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View Full Version : How many of you aren't struggling?


Indy Kyle
03-30-2008, 11:49 AM
It seems all I hear about on here is people are struggling. Let's hear from you guys that are doing well. I don't really need to hear about how much money your making, it would just be nice to hear some success stories for once. I'm getting sick of all the low baller talk and people griping about the economy, it's just depressing reading half this stuff sometimes.

brucec32
03-30-2008, 12:42 PM
It's not a sucess story but I have all the work I want when I advertise. My problem is finding the energy/labor (mine) to do the type work people want. I have no desire to do most of the grunt labor some lawns require, so I stick to mowing/aerating/shrubs and maybe some small mulch jobs in the winter.

I think the key is what your market is. Here we service "professional" types in suburbia where there is not a high "good old boy" to yuppie ratio. So there seems to be a shortage of RELIABLE lawn guys. Plenty of guys who can't show up on time or make a bad first impression, but people seem scared off by them. Guys operating in an area with lots of blue collar workers but few customers will have to struggle more with pricing and such.

I have other sources of income I can devote more time to when not doing this, so I work as much as makes sense and don't have to scrap the bottom of the barrel and I take on only the jobs that best fit my niche' (mow/blow/go/in and out fast = $60-$70/hour on-site w/ no hassles) . Doing full service would be too fatiguing for me and too hassle-filled. I would advise others to consider a secondary income source too, as this is a seasonal business with ups/downs and trying to make it something else takes your net income per hour rate way way down I've found. I can't compete with immigrants being paid $10/hour picking up sticks and weeding and mulching beds or digging holes and planting stuff, so I don't try to. I can't compete with big companies on huge properties, so I don't do it.

If you find you cannot get enough work at reasonable rates, it may just be your market isn't a great one. I know South Florida sucked in terms of rates for the conditions.

lawnpro724
03-30-2008, 12:47 PM
Ok then how about all this damn rain that just won't quit? I can't get any work done, my trailers are all ****** up since all the boards on them are so soaked. The boards, all swelled up and now even if the rain were to quit I wouldn't even be able to get my mowers on the trailers to mow. Oh how about all the landscaping jobs that I picked up for this spring? Its to wet to get any topsoil or to bring in any rock and forget about doing anything else since the ground is so saturated if you tried to dig out anything it would be a completed mess. I'm sure business will be better than last year even with the way things have been going with price shoppers, high gas prices and yes lowballers who will work for almost nothing. At least on the landscaping side of things it looking pretty good but mowing for the most part is in the toilet.

4 seasons lawn&land
03-30-2008, 01:04 PM
It seems all I hear about on here is people are struggling. Let's hear from you guys that are doing well. I don't really need to hear about how much money your making, it would just be nice to hear some success stories for once. I'm getting sick of all the low baller talk and people griping about the economy, it's just depressing reading half this stuff sometimes.



hey good post! It is depressing, I was thinking the same thing. Especially since Im just starting. Hope to hear from more who have all the work they want, plus

DSLND
03-30-2008, 01:07 PM
Things are going really well for me. My phone started ringing in about mid-January. Being I'm only fifteen, I can't take on as much work as I would like right now, but I manage with what I can do.

I'm building a strong reputation for quality and detailed work, and that's where I'm getting my customers. People don't call me for cheap mowing, they call me because my work is fantastic compared to others in town.

I am continuing to pick up clients from people who are sick of the drunk in town coming and cutting their yard, and making it look horrible. Lowballers don't bother me a bit, being people call me for quality work, not cheap labor.

This should be a good year! I just wish gas would go down a little bit!:usflag:


-Mitch-

markahurley
03-30-2008, 01:15 PM
Ok then how about all this damn rain that just won't quit? I can't get any work done, my trailers are all ****** up since all the boards on them are so soaked. The boards, all swelled up and now even if the rain were to quit I wouldn't even be able to get my mowers on the trailers to mow. Oh how about all the landscaping jobs that I picked up for this spring? Its to wet to get any topsoil or to bring in any rock and forget about doing anything else since the ground is so saturated if you tried to dig out anything it would be a completed mess. I'm sure business will be better than last year even with the way things have been going with price shoppers, high gas prices and yes lowballers who will work for almost nothing. At least on the landscaping side of things it looking pretty good but mowing for the most part is in the toilet.

wow. that sounds almost exactly like what indy kyle DIDN'T want to hear. pretty amazing that even when you ask NOT to hear it, you still get it. :)

anyways, business is looking good here. picked up two or three new accounts last week, and already have had enough work to keep me busy and then some. mowing is not in the toilet for everyone.

