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MDLawn
12-03-2012, 01:18 PM
I've always thought that cutting grass on a per cut basis can be potentially devastatingly flawed. Of course this is the way I have and continue to bill my customers. However I really like the idea of a fixed bill for the mowing season, which is around 6-7 months. Just like everything else out there with recurring services (phone, cable, insurance, etc...). I can't say that besides the year I started out on my own that I've experienced drought conditions but just like sometimes when I turn the TV on there is nothing I want to watch, but I still pay for it. Or in the busy season NEVER watching it, still paying for it.

I've noticed some companies that do just bill monthly offer something like a 5% discount on early autopay accounts. Now if it is a true discount you could say it can offer "free" days for those few times a lawn doesn't need cutting but at least you're still getting paid each month. The same amount, easy to track, plan with/for, etc..... I also know that some of the companies include things in the price such as fert and weed control, monthly maintenance of shrubs and small trees (most likely after an initial spring clean up/mulching) and other things lumped into on monthly price. I REALLY like the idea just curious to what others have done or opinions of each way to bill things. Customer frustrations, understanding with something like this? Understand that big jobs like clean ups or mulching would NOT be included just the lawn maintenance and maintenance of the larger initial job.

Mikegyver
12-03-2012, 02:14 PM
For next year we are moving as many customers as possible (the majority) over to a 12 month contract. Its really the way to go.

MDLawn
12-03-2012, 02:19 PM
For next year we are moving as many customers as possible (the majority) over to a 12 month contract. Its really the way to go.

I'm going to assume you mean 12 equal payments over the year?

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 02:25 PM
I simply do not see how you guys plan/budget, when you really have no idea on what is going to happen with the weather. It simply is not a good business model if you ask me, to many variables in doing lawns by the cut.

What if it does not rain? You have missed income potential yet still have expenses even getting to the property let alone your overhead. How can you accurately account for this in your business?
What if your customer calls and says it is dry and it really does not need it and to skip this week . Say they do that for 2 weeks out of a month. How did you plan for that?
They want estimate for leaves before the leaves fall. How do you accurately price this when you do not know if you will be doing dry leaves, how many there will be, what if it really wet and cold - that will take longer right? How do you account for this?

In my opinion you guys that are forced to do by cuts up north are not running your business, mother nature and your customer is as the dictate how much work you get and when.

MDLawn
12-03-2012, 02:30 PM
I simply do not see how you guys plan/budget, when you really have no idea on what is going to happen with the weather. It simply is not a good business model if you ask me, to many variables in doing lawns by the cut.

What if it does not rain? You have missed income potential yet still have expenses even getting to the property let alone your overhead. How can you accurately account for this in your business?
What if your customer calls and says it is dry and it really does not need it and to skip this week . Say they do that for 2 weeks out of a month. How did you plan for that?
They want estimate for leaves before the leaves fall. How do you accurately price this when you do not know if you will be doing dry leaves, how many there will be, what if it really wet and cold - that will take longer right? How do you account for this?

In my opinion you guys that are forced to do by cuts up north are not running your business, mother nature and your customer is as the dictate how much work you get and when.

This is my exact point for this thread.

Like I said I've "yet" to run into weather issues but that is only delaying the inevitable. The next round of incoming lawn maintenance will be fixed monthly.

pseudosun
12-03-2012, 02:35 PM
I guess every situation is different. I've noticed people making cuts in their budget, and a few customers cut back my service, and i had to drop others, because they were letting their yards go, and expected the same price. For right now, i've decided to only take jobs that are close. The drive time and expense had to be changed for me. If something is pretty close, i'll give 3 prices. For march through october, i'll give a regular service price (the best option :) , For on call jobs, i'll go higher to make it an unattractive option. Yes, i have to do on-call stuff right now, and it is helping me. Once it's edged and done right, it doesn't take me long. For non scheduled customers during fall/winter, i price each job separately according to the amount of leaves/debris. I'm not saying that I am right, It just leaves no doubt about how much i am going to charge. Whenever i can, i drop hints that regular service yards look the best, and i have converted a few. I have about 85% regular service accounts, and i'll work until all the leaves are gone. The gap in service before spring is not that long , because we have mild winters in Louisiana.

Florida Gardener
12-03-2012, 03:48 PM
I simply do not see how you guys plan/budget, when you really have no idea on what is going to happen with the weather. It simply is not a good business model if you ask me, to many variables in doing lawns by the cut.

What if it does not rain? You have missed income potential yet still have expenses even getting to the property let alone your overhead. How can you accurately account for this in your business?
What if your customer calls and says it is dry and it really does not need it and to skip this week . Say they do that for 2 weeks out of a month. How did you plan for that?
They want estimate for leaves before the leaves fall. How do you accurately price this when you do not know if you will be doing dry leaves, how many there will be, what if it really wet and cold - that will take longer right? How do you account for this?

In my opinion you guys that are forced to do by cuts up north are not running your business, mother nature and your customer is as the dictate how much work you get and when.
But Mike, us Florida guys don't make good money down here....
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DA Quality Lawn & YS
12-03-2012, 05:08 PM
I simply do not see how you guys plan/budget, when you really have no idea on what is going to happen with the weather. It simply is not a good business model if you ask me, to many variables in doing lawns by the cut.

What if it does not rain? You have missed income potential yet still have expenses even getting to the property let alone your overhead. How can you accurately account for this in your business?
What if your customer calls and says it is dry and it really does not need it and to skip this week . Say they do that for 2 weeks out of a month. How did you plan for that?
They want estimate for leaves before the leaves fall. How do you accurately price this when you do not know if you will be doing dry leaves, how many there will be, what if it really wet and cold - that will take longer right? How do you account for this?

In my opinion you guys that are forced to do by cuts up north are not running your business, mother nature and your customer is as the dictate how much work you get and when.

That is the way it is run up north, at least for resi's. NO one is going to pay for mowing service when there is a ft of snow on the ground.

Jimslawncareservice
12-03-2012, 05:20 PM
In an ideal world no matter where you live it should be bu the month. In the spring the grass almost needs to be mowed every 5 days, then skips when dry so it would even out. But explaining it to a residential customer is difficult. I have a few that do charge per month because they run the sprinklers too much and have Tru green there all the time.

Commercials are a different storey. They want everything to be kept up with weekly visits.
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Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 06:34 PM
In an ideal world no matter where you live it should be bu the month. In the spring the grass almost needs to be mowed every 5 days, then skips when dry so it would even out. But explaining it to a residential customer is difficult. I have a few that do charge per month because they run the sprinklers too much and have Tru green there all the time.

Commercials are a different storey. They want everything to be kept up with weekly visits.
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So people have a different standard for the place where they live than the place than they work? You are saying that Joey Homeowner does not have the same standards for their home as they do their business? Otherwise why would there be work for you on the commercial properties and not the residential.


Sounds hopeless

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 06:37 PM
But Mike, us Florida guys don't make good money down here....
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SSSSHHHHHHHHHH, Chris do not get them all worked up. They are up there praying for snow to push so there kids can have a Christmas. Do not get them all fired up and having them loading up U-Haul trucks to move here thinking they will strike it rich and be Millionaires . There will be 16 trailers at every intersection next year instead of 14 like normal :)

Jimslawncareservice
12-03-2012, 06:40 PM
So people have a different standard for the place where they live than the place than they work? You are saying that Joey Homeowner does not have the same standards for their home as they do their business? Otherwise why would there be work for you on the commercial properties and not the residential.


Sounds hopeless

Who said residential customer own the business I or anyone mows? Commercials you deal with managers or management companies. It's not thier money. Now those managers go home and now thier own lawn because its cheaper. Most businesses around here are corporate. Private owned are down town with no lawns or in strip malls that are controlled by a management company.
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Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 06:51 PM
That is the way it is run up north, at least for resi's. NO one is going to pay for mowing service when there is a ft of snow on the ground.

Whatever you guys do....DO NOT ...I repeat...DO NOT THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.....please just continue to make excuses of "that is the way it always has been" and "no customer would ever go for that". Yet kick back and wonder why you have commercial guys working year round ...but not on residential.

Some businesses understand that making their services more affordable to the consumer - well "perceived more affordable" - helps bring them business. They understand extending credit gets them more business especially from those that could not afford the service unless it was made more affordable over the long term. Why would lawn care be any different up there????????? IF and this is a big IF....IF you could afford to lower the perceived payment for the customer while making more per cut....would you do it? It is with that approach I think you guys could have luck....keep it simple for you and the homeowner. The issue is as we all know - most lawn boys do not have enough cash to take care of what they need too .....let alone extend credit to others, Hence why almost every mower company has a finance plan....because lawn boys can not manage money and the mower companies understand they can sell more mowers at a higher price if they give you credit........correct? Tell me where I am wrong here.

The key for all of you up there I think is to bankroll all their projects...mulch once a year, fertilizaiton, leaf clean up, x amount of estimated mows at a premium prices for you...into 12 equal monthly payments to them. They enjoy the lower level payment and know if that is within there budget ....you of course get more work as more people can afford your "monthly rate" and you are making interest on your investment by charging more for each service ....but the customer sees that monthly payment....that is all they care about....they know they can afford that $ amount. Which is why you see everyone from car dealers to big box retailers advertising items not in TOTAL COST.....but rather monthly payments.

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 06:53 PM
Who said residential customer own the business I or anyone mows? Commercials you deal with managers or management companies. It's not thier money. Now those managers go home and now thier own lawn because its cheaper. Most businesses around here are corporate. Private owned are down town with no lawns or in strip malls that are controlled by a management company.
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Again so standards are just different?????? No matter if it is the property mgr or the business owner who lives next to you owns that property....they see that their is work to be done and are willing to pay for it...according to you at their business......but they do not have the same standards for their home.....most likely their largest investment they own?

