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Moretta Lawn Care
09-13-2006, 08:43 AM
Well you learn alot all at once sometimes... There is an independent guy in my area who went on vacation. Well he left me to mow 28-32 accounts. I figured out a schedule and realized that I was going to need to take a day off work to get these all done for this guy on top off all of my own mowing. So I mowed through labor day and then every evening Tues-Thurs. in the evening to get the grand total to 20 yards by Friday. 2 of his accounts were big 3-5 acre lots with ponds on them. So I have a buddy go with me on that Friday and we mow 20 yards between 7:30am and 3:30pm. He let me use his 54" walk behind and gave me a 5 gallon gas can. I used his mower on 4 accounts and when I was done I filled his mower with that gas can. So I didn't use ANY of his gas in my stuff. So that week he is gone I mow my accounts, his accounts and work a full time job at the greenhouse. So a total of 60 yards for the week. So when he comes home I have all his equipment back at his house etc. He calls and tells me what he want to pay me. WHAT DO YOU GUYS FEEL FAIR COMPENSATION WOULD BE? I figured it up that I have 28+ hours invested in keeping his company going. Most accounts are less the 1/2 acre to 1/2 acre lots and there are, like I said, 2 3-5 acre lots with ponds. I have my time invested, my buddies time, my gas for my mower that I use on all accounts but 4, and gas in the truck.

Ron's Lawncare
09-13-2006, 08:49 AM
i think 2/3 of what he gets for the accts is a fair price. you did use his equipment on a few properties. personally i would have agreed on a price BEFORE the work was done.

chesterlawn
09-13-2006, 08:50 AM
I dont know but Ill guess 20 bucks an hour plus what you have to pay your friend ?

1MajorTom
09-13-2006, 08:52 AM
Well you learn alot all at once sometimes... There is an independent guy in my area who went on vacation. Well he left me to mow 28-32 accounts. I figured out a schedule and realized that I was going to need to take a day off work to get these all done for this guy on top off all of my own mowing. So I mowed through labor day and then every evening Tues-Thurs. in the evening to get the grand total to 20 yards by Friday. 2 of his accounts were big 3-5 acre lots with ponds on them. So I have a buddy go with me on that Friday and we mow 20 yards between 7:30am and 3:30pm. He let me use his 54" walk behind and gave me a 5 gallon gas can. I used his mower on 4 accounts and when I was done I filled his mower with that gas can. So I didn't use ANY of his gas in my stuff. So that week he is gone I mow my accounts, his accounts and work a full time job at the greenhouse. So a total of 60 yards for the week. So when he comes home I have all his equipment back at his house etc. He calls and tells me what he want to pay me. WHAT DO YOU GUYS FEEL FAIR COMPENSATION WOULD BE? I figured it up that I have 28+ hours invested in keeping his company going. Most accounts are less the 1/2 acre to 1/2 acre lots and there are, like I said, 2 3-5 acre lots with ponds. I have my time invested, my buddies time, my gas for my mower that I use on all accounts but 4, and gas in the truck.

hindsight is 20/20, you should have talked to him about the pay before you agreed to do the work for the week. That way there would be no surprises. Hard to say what is adequate compensation, but I would say at least half of the gross sales that week.

Tharrell
09-13-2006, 08:58 AM
2/3, half? NO WAY! You did this guy an EXTREME deed. You deserve ALL of the revenue. Hopefully he's not a lowballer!

Moretta Lawn Care
09-14-2006, 08:14 AM
Well I hate to say it but he was a low baller and I know know that before I do anything for anyone it will be in writing... that's for D@MN sure.

LawnBrother
09-14-2006, 10:00 AM
Whatever the going rate for subcontractors in your area is what you should get. 75-90% sounds right to me.

lawnwizards
09-14-2006, 10:10 AM
i'd say atleast 70% of gross, and like everyone else has mentioned, get it in writing before you do the jobs.