ED'S LAWNCARE
03-30-2008, 01:15 PM
Outside of the rain... and my regular job hrs messing me up.. I've been pretty busy. Just the basics thou...finishing up spring clean ups tomorrow.. this week starts my regular mow season.

WALKER LANDSCAPE
03-30-2008, 01:18 PM
We are doing well as well I do hear alot of complaining on here too. You are going to have that thou. I donít have great days all the time trust me. We are to a point now were we can relax during the winter and just wait on the snow to fall "IF ANY'. We were luck to have a good winter this year, which raises our finance this year to save or grow this year. It is a never-ending battle you have to come up with an operating cost and stick with it. The price of everyday living is going up everyday. You need to compensate for that. I am off the soap box now. Thanks

lawnpro724
03-30-2008, 01:26 PM
wow. that sounds almost exactly like what indy kyle DIDN'T want to hear. pretty amazing that even when you ask NOT to hear it, you still get it. :)

anyways, business is looking good here. picked up two or three new accounts last week, and already have had enough work to keep me busy and then some. mowing is not in the toilet for everyone.

Oh now, don't get me wrong, business is good and I still have many good paying lawn customers and have picked up some real nice landscaping jobs so this is going to be a good year. Not everything is a bowl of cherries though, this year people want their lawn mowed for less than last year and there are people who are willing to do it, NOT ME! Rain, Rain and more rain. I'm starting to understand how Texas felt last year. I can't get anything done as of today, not much anyway and my trailers are all messed up because of all the rain.

IndyChad
03-30-2008, 01:27 PM
Your right Indy Kyle, Its either read about how bad everyone is doing this year because of the economy, or how Big W just signed up the whole state of Pennsylvania, because he is the best sales person in the whole world. This is just how some people work. I would be surprised if these pessimistic people didn't just blame it on their "luck". I can just hear it now, "Just my luck". People need to realize that you make your "luck" and it just not something your stuck with. Our business is doing really well this year by the way.

Mow Mony
03-30-2008, 03:25 PM
Business is great! The weather has been favorable...we have been serviced all properties at least 2 or 3 times because everything is growing early, which is great for March. We were only looking to add around 30 accounts for 2008, and we have already added them, and all of them on our current tight mowing routes. We advertised about 2 weeks later than we did last season and got a great response compared to last year, and with about half of the flyers we passed out compared to last year, and the response from our new flyer design has been awesome as well. We are closing at a great ratio, at the prices we want, all while selling new customers on credit card or prepay billing only, which will hopefully will cut down non-payers to almost none.

We are also booked ahead about 3 weeks solid with mulch/cleanup/bush trimming jobs, all from new customers, as almost all of our past customers got finished up before mowing season started.

We should meet all of our goals for the year again, things are great so far!

Currier
03-30-2008, 03:43 PM
Business is very solid and abundant! Don't want anymore accounts for this season and the mowing hasn't even started yet. Should be another great year.

mowerbrad
03-30-2008, 03:48 PM
I am doing pretty well so far. No one has canceled from last year and I have gained 5 new properties. Hopefully I will be getting more soon.

tufguy100
03-30-2008, 07:34 PM
you make your own way in this biz when i started i worked my tail off with nothing these guys like big w tell to much and might not even last btw i doin great

J&R Landscaping
03-30-2008, 08:23 PM
For the most part, Spring is going pretty well for me. Calls have started comming in and estimates are going out. All my customers have been contacted and almost all are returning despite increased rates this season. If the weather warms up a bit, I should be mowing the 2nd week of April!