Jimslawncareservice
12-03-2012, 07:00 PM
Again so standards are just different?????? No matter if it is the property mgr or the business owner who lives next to you owns that property....they see that their is work to be done and are willing to pay for it...according to you at their business......but they do not have the same standards for their home.....most likely their largest investment they own?

That's the way it is now a days. Maybe with high end residentials it may be different. But living in a rural area we dont really have any that require services. Most up keep thier home not thier grass. To most its just a pain in thier tail.
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grandview (2006)
12-03-2012, 07:18 PM
This how I picked up a lot of my customers who don't like that idea. They may pay for snowplowing for a seasonal contract,but during the summer they think they are being ripped off if you don't cut every week and bill them.

yardguy28
12-03-2012, 07:56 PM
I'm always surprised at the opinions of how to bill clients. and to me what seems simple seems to be complicated to others.

I have always done the work for the month and invoiced for the work performed at the end of the month. if I only cut grass twice that month for $32 per cut then they receive a $64 invoice. if I did 4 cuts plus pruned shrubs for an hour at $35 per man hour then they receive an invoice for $163. if no work was done no invoice is sent.

guess it gets into how you manage your money in my opinion. I have enough saved up at all times and manage it where I don't need to actually be receiving checks every month of the year. I don't need a certain amount of money coming to me 12 months out of the year. the amount is the same whether it comes to me in 6 months, 9 months or 12 months. I still receive the same end total.

in the end I personally will take payment any way I can get it. I have some clients who are actually home and pay me when I'm done each week. most pay me on a monthly basis after I send them an invoice.

I have yet to have anyone pay a whole year up front or ask for a 12 month payment plan.

MDLawn
12-03-2012, 08:01 PM
This how I picked up a lot of my customers who don't like that idea. They may pay for snowplowing for a seasonal contract,but during the summer they think they are being ripped off if you don't cut every week and bill them.

Since you're in my general area you're only billing on a per cut basis for lawn mowing then? Snow is an "emergency" service and people can't get anywhere if it's not taken care of so they want that insurance/security. Missing a mowing isn't keeping them from anything.
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larryinalabama
12-03-2012, 08:04 PM
I charge by the week, alaways have alaways will.

Some months you will cut 5 times, I dont want to spend 2 0r 3 days working for free.

I guess if you can charge for work that doesnt get done more power to you.

grandview (2006)
12-03-2012, 08:07 PM
Since you're in my general area you're only billing on a per cut basis for lawn mowing then? Snow is an "emergency" service and people can't get anywhere if it's not taken care of so they want that insurance/security. Missing a mowing isn't keeping them from anything.
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For some reason they feel ripped off if you charge them for not cutting. But total opposite for snow,if we don't get any all season they feel like it was worth it for just in case.

Florida Gardener
12-03-2012, 08:19 PM
Here, in Florida, I will take on nothing but monthly billing. Per cut people here are cheap and generally have no money. I like to be busy year round, and that comes from people that have properties that require monthly billing.
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MDLawn
12-03-2012, 08:37 PM
Would anyone not take full payment up front? Would you offer a discount for it?
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Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 08:42 PM
Would anyone not take full payment up front? Would you offer a discount for it?
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Will ALWAYS take money up front - discount = no

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 08:46 PM
I'm always surprised at the opinions of how to bill clients. and to me what seems simple seems to be complicated to others.

I have always done the work for the month and invoiced for the work performed at the end of the month. if I only cut grass twice that month for $32 per cut then they receive a $64 invoice. if I did 4 cuts plus pruned shrubs for an hour at $35 per man hour then they receive an invoice for $163. if no work was done no invoice is sent.

guess it gets into how you manage your money in my opinion. I have enough saved up at all times and manage it where I don't need to actually be receiving checks every month of the year. I don't need a certain amount of money coming to me 12 months out of the year. the amount is the same whether it comes to me in 6 months, 9 months or 12 months. I still receive the same end total.

in the end I personally will take payment any way I can get it. I have some clients who are actually home and pay me when I'm done each week. most pay me on a monthly basis after I send them an invoice.

I have yet to have anyone pay a whole year up front or ask for a 12 month payment plan.


Money Mgmt is not the issue....the issue is your income is controlled by the customer and the weather, those two factors can limit the amount of money your gross ...no if's ands or but's . You are limited to what the God's give you with a per cut basis.

Now can you plan a good strategy with your money - sure - it is advised I would think - but what happens when during what is typically your busiest time of the year there is a drought...and your income is down 75% vs a regular year...does that make sense to you? Does that sound like a sound business plan to you?

MDLawn
12-03-2012, 08:46 PM
The key for all of you up there I think is to bankroll all their projects...mulch once a year, fertilizaiton, leaf clean up, x amount of estimated mows at a premium prices for you...into 12 equal monthly payments to them. They enjoy the lower level payment and know if that is within there budget ....you of course get more work as more people can afford your "monthly rate" and you are making interest on your investment by charging more for each service ....but the customer sees that monthly payment....that is all they care about....they know they can afford that $ amount. Which is why you see everyone from car dealers to big box retailers advertising items not in TOTAL COST.....but rather monthly payments.

I agree with your thought process. People are completely focused on payment rather than total cost. However I don't like "bankrolling" larger things like mulch or clean up jobs. If they walk you're out on the non repeating services.
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MDLawn
12-03-2012, 09:01 PM
Now can you plan a good strategy with your money - sure - it is advised I would think - but what happens when during what is typically your busiest time of the year there is a drought...and your income is down 75% vs a regular year...does that make sense to you? Does that sound like a sound business plan to you?

This is the potential problem and the reason for initiating this thread for discussion.
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Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 09:15 PM
I agree with your thought process. People are completely focused on payment rather than total cost. However I don't like "bankrolling" larger things like mulch or clean up jobs. If they walk you're out on the non repeating services.
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I am sure if you put your brain to it there would be a way to still make it appealing to the customer and not extend your risk, especially with a well written contract if you feel the need. Contract or not IMHO the most important thing is how you feel about the customer - are they a risk? If so and you do attempt this with them - then their cost should be higher correct. No different than the bank would treat you if you had missed payments on something and then was applying for a new loan. They might give you the loan - but at a higher rate. Risk vs reward for sure.

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 09:17 PM
This is the potential problem and the reason for initiating this thread for discussion.
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I know - I am just trying to some input from others who thus far just want to say - there is nothing we can do about it or that is the way it has always been.

MDLawn
12-03-2012, 09:24 PM
I'm with ya and would like to have a consistent payment even if it was only the 7 months of the growing/working season. But I'd still be skeptical in extending the larger one time jobs unless I was a larger company with a good amount if funds in the bank to A.) purchase materials and B.) cover costs on non or late payers as the full cost of the large jobs won't be paid for some months.

Good points and I like the discussion.
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Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 09:42 PM
I'm with ya and would like to have a consistent payment even if it was only the 7 months of the growing/working season. But I'd still be skeptical in extending the larger one time jobs unless I was a larger company with a good amount if funds in the bank to A.) purchase materials and B.) cover costs on non or late payers as the full cost of the large jobs won't be paid for some months.

Good points and I like the discussion.
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When I suggested Mulch I was thinking of some of my size properties. My area has lots of lawns that are only 2.5 K or 4K of turf and 500 square foot of beds etc. Extending out mulch for this size would not be a issue for me if I were to have to do this assuming I controlled the time of year the mulch went in. For example right now and the last few weeks things have slowed down as par for the course here, we only work EOW or so on turf maint, so in that off week I could get the mulch done no problem and it dresses up the home for the holiday.

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 09:47 PM
MD - you customers, since you have not experienced drought , should be the easiest to convince, if you have been in business for awhile, you know how many cuts a property gets.

Just be honest with them and explain...try it out on a few, you might be surprised if you do a effective job explaining why, how much and showing them that you are not going to rip them off but are just trying to actually run a business. You might be surprised at what their thoughts are.

cpllawncare
12-03-2012, 10:02 PM
MD - you customers, since you have not experienced drought , should be the easiest to convince, if you have been in business for awhile, you know how many cuts a property gets.

Just be honest with them and explain...try it out on a few, you might be surprised if you do a effective job explaining why, how much and showing them that you are not going to rip them off but are just trying to actually run a business. You might be surprised at what their thoughts are.

I agree, it makes sense to the customer who understands you're a business not a hobbyiest, I explain that we're a full time professional landscaping company we're not the kid from down the street or joe blow doing it on the side. This is where image is so important, how do you dress when you go to an appointment? do you listen and take notes when the customer is talking? do you drive up in a fred sanford truck? it makes a difference.

pseudosun
12-03-2012, 10:10 PM
I may fall into the fred sanford category.

MDLawn
12-03-2012, 10:23 PM
I agree, it makes sense to the customer who understands you're a business not a hobbyiest, I explain that we're a full time professional landscaping company we're not the kid from down the street or joe blow doing it on the side. This is where image is so important, how do you dress when you go to an appointment? do you listen and take notes when the customer is talking? do you drive up in a fred sanford truck? it makes a difference.

A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

D.) I have a full website.

I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
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MDLawn
12-03-2012, 10:40 PM
The other thing with the mulch work is most of my jobs are not just slinging mulch. It's tons of edging, trimming bushes, general clean up and anywhere from 2-12 yards of mulch. Full days of work for each job. I really don't like mulch only jobs. They just look like hell without good edging and trimmed bushes. Nothing I'd want to stamp my name on. I do one 7 yard job where the homeowner "edges" and trims. Ugh.....looks good but I know it would look much better if I did the whole job. But it would more than double the price and I think he knows that.

