View Full Version : New start up......Add on?

10-26-2001, 06:05 PM
Currently own a lawn sprinkler service business and was considering adding on a lawn maint. side. Am planning on targeting small to medium sized yards and only doing mowing/edging/blowing. On this coast, (west) yards are small, when we say small, less than 1000 sq. feet. Have talked with some local guys who say they can do 12-15 of these yards a day as long as it is only mow and blow.

Any suggestions as to crew size, walk behinds or riders, that sort of thing. Remember also that around here there are block walls and skinny gates.

I was thinking these numbers:
50 yards a week X 25 per mow=1250
foreman 450 per week w/ all applicable taxes, w.comp
helper 325 per week w/all applicable taxes, w.comp
various other problems and maintenance 200 per week

that is a rough net of: 275 week

this does not include any fert apps or trimming, all that on a per time basis. The extras would be the profit right?

Is this workable or stupid? I know that another 1100 a month net is no big deal but with the extras, I was thinking it might push it to 2000 per month. Add some accounts, cull the bad ones, is this about right or no?

Most companies around here do everything, trimming and all of that on larger more affluent yards and the price is about 50 per week. So my niche would be different.

Sorry so long, appreciate any advice!

10-26-2001, 07:48 PM
I would think u would have some things unique to arizona.
id try and find some one allready doing service there.

P&J Lawncare
10-26-2001, 10:09 PM
I dont know what the you pay lawn techs in arizona but two guys can cut 50 yards in three days (ten hours a day) so I would think that you could just use two guys. the net you should be looking at is half labor and half profit so if you bring in 1250 gross 625 of it should be profit. Two walk behinds (36 and a 52) should get you off to a good start.

10-26-2001, 10:30 PM
That's small.. no that's tiny...

I would hope that 2 guys could pump out 25 that size each day... easily!

10-26-2001, 10:44 PM
You better refigure all your calculations, and look CAREFULLY at ALL your figures. With all this considered, why would you even want to waste your time mowing? Take what you have in figures already. Now, add the cost and depreciation of your mowers and equipment. And, yes, they ARE going to take a heck of a beating!!! Now, you haven't even bought GAS yet. This is let alone the oil, filters, maintenance time, blades, etc., etc..
If you are into irrigation at this time, why don't you look into something lucrative like fertilization. This would be a GREAT niche with your line. How many new lawns do you install with the irrigation sytems? You could sell a whole complete lawn in a month and a half, and if you are doing it right, your NEW lawn can look better than most of the neighbors. I know, because I do it. People can not beLIEVE that these lawns are only 2 months old. You could sell these fert jobs, make alot more money with ALOT less overhead, and once you got into the roll, you would see that you wouldn't even have TIME to mow. You're too busy making money! Sure, you can make a little money mowing with a 2 man crew, but ask someone about the numbers on fertilization. It's aMAZing. The trick is, you gotta be good. ;)

10-27-2001, 05:29 PM
Are you talking about liquid fert or dry fert? Do you mean like what Tru Green does? There aren't many guys doing that here. Could there be a reason for that? Other than ignorance of new things. Or could it be a regional thing?

10-27-2001, 06:37 PM
because I've been away from it for too long. One thing I will say is the third guy on a mow, trim, blow only crew is a waste. Especially on those size yards. 2 would be perfect.

Good Luck!

10-27-2001, 06:58 PM
Where did all you guys get 3 guys from? I had mentioned in my first post only two guys.......Thanks for all the help though! You're right, 2 would be enough. I thought so to

10-27-2001, 07:04 PM
I may have confused this with another post, or else my eyes are telling me to put the beer down and go to bed!


10-28-2001, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by SprinklerGuy
Are you talking about liquid fert or dry fert? Do you mean like what Tru Green does? There aren't many guys doing that here. Could there be a reason for that? Other than ignorance of new things. Or could it be a regional thing?

It sounds to me like you may have a relatively untapped market. Nothing better you could ask for. About any amount of the right food can show a diffrence, but if done right, you can show a BIG difference. This will sel. Look up your state regulations and qualification standards, see if you have a Lesco in your area, (not just as a supplier, but these guys are really knowledgable and helpful - there is ALWAYS someone at each branch with an agronomy degree. Even if you can't do the pesticide apps at first, sub them, and just do the fert. yourself. You can make money at an alarming rate. By the way, I have a friend down in your area that lives in Tempe. He has a blues band that plays all over down there. They were recently voted the #1 blues band in the state of Arizona. It's called Cold Shot and The Hurricane Horns. Have you heard of them?:)

10-29-2001, 11:58 AM
Thanks ! For the advice I mean. As for the band, no haven't heard of them, been out of the club scene/nightlife for 3 or 4 years now. Sorry! I had a pesticide applicator license years (12) ago on the golf course I worked on. Is it that same type of license needed for pest apps? And weeds? I would love to branch into something where the customers are on a regular schedule with me, as for irrigation repair, they call a couple of times a year but you never really know when.....and usually all at once if you know what I mean.

10-29-2001, 04:37 PM
I like the weed and feed idea. For the size lawns you are talking about, a one man crew would work. Plus it would be a very low start up cost. Truck, truck mount tank, good push behind spreader, or go the true green way and mix the two.

Here, as long as you have an applicators license, with turf certification, you can put down any pesticide.

10-29-2001, 05:22 PM
1000 sf? 2 people could do ALOT of theses in a day. Get a tight area and the # of cuts per week could be very large.

10-30-2001, 02:06 PM
I could do 2-3 of that size yard an hour. If you have two guys on the crew I would say they could do 150 a week x 25$ =3750.00.

10-30-2001, 02:48 PM
My question would be, can you get $100/month for lawns under 1000 sf, mow, blow, and go?

I live in an area inundated with small lawns. At $45-60/month for these postage stamp lawns I'm currently 50-100% more expensive than most operations in my area. It's very easy for me to point out to my customers that my competition doesn't compare in quality or professionalism, but it's still unlikely I could find anyone to pay $25/cut for lawns under 1000 square. It's very hard for me to get that price for 2000 square (which I get $18-$24/cut average, currently).

$6000-$7000/month isn't unreasonable for these postage stamps, with a full schedule and one person, and more with a lot of them next to each other.

You're looking at somewhere close to $15,000/month solo at those prices (with very little expense for mow, blow, and go).

Do you already have some of these yards lined up at this price? Will your market bear it?


10-30-2001, 04:09 PM
do not have them lined up, but, have been asking my clients what they pay and what they really want. I have researched the demographics a little and found a lot of 2 income homes with kids. Most are probably too busy to mow lawn with any regularity and I'll bet it shows. They probably don't have a service now because most companies here are getting 35-50 per week and don't want anything less than that. Believe it or not, most of the guys I know only want the yards that they have to trim. They think if they are getting 50 per week it is more money. Most landscapers (smaller ones) do not see the correlation between time and money. If the yard is a 50 dollar yard that is all that matter, how long they are there is of no matter to them.

Because of this, I see that there may be a niche for a mow and blow type company that at the very least, makes sure the grass is mowed and trimmed. I know that if I had someone in my neighborhood willing to do my 2000 sq feet for 25 bucks, I would gladly pay him. And I am NOT rich by any means.

Yes I believe the market will bear it, I might be wrong. The ideas I have gleaned from this thread are well worth the time I spent writing it. Thanks to all who made suggestions. I am currently researching this and the fert app business, I will let you know. Keep up the good posts, I for one appreciate them.