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Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sean Adams, Jan 14, 2013.
Go back and look at Sean's blog and scroll down to "What happened to Juan" story.
if you manage your money correctly you should NEVER need to stretch your money.
if you were to say to me you have the same amount coming in but spending more, then yes you might need to stretch your money.
it all evens out though when your income and expenses both increase. lets use easy numbers for examples.
income $10,000 expenses $5,000
income $20,000 expenses $10,000
I see no need in either of those to stretch your money. your making more and spending more.
Okay.... Just like in another thread awhile back. I dont really see this as a money management issue but as a great way to loose low budget clients who have iffy lawns in exchange for those who are willing to pay a consistent amount each month with snow service included or even over a growing season plan March 15th November 15th. This is a great way to bundle and bankroll fertilizations, spot spraying, aeration, over seeding so the client doesnt pull a cheap skate tactic and skip out on services that keep the lawn looking great. I also do snow but that service area is more tightly limited.
Get more of these clients ....then loose the frumpy scrubby lawn clients.
The glitch I see is getting backed up with rain in the spring and lawns getting pushed out to 10 days and still having to work weekends to catch up solo. Again a lawn that gets pushed out in a heavy growth time is more work....even if the client thinks it isnt worth more than an average cut. It averages out IMO.
The other fly in the ointment is contract/service agreement cancelation clauses for those who quit the service so you can be paid for extra work done beyond just mowing....and for my sanity the benefit of being extremely firm with clients who think their lawns need watering every day at the worst possible time and insist on putting green mowing heights.
Well, that's all fine and dandy but the reality works out a little bit more like this...
My bank's business checking account requires a minimum balance of $1,500.00 be kept.
Failure to keep the account over this balance at all times results in a $15 monthly "fee."
Probably many a small business owners pay this fee, every month.
They reason it out, it's better to pay the fee and have the money.
But I do not pay that fee, or I should say I have not paid that fee in about 10 years.
Now it doesn't work to just keep $1,501 in the account.
To be sure that I don't get slapped with the fee I really need to keep at least $2,500
in there and I don't feel safe until I have $3000 in there and $4000 is even better.
All that money, it's how the bank survives and it's money I can't use.
But I had to earn it all the same.
Then there's the bills, every bill of mine is on auto-pay, every single last one.
Every month money comes out of that account to pay the bills.
Then I still have to get paid...
This is the first year where it LOOKS as if I MIGHT have enough in the bank that I will NOT have to interrupt some payment from now until Spring and still survive and make it without hitting any limits or fees or anything at all, not so concerned if it's a bit skimpy by then, so long I make it without having to come up for air.
I've been in business a number of years lets call it greater than three.
Safe to say, it didn't happen overnight.
In a perfect world I would say yes, but stuff happens and it's always at the worst possible time. And Yes the more you make the more you spend it's just human nature, been there done that. And if your married, the more YOU make the more SHE spends.
Why would you not show up on the next day? If we get rained out we pick up where we left off. Yeah, it can quite often screw up your weekend, but thats the way it goes until you have enough help.
Regarding billing, just send out the invoices with "March Service" or "Lawn Service - March".
We do pick up but if it's late in the week, someone is going to get skipped that week, there are only so many days in the week, I guess we could start working on sundays also, NOT! we worked more than our share of sats last year for sure. We should be ok this year we are much better equipted than last year for the rain at least that's the plan anyway. I started out just putting "march service" on the invoices but then got request for specific dates, people are just leary until they learn to trust you.
We'd sometimes works Sundays, and had to carry over to Monday once maybe twice. If you can't get there and have to give a refund, I'd do it just to retain the customer.
well I don't ever look to get rid of any clients except non paying ones. once you hire me I'm working for you until you fire me.
doesn't matter if your just a mow n go or a full service account.
I don't normally drop real numbers of mine but I will this once to aid in my point and where it comes from.
right now I have over $26,000 sitting in my business bank account.
from the first day I hit the $20,000 mark I haven't had less than $15,000 in that account.
I pay no fees, expenses are paid as they come along and there is NEVER the need to stretch a buck.
my clients money flows roughly may through november for most. I roughly make between $1,000-$1,500 a snow fall. so far this winter I've plowed twice.
now I'm not saying everyone needs to have those kinds of numbers. but only keeping $1500 in a business bank account is irresponsible if you ask my opinion. you need a decent cash reserve.
since we appear to be putting words in my mouth will you at least show me where I said/debated the more you make the more you spend?
even in my examples I showed the more you make, the more you spend and I already know this. doesn't mean you need to stretch a buck.
but since you brought in the personal side of the argument and called it human nature implying this for EVERYONE I can and will disagree with that.
those numbers in my post above, how do you think I get those numbers. is it because I'm so successful at my business or is it because I don't necessarily spend more when I make more.
it's a little bit of both. sure when the business makes more I spend more in the sense that my expenses are more. because if I'm making more I'm probably working a little more, using my equipment more, putting more hours on it, using more fuel. as a result I'm buying more fuel and doing maintenance more in a years time.
but do I spend more on personal stuff. NOPE. it's not in my human nature.
YG, I was just saying, not arguing at all, I was in a bit of a life event for several years and it put me behind, I defintily think a cash reserve is neccessary but getting that cash reserve is another story, hence my "SHE" spends more comment. I'm just now getting back on my feet from that long ordeal. I will get rid of PIA clients at the end of the season to make room or more efficient ones.