ANYWAYS.......keep the ideas flowing.
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Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 11:06 PM
The other thing with the mulch work is most of my jobs are not just slinging mulch. It's tons of edging, trimming bushes, general clean up and anywhere from 2-12 yards of mulch. Full days of work for each job. I really don't like mulch only jobs. They just look like hell without good edging and trimmed bushes. Nothing I'd want to stamp my name on. I do one 7 yard job where the homeowner "edges" and trims. Ugh.....looks good but I know it would look much better if I did the whole job. But it would more than double the price and I think he knows that.

ANYWAYS.......keep the ideas flowing.
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Properties are edged weekly here including the beds during the most active time of growth, when we go EOW obviously so does the edging. Most customers will choose to have the shrubs included in their service because if they are not going out in the heat to mow the lawn or do not have the time, they will not for the shrubs either, so generally speaking that is already taken care of.

If they are a new customer and the previous LCO did not address these ....there is a " clean up" cost incurred prior to taking the account on.

Landscape Poet
12-03-2012, 11:08 PM
A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

D.) I have a full website.

I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
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All that is fine and dandy , but personally I think the most important is that the customer trust you and your abilities. They have to have confidence in your and your knowledge and desire to care for their property. If you are able to give that....it goes a long way.

cpllawncare
12-04-2012, 04:13 AM
A.) Not full time yet..... This does NOT make me any less professional. I carry insurance, drive a professional looking rig, and do good work. I have a picture thread if anyone cares to critique.

B.) Every estimate is company polo with Carhartt pants or cargo shorts unless approached while working but even then I am usually still in a polo or logoed t-shirt.

C.) I use a estimating clipboard (aluminum type) with a note pad. I still have old note pads with all sorts of notes on them. Hand out business cards upon meeting etc.... Take pictures of landscape while there for review later.

D.) I have a full website.

I have that image set just fine just looking at ideas for this upcoming season.
Posted via Mobile Device

I wasn't putting the part time guys down, I started out part time as well. I don't even have a full website yet, as for the rest sounds like you got the right idea.

hi_speedreed
12-04-2012, 07:44 AM
It was previously noted just because thats the way it was always done doesn't mean that's the way it should be done. I agree with that, but in this instance don't believe it to be completely true.

As a business owner you should realize that customers control the market not the other way around. If a customer balks at paying monthly I will not drop them. I won't throw away good money because the customer wants to walk out, say hi and hand me a check when I am loading up. If I don't then they will find someone who will.

I also agree it is a money management issue. I know that what I make from April until November has to carry me through the winter. Some people do not have the ability to plan and budget a weekly paycheck let alone planning what you are going to need 10 months down the road. I am not saying any poster of this thread can't. I don't know if you can or not.

You have found what works best for you. Others have found what works best for them. That's the beauty of owning your business. You get final say in what is best.
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jrs.landscaping
12-04-2012, 08:28 AM
Again so standards are just different?????? No matter if it is the property mgr or the business owner who lives next to you owns that property....they see that their is work to be done and are willing to pay for it...according to you at their business......but they do not have the same standards for their home.....most likely their largest investment they own?

Business image is everything. I do a commercial account where I mow the business and the owners house. He cares about the appearance of both of them. There are others where I have no idea where the owner lives. Their lawn could look great or it could be a foot tall. Commercial accounts want their business to reflect an image of professionalism which includes the exterior. Most resi customers just want their grass shorter than before you showed up. We have per cut, and yearly contracts. Yearly contracts are the way to go if you can sell it to your customers.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 08:39 AM
Most resi customers just want their grass shorter than before you showed up.


Yea most think their grass is the same as a putting green and should be mowed like one......

Those people don't go for yearly contracts.
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yardguy28
12-04-2012, 10:43 AM
Money Mgmt is not the issue....the issue is your income is controlled by the customer and the weather, those two factors can limit the amount of money your gross ...no if's ands or but's . You are limited to what the God's give you with a per cut basis.

Now can you plan a good strategy with your money - sure - it is advised I would think - but what happens when during what is typically your busiest time of the year there is a drought...and your income is down 75% vs a regular year...does that make sense to you? Does that sound like a sound business plan to you?

well in my neck of the woods your not gonna get people to sign up for paying a monthly amount whether work was performed or not. by the end of the year they'd want to receive a refund for work not performed.

and i don't blame them. i treat clients how i would want to be treated and i personally am not willing to pay a flat amount each month no matter what work is done or not done.

if they did 28 cuts i wanna pay for 28 cuts, if they only did 13 i'm only paying for 13.

income down or not my point about money management is when my income is down i already have plenty of money saved up that a year being down even as much as 75%, it doesn't affect me. i don't live pay check to pay check. i personally could afford to take a year off from work total if i wanted to and i'd still be sitting pretty.

i've managed my money very well. saved as much of it as i could before i even got into this business. i was making at least double what i make now in my previous career.

but regardless of all that for me it still comes down to me treating my clients how i would want to be treated. and if your estimate was 12 monthly payments of x amount no matter what work was done each month, i'd tell you to take a hike. i know you guys try to justify it by "well this season you might only pay for 28 cuts but receive 34 due to excessive growth and next season you might only get 15 cuts because of a drought so it all balances out" BULLSHEOT, i'm not buying it, and i'm not doing it. so i wouldn't expect my clients to do it either.

i charge all clients the same for all services residential or commercial. they all get invoiced for the work done each month. from pruning shrubs to snow removal and everything in between. i do the work then at the end of the month invoice for what work i did do.

it's worked for me the entire time i've been in business so no reason for to me fix something that isn't broken.

pseudosun
12-04-2012, 11:00 AM
I have nothing against contracts, and I know they work for some operations. I just haven't had luck with them, and i had someone else make them for me (they looked good and covered everything). I just couldn't land anything. My approach is to just talk to them on a personal level, and every customer has their own needs. As long as they have me, their yard will not get out of control. 85% regular accounts is good for me, and i do take on some older ladies that need help, because they're on assistance. I have 3 accounts that pay monthly, and everyone else is per job. 2 of the three monthly payers preferred that i text them the monthly total. I always get a check in a day or two.

MOturkey
12-04-2012, 11:47 AM
it's worked for me the entire time i've been in business so no reason for to me fix something that isn't broken.

Exactly. It is amazing to me how often people try and re-invent the wheel. I'm not knocking those who work with monthly contracts, because I'm sure that in some areas of the country, especially Florida, they make sense. Here, where the normal season is around 7 months, with generally a slow period mid-summer, even in a normal rainfall year, they don't.

I've noticed that many times posters try to equate monthly contractual billing with telephone service or insurance. That is a classic case of attempting to compare apples to oranges. I use my cell phone very little. Some months I won't have 60 minutes of usage. But, it is available to me 24-7, if I need it. Insurance is something one hopefully will never use, but will provide coverage far in excess of the actual premium.

Virtually all service-based work is billed after the fact, and the charge is generally based on the work rendered. You don't pay your mechanice a monthly flat fee, you pay for the required repairs or maintenance.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 12:10 PM
You don't pay your mechanice a monthly flat fee, you pay for the required repairs or maintenance.

You want to talk apples to oranges who would use a mechanic for 27-34 weeks straight? You're paying them for major services not weekly routine maintenance.... And if cars actually required weekly routine maintenance I'd think a lot would sign up for a simple monthly payment plan. And with a mechanic payment is due or they keep the car, not bill you 4 weeks after the work is completed.

Also in my mind was to bill out for the actual cutting season. So if it is from April to Nov you would divide the cost between those months. I would actually offer some small discount, say 5%, to sign up for automatic payments that were paid either the 1st of the service month or the 15th. But I'd think you would need to include more things in that monthly payment than just lawn mowing. Such as once a month stuff like bed edge redefining, trimming bushes, pulling weeds, just general property maintenance that is well lined out in an agreement or contract. Basically just general good care of the property. Any big jobs are billed out seperately, just like a mechanic.

I take care of a small office of a friend of mine and we were billing out this and that and this and that. This year I'm taking that total, adding a small percent increase, and stating that I'm doing lawn maintenace and trimming & mulching 3 times per season for $XXXX amount. He'll write the check in a day. Some people don't want to be bothered with constant bills, they just want the work done.

Here's the catch though. Some new or not quite fully established person (possibly myself) cannot walk on scene and demand things such as straight monthly billing and such. If you do however have a good brand going I think you can do such things. If you're wanted enough, you can probably dictate such things. Until then most will probably shrug you off when it comes to things like monthly bills.

hi_speedreed
12-04-2012, 12:19 PM
Virtually all service-based work is billed after the fact, and the charge is generally based on the work rendered. You don't pay your mechanice a monthly flat fee, you pay for the required repairs or maintenance.

exactly. nailed it.

mechanics, plumbers, electricians, HVAC techs, doctors, dentists, optometrists, all services paid for when services are rendered.

what if your dealer did this?

well we billed you for $xxxx.xx this year so next year we are going to divide that number by 12 and bill you monthly whether you get service or not. Don't worry it will balance out. if you don't get that much service you'll probably get more than that the following year.

Bet you would tell him to go fly a kite and find another dealer.
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Landscape Poet
12-04-2012, 12:21 PM
well in my neck of the woods your not gonna get people to sign up for paying a monthly amount whether work was performed or not. by the end of the year they'd want to receive a refund for work not performed.

and i don't blame them. i treat clients how i would want to be treated and i personally am not willing to pay a flat amount each month no matter what work is done or not done.

if they did 28 cuts i wanna pay for 28 cuts, if they only did 13 i'm only paying for 13.

income down or not my point about money management is when my income is down i already have plenty of money saved up that a year being down even as much as 75%, it doesn't affect me. i don't live pay check to pay check. i personally could afford to take a year off from work total if i wanted to and i'd still be sitting pretty.

i've managed my money very well. saved as much of it as i could before i even got into this business. i was making at least double what i make now in my previous career.

but regardless of all that for me it still comes down to me treating my clients how i would want to be treated. and if your estimate was 12 monthly payments of x amount no matter what work was done each month, i'd tell you to take a hike. i know you guys try to justify it by "well this season you might only pay for 28 cuts but receive 34 due to excessive growth and next season you might only get 15 cuts because of a drought so it all balances out" BULLSHEOT, i'm not buying it, and i'm not doing it. so i wouldn't expect my clients to do it either.

i charge all clients the same for all services residential or commercial. they all get invoiced for the work done each month. from pruning shrubs to snow removal and everything in between. i do the work then at the end of the month invoice for what work i did do.

it's worked for me the entire time i've been in business so no reason for to me fix something that isn't broken.


