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fastlane
12-02-2011, 06:46 PM
I'm talking mowing not landscape. I had lunch with my accountant today. His son has a lawn co. He does the books for about 10 lawn companys. He said the smaller the investment the higher percent return on your investment. Example- 1 21'' push mower, blower, edger, subcompact pick up could gross $75 per hr.(low overhead) verses - zero turn blower,edger, full size truck at $75 per hr (high overhead). The guys that have the big things also tend to have bed edger, aerater etc. that are only used a few weeks a year. So every dollar you spend nets you a lower percent return. I know it takes money to make money. What do you think?

gebby
12-02-2011, 06:58 PM
I think that in a 10 hour day I would have a hard time grossing 750.00 with my 21 inch push mower. That I can do with my over priced zero turn and still have time and energy at the end of the day to take care of mama and the kids. I've done it both ways. You can not cut that much grass in a 10 hour day with a push mower. If you are lucky you might gross 150.00. That's what I think.

Green Feet Lawn
12-02-2011, 08:06 PM
Equipment = productivity. You just need to forcast the cost of the equipment over a period of time. For the occasional use machines, renting works for us. That way you can factor it into the job cost.

tony b
12-02-2011, 08:06 PM
I think that in a 10 hour day I would have a hard time grossing 750.00 with my 21 inch push mower. That I can do with my over priced zero turn and still have time and energy at the end of the day to take care of mama and the kids. I've done it both ways. You can not cut that much grass in a 10 hour day with a push mower. If you are lucky you might gross 150.00. That's what I think.
Depends on the accounts. I know a guy who built his business on the side while working for a high end nursery. He knew who had the money to pay, who was easy going etc. With only 31 accounts which involved mowing shrub trim mulching fertilize whatever they wanted. Alone and equipped with a 21 he cleared 6 figures a year.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-02-2011, 08:12 PM
Here's and investment for you 2003 lazer 27hp 60 inch deck trac vac system cost me 10k brand new and iv put close to another 20k in repairs and up keep in to it. My return on my 4750 hours thus far is over 500,000 dollars how many 21 inch mowers can say that.

tony b
12-02-2011, 08:20 PM
Here's and investment for you 2003 lazer 27hp 60 inch deck trac vac system cost me 10k brand new and iv put close to another 20k in repairs and up keep in to it. My return on my 4750 hours thus far is over 500,000 dollars how many 21 inch mowers can say that.

I would say your not very smart. If you make that kind of money on just that mower and nothing else you should lease equipment and get a new mower every 2 years. This way you have some good tax deductions. Your way and your paying out the azz in taxes.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-02-2011, 08:39 PM
I would say your not very smart. If you make that kind of money on just that mower and nothing else you should lease equipment and get a new mower every 2 years. This way you have some good tax deductions. Your way and your paying out the azz in taxes.

Wow give someone enough line they always hang themselves. That's one of 4 mowers I run so that number is significantly larger. An as far as tax deductions go I own 60% of a S corp I haven't paid income taxes in 9 years I have 99,000 in personal roll over deductions as of last year. And that's before I bought a brand new 60k ram 4500 crew cab this spring and shes getting a twin sister this April. Personally I try not to guess others tax structures since one its none of my business and two more often then not you haven't got a clue what others are doing.

tony b
12-02-2011, 09:04 PM
Wow give someone enough line they always hang themselves. That's one of 4 mowers I run so that number is significantly larger. An as far as tax deductions go I own 60% of a S corp I haven't paid income taxes in 9 years I have 99,000 in personal roll over deductions as of last year. And that's before I bought a brand new 60k ram 4500 crew cab this spring and shes getting a twin sister this April. Personally I try not to guess others tax structures since one its none of my business and two more often then not you haven't got a clue what others are doing.


The one thing that you do make obvious is that you like to talk about yourself. I have this, I made this much blah blah blah. Its jackazzes like you runing there mouth about what they have that get too many new companys starting up. I don't know what you have and don't care. I didn't hang myself and if you mowed as much as you think you do you do you wouldn't own an 03 anything......jackazz lol

4 seasons lawn&land
12-02-2011, 09:28 PM
I'm talking mowing not landscape. I had lunch with my accountant today. His son has a lawn co. He does the books for about 10 lawn companys. He said the smaller the investment the higher percent return on your investment. Example- 1 21'' push mower, blower, edger, subcompact pick up could gross $75 per hr.(low overhead) verses - zero turn blower,edger, full size truck at $75 per hr (high overhead). The guys that have the big things also tend to have bed edger, aerater etc. that are only used a few weeks a year. So every dollar you spend nets you a lower percent return. I know it takes money to make money. What do you think?



So I get that this is a joke but..... whats the point.

drenchedlawn
12-02-2011, 10:26 PM
Wrong wrong wrong to he who says stay small. There is not enough profit margin in small. You will max out at 40k or 60k net. You must plan and forecast for growth! You must cross over the uncomfortable stage of growing from solo if you want to make more than 60k. You must have a growth strategy and hit numbers of projections. You must have projections and threshholds of profit margin. The only way you will achieve growth is through quality employees and equipment. As you add crews you will start to distance yourself from failure based on a few bad months. Get the snowball rolling but don't over extend. Grow fast but with margin attached to every job. Let me back up....if your goal is simply to net 60k you can achieve that as a small operation but I suspect you will burnout in under 5 years unless you enjoy minimal stress and hard labor which is each is cool also if thats what you want. There will be a sliding scale of profitability at first where you will maximize but top out, then you will suffer until you re-establish your sweet spot. If you have drive you will succeed in either arena. But going larger will prove to be a better investment for longevity.

