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View Full Version : feeling a little discouraged about starting a LC biz


GreenS14
06-17-2007, 12:12 AM
This evening, I asked a neighbor(Phil) how much he pays his gardner to maintain his lawn to get a feel of the going rate before trying to start a lawn care business. I live in a track home heighborhood, so the lawns are average. It would probaly take about 30 minutes to cut front and back. He told me he pays $60 a month for weekly maintanance. How am I suppose to start a business with the competition doing work for free? Phil says he doesn't know how he makes money because he has a helper too.

I have calculated over and over, there is no way I can get into this doing work for that price.

Any suggestions?

TIA

KS_Grasscutter
06-17-2007, 12:24 AM
This evening, I asked a neighbor(Phil) how much he pays his gardner to maintain his lawn to get a feel of the going rate before trying to start a lawn care business. I live in a track home heighborhood, so the lawns are average. It would probaly take about 30 minutes to cut front and back. He told me he pays $60 a month for weekly maintanance. How am I suppose to start a business with the competition doing work for free? Phil says he doesn't know how he makes money because he has a helper too.

I have calculated over and over, there is no way I can get into this doing work for that price.

Any suggestions?

TIA

Don't get into the business, maybe:confused:

lawnman_scott
06-17-2007, 12:29 AM
Asking Phil doesnt give you a great way to judge the entire area, there will be cheap people everywhere. Phil just found one of them.

Supper Grassy
06-17-2007, 06:56 AM
If you want to know how much others are getting call 5-10 companys to estimate your lawn

Ravenwood Landscaping
06-17-2007, 01:02 PM
This evening, I asked a neighbor(Phil) how much he pays his gardner to maintain his lawn to get a feel of the going rate before trying to start a lawn care business. I live in a track home heighborhood, so the lawns are average. It would probaly take about 30 minutes to cut front and back. He told me he pays $60 a month for weekly maintanance. How am I suppose to start a business with the competition doing work for free? Phil says he doesn't know how he makes money because he has a helper too.

I have calculated over and over, there is no way I can get into this doing work for that price.

Any suggestions?

TIA

$60 for 30 minutes of work is usually what I get for mowing. The question is, is your thirty minutes of work only 15 for a crew with bigger mowers? If you're using a 21" mower, then of course it doesn't make sense but if a company is using a 48" walkbehind at a fast pace, then the money adds up quickly for them

justanotherlawnguy
06-17-2007, 11:33 PM
I have noticed there are not many guys on here from Cali....that might say something...

sheshovel
06-18-2007, 02:48 AM
Yes, the competition here is fierce and the Mexican labor force has it all tied up. They are not making money in your eyes but in their eyes they are because they do outrageous volume and quantity. No saying all, but most work under the table and don't pay taxes because they are here illegally anyways. This make it possible for them to undercharge. I suggest you find another venue or another business in Cali.

Big M LawnnSnow
06-18-2007, 03:47 AM
Competition is fierce everywhere.
Prices are so secretive nobody knows what anybody else is charging and won't disclose what their rates are.
Even the customer lies about what they are paying to get you to lower your estimate on what you would charge them.
You have to know what your specific costs and overheads are and make your prices accordingly and hold your ground on them.
Never work for less money just to have work. It's a losing proposition.

sheshovel
06-18-2007, 03:54 AM
I did not say it wasn't. I ask you, how close are you to the border of Mexico?

WJW Lawn
06-18-2007, 07:19 AM
Get into the Fert side. Thats what Im doing...studying for my applicators exam. Ive become so frustrated with the maintenance side of things that its not even funny. Just the other day I was at Lowes...and they have 3 trailers set up...with regular old residential riders on them...and a rack with some cheap A** trimmer and blower. Now who do you think they are marketing to? Thats right!! Mr Lowballer himself! Mr --my prices can be lower cause I dont have insurance and dont pay taxes. Now Ive beaten these weasels before...because customers learn that these idiots do shi**y work, and they'll pay my price. BUT---the respect factor has to be at an all time low.

Since I know most of these clowns arent actually going to educate themselves on anything more than how many times to prime the pump on their Ryobi trimmer...Ive decided to explore the fertilizer side of things. Maybe everntually even break free of maintenance all together. Truth is....it pays the bills...but wheres the security in that unless you hire a whole crew?

See I know Tommy Low baller isnt going to advertise fertilizer services, because its not as appealing as mowing--not the mention federally regulated. Besides...how many times have we heard on this site "I have 2 accounts...10k worth of equipment...and just bought a 35K truck...umm...how do I get more accounts?" lol WHERES THE BUSINESS PLAN??? Oh...thats right...you dont have one.

I have buddies that dropped the maintenance end...studied to be landscapers...got their license...and LOVE it!

So the bottom line is...maintenance is the easiest way in...but it pays crap...to other lawn care and landscaping services. I bet you could make more money with a shovel, than a lawnmower.

Check out other things lawn care has to offer...irrigation...fert...landscape lighting. Do something you actually have to learn...and you'll deal less with the bs of maintenance.

John Gamba
06-18-2007, 07:35 AM
If you want to know how much others are getting call 5-10 companys to estimate your lawn


Bingo. The best part about this business now is you have to wait up to 60 days for the low number check:cry:

Big M LawnnSnow
06-19-2007, 03:12 AM
I did not say it wasn't. I ask you, how close are you to the border of Mexico?

Actually from where I stand it looks like I'm right on the border also.

martinfan06
06-19-2007, 01:07 PM
Get into the Fert side. Thats what Im doing...studying for my applicators exam. Ive become so frustrated with the maintenance side of things that its not even funny. Just the other day I was at Lowes...and they have 3 trailers set up...with regular old residential riders on them...and a rack with some cheap A** trimmer and blower. Now who do you think they are marketing to? Thats right!! Mr Lowballer himself! Mr --my prices can be lower cause I dont have insurance and dont pay taxes. Now Ive beaten these weasels before...because customers learn that these idiots do shi**y work, and they'll pay my price. BUT---the respect factor has to be at an all time low.

Since I know most of these clowns arent actually going to educate themselves on anything more than how many times to prime the pump on their Ryobi trimmer...Ive decided to explore the fertilizer side of things. Maybe everntually even break free of maintenance all together. Truth is....it pays the bills...but wheres the security in that unless you hire a whole crew?

See I know Tommy Low baller isnt going to advertise fertilizer services, because its not as appealing as mowing--not the mention federally regulated. Besides...how many times have we heard on this site "I have 2 accounts...10k worth of equipment...and just bought a 35K truck...umm...how do I get more accounts?" lol WHERES THE BUSINESS PLAN??? Oh...thats right...you dont have one.

I have buddies that dropped the maintenance end...studied to be landscapers...got their license...and LOVE it!

So the bottom line is...maintenance is the easiest way in...but it pays crap...to other lawn care and landscaping services. I bet you could make more money with a shovel, than a lawnmower.

Check out other things lawn care has to offer...irrigation...fert...landscape lighting. Do something you actually have to learn...and you'll deal less with the bs of maintenance.

Great post My plans exactly in order to win you must expanded not only in equipment and work but KNOWLEDGE.