Hi everyone, I was a (silent) member here several years back, but through job changes and all, I lost track: just found you again... After 5+ years working in Central Mass for LCO's big and small while I finished college, hubby decided he was done with being someone else's cheap labor... We'd just moved back home to Central NH, traded in the family station wagon for a 3/4 ton Dodge, got a 21" Toro mower, Echo hand blower, and he got to work. I had a full time job at a college, but kept getting sucked into various projects, customer PR, billing... I grew up in farming/greenhouses - not a big stretch. Second year, added 48" belt-drive Bobcat mower, Billy Goat blower, 14" trailer and one employee... got 40+ accounts. Every year since has brought growth; we're at 1 pickup and a 1-ton dump, temporarily down from 3 trucks, 2 trailers, 52" Bobcat commercial riding mower, 48" and 52" Honda hydro walkbehinds with snowblower and sweeper attachments, a "new to us" skidsteer, 16 hp vac leaf loader and heaps of smaller stuff. Some 150 + customers, almost all residential, with 35-40 being full season maintenance, doing everything but pesticide apps and irrigation installs. I'm still working elsewhere, but get 5 to 25 hours a week in season with the guys (flexible schedules are the best). We do snowblowing for 20 small residential accounts in winter, just the two of us. The biggest challenge for the business is employees: can't find/keep good ones (and a valid licence is apparently asking for the moon)... Growth has been deliberately controlled to increase quality, not quantity, so in the worst possible case it would be possible to swing the workload on a skelton crew and keep everyone happy, and our good reputation intact. Word of mouth and the local phone book have been adequate advertising. We're turning down some jobs every season. We're heavy on good equipment to make up for the low manpower. The best equipment investment I think has been the dump truck and leaf vac (spring and fall cleanups are a big item in this woodsy area) the ultimate back and time saving system - we were the first around here to get a vac, and now they're everywhere! OK, that's enough rambling for one day.... I really enjoy scanning through all the posts while I wait for spring... Nice to meet you all!