TTM42
12-02-2011, 10:29 PM
Wow give someone enough line they always hang themselves. That's one of 4 mowers I run so that number is significantly larger. An as far as tax deductions go I own 60% of a S corp I haven't paid income taxes in 9 years I have 99,000 in personal roll over deductions as of last year. And that's before I bought a brand new 60k ram 4500 crew cab this spring and shes getting a twin sister this April. Personally I try not to guess others tax structures since one its none of my business and two more often then not you haven't got a clue what others are doing.You paid $60,000 for a Ram?

gebby
12-03-2011, 01:42 AM
Well it looks as though you opened up a can of worms. I've replied once on this thread briefly and am going to again. I will stick with my original reply and here is why. First and formost you will never hear me say that I know everything. Second my Father in Law was in banking for 35 years, he taught me so many things. I have zero college education. One of my daughters is seeing a CPA. I was a middle manager for 3 fairly sized companies. one grossing over 135 million dollars per year. A food company and when I started we were lucky to NET before taxes 1%. Needless to say very slim margins. My daughters boyfriend who is the CPA will ask me questions from time to time to get my opinion. Before I go on, the question to me is a trick question. You can not have gross dollars of 75.00 dollars per hour and also have a high return on expenses (ROE) in the same question in this business. Not a betting man but 99% of the time not in this business. Unless you have stupid rich people that you work for who have nothing better to do with their money than to look out their window and watch you work like a personal slave and to pretend that they own you. (No thank you) Not cutting grass only. Like any other business DOLLARS PAY THE BILLS. YOU CAN NOT TAKE PERCENTAGES TO THE BANK TO PAY YOUR BILLS. CREDITORS WANT DOLLARS NOT PERCENTAGES. While the PERCENTAGE of the return on investment/expences for one year may be OK for one year and only one year may be good, over the long haul a Z mower will pay the bills in dollars not percentages. Yes the percentage will be OK short term but long term just suck, plain and simple unless you are mowing lawns with less than 1500 square feet. For those size lawns I can go get a 89.00 weed eater and beat you with your push mower if you are looking at percentages only. Oh yes the percentages will be great. Your CPA will be so proud of you but your creditors will be banging on your door for dollars. While large companies have lobbied our government to change laws for standard accounting practices in reality this won't work for the long haul. Public companies live and die by Quarterly Results to keep share holders happy. Anybody remember ENRON. Oh the numbers/percentages looks great each quarter. In reality they were broke.

Everybody here can do this example. You run your numbers and see who gets the best return on expences/investment short term and over a 3 year period. RETURN ON EXPENCES/INVESTMENT.

Just look at the mowers only. Keep everything else out of the equasion. But first you need to ask your self why you bought that nice zero turn that can cut 2-5 acres and hour. Ask your self how much money you charge for an acre. Use your real numbers. Now ask your self this question. How many acres can I cut per hour with my 21 inch puch mower?
Zero turn = 10 acres per day times 75.00 per acre = 750.00 gross x 5 = 3,750.00 week and a 36 week year = 135,000 all gross just the mower. Oh by the way the mower cost 10,000.00. One year % return on investment = 74 % Now lets not forget this mower should last well past 3 years. Gross dollars net profit is 125,000.00 and the mower is paid for after 36 weeks. Did I mention that I did all that in less than 8 hours?

Push mower lets say 3 acres per day (NO THANK YOU) at 75.00 per acre gross 225.00 x 5 = 1125.00 x 36 = 40,500.00 gross for the year. You went all out and bought the best 21 inch mower that you could and spent 1,200.00. ROE is great at 29.6% and net profit after buying the mower is 39,300. Well I guess the percentages don't work either in this case. Point being you can't push, pull or drag a push mower fast enough to make what you can with a zero turn. Oh the mower is plain wore out after one year too. I doubt if it makes it 6 weeks.

Some here may find fault with my percentage numbers. If so that is fine. Bottom line is this, At the end of the year who's dollars do you want ? Who is going to knocking on your door wanting money for payments your CPA or the bank ? The CPA will say well I don't know what went wrong your ROE % was great. Oh now I see what happened you could not walk fast enough to MAKE ENOUGH MONEY to pay your bills.

All one has to do is look around. Why do you not see guys going door to door selling milk and bread anymore? Why do mining companies not send a man down in a hole with a pick and a shovel along with the mules to pull the carts out. Why do you see more tractor trailer rigs VS. a straight trucks. Lastly why do you see guy after guy with zero turns cutting grass?
On my trailer I have one push mower that I may have put 2 hours on all season. I have one 48 inch walk behind that I may have put 10 hours on all season. I got to use what makes me the most and I got to find the places where I can use that zero turn to make the most money that I can. Can I do it with a push mower, sure I could but, I don't want to. If I didn't change with the times I would be like the guys that used to dig coal with a pick and like that poor old mule down in the mine. Just broke down and plain wore out after just a few years. Always remember DOLLARS PAY BILLS NOT PERCENTAGES and TIME WILL ALWAYS EQUATE TO MONEY. SOME MAKE IT AND SOME LOSE IT. Some will never understand.