Again it is not a money mgmt issue that I bring up. Besides that just because you have saved well and can afford to take a year off or whatever you stated above, that is fine and dandy, but the fact would remain that income has been lost and the savings used to live on during that period has to be replaced and regained somehow - correct?

My point is that I simply do not see how anyone can create a accurate budget with the patterns that you guys can experience. How do you effectively plan growth - when you do not know what your sales will be a month from now?
If you were to go to the bank and ask for a loan - how would you explain that your potential income - may not be anywhere close to your estimated budget because there can be a drought at any minute?

I am not really dogging any of you for working the way you have - I am just questioning how you make your business work and how you plan accordingly for anything because all I would see would be a very hopeful guess. Please explain how you make accurate business plans?

scotts lawn care
12-04-2012, 12:35 PM
The customer is the Boss for me.....

I have offered both payment plans to my customers: pay a set amount each month, or pay per service performed - also at the end of each month.

I let my CUSTOMER decide how they want to pay......not the other way around. Sure I could say I have to be paid THIS way period!

But I believe in being flexable with my customers because there all different from one another.

I think people will appreciate a few different options when it comes to paying - and I'm glad to work with them.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 12:58 PM
The customer is the Boss for me.....

I have offered both payment plans to my customers: pay a set amount each month, or pay per service performed - also at the end of each month.

I let my CUSTOMER decide how they want to pay......not the other way around. Sure I could say I have to be paid THIS way period!

But I believe in being flexable with my customers because there all different from one another.

I think people will appreciate a few different options when it comes to paying - and I'm glad to work with them.

Probably the best route is to have options for them. Kind of what I stated above. You could pay for each service and the end of the month or pay a fixed rate with a small discount showing it could be less with the fixed plan. I'd rather have the money at the start of a month rather than at the end. Gives you something to operate with.





Separately, people are comparing this to plumbers, mechanics, doctors, dentists which to me is still apples to oranges. NOT ONE of these above do you use weekly, not one. Yes they provide a service but not a recurring one so absolutely payment is paid on demand. Just like doing a large mulch job or patio installation and even some of those require progress payments if they are large enough. I don't see them as a true maintenance service, they are a repair/install type of service which again is not weekly maintenance item. You PLAN on mowing every week during the growing season or am I just the oddball out thinking that I NEED and/or PLAN to service weekly.

yardguy28
12-04-2012, 06:00 PM
You want to talk apples to oranges who would use a mechanic for 27-34 weeks straight? You're paying them for major services not weekly routine maintenance.... And if cars actually required weekly routine maintenance I'd think a lot would sign up for a simple monthly payment plan. And with a mechanic payment is due or they keep the car, not bill you 4 weeks after the work is completed.

Also in my mind was to bill out for the actual cutting season. So if it is from April to Nov you would divide the cost between those months. I would actually offer some small discount, say 5%, to sign up for automatic payments that were paid either the 1st of the service month or the 15th. But I'd think you would need to include more things in that monthly payment than just lawn mowing. Such as once a month stuff like bed edge redefining, trimming bushes, pulling weeds, just general property maintenance that is well lined out in an agreement or contract. Basically just general good care of the property. Any big jobs are billed out seperately, just like a mechanic.

I take care of a small office of a friend of mine and we were billing out this and that and this and that. This year I'm taking that total, adding a small percent increase, and stating that I'm doing lawn maintenace and trimming & mulching 3 times per season for $XXXX amount. He'll write the check in a day. Some people don't want to be bothered with constant bills, they just want the work done.

Here's the catch though. Some new or not quite fully established person (possibly myself) cannot walk on scene and demand things such as straight monthly billing and such. If you do however have a good brand going I think you can do such things. If you're wanted enough, you can probably dictate such things. Until then most will probably shrug you off when it comes to things like monthly bills.

the only way I'd sign up for a monthly payment plan for anything is if the amount of money I would pay in a year would equal exactly what I would pay if just invoiced for work performed.

exactly why I don't expect my clients to sign up for something like that. to do a 12 month payment plan you have to have a grand total so you have to say you will definitly mow the grass x amount of times for the year.

we all know you can't predict with 100% certainty how many cuts we will do. weather is what dictates that.

Again it is not a money mgmt issue that I bring up. Besides that just because you have saved well and can afford to take a year off or whatever you stated above, that is fine and dandy, but the fact would remain that income has been lost and the savings used to live on during that period has to be replaced and regained somehow - correct?

My point is that I simply do not see how anyone can create a accurate budget with the patterns that you guys can experience. How do you effectively plan growth - when you do not know what your sales will be a month from now?
If you were to go to the bank and ask for a loan - how would you explain that your potential income - may not be anywhere close to your estimated budget because there can be a drought at any minute?

I am not really dogging any of you for working the way you have - I am just questioning how you make your business work and how you plan accordingly for anything because all I would see would be a very hopeful guess. Please explain how you make accurate business plans?

no I don't make up the lost money as you say.

I tap into what I have saved when needed and replace when I can. but I never plan on necessarly try to catch up after a lower season.

I plan on around the same income each year. I'm a solo business I can and will only take on so much business a year. once my schedule is full it is full. if those clients happen to bring me more money than the previous year great. if not I make due with what I have.

take this season for example. it has not been a good one. huge drought. my only plan for next season is to make sure my schedule is full just like every other season. there is no plan to expand or raise prices and try and make up what money I lost this season. currently my schedule has openings. until I can fill them with regular business I will be doing one time jobs that come my way. aside from that its business as usual.

like I keep saying it is somewhat about money management. I know how to get by with less when needed. rarely do I ever tap into my saved money. I make it a practice to live as below my means as I possibly can. getting by with the most basic of things. anything nice I have has been given to me as a gift for a birthday or christmas.

when money is tight there isn't going out to eat, going to the movies, renting a video game, buying new clothes, going on vacation, etc.

when money is tight time is spent working to make money and when not working it is spent at home with whatever I already have. surely you've read my posts about how I get by with the basics and am happy with just having food, water, heat, etc. how I don't go on vacation, spend money on toys such as bikes, 4 wheelers, etc. how I don't have a fancy house or designer clothes, big screen tvs, or a huge DVD collection. I don't go bar hopping on the weekends or to restaurants to eat.

money management. I don't need to have clients paying me all 12 months out of the year. I can take all there money in the 9 billable months and do just fine the other 3. I make plenty of money to only charge for work performed instead of trying to get them to pay 12 months out of the year no matter how much or how little of work is done.

pseudosun
12-04-2012, 07:40 PM
I still don't have a flat screen tv. When this one goes down, i have another tank in my closet that i can hook up.

MOturkey
12-04-2012, 08:36 PM
Probably the best route is to have options for them. Kind of what I stated above. You could pay for each service and the end of the month or pay a fixed rate with a small discount showing it could be less with the fixed plan. I'd rather have the money at the start of a month rather than at the end. Gives you something to operate with.





Separately, people are comparing this to plumbers, mechanics, doctors, dentists which to me is still apples to oranges. NOT ONE of these above do you use weekly, not one. Yes they provide a service but not a recurring one so absolutely payment is paid on demand. Just like doing a large mulch job or patio installation and even some of those require progress payments if they are large enough. I don't see them as a true maintenance service, they are a repair/install type of service which again is not weekly maintenance item. You PLAN on mowing every week during the growing season or am I just the oddball out thinking that I NEED and/or PLAN to service weekly.

Some valid points, but I do think the analogy is valid, because even though the frequency of service provided by most vendors is considerably less often than the average weekly service involved in lawn care, the principle is still same. I had accounts I didn't service for as long as 6 weeks this year due to the drought. I don't see a problem with offering customers the option of monthly payment options if one wishes, but I think, in most markets, attempting to make this a mandatory way of doing business, would be a tough sell.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 09:05 PM
I guess the thing for me is getting people to part with their money sooner vs weeks after service. Even if it was the 15th of the service month. And if you needed to credit them at the end for any skipped weeks. If you're a solo op (I am but would like not to be) operating money may not be as important as the guy who needs to pay employees and other bills a solo op doesn't not have. Solo guy can budget to have "drought money". A large business can't go without payments as you then cannot pay or retain employees. This is the problem with some of these discussions. A solo and and employee business are two completely different business entities and I feel the solo guys provide 95% of the opinions on this board vs the true businesses.
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32vld
12-04-2012, 09:14 PM
The amount of cuts varies season to season. Some times cut can be skipped during a season.

So either you have to be willing to over charge or under charge. Hoping things average out in your favor instead of the customers favor.

I can see it now a customer after years of service fires you and you say to the customer hell no you can't fire me the money has not averaged out to my favor yet.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 09:52 PM
Just to be clear I would only have payments DURING the service season. So 7 months. So even if someone quits you're still paid up. Offer $42 per cut ($1260 total) or $40/cut x 30 cuts / 7 months $171.43 or $1200 total.

