Young guys - I need help/suggestions

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MikeTA95, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. bj1bmx

    bj1bmx LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 76

    ...with that said, financing equipment will allow you to rapidly expand your lawn route and perhaps enter new markets. i went from grossing 25k a year to now between well into the 6 figures working 8 months a year. decide whats important to you and focus on attaining that goal no matter what obstacles need to be overcome
  2. AA+ landscaping

    AA+ landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Did you go to your mower dealer to see if they can help you out. Most of the time they can get you a loan easier then a bank can. I just would like to say take it slow with the loans. I was in the same place you where in last year and added two more loans on and now can't pay them. I was doing great until the grass slowed down because of the 95 degrees days last summer I lost two months of cutting and now no snow this is killing me. JUST REMEMBER WE RELY ON THE WEATHER SO IF IT DOESN'T RAIN AND GRASS DOESN'T GROWN. WE CAN'T CUT THE GRASS. ALSO I KNOW A LOT OF BIGGER LAWN COMPANIES AND THEY'RE IN THE SAME BOAT.
  3. Mimowerman

    Mimowerman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Grow one step at a time, establish a rapport with a credit union or local bank . Once you have a relationship with them they will be more apt to lend money. Get and use credit cards responsibly . Finance thru manufacturers. or sheffeild, ge finance ect.

    Offer Pre-Pay options to your customers tis spring !

    PM me if you would like to speak more about business ... Im a young business owner(21) also ... with a good credit score lol
  4. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I started with a credit card offer in the mail when I was 18. Never missed a single payment and it only when up hill from there. Now I am 22 and can finance just about anything.
    I would suggest having a loan co signed. If that is not an option, save enough money to put as a down payment until the bank finally loans you the rest.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. centralcontracting

    centralcontracting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    You need to sit down and decide what is best for you and the direction that you want to take your company. I would suggest doing this at nights or over a weekend where you can spend some time drafting a business plan. Even if you don't need to use the plan to obtain financing it would be a good idea to have one for your own reference. Put in some short-term goals (to be accomplished in the upcoming season) and some more long-term goals (5 years, 10 years, etc). I suggest that if you have any managers or foremen that you include some of their thoughts as well. Once this plan is established then you will have a better idea on how fast you want to grow and what kind of financing you would be willing to take on. I started by business seven years ago when I was 18. I have since grown my "push mower" operation into the 2nd largest landscaping business in my service area. I have over 150 accounts, most commercial, with the largest account being a six-digit per season contract. I have used what I consider a healthy mix of cash purchasing and loans. My vehicles I have always bought through the bank with a low interest rate. All other equipment I buy with cash unless they are offering 0% interest. In that case I will take the loan and pay it off before they start charging interest, which usually gives me one year. In your case, if you can't get financing right now, don't sweat it. Grow at a pace that allows you to buy equipment with cash until you have some credit build up. If you need any more help with suggestions on balancing more business than you have equipment for PM me and I'll tell you in more detail how I did it. Hope this helps you.
  6. Craig3

    Craig3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 151

    I would agree with this.

    When I started I was using a 21" Honda and some box store hand helds. I upgraded to a honda trimmer and edger when my craftsman trimmer died (not that I need to tell you but they make great hand tools for the money, but power tools aren't their forte). When I decided to do this legally I financed a brand new 36 Wright stander RH through yard card and a paid cash for a brand new 16' trailer. In hindsight the trailer was a good purchase, the mower a bad one. They "custom built" my trailer w/ an adding side gate, which is a great set up and I'm glad I had it done-it wasn't something I could easily buy used. I wish I had just paid cash for a low hour walkbehind instead of buying new stander. I realize this isn't ultra helpful, but I could have achieved the same results with a $1500 used mower and would have been debt free in the same season. Then I could have bought another larger used mower with cash or cash + credit.
    My suggestion.
    If you can't get a loan through the bank try to finance 1 mower through the dealer on a longer term to keep the payments low. Use that mower to make mad cash on all those properties and look for a used dump trailer &/or another mower that you can buy with cash.
  7. juststartin

    juststartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I think financing is very dangerous.

    I have learned that it is all a mindset. I understand that some people are responsible blah blah. From my personal studies, most successful companies that actually are in the black and actually pay taxes because they make a profit have very little money financed. I have seen the "finance mindset" bankrupt large successful companies that do good work because of a hiccup.

    I think the adage that you "must have" financing to create and sustain a great business is a pre-Great Recession mindset. I keep finding myself buying these people's equipment, trucks, and hell even a house for 60-70 cents on today's value.
  8. juststartin

    juststartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Why two wright mowers? and why finance new dump trailer when you can get a used one for $1500?
  9. TheGoat

    TheGoat LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    work on building a business line of credit. Doing this has benefited my lawn service a great deal.
  10. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    if a regular bank turns you down try a credit union, offer to bring all of your accounts there. Also prepare an excellent business plan and give a copy to the loan officer you meet with.

    To build credit I started right away when I was 18, it was a capitol one, high interest rate and low credit limit being I had no credit history. I ook it and used it strickly for gas but only when I had the cash in my debt acount to pay for it. I would fill my tank and then the next day pay my credit card online. So it was always paid off right away and no interest or fees were charged to me. Every three months or so they could raise my limit and lower my interest rate. The credit cards like this because they are charging the store a percentage of the sale but there getting paid by you right away so theres little risk. When your card has a limit of 2k and you need to buy a piece of equipment of landscape supplies that are 1800, throw it on the card but ay i6 t off right away. thats what I did, also had my father co-sign my first truck loan, I showed the credit union the loan was through that all the payments were threw my bank account, and after 6 months he came off the loan and it was just my name so it impacted my credit more. Always paid atleast 1.5x the minumum payment on the truck. You start getting more credit card offers and you can start choosing the best ones. I did that and I was able to get the credit to buy my first home at 21, after only three years. I was given a $350,000 mortgage at a great interest rate, so it worked. The only negative I had on my report at the time was that I hadn't had credit history for more than 5 years yet

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