Dunn's
09-14-2006, 12:15 PM
so keep us posted what did you get?

dlm17
09-14-2006, 08:44 PM
If You Were Not There Who Would Have Done Them His Revenue For The Week Would Have Been Zero And He Would Have Had A Bunch Of Overgrown Lawns I Would Let Him Know That You Deserve All Or Real Close To It. This Would Be The First I Ever Heard Of The Owner Of A Lawn Buisness Getting A Paid Vacation, You Ever Come To South Fla I Could Use Some Time Off Lol

Moretta Lawn Care
09-15-2006, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. I was all over him after he called and told me how much he was willing to pay me. I pretty much flipped out and told him that would not even cover my costs for the week because I had fuel costs, and plus had already gave my buddy some cash. I pretty much have already wrote a letter to him explaining everything that I have read in everyone's post.

I agree that I should get 90% and he should get 10% that would only be fair. He really did nothing the whole time he was gone. He was in Canada and had no phone so I was pretty much on my own.

He told me that he didn't even make close to what I was asking that week because he bids all of his accounts low because he lost his job and he was talking any thing he could get. He has a few cuts at $10 a cut. That dosn't even cover costs on that job. I have a min. of $30 to do ANYTHING!

Before he left on vacation we had talked about doing some sort of partnership on bigger jobs... I think you know my position on this idea now. :hammerhead:

bigjeeping
09-15-2006, 08:51 AM
Last month I was unable to mow for a week due to an emergency situation. I needed to find someone fast to cover my routes for the week. My brother was the only one who knew the routes well enough to handle them with the quality I expect. I paid him $2000 for the week (he actually forfeited a paid trip to San Diego to work for me) After that, and all the gas expenses, i still had a chunk for myself. But that was ALOT to pay him for a WEEK'S work!

If you're not getting atleast 2/3 I'd blow up at the guy. IMO

crawdad
09-15-2006, 08:55 AM
You mowed 30 lawns without knowing how much you were gonna get paid?
Holy ****!

cajuncutter
09-15-2006, 08:56 AM
I have done this for a friend before. I took care of all his accounts. I did not use his equipment and I recieved 90%. He kept 10% because he had to bill the customers and wait to get his money back. I would demand more than 2/3. If this guy squables you in turn ask him what was it really worth to keep his customers?

noseha
09-15-2006, 09:22 AM
75-80 % Is Right! It's A Sub/Job. Nothing In Writing Before You Mowed 30 Acct For Him Wtf Were You ThinKing!:hammerhead:

DFW Area Landscaper
09-15-2006, 09:43 AM
Several points:

First, I would LOVE to have a company, with their own equipment, that I could call to do my lawns if I have a problem with a worker and need to make a change. I would absolutely LOVE to be in that situation.

Second, if I don't show up to mow someone's lawn on the day I'm supposed to, I deserve to lose that client. Anyone who is in this business and schedules a friggin' vacation in the middle of September doesn't deserve to keep any of their clients.

Third, if someone calls me for a one-time cut, and that is what all of these cuts were, I charge EXTRA. There is extra time involved administratively to handle the phone call, set them up in the billing system, add them to the schedule and then my workers have to spend extra time finding the place on the map. Additionally, the one-time cuts are seldom lawns that were mowed within the last 10 days, if ever.

You didn't have to set up 30 clients in the billing system, you didn't have to handle 30 phone calls, and you weren't dealing with 30 lawns that hadn't been mowed in a week. But you did have to look up 30 new accounts on the map and find them.

$10 lawns are inexcusable in 2006. The guy is not a lowballer. He is an idiot.

He owes you 110% of what he will bill. Minimum. Collections are his responsibility.

How many of these clients would have cancelled over this inexcusable absence had you not filled in for him?