Gamble? Yes.
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Florida Gardener
12-04-2012, 10:09 PM
I think there is some misunderstandings in this thread. We charge monthly here in Florida bc we work all year. So instead of really high bills in the summer, and low bills in the winter, we average it out for the year. A per cut person in Florida will typically not want service in the winter, this making them a terrible customer. You guys only cut for so many months, so it's not out of the norm to bill per cut, but problems can arise with a drought. We don't have droughts here as it typically rains from may-October. I personally would have a problem with paying someone for work they aren't going to do. But, if you sell the customer on doing weeds and or pruning on a week where it doesn't need cutting, that should go over way better.
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cpllawncare
12-04-2012, 10:20 PM
I see two very valid points here,

1st - A company with employees like myself has to be able to make payroll so it makes sense to require 12 montly payments.
2nd - Depending on your area of the country it may or may not work, we pretty much work year round here so we're kinda like the FLA guys, it makes sense for us. When the grass stops growing like it has here, we focus on other area's of the yard, bed and shrub maint, other projects the HO wants done, which actually gets billed at the hourly rate.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 10:52 PM
But, if you sell the customer on doing weeds and or pruning on a week where it doesn't need cutting, that should go over way better.
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Besides my last post this was included in my first post. I honestly thought about this because another member JimLewis, who has a large company in Oregon, does exactly that type of thing. But, his includes fert and weed control with trimming and other maintenance items. Basically up selling of some sort. So I probably should've posted in the landscape maintenance section rather than mowing.
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Florida Gardener
12-04-2012, 10:59 PM
Besides my last post this was included in my first post. I honestly thought about this because another member JimLewis, who has a large company in Oregon, does exactly that type of thing. But, his includes fert and weed control with trimming and other maintenance items. Basically up selling of some sort. So I probably should've posted in the landscape maintenance section rather than mowing.
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Yes, he lives in an area that requires year round maintenance. I'm assuming you live in Maryland, but I don't know what your winters are like.
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MDLawn
12-04-2012, 11:09 PM
Nope I western new york. Lotta snow

But yea I understand it's easier with the year round "green" maintenance.
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Florida Gardener
12-04-2012, 11:15 PM
Nope I western new york. Lotta snow

But yea I understand it's easier with the year round "green" maintenance.
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If you do plowing, then I could see doing monthly billing, but if your just doing mowing, probably going to be harder. I haven't read every post so I'm sorry if this has been covered already.
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Landscape Poet
12-04-2012, 11:21 PM
Yes, he lives in an area that requires year round maintenance. I'm assuming you live in Maryland, but I don't know what your winters are like.
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The Op is onto something thought Chris. Jim's area would require it, but as state by the OP, diversification makes Jim more valuable and able to offset some income losses because of it.

That is a option we have not discussed here. Making more money with customers you already have. I am not a Jim Lewis by any means , but if you are one of my customers you would not know that I do not offer all those services. You see I figured out awhile back that networking, is a very valuable tool, which makes you not only more of a asset to the customer, but it also has the potential to make you much more money if you find the correct network.

A example that brings me revenue every two months. L and O - I do not possess the license for lawns in Florida. But that does not mean I do not have the ability to fill the customers need. I have a L and O company does great work. I worked myself a deal to get their program at a slightly lower than normal rate per K. There work is above standard for the market but their normal price is not near what the market will bare. So I get a discount of say $12 per K I turn around and charge the customer $17 per K, which the customer is happy to pay for the quality and the simplicity of paying through one source and dealing with one company. Say the customers property is 5K - that is a additional $25 every two months I get for doing nothing more than being a contractor who has networked. What is even worth more - when the neighbor sees the lawn we service blow up and start getting deeper green and they wonder what their guy is not doing. They notice and often inquire on what we are doing different, this leads to the cycle continuing and then next thing you know I am making $25 every two months for simply networking and have picked up a new customer as well. Go along with that - The L and O sells sod - guess who does all their sod work now , that is right , this guy. Guess who subs out all his Sod work...that is right - this guy.

The possibilities are endless if you are willing to not be a normal lawn jockey and demand a deeper cut than you truly deserve. If you are able to work with other contractors, tree, irrigation etc etc and get them work because you so often will be the first contact for the customer - so if you can simply make a phone call and get the need accomplished and collect your little bit - then level billing and drought become less of a issue in the long run. Just my two cents sense everyone seems to agree that in most of your areas you are not able to provide services year around or stretch out the season with a payment option for the client. Make more with what you can. Trust me this is a very viable option if applied correctly as a larger and larger part of my business is becoming the middle man.

MDLawn
12-04-2012, 11:26 PM
Yea I was thinking more of a package type thing. Mowing, bush trimming, weeding, etc.... I did it before with bed weeding for and extra $5 per cut and a few people signed on. So for an extra $135 per year I pulled a few weeds every couple weeks. No one would pay that up front but 5 bucks sure why not! Gotta find ways to increase revenues.
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Florida Gardener
12-04-2012, 11:35 PM
The Op is onto something thought Chris. Jim's area would require it, but as state by the OP, diversification makes Jim more valuable and able to offset some income losses because of it.

That is a option we have not discussed here. Making more money with customers you already have. I am not a Jim Lewis by any means , but if you are one of my customers you would not know that I do not offer all those services. You see I figured out awhile back that networking, is a very valuable tool, which makes you not only more of a asset to the customer, but it also has the potential to make you much more money if you find the correct network.

A example that brings me revenue every two months. L and O - I do not possess the license for lawns in Florida. But that does not mean I do not have the ability to fill the customers need. I have a L and O company does great work. I worked myself a deal to get their program at a slightly lower than normal rate per K. There work is above standard for the market but their normal price is not near what the market will bare. So I get a discount of say $12 per K I turn around and charge the customer $17 per K, which the customer is happy to pay for the quality and the simplicity of paying through one source and dealing with one company. Say the customers property is 5K - that is a additional $25 every two months I get for doing nothing more than being a contractor who has networked. What is even worth more - when the neighbor sees the lawn we service blow up and start getting deeper green and they wonder what their guy is not doing. They notice and often inquire on what we are doing different, this leads to the cycle continuing and then next thing you know I am making $25 every two months for simply networking and have picked up a new customer as well. Go along with that - The L and O sells sod - guess who does all their sod work now , that is right , this guy. Guess who subs out all his Sod work...that is right - this guy.

The possibilities are endless if you are willing to not be a normal lawn jockey and demand a deeper cut than you truly deserve. If you are able to work with other contractors, tree, irrigation etc etc and get them work because you so often will be the first contact for the customer - so if you can simply make a phone call and get the need accomplished and collect your little bit - then level billing and drought become less of a issue in the long run. Just my two cents sense everyone seems to agree that in most of your areas you are not able to provide services year around or stretch out the season with a payment option for the client. Make more with what you can. Trust me this is a very viable option if applied correctly as a larger and larger part of my business is becoming the middle man.
Sure, networking is great, but there are guys taking about monthly billing for mowing in areas where you may skip cuts, as I understand it. Jim Lewis does all the work himself(meaning no subbing) so his guys are always doing the work. If you are subbing people out, I would think the customer would ask why they are paying you for work that someone else is doing, which doesn't always need to be done. I agree with you that networking works well, but I also think it is hard to sell someone on something that will be a continual bill for stuff that you may not be doing or may not need to be done. Again, if the customer knows that if mowing won't be done, but weeds will be sprayed, cool, no problem. But what kind of L&O work would be required in a severe drought? I really think that as it is said on lawnsite all the time, that every area is different. Heck, Florida is its own thing. What other state has rain for 6 months out of the year? Idk, just throwing some stuff out there.
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Mikegyver
12-04-2012, 11:38 PM
I'm going to assume you mean 12 equal payments over the year?
Yes.
Most people will go for a contract if you sell it right. Here in the south you are pretty much doing something every month of the year. I could see customers having issues with signing a contract for 12 months of the year when they are only getting service half of those months.
I include mowing, bed maintenance, hedges, and irrigation checkups in my contract. This also includes cleaning up leaves/pine needles if applicable. I do not include mulch or annuals; however in the contract they do sign up how how many times a year they want services like that done. That way if the price of materials goes up I am not eating the price increase. I just bill it as needed. Also there's no need to contact the customer to see if/when they want it done, its right there in the contract.
I am indebted to the people that helped me figure out how to do a contract. Most of these ideas are not original to me. Thanks to all who have helped me with this.
Mike

Landscape Poet
12-05-2012, 12:04 AM
Sure, networking is great, but there are guys taking about monthly billing for mowing in areas where you may skip cuts, as I understand it. Jim Lewis does all the work himself(meaning no subbing) so his guys are always doing the work. If you are subbing people out, I would think the customer would ask why they are paying you for work that someone else is doing, which doesn't always need to be done. I agree with you that networking works well, but I also think it is hard to sell someone on something that will be a continual bill for stuff that you may not be doing or may not need to be done. Again, if the customer knows that if mowing won't be done, but weeds will be sprayed, cool, no problem. But what kind of L&O work would be required in a severe drought? I really think that as it is said on lawnsite all the time, that every area is different. Heck, Florida is its own thing. What other state has rain for 6 months out of the year? Idk, just throwing some stuff out there.
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For sure Florida is it's own thing and I am sure that California areas have their own issues as well as texas , but what I guess I am not understanding is if they sell snow plowing accounts without knowing if it will snow, and they do snow plowing and lawn maintenance and leaf clean ups. Why not ensure the customer is yours buy taking their yearly cost - for leaf clean up, lawn service, snow plowing? The customer could rest assured knowing that all services are taken care for the year and that the payment is broken down into easy budget friendly payments.
Again we have talked about watching our spending and budget in this thread but if you ask me, most customers like dealing with known facts such all these services will only cost X amount per month and that fits there budget. I don't know I could be wrong but as stated I think there is a reason when you look at cars they do not show the price first, they show how much the payment is estimated to be per month, the same thing with big box retailers and large items - they usually show the price per month if financed. There is a reason for that - most Americans like knowing exactly what it will cost and how much room they have in their monthly budget.

