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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Killswitch, May 2, 2006.
What were yours?
How much did you generate your first year in business?
$200 a week lol just did it part time maybe 10 hours a week now we are basically full time in our 3rd year 2 partners each putting 1000 in our pockets working bout 35 hours at most while doing maintenance
I started the 1st year doing Maintenance in June and got to about 100K. Year 2 was about 250K. year 3 went over 400 but profit was way down. Employees were killing me. We are much smaller now and will only do around 200K this year but our profit margin will be a lot better.
Grow slow... But even more important-- Grow CAREFULLY!
I’ve learned it is not how much you make that counts but how much you keep. Biggest money sucker are employees. If you’re paying taxes on them. What good is making 850K and spending 830K to run it?
Total gross receipts for my first year was 10 thousand dollars.
It was a bit rough LOL!
But the second year was much better (seriously, it really was).
oldtimers don't even try it, I already know everybody here earned at least fifty zillion billion trillion their first day, but somehow I didn't
Well I just started this year...last fall in essence and did snow plowing in the winter but this is the first year basically. Im legit with insurance and licenses, good new equipment and have about 40,000 in sales. So far. Thats about 30K in Mowing and the rest in Ferts, mulch, pruning and etc.
I wont be keeping as much as Id like because Im still purchasing things and getting it nailed down. I hope by next year at this time I have a 80 to 100K solo Op.
Im cool with break even the first few years so I dont have a tax liability. At least this year.
I know it is not this easy but try this plan. Double your price-- cut your jobs in half.
Yes -- Unrealistic but move towards that goal and see how far you get. Don't give your time away!!
Good luck! $80-100k in first year or even second is an accomplishment. Especially for a solo act. Sounds like you have set your goals high, just don't get in too big a hurry and forget about things like taking care of your customers or profit margins. Basically, don't just see the dollar signs and do a halfway job. Make sure you keep your customers happy, and the dollar signs will follow with more work and referrals.
I found early on that for me to rely on the financial aspect of the business for motivation is likely a bad idea as it could result in serious disappointment, possibly to the point I would just quit from being discouraged. I found I needed other reasons as to why I do what I do in order to get myself out of bed in the mornings. Not until my 4th year did I see any decent money and it was a far cry from 80-100k (try 31k) but that's just me, seems a lot of folks here always earn at least twice what I do, strange but true at least according to brags.
Did I make mistakes that set me or held me back? Of course, the only thing I question is who doesn't, I am just as human.
I see them around where I live, too... Guys claiming to be doing 70-100k and all I can think is, where's the Porsche and why the old truck and if the truck is newer then why the payment plan? I mean, it just never makes sense.
I seen guys who have been doing this for 15-18 or 20 years, I think realistically those few who have made it that far can claim 40-60k before taxes, maybe 70k or so tops even in other parts of the country this can't be as outrageous as half the claims here.
Not to spoil the party, just don't fool or delude yourself is all I'm saying... And yes, worry about the quality and the customer long before you fret about the money, more will come to those who are patient and do not allow greed to cloud their judgement, that much I do believe is true.
p.s.: I do like PMLawn's thing, I don't know about doubling your prices but I have learned and am still learning that higher prices are not nearly as bad for your business as lower prices: Way too high may be a bit rough but way too low is disasterous, while slightly too high vs. slightly too low just means less work for more money vs. being swamped for enough peanuts to survive.
Just to clarify a little-- I am not a solo act and was not when I started, This was an addition to a handyman company that had been going for a few years. There was as much start-up cash as needed.
The #'s given were sales- not profit.
I did get paid the 1st 2 years but the landscape part of the company did not turn a profit for over 2 years.
This is not a get rich quick gig. Happy mowing and good luck