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mrblands
07-12-2011, 09:37 PM
I found this on a customers lawn this morning while cleaning up and i'm thinking that I cant come near these prices.

Times are tuff but damn $15.00 per cut on a monthly or $21.25 per cut for full service.

The cheapest property i do is open lot @ $35 and it takes me 20min to do and its family:confused:

I gues if you have 100 accounts like these you might be ok, the only good thing i see is that it gets your foot in the door for other landscape renovations with those customers.

Has anyone else had to drop there prices down this low because of others?

Oh and thanks I'm new here and I luve this site an overwhelming amount of info on this site.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a243/BPCustoms/add.jpg

Florida Gardener
07-12-2011, 09:44 PM
I never worry about what others charge. If people want to work for that, that's their problem. The only 2 accounts that I have under $100/mo. Are 2 backyards with 250-500 sq ft of turf and a little bit of ornamentals. They take about 15 min each including spraying for weeds and light trimming. Other than that, everything is way above $100/mo.
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williams lcm
07-12-2011, 09:51 PM
I have seen these exact flyers all over lake county. I dont worry about it. I have enough work as it is. If they want to work cheap let them. It will only hurt them in the long run

unkownfl
07-12-2011, 11:14 PM
I've seen those fliers from ocoee all the way to Apopka. If you're seeing them in Lake county I'm sure hes not going to be around long.

wglyons
09-03-2011, 05:44 PM
Not sure if it's $15/cut. The ad says $60/month, but that could be visits every other week for $30/cut...For clients looking for cheap, cheap, cheap, you really think they care if the lawn gets cut every week? Nope - just often enough to keep the city from issuing a citation for an unkept yard...

Patriot Services
09-04-2011, 08:48 AM
Around here its even worse than that. New guy in my community paper. The "Lawn Hero". Claims to be a CPO and is advertising full pest service. No license number on his ad or his cheesy magnetic door sign on his Durango. Offering 200.00 off sod installs that he will warranty for life if you use his spray service. 45.00 WEEKLY lawn service. This clown is out of business already and doesn't even know it. :usflag:

And no, volume is not the solution for these prices. You just tear up man, machine and contribute the overall decline of industry standards.

Stillwater
09-04-2011, 09:08 AM
I don't have a issue with that add, it is a good add, I suggest all of you RE-read it again, carefully, 60 a month is the starting lowest.

The only issue i have is.... the stupid dude littered their lawn with a advertisement, If it was my house I would have called them at the number on the flyer and told them to send someone over to immediately pick up your litter that was intentionally thrown on my property. I understand the need to advertise but your not going to gain the business of caring for my property if you start off with littering it. At minimum show some respect for my property and your company by calling me on the phone, knock on my door or even better mail me that flyer. Just don't be a slease and drive by tossing this crap onto my property

South Florida Lawns
09-06-2011, 12:48 AM
I never worry about what others charge. If people want to work for that, that's their problem. The only 2 accounts that I have under $100/mo. Are 2 backyards with 250-500 sq ft of turf and a little bit of ornamentals. They take about 15 min each including spraying for weeds and light trimming. Other than that, everything is way above $100/mo.
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Right there!

Ric
09-06-2011, 09:26 AM
..

Guys

Mowing prices are about the same now as they were 30 years ago. IMHO Two factors have caused this. One is the Down economy that has every unemployed fool cutting grass. second is the advancement in commercial mowers to very fast Z turns and power hand tools like weed eaters. Yes I am old enough to remember hand shears.

If you look in the archives there is a reoccurring theme posted here on Lawnsite. That mowing is the LOST LEADER FOR UPSELLS. Back when I had the Full Service Big Show (not really that big) Mowing was a break even situation. It did pay a big proportion of the Over Head but not all of it. But it was the reoccurring Fert & Squirt and Shrub Trimming that put food on the table. Irrigation repairs and landscape installs paid for the Kids college and cars.



