I suppose this thread would be more fitting elsewhere, but I chose to post here because I'd like as many readers as possible. Sorry ahead of time for the length. I quit my job today. I've been a crew leader for this guy for almost 4 seasons. I'm very good at what I do, I love my work, I show up early, I get along with all of his customers and employees, I train, I supervise, and I get upset when things don't go well. I'm a very good employee. That being said, he has recently decided to deduct large amounts from his employees paychecks due to his incompetence as a business owner. I've been taken for almost $400 this year alone. This morning I'm told that the new hire shredded the wiring behind an air conditioning unit and since I was in charge, I would be charged half of the $250 that the customer is saying the repairs cost. So I quit. I have no job, but I'll get one. I know the market is bad right now, but I'll find something. The $125 was the icing on the cake. I really believe he suffers from some form of dementia. In the end, there is only so much one can be expected to take. Now I suppose I'll get to the reason for this thread. Like I said, I'm very good at my job. I plan on doing it on my own starting next spring. I would have started long ago if it weren't for the new DUI laws. (I'm not looking for pity). Three beers and my own poor judgment led to my second DUI and a license suspension of 2 years. I've finally got my vices under control, I've got the know how, I'm cut out for this. My major downfall is that I have no money. I partially support my mother and my income for the near future is most likely going to drop. On the bright side, I do have potential investors. In fact, I'm asking a few of my previous employer's customers. There is a good chance they are going to need somebody to maintain their yard next year anyway. Some of them even know of my situation already. They aren't going to like that I'm gone. I'm not looking for 100k, maybe 25-30. I'd like to build a functioning website, one ZTR, one walkbehind, trimmers, blowers, truck, a dump trailer, market my business, and be able to afford life until I get going, etc., etc., etc. Oh yeah, I don't need shiny new equipment, just stuff that works. I really need help building a business plan in order to show my investors that I'm capable of doing this. I already know that I have my apartment complex next season. I know it might seem sleazy, but like I said, I'm also going to let a few select customers of my previous employer's know that I'm there when he falters. Which will happen. To give you an example: My old boss turns down anything under $50. Last year, he raised 3 of our $45 lawns to $50 and they dropped us. It took two men 1/2 hr. to cut all three = $135/hr. His new favorite account pays $450 and it takes 3 of us almost 4 hrs. = $37.5/hr. Oh yeah...... the three used to let us do everything (we even built an $8,000 patio for one). The big one only lets us cut. I'm serious, he's really that bad. There is plenty of money to be made in my market segment. I guess what I'm looking for is guidance. I know there are some real professionals on this site, and I'd love to pick your brains. I have written contracts, designed t-shirts, designed flyers, created a company logo, made an employee training manual, estimated all my start up costs, know exactly where to market my business, know as fact I can do it, and won't stop until I've succeeded. I know I need to focus my energy on more constructive things to build a business. I need both business and marketing plans. Does anyone have a business plan they wouldn't mind letting me sample? Sorry for the rambling........Thanks for making it to the end.