I Need Money!!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DreamBig:LiveBigger, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. DreamBig:LiveBigger

    DreamBig:LiveBigger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Hello everyone, I hope you're all enjoying your winter. I am rathered stressed out at the moment. You see I have all these visions in my head and on paper about what I want to do with my business. The only thing is I lack the funding required for my ideas. I'm 22 years old and I don't have the greatest credit due to a mistake on circuit city's behalf. I am disputing the claims they have made on my credit report, but till I get it cleared my credit is not good enough to impress a lender. I currently own a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500; 2 60" Exmark Lazer Zs: one with 1100 hours, the other with 400 hours; an Exmark Metro 48"; 16' trailer; and all the other odds and ends required to run a mowing crew. Everything is paid for completely and I know I have enough to run a successful crew that can mow anywhere from 120-150 lawns. The reason I need funding is because I want to offer more than just mowing. I want to do mulching, aerating, lawn applications, clean-ups, weekly weed control, etc. I can't do that with just the one truck and I have spent most my money on the equipment that I have. I want to become a full service company so the customer uses me over and over.
    I know I will make money with the equipment I have now and will be able to afford more equipment down the road, but I'm looking to raise capital before the season starts back up so I don't miss out on the Spring rush. Any ideas on how I can raise money? I was going to ask my father for some help but him and my mom are getting a divorce and he is alreay giving up half his belongings. I don't think it would be a good time to hit him up for a loan. I know a few older gentlemen that are rather wealthy but I don't know how to approach them. I've tried all the banks and they all say the samething. Any ideas on how I can get someone to invest in me?
     
  2. Crewcutlawncare

    Crewcutlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Well you can still do all of those things, you will just have to rent them for now. Everyone starts out small, unless you are rich, or you know someone who is rich to help you get started. It will all come together in time. I know exactly how you feel because I am only 16 years old, and I am already thinking a lot higher than you are. I'm like "oh well I need to get a dump truck, a trailer, exmark, etc. etc. So just try and have some patience. I know it's hard. Trust me.
     
  3. DSIM

    DSIM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    Insted of trying to mow and blow as many lawns as you can you could scale back and be a full service provider to the existing accounts you have now.<p>

    Thats what I do and with 1 truck and trailer. I dont have that many accounts but I fully service them and that makes up the difference.
     
  4. slebeau20

    slebeau20 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 103

    If you would make out a detailed business plan for the bank you would be more likely to get the loan. The plan will show them the direction your wanting to take your company. With this you'll be able to explain the reason behind certain equipment needs. One thing to remember the more detail the plan the easier it will be for the bank to say yes. I been lucky I've been able to afford everything that I have bought so far. This year I'm looking to be in the same boat. I believe I'm going to need $25,000 in equipment this year. Plus hiring on one to two people. But, trust me I'm glad I'm having this problem.
     
  5. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    Why not just mow this year, and make some good money, be disciplined and save, then you will never need a bank you can be self funded. How many accounts do you have now? What are your current revenue expectations. What do you think you will net at the end of this season if you pay yourself, pay the help, and pay the business's expenses. If you are going to have enough money left over why not wait a year. If there is one thing I have learned in business it is take your time and never be in a hurry for anything especially when it involves money. Also, you are very young no reason to be in a hurry to make iut happen.
     
  6. DreamBig:LiveBigger

    DreamBig:LiveBigger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I have 80 existing customers. All are weekly mowing customers and some have me mulch and do other misc. jobs. What I'm really looking for is to run 2 seperate crews. One that is strictly there for mowing and the other crew for mulching, trimming, weeding, lawn apps., aerating, etc. I would like to have this by this year but I'm thinking now that maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to stay with one truck for this year and then accumulate capital and add on the following year. Like I said, I'm 22 and I'm very ambitious. That can either be my greatest strength or my greatest weakness. I think I just had a huge wake up call, and taking on more than I can handle right now would lead to failure.

    Another idea I had floating around in my head was to have all my existing clients sign a "Service Agreement" a.k.a Contract. I will provide more services to fewer customers. My ideal set up would be 100 mowing customers, 50 mulching, 75-100 lawn apps, 50 clean ups, 50 core aeration, and 50 people on a weekly weed control program. If I can get contracts for this amount of work I will do pretty well for the year. At least that is what it says on paper. Is that realistic or am I just dreaming here? Keep in mind I have just one truck. I will also hire the required workers needed and pray that it is good help, because that is all you can really do when it comes to hiring people for this kind of work. I figure I can do all this with 2-3 employees. Am I out of my mind here or is this doable? I personally believe I will be able to do this and when it comes down to it, that is all that really matters but I do value each and every opinion given to me. Thank you guys for your replies.
     
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569


    Sorry, but all the good business plans in the world won't help a 22 year old with bad credit get a loan from any bank.
     
  8. the ace

    the ace LawnSite Member
    from usa
    Posts: 147

    Sounds like you should tighten up your boot straps and pound the pavement with flyers to stir up some business. I know it's winter and all but after pushing about 300 flyers the other day I did get several people wanting leaf clean ups, three want the whole package of year round services! I'm going to hit some more neighborhoods with flyers this week, this mild winter seems to have people thinking spring thoughts early!
     
  9. slebeau20

    slebeau20 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 103

    The other thing that would help, is if you had contracts in hand. Banks would then see the money flow. Great business plans will get you loans, the question is a what rate.
     
  10. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    What would you rather do, go in debt or wait an extra year before you expand?

    You've been in business and have a nice size route, you shouldn't be procrastinating and wanting to expand a couple of months before the start of the season, this should of been in progress all year in my opinion. You should of been saving so you would have the capitol to buy everything and be ready for the season. Now your trying to rush and get it all set up and could ultimately lead to failure as you said.

    I rushed into everything last year, I wasn't sure I would start up last year then last second said I would and had to scramble to get everything going and it was already the start of the season by the time i got out, lead to a horrible season. So thats why I wouldn't try to take on something like your saying this soon before the season.
     

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