..

johnsonslawnmanagement
09-06-2011, 10:07 AM
Ric hit the nail on the head: Mowing hardly ever brings in a profit. It's weed control, fert, landscaping, and irrigation that pays well. If your worried about all these hacks just mowing, then your wasting your time. If they are not offering anything but basic maintenance, they are a minimal threat and will be broke/out of buisness before you know it. With every unemployed person in the country trying to mow grass, the "low baller" will always be a factor.
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Florida Gardener
09-06-2011, 12:05 PM
..

Guys

Mowing prices are about the same now as they were 30 years ago. IMHO Two factors have caused this. One is the Down economy that has every unemployed fool cutting grass. second is the advancement in commercial mowers to very fast Z turns and power hand tools like weed eaters. Yes I am old enough to remember hand shears.

If you look in the archives there is a reoccurring theme posted here on Lawnsite. That mowing is the LOST LEADER FOR UPSELLS. Back when I had the Full Service Big Show (not really that big) Mowing was a break even situation. It did pay a big proportion of the Over Head but not all of it. But it was the reoccurring Fert & Squirt and Shrub Trimming that put food on the table. Irrigation repairs and landscape installs paid for the Kids college and cars.



..
This is why I want to stay small and do say 15-20 estates with 2 helpers max. My ultimate goal is to get an estate management gig where I work at someone's estate 3-5 days/week and get paid a yearly salary. Where they pay for all equipment, materials, etc. And in addition have a couple guys run my 15-20 estates.
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Ric
09-06-2011, 01:20 PM
This is why I want to stay small and do say 15-20 estates with 2 helpers max. My ultimate goal is to get an estate management gig where I work at someone's estate 3-5 days/week and get paid a yearly salary. Where they pay for all equipment, materials, etc. And in addition have a couple guys run my 15-20 estates.
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Diamond

The Original Poster ask if he should re evaluate his prices. I think it is more like re evaluate his Business plan. In your case you are looking for the security of a Real Job working for the Man and also running a business on the side. Firemen are famous for that.

I see nothing wrong with the $ 15 by the cut business IF YOU HAVE YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW. A guy in my town only does $ 15.00 By the Cut and has for well over 20 years. But he single handed does 30 everyday day before noon. His business name is TLC and it doesn't stand for Tender Loving Care. It is Terry's Lawn Care and Terry doesn't take any care in cutting any thing. He just laughs all the way to the bank. At one time I turned my nose up at Terry's Business style. But the greenest thing in the green industry is the Green back dollar. Terry has found his green and who am I to knock it. Speaking of lowball operation Check Out JUSTMOWING.COM. I will admit his price have greatly increase from a few years ago when he posted on Lawnsite. But he build a customer base on lowball pricing then raised his prices to what the Market will bare. Of course he is in one to largest Markets with a very high disposable income.

If you are going to run lowball operation the trick is not say it is a fine quality service. Admit you you are a Blow & Go and laugh all the way to the bank.

Keith
09-06-2011, 01:30 PM
I do just a few more than that, but I won't call them estates. I'm not going to take on more just to add volume.

What Ric said is shockingly accurate for many areas. I run across people mowing every day that cut for the same sized lawns for the same monthly price I got in 1987. And the late 1990's price scale seems to be the "premium" price. Bottom line, the people just have to be satisfied with your work, and actually like you in order to get a premium over that.

jvanvliet
09-06-2011, 04:42 PM
..


If you look in the archives there is a reoccurring theme posted here on Lawnsite. That mowing is the LOST LEADER FOR UPSELLS. Back when I had the Full Service Big Show (not really that big) Mowing was a break even situation. It did pay a big proportion of the Over Head but not all of it. But it was the reoccurring Fert & Squirt and Shrub Trimming that put food on the table. Irrigation repairs and landscape installs paid for the Kids college and cars.



..

Bingo! Cutting grass pays the bills, add on services are the meat & gravy! All of the things Ric mentioned and why not pressure cleaning, rust removal, installing and maintaining rust injection systems, etc. The work & the money is out there, be creative and ask for it.

As an aside, advertising media has not brought a big enough return for me to warrant the expense. I get more calls off of my truck & trailer signs than I ever did advertising. Do a great job and customers will refer friends and neighbors, do a great job and they will call you. It's an easy entry business and every gypsie anywhere in the country, who has failed at everything else throws a mower on the back of his truck, moves to Florida and cuts grass. Set yourself apart as a professional!

