I know there is a forum for intro's, however, since this is the place where I will be posting the most often... Hello! I'm new to this board, so I wanted to introduce myself. I am a high school landscape horticulture teacher and have been so for 11 years. I hold a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Education and Horticultural Science and I am National Board Certified to teach in my subject area. I am a NC registered landscape contractor, NC certified plant professional and I am a licensed pesticide applicator. I have been in business for 10 years and I have a total of 20 years experience. I am also insured. Several years ago, I decided to downsize to where I could manage things alone ( my son was younger then). At that time, I was running two crews of three. However, I only had 15 lawn maintenance accounts. We mostly did landscaping. I still work on my own. I use sub-contractors often and SOMETIMES have one or two of my students help me put out mulch or do something small ( my accountant calls it "day labor"). Over the years, I have come to a simple conclusion. It's not how much you do, it's how well you do it. I still do my own maintenance accounts (only 5). These 5 generate more than another teacher's salary per month. My students always want to know how to make good money without a lot of accounts. The answers is: Make your customer feel like they are the first on your list- BECAUSE THEY ARE! Take time to answer questions and communicate with your clients. The money will follow. As far as lanscaping, I design using Dynascape and Photoscape software and print them out on a HP Designjet 500. I use insured subs for jobs out of my equipment range. In closing, I would like to say to all new landscapers- Becoming a great landscaper takes time, practice and education (whether schooling or on the job training). Don't be overwhelmed with the pics of fancy machinery. You have to start somewhere. Remember, landscaping and maintenance is sometimes like golf- expensive and fashionable clubs do not make the golfer any better- only practice. Thanks and happy landscaping!