The beginning of the End?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Mrs. H, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    *Note: There are a couple of real questions towards the bottom of my ramble. Thanks! :)

    Well, I guess we've ran our course. We probably could keep this thing going and survive the latest hits on paper. But that dosn't account for the human factor...David.

    It's been 8 years this month since he started. He was 29 he's not. Now he's walking with a backache more often than not. His feet hurt more often than not. His skin's fried despite sunblock and he's just plain tired. Not so much physically tired, but tired of fighting for accounts, putting up with PITA customers, and the schoolyard mentality of his competition. The cops won't arrest people who steal from him, most of the employees that come around have been in prison or should be, and Karma dosn't seem to work here. It's like we're in a Karmic Twilight Zone, where being the "bigger man" turns around and bites you in the...well, you know where.

    Add all of that to we're a 6 hour drive to the nearest of the kids' grandparents, and an old promise to me that he made...about not staying here the rest of our lives.

    I kind of just started getting used to it here. I imagined my children growing up and helping dad. Oh, well.

    This spring we lost a couple really big jobs part to bids and part to David having been sick last fall and winter. He told me that if we lost 1 more big account, we were done and we were moving to Ohio. (Where I was raised.)

    Well, on Monday...we lost another big account. We are down more than $4000 monthly income. Now, he's already laid off all the employees and made other money saving cuts. And, like I said at the beginning, I think we really could make it if we sucked it in a bit more. At least, until Winter, and then hope we can land a big contract again.

    But, he said he's just too tired of it to do anymore.


    Here's the deal. We need to sell the business. I know there are several threads on here already about buying and selling contracts. I'll revisit those.

    We really only need to pay off one piece of equipment and some vendors to be free and clear business...that's a plus.

    And we only really need to sell our house...not so great. :(

    And, he SAYS he's not going to do lawn care again (But I don't believe him...he probably will, just not nearly on the scale he's neighborhood lawn-boy or something...I just don't see him not doing any of it.)

    I guess it all boils down to:

    Do any of you have any good advise about whether he should keep a minimum amount of commercial equipment (I think he should keep 1 mower at least, 1 chainsaw, etc, most guys need those things anyway, right? I mean, we'll have a yard in Ohio to mow, too.)?

    He's thinking about keeping his OTPC spraying license here and comming down during the winter months to spray? Anyone do that? Is it worth it? (I know it will depend on the main work he finds.)

    I wonder if Ohio and Alabama OTPS is comparable at all.

    We're thinking of closing shop around OCT. Does that seem like a realistic time-line? Do these things take longer? I guess that depends too.

    He has a CDL and probably will utilize that for a while, as well. And, I think I'm going to clean houses. We'll see.

    This is something we're starting to get used to now. Moving the kids close to Family is important to us. His Dad and my Grandparents will still be in FL, and his Grandmother is in NV. But, my parents, siblings, close cousins and Great-Grandmother are all right there, and the kids will benefit greatly.
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,930

    Sorry to hear this Mrs H. No sense beating a dead horse as they say. I would keep at least one mower for the new yard. All depends on if you have a wooded lot where you are going for need of a chain saw. Not really a good market for selling homes right now. If it were me, I would wait until the down time to quit the lawn care ie February. Work hard at it until then and save what money you can. Put the house on the market 1st of March 2009. David then can have time to look for a new job in February 2009
  3. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    start up under a new name and youll be swamped. customers around here call the new guys every year thinkin theyll be better and cheaper. then when the new guys go under by july they call us and fork over the extra bucks. how much you want for the walker?
  4. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    Not the Walker in my pic? That one flew off a trailer and was sold for parts year and a half ago!

    The Walker he's got now, he just bought not too long ago and is the one he owes on. I'll ask him what he wants.

    We've got an Exmark that needs an engine sitting in Dothan, too.
  5. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    The Walker is the one he will have a harder time parting with. He wanted it for so long.

    He said it was probably the one he will end up keeping.
  6. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    flew off the trailor??? my walkers dont have wings.

    how much extra is it to put wings on them?

    all my employees agree. once they use a walker... all WBs and dixie choppers and everything else suck big time!

    the world would be a better place if people only used walkers.
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    an exmark, huh? ill give you $50 for that. i know... thats kinda high for a used exmark.
  8. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I'm really sorry to hear about your situation, Mrs H. I read your other thread in the OT. I know that I've been building my business for almost 14 years and I've actually never been as nervous as I am right now, it never crossed my mind to sell or close up shop until this year. It is tough out there right now.
    I would agree with Charles to ride it out for this year, bank whatever you can, and make your exit in the slow time. I would also probably keep some basic machines, you can always use them at your place in Ohio. One definite positive note is that your children will be closer to family. Good luck keep us posted.
  9. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    Oh, my goodness! The other day when I wrote that I was like "These guys don't want to hear your sniveling". But, dang, it was cheaper than therapy and I FELT SO MUCH BETTER. I find it Cathartic to write. Sometimes I just write and write and then tear it up and throw it and I'm Okay again. No broken windows, no body gets yelled at.

    Now, I'm excited about moving...but I still have work to do! I told David about Charles' advice and actually used the advice to calm him down. I was on the phone with him and I could here the manager of yet ANOTHER account in the background telling him that they found cheaper service...and I just kept talking and telling him to ride it out...make sure we have something to live on for a few months longer. It worked. We're on track to go down honorably, not in some manic ball of fire.
  10. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    Hey, I can think of worse. I, myself, prefer Exmark over Toro.

    Today, I got to ride the Walker for only the 2nd time ever. (David is so stingy with it!) It's like riding a carnival much fun!

    The first Walker we had...I say it "Flew", but it was more like a jump-fly. You know, like Michael Jordan. David was pulling a small trailer too fast and it flung somehow, dented the side of his truck and threw the mower. Happened about 3 days after it was paid off!:cry: And that is the story of my signature pic. Not the best view of the damage...but it is the only proof I have that I actually work for David.

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