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View Full Version : Money in the Lawn care game in the next few years?


solomower
04-22-2011, 07:23 PM
Do you guys think there is going to be any money in the Lawn Care game in the upcoming years with all the lowballers and the rise in fuel prices?:cry:

Thanks

touhey33
04-22-2011, 07:32 PM
nope you should get out now while you can.

fireman gus
04-22-2011, 07:33 PM
If I didn't think there was money to be made in the upcoming years I wouldn't be in the business. There is always going to be work for a TRUE PROFESSIONAL. Many will come and many will go but we will ALWAYS be in business and enjoying life.

Clark Griswold
04-22-2011, 07:33 PM
What money, I thought it was a hobby!

flatlander42
04-22-2011, 08:50 PM
yup, it is a hobby here too.

rauder01
04-22-2011, 10:38 PM
I'm just working for the health of it.

ColvinsPS
04-22-2011, 10:38 PM
Wait.... you mean some guys actually get paid to do this? Wow! I am going about this all wrong!

Get Some...
04-22-2011, 10:48 PM
There is money to be made in any buisness under any economic circumstance's.....

MDLawn
04-22-2011, 10:59 PM
I think what will happen is that the non high end customer could disappear if fuel prices rise to unseen levels forcing the cheaper companies to raise prices. I see A LOT of lawns that I cannot believe have someone mowing them, but its probably so cheap that why would the home owner spend money on a mower, fuel, and their time when the can have someone do it cheap? That's the customer could disappear (thank god those arent my customers). High end people have too much lawn to be bothered with doing it and want that high end look anyways. So if one business is wrapped up with the "customer that could disappear"....yea they could be in trouble

If fuel continues to climb this business could become less appealing to "cheap" contractors as the cost of fuel would be too high.

Here's the thing. For the past 3-4 years I've heard the whole "Gas will reach $5, $6, even $7 per gallon". I think the highest I've seen was low $4 range and that was couple of years ago. The auto makers cannot suffer another debacle and I'm sure can have leverage on stuff like that. If it does get to extremes then watch out, its not just a lawn business that could suffer, everyone will!

Lower priced guys will always exist because they either don't know how to run a business, don't have good income expectations, or are desperate for money.

Southern Pride
04-22-2011, 11:04 PM
These threads are getting really annoying. The "crazy gas prices" and "outrageous amount of lowballers" are no more real than this thread makes them out to be.

Doing just fine here in Memphis. Lowballers aren't something to be concerned with, more of a "bad joke", and I got a big old lifted truck to drive around but it does pretty good on gas. Everyone needs to chill. Sick of seeing these threads.

rain man
04-22-2011, 11:13 PM
The price of oil has an effect upon almost every element of the economy. Be smart, well positioned, or lucky. No one knows the future.

chuacro
04-23-2011, 12:59 AM
I am an a old fart needing excercise. I price my cuts to cover my exspenses and that all. All my customers love me.

KINGMADE
04-23-2011, 01:05 AM
I am an a old fart needing excercise. I price my cuts to cover my exspenses and that all. All my customers love me.


It's either love or laugh at.

weeze
04-23-2011, 01:05 AM
i'm making money and i don't have to work the 6-3 or 8-5 daily grind...can't ask for anything more than that.

MJB
04-23-2011, 01:31 AM
If I was just starting out I don't think I would pursue this business fulltime. While some do well it's a challenge to mow full time and have a retirement set aside. I would consider how will you retire, mowing is hard over 50, I'd hate to be supporting myself this way at 75 , unless I had another income. Money is losing value faster than many realize so do what you have to and survive. But many customers will be getting tighter with their budget, so expect the worse, hope for the best. Plant a garden set aside extra food and survival kits, are a must. Don't think your gonna get rich doing this.

topsites
04-23-2011, 01:43 AM
It's just like when customers ask me how I go about cleaning up leaves,
I tell them the same thing I will answer to this question:

In the years I've been doing this I have learned of so many ways of getting it done...
Unfortunately, none of them fall under that category of what I might call "easy."

They all involve work to some degree or another, and while some pay better the hard truth is that the equipment cost more
so that while some might think that $15 an hour shoveling isn't so good, once again the truth is a shovel only costs $20 where the
$30 an hour lawn mower costs $5,000 ... Now it gets to where every time I think I got it all figured out along comes something
wicked to smack my tail upside the head so that it all works out to where it's the same dang money at the end of the day,
the end of the week, and the end of the month, too.

