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winter borrowing blues

lawnworker

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
VA zone 7
hello all <p>just wondering if anyone has had to borrow money in the wintor just to pay bills I know i need to increase my work load and save more for winter . it ssems each year i need to borrow 1000 are more just to pay bills this really sucks. what do you all do for winter income are do u just make enough in season to cover the slow times.<p>let me know thanks the lawn worker
 

Lazer

LawnSite Bronze Member
We plow snow. We make more money in the winter than the summer. Perhaps we'll need to borrow $ this summer. :)
 

HOMER

LawnSite Gold Member
Hi, I would suggest beginning this spring, converting old customers and starting all new customers on an annual payment plan. Get away from per cut income. You need money 12 months a year so impress this upon your customers. Just average out over a 12 month period what you have been charging and learn to budget as best you can. <p>I don't know about Va. and the amount of snow you get but if I hadn't established at least 1/2 of my accounts this way I would have to borrow also.<p>Homer
 

HOMER

LawnSite Gold Member
I really don't know what kind of winter they have in Va. If it is fairly mild there he might convince his old and new alike to go year round maybe on a 28 cut schedule. I put all mine on a 30-33 mowing schedule and average out the per cut price into 12 payments. Last winter was pretty tough on us too, so I know where he's coming from!<br>Last spring as I began picking up new customers I convinced them to go yearly and gave them a monthly price. At the end of the 1st month of service I begin invoicing them and continue right on through the winter. I get the same amount from them if I cut them 3 times or 1 time like this month. I have picked up several customers this fall and winter and done them the same way so next winter should be easier again than this one. We don't have any snow to plow so we have to be creative.<p>Homer
 

thelawnguy

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Central CT
I do lawns in the summer and snow in the winter, when theres snow everythings fine, but the last two winters with no snow I have had to draw down my savings, kinda sucks to work all summer just to spend it all winter, but this year we've had a couple storms and I also switched my commercials to seasonal so that so far things are ok, actually I had leftovers so I had a new electric service put in the house and a large siver maple removed, ordinarily Id have to wait for spring to do those things.<p>Also got a call from the executor of the estate of one of my past customers, evidently I have a windfall coming. She had no family, left her estate to myself, the housekeeper and the mailman who used to help her out from time to time. Guess it finally paid out, putting up with her nitpicking for the past six years. So I must say, guess some of those senior citizen accounts can be good for something after all.<p>Bill
 

Charles

Moderator, Friend, Angel
Location
South East
Thats why we stress so much on pricing on this forum. This is a seasonal business and more so for those who don't get much snow. You have to charge enough to get you through the winter and enough to invest in your retirement and health insurance. Too there will be those years when you have to buy new and replace old equipment. We have to make a years income in 8 months period of time. And the weather may even shorten that. Time is so valuable in the peak periods you need to have a minimum before you drive and unload your equipment.
 

Evan528

LawnSite Silver Member
Money should have been put aside all summer to get you through the winter time. I will be living off of savings untill May (thats when Aprils payments will start coming in). I would rather have my earned money in my own bank account then charge over 12 months and let my clients keep my money in there bank account.
 

mtdman

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
A2, Michigan
Budget budget budget. And save. If you're not making enough to get yourself through the winter, you need to raise rates, get more profitable, etc. I do snow, but I hate it, and only do what I have to in order to keep those that want removal happy. I'd much rather work my butt off all summer and have enough to get me through the winter without doing a lot of snow.

:D
 
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