soloscaperman
12-03-2011, 01:58 AM
Well it looks as though you opened up a can of worms. I've replied once on this thread briefly and am going to again. I will stick with my original reply and here is why. First and formost you will never hear me say that I know everything. Second my Father in Law was in banking for 35 years, he taught me so many things. I have zero college education. One of my daughters is seeing a CPA. I was a middle manager for 3 fairly sized companies. one grossing over 135 million dollars per year. A food company and when I started we were lucky to NET before taxes 1%. Needless to say very slim margins. My daughters boyfriend who is the CPA will ask me questions from time to time to get my opinion. Before I go on, the question to me is a trick question. You can not have gross dollars of 75.00 dollars per hour and also have a high return on expenses (ROE) in the same question in this business. Not a betting man but 99% of the time not in this business. Unless you have stupid rich people that you work for who have nothing better to do with their money than to look out their window and watch you work like a personal slave and to pretend that they own you. (No thank you) Not cutting grass only. Like any other business DOLLARS PAY THE BILLS. YOU CAN NOT TAKE PERCENTAGES TO THE BANK TO PAY YOUR BILLS. CREDITORS WANT DOLLARS NOT PERCENTAGES. While the PERCENTAGE of the return on investment/expences for one year may be OK for one year and only one year may be good, over the long haul a Z mower will pay the bills in dollars not percentages. Yes the percentage will be OK short term but long term just suck, plain and simple unless you are mowing lawns with less than 1500 square feet. For those size lawns I can go get a 89.00 weed eater and beat you with your push mower if you are looking at percentages only. Oh yes the percentages will be great. Your CPA will be so proud of you but your creditors will be banging on your door for dollars. While large companies have lobbied our government to change laws for standard accounting practices in reality this won't work for the long haul. Public companies live and die by Quarterly Results to keep share holders happy. Anybody remember ENRON. Oh the numbers/percentages looks great each quarter. In reality they were broke.

Everybody here can do this example. You run your numbers and see who gets the best return on expences/investment short term and over a 3 year period. RETURN ON EXPENCES/INVESTMENT.

Just look at the mowers only. Keep everything else out of the equasion. But first you need to ask your self why you bought that nice zero turn that can cut 2-5 acres and hour. Ask your self how much money you charge for an acre. Use your real numbers. Now ask your self this question. How many acres can I cut per hour with my 21 inch puch mower?
Zero turn = 10 acres per day times 75.00 per acre = 750.00 gross x 5 = 3,750.00 week and a 36 week year = 135,000 all gross just the mower. Oh by the way the mower cost 10,000.00. One year % return on investment = 74 % Now lets not forget this mower should last well past 3 years. Gross dollars net profit is 125,000.00 and the mower is paid for after 36 weeks. Did I mention that I did all that in less than 8 hours?

Push mower lets say 3 acres per day (NO THANK YOU) at 75.00 per acre gross 225.00 x 5 = 1125.00 x 36 = 40,500.00 gross for the year. You went all out and bought the best 21 inch mower that you could and spent 1,200.00. ROE is great at 29.6% and net profit after buying the mower is 39,300. Well I guess the percentages don't work either in this case. Point being you can't push, pull or drag a push mower fast enough to make what you can with a zero turn. Oh the mower is plain wore out after one year too. I doubt if it makes it 6 weeks.

Some here may find fault with my percentage numbers. If so that is fine. Bottom line is this, At the end of the year who's dollars do you want ? Who is going to knocking on your door wanting money for payments your CPA or the bank ? The CPA will say well I don't know what went wrong your ROE % was great. Oh now I see what happened you could not walk fast enough to MAKE ENOUGH MONEY to pay your bills.

All one has to do is look around. Why do you not see guys going door to door selling milk and bread anymore? Why do mining companies not send a man down in a hole with a pick and a shovel along with the mules to pull the carts out. Why do you see more tractor trailer rigs VS. a straight trucks. Lastly why do you see guy after guy with zero turns cutting grass?
On my trailer I have one push mower that I may have put 2 hours on all season. I have one 48 inch walk behind that I may have put 10 hours on all season. I got to use what makes me the most and I got to find the places where I can use that zero turn to make the most money that I can. Can I do it with a push mower, sure I could but, I don't want to. If I didn't change with the times I would be like the guys that used to dig coal with a pick and like that poor old mule down in the mine. Just broke down and plain wore out after just a few years. Always remember DOLLARS PAY BILLS NOT PERCENTAGES and TIME WILL ALWAYS EQUATE TO MONEY. SOME MAKE IT AND SOME LOSE IT. Some will never understand.

In other terms what looks good on paper may not look good in real life. Thank you for writing that much and spending your time on a Friday night!

LindblomRJ
12-03-2011, 04:11 AM
I'm talking mowing not landscape. I had lunch with my accountant today. His son has a lawn co. He does the books for about 10 lawn companys. He said the smaller the investment the higher percent return on your investment. Example- 1 21'' push mower, blower, edger, subcompact pick up could gross $75 per hr.(low overhead) verses - zero turn blower,edger, full size truck at $75 per hr (high overhead). The guys that have the big things also tend to have bed edger, aerater etc. that are only used a few weeks a year. So every dollar you spend nets you a lower percent return. I know it takes money to make money. What do you think?
The accountant had a point to a certain extent. And so does gebby.

