PDA

View Full Version : Mow for Free for 2 years?


soloscaperman
09-28-2010, 02:17 PM
There is a guy that owns his own shop working on Amercian Muscle cars. I mow a lot of lawns on his street. I talked to him plenty of times and he is tired of mowing his huge lawn. My question is he wants to do the headgaskets on my LT1 in my Camaro for $1200 labor. After the parts I buy it will come to around $1400. Should I talk him into bardering ? The other idea is maybe pay him half and mow for a year? The reason why is I am a little low in money since I am buying 4 high quality tires for my truck for snow plowing and want to gt my truck ready for plowing. The drought screwed me over and this is my 3rd year and I am almost down paying off my mower :-)

I know in every business you should have money saved but when starting any business usually your out of the clear under 5 years. After that it's all profit.

mbrew
09-28-2010, 03:34 PM
Personally, I don't like those type of obligations hanging over my head. If I and he have a difference of opinion for whatever reason, I want to be able to make a clean break and that would be hard to do in this case. I'd also bet that you would begin to resent having to do that lawn after a few months.

Just my 2 cents. You get them for free.

2brothersyardcare
09-28-2010, 03:43 PM
i would do it did it for my volvo

Richard Martin
09-28-2010, 03:47 PM
The term would be BARTERING. Just an FYI, not being critical. I traded a farily large leaf cleanup for the machine shop labor and fab work on the brake conversion for my Ferris Hydrocut. The leaf cleanup took me 3 or 4 hours and he spent about the same amount of time. Tit for tat.

Bartering is no different than any other means of exchanging valuable items. What I mean by that would be if you went out, cut other lawns for money, and then took that money and paid this guy to do your head gaskets. As long as both sides are happy then everything is fine.

soloscaperman
09-28-2010, 04:00 PM
In a way it's like giving him small payments without interest. His lawn is worth about $50 to cut. My plan is he will be comfortable with my mowing and once that contract is finished he might want to start paying for my services then I cane get him with fall cleanups, mulch, etc. People get lazy and don't want to change. That's why AOL back in the day gave you free internet for 6 months then they start charging and most people didn't change.

SuperPROlawnScalper
09-28-2010, 04:07 PM
you are getting a one time thing. i wouldn't do a 1 or 2 year deal, i would do an amount of cuts along with being allowed to keep a sign out by the road.

i mow for a concrete company that i used to work for in exchange for using their equipment when i need it - no rentals:)

JimLewis
09-28-2010, 04:39 PM
You guys are funny. It's the mechanic who should be asking, "Should I do this barter deal?", not you. If he goes out of business after the deal, no big deal. You're not out anything. On the other hand, if you go out of business, he's totally screwed! He's taking all the risk here, not you. You should jump at the chance for a deal like this.

There's absolutely no downside or risk for you. Let me explain. Right now you have two choices;

1) Pay for the head gasket job.
2) Trade for the head gasket job.

If you chose Option 2, you are always going to have the opportunity to go back to option 1. If he's unhappy with your work for some reason after a few months, then you just pay him off - option 1. You're no worse off. In fact, better off because you got to delay a few months paying for a large expense AND you got to work some of it off too! No downside!

Barter is almost always a good deal as long as you're receiving the benefit right away (as opposed to over time). Reason being; if you have to pay for a $1000 item with cash or pay for a $1000 item with landscaping, you're always better off with the latter, because the landscaping never costs you as much as the cash.

Unless you're so busy that you can't take on another account, this is a great deal for you.

I'm more worried about the rates your charging. We care for about 250 properties each week and most all of them are what most people on Lawnsite would consider "postage stamp" lawns. And I can't think of one that would be less than $1800 PER YEAR! And you're talking about $1400 for two years??? At those rates, I'm worried for the mechanic - that you'd go out of business before you were able to repay him. But that's a whole other thread. I know we all charge different rates. That just seems inordinately low to me.

GravyTrain
09-28-2010, 05:43 PM
As far as the rates go, although $700 sound slow for a years worth of work, I have only a handful of yards I charge more than $800 a year for. I average between 17 and 18 cuts per year for most of my yards, and average cut is about $45 a cut. That is between $765 and $810. Mind you, that doesn't include mulch installation, leaf removal, etc. In CT, I would imagine the cutting season is shorter which probably means fewer cuts and therefore the $700 range.

I don't have a single customer who would even consider $1800 a year, even if that included leaf removal, mulch application, etc. And I've got some decent sized yards.

nepatsfan
09-28-2010, 05:50 PM
As far as the rates go, although $700 sound slow for a years worth of work, I have only a handful of yards I charge more than $800 a year for. I average between 17 and 18 cuts per year for most of my yards, and average cut is about $45 a cut. That is between $765 and $810. Mind you, that doesn't include mulch installation, leaf removal, etc. In CT, I would imagine the cutting season is shorter which probably means fewer cuts and therefore the $700 range.