If he argues, tell him to log on to LawnSite and read this for himself.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

phototropic1
09-15-2006, 10:00 AM
Maybe when you lose your job and are 'forced' to lowball jobs is not the best time to take an international vacation. Just a thought.
You should have agreed on a price beforehand. Chalk it up to a learning experience.

petekief
09-15-2006, 10:22 AM
i had to let a freind do mine for a week last year
he used all his own stuff
his own gas
we decided 90% was fair
it was like i got a commision for getting him those jobs
my customers opt to skip a week now though if i can't get to it
i guess i pay more attention to detail

sheshovel
09-15-2006, 11:11 AM
I don't know about anyone else but this whole thing sounds strange to me. Kind of like a business mind black hole or something.
So here's my thoughts.
If I am taking a vacation and have found someone to mow my 30 accounts for me during the time I am gone...well I see that as a HUGE favor he is doing me. He is saving me all kinds of potential problems and saving me money as well.
He is doing that by eliminating the need for me to call all my clients and informing them I will be missing their cuts. He is saving me time because I won't have to be double cutting most of my lawns because they are overgrown by the time I get back.
He is saving me money because he is preventing the possibility of lost customers.
I would lend him a mower to do that if he needed it and not think twice. I would pay for his gas and give him 100% of the money and I would bill them for him as well without even thinking of being reincompensated for it. He did me a big favor and had to bust butt to fit my jobs into his schedule, he came through and got them all done.
Why would I want money from him for that?

grandview (2006)
09-15-2006, 11:20 AM
Here's my take on it. If he's a good friend I would of done it for FREE. If he's like me I do snowplowing ,so if my truck takes a dump in the middle of the night he'll be right there to help as a favor.

mbricker
09-15-2006, 03:23 PM
Everybody else has already said it: the guy is an idiot lowballer--he is stupid-cheap, and he takes a vacation in the middle of mowing season.

And you agreed to help him out without an advance agreement on the price. So now you are in the situation of needing to bill him for more than he gets for the lawns himself.

So which of you is the bigger idiot? But take heart, you are only an idiot if you learn nothing from this.

nobagger
09-15-2006, 03:44 PM
Shame on you! You should have talked numbers before you mowed. But if I were the "guy" I would have given you what I was getting for all of the lawns, and maybe some sort of tip for bailing me out.

petekief
09-15-2006, 04:13 PM
I don't know about anyone else but this whole thing sounds strange to me. Kind of like a business mind black hole or something.
So here's my thoughts.
If I am taking a vacation and have found someone to mow my 30 accounts for me during the time I am gone...well I see that as a HUGE favor he is doing me. He is saving me all kinds of potential problems and saving me money as well.
He is doing that by eliminating the need for me to call all my clients and informing them I will be missing their cuts. He is saving me time because I won't have to be double cutting most of my lawns because they are overgrown by the time I get back.
He is saving me money because he is preventing the possibility of lost customers.
I would lend him a mower to do that if he needed it and not think twice. I would pay for his gas and give him 100% of the money and I would bill them for him as well without even thinking of being reincompensated for it. He did me a big favor and had to bust butt to fit my jobs into his schedule, he came through and got them all done.
Why would I want money from him for that?

i agree and suggested the guy get all of it, especially since he was using his own equipment but we hagled a little and 10% was what he insisted on???? i took it - i don't feel bad - like i say it's sort of like a commission on a sale?!?!?

dfor
09-15-2006, 06:34 PM
I too would love to be able to find someone to take over my accounts, if I got sick or something. That piece of mind is worth alot. 90%.

brucec32
09-15-2006, 11:15 PM
Hey, can I get you to build me a new house? We'll decide what I'll be paying you for it after it's done and I move in, ok? : )

Moretta Lawn Care
09-16-2006, 08:19 AM
OK OK!!! I get the point. I learned the hard way. I thought this guy was a good friend. Well I guess I will have to think again. I now realize that a contract for anything is a must. I have written him a letter in detail using some of the opinions I have read in this thread. I really appriciate the responses. You guys are covering every angle. Thanks

brucec32
09-16-2006, 12:42 PM
Actually you should just print out these replies and let him see what his peers think of his little stunt.

Moretta Lawn Care
09-17-2006, 08:15 AM
Actually you should just print out these replies and let him see what his peers think of his little stunt.


Yea you are right. I pretty much have used a ton of the stuff you guys have told me in a letter that I wrote him. I am having a few people read it over to make sure that it reads good. Thanks