Well it looks as though you opened up a can of worms. I've replied once on this thread briefly and am going to again. I will stick with my original reply and here is why. First and formost you will never hear me say that I know everything. Second my Father in Law was in banking for 35 years, he taught me so many things. I have zero college education. One of my daughters is seeing a CPA. I was a middle manager for 3 fairly sized companies. one grossing over 135 million dollars per year. A food company and when I started we were lucky to NET before taxes 1%. Needless to say very slim margins. My daughters boyfriend who is the CPA will ask me questions from time to time to get my opinion. Before I go on, the question to me is a trick question. You can not have gross dollars of 75.00 dollars per hour and also have a high return on expenses (ROE) in the same question in this business. Not a betting man but 99% of the time not in this business. Unless you have stupid rich people that you work for who have nothing better to do with their money than to look out their window and watch you work like a personal slave and to pretend that they own you. (No thank you) Not cutting grass only. Like any other business DOLLARS PAY THE BILLS. YOU CAN NOT TAKE PERCENTAGES TO THE BANK TO PAY YOUR BILLS. CREDITORS WANT DOLLARS NOT PERCENTAGES. While the PERCENTAGE of the return on investment/expences for one year may be OK for one year and only one year may be good, over the long haul a Z mower will pay the bills in dollars not percentages. Yes the percentage will be OK short term but long term just suck, plain and simple unless you are mowing lawns with less than 1500 square feet. For those size lawns I can go get a 89.00 weed eater and beat you with your push mower if you are looking at percentages only. Oh yes the percentages will be great. Your CPA will be so proud of you but your creditors will be banging on your door for dollars. While large companies have lobbied our government to change laws for standard accounting practices in reality this won't work for the long haul. Public companies live and die by Quarterly Results to keep share holders happy. Anybody remember ENRON. Oh the numbers/percentages looks great each quarter. In reality they were broke.

Everybody here can do this example. You run your numbers and see who gets the best return on expences/investment short term and over a 3 year period. RETURN ON EXPENCES/INVESTMENT.

Just look at the mowers only. Keep everything else out of the equasion. But first you need to ask your self why you bought that nice zero turn that can cut 2-5 acres and hour. Ask your self how much money you charge for an acre. Use your real numbers. Now ask your self this question. How many acres can I cut per hour with my 21 inch puch mower?
Zero turn = 10 acres per day times 75.00 per acre = 750.00 gross x 5 = 3,750.00 week and a 36 week year = 135,000 all gross just the mower. Oh by the way the mower cost 10,000.00. One year % return on investment = 74 % Now lets not forget this mower should last well past 3 years. Gross dollars net profit is 125,000.00 and the mower is paid for after 36 weeks. Did I mention that I did all that in less than 8 hours?

Push mower lets say 3 acres per day (NO THANK YOU) at 75.00 per acre gross 225.00 x 5 = 1125.00 x 36 = 40,500.00 gross for the year. You went all out and bought the best 21 inch mower that you could and spent 1,200.00. ROE is great at 29.6% and net profit after buying the mower is 39,300. Well I guess the percentages don't work either in this case. Point being you can't push, pull or drag a push mower fast enough to make what you can with a zero turn. Oh the mower is plain wore out after one year too. I doubt if it makes it 6 weeks.

Some here may find fault with my percentage numbers. If so that is fine. Bottom line is this, At the end of the year who's dollars do you want ? Who is going to knocking on your door wanting money for payments your CPA or the bank ? The CPA will say well I don't know what went wrong your ROE % was great. Oh now I see what happened you could not walk fast enough to MAKE ENOUGH MONEY to pay your bills.

All one has to do is look around. Why do you not see guys going door to door selling milk and bread anymore? Why do mining companies not send a man down in a hole with a pick and a shovel along with the mules to pull the carts out. Why do you see more tractor trailer rigs VS. a straight trucks. Lastly why do you see guy after guy with zero turns cutting grass?
On my trailer I have one push mower that I may have put 2 hours on all season. I have one 48 inch walk behind that I may have put 10 hours on all season. I got to use what makes me the most and I got to find the places where I can use that zero turn to make the most money that I can. Can I do it with a push mower, sure I could but, I don't want to. If I didn't change with the times I would be like the guys that used to dig coal with a pick and like that poor old mule down in the mine. Just broke down and plain wore out after just a few years. Always remember DOLLARS PAY BILLS NOT PERCENTAGES and TIME WILL ALWAYS EQUATE TO MONEY. SOME MAKE IT AND SOME LOSE IT. Some will never understand.

Excellent points here.

The thing to remember, is how much is a machine costing you to keep, and things to add up when knowing your costs are: purchase price, replacement, fuel, maintence and operator. The second thing to know is how much money will it make you. And how productive is that machine. While gross revenue is good. It is also important to remember your net too.

Lets run this critical assumtion: you operate a 48" walk behind and a 60" ZTR

With the 48" you mow 1.45 acres and hour and the 60" ztr you average 2.42 acres and hour. The 48" costs you $5000 to purchase and your costs $22.35 an hour to operate (fuel, operator, etc.) And assuming a rate of $60/acre revenue amounts to $87/hour gross on a 48" wb

Applying the same $60/ acre assumption and production your 60" ztr would earn $145.20 an hour. The 60" costs you $8,000 to purchase and it costs $31/hour to operate with operator.

In that example it would be more productive to have a 60" ztr. We didn't factor trees, lot sizes or transport costs. That might play into equipment decisions.

When you factor other costs in, like trucks. A 1/2 vs a F450 diesel to haul a 21." Or a $50,000 truck vs a $10,000 truck think payment, repairs etc. Knowing your costs is important. Will that $50,000 truck make you more money than the $10,000. Will it cost more to run the new vs old truck etc.

