Winter Money

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by howardsells2000, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 355

    I have heard it mentioned many times on this site. I have been trying save my winter money. It's tough.

    Some of you guys were saying you already had your winter money saved in June or July. I'm wondering how can you save that much so quick. I'm figuring either you don't need very much money or you have working spouses or winter jobs. I work and live alone. This is my only job. This is my first year only doing lawn care. I figure I will need at least $10,000.00 to get through the winter. That is at least what I will need, probably will need about $15,000.00. I have almost half of that saved. Then the grass has stopped growing around here and I'm skipping lots of lawns because they are not growing. I know things will improve as soon as we get some rain but I'm doubting I will have 10 - 15 thousand saved by then. I might have to get a winter job. I really don't know.

    What I'm wondering is how much money do the rest of you need for the winter and how do you save it?
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    winter for us consists of 4 months, dec, jan, feb, and mar. we save $3,000 per month starting in april for 7 months. when I say "saved", i mean money for winter to live on, $3,000 is not just what we are saving per month, obviously we need to plan for retirement, etc.
    anyhow, we start in april, and usually we save more than the $3000 the first 3 months, however, it all equals out cause come august we usually only come up with about 2 grand to go for winter money. all in all we come up with about 21 grand to live on for the winter, but we always come out with extra, as cost of living is not bad here. we just like to have that extra cushion of having winter money saved, that way if something happened we wouldn't have to dip into our real savings. (plus we like extra money cause we always do a home improvement project in the winter, this past winter we redid the whole dining room).
    how do we do it? well in 8 years neither of us has ever worked in the winters, so we must be doing something right. the first 2 years were leaner years, we didn't have as much winter money saved but we got by. you need to have other jobs to fill in with when the grass stops growing, no way we can put all our eggs in one basket and just rely on mowing. never, never, never, we would have failed by now if we did. you need to talk to your current customers, and find out what ELSE they would like to have done around their landscape, and then convince them they NEED to have it Matt does retaining walls, creates new landscape beds, installs new plantings (although he won't plant in the dead of heat of summer). customers sometimes just need that push in the pants to realize their landscape needs something. and current customers are the best people to sell to.

    so to answer your question, no we don't have all our winter money saved by June or July. It's not a race for us, we use the whole season to save, it's all about budgeting.
  3. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378

    Save as much as you can all the time. This should be an on going thing every month. I know easier said tha done but hoping to save your winter green in a few months, might not always work.
  4. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    have you thought of offering winter services to your current customers?do you have any commercial customers?

    plowing and salting is a good winter income if your in that area and it keeps you busy along with any employees if you have any,i would still save up but that extra cash flow every now and again is nice.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    What can you do (other than cutting) for the customers that you already have. Go to them first. Can you do any type of handy man work?
    Or look for winter only work-- Winter is the time for many home shows or camping and boat shows Can you help tow-- can you sell
    The number 1 thing you do is save, But you need to always look at ways to bring in more income, Always bring in income.
    Can you buy a handyman special house, Live in it all summer and than redo it in the winter. Than sell it and find another for the next year.
    Always look at ways to make your money work for you.
    And if all else fails-- you can get a job as a Dept. Store Santa
  6. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    During the winter I paint, refinish windows & doors and an assortment of other odd jobs for my customers along with checking their vacant summer homes when they are not here and snow removal.

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