Can't sleep

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cpritch, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I have been engrossing myself into this website, books, pretty much everything I can get my hands on. The one thing I know for absolute certainty at this point is I have a sh** load to learn. I think I have read almost every thread on this site. Well, every thread that has been posted within the last month and I have to say, some of you guys just knock my socks off. Some of you just make me laugh - in a very good way.

    I am stressing out, huge. I want to do this more than anything, and I am going to do it. But I want to do it right and I think it's really important to do a reality check. And my reality check is what is keeping me up at night. I read these posts about figuring out your costs, insurance, attorneys, CPA's, solo op's versus employees and I know that this is all extremely important, no, critical. And I'm trying to do all of this (with exception of the employee thing). But I've never run a business before, top to bottom. How do I figure out how much gas I use in a day?? How do I figure out what my marketing costs are PER JOB? Yes, I'm meeting w/my accountant in a couple of weeks and I'm sure he'll explain this to me, but these are the things that keep me up. Then I read posts where people are advising these younger guys to go to college so they don't end up cutting grass for the rest of their lives and I think "What in the Hell am I doing???" I have a college degree and the only thing I can think of is cutting grass/landscaping for the rest of my life.

    The point - maybe I'm putting to much thought into this, maybe not. But at this point I'm second guessing my marketing materials, the truck I've bought and the equipment that I have or am planning to purchase. I'm on a major swing. One day I think "I'm going to get enough accounts and I'm going to kick ass" and then the next day I'm not going to get any. I've been driving my husband nuts so I thought it best to vent to the pros.:blob4: Sorry. . .

    Sheshovel - I am taking your advice to heart and starting slow. I have already turned down three landscaping jobs, but I have taken two, two that can be done prior to full mowing season kicking in and they are smaller jobs. I won't be taking any landscape jobs this season, aside from maintenance and some plantings in existing beds.

    Anyway, I'm probably going about this the wrong way, judging from what I've read so far, but I'm meeting w/the bank this week to get financing to buy two commercial mowers. I have everything else and our finances, at this time, don't allow for me to go out and spend several grand on additional mowers (I am currently the proud owner of two 21" mowers, I know, you're cringing right now. . .). I won't actually pull the trigger on the mowers until I have what I need in contracts for the season to feel comfortable doing it.

    For those of you that have actually read my rambling, venting, 'God Help Me' post, you ROCK.

    I guess the main point is, thank you. Seriously, thank you, everyone for all of your posts. I cannot tell you how much you have taught me in a very short period of time, even BobbyGedd. Bobby - not to call you out or anything, but it's called "Major Medical". GET IT.:p
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Your welcome.:waving: .don't worry:nono: you will be fine
    Don't let things get to complicated..just get out there and do it and work it hard with a good attitude and you will do great.Keep your head up and your eyes wide open and go for it..
    I have faith in you.:blob1: :blob1: :blob1:
    Good luck in all your future endeavors.
    .and don't hesitate to ask here for help anytime you need it.
    but you will need to sleep sometime!

  3. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    First off, good luck with your new venture. If you are going to finance you could go the bank route, or even the dealer may offer a good finance program. I think that Exmark is running a 12 month 0% 0 payment.

    The one thing about numbers is that everyone is going to be different. Gas, is one of those numbers that you will have to create a baseline for. Your accountant should put you on the right track. As far as not stressing, good luck with that. I am anxious for 2006 season as well.

    Just: Don't over spend, grow only as fast as your company handle (sustainable growth), and know that there are going to be days that really stink (but that is a part of having your own business), and take the time to enjoy it.
  4. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Sheshovel - thank you - you know your stuff and I get a lot from your posts. And for the record, I think your avatar kicks a**. :)

    Trinity - I have looked at going through the dealer, and the specials that are running right now for the 0% for 12 months for both Toro and ExMark are for purchases by 1/31 from what I've read. I am very leary about purchasing that much equipment w/out knowing if I'm going to have much, if any, in the way of maintenance contracts for the summer. So, I'm going to see what rates my family bank can get me, and also what rate I would get going through the dealer if the special is discontinued at the end of the month. I just don't want to put myself in a position where I am leveraging myself to the hilt with the "hope" of business come April. See! I learned that here!!! :p :drinkup:

    Stress. Stress is good. Right?? LOL

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Don't worry about not sleeping. Once you start working you will sleep great at night:p :sleeping:

    What is keeping you up at night? Excitement or worry?
    Excitement, cool a business is fun.
    Worry, From your post it looks like you will be OK. Most don't worry about anything and just say " Go for it" But you realize that this is a business and look at that as something to be concerned about. That is the biggest step. Keep track of times and amount of material used (gas, trimmer line, blades and sharping, etc.) and soon you will have a base to work from.
    Advertising cost will vary but will be highest at start up. You may spend $1000 dollars before you get your first customer. That means that they will be $1000 per customer:eek: But that gets cut in half on you 2nd customer:p
    And will go down fast.
    I see one red flag in your post- buying 2 mowers? 1st question is why 2 to start and 2nd is do you know what you need as you do not have any customers yet.
    And Trinity Lawn Care was very right about talking to dealers. They have some of the best deals and good rates if played right.
    Good luck in your venture and keep us posted as to your progress

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    They will have something almost all year but will be best now till spring
  7. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    looks like you're getting you're ducks in a row there, I think you'll do just fine
    I really excited this year being my 1st full time yr. quit my full time job in june
    last yr. and havent regetit since, work just keeps coming in and have yet to advertise, even this time of the yr plenty to do, more than I thought it would
    be !!!!! cant wait till spring though, going to hire a couple of full timers this yr
    good luck to you !!!! and dont worry everything will be just fine !!!!!
  8. kirk brown

    kirk brown LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 164

    when i can`t sleep i take 8-12 beers and repeat as neccesarry.
    i just got my 36" husky at 0% for 12 months and the deal goes all year,as far as i know.
    good luck and don`t stress. In the words of martha stewart"this is a good thing":drinkup:

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Bad advice- As soon as you go to sleep you have to get back up to go to the lu:p :p
  10. cpritch

    cpritch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    PM - I hear you about the red flag. I was thinking about trading in the two 21" mowers I have now, that have been literally run into the ground (one is a 20 year old Toro), for credit towards a new 21" and then also get a 36". I don't know. Maybe it would be better to just keep the two that I have now and use them as needed until they just won't go anymore. And, like I said, I am not planning on pulling the trigger on any of this until I have enough work for the season. But then how do you bid out your mowing jobs if you don't know what equipment you'll have, lol. I know what I would "like" to have, but if I only have 5 yards this year, I'll have the 21" blues. . .

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