Meet Ian, the small business owner of Ian’s Mowing, a lawn mowing service in Lake Cargelligo in Far West NSW.
Ian’s mowing is now in its 8th year after establishing in 2015. Ian works 361 days a year, servicing the area and surrounding communities, sometimes taking a 70km round trip to ensure each of his clients receive the best lawn mowing service. Ian has taken out several loans with Many Rivers to help pay for the equipment he uses including; a ute, trailer, mower and whipper snippers, and now owns all equipment outright himself.
“The repayments were really good and something that I could pay back quite easily. There was no pressure, the repayments were really fair. When there is no pressure, you can do it easily, there are no sleepless nights. I’ve done the work, the money is there, take it out.”
Read more about Ian’s business journey so far.
Yeah I do lawn mowing services for the local community. Because towns are far apart in the country, sometimes I’ll do a 70km round trip to get to different clients. I have individual clients and also 10 clients in the community program that I do work for. I’ve been operating my business since October 2015, so this will be my 8th year.
I was working as a community administrator in Murrin Bridge, but I had a falling out with that employer so I left. I was unemployed for a few years, just doing some light jobs for the community development program. Then an opportunity arose and I thought that lawnmowing might be a good gig for me and so I went from there.
I met Kenny who used to work at Many Rivers in the community and got started with him. Then after Kenny left, I met Tim from Mudgee. Tim came out a couple of times, we had some tea and I enjoyed his company. Now I work with Tracey who is great.
Well, I wanted to prove that I can do it. I’m an independent sort of fella. I didn’t work well with my previous job, and if I am my own boss, I can’t point the finger at anybody else. The work starts with me and it ends with me. I don’t want to have to answer to anyone, I just want to work for myself, be my own man and back myself.
I look at my yard and I look at all the gear I own; my ute, my trailer, 4 mowers, 3 whipper snippers, $400 a month in insurance and I’ve paid for it all, I own it all. A few years ago, I went bankrupt, and I’ll never go back there again. I make sure I buy everything outright and don’t fall into that system again.
Working with Many Rivers
I received business advice from Many Rivers and I’ve also now had about 3 or 4 loans. I’ve never missed a payment, there’s never been a default. Having been bankrupt before, I’m never doing that again. The repayments were really good and something that I could pay back quite easily. There was no pressure, the repayments were really fair. When there is no pressure, you can do it easily, there are no sleepless nights. I’ve done the work, the money is there, take it out.
The business advice has been great. Just having calls up once in a while, asking what my future plans are keeps me thinking about the business. I’ll be 59 this year, and I want to keep working. Lawn mowing is a hard job physically, but when you have the right gear like I have, it’s much easier. I’ve had several loans from Many Rivers and I’ve used them all to buy equipment.
It’s just me in my business, I’m a sole trader mate. Whatever I earn, I keep. When I’m stuck, I have a few mates I can call on to help, but it’s just me.
My wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer 4 years ago, so I took time off for a month, I almost gave the business up. My clients were really understanding and so I was able to get my mate to take over whilst I was away, I had to be there for my wife to make the recovery. When you feel like your world is crashing in on you, it’s the little things that make the difference, and my clients are so lovely. I have one client that gives me a Christmas card and $50 every year, it means a lot.
I reckon my biggest success is that I’ve been doing this for 8 years! You know in the 8 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve come to know my worth. Everyone is really supportive, especially my wife and my clients.
Well my wife hardly sees me now, I basically work every day! If the client wants me, I keep the faith in them and they keep the faith in me and I turn up. 361 days a year I work. I’m diabetic and now Iook after myself and the work is helping me manage my diabetes.
I’d just like to keep doing what I’m doing today. I thought about it and even if I won the lotto, I’d still do a bit of work. I’ve got a few elderly clients and I need to look after them. I take it one day at a time, one week at a time, keep working and hope for the best. I grew up without a strong male influence in my life and have experienced my fair share of family tragedy, and I want people to know that it’s not all sunshine, but if you work hard you can make something of yourself.
I don’t have social media, I don’t have time to do that and all my jobs – all my work is through word of mouth. I’m not Warren Buffet or Bill Gates you know, I don’t want to expand, I’m just me!
Thank you Ian for sharing your business journey. We look forward to working with you as your business journey continues.
Are You Ready To Start Your Own Business?
We love to encourage people to take the first step towards kick-starting their small business ideas. Do you have a business idea?