Florida Gardener
09-06-2011, 07:29 PM
Diamond

The Original Poster ask if he should re evaluate his prices. I think it is more like re evaluate his Business plan. In your case you are looking for the security of a Real Job working for the Man and also running a business on the side. Firemen are famous for that.

I see nothing wrong with the $ 15 by the cut business IF YOU HAVE YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW. A guy in my town only does $ 15.00 By the Cut and has for well over 20 years. But he single handed does 30 everyday day before noon. His business name is TLC and it doesn't stand for Tender Loving Care. It is Terry's Lawn Care and Terry doesn't take any care in cutting any thing. He just laughs all the way to the bank. At one time I turned my nose up at Terry's Business style. But the greenest thing in the green industry is the Green back dollar. Terry has found his green and who am I to knock it. Speaking of lowball operation Check Out JUSTMOWING.COM. I will admit his price have greatly increase from a few years ago when he posted on Lawnsite. But he build a customer base on lowball pricing then raised his prices to what the Market will bare. Of course he is in one to largest Markets with a very high disposable income.

If you are going to run lowball operation the trick is not say it is a fine quality service. Admit you you are a Blow & Go and laugh all the way to the bank.

Ric

Nothing wrong with mow and go, just not my cup of tea. I didn't get a Hort degree and continue to take seminars to mow and go.

Yup, that is my goal. I overall want to stay small. IMO, I think guys try and take everything bc they get greedy. I don't want a boatload of employees or a boatload of customers. 15-20 accounts priced at 1-K+/mo. is just enough especially when you throw in extras. This guy Terry is smart in the sense that he chose one path and kept on it. I think when you mix the mow and go with the full maintenance, that's when problems arise. Maybe not, but it seems that one or the other is the way to go.

XLS
09-06-2011, 07:53 PM
We are going to advertise a SSTARTING AT $29.99 month across our state come spring and we are looking at great predictions. I see nothing wrong with $30 a cut.
There is more money in high production mowing then one may think you just can not mix high end and low quality. but miss jones is 80 she dont care if the edge gets long over the month

XLS
09-06-2011, 07:55 PM
We may even try to put the low ballers out of business with 25.00 cuts 35.00 full service up to 1 acre

Ric
09-06-2011, 09:39 PM
Ric

Nothing wrong with mow and go, just not my cup of tea. I didn't get a Hort degree and continue to take seminars to mow and go.

Yup, that is my goal. I overall want to stay small. IMO, I think guys try and take everything bc they get greedy. I don't want a boatload of employees or a boatload of customers. 15-20 accounts priced at 1-K+/mo. is just enough especially when you throw in extras. This guy Terry is smart in the sense that he chose one path and kept on it. I think when you mix the mow and go with the full maintenance, that's when problems arise. Maybe not, but it seems that one or the other is the way to go.



Chris

Not my cup of tea either but I threw it out there as food for thought. I feel low volume high quality at a Reasonable price builds Customer Loyalty.

Talking with a CPO friend just today about Business plans I explained I can not afford to advertise like the Big Box Stores. So my advertising expense percent is put back into better Fertilizer that show a stronger response. Now my work is my advertisement and I get better word of mouth because of it.

Now the whole point of Both this and my Low Ball post is to get people thinking about their Business PLAN. I capitalized PLAN because with out a Plan or direction you are only spinning your wheels.


..

Florida Gardener
09-06-2011, 10:02 PM
Chris

Not my cup of tea either but I threw it out there as food for thought. I feel low volume high quality at a Reasonable price builds Customer Loyalty.

Talking with a CPO friend just today about Business plans I explained I can not afford to advertise like the Big Box Stores. So my advertising expense percent is put back into better Fertilizer that show a stronger response. Now my work is my advertisement and I get better word of mouth because of it.

Now the whole point of Both this and my Low Ball post is to get people thinking about their Business PLAN. I capitalized PLAN because with out a Plan or direction you are only spinning your wheels.


..

