning of this year I had literally $5,000 in parts stored. That helped, of course there's always the odd thing that breaks and sure enough I don't got the replacement, but I haven't bought much except fuel, spent maybe $300 on those &$^% parts I didn't have, went through close to a thousand dollars worth of those back supplies so far thou...
    Another example: Just had a velke crap out, I could still use it but the trailing arm needs replacing, welps I don't got the $whatever it costs to order a stupid trailing arm, but I DID have a whole brand-new spare velke, hitch and all :)

    Things like that saved me this year.
    Soon as things turn good again, I'm going to start filling back up those holes the drought always leaves.
  7. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Topsites, it isnt even after midnight, and you're already on???

    Thanks for the insight, there is alot of truth in what you say.
    I am actually pretty financially stable right now, I could live out the winter if I had to. I wont buy anything unless I have twice as much money as I need for the purchase. (I need another plow, I found one for $1500, but I wont write the check until I have at least $3 thousand in that account, not my business expenses account)
    I learned the really hard way about saving, I got pretty bad hurt a few years ago and didnt have any insurance, couldn't get much help b/c I was making too much money (As if there is really such a thing), and had to pay just over $15,000.00 out of pocket. This all came at a time when I was getting ready to purchase a house, and I couldn't b/c of the medical bills. I had to pay the bills down fast to get on with my life. I made a vow that I will never be in that situation again, it is not fun!
    I think my anxiety comes in two forms, one nervousness of the unknown, and one from the excitement of the challenge to not only survive the winter, but to do so in a way that I can continue to grow my business into next year and beyond.
  8. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    Don't sweat it. If there really isn't any winter work to do, you could get a temporary job somewhere.
  9. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    Wow, that is bad, I can't even think that way any more. I can always come up with ways to make money before I would ever work for someone again.

    Give me liberty or give me death.:canadaflag: (this is an old Canadian saying)
  10. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Ok, Patrick H. was on a Southern Vacation when he said that one! :laugh:

    Well, I have it a little differently than you guys do. I have to rely on someone else to do the physical work.

    I think about winter all year round. David keeps year-round contracts, but those extra fill-in-the-time accounts that make up a difference get fewer and far between in the winter. I've got to stock up at Sams and a cannery for staple foods, fill a freezer with meat, remind David of any needed repairs on vehicles and equipment, shop for Christmas, and basically make sure the whole family has things they need from November through the end of February on hand, so that the money that does come in can go to the mortgage and power bill. This is our only income.

    David does work all year...but in January it's a lot less than July. So, I also have to prepare mentally to have him hanging around here more! He's not home enough to justify me going to work and him staying at home with kids...because after 2-3 days he'll get sick of being inside and go FIND a tree to take down! Plus, I would be skeptical of what he would teach our home-schooled child during "school time".

    I started a savings plan with the goal of having 3 months income saved for emergencies. I figure that coupled with a decent food storage should keep us from being too stressed about lean times.

    (Oh, and if you stock up like this in the summer...remember you have to have TP in the winter, too!)

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