I guess I could post this in any forum, but since we mostly do the lawn maintenance side, I figured I would post it here. Not at all excited about this upcoming season, going into our 5th year. Every year we have improved our $ totals, and I'm worried that we might not be able to surpass last year. Last year we actually had a good amount of play money left over, our first year where we actually bought something fun for ourselves since going into biz. (inground pool, retaining walls, 6 ft vinyl fence for our back yard. Haven't even used the pool yet, just had it installed in the fall.) Our business runs off of sheer volume, and it is imperative that we make our money the first 3 months. So I started running some figures, and I see we are already down money for the start of this April. We've lost customers due to death and moving, and customers who now want to become homeowners that push Scott spreaders around. (Also we had a couple of small lawn renovations that bumped up our figures.) I realize we have to make up these numbers, but I'm finding that I'm discouraged about the area we live in. We have never been flyer pushers. That is just not our gig at all. That is not how we acquired all of our customers. We have sat back each year, ran one advertisement in the newspaper for one day, and the phone would ring and ring. This year we decided we had targeted the newspaper subscribers enough, and decided to Oh God try and lay out the flyers. But the response sucks compared to what we are used to. Picking up 8 to 10 customers stinks. I want more like 25 or 30, and I don't see that happening. So, my question is this... When you start feeling down, how do you get motivated again? Do you print out last years totals, tape them to the wall, and push yourself to reach for more? Do you ever just reach a point where you realize you probably won't make much more? I say every year you have to increase your totals due to rising costs or else the business isn't going to succeed. How do you turn it around and get out of the dumps?