WHIPPLE5.7
03-30-2008, 08:25 PM
I was part time last year just for extra cash. 3 weeks ago I took the plunge and went all out and I'm doing great other than the fact that we keep getting snow and rain. It messes up my program and I get behind because the calls keep coming in. About 1/4 of the people I give estimates to tell me I'm way to high but that is OK because the other 3/4 are willing to pay. I'm not working for free, and any customer that thinks I will can kiss my white american blue collar a$$. At the end of the day I feel like someone kicked the hell out of me but its all good because I'm bringing in 3X the money I use to make working for some ****** and I was the only white guy in the bunch. He had mostly indians and mexicans. Not trying to be racial but all they did all day was smoke cigarettes, eat, drink, and smoke some more.

Lehighlawnpros
03-30-2008, 09:13 PM
Good point made by the original poster,

There is still much to be thankful for:
Being your own boss,
relative overall job security,
enjoying/taking pride in your work,
friendship/respect of customers and peers in the business,
and the smell of fresh cut grass in the morning!

We're holding steady here in SW Florida, with 15 years in the business and we've never had to advertise.
All new accounts are gained by customer recommendation
or by people simply seeing the work we do.

My mentor taught me "if you do good work, you'll have plenty of it", and he was right.

Hang in there guys, better days ahead!

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

LLandscaping
03-30-2008, 09:45 PM
We are doing well we had a busier than expected winter. During the winter (Jan, Feb. Mar) our maintenance account cut back to twice a week so we work a few less hours. But our landscaping side has been working full time all winter and we are currently scheduling landscaping jobs 3 weeks to a month out. We have picked up a few new maintenance accounts and have been busy giving estimates. Overall the first quarter of this year is looking great.

Turf Commando
03-30-2008, 09:49 PM
or how Big W just signed up the whole state of Pennsylvania, because he is the best sales person in the whole world.

If he can get the whole state, he's to good for lawn service..:cool2:

lawnboyoung
03-30-2008, 10:07 PM
im 17 this is my second year on my own. im finding out that this is a very up and down bussiness. so for all yall in the toliet keep your head up.tommorow could change everything.

S L C
03-30-2008, 10:15 PM
Your right Indy Kyle, Its either read about how bad everyone is doing this year because of the economy, or how Big W just signed up the whole state of Pennsylvania, because he is the best sales person in the whole world. This is just how some people work. I would be surprised if these pessimistic people didn't just blame it on their "luck". I can just hear it now, "Just my luck". People need to realize that you make your "luck" and it just not something your stuck with. Our business is doing really well this year by the way.

LOL about the 'big w' part.... :clapping::clapping::clapping::weightlifter::weightlifter::weightlifter:

lawnjockey56
03-30-2008, 10:22 PM
plenty of work and plenty to appreciate here

ribbie78
03-30-2008, 10:28 PM
Good start this year. All of last year's customer's + another; and I'm at my full capacity. Just purchased some goodies from my local stihl dealer, freshened up all the equipment with preventitive maintenance items, cleanups on pause until snow is melted. Business has been a blessing financially, physically, and mentally.

topsites
03-30-2008, 10:34 PM
Well I tell you pride got the best of me and I got too smart for my own good... Man I thought I had it all figured out and customers and guys here tried to tell me but I wasn't listening so for me it's a little bit like starting all over :laugh: I reckon the good news is I did see it, at some point everything just got so dang complicated I couldn't make heads or tails of it no more :laugh:

It's all good thou, nothing like a customer and money shortage to set my butt straight, right back to square one... A little left foot - right foot for a good old time it's going to be all "YES SIR / YES MA'AM / Okay" and so on... When do you want it done and how you want it, would you like it done right now and give them great service and kiss up (and MEAN it) and it'll be all right.

