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I cant get ahead

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smarino21, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. smarino21

    smarino21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 345

    It seems to me that i cant get ahead , reason being

    every week theres something new
    -flat tire
    -flat tire on mower, stop mowing and put a tube in it at the store (40mins)
    -gas 3$ a gallon
    - taxes
    - no one paying on time

    it seems like its hard to get ahead in this business
  2. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    weather is my biggest obstacle. I cannot get ahead. everytime I get almost back on schedule we get rain for 1.5 days and it pushes me off again. Next hurdle is bookkeeping. After a 12 hr day in the field the last thing I want to do is sit down and enter in all the receipts or invoices/estimates from the day.

    I'm only about half a day behind to start this week. If everything goes OK tomorrow with the main job I should be able to get back on schedule, but we'll see.
  3. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    You will if you work hard !! :clapping:
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Are you charging enough and almost importantly BUDGETING your inflows enough? All the little things add up but if the above things are keeping your bottom line in red there is poor planning on your part. Fuel surcharge your clients. Explain you hope its only temp and your trying to keep from just raising your rates. Taxes shoud be figured into the price of your jobs. Insurance and gas should also be figured into your pricing.

    Put some slime in your tires if it takes you 40 min to fix a flat. J-Thomas also sells SPARES! and zero flats. Wise inventments especially if roofers have been at every property you can imagine since katrina! Amazing how many roofing nails they miss

    DAVEY PROS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    My brother and I are 17 years old. However, we have been cutting grass since we were 10. Starting a business, we wanted to make and keep our own money. Today we have grown tremendously in our perspective: from one lawn mower and a weed whacker in the back of my dads torus to 20 full time accounts, custom logo on our hats and polos, more professional equipment, a trailer, employees, invoices and business cards, and our website. We did this by providing high quality work and concentrating on building a great customer relationship.

    BUT - it is still extremely hard for us. I know what you mean by recording all invoices and revenue, and from that profit. Though what we find that hardest thing to do is keep our $, what may not be the same problem you are having. Out of the $14,000 we brought in last year (pretty good for 16 year olds in highschool) we hardly kept anything!

    However, if you would be willing to take advice from a couple of 17 year olds think about this:
    -This world functions not on means but on ends - as long as you can get paid and satisfy the customer, who cares how you run your business down to the wire ( you still have to stay organized)
    -Though it may not work for you because you have to make a lot more money than we do, try concentrating on core clients rather than expanding too quickly. Define the customers that mean the most to you and increase the profitablity of the client by offering more services. After all, without them you wouldn't be were you are.
    -Take everything in moderation. Though you can't do anything about the gas prices or flat tires, don't go crazy. A good solution would be to raise your prices on each account $5. Use logic to conserve. If you define your core clients than you may want to consider who are the most understanding of your work and appreciate what you can do, when you can do it.

    Thanks and hope this help a bit
    Chris and Matt Davey - Davey & Davey Landscape
  6. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    Sounds like my situation. I get that kind of stuff in all areas of life. Just hang in there and keep pluggin away at it. It will come to you in time! Just be sure to take a breather every once in awhile and re-group.
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    raise your prices. unless your.... chicken!

    most lawnboys dont factor these items in with their $2.50/lawn price.
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    dats what im sayin brian! Alot of us started there when we were part time after work weekend warriors tryin to make a few extra bucks. Now that you try and go legit you find you cant get ahead. Thats because the same 40 buck lawn that used to buy you and your wifey a decent steak dinner now buys you half a tank of fuel.
  9. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,884

    Don't ever put a tube in a lawn mower tire. Plug them. Put in liquid sealer. Tubes are worthless.
    Ya lawncare is a dog eat dog business. You have the same problems as many other type's of business......You got to have a lot of will power and drive to deal with all these problems over the long haul. You have to run it like a business at all times ie charge what you should etc
  10. rdw

    rdw LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I know just how you feel. It seems everything breaks or goes wrong all at once. Last year was banner made alot of money paid off the bills and started to expand. Two new employees and an old hat (not myself) another trailer full of equipment and a dump truck to add to the other one and don't forget the new loader for the truck later I am paying more and making less as expected more overhead. However, they break it alot faster then I can fix it and I am to the point of backing way off and just going back to myself and one other and cutting grass. Money is great but is it really worth half the BS that goes with it.

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