I caution against having more equipment than needed. If it isn't productive, or being used to a productive level then you're better off selling or trading for something useful.

ralph02813
12-03-2011, 05:40 AM
I'm talking mowing not landscape. I had lunch with my accountant today. His son has a lawn co. He does the books for about 10 lawn companys. He said the smaller the investment the higher percent return on your investment. Example- 1 21'' push mower, blower, edger, subcompact pick up could gross $75 per hr.(low overhead) verses - zero turn blower,edger, full size truck at $75 per hr (high overhead). The guys that have the big things also tend to have bed edger, aerater etc. that are only used a few weeks a year. So every dollar you spend nets you a lower percent return. I know it takes money to make money. What do you think?

He is right! Only problem is you cannot eat rate of return. It is important to know what you need, so you dont end up with a lot of stuff you want. Most of all of the I want stuff I rent cost gets pegged to the job.

fastlane
12-03-2011, 08:56 AM
40 years ago I had 55 customers. All 1/4 acre or less. All done in 3 days. 21'' lawnboy and a pick up truck. Now I have a 48''wb and a 60''z. 21 customers in 3 days . This thread is not about how much grass you can cut an hour. It's about how much money you can make an hour! I made more with the small set up. I have the big set up now because I don't fell like walking.

4 seasons lawn&land
12-03-2011, 10:08 AM
so your going to stick to that $75 an hour with a push mower then?

205mx
12-03-2011, 02:32 PM
Well it looks as though you opened up a can of worms. I've replied once on this thread briefly and am going to again. I will stick with my original reply and here is why. First and formost you will never hear me say that I know everything. Second my Father in Law was in banking for 35 years, he taught me so many things. I have zero college education. One of my daughters is seeing a CPA. I was a middle manager for 3 fairly sized companies. one grossing over 135 million dollars per year. A food company and when I started we were lucky to NET before taxes 1%. Needless to say very slim margins. My daughters boyfriend who is the CPA will ask me questions from time to time to get my opinion. Before I go on, the question to me is a trick question. You can not have gross dollars of 75.00 dollars per hour and also have a high return on expenses (ROE) in the same question in this business. Not a betting man but 99% of the time not in this business. Unless you have stupid rich people that you work for who have nothing better to do with their money than to look out their window and watch you work like a personal slave and to pretend that they own you. (No thank you) Not cutting grass only. Like any other business DOLLARS PAY THE BILLS. YOU CAN NOT TAKE PERCENTAGES TO THE BANK TO PAY YOUR BILLS. CREDITORS WANT DOLLARS NOT PERCENTAGES. While the PERCENTAGE of the return on investment/expences for one year may be OK for one year and only one year may be good, over the long haul a Z mower will pay the bills in dollars not percentages. Yes the percentage will be OK short term but long term just suck, plain and simple unless you are mowing lawns with less than 1500 square feet. For those size lawns I can go get a 89.00 weed eater and beat you with your push mower if you are looking at percentages only. Oh yes the percentages will be great. Your CPA will be so proud of you but your creditors will be banging on your door for dollars. While large companies have lobbied our government to change laws for standard accounting practices in reality this won't work for the long haul. Public companies live and die by Quarterly Results to keep share holders happy. Anybody remember ENRON. Oh the numbers/percentages looks great each quarter. In reality they were broke.

Everybody here can do this example. You run your numbers and see who gets the best return on expences/investment short term and over a 3 year period. RETURN ON EXPENCES/INVESTMENT.

Just look at the mowers only. Keep everything else out of the equasion. But first you need to ask your self why you bought that nice zero turn that can cut 2-5 acres and hour. Ask your self how much money you charge for an acre. Use your real numbers. Now ask your self this question. How many acres can I cut per hour with my 21 inch puch mower?
Zero turn = 10 acres per day times 75.00 per acre = 750.00 gross x 5 = 3,750.00 week and a 36 week year = 135,000 all gross just the mower. Oh by the way the mower cost 10,000.00. One year % return on investment = 74 % Now lets not forget this mower should last well past 3 years. Gross dollars net profit is 125,000.00 and the mower is paid for after 36 weeks. Did I mention that I did all that in less than 8 hours?

Push mower lets say 3 acres per day (NO THANK YOU) at 75.00 per acre gross 225.00 x 5 = 1125.00 x 36 = 40,500.00 gross for the year. You went all out and bought the best 21 inch mower that you could and spent 1,200.00. ROE is great at 29.6% and net profit after buying the mower is 39,300. Well I guess the percentages don't work either in this case. Point being you can't push, pull or drag a push mower fast enough to make what you can with a zero turn. Oh the mower is plain wore out after one year too. I doubt if it makes it 6 weeks.

Some here may find fault with my percentage numbers. If so that is fine. Bottom line is this, At the end of the year who's dollars do you want ? Who is going to knocking on your door wanting money for payments your CPA or the bank ? The CPA will say well I don't know what went wrong your ROE % was great. Oh now I see what happened you could not walk fast enough to MAKE ENOUGH MONEY to pay your bills.