Every dang time, and you wouldn't believe it if I told you but it just doesn't matter.

Don't think your gonna get rich doing this.

Nope, and you can work so hard but for so long yet in the end, same dang result.

weeze
04-23-2011, 01:45 AM
there's an easy way!!! just mow them with the mower until they disappear lol...at least that's an easier way than bagging, blowing, raking, etc.

Kelly's Landscaping
04-23-2011, 07:04 PM
These threads are getting really annoying. The "crazy gas prices" and "outrageous amount of lowballers" are no more real than this thread makes them out to be.

Doing just fine here in Memphis. Lowballers aren't something to be concerned with, more of a "bad joke", and I got a big old lifted truck to drive around but it does pretty good on gas. Everyone needs to chill. Sick of seeing these threads.

5000 gallons a year at 2 dollars a gallon more then when Obama took office is plenty real to me that's $10,000 I have to absorb now. They raised my grass dumping fees this year 50% to $7.50 a yard and leaves a dollar more to $5 don't sound like much but that's over a $1,000 more this coming year. As for the lawballer's I wouldn't know but there's no money this year. Having to rewrite our entire business plan as we speak this year. Crew #3 is not going to happen I can see that already perhaps I will add one guy to my crew and see how much more I can take on that way.

SouthSide Cutter
04-23-2011, 07:19 PM
If I was just starting out I don't think I would pursue this business fulltime. While some do well it's a challenge to mow full time and have a retirement set aside. I would consider how will you retire, mowing is hard over 50, I'd hate to be supporting myself this way at 75 , unless I had another income. Money is losing value faster than many realize so do what you have to and survive. But many customers will be getting tighter with their budget, so expect the worse, hope for the best. Plant a garden set aside extra food and survival kits, are a must. Don't think your gonna get rich doing this.

Have to agree with you. Just had a couple guys wanting to take over when I quit. Told them to get certified to spray and they might make it. Its pretty hard here to just cut grass and make a living.
I am 59 pretty good health and can go all day. Have a good retirement, work on my own equipment weld repair etc. Have a real big garden and can about everything. I can see things a little rough in years to come. I also cant really see getting ahead and putting much back for retirement in this business but love doing it.

Exact Rototilling
04-24-2011, 12:11 PM
Prices are rising across the board....except in lawncare. Maybe it's just me but I haven't noticed the typical threads such as : "my $50k to $75k job with full benefits is boring and I want to quit and get into this biz."

If I was confident that mowing was lucrative I would of already bought a walker bigger truck and trailer. Instead I added 2 new BOP mowers because of price point, quality of cut and light weight so I don't have to get a bigger truck and trailer. I focus on specific areas and types of properties for mowing.

Even if your service is great and quality is high a lower price will always tempt your customers. I've said it before some of the big Co here are now lowballing. I once refereed applications to that specific Co. Not anymore.

I have another biz I work 5 nights a week about 20-25 hours with very low overhead and more profit than the lawn biz. As tedious and boring as it is....ZERO plans on quiting it.
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GrandMaster
04-25-2011, 04:03 PM
Do you guys think there is going to be any money in the Lawn Care game in the upcoming years with all the lowballers and the rise in fuel prices?:cry:

Thanks

This year we are not buying any more toros. exmarks, walkers etc. It will be all lawn boy mowers 21" pushers. And than we are going to hire 4 illegal mexi's for each crew. They should be able to mow/trim 1 acre in .20. the money we make by paying them under the table and saving k's of money on cheaper equipment will put us as "KING LOWNUTZ"......

For snow removal we are going organic with mules and pull edges. Feed them on the grass when needed and no more gas costs!!!:clapping::usflag:

solomower
05-04-2011, 09:14 PM
BUMP!

With rising gas prices :cry: are any of you slimming down the fleet or getting rid of the extra employee you don't need?

bradsd
05-04-2011, 10:31 PM
5000 gallons a year at 2 dollars a gallon more then when Obama took office is plenty real to me that's $10,000 I have to absorb now. They raised my grass dumping fees this year 50% to $7.50 a yard and leaves a dollar more to $5 don't sound like much but that's over a $1,000 more this coming year. As for the lawballer's I wouldn't know but there's no money this year. Having to rewrite our entire business plan as we speak this year. Crew #3 is not going to happen I can see that already perhaps I will add one guy to my crew and see how much more I can take on that way.

Gas four years ago was over $4.00 a gallon, not sure what you are talking about. Its been much cheaper the last three years than it was before. We are just now back to the 2008 cost of gas.

meets1
05-04-2011, 10:46 PM
Need more than just mowing. I am full service and work 30 miles radius.

What in your minds is making money? New this and new that and been in business for 5 yrs? I am getting close to having everything paid for. I am incorporated -pay myself a salary and let the business take care of business. I added one more guy this year and bought another exmark mower - goal is to have everyone done by thursday. Me and two others will work full week.

Now if your old and have stuff paid for - I am sure your making money. There is a guy here who has a JD rider, 6x10 homemade trailer, 98 1/2 ton truck. his shop - under the maple tree in the front yard. ZERO overhead - to a point. Now look at us, 5 Z's. wams, 8 trucks, trailers, skids, tractors, shop, insurance, bond, all the other equipment that goes with it - he has alot less overhead than I and maybe I see the theory of him being cheaper than me. Now maybe if i had everything paid for - i would be cheaper and wipe him out and deal with volume sales - but I can't see that yet?

Am I making money - wife and 3 boys we do some stuff - don't spend alot but enjoy life. Living modestly - 18 months house paid for, bills/payments are made each month - life goes on - even with $4 gas - not good but what ya going to do?

flatlander42
05-04-2011, 10:48 PM
Gas four years ago was over $4.00 a gallon, not sure what you are talking about. Its been much cheaper the last three years than it was before. We are just now back to the 2008 cost of gas.

well...do you think it will go down again?

GrandMaster
05-04-2011, 11:03 PM
well...do you think it will go down again?

NO! They got us by the balls! they know we all have to use it (GAS)and we will make amends too. Its like a invention... Invent something everyone needs (toothbrush) and your on easy road. Even if we drill our own oil we will steal pay top dollar for it. I save alot by really planning out or week and cutting back on gas is a big money saver for anyone in our line of work. In landscaping we've been pushing customers into hardscaping (no maintenance landscaping) it makes us good money and makes them happy by them saving on mowing etc.

Dr.NewEarth
05-04-2011, 11:09 PM
Our gas is about $5.56 a gallon today.

Glenn Lawn Care
05-04-2011, 11:31 PM
nope you should get out now while you can.

lol i agree

Lawnut101
05-04-2011, 11:44 PM
I don't know. I am busier than I can handle right now. I have raised some prices and kept some the same. Mowing isn't great money, but it helps pay the bills with a little profit on top. Landscaping, snow plowing, and tree work is where the money is. I think those companies that "only" mow, are probably going to be hurting.

Roachy
05-05-2011, 01:44 AM
Dont worry guys, theres a whole generation of kids growing up who have never started a lawn mower.

Merkava_4
05-05-2011, 01:58 AM
When the middle class disappears from this country, you guys will be depending on
the rich for your customers; because the poor sure as hell aren't gonna have lawns.

lyndont
05-05-2011, 02:15 AM
Dont worry guys, theres a whole generation of kids growing up who have never started a lawn mower.

Ha and those same kids don't work to pay for our services, or a house for that matter. As long as they have the parents basement and video games they are content. That is all they need.
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TuffWork
05-05-2011, 04:12 AM
Dont worry guys, theres a whole generation of kids growing up who have never started a lawn mower.

Those kids are not fueled by the same ideas that we were. I'm young and I see my sisters generation being driven by corporations. They don't want to work for themselves. They want things handed to them. Thus why I think our industry has the opportunity to thrive for those of us that are really willing to do quality work. Potential quality in employees will go down, but potentially quality business owners will go down as well. High standards will yield high profits in the future. That's where I'm placing my bets.

solomower
05-23-2011, 07:09 PM
Bummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmp

Kelly's Landscaping
05-23-2011, 09:46 PM
Gas four years ago was over $4.00 a gallon, not sure what you are talking about. Its been much cheaper the last three years than it was before. We are just now back to the 2008 cost of gas.

Your welcome to do a check it was 1.99 a gallon here when he was sworn in and national average was 1.89 a gal. And I do have the receipts and gas reports to prove it. Now it did spike to over 4 a gallon summer of 2008 but the price then crashed before the end of the year.

Penncare
05-23-2011, 10:05 PM
The things that make me optomistic are: grass keeps on growing*, most young people are lazy and above this work, and I can always move to california and grow pot. *First reason has nothing to do with last reason.