Ric I tried advertising too and in my experience it attracts cheapos and wackos. Word of mouth has been best for me. I like the low volume idea bc you have less headaches. High volume is for the lowballers.
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dKoester
09-06-2011, 11:20 PM
Low prices attract penny pinchers. They are not the clients I want. Most low ballers aren't insured or licensed. When they burn their clients, by screwing up, that low price will be a warning sign for those clients in the future. How many times have you heard " They just stopped showing up." They will fade. They are always present but can't compete when your company does the little things while your lawns look perfect. If something goes wrong with their health, their done!

greendoctor
09-07-2011, 04:51 AM
Ric I tried advertising too and in my experience it attracts cheapos and wackos. Word of mouth has been best for me. I like the low volume idea bc you have less headaches. High volume is for the lowballers.
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I refuse to advertise. Even then, there are a significant number of calls I get that go no further than my initial meeting. I tell the prospective client that what I do is not for them.

Plantculture
09-07-2011, 09:07 AM
This is why I want to stay small and do say 15-20 estates with 2 helpers max. My ultimate goal is to get an estate management gig where I work at someone's estate 3-5 days/week and get paid a yearly salary. Where they pay for all equipment, materials, etc. And in addition have a couple guys run my 15-20 estates.
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Diamond,
Most estate management jobs work 6-7 days a week in season, and will wear you down to the bone. 5 days in the summer, but will still take years off your life with the sun and heat. You wont have anything left in the tank to run your other crew.

Florida Gardener
09-07-2011, 09:51 AM
Diamond,
Most estate management jobs work 6-7 days a week in season, and will wear you down to the bone. 5 days in the summer, but will still take years off your life with the sun and heat. You wont have anything left in the tank to run your other crew.
Hmmm, good points. Is that for just landscape or running everything at the property?
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Ric
09-07-2011, 11:27 AM
I refuse to advertise. Even then, there are a significant number of calls I get that go no further than my initial meeting. I tell the prospective client that what I do is not for them.

Green

The short story is I turned down one A hole who went straight to the Country Club b1tching about me. Everyone Knew him and it was the most prductive advertisement I ever had. I am told it became the Joke of the Club.


..

Ric
09-07-2011, 11:44 AM
Diamond,
Most estate management jobs work 6-7 days a week in season, and will wear you down to the bone. 5 days in the summer, but will still take years off your life with the sun and heat. You wont have anything left in the tank to run your other crew.

Yep Hope they don't have a greenhouse and expect fresh flowers in every room. When Dealing with people who have that much money, they can have some weird Ideas. You would actually be a Bragging Right or show piece as their personal horticulturist. Having lived and worked in Boca Grande, I can tell the Rich & Famous are a very snobbish group. They also lack the Every day common sense. They will beat up on the Pool boy for $ 5.00 a month and go to the club and celebrate with $ 200 bottle of vine. There seems to be a real big thing about Being the Jones and having people keep up to them.

Keith
09-07-2011, 01:43 PM
I've determined that there is no perfect business model for me.

When I started out, like everyone else in the 80's, I was doing by-the-cuts. $12, $15, $20 each. Then they showed you the door in October and you didn't hear back until March. I decided there had to be a better way.

Then the smaller and medium year-rounds came. Way better way to do it. My goal was to have 100 of these with one helper. Then I decided, "hey, commercial is where it's at."

I never loaded up more than 30% on commercial, but after a few years I got tired of it. For the most part, if I was doing the work it meant I had been pretty close to the lowest price they got. That's a crappy feeling. I got tired of not being able to show off the work. I wanted nicer places with lots of detail work. Those jobs you could pull up and park the truck and not move it again for three hours.

They are nice. You can show off your work for sure. And you always get comments on how nice they look. That puts you under a lot of pressure not to let up. But like Ric said, the rich can be quirky. And I've had more well off people try to cheat me than your average folk. As the years rolled by I decided that making nice place look great was fun, but maintaining it for years was not. I would sit there trimming hedges doing the numbers in my head. Yeah, it was a big check, but it was probably paying less than the six small to medium residentials that I could have done in the same length of time. I realized how much I like those $100-150 monthly jobs.

