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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    16

    Yelling Pink How do you make van payments in the beginning?

    OK How do you make through financially your first year while building a customer base? I want to start off right but not having income and 1500.00 van payment scares me!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,303

    Default

    Do you have the van already?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    144

    Default

    Seriously write a business plan and a household budget.
    Point blank. You do not actually have to start off with that van payment amount.
    I do want to treat myself to a new or newer van someday.
    I just made $23,000 this late sprint to fall working a Farmers Market. See my thread. My used vehicle is NOW PAID OFF. Next year I am doing it again too. This is all in addition to my regular clientele. Yes, lots of work but loving it. Six days a week in season. Why not? I have that energy and feel great. The stress of paying off a vehicle is like adding years to my life. Maybe in a couple years I will treat myself to a new one or newer like I said.

    Give yourself a break, start used and work up!!! Cut that payment in half!!! You will be better. But do not take on any more personal credit for your household. Get a roommate, live with folks for a year, be wise and frugal just for a year or so on your household costs. Your vehicle and your business is your baby. I paid off all my personal kids right away, so I only had a used van payment. I live with roomates and family even. Now things will ease up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Anaheim, CA
    Posts
    594

    Default

    I can tell you about my experience. I bought my BRAND NEW van in September 2016, and was operational October 1, 2016. Most of the information I used was from this board, so I would read TONS of old threads in this mobile forum. The first thing I did, since I knew I wouldn't have a single client, is team up with a rescue organization and claim my business name on Yelp. I did mobile groomings for Bichon Rescue of Orange County at a steeply discounted rate. People who adopted pups from them would ask for recommendations for a groomer and they were advised of my work for the organization. I also drove around A LOT, in the wealthiest neighborhoods in the area, that drummed up some calls. I put one ad up in a little area magazine that goes out monthly, and offered a $10 coupon off of a full groom. That built up a little more business. And finally, I signed up for Thumbtack. They really helped me my first year, but they have REALLY changed their business model now and their prices are no longer fixed, but I got about 20% of my clients through them. It used to cost me about $3.34 to bid for a job back then.

    Between these few things, I was out on the road a lot, and then people started calling me because they saw me in their neighborhood or their neighbor told them about me. My payment + insurance is over $1,500/mo and I made more than that my first month out. I was really busy within 3 months, and booked solid within a year. I can't even keep up with the phone calls at this point. If I could only find some qualified groomers, I'd try to start a little fleet. I was also terrified I wouldn't be able to make the payments. I gave my business a personal loan of $7,000 from a personal credit card with a deferred interest option, and was able to pay the loan back in under 6 months. I don't know what area you live in, but I wouldn't be too afraid. The most important thing, IMO, is to get out there and get working. Your work and love of pets should speak for itself.

    **edited to specify I purchased a brand new van

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    4,637

    Default

    Honestly, even though I COULD do it, I won't do it. I thought really hard about just buying a wagn tails this time, but I cannot pull the trigger on that payment. If I didn't have the skills available to me to build my own, I'd buy used. That's just ol' frugal me over here in my corner.

    I just looked back on my books from when I started and I would not have been able to make the payment the first month (not a full month for me), but the second month and forward yes. It took me six months to get to my full earning potential. But it was a whole lot nicer to only have a $350 a month payment, vs $1500 Yes, we put about 8K into the build out in cash, but even splitting that over just a year it only adds another $650 a month for ONE year, not six or seven.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    674

    Default

    Not saying do this, but here is a way. If you have more savings than the minimum down payment, make the down payment but keep 12 payments in the bank. Yes your payment will be higher but you don't have the stress of worrying about payments for a year. If you do well quickly, make an extra payment here and there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    674

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostloveddog View Post
    OK How do you make through financially your first year while building a customer base? I want to start off right but not having income and 1500.00 van payment scares me!!!!!!
    How are things going? Did this help?

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