Small Bus. Management

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 1mowlawn, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. 1mowlawn

    1mowlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I need some advise from the veterans on this site.
    I have a very small part time lawn service, maybe 15-20 acct's this year.I have bought most of the equipment last mowing season, Trailer, ZTR , trimmers etc and I don't anticipate any major purchases this year. The area of this business that I need to do better on is management. Last year which was my first year I tracked my customers by using a simple ms excel spreadsheet that I created. Since I had only 10 customers last year this was easy to track. I would like to take advantage of all deductions but I'm not sure what I can deduct. I guess for starters I will open a separate checking acct for lawn service only, which I will use for gas, equipment etc. I will need basic software to track everything better, any suggestions. Do I need to be INC. ?

    All suggestions are welcome, remember this is a partime bus. but I would like a more efficient way
    to manage it, also be able to use deductions properly
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    First of all, you do not need to be incorporated...maybe if you went at it full-time you might look into going INC or LLC.

    Get QuickBooks Pro. Great software for really managing your business, tracking expenses, cash flow, invoicing, etc.

    You can email me at if you have any questions about QB's. We've been using it for about 6 years now and think it is the best. Good Luck.
  3. gpriddy

    gpriddy LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 36


    First off, unless you are grossing around $50K, the Inc. costs way too much to file. I do recommend the LLC (Limited Liability Company) it is fairly cheap to file if you use a lawyer, however it is easy enough that you may be able to do it on your own. This LLC will seperate your liability from that of the companies. Protection is the name of the game...

    Just thoughts...

  4. Brother1

    Brother1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I totally agree with Rodfather on this. If there is one thing you're going to purchase this year get QBPro and it will make life much easier. Will also help if you use an accountant to do your taxes. I just give my guy a backup data file from QB at the end of the year and he can do all my taxes right off of that. One more suggestions is if you can get a credit card and use that for all your purchases. Makes things alot easier to keep track of and with all the cards out there now you could take advantage of something like airfare miles for dollars you spend or get the GM card and use it to build up a good rebate if you're in the market to buy a new truck or vehicle. We do that and you wouldnt believe how much we charge on fuel alone and what those rebates will add up to after a few years. Good luck and send an email if you have any questions - Joe
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Yes, Quick books is a great way to go. I started out with Groundskeeper pro, and switched over to Quick books contractor once we were over 100 accts.. You can pretty much use any program (Clip, Grounds keeper, Quick books), I would just make sure it had a quick-books extension to make your accountants life easier.
  6. 1mowlawn

    1mowlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Great advise !! I think I will look into purchasing QB this weekend and try to get it setup before the season starts in a month or so. Few more questions, do I need to get a tax ID? if so how.How about equipment purchasing, like I said I bought most equip. etc last season.

    So far I have:

    I need :
    1)Software QB's
    2)Separate Checking acct.
    3)Separate credit card

    Don't Stop , Keep the suggessions coming - Thanks to all!!!!
  7. EcoSystems

    EcoSystems LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 9

    I agree with all the advise above. I would also suggest going to the library and finding a sample business plan. I beleive it is best to develop a business plan, but being part time you might just want to review a sample landscape company's business plan and you should get tons of ideas from that source.

    Good luck
  8. precisionlawn

    precisionlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    My advice would be to attend a Small Business Management class a local community college. Most of them offer night classes a couple days a week. That would be your best bet. However if that is not an option I would opt for the quickbooks, like everyone said.
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    An accountant can also help you with setting up your Chart of Accounts and Lists Sections (items, customers, etc.) with QB's. Although, I found QB's to be fairly self-explanatory with a great tutorial and help section.
  10. barryd

    barryd LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 9

    Where are you in Southern Illinois 1mow, I'm in Mayfield, KY

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