Debt Free business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Hoss4x4, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Hoss4x4

    Hoss4x4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Who runs a debt free business? How many Years? Any tips?
     
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,476

    This is my 3rd year in business and its all been dept free. I spent 1 year searching and finding good deals on equiptment and my box truck. The only thing I bought new was my mower and I caught a great deal on it during the off season. I figure I could make money on most of my purchases so its all just as good as money in the bank. I also run my personal life debt free.
    The key to being debt free is dont borrow money LOL

    This business is super expensive to operate and if you borrow money it will surley fail. If your truck never leaves home you want to be as close to zero for the days expensis as you can, their is some insurance and other bs thats unavoidable.

    Be pacient and make the homes you service look good, customers dont really care how shiney your truck and mowers are. If you do get a older truck fix al the oil leaks and never park in the customers driveway.
     
  3. USA Lawn Care

    USA Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    debt free last 2 seasons.
    only way I could manage to do it was collecting payment 'as we mow'.
    cash flow is always there.
    growing the biz back slow and steady but with no debt at all......helps me sleep at night :)

    key is to watch what you spend....and only spend when you need to.
    shouldn't take long at all to get enough cash to buy what you need.
    if you get in a pinch and need more time to buy another mower, have someone else mow a property for you for a month or so until you can pay cash for what you need.
    Put it this way......anyone in Joplin, MO that got smashed by the tornados who was running a lawn mowing company and was depending on the upcoming mowing to pay for their equipment, guess what.....banking on tomorrow doesn't always work. Payments are still due. Don't get yourself in that position. When the bottom falls out of your business due to some unforeseen reason, you will be ok if you have no debt.
     
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,476

    Thats a good post, I used to be accused of living under a rock for these type of comments, that was a few years back and Im not sure if those companies are still on lawnsite.
     
  5. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,203

    Their's nothing wrong with debit, just the person using it the wrong way.
     
  6. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

    Debt free here also. I paid off my truck back in the spring and paid cash for my used Grandstand. It was tough spending that
    Kind of coin. But without payments or debt you can build the bank accounts back up pretty fast. The only payment I have is my Americanexpress business card which I get 4% cash back on gas. I pay it off every month.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. tlc1994

    tlc1994 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    Debt is dumb. Cash is king. Wait to buy still until you can ACTUALLY afford it. There's plenty of deals the CC companies offer (cashback, way-to-save, etc.) but only because they know they'll get back exponentially in interest. Stick to the Benjamins and you CAN'T get into debt.
     
  8. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    Basicly debt free the first 30 years of business, then opportunity came up for a job I felt I couldn't refuse. The total income, with a 2 year signed agreement form gaurantee payment, more than would pay for the larger equipment needed to do the job, so financed new equipment . Paid off in one year so next year should be profit.
     
  9. joshman108

    joshman108 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    Its funny, being debt free is good. And I am debt free....
    Yet most major companies (multi million/billion) dollar companies HAVE to be in debt to start. Walmart was leveraged to the hilt in the beginning years in order to expand, yet look at it now.

    Few big companies can grow without debt. Thats the nature of things. A big company often has enormous start up costs which cant be avoided by starting slow. You often have to jump in head first and hope you come out alright. Debts bad, but it can be necessary (on the big scale).
     
  10. MowingMowingMowing

    MowingMowingMowing LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 526

    Compares Walmart to a lawn care company isn't exactly apples to apples.

    I've never had any debt, but then again I'm primarily a maintenance company so all I've had to buy is mowers, trimmers, blowers, a trailer, etc. No need to go into debt for those things.

    The way I paid for almost all my equipment was buying people's equipment in the offseason for a deep discount, cleaning them up (changed plugs, greased everything, actually washed the mower, sharpened blades, changed filters, etc.), reselling them come spring for a hefty markup (what the current market would demand), and reinvesting the profits into buying my equipment. This worked amazing back in 2008, not as easy now to do this but still do a couple each year like this.
     

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