Help me convince the Board(My folks)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MacLawnCo, May 1, 2002.

  1. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    This is a tuffy. I am wanting to get a new 60" DC, and have the funding available, but my parents (who have too much say in my business) are not receptive to me spending any of my money. I currently mow 4 days a week for about 6 hours each with a 48" exmark walkbehind. I have doubled the number of accounts I have since last year and do not want to spend as much time mowing, so I figure, I can invest some money in the business and save me some time. Their argument against me getting a new mower is that I got the exmark last year and nead to save for college.
    Please through out some ideas on why I do need the new mower so I can construct an argument against the Board.

    I hate having to beg for stuff I need.

  2. kerr lawn

    kerr lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    dude i hear you compeletly
    up until this year i had bought a new mower every year for the last four. every year it was a fight to get it.
    You got to explain to them how it is, because they are not out there with you mowing so they don't understand.
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    How old are you? I'm 15 and have a hard time convincing my parents of stuff too but I know sometimes (more often than not :() they are right. I don't know alot about your situation, like how many lawns, weekly income, or monthly, etc, but do take into consideration you're going to want a truck and trailer of your own later on and college too. I understand that with a 60" DC you will greatly increase profits as long as you can get it in and out of the yards and be able to use it's size and speed. This way you can get more lawns and that's great, more income, right? Then you can sooner save for a truck and trailer and college, wife and kids, etc etc. whatever, BUT - you will also have to pay for this equipment, and a new 48" Exmark WB is alot better than I've got, but you probably do more cutting than me. All I'm saying is you have to keep costs proportional to income/profit. Like maybe settle for trading up the WB if you won't need it, like on a used ZTR? Or just get a sulky for this one, or something. Don't aim quite as high as a high dollar ZTR, get a used one maybe and keep the WB?? Just something to think about. I assume if you can get a new walk behind one year and a new DC another year, you are doing pretty good money wise, but you gotta save some too.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I think Eric has some solemn advice here. You really have to justify the need for the means. If you have 4 days that you are cutting, at about 6 hours a day, then I guarantee you, that you will only have 1 1/2 - 6 hour days, or about 9 hours cutting time with a DC. THAT is not enough to pay for a machine like this. I know, you can line more work up, and have the capacity to take on more with a Z, but by the sounds of it, you have PLENTY of capacity to fill up this walkbehind's dance ticket. You still have 16 more hours to fill to make a 40 hour week. That wb can mow aLOT of grass in 16 hours. If it's a work or fatigue issue for you, then look into a stand up sulky, if you don't already have one. I cut for many years with a 52" wb before I got a second of the same machine. You have a great machine there, keep that baby running! That thing will cut grass all day, everyday for you. That's what it was made for.
  5. AK Lawn

    AK Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Coming from an older person(one year) save your money for college and/or a truck, i the long run you will be happier, i currently maintain 100+ lawns and have still not justified to myself the need for a ZTR, i run two full-time crews and run 48" with sulkys, sav e,save,save,save, i am paying 27,000 for school a year and that adds up, so get you client basis first, meaning you should be putting in 6 8hour days a week then your parents see your devotion and will cave but not until that point should you make that sort of commitment, are you solo i assume that you are, but hit that 6 day a week point get the DC and then cut it back to 4 day, but not from 4 to 2 you will be working hard for nothing, but a payment, and if you already have the money invest it, that is what i do with all excess cash, take it back in 2 years and you will have almost doubled it and then get the DC and keep the 48" as your back up, not trying to put your idea down just made the mistake of upgrading to soon and paying the price not working as much and am still working to pay back debt, but i was in excess and bought more than just an extra mower

    AK Lawn

    Get what you need not what you want!
  6. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    I dont know what size lawns you do, but but how much time can you really save as is?An extra pass here and there?Too if you do some smaller lawns like I have, those big machines in no time will make your lawnslook like scrub work,grooves, ruts etc etc, My brother has a new Viper ive seen the outcome on the small lawns and it doesnt look good.Nowfor his big lawns np he can change directions just fine. Might want to consider this.

    I use a WB with a velkie single wheel and i have no problems takingcare of 80 accounts 10 of those are weekly the rest are 10days.
  7. You are going the wrong way.

    You don't need another mower, you need to raise the prices on the lawns you have.
  8. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    you need to stop and ask yourself a few things first.

    do you really need a 60" ZTR? what are you going to be studying for in school? will you be getting out of the profession once school starts and then after you graduate. they do hold their value, but that is money that MIGHT be better spent elsewhere. if you are getting by just fine right now and don't plan on taking on any massive properties, i'd stick with what ya got.

    (by the way, i'm 29, should have stayed in school (yes i love what i do, but i could have avoided a few bad career choices if i'd stayed in) then but i didn't. i cut FULL time with my 36" metro. will be adding more to my fleet by the end of the year.)
  9. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    The "Board" is your greatest ally. You do not need the Chopper. What are the plans for the walk-behind after a Chopper purchase? Collect dust? Back up?

    By using the walk behind for a year or two more, you have taken your Boards advice. In two years you will have the loan option from the parents.

    Tuff it out, your parents will be there for you forever, the lawn mower may or may not.

    You are in a nice scenario most would envy, don't forget that.
  10. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Save your money today - make your equipment stretch until you can truly cost justify it. Sure you could save time by having a ZTR, but your time today is not as valuable as the dollars in the bank. You can always buy something in the future - but once you spend the money, that's a sunk cost. Whether that investment, or sunk cost, makes you money is up to you. But I'd say you should take the "board's" advice and wait.

    When I was in high school and mowing 30 properties a week - I thought I was making a killing. I plowed all my money back into the business to grow it as quickly as I could. Only problem as it that as I grew the business early on, taking on as much business as I could, I wasn't watching my cash flow or maintaining sufficient working capital in the bank. As my receivables stretched, and my bank account was thin, I wondered where all my money was - even though I was doing two or three times the volume. Learn your business, save your money, and grow at a comfortable rate. Just try to avoid what I did by buying too much equipment too early in your career. It's take a lot of years to battle back and build your working capital.

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