Is the ecomony really this bad ?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by piston slapper, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,337

    I run a repair shop in eastern Hillsboro county. The past few years its been getting harder to read my crystal ball, especially when last years business numbers provide no real guidance on this years expectations. The commercial repair business used to be strong for 6 months out of the year, now its more like 6 to 10 weeks. The mower repair business is a little different than the landscape business. The work is seasonal and the bills are year round. When I dont sell alot of blades and filters, I dont get a good enough price on them to compete with the dealerships.To be honest...I used to make more money 10 years ago , building Kohler engines out of the garage at my house.

    Most of the commercial mowers that I've seen come in this year have multiple problems. There is also alot of "mechanic shopping" , where they take the mower to 1 shop that screws it up, and then brings it to me to straighten it out. I dont know about you, but I dont like trying to staighten out other peoples mistakes. Its gotten to the point where I wont take in a mower that has had internal work(head gaskets, etc. ) done by another shop. They use high speed tools to clean the aluminum block , and gouge the block so bad that all the head gaskets in the world wont fix it.

    Is The Ecomony Really This Bad ?:confused:

  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I am over a hundred miles South of you in a very retirement area. Retiree Services are the total economic base here now. Most of the construction worker have moved on the better things. Our School system has lost a great percentage of students because the young working class has left. Just south of me is the Number One foreclosure area in the nation.

    As bleak as it seems my Pest control business is actually up and I am seeing new housing starts in the up scale neighborhoods. I don't cut grass but My friend & Mechanic from years ago when I did, is swamped with JUNK work. While the real pros are replacing equipment, the Crack Heads are milking Grandpa's Crapsman all the way to the junk yard. My neighbor had his yard cut last week and the mower Deck was so bend up it was plowing on one side and wind rowing it on the other.

    With the exception of August 2004 and Hurricane Charlie. 2008 & 2009 were the worst years for me all across the board from Business and investments etc. But 2010 kept my head above water and I gained back some of my losses. 2011 I am getting ahead and actually buying toys and banking money working Part time since I am a senior citizen. Still we are a long way off from the Boom times when the housing Money flowed like water.
  3. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,337're right 2008 did start this mess. It was the first time I saw a slack in business in the middle of August. The phones went quiet for about 2 weeks. I've come to expect this seasonal quirk, as its happened each year since. It happens at the same time that the kids go back to school ( crayons and bluejeans ) This year, its happening in July...not good...

    I realize the economy cant come back until the people who lost jobs , find a job.
    Without consumers with money to'll never see a recovery.
    Gonna have to get creative..

    I didnt break this economy, and they wont let me fix it.
  4. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    I saw a special on the news the other night about the shuttle program and how its already affecting many counties in Florida. Restaurants, malls and other businesses shutting down due to NASA workers leaving the area and moving on. Seems like they new this day was coming with the shuttle program and should have had something new to start at the end of the shuttle program. But then government funding has probably destroyed that too, sad to see.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    IMHO I think the USA is done as a great power and world leader. We have out sourced all of the higher paying working class jobs. A union worker who was used to making $ 35.00 an hour plus benefits isn't quite ready to work at Wally World as a minimum wage Greeter. I was anti Globalization 20 years ago and nothing has changed my mind. But if I don't buy goods made in China I would have anything. So I now go with the flow and buy their crap.
  6. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    I go out of my way to buy American-made products. If not made here, at least made in a country to that pays a wage similar to what would be expected here. It ain't easy. And some of the time buying Chinese-made products is unavoidable. People look at you crazy like when you go to the tire store and demand to see the tires so you can check the country of origin before you buy. They don't get it. They don't understand that the whole economy is an ecosystem. Take one level away, it's only a matter of time before the others start to fail.

    Ultimately, that is where most of our problems stem from right now. No politician wants to talk about it.

    Check these out.

    The chart on pg 11 is an eye opener.

    Pg 12: Half of the working in this country make about $500 a week

    Pg 22: Average of 50k manufacturing jobs have left this country every month since 2001

    Pg 26: Look at the cliff dive in US manufacturing after 2001 when China entered the WTO.

    Pg 38: The top 1% have a higher net worth than the bottom 90% of the population.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    A lot of factors lead up to the USA down fall. Union demands were greater than union production, is one that management or the 1% like to point out. But what the economic rocket scientist failed to understand was if you export American jobs you also export the working class buying power. It is that Working Class buying power that made America great. The industrial revolution would have never happened if there wasn't buying power to purchase production. Big Box stores like sears once again had to have a market of buying power to sell their goods.

    But Sam Walton died and the Made in America sign came down so Wally World could make $ 20,000 net profit every minute of every day selling Chinese crap.

    Of course we are also following European examples of socialism and welfare give away programs. soon the working man will be paying the 40% income taxes the same as Germany and other common market countries.
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,135

    The working class never was and never will be my market. I saw the writing on the wall decades ago. Another factor is that in my area, the only people that are not DIY are the elderly, disabled or truly wealthy.

    I am careful about bashing the union workers, even though most of them are hard headed DIY azzholes that will not pay me a cent to do what they do wrong right. It is them that can afford a Ford F350 with another $10,000 of aftermarket crap on it. It is them that can afford to drink and smoke heavily. My point is that they will spend the money somewhere and that helps the economy go around.
  9. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,083

    well our company has been on a tear this year atleast the branch that i work at. cant say the say about the stores on the east coast. our shop has beat last years number by as much as 50k per month compared to 2010 numbers. i am back up to 5 techs.

    i agree with you ric we have worked our country out of work and not much choice but to buy **** from china...
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I am thinking the Equipment repair and parts business should be doing well right now. In a shaky economy there is a REPAIR NOT REPLACE attitude. If the good times roll, well then buy new equipment rather than fool with the old. I am not sure what the reason is for the slow business of the OP. While I am not rolling in money things have been improving. I have managed to cash purchase both Toys and Equipment this year.

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