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Debt, Debt ratios, growth

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Nebraska, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. smithf36

    smithf36 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 61

    We have more than doubled our sales for the past 2 yrs and I'll be honest, it has been very challenging. In 2000 there was three of us working and in 2001 there was 8. We have had a hard time controlling profits, etc. This year with the help of my accountant a few other people, I hope to get controll over all of the finances. We do have debt, and will alway have some. Managing this is very important. This year in my mind, will be a turning year for us. I do plan on growing, but not doubling like we have. I am in the process of budgeting and do not have any exact answers just yet. I hope to know more soon. Good luck.
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Nebraska -

    Are they putting your name on their uni's for free? Or do they want you to pay for the uni's, too?

    This sounds like an expensive proposition. The signage will likely cost $500-1000 if professionally done.

    I don't know for certain, but I've heard churches have very small budgets, so little work would come from them.

    And I don't know about the biz the uni's would draw - I've never considered it. Someone else might better answer that one. But make sure you know what their expectations are about who's buying the unis. You'd hate to spend $2k on unis and signs and mow for a season for free and not get anything out of it.
  3. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    I have to buy the sign. Can get it printed on either banner w/wind slits and grommets or aluminum with logo, name, number etc.. for about $250-$300 in an 5x4. It is a fairly decent location very visible from the street (4lane road) about 40 ft from the road.
    Don't know if I want to pursue yet...still getting bits and peices from them. What do you mean by uni?
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

  5. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    4x6 banner is $120...Signs by Tomorrow (but not yours).

    4 applications of straight fert @ $200...may get supplier to partner in this.
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    My wife is really good at this, and I'll try to do the same for you (she helps me look at things from many angles before I make a commitment).

    What happens if you decide to do the fert, pay for your sign and hang it, and it rarely gets mowed, or gets mowed by a hack. Who will motorists credit?

    What happens if you do the mowing, not the fert, and all you have to mow is yellow-brown junk to mow? Who will motorists credit for the shape of the lawn?

    See if you can find data (I'm sure it exists) on the return rate of advertising of that type (something like a billboard) - figure out what dollar value the advertising will be (x,000 cars pass by per day, y cars will call you based on the sign, z will contract with you, at a profit of A per contract annually) and measure that against everything you'll be outlaying in labor and expenses. If it means that they have to outlay some cash to get this deal, propose that.

    Unless the church can guarantee passage to heaven. Then maybe you should recalculate your figures. :angel:
  7. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    Like the slant. Especially when you consider the image of the property with our sign on it. Not sure if I want my company attatched to the resulting image. My thought now is that it will be rather expensive sign if it is maintained in a manner that is reflective of our work. The effectiveness of billboards is hard to measure especially in a service business. It's not like I can say "take this exit". It is more of a name recognition thing. Maybe we should just donate some $ for uniforms and get the write off?

    Has anyone done a community project like this?
  8. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    I don't know if it's similar, but.....

    A Fortune 500 company was investing a few million in playgrounds in city parks across the nation where they had offices, most concentrated in our area. Part of the projects called for engraved paving stones to be installed. I offered our install/design services for one of the parks.

    To make a very long story short, we did much more than we ever bargained for, and never even got a lead out of it.

    It seems that donated services in trade for marketing, unless done very carefully, never seem to work out. I find that I prefer donating when I want to donate, marketing when I want to market. There are always exceptions, but that seems to be the rule.
  9. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    Thanks for the input based upon experience.
  10. CS Lawns

    CS Lawns LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 92

    Im in the same boat and area as you Im in Council Bluffs with 2 kids and a wife finishing nursing school full time and works part time. I have been wanting to enter this field for a while and figured I would get into it after my wife graduated school, but as my luck goes I unexpectidly got called into the bosses office and got the speach of a division cut and yes I was in that division so I stopped at J&J Small machine talked with Tim bought a used Toro Proline 37 Recycler(ok machine but wish I would have bought an Exmark instead) and my lawn care started last April so this is my second season at it alot to learn all at once. Only offerd mow-trim-edge - This year I am adding spring cleanup-fall leaf removal-aeration-tree & shrub prunning already have things set up for some of that work besides the standard also I cleaned up some downed trees and removed off property. Had 1/2 doz residential accounts to remove snow this winter and that did not pan out as you know. Paid cash for all my equip, trailer etc. did not make what I had hoped for but hopefully will break even this year? Most of my accounts came from word of mouth ended up with 20 at years end not much but what could I expect first year out as a single man operation? This year I have an additional 32 80% of which came from referalls from my first 20 accounts. I will be trying a yellow page add if the rep ever calls back and I advertise in the business section of the crapy Nonpariel. Also put flyers on doors of potential customers that dont seem to work either, the flyers I hung on bulliten boards at local stores were always disapearing so I quit doing that Dont know about other LCOs in Omaha but over here its seems pretty cut throat. Not much help but its nice to see another local guy worrying about the same thing. If you need anything email me maybe we can get together and figure it out. Chad - CS LAWNS

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