I tried to make up for some of it, sure did, erased a lot of files, like everyone who owed me money - delete.
Uh huh, and I said I'm sorry and that might help them not hate me so much for getting on them about all the stupid bs

The dumb of it all, that's how this whole mess got started :laugh:


The other thing I found out, what Mahatma Gandhi said, this bit:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Yeah, he forgot to mention... AFTER you win, you gotta start all over :laugh:

But it is funny, looking back I see how all that crap just took one big circle of a loop and 3-4 years later I'm right back to knowing nothing, dumb as I was day one brother lmfao. The good news is, I did in this process gain a little bit of a better understa... Well, no, I'm still so not sure how this crap works exactly :laugh:
Wisdom, that what it is?
Yeah whatever :laugh:

So things are slow but I need that, right now nice and slow and easy is it for me.
Real nice and slow, before I mess myself back up again lol

obland
03-30-2008, 10:35 PM
looking good so far.

kleankutslawn
03-30-2008, 10:38 PM
im not gone complain,but if any of you guys in my area have a full schedule,you can send the work my way.

GrassmasterB
03-30-2008, 10:43 PM
off to a good start this year. retained 100% of last years customers, some of which raised their own prices due fuel cost, without me saying a word. just bought a 2008 walker mt23 w/42'' deck. and me and my wife are expecting our first son in july. life couldn't be better.

S L C
03-30-2008, 10:51 PM
off to a good start this year. retained 100% of last years customers, some of which raised their own prices due fuel cost, without me saying a word. just bought a 2008 walker mt23 w/42'' deck. and me and my wife are expecting our first son in july. life couldn't be better.

CONGRATS dude!!! Your new one will make all of your hard work worth while!!!! :clapping:

p.s. what are you naming him, just curious coming from another daddy on here..:dancing:

GrassmasterB
03-30-2008, 10:57 PM
thanks SLC, i'm excited. part of the reason for the walker is i know it will get me home earlier each day. as far as his name, we're leaning towards Brandon.

LwnmwrMan22
03-30-2008, 11:01 PM
I know I've had a couple of threads over the last couple of weeks where most here would say "holy cow, how can you lose that much gross??"

I'll tell you what though, I couldn't be happier. Money will be a little tight this year, but I won't be bailing ship, at least not for financial reasons.

It looks like I'll get to spend Sundays, if not the whole day, at least most of the day in the boat with the wife, dad, 3 and 6 year old.

End of July, first part of August we're take a family trip with the wife, 3 and 6 year old and mom-in-law to Disney World for a week.

My dad and 2 other guys that have filled in periodically for me are going to run properties for me for that week.

With the extra accounts that I've lost, it'll be about 1.5 days less that I'll have to pay for the labor.

I already picked up a small account, but it's still $2500 for the year, lawn and snowplowing, about 10 minutes to do either service.

I've got 3 more bids that personally, I'd be surprised if I didn't get, so all in all, I'll be out of some of the bigger accounts, but I'll be back into the ones that gross me $100 / hour, +.

You know, the small 10 minute ones that you can charge out at $200 / month with the chemicals and fertilizer included.

Those are my niche market that I have much more time to fill in with now.

Good Luck to everyone this season.

At the end of the season, may all your wallets be full, and you and your family be healthy!!

nobagger
03-30-2008, 11:04 PM
Good idea! It does get to be depressing after seeing all of the "lost another one" posts. I only really have one story so far this year......I just happen to take a drive down around a nicer area in our city, quite a few large homes a few older really nice condo developments right on the lake. As I drove up to the guard gate I told a little white lie to the guard, that I had an appointment to give an estimate (which I didnt) I drove in just left a card in a door to one of the condo's, a couple of weeks later I got a call from the board member in charge of the landscaping/snow plowing. She asked us to give a bid just for plowing, we did, they accepted it. It gets better. After almost every storm she called to tell us how great of a job we were doing, which is nice to hear. A few weeks ago she said they wanted us to put a bid in for complete lawn care services as well, we did, they did not accept it at first, they wanted to give it back to their original company of 15 years. Two weeks go by and I get a call from them accepting our bid. My thought is the original company raised their prices too much, not to take credit away from my company but none the less we landed another condo development for full service. Now to find condo #3.