Nowhere near the hedge and bed maintenance, but you need more of them to eat. You can't show off like you do on the big estates. But they don't come with the demands either. You have to move the truck and trailer around more, but they are closer together than the large places. And on a bad day, if you lose one or two, it's not like losing a big one.

So that's where I am now. Solidly in middle class subdivisions. No commercials, and only a few larger residentials. At least until I change my mind again.

Landscape Poet
09-07-2011, 08:30 PM
I've determined that there is no perfect business model for me.

When I started out, like everyone else in the 80's, I was doing by-the-cuts. $12, $15, $20 each. Then they showed you the door in October and you didn't hear back until March. I decided there had to be a better way.

Then the smaller and medium year-rounds came. Way better way to do it. My goal was to have 100 of these with one helper. Then I decided, "hey, commercial is where it's at."

I never loaded up more than 30% on commercial, but after a few years I got tired of it. For the most part, if I was doing the work it meant I had been pretty close to the lowest price they got. That's a crappy feeling. I got tired of not being able to show off the work. I wanted nicer places with lots of detail work. Those jobs you could pull up and park the truck and not move it again for three hours.

They are nice. You can show off your work for sure. And you always get comments on how nice they look. That puts you under a lot of pressure not to let up. But like Ric said, the rich can be quirky. And I've had more well off people try to cheat me than your average folk. As the years rolled by I decided that making nice place look great was fun, but maintaining it for years was not. I would sit there trimming hedges doing the numbers in my head. Yeah, it was a big check, but it was probably paying less than the six small to medium residentials that I could have done in the same length of time. I realized how much I like those $100-150 monthly jobs.

Nowhere near the hedge and bed maintenance, but you need more of them to eat. You can't show off like you do on the big estates. But they don't come with the demands either. You have to move the truck and trailer around more, but they are closer together than the large places. And on a bad day, if you lose one or two, it's not like losing a big one.

So that's where I am now. Solidly in middle class subdivisions. No commercials, and only a few larger residentials. At least until I change my mind again.



You bring up several points that I have figured out. High end residential seems like a good amount of money - till you figure out your inputs. Sure makes you feel good for a minute looking at what you can do and showing people I maintain this property. But at what cost? I can bang out most of my lawns with me and another guy in 15 minutes and have 8 or 9 of them lines up in a row. I am not making the big bucks for each one but my travel time is nada and the pay off is huge especially with gas prices what they are. On Wed.. I pull into one neighborhood and do not leave. On Friday I do the same thing. I use no gas and knock them out one after the other. My Thursday is similar but multiple house in the same neighborhood but not enough in any one to keep my butt parked there all day.
I do not have to get top dollar because of the volume that we can pick up. with the same point I deliver a good service - but if one little thing is out of place they will not call and complain either because they know they are not paying top tier prices. This works very well for the middle to upper middle class homes that I service vs. demanding top dollar for every job but having unrealistic expectations to go along with that.

fl-landscapes
09-07-2011, 08:55 PM
It's the mcdonalds vs steakhouse theory. Both methods CAN make money but which one are you better suited for? Neither is right or wrong. in my previous life i was an outside sales rep for a commercial printing company, I liked selling big dollar high end jobs like annual reports and high end marketing collateral, the top salesman at the company sold crap flyers to the state of ma. Mostly public health bulletins etc. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I think finding the way that stresses you the least and makes you the most money is the key. By the way he was making straight ten percent commission plus company car which was a Benz and expenses. Ten percent of two plus million in sales of crap public health flyers.
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themadcutter
09-08-2011, 12:23 AM
I think the problem with that ad is wether or not he has a year round contract. I have found some flyers in my area where the guy is advertising $50 with no contract. he actually says "Use my service while it makes sense for you."
So if he has a $60 per month account for the summer only then he is 12 to 15 per cut depending on the month. If he is getting 2 lawns done per hour he is grossing $24 to $30 per hour but that won't run a business.

A lot of guys do this, build up 100 accounts or so very quick and then advertise lawn accounts for sale. Some unsuspecting guy buys 50 accounts in his area and doesn't realize he will loose more than half in november.

