Monday, April 21, 2008
Garden Artisans LLC
It has been a while since I posted, so I will try to bring everyone up to speed with that latest on Garden Artisans. My brother and I decided to hold off on the SBA loan and take more of a conservative step this year since we are both still in school. Two out of our three employees came back from last year, which was positive so we could avoid the whole training process. Our number one priority for this year was to hire a truck driver. Since our biggest flaw last year was my brother or I having to drive the crew around and not having time to do all of the other important business activities such as estimating and selling. We hired a driver for three days, but then our insurance broker ran his driving record and found that it was not good, so our insurance company would not cover him, so the search for a driver continues. We were able to secure about 90% of our maintenance and lawn contracts from last year, so that has given us a solid start to the year. We have also been getting many new leads on potential clients and have been able to lock in a good amount of new work. Our basic advertising approach of passing out flyer's in residential neighborhoods was very effective. We are starting to feel over whelmed with the amount of estimates and work we are securing. We are also starting to land some larger more technical projects that are taking taking much more time to estimate and finalize. We have been having conflicts with obtaining permits and working with other contractors. We have sold a design and installation for a pool area, pond & waterfall, blue stone patio, and seat walls, which is exciting, but stressful. Currently we have three employees, but still no truck driver. Our biggest problem is getting these larger projects complete while keeping up with our regular maintenance contracts. Running your own business is definitely not a 9 to 5 it is more like a 7A.M. to sometimes midnight.