I don't have a single customer who would even consider $1800 a year, even if that included leaf removal, mulch application, etc. And I've got some decent sized yards.

Wow, seriously......you need to find better accounts.

soloscaperman
09-28-2010, 05:52 PM
Calm down I will not go out of business from mowing his lawn and his shop won't go out of business over a head gasket job.

sdk1959
09-28-2010, 05:54 PM
You guys are funny. It's the mechanic who should be asking, "Should I do this barter deal?", not you. If he goes out of business after the deal, no big deal. You're not out anything. On the other hand, if you go out of business, he's totally screwed! He's taking all the risk here, not you. You should jump at the chance for a deal like this.

There's absolutely no downside or risk for you. Let me explain. Right now you have two choices;

1) Pay for the head gasket job.
2) Trade for the head gasket job.

If you chose Option 2, you are always going to have the opportunity to go back to option 1. If he's unhappy with your work for some reason after a few months, then you just pay him off - option 1. You're no worse off. In fact, better off because you got to delay a few months paying for a large expense AND you got to work some of it off too! No downside!

Barter is almost always a good deal as long as you're receiving the benefit right away (as opposed to over time). Reason being; if you have to pay for a $1000 item with cash or pay for a $1000 item with landscaping, you're always better off with the latter, because the landscaping never costs you as much as the cash.

Unless you're so busy that you can't take on another account, this is a great deal for you.



Exactly what I was thinking! You took the words right out of my mouth! The mechanic is taking all the risk in a barter deal like this for the reasons mentioned above.

hackitdown
09-28-2010, 06:20 PM
I love barter. I have bartered mowing for storage, plowing, backhoe work, carpentry, dumping privileges, you name it. It works for me.

I'd rather part with time than cash.

Roger
09-28-2010, 08:43 PM
Calm down I will not go out of business from mowing his lawn and his shop won't go out of business over a head gasket job.

You may not go out of business from mowing this one lawn. But, from your first post, it sounds like you are on the edge of dissolution. From the first post, it sounds like you are not profitable. Waiting on snow season is literally living "hand to mouth."

JimLewis has it right. You have the upside, the shop owner is the one who should be seriously questioning the barter deal. He is out the labor and parts, with a long-term payment plan that may, or may not, be completed. Maybe there is more to the story, but he sounds more stable with his business than yours.

BTW, the title of the thread is telling about how you perceive this deal, "...mowing for free." Sorry, don't think so...

soloscaperman
09-28-2010, 09:27 PM
You may not go out of business from mowing this one lawn. But, from your first post, it sounds like you are on the edge of dissolution. From the first post, it sounds like you are not profitable. Waiting on snow season is literally living "hand to mouth."

JimLewis has it right. You have the upside, the shop owner is the one who should be seriously questioning the barter deal. He is out the labor and parts, with a long-term payment plan that may, or may not, be completed. Maybe there is more to the story, but he sounds more stable with his business than yours.

BTW, the title of the thread is telling about how you perceive this deal, "...mowing for free." Sorry, don't think so...

My business is not dissolving. The problem is time frame and do I really want to spend this amount of money right now on the car. I make a lot of money in fall cleanups but that's not for a while.

TheC-Master
09-28-2010, 11:20 PM
Wow, seriously......you need to find better accounts.

Depends on the package, the frequency, and other variables for price. I have some tiny customers that are 2x a month annually for a different price than a customer who does 4x a month with everything on a huge yard. If you have postage lawns for 1,800 a year I imagine you set them up for weekly service in the busy months. Unless you charge $75 a cut. I knew the previous poster said that about 1,800 a year, I was just saying myself.

kilgoja
09-28-2010, 11:49 PM
i would do it....barter man....maybe after the 1 or 2 years he would keep you and start paying you to do it as well

Lbilawncare
09-29-2010, 12:11 AM
If you are just getting started in business and tight on cash then it would be best to sell the car that needs head gaskets and use the money to keep your business going. Don't mean to be blunt, but if it doesn't make money then sell it.

Southern Pride
09-29-2010, 01:10 AM
Well you take 1200 divide by 50 and that puts you at 24 cuts which is pretty close to the norm I think? Might turn out to be a great deal for you! I wish I could find someone to paint my truck for lawn cuts like that...That's really got me thinking...lol

Southern Pride
09-29-2010, 01:12 AM
Edit: I just saw you're talking about mowing free for 2 years not 1....If cutting every week it would cover roughly a year I think and 2 years would be bi-weekly. Anyone correct me if I'm way off but it would still make sense 2 years Bi-weekly.