All one has to do is look around. Why do you not see guys going door to door selling milk and bread anymore? Why do mining companies not send a man down in a hole with a pick and a shovel along with the mules to pull the carts out. Why do you see more tractor trailer rigs VS. a straight trucks. Lastly why do you see guy after guy with zero turns cutting grass?
On my trailer I have one push mower that I may have put 2 hours on all season. I have one 48 inch walk behind that I may have put 10 hours on all season. I got to use what makes me the most and I got to find the places where I can use that zero turn to make the most money that I can. Can I do it with a push mower, sure I could but, I don't want to. If I didn't change with the times I would be like the guys that used to dig coal with a pick and like that poor old mule down in the mine. Just broke down and plain wore out after just a few years. Always remember DOLLARS PAY BILLS NOT PERCENTAGES and TIME WILL ALWAYS EQUATE TO MONEY. SOME MAKE IT AND SOME LOSE IT. Some will never understand.


I pretty much agree. But one problem, you said creditors care about dollars not percentages. who said anything about creditors? who needs 'em?

Kelly's Landscaping
12-03-2011, 06:17 PM
You paid $60,000 for a Ram?

That's what they cost in that size with the options and dump bed we had put on. But we did get to knock that down with $4500 in rebates so it wasn't such a bad hit.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-03-2011, 06:41 PM
The one thing that you do make obvious is that you like to talk about yourself. I have this, I made this much blah blah blah. Its jackazzes like you runing there mouth about what they have that get too many new companys starting up. I don't know what you have and don't care. I didn't hang myself and if you mowed as much as you think you do you do you wouldn't own an 03 anything......jackazz lol

Boy do you come off like a little punk I can tell I am really going to enjoy reading your posts this winter. I love this I am not detailed enough so you run your mouth and attack me so I use real numbers and you get even madder. And you are wrong about the mowers we bring in close to a quarter million a year and about 140k of that is mowing and yes were doing that with an 03 and 04 and two 05s. And do you know why because they run fine and have another 5-10 years of life in each of them you don't replace whats not broken. 2 cycle is a different story and we added 6 new br600s and 4 new shin 282s and 1 rx100 this season so I am not afraid to spend money and buy new but I do it where its needed.

What drives many of us nuts is how we are suppose to be so supportive of guys with these mini set ups and no equipment. So when they talk about mowing with 21s we all bite our lip and say that's great good for you then the same guys attack ztrs and more expensive equipment over and over. I was polite I think the whole 21 inch mower idea is silly but I kept that to myself and pointed out what a big mower can make. SINCE that was the entire point of this thread return on investment. You bring up your make believe friend and his six figures from 21 inch mower hey that's great no one here believes you though. As for my trucks there are plenty of pics of them on this site so if you feel I am lying to you, just do a search.

As for me causing new start ups :laugh: I give very down to earth advice to new guys who come here asking if they should start a new company. Some may say I am to harsh but I do sleep well at night and that's because I never talked any one into getting into a trade that had no business in and losing their life's savings. If they sound like they can make it I tell that if they sound like fools I tell them that. Ps my political party doesn't use the jackazz as its mascot so you can drop that line right now you got a whole 30 posts and your already name calling.

4 seasons lawn&land
12-03-2011, 06:55 PM
lol here is my estimate vehicle. I didnt want to be to showey with customers so I got it in silver.

StanWilhite
12-03-2011, 07:48 PM
Wrong wrong wrong to he who says stay small. There is not enough profit margin in small. You will max out at 40k or 60k net. You must plan and forecast for growth! You must cross over the uncomfortable stage of growing from solo if you want to make more than 60k. You must have a growth strategy and hit numbers of projections. You must have projections and threshholds of profit margin. The only way you will achieve growth is through quality employees and equipment. As you add crews you will start to distance yourself from failure based on a few bad months. Get the snowball rolling but don't over extend. Grow fast but with margin attached to every job. Let me back up....if your goal is simply to net 60k you can achieve that as a small operation but I suspect you will burnout in under 5 years unless you enjoy minimal stress and hard labor which is each is cool also if thats what you want. There will be a sliding scale of profitability at first where you will maximize but top out, then you will suffer until you re-establish your sweet spot. If you have drive you will succeed in either arena. But going larger will prove to be a better investment for longevity.

Confusious....is that YOU?
Man who spend time scanning thru dictionary for big words and theories end up giving bad advice to people in "real world". He should park lawn mower and sit behind desk at fortune 500 company where little experience and worthless business plans pay big bucks.

gebby
12-03-2011, 11:16 PM
I pretty much agree. But one problem, you said creditors care about dollars not percentages. who said anything about creditors? who needs 'em?

I agree. I pay cash for everything. Some aren't that lucky. For those that aren't. Get a real mower. Get a Z. Make sure you got/get the biz to pay for it.

Some of us don't need a 4100,000 rig to make good money. You can get very nice used trucks and equipment for a 1/3 to 1/2 of new. Buy right, charge right. I've had my current Z going on 6 years. Sure it needs a little work every now and then but so does new stuff. My 98 3/4 ton GMC has just around 91,000 miles on it. I use it every day, not a touch of rust on it and most days looks better than some new ones, inside and out. Sure I can afford newer stuff but, I rather see my children have good stuff.

My last post on this thread. My first 10 years the biggest mower I had was a 48 inch belt drive walk behind. Before that 21 inch and a 33 inch. I never made real money until I got the Z. It was then when I understood what the big deal was. Do twice as much and make twice as much. For the first time in my life I was putting money in the bank and not trying to figure out how to pay my bills. Not very many Sugar Babes in my neck of the woods wanting to look out the window to watch me mow grass. They just want it done. They love to see me come and then see me go. Ya' all have fun.

ralph02813
12-04-2011, 05:45 AM
I'm talking mowing not landscape. I had lunch with my accountant today. His son has a lawn co. He does the books for about 10 lawn companys. He said the smaller the investment the higher percent return on your investment. Example- 1 21'' push mower, blower, edger, subcompact pick up could gross $75 per hr.(low overhead) verses - zero turn blower,edger, full size truck at $75 per hr (high overhead). The guys that have the big things also tend to have bed edger, aerater etc. that are only used a few weeks a year. So every dollar you spend nets you a lower percent return. I know it takes money to make money. What do you think?