Then the previous owner waits a few years and does it again. He made money in the summer with used equipment then puts $15k in his pocket and gets rid of his worn out equipment to boot.

Florida Gardener
09-08-2011, 12:31 AM
It's the mcdonalds vs steakhouse theory. Both methods CAN make money but which one are you better suited for? Neither is right or wrong. in my previous life i was an outside sales rep for a commercial printing company, I liked selling big dollar high end jobs like annual reports and high end marketing collateral, the top salesman at the company sold crap flyers to the state of ma. Mostly public health bulletins etc. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I think finding the way that stresses you the least and makes you the most money is the key. By the way he was making straight ten percent commission plus company car which was a Benz and expenses. Ten percent of two plus million in sales of crap public health flyers.
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That's it. You can run a successful LCO either way, just depends on what you want to do. Me, I would rather deal with 20 or so ultra high-end customers than with 100-200 average joes. That's me. I don't knock guys that go that route, just not what I want to do. I want to be on the properties and make sure things are getting done right. I don't care what employee(s) you have, they will never do it like you.

Ric
09-08-2011, 10:44 AM
..


IMHO There are 4 market main sections or A, B, C, & D type of markets. A is the Golf Courses and professional playing field. These will even fall into ++, +, A, -, -- categories as do all the others. B is your Upscale full service customer, C is your working class more of a mow & go and D is Road & Rightway, common ground etc. I think most here deal with either B or C. I also agree with Mikey about trying to give too good of a service. The proper short cuts are the mark of a pro.


My B-C plan breaks down to having two spray trucks as a one man band. Yes my stock and trade is Fine lawns. But I have a huge Fire Ant market which is the C type work. The Profit margin is such that I can afford to have a second commercial truck that is not used a lot. Because I use two different trucks I can keep my mind set together on doing each type of job. Fact is one is a Cabover and the other is a Pick up truck. Therefore each has it's own feel.

Plantculture
09-08-2011, 04:38 PM
Hmmm, good points. Is that for just landscape or running everything at the property?
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Thats Landscape. House maintenance managers get paid more, but are busy with home maintenance type stuff. ie pool, hurricane, repairs, renovations, painting etc. Thats a full time job in and of itself.
The giant estates up north, may have a horticulturist thats paid well with a crew, but down here, the Florida house is viewed as more of a second home.
I'm sure there are exceptions.

Florida Gardener
09-08-2011, 05:05 PM
Thats Landscape. House maintenance managers get paid more, but are busy with home maintenance type stuff. ie pool, hurricane, repairs, renovations, painting etc. Thats a full time job in and of itself.
The giant estates up north, may have a horticulturist thats paid well with a crew, but down here, the Florida house is viewed as more of a second home.
I'm sure there are exceptions.

Are a lot of homes on PB run by a Horticulturist vs. a company?

Florida Gardener
09-08-2011, 08:32 PM
I've determined that there is no perfect business model for me.

When I started out, like everyone else in the 80's, I was doing by-the-cuts. $12, $15, $20 each. Then they showed you the door in October and you didn't hear back until March. I decided there had to be a better way.

Then the smaller and medium year-rounds came. Way better way to do it. My goal was to have 100 of these with one helper. Then I decided, "hey, commercial is where it's at."

I never loaded up more than 30% on commercial, but after a few years I got tired of it. For the most part, if I was doing the work it meant I had been pretty close to the lowest price they got. That's a crappy feeling. I got tired of not being able to show off the work. I wanted nicer places with lots of detail work. Those jobs you could pull up and park the truck and not move it again for three hours.

They are nice. You can show off your work for sure. And you always get comments on how nice they look. That puts you under a lot of pressure not to let up. But like Ric said, the rich can be quirky. And I've had more well off people try to cheat me than your average folk. As the years rolled by I decided that making nice place look great was fun, but maintaining it for years was not. I would sit there trimming hedges doing the numbers in my head. Yeah, it was a big check, but it was probably paying less than the six small to medium residentials that I could have done in the same length of time. I realized how much I like those $100-150 monthly jobs.

Nowhere near the hedge and bed maintenance, but you need more of them to eat. You can't show off like you do on the big estates. But they don't come with the demands either. You have to move the truck and trailer around more, but they are closer together than the large places. And on a bad day, if you lose one or two, it's not like losing a big one.