Florida Gardener
12-05-2012, 12:07 AM
For sure Florida is it's own thing and I am sure that California areas have their own issues as well as texas , but what I guess I am not understanding is if they sell snow plowing accounts without knowing if it will snow, and they do snow plowing and lawn maintenance and leaf clean ups. Why not ensure the customer is yours buy taking their yearly cost - for leaf clean up, lawn service, snow plowing? The customer could rest assured knowing that all services are taken care for the year and that the payment is broken down into easy budget friendly payments.
Again we have talked about watching our spending and budget in this thread but if you ask me, most customers like dealing with known facts such all these services will only cost X amount per month and that fits there budget. I don't know I could be wrong but as stated I think there is a reason when you look at cars they do not show the price first, they show how much the payment is estimated to be per month, the same thing with big box retailers and large items - they usually show the price per month if financed. There is a reason for that - most Americans like knowing exactly what it will cost and how much room they have in their monthly budget.
Yea, I agree with that. I was under the impression that we were talking mowing only....
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DA Quality Lawn & YS
12-05-2012, 01:52 AM
IDK, having FL guys telling northern guys to bill warm season services over 12 months in equal installments is a bit absurd. The way I bill works just fine for me. We don't have a year round warm season here FL dudes. What you do works for you thats fine, but total different deal up here. I'd tell you to try it sometime but wearing shorts in below 0 temps might be tuff on ya:)

yardguy28
12-05-2012, 03:03 PM
I guess the thing for me is getting people to part with their money sooner vs weeks after service. Even if it was the 15th of the service month. And if you needed to credit them at the end for any skipped weeks. If you're a solo op (I am but would like not to be) operating money may not be as important as the guy who needs to pay employees and other bills a solo op doesn't not have. Solo guy can budget to have "drought money". A large business can't go without payments as you then cannot pay or retain employees. This is the problem with some of these discussions. A solo and and employee business are two completely different business entities and I feel the solo guys provide 95% of the opinions on this board vs the true businesses.
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personally I'm not concerned with getting the client to part with there money sooner rather than later. as long as they pay on time is fine for me.

as for any credits. that never happens with my business as I invoice for only work performed. this is done to avoid ever having to credit an account. this is one reason I will never switch to a payment plan option.

TriCountyLawn
12-05-2012, 03:17 PM
I do my monthly stuff over 7 months. I bill the full service stuff at the beginning of the month and the weekly and bi-weekly stuff as well as any extras at the end of the month. Im really wanting to bill the weekly stuff (ie tacky customers) via their credit card per service to avoid getting strung out over a 25-30.00 cut.

CutterCutter
12-05-2012, 08:11 PM
I don't think I could do this kind of work if it was year round. In my area it's lawn services from the middle of March to the middle of November. I'm in bad need of a break by the end of the season. There are people who do snow removal here but the snowfall is so uncertain in my area I've never wanted to be bothered with it.

As for billing it's per service. The jobs are either weekly or bi-weekly and unless it's raining big time I show up on the appointed day. Additional services are billed whenever they are performed. I do have some weekly customers that get billed every other week just for convenience.

I know another LCO who bills all customers at the end of the month for whatever services were performed during that month. How can you wait that long for your money?

MDLawn
12-05-2012, 08:31 PM
So you're sending a bill each and every week?
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hi_speedreed
12-05-2012, 09:11 PM
So you're sending a bill each and every week?
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What I bet he meant is when he is done the customer walks out and hands him payment. He doesn't actually send them an invoice.

Billing a weekly customer every other week probably means they pay him on payday as most working folks get paid eow.

MSeals
12-05-2012, 09:41 PM
In my area, majority of us bill monthly with 12 mo contracts. These usually include pinestraw twice a year, fert, and hedge trimming. Deffinatley the way to go in this area. Of course we still have the ones who prefer paying onsite. Either way is fine as long as I'm payed. Monthly is just easier imo on the customer as our bill will become a routine just like their rent/mortgage and so on.
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cpllawncare
12-05-2012, 10:14 PM
IDK, having FL guys telling northern guys to bill warm season services over 12 months in equal installments is a bit absurd. The way I bill works just fine for me. We don't have a year round warm season here FL dudes. What you do works for you thats fine, but total different deal up here. I'd tell you to try it sometime but wearing shorts in below 0 temps might be tuff on ya:)

I didn't read anything like that, I read that the FLA guys recognized they were in a unique situation and the northern guys couldn't bill the same way, I'm fairly deep south and we're still going strong, mostly landscape projects but still working everyday and still billing year round, IDK how you guys up north survive. It's in the 70's down here hope yall don't freeze to death up there, what's left of you that is, we're seeing tons of new accounts from the yanks moving south, thanks guys for the work, keep on sending them our way.

yardguy28
12-06-2012, 08:33 AM
I don't think I could do this kind of work if it was year round. In my area it's lawn services from the middle of March to the middle of November. I'm in bad need of a break by the end of the season. There are people who do snow removal here but the snowfall is so uncertain in my area I've never wanted to be bothered with it.

As for billing it's per service. The jobs are either weekly or bi-weekly and unless it's raining big time I show up on the appointed day. Additional services are billed whenever they are performed. I do have some weekly customers that get billed every other week just for convenience.

I know another LCO who bills all customers at the end of the month for whatever services were performed during that month. How can you wait that long for your money?

simple. there is enough money in reserve for one thing. as said in previous posts. I have enough money in the bank both in personal and business accounts that I could afford to take a whole year off from work.

I can't see collecting payment each week when services are complete. not all clients are home when I'm there. in fact most of my clients aren't home when I come.

just because I'm solo doesn't mean I don't try to be as professional as I can. do you think the guys who have crews of employees collect there payments after the crews finished each week?

I guess for all the surprise you have that guys can wait a month to collect money I have that same surprise that guys can't wait more than a week. everyone should have money saved up. you should never be in a situation personal or business that you need the money right away or it will break you. this statement is of course a general statement not taking into consideration an economic situation. more for when things are on the up and up.

cpllawncare
12-06-2012, 07:11 PM
. How can you wait that long for your money?[/QUOTE]

If your running your business like a business it's called a operating budget, you can't run a business paycheck to payckeck, you have to have a budget, if your not runnning a budget your going to be out of business soon. You must be one of those $25 a cut guys LOL

TinMan1
12-07-2012, 07:49 PM
I'm always surprised at the opinions of how to bill clients. and to me what seems simple seems to be complicated to others.

I have always done the work for the month and invoiced for the work performed at the end of the month. if I only cut grass twice that month for $32 per cut then they receive a $64 invoice. if I did 4 cuts plus pruned shrubs for an hour at $35 per man hour then they receive an invoice for $163. if no work was done no invoice is sent.

guess it gets into how you manage your money in my opinion. I have enough saved up at all times and manage it where I don't need to actually be receiving checks every month of the year. I don't need a certain amount of money coming to me 12 months out of the year. the amount is the same whether it comes to me in 6 months, 9 months or 12 months. I still receive the same end total.

in the end I personally will take payment any way I can get it. I have some clients who are actually home and pay me when I'm done each week. most pay me on a monthly basis after I send them an invoice.

I have yet to have anyone pay a whole year up front or ask for a 12 month payment plan.

This is pretty much how we do it. Bi-weekly billed at the end of the month. 4 week months are 2 cuts 5 week months are 3 cuts. At $25 a cut, one month is $50 the next month is $75. I hand them an Invoice at the last cut of the month and they write me a check or give me their credit card that I run on-scene.
Sometimes I leave the invoice with them and they mail me a check the next week. More than 10 days after invoice is a $10 fee.
Works for us

jrs.landscaping
12-07-2012, 08:07 PM
QUOTE]If your running your business like a business it's called a operating budget, you can't run a business paycheck to payckeck, you have to have a budget, if your not runnning a budget your going to be out of business soon. You must be one of those $25 a cut guys LOL[/QUOTE]

You mean you can't run a business on payday loans? Up here we can go 5-6 months with minimal income, bills still have to be paid You're absolutely right, too many people working for beer money with no clear business goals. The guys that can't operate one week without income are the ones that will have their stuff on CL next season.

yardguy28
12-07-2012, 08:27 PM
I agree. if you have no money in reserve and have to have money coming in weekly then I fail to see how you can stay in business long.

I get checks on a weekly basis after invoices are sent out but sometimes they sit on my desk in a safe place for a month before they are deposited. I'm not running to the bank weekly for just a few checks.

cpllawncare
12-07-2012, 08:46 PM
This is pretty much how we do it. Bi-weekly billed at the end of the month. 4 week months are 2 cuts 5 week months are 3 cuts. At $25 a cut, one month is $50 the next month is $75. I hand them an Invoice at the last cut of the month and they write me a check or give me their credit card that I run on-scene.
Sometimes I leave the invoice with them and they mail me a check the next week. More than 10 days after invoice is a $10 fee.
Works for us

Geez no wonder you guys are going broke! $25/cut? $50 $75/month my mininum is $45/week and I don't do bi-weeklys! Freakin low ballers.

Kelly's Landscaping
12-07-2012, 09:49 PM
Why not bundle everything together like clean ups and plowing and lawn cuts? Hmmmmmm probably because one not everyone wants all of those services and two I can do 200 lawns with my current 4 man set up but 50 snow removals would be pushing it thus 75% can not be done. Which means I would either need a massive amount of temp workers in winter or I need to scale back big time in summer.

The monthly billing works, and you most certainly can plan a budget around what is expected to actually show up each month. Iv been doing it for 10 years. I currently do not plow and that's fine. I'll finish fall in about 10-14 days and go into Jan owed 20k + then its just a matter of planning out your bills till next March. And of course they are much smaller when your in hibernation mode In the summer I need 20k a month in winter 4k will do fine and that's only because I have 2 very large truck loans.

