New business owner... Nervous! Anxious!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Muddyboot, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Muddyboot

    Muddyboot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hello all, I am just starting up in Central AL and my head is spinning: business licenses, taxes, equipment, signs, cards and websites. I cant sleep thinking about all the possibilities... And risk!

    I was recently laid off from a decent sales job in the industry (many of you have probably purchased wholesale grass seed, fertilizer and chemicals from former employer), and I just couldnt stomach going to wirk for someone else again. At the age of 35 and recently married I am venturing out on my own to the lawn and landscape biz. Though it will be mostly lawn care at first, i intend to ease into the landscaping side of things quite quickly.

    I have an Ornamental Horticulture degree from Auburn Univ (no Cam Newton jokes please:hammerhead:), but I do lack the hands on experience that all of you guys have so I am open to advice regarding operations and office activities like invoicing and quote strategies. I also browse the forums for equipment advice as well.

    I am geared up with the basic echo tools (backpack blower, trimmer, edger, hedge clipper, etc...)and I think I am going Grasshopper 48'' outfront on my first mower. Thats the only decent dealer within 25 miles of here, and i hope to get some aeravation biz going pretty soon. Thats me in a nutshell, so let me know if I can help you guys in any way, and I wont hesitate to ask you seasoned guys for some advice. Thanks in advance for the support--Im gonna need it!
     
  2. cmo

    cmo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    I have found in my 4 months on this forum their are two kinds of people on here. 1. The majority are extremely helpful and willing to give you any advice that you may be wondering about no matter how much of a newbie question it is in which I greatly appreciate. 2. There are a few people that most likely get aroused by BASHING us new guys that are not doing it how they do it, Even though in the long run we will be much more successful than those type of people, because they are norrow minded, selfish, have a low IQ oh and they love to tell you what your doing wrong and not tell you what you should be doing.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Welcome from Fort Worth, Texas.

    Get yourself a good accounting software like Quickbooks.

    Make it easy for your clients to pay you by emailing them invoices through Quickbooks which contain a link to pay their bill online through Quickbooks Intuit Payment Network. This is an electronic funds transfer from the client's bank account to your bank account. It only costs $0.50 per transaction.

    Create a standard service agreement form that only requires you to enter the amount you will be charging so that you can quickly fill out the form and get the client's signature. Make sure you get your proposals back to the potential client as quickly as possible.
     
  4. cmo

    cmo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    Good response sorry mine was a bit negative.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    Make sure you figure out your cost of operation. This will help you when you are doing estimates. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is throwing a price out there and having the customer agree to it, then down the road finding out that you are not profitable on the rate you set. If you're giving sound estimates and being rejected don't be so quick to lower your rate either. If you are providing quality work then people will see it and agree to paying your reasonable rates. And remember, low ballers never succeed. Good luck
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Muddyboot

    Muddyboot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks guys, honestly my biggest concern is confidence in my estimates at this point. Cost of operations is so hard to establish before youve cut the first lawn. I totally agree with that analysis though, and am trying to work through it. I suppose there will be some mistakes i just hope i can minimize. Ive discussed quick books with the cpa and he seemed to view it as overkill but i do like that structure and organization for sure.
     
  7. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    If my accountant told me that Quickbooks was "overkill", I'd find myself a new accountant who recognized the importance of a good accounting software and encouraged me to get the most out of the software as possible so that I can become a better business owner who is more informed and has intimate knowledge of the company's finances.
     
  8. Muddyboot

    Muddyboot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    He said to grow into the quick books, but Im thinking like you. I might as well go ahead and take the plunge now and learn the system while things are manageable. Hopefully things will be busy in a month or two. Im not sure he has much faith in my drive! I do like him though as hes a small business 'solo operator' cpa. Kind of like me ya know? Id rather be over equipped than under, right? Quickbooks it is! Ive pretty much put all my eggs into this basket, so i may as well go all the way I guess. Its a small investment anyway compared to the equipment I've already purchased.:dizzy:
     
  9. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    I like supporting small local businesses but if your cpa is encouraging you use a less than optimal accounting system, it is time to find a new cpa.

    Quickbooks is pretty easy to use and you will save yourself a ton of headaches if you do things right from the beginning. Easily invoicing clients via email and accepting online payments via electronic funds transfer will be such a huge timesaver that will enable you to focus your time and energy on other aspects of your business. I don't even remember when the last time was that I was at my bank.
     
  10. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Greetings and Welcome from the Sunshine State. Your present condition is normal and as expected.
    Just remember your now exclusively pimping yourself for yourself. I believe you will be fine, congratulations on your recent nuptials.
    easy-lift guy
     

Share This Page