So that's where I am now. Solidly in middle class subdivisions. No commercials, and only a few larger residentials. At least until I change my mind again.

Keith, just curious, when you say large homes, what are we talking per month? How much turf vs. Trimming?
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themadcutter
09-08-2011, 08:51 PM
I've determined that there is no perfect business model for

They are nice. You can show off your work for sure. And you always get comments on how nice they look. That puts you under a lot of pressure not to let up. But like Ric said, the rich can be quirky. And I've had more well off people try to cheat me than your average folk. As the years rolled by I decided that making nice place look great was fun, but maintaining it for years was not. I would sit there trimming hedges doing the numbers in my head. Yeah, it was a big check, but it was probably paying less than the six small to medium residentials that I could have done in the same length of time. I realized how much I like those $100-150 monthly jobs.





The rich are not only quirky but they are cheap also. They didn't get rich by writing a lot of checks. I have had to fight constantly with my richest clients in order to keep them from railroading me in giving away work. I have always made more money on a crappy looking quarter acre home owned by someone who appreciated how hard work was.

That is until there was so much cheap competition. The problem with the middle and lower middle class is they have to save money when times are tight. My cheap rich bastards didn't get any cheaper but my generous middle class folk didn't have much of a choice in some cases.
Not that I have anything against the upper class. its their money. but I'll take my own kind to work for if I can.

Keith
09-08-2011, 09:40 PM
Keith, just curious, when you say large homes, what are we talking per month? How much turf vs. Trimming?


You mean the one's I have now? Nothing like what you have down there. And nothing like what you are looking for :laugh: The most expensive properties I take care of wouldn't sell for more than $400k right now. When I refer to large, I'm talking lawns that are upwards of an acre. Mostly grass. Hedges are not critical. They are usually only cut four times a year. 25-30 minutes of string trimming. Usually take 70-90 minutes total. Pay $150-250 a month. Or, some that are more like half an acre that have a little more detail work. Trimming, edging, and blowing take longer than the mowing.

My best paying lawn is a 2600-2800 sq ft house with less than 9k of grass and hardly any hedges. I mow the front twice a week in summer.

Plantculture
09-09-2011, 10:11 AM
Are a lot of homes on PB run by a Horticulturist vs. a company?

Mostly companies of varying sizes. A handful if big companies, quite a few legit small companies with say 3 crews, and a ton of guys working out of a pick-up truck.
Quite a few places have a gardener or 2 on the house payroll, but aren't typically a Horticulturist, mainly just a laborer.
Its cheaper to have a laborer and outsource anything like fine turf, pest control, orchids etc than to pay the salary that a horticulturist would want.

MR-G
09-10-2011, 12:26 PM
I found this on a customers lawn this morning while cleaning up and i'm thinking that I cant come near these prices.

Times are tuff but damn $15.00 per cut on a monthly or $21.25 per cut for full service.

The cheapest property i do is open lot @ $35 and it takes me 20min to do and its family:confused:

I gues if you have 100 accounts like these you might be ok, the only good thing i see is that it gets your foot in the door for other landscape renovations with those customers.

Has anyone else had to drop there prices down this low because of others?

Oh and thanks I'm new here and I luve this site an overwhelming amount of info on this site.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a243/BPCustoms/add.jpg what we dont know is this weekly, bi weekly, or maybe like every 10 days....

Patriot Services
09-10-2011, 07:08 PM
Probably the standard Florida rotation of all of them.
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jbannick18
09-11-2011, 12:41 AM
I won't touch a lawn for less then 25/cut or usually 85/month at 42 cuts a year. This is in the east orlando area so the yards are small. By myself in and out in 20 minutes.

If I asked $35/cut like the OP does for his family I would be out of business, its just to high for this area. Wish I could get it though

themadcutter
09-11-2011, 09:08 AM
I won't touch a lawn for less then 25/cut or usually 85/month at 42 cuts a year. This is in the east orlando area so the yards are small. By myself in and out in 20 minutes.