Now a certain fella here is majorly hung up on droughts. Now I have had a few in my area we had 2 mini droughts and one that lasted 2 months in the 10 years iv been in business. I can also remember a much worse one in the 90s when I was working for someone else. But in my 23 years in the trade Iv not seen anything to make me constantly worry about all the lawns dying and the end of landscaping days. Yes the 2 bigger droughts hurt and were talking 2k a week pain but that's not the full picture. Yes income drops then but so does payroll workman's comp unemployment insurance. Overtime dries up completely and your fuel usage gets slashed in half then there's less wear and tear as well. So on a bad drought that costs us 10,000 the actual bottom line hit is perhaps 2,000 which kind of makes those drought fears look exaggerated.

cpllawncare
12-07-2012, 10:12 PM
I totally agree Kelly, monthly billing just works. I'm not running a lawncare/hobby business, either the client realizes he's dealing with a legit business not a cut for beer money business or he doesn't. I have a budget to meet and plan and you can't do that on a per service cut for beer money operation.

yardguy28
12-08-2012, 01:03 AM
Geez no wonder you guys are going broke! $25/cut? $50 $75/month my mininum is $45/week and I don't do bi-weeklys! Freakin low ballers.

should I be the one to point out cost of living and the market in general are different everywhere.

my min in my area is $25-$30 per week. average is $32 per week per lawn.

good luck trying to get hired in my neck of the woods at $45 min.

cpllawncare
12-08-2012, 03:58 AM
should I be the one to point out cost of living and the market in general are different everywhere.

my min in my area is $25-$30 per week. average is $32 per week per lawn.

good luck trying to get hired in my neck of the woods at $45 min.

If you guys would quit giving away your services for that amount it wouldn't be that way, I'm glad I'm not in that lowend market. we live in one of the lowest cost of living area's in the country, hell I'd have to cut everybody twice a week at those prices. There are two lco's that live behind me and they charge more than I do. I guess I should ask how much time are you spending on your accounts we're generally at an account for 30 mins

dhardin53
12-08-2012, 08:40 AM
I guess we up north here are just stupid, Is this what your saying?

Some of us did not just fall off a push mower yesterday. If It works well for you good. Monthly year round billing is not unheard of here in the North Central part of the US.
But as a hole it will not fly, not because we have not offered it as you have assumed. Thinking out of the box is OK, but to reinventing the wheel is going to far. I have many "snow bird" accounts. These are accounts mow their own lawns in the summer and leave the mid-west and winter in Florida and Texas. I mow these accounts from October to April as needed. I don't think these accounts will ever go for a monthly year round billing.

You ask how do we "Plan for growth" or go get a loan at a bank and give your income for a year? Well here in lies the problem. One can plan all you want but we bank on profits. No more than a farmer planets his corn in hopes to see a profit at the end of the harvest. At the end of the harvest he can then plan for new equipment and go the the bank and show his profit.

You stated more and more of your work has become a "middle man" from your networking. Fine sounds great, I say go for it. I am sure in your area there is room for a middle man. Plenty of work and everyone gets paid good money.

There well might come a time someone will see the savings of not paying for a middle man and you will be out in the cold..

My question is what type of work did you do before LCOs? Next I will hear that we need to unionize.

MDLawn
12-08-2012, 08:40 AM
The monthly billing works, and you most certainly can plan a budget around what is expected to actually show up each month. Iv been doing it for 10 years. I currently do not plow and that's fine. I'll finish fall in about 10-14 days and go into Jan owed 20k + then its just a matter of planning out your bills till next March. And of course they are much smaller when your in hibernation mode In the summer I need 20k a month in winter 4k will do fine and that's only because I have 2 very large truck loans.

Kelly, just trying to make sure I'm on the same page. Monthly billing as in fixed payments or bill at the end of the month?

I agree with your snow assessment, it's a different animal.
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TinMan1
12-08-2012, 09:14 AM
Geez no wonder you guys are going broke! $25/cut? $50 $75/month my mininum is $45/week and I don't do bi-weeklys! Freakin low ballers.

Thats the example I dont do yards for $25

yardguy28
12-08-2012, 10:13 AM
If you guys would quit giving away your services for that amount it wouldn't be that way, I'm glad I'm not in that lowend market. we live in one of the lowest cost of living area's in the country, hell I'd have to cut everybody twice a week at those prices. There are two lco's that live behind me and they charge more than I do. I guess I should ask how much time are you spending on your accounts we're generally at an account for 30 mins

it's not giving them away. like I said you come here and try and get $45 for one of my $25 properties. they'd laugh in your face.

you can't force people to pay a certain rate. that's the market in here for a reason. I'm sure if we could raise the market we would have done it already.

my $25 yards are generally done with a push mower and take between 15-30 min start to finish.

cpllawncare
12-08-2012, 10:16 AM
Thats the example I dont do yards for $25

Whew! am I glad to hear that! that's just plain scary here in SC. Unionize,Hmm that would never go over, I understand the predicement you guys up north are in, year round billing won't work for you, I was mostly refering to the guys that are in parts of the country that it makes sense for. Sometimes it's hard to be clear on here. Honestly, I have talked to several of the large LCO companies here and they agree they would like to see a standard licensing test in place by the states in order to conduct business, the same as a builders or contractors license, I think that would be the best thing that could happen for our industry. I'm trying to figure out a way that we could make that happen, I just need to get in touch with the "Right" person and start pushing for it.

cpllawncare
12-08-2012, 10:21 AM
it's not giving them away. like I said you come here and try and get $45 for one of my $25 properties. they'd laugh in your face.

you can't force people to pay a certain rate. that's the market in here for a reason. I'm sure if we could raise the market we would have done it already.

my $25 yards are generally done with a push mower and take between 15-30 min start to finish.

No you can't force people to pay a certain rate but if EVERYBODY charged a min $45 then they would have no choice, the other service companies do it why can't we? we're all to fixed on the idea we're not worth it. Most of us are killing ourselves for pennies on the dollar. For $25 I'm there for 10-15 mins, with two ZTR's that would be mo n go only.

Florida Gardener
12-08-2012, 10:22 AM
No you can't force people to pay a certain rate but if EVERYBODY charged a min $45 then they would have no choice, the other service companies do it why can't we? we're all to fixed on the idea we're not worth it.
Your last line is very profound. That's exactly how I feel. But truth is, a lot of guys in this biz aren't worth it and don't present themselves as professionals. But I agree with the statement.
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cpllawncare
12-08-2012, 10:36 AM
Your last line is very profound. That's exactly how I feel. But truth is, a lot of guys in this biz aren't worth it and don't present themselves as professionals. But I agree with the statement.
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Exactly! that's why I want to push for a state licensing test, and force these guys out of business, as many as possible anyway, I know you'll never get rid of all of them but at least some would go away, TOO MUCH COMPETITION is just as bad as not enough.

yardguy28
12-08-2012, 01:47 PM
No you can't force people to pay a certain rate but if EVERYBODY charged a min $45 then they would have no choice, the other service companies do it why can't we? we're all to fixed on the idea we're not worth it. Most of us are killing ourselves for pennies on the dollar. For $25 I'm there for 10-15 mins, with two ZTR's that would be mo n go only.

well clearly most in my market feel $45 as a min is excessively high for our neck of the woods.

personally I agree. like I said if you gave me an estimate of $45, I'd laugh in your face and tell you to take a hike. even if most others gave me the same price. for $45 I'll either do it myself or let it grow if I couldn't physically do it. or you can always find a neighbor kid to do it for it cheap.

I'd rather have a scrub knock it down for $25 than pay some some LCO almost twice that much just so it looks nice.

I'll never have a min higher than $25. I'd go out of business before I'd do that. $45 is ridiculously high for the yards I charge min no matter what the market is. for $25 they get edged, trimmed, mowed and blown.

hi_speedreed
12-08-2012, 01:58 PM
Exactly! that's why I want to push for a state licensing test, and force these guys out of business, as many as possible anyway, I know you'll never get rid of all of them but at least some would go away, TOO MUCH COMPETITION is just as bad as not enough.

Yep, exactly what this and every industry needs. More government interference. You should do some research on how a market balances itself when left alone. When there is too much competition and not enough work, it forces out the weak because they can not last through the times of low work. After they get forced out, competition goes away and prices raise. When prices raise there becomes a void, a low price void and that is again filled. It is a cycle that occurs when people don't manipulate the market.

But you go ahead and tell the government you are ok with them coming in and telling you how to run your business and I will continue to fight government intrusion into my life as well as yours.

Florida Gardener
12-08-2012, 02:29 PM
well clearly most in my market feel $45 as a min is excessively high for our neck of the woods.

personally I agree. like I said if you gave me an estimate of $45, I'd laugh in your face and tell you to take a hike. even if most others gave me the same price. for $45 I'll either do it myself or let it grow if I couldn't physically do it. or you can always find a neighbor kid to do it for it cheap.

I'd rather have a scrub knock it down for $25 than pay some some LCO almost twice that much just so it looks nice.

I'll never have a min higher than $25. I'd go out of business before I'd do that. $45 is ridiculously high for the yards I charge min no matter what the market is. for $25 they get edged, trimmed, mowed and blown.
Your the kind of customer I avoid at all costs.
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MDLawn
12-08-2012, 02:55 PM
Your the kind of customer I avoid at all costs.
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I wonder how any of us are as a customer. If we need a furnace or A/C installed are we choosing the expensive well known company or not? Are we paying full price for our mowers to keep the great small dealer alive or taking huge discounts to support the huge dealer but get a "sweet" deal. Are we gettin parts online to save money rather than support the dealer?

I'm all for pricing high and making money, I try to do it all the time. But I've also noticed people on this board complain about customers who want a low price and quality but then crab about how the dealer won't cut them a deal on a new Exmark or whatever mower of choice...........


