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Things handled poorly when you first started my business?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by tcls83, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. tcls83

    tcls83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    (EDIT ON TITLE-- I mean YOUR business! You didn't start my business! Ha Ha!)

    Has anyone done anything when they first started that when you look back at it you can't believe you got away with doing it that way?

    Things handled poorly-

    -Had an 86 F350 4x4 460- bought for $1000 - underside completely rotted- rotted frame, rotted gas tank, tranny lines, brake lines, tranny leaked at the seal. I was pretty poor at the time, so I could'nt afford to repair it right. Had a oil drain pan I put under the truck at a customer's house when the gas tank leaked, and I could not replace the tank because then the frame would fall apart when replacing it. What a fool I was! Never fixed the seal, just kept putting in a quart of dextron every other day. Still shifted great. But left a small trail of fluid when ever I came to a stop. Muffler fell off, and kept it off for a couple weeks because I liked the way it sounded. Sounded like a top fuel dragster. Probably not good when running a business. People never complained though.

    Sold it for $500 8 months after I bought it. I miss it though, if it wasn't neglected by the previous owner it would have been an awesome truck.

    -For the first 4 months when I was on my own cutting, the deck on my walk behind was adjusted too low on the back (Scag), so when I wanted to cut it high by raising the front of the deck, I left kind of a helicopter type pattern on the lawn. Customers didn't seem to notice. When I fixed it though, it made a hell of a difference.

    -Never charged tax when customers wrote checks to the business.

    -Line Trimmed without safety glasses and wore shorts when trimming the first summer I was in business. Nothing ever hit my eye, but some stones have came close and hit my cheek. Wow. Am I lucky.

    Any similar experiences?

    I did write "How do you picture your lesser competition" so you can knock me for that.:)
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    LMAO!! And I thought the Ford I had was a POS! lol!

    Yeah, it depends alot on how old you were starting out. I was just a kid so I had to learn on my own what worked and what didn't. I'm still learning everyday! Every year there's something I find a better way to do and I look back and say to myself "man I sure was a dumb s*** for doing this all backwards before!"

    I have never charged tax to my customers. Of course there is no tax charged on services in this state (I think).

    I Trim and Edge in shorts every year, always have always will. I can deal with stinging rock here and there, I can't deal with the heat stroke I'd get from wearing jeans all summer!

    I am a glasses wearer, those do offer me some protection. If I didn't have those I would 100% for sure wear something for my eyes! Getting stuff in an eye hurts, getting blinded for being negligent is just dumb... Iv'e had small pebbles get thrown up and go IN MY NOSE. Talk about something that will make your eyes water! Even better is the one that went in my nose and then I spit it out of my mouth! LOL!
  3. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    god.. ive never charged tax. somebody please tell me I wasn't supposed to!
  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Um, lets see...

    I am still just starting so I have a lot to learn. Since I have found this place, I have learned A LOT and made some friends too. Anyway, one thing is that I have REALLY bad record keeping, but I am going to fix that this year.

    When I started, my prices were a little low, but hey, I was 13 or so. Now that I have more experience and better machinery, my prices are in line with everyone elses (I think).

    I was using homeowner machinery, but now am slowly upgrading to commercial, as this year I hope to go from about 5 mowing jobs to 10 or 15.

    OH, yea. I almost forgot about the worst one. When I did my first, last, and only ever landscaping job, I had NO idea what I was doing, and ended up making, lets see... about a buck an hour for a BUNCH of hours. From now on, I am DEFINATELY leaving that part to the pros.

    This is about all I can think of now.

    And like everyone, I used to trim and stuff with shorts, sometimes barefoot, but now I wear jeans and boots, because it sucks trimming thin, sandy, un-irrigated yards with shorts.
  5. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    I dont think you have to on mowing, at least in Kansas. I hope not anyway LOL.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    For those who "don't know about sales tax - yes/no" the answer to that question is very simple. Just look at your state's tax regulations. How can you be running a business and NOT know the answer to this question?

    And, what does your accountant say at the end of the year when reviewing your taxes and finances? If your accountant is missing your sales tax payments when they should have been made, shame on that person -- get a new accountant!
  7. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Here is what I found on the Kansas Department of Revenue website:
    and similar
    So, judging by this, I would assume that mowing is nontaxible, right?

    Here is the page in which I found this-
  8. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I know it varies by states. In Va. mowing is considered as labor and labor is non taxable.
  9. PLS-Tx

    PLS-Tx LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 2,383

    In Texas you do have to charge tax on labor. If you don't :nono:
  10. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    My accountant (and Iv'e had 2 different ones over the years) has never told me that I'm doing anything wrong by not collecting sales tax. It's not required in KS. I have heard of guys collecting it, if they're not sending that money to the state, and I would assume they are not since the state dosn't want it, I wonder what's the penalty for fraudulantly collecting sales tax to increase ones profit?

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