If I asked $35/cut like the OP does for his family I would be out of business, its just to high for this area. Wish I could get it though

My pricing is about the same as yours but I do fewer cuts per year so the monthly price is a little lower. I do not do anything that is not year round though. I turn down all singe cuts unless it is property owned by one of my contract clients, like a rental house that is usually done by the renter or something.

If I charged $35 for a 20 minute lawn I would be out of business also.

If you read the OP he is saying the guy is charging $15 per cut for his opening rate. Thats only so if there are 4 weeks in every month. which there are not. And it would also depend on if he has a year round contract and how many cuts in the winter. 'clean cuts' could be charging any where from $12 per cut to $20 per cut for starter service. Not to mention his beginning price could be for a zero lot line which I could finish in 10 minutes with a good string trimmer.

No telling what the guy is really making.

Patriot Services
09-11-2011, 09:14 AM
My pricing is about the same as yours but I do fewer cuts per year so the monthly price is a little lower. I do not do anything that is not year round though. I turn down all singe cuts unless it is property owned by one of my contract clients, like a rental house that is usually done by the renter or something.

If I charged $35 for a 20 minute lawn I would be out of business also.

If you read the OP he is saying the guy is charging $15 per cut for his opening rate. Thats only so if there are 4 weeks in every month. which there are not. And it would also depend on if he has a year round contract and how many cuts in the winter. 'clean cuts' could be charging any where from $12 per cut to $20 per cut for starter service. Not to mention his beginning price could be for a zero lot line which I could finish in 10 minutes with a good string trimmer.

No telling what the guy is really making.

How is there not 4 weeks in every month?
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themadcutter
09-11-2011, 09:23 AM
How is there not 4 weeks in every month?
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4 weeks in a month.

That would mean there is 28 days in each month. Only one has 28 days. Its a common mistake many people make. it would also mean there are 48 weeks in a year, there are 52.

For instance. If I did my lawns every week on the same day. the lawns I did on thursday would receive 13 cuts through july, aug, and sept.

If there were 4 weeks in a month then those 3 months would only get 12 cuts. not 13.

September has 5 thursdays and 5 fridays. August has 5 tuesdays and 5 wed.


You have to look at the calendar to know what you are actually making. I can't even tell you how many times I have had this discussion with other lawn guys but like I said most people don't realize it. wish they did though.

Patriot Services
09-11-2011, 09:34 AM
That's why I don't ever promise a certain day or time. Weekly service means 4 service visits regardless of how many weeks or if the lawn even needs mowing.
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Florida Gardener
09-11-2011, 09:53 AM
That's why I don't ever promise a certain day or time. Weekly service means 4 service visits regardless of how many weeks or if the lawn even needs mowing.
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So you go to properties every week in the winter?
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Patriot Services
09-11-2011, 10:01 AM
At least a driveby. Blower and trimmer in the bed usually suffice. No I don't do the ghost mowing with blades off on dormant turf like some I've seen.
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Keith
09-11-2011, 12:50 PM
I do the same. I throw the blower, a rake, and a few garbage cans in the back of the Ranger and make my rounds on the weeks I won't be cutting. Almost of my lawns are within 4 miles of my house, so it really takes no time.

Keith
09-11-2011, 01:13 PM
As far as the guys flyer. It does say "as low as." We don't know what it means. There are, in fact, still $60 lawns out there. I don't have any of those, but I do have one $70 and a couple $80 lawns left.

Let's crunch the numbers on the $70 lawn. It takes no more than 22 minutes for me to do it by myself in the summer. That's not rushing, I could do it faster if I wanted to. It's common bermuda in the front, thin bahia and weeds down one side and mostly weeds in the back. It shuts down mostly in November. I actually cut it about 34 times per year. That's about 12 1/2 hours a year. Throw in another 3 1/2 hour during the year for extra time that I spend there. Just guessing at that. I don't even think it would approach that. You got $840 for a maximum of 16 hours of real work. It's still over $50 an hour. It's actually making me a lot more than those $125 lawns.

Eric E
09-15-2011, 08:08 PM
Back to the original topic...

Found one of those flyers just outside Metro West today.

I don't care, just saying.