Not directed at anyone just a thought.

And yes picking the right customer is important.
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Florida Gardener
12-08-2012, 03:17 PM
I wonder how any of us are as a customer. If we need a furnace or A/C installed are we choosing the expensive well known company or not? Are we paying full price for our mowers to keep the great small dealer alive or taking huge discounts to support the huge dealer but get a "sweet" deal. Are we gettin parts online to save money rather than support the dealer?

I'm all for pricing high and making money, I try to do it all the time. But I've also noticed people on this board complain about customers who want a low price and quality but then crab about how the dealer won't cut them a deal on a new Exmark or whatever mower of choice...........


Not directed at anyone just a thought.

And yes picking the right customer is important.
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Me personally, I don't go to the dealer and ask for deals on equipment. However, I'm not giving the dealer $10 more for a part I can get for $10 less, especially when most dealers around here suck. My mechanic(auto) is $90/hr. which is probably higher than most but he is honest. So, it depends. I will pay more for better service, but I won't pay 100% more for a part just bc the dealer is selling it.
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Florida Gardener
12-08-2012, 03:23 PM
I separate goods and services. Services, you get what you pay for. A good for the most part is the same everywhere(comparing the same thing). I have no issues with dealers making money on parts(we do on plants), but I do have a problem with the amount of markup on stuff that is generally cheap to make in the first place. The Toyota dealer wanted 7.50 for a piece of plastic that is the size of a dime. It is the fastener to my rhino liner on the tailgate. The employee was flabbergasted at how expensive they were and told me he felt bad selling them high so he gave em to me for their cost(which was still 2.25/ea.). This is for a dime sized piece of plastic. I don't care who the dealer is, I'm not giving them that kind of money for that.
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MDLawn
12-08-2012, 03:49 PM
I will pay more for better service
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This is what I meant. If your dealer gave you incredible service you wouldn't support his parts department?

Also you're taking my point to an extreme with the Toyota dealer. Yes services and goods are different but almost every service sells goods. Anyone knows a car dealers parts department is a rip off.

What I was saying is people on here cry and cry how customers are cheap then become that exact customer when buying a service or goods.
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Chilehead
12-08-2012, 06:05 PM
Here's how we roll......
All customers sign a contract. They have the option of paying in full each month for services performed, or having a 12-month contract with fixed monthly payments for all subscribed services. We have a clause that if there is inclement weather or mechanical troubles, and we can't make it out in time -- we will pro-rate the invoice for that month's service. Invoices are printed/mailed the 1ST of each month and are due on the 10TH. This has proven to be a very simple and effective system.

cpllawncare
12-08-2012, 06:21 PM
Personally I never go with the cheapest stuff, that's why I deplore Wal-mart it's nothing but junk they sell, it's been over a decade since I last stepped foot in one, take one look at wal -mart and you will see what is wrong with this country. I hate these people that all they look at is cheap cheap cheap, I don't mind getting a deal but if I have to pay a little more to get what I want I will. I normally go with the mid range service or product it's usually the best value, I guess that's why I set my prices in the middle of the local market, I'm not the cheapest but not the most expensive either, just good quailty at a fair price. I keep forgetting that most of you guys on here are mow n go guys, we're not in that market, we're full service that's why $25/cut wouldn't work for us.

Florida Gardener
12-08-2012, 06:24 PM
Personally I never go with the cheapest stuff, that's why I deplore Wal-mart it's nothing but junk they sell, it's been over a decade since I last stepped foot in one, take one look at wal -mart and you will see what is wrong with this country. I hate these people that all they look at is cheap cheap cheap, I don't mind getting a deal but if I have to pay a little more to get what I want I will. I normally go with the mid range service or product it's usually the best value, I guess that's why I set my prices in the middle of the local market, I'm not the cheapest but not the most expensive either, just good quailty at a fair price. I keep forgetting that most of you guys on here are mow n go guys, we're not in that market, we're full service that's why $25/cut wouldn't work for us.
Wal-mart is good for certain things like juice, soda, motor oil etc. again, why pay more for the exisct same product? Does auto zone offer something better for me to pay more for the same product? No. But, I agree that a lot of stuff Walmart sells is crap. I'm full service too. My cheapest account is $165/mo, and it's less than 1/4 acre. Very little grass. Most of my accounts are 400-500/mo.
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cpllawncare
12-08-2012, 06:37 PM
I personally don't care, I'll shop anywhere but Wal-mart, I don't like the way they do business, they have run so many small business's out of business with their bullying tactics.

jrs.landscaping
12-08-2012, 08:21 PM
well clearly most in my market feel $45 as a min is excessively high for our neck of the woods.

personally I agree. like I said if you gave me an estimate of $45, I'd laugh in your face and tell you to take a hike. even if most others gave me the same price. for $45 I'll either do it myself or let it grow if I couldn't physically do it. or you can always find a neighbor kid to do it for it cheap.

I'd rather have a scrub knock it down for $25 than pay some some LCO almost twice that much just so it looks nice.

I'll never have a min higher than $25. I'd go out of business before I'd do that. $45 is ridiculously high for the yards I charge min no matter what the market is. for $25 they get edged, trimmed, mowed and blown.

What happens when that scrub or the neighborhood kid breaks his ankle on your property with no insurance and sues you? Geography is a major factor in pricing. If you came up here with a minimum of $25 you would be out of business in less than a year. Average lawn sizes are from .5 to 2 acres. Not trying to judge but why would you compare your rates to a scrub or the neighborhood kid anyways?

About Wal-Mart, isn't that how a business is supposed to operate? Use buying power and controlled overhead to provide a lower cost product to the consumer? Not many people ever complain about pharmacies, large aggregate suppliers, Car manufacturers or other major corps. run by shareholders who use the same tactics.

kyles landscape
12-08-2012, 09:06 PM
i bill per time for everything i think it is the fairest way to conduct business for both parties and keeep the customers happy....everyone has the good and the bad customers, i have people who I can bill monthly no matter what i do so they can budget i have people who if i chagre them 100 dollars(25/cut) to cut 4 x aand only come 2x they expect that other 50 dollars in work somewere else in their yard or gutter cleaning etc. now if you have months were its crazy growing youd lose money but you wont at per cut.

Now say your monlthy and you usually cut this property on wed bc thats when you are out there well say the customer wants it dont sat this week for a party on sunday are you going to come out wed sat and again wed because thats what they are paying for?

jrs.landscaping
12-08-2012, 09:21 PM
i bill per time for everything i think it is the fairest way to conduct business for both parties and keeep the customers happy....everyone has the good and the bad customers, i have people who I can bill monthly no matter what i do so they can budget i have people who if i chagre them 100 dollars(25/cut) to cut 4 x aand only come 2x they expect that other 50 dollars in work somewere else in their yard or gutter cleaning etc. now if you have months were its crazy growing youd lose money but you wont at per cut.

Now say your monlthy and you usually cut this property on wed bc thats when you are out there well say the customer wants it dont sat this week for a party on sunday are you going to come out wed sat and again wed because thats what they are paying for?

The customer gets the other $50 in extra work, you are right. They get mowed once a week on the same day. Exceptions are considered an emergency call and are billed accordingly. They are paying for x amount of services done x times per month. Ours usually include mowing, trimming, mulch, weeding, pruning, and for commercial we include pre em and non selective as well as trash cleanup. This isn't for every customer, my experience is it works better on the commercial end because they have better things to do than worry about their grounds. So everone was talking about the drought, this year on contract properties. We provided the extra services in the contract and when the grass needed it we mowed. If everyone would switch to contract it would make me a lot happier.

yardguy28
12-08-2012, 09:27 PM
What happens when that scrub or the neighborhood kid breaks his ankle on your property with no insurance and sues you? Geography is a major factor in pricing. If you came up here with a minimum of $25 you would be out of business in less than a year. Average lawn sizes are from .5 to 2 acres. Not trying to judge but why would you compare your rates to a scrub or the neighborhood kid anyways?

About Wal-Mart, isn't that how a business is supposed to operate? Use buying power and controlled overhead to provide a lower cost product to the consumer? Not many people ever complain about pharmacies, large aggregate suppliers, Car manufacturers or other major corps. run by shareholders who use the same tactics.

you must have missed my post about location having something to do with it or the mods removed it.

he says his min is $45. ok well in his market that works. in my market min are usually $25. I realize location plays a part in your prices. you'd be out of business in a year coming here trying to get $45 for these $25 lawns.

I wasn't really trying to compare my prices to scrubs and neighbor kids. only trying to say his attitude about $25 being too low and that I along with the LCO's in my market can up that low doesn't apply in my neck of the woods.

we live in different locations and the attitude I have about paying a scrub or neighbor kid $25 to knock it down over an LCO wanting $45 is shared by most in my community.

personally since I live with my parents I charge them to cut the grass and there lawn is bigger than the min. they get charged $32 per week. which is an average amount for me. but I know I have enough $25 yards as well and if I lived in those places and someone wanted $45 they'd be laughed at and told to get lost.

the other thing him suggesting we raise the market is I disagree. $25 is a proper amount for those yards. I'm not about squeezing as many pennies as I can out of each client. I don't nickle and dime anyone. I charge a fair price for good quality work. I don't have the mind set of seeing just how much I can squeeze out of clients. I never price high unless I don't want the work. I always price fair and accurate.

like another post said. I'm not the cheapest and I'm not the most expensive.

kyles landscape
12-08-2012, 09:33 PM
I've also seen people who charge for x amount of cuts and they provide x amount of cuts drought or soaking wet what's your opinion on that?
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jrs.landscaping
12-08-2012, 09:35 PM
Makes sense, the market always determins price for all of us.

jrs.landscaping
12-08-2012, 09:44 PM
I've also seen people who charge for x amount of cuts and they provide x amount of cuts drought or soaking wet what's