I dont' know why I am writing this but I most guys who responded to the original post did so wth the bigger better - the which is part of the question, but not the question. The question as I see it is a what point doesn't your investment and spendings cut into your earnings at what point does return on investment begin to shrink.
I think fastlane came the closest - he has increased his return on investment in non walking by 200% and shurk his return on dollars invested by some unknown number or maybe not in depends on the longevtity of his dollars invested in eequipment and upkeep last with out increasing.
So, the bottom line is to know what business you want to be and how much you need to make and the time you want to spend doing that, then figure out what you need and don't need to spend to make you happy. That doesn't mean you can run your business like a hobby, its a business it has to earn real money, if you can afford to reinvest then you quickly come to the point of no return.

tony b
12-04-2011, 08:40 AM
Once again you can't seem to help but talk about yourself. As for my fictional friend..... lets do the math. Keeping in mind these are high end customers that he picked through from working at a nursery doing landscaping for these homeowners. 31 fairly small lawns at an average price of 65.00 per cut for 32 weeks is 64,480. Same 31 lawns for leaf cleanup for 5 weeks minus a helpers pay (only time of yr he didn't work alone). Average again would be double the price of mowing so 31 x 130 x 5 wks= 20,150 - 3750 wages = 16400. Were at almost 81,000 so do I really need to go into spring cleanups, shrub trimming, mulching. You seem to think you know alot but you don't. I don't run my biz this way but I wish I did. Bigger is not always better. And by the way the only reason I went off on you was because you were basically bashing a guy and calling stupid for entertaining the idea of using a 21 through your brag. It can work if your willing to do the work with the right customers etc. I have seen it done. By the way my fictional friend who is in his late 50's is getting ready to retire at 60 with probably more money than either one of us will.

billpiper
12-04-2011, 11:02 AM
lol here is my estimate vehicle. I didnt want to be to showey with customers so I got it in silver.

Can I be your driver?

billpiper
12-04-2011, 11:51 AM
Return on equipment isn't the whole picture as a lot of these posts have proven. What ROE does prove to me is that as you add more expensive equipment, you have to add business and increase productivity to make money. What one person considers to be success won't be the same as everybody else, but that doesn't mean he's not a success. What attracted me to lawn-care is that I find the work satisfying in being able to see the results, it's good exercise, there's not a lot of stress. I have maybe 10 more years to work if my health holds out, so I'm not looking to build an empire. Netting $40 to $60K a year cutting grass would be fine with me.

drenchedlawn
12-04-2011, 03:59 PM
Confusious....is that YOU?
Man who spend time scanning thru dictionary for big words and theories end up giving bad advice to people in "real world". He should park lawn mower and sit behind desk at fortune 500 company where little experience and worthless business plans pay big bucks.
Haha I don't look up my words :) I appreciate the thought that speaking in correct English is impressive to you. Also been there done that 3 times in the corporate thing ( if you will ) business rules apply throughout any business. It isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of productivity. Hold on Im checking google ( for productivity ) yep thats the word I wanted :)

drenchedlawn
12-04-2011, 04:03 PM
Plus you spelled Confucius wrong:hammerhead:

drenchedlawn
12-04-2011, 04:15 PM
lol here is my estimate vehicle. I didnt want to be to showey with customers so I got it in silver.
Nice bid car. You won't be late for any appointments!

Kelly's Landscaping
12-04-2011, 07:39 PM
Yawn tony where to begin first this is a site that is primarily for landscape business owners so stop confusing pride with bragging there is a difference.

I do not believe your friend exists but to each his own I am sure he seems real to you.

The reason I had to get detailed was you stated through your premiss I was getting ripped off in taxes by not leasing. The fact that one I haven't had to pay income taxes in 9 years and two won't be for many more years to come disproved that. You simply ignored that because that meant you were wrong about the leasing. Most of us would rather own an asset then have to give it back at the end of the lease. And what happens when the banks in Europe take ours down with theirs next time and the banks freeze all credit again and all of a sudden your lease comes up and you can get a new one. Will that happen who knows but it could.

As to the line about hanging yourself what I meant was you would make a spectacle of yourself which you did. You started I bashed the guy in my first post that's BS and you know it I pointed out what a ztr can make that is all.

32vld
12-04-2011, 09:54 PM
Plus you spelled Confucius wrong:hammerhead:

Another spelling nazi all confused.

32vld
12-04-2011, 10:17 PM
It's not about percentages.

Not about return on investment.



It's about having the right equipment that allows you to work the fastest and have the lowest cost to do the work.

One can have a 100 60" ztrs. He ain't going to make money when his customer's properties are all fenced in with a 36" gate.



You can't charge a customer 2 hours for a 1 hour job.
You can't charge more then the going rate for a job.