KS_Grasscutter
03-30-2008, 11:12 PM
I'm doin ok. Not really gaining customers like i wanna be, but I aint losing them either. Seem to be doing LOTS of "add on" type work this year, so thats pretty cool. Selling one ZTR this year hopefully, that will pay off about half of my debt, should be OUT of debt by the end of they year, unless I do something stupid like get a 4 wheeler or something.

clmllc
03-30-2008, 11:16 PM
This is a career that is what you make of it. The sky is the limit on how well you can do. I gave up a 11 yr career job with good pay and benefits in 06 to do this full time and I haven't regreted it once. I may complain alittle now and then, but if i could go back I would have done this alot sooner!!

davis45
03-31-2008, 01:44 AM
Can't complaint too much here. Had some problems with lowballers but have not lost any properties. One guy raised his rate on his own without me asking. Picked up 1 commercial account, 1 residential so far, and one beacon with 9 properties. Already started the season this week with some tree service.

Frue
03-31-2008, 09:15 AM
Doing good I am filled up again and have plenty of landscape maintenance. Thanks be to God.

I am sure everyone is feeling the pinch but be reliable reasonably priced you will do fine.. There is alot to say about reliability......

Turfcutters Plus
03-31-2008, 06:39 PM
It's all good here except few less accounts so far.That ALWAYS changes!:walking:

gutpiles
03-31-2008, 06:59 PM
Im not doing bad - I have only increased in accounts for the past 3 years. I also do alot of work for the mortgage companies on forclosed houses(lawn care, trashouts, rehabs, winterization, lock changes, ect...), so business for me has really gone up recently. But that can all change- thats why im working on becoming a police officer. Job security, benefits, pension......

Flex-Deck
03-31-2008, 07:41 PM
Im not doing bad - I have only increased in accounts for the past 3 years. I also do alot of work for the mortgage companies on forclosed houses(lawn care, trashouts, rehabs, winterization, lock changes, ect...), so business for me has really gone up recently. But that can all change- thats why im working on becoming a police officer. Job security, benefits, pension......

AS of now, we are right on schedual to be full time next summer. This summer have about 165 acres per week for my wife and I. And have a contract that is coming up next year that will put us at 210 acres per week. I made a decision a long time ago to be dedicated to mowing - NO landscaping. This allows for less equipment, fewer employee's, low overhead, and no headaches. All my equipment is running all the time. I just take care of the areas up to the edging. There are plenty of landscapers to do that part.

02DURAMAX
03-31-2008, 07:46 PM
Going good for me..I Got 7 more accounts this year..

topsites
03-31-2008, 07:59 PM
Doing good I am filled up again and have plenty of landscape maintenance. Thanks be to God.

I am sure everyone is feeling the pinch but be reliable reasonably priced you will do fine.. There is alot to say about reliability......

ditto on the prices, I find customer service super important as well, as in don't chew their butt over the small stuff... Just let it go and be more accepting and forgiving and what have you. It's tough, but at times like this I find I have to put the customer in the driver's seat (which as I already said that's what started this whole mess) but all of that will, in time, get the ball rolling again.

Just have to be more reasonable, overall.

Not telling anyone what to do, and it's easier said than done too, but I'm just saying...

Carolina Cuts
03-31-2008, 08:20 PM
off to a good start this year. retained 100% of last years customers, some of which raised their own prices due fuel cost, without me saying a word. just bought a 2008 walker mt23 w/42'' deck. and me and my wife are expecting our first son in july. life couldn't be better.

Nice.... raising their own prices.
Congrats on the son....and the walker...

jsw2008
03-31-2008, 08:37 PM
I wish my customers would raise their own prices!!!
The start to this year has been great for me as far as gross sales go, but it could have been better. The add on services I offer are not selling as well this year (pine straw, mulch, etc.) I lost out on a few pine straw spreading jobs from regular customers that ranged from $600-1200 each. Some customers decided to spread it themselves this year. Some went with low ballers who used less than half of the straw that I would have used and who did sh**tty jobs to save a few bucks. Some said they were having to cut out unneccessary expenses. But I still have the accounts for mowing so I can't complain I guess. Work is continuing to come in and I'm thankful for every phone call I get.

GrassmasterB
03-31-2008, 10:16 PM
Nice.... raising their own prices.
Congrats on the son....and the walker...

thanks carolina cuts. now i just have to figure out how to take a week or so off in july.