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This year has been a rough one...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 04TurfT, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. 04TurfT

    04TurfT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    The past three years I havn't ran into any real big problems with costomers. This year I ain't been too lucky. I have had two clients die, one of old age and one of lung cancer... I was very close to the one that died of old age, and I did all kinds of work around his house so that one was very sad. I have also lost a few accounts because I did not have the equipment needed to do the jobs they needed, and then the company that comes and does there work takes my mowing job away.... However on the upside, I have gained a few little jobs and one big one so I guess it all shakes out one way or another.... Anyone else had a little bit of a rough year???
  2. texaslawn

    texaslawn LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 23

    Well I'm trying to get information about starting a business, and so far no one has really been interested in giving me any info.....so I forsee me having a bad year......
  3. sweatyclippingcoveredguy

    sweatyclippingcoveredguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    Explore the pages of the Just Starting forum. What do you need advice in? Gear, management, ???.

    This HAS in fact been a hard year, mainly because of being overbooked and the fact that everything that can happen will happen. Going to college part time in the evenings makes for a tight schedule. I'm fortunate enough though to get stuff done in downtime and rain.
  4. sweatyclippingcoveredguy

    sweatyclippingcoveredguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    You are better off posting topics with specific questions instead of posting irrelevant questions in other's topics. Just a little FYI:drinkup:
  5. 04TurfT

    04TurfT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    TEXASLAWN, are u having a hard time finding people to work with you, or are you having a hard time just gettting equip and money together or what???? People on here will help u out for sure.....
  6. texaslawn

    texaslawn LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 23

    really I guess it is a combination of both. I mean I still have a full time job with the parks and recreation department but, I'm looking to get out in about 5 years. So I'm trying to establish a business to get into when I get out it. Has anyone used small business loans? good or bad? What are the bare essetials I will need to get started? And most famous question of all what about pricing?
  7. iblonger

    iblonger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Texas--I just started last year and am in the same boat as you working full time and doing this( My schedule is full by the way). I was able to get all the info I was looking for just by doing searches on the specific questions that I had. I will be more than willing to answer any questions you have. As for pricing you need to learn the prevailing rate in your area, and you have to make some mistakes.
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Texaslawns, I have to agree with our sweaty friend from Allentown, specific questions will get specific answers (well, sometimes at least:)).

    I understand how daunting doing anything one is not trained in can be, and we all have a tendency to want all the information right now. I suppose that is just human nature. I am a neophyte compared to many guys on this site, but I think I can probably relate to your situation. I too have a full time job, and hope to be able to retire in perhaps 3 years or so, and, that was my primary impetus for starting this business, as I feel I'll need to supplement my pension with additional income.

    Before anyone can help you with information, perhaps you could enlighten us with something of what your situation is, and what type of business you are interested in building. Are you planning on actually working in a physical capacity, or is your goal to build a business with you in a managerial position only?

    You've mentioned SBA loans. I think most of the guys on here probably started out small, and worked to build their business over time. I don't know what type of operation you are thinking of, but simply put, a lot of people get in the lawncare business largely because of the relatively small outlay of cash, at least to start.

    I've started out as a solo operator, and will probably continue to do so, for multiple reasons. For one thing, I'm getting too old to deal with employees, so I prefer just to build my business to what I can realistically handle myself.

    As for pricing, I had a pretty good inkling of what was required to make a profit, but it basically boils down to two things: What you desire to make as the bottom line, and what the market will bear. My area is rural/small communities, with a relatively low median income. Many of the guys, particularly from the Northeast, probably wouldn't drop their tailgate for what I get on some of my smaller properties, but that is the nature of this business. However, my expectations have increased since starting my business a couple of years ago. What I was willing to work for then, is substantially less than I am willing to work for now, as I have a figure in mind which I think I need to make to make this worthwhile, for me. Your figure might be, and probably is, substantially different than mine.

    Someone's tag line on here says that you have to know your costs, to know what to charge, and although an oversimplification, it is entirely true. In that respect, this business is no different than any other.

    Good luck.
  9. RonB

    RonB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    The only reason I'd call it a bad year is no rain. Since spring it's rained maybe 3 times here.
  10. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    i have had exactly the opposite problem. too much rain. its slowed down in the past couple weeks but before that it was raining every single day.

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