This is where the money is made. Productivity high cost low, equipment must fit the work a business does.

ncknaklawns
12-04-2011, 11:47 PM
I have big z turn and 36" small z turn for fenced back yards. Works great, money spent on equip gets used. Return on expenses . I walk when I trim , just say no to walking mowers. If you want to run your business with low cost equip like push mower more power to you but no thankyou I'd rather ride and fly than walk. There would be less stress with a 21" but I'd rather "gamble" and insure my Z-turn with parts on the shelf and learned know-how to fix and get back out there than to settle for the peace of mind the 21" brings. We all draw the line in various places in the vast gray area of reason where we find ourselves.

ralph02813
12-05-2011, 03:32 AM
Nice bid car. You won't be late for any appointments!

Yeah, but does it make coffee?

hackitdown
12-05-2011, 07:10 AM
Percentage of ROI is only a single factor out of many to be considered. You need to factor in time, since these machines last for years.

Who knows what numbers the accountant is talking about, but for example I would rather make a 20% weekly ROI on a $10K ztr than a 100% weekly return on a $500 21". Let's say the mowers work steadily for a week, and a ZTR is twice as productive. The Z generates $2000 in revenue, the WB generates $1000:

ZTR: $2,000 = 20% of $10K purchase price
WB: $1,000 = 200% of $500 purchase price

If you generate that ROI weekly, then the break-even point arrives pretty quickly. Like in 9.5 weeks. Then you are making way more money going forward. And you get to ride.

RGM
12-05-2011, 08:23 AM
Tell your accountant I will buy the 21'' mower truck and the equipment take 55 an hour from him for doing the work and let him keep the rest if he get the lawns to make 75 and hour.

tony b
12-05-2011, 08:40 AM
Yawn tony where to begin first this is a site that is primarily for landscape business owners so stop confusing pride with bragging there is a difference.

I do not believe your friend exists but to each his own I am sure he seems real to you.

The reason I had to get detailed was you stated through your premiss I was getting ripped off in taxes by not leasing. The fact that one I haven't had to pay income taxes in 9 years and two won't be for many more years to come disproved that. You simply ignored that because that meant you were wrong about the leasing. Most of us would rather own an asset then have to give it back at the end of the lease. And what happens when the banks in Europe take ours down with theirs next time and the banks freeze all credit again and all of a sudden your lease comes up and you can get a new one. Will that happen who knows but it could.

As to the line about hanging yourself what I meant was you would make a spectacle of yourself which you did. You started I bashed the guy in my first post that's BS and you know it I pointed out what a ztr can make that is all.
It seems that you have the problem differentiating pride from bragging. When dollar figures are thrown around you a bragging. You didn't do it to give good advice, narcissism kicked in and numbers started coming out. By the way the lease was only one suggestion. Another would be rolling mowers over when the depreciation schedule runs out, which usually is about the time maintenance costs go through the roof. I would much rather have new mowers than invest 20k+ in a used mower. I'm sorry but thats just stupid. I'm sure you get long winters in new england with nothing better to do but I work and try to generate revenue most of the winter instead of putting new engines or hydro pumps in equipment which i would consider past its prime. Anyway I'm done with this so if you want to reply which I'm sure you will, it will fall on deaf ears as far as I'm concerned. p.s Its part of the narcissism your always right. lol

*dim*
12-05-2011, 09:09 AM
intersting thread

I've just started out here in the UK .... the hardest part about the work is getting it ....

so, for me, I have to stick to 2nd hand smaller mowers bought for cash so as to keep my overheads low

does not help buying an expensive mower, and i don't have enough work to use it (and stands in my shed for half a week)

hopefully, work will pick up and I will then look at getting larger machines and better equipment so as to do more work more quickly

32vld
12-05-2011, 10:24 AM
intersting thread

I've just started out here in the UK .... the hardest part about the work is getting it ....

so, for me, I have to stick to 2nd hand smaller mowers bought for cash so as to keep my overheads low

does not help buying an expensive mower, and i don't have enough work to use it (and stands in my shed for half a week)

hopefully, work will pick up and I will then look at getting larger machines and better equipment so as to do more work more quickly

You are being exceptionally smart for an English man. Keep costs low, expand within your means. This is the road to success. Nothing wrong with starting used and a 34" mower instead of a 54" mower.

By the way you command of the American language is very good.

*dim*
12-05-2011, 11:27 AM
[/FONT]

:) ... I watch too many American movies .... but actually, I'm South African livinig in the UK and trying to make ends meet .... (unemployed senior design mechanical engineer)

rough out here .... every 2nd guy who is unemployed has a station wagon /van and a lawnmower, so rates are very low when it comes to lawn maintenance

I'm trying to do it legit, so have insurances etc etc and that eats the profit when rates are low .... quote higher and you don't get the job

billpiper
12-05-2011, 03:15 PM
:) ... I watch too many American movies .... but actually, I'm South African livinig in the UK and trying to make ends meet .... (unemployed senior design mechanical engineer)

rough out here .... every 2nd guy who is unemployed has a station wagon /van and a lawnmower, so rates are very low when it comes to lawn maintenance

I'm trying to do it legit, so have insurances etc etc and that eats the profit when rates are low .... quote higher and you don't get the job

Good luck to you. You are to be commended for being proactive in making work for yourself until you can get back to your profession. How long is the cutting season in the UK?

By the way, the coldest I have ever been in my life was when I was on manuevers in the Army in the 70's on the Salisberry(?) Plain in the fog in the middle of winter - colder than the Black Forest in (then) West Germany or Cars in Eastern Turkey. To leave South Africa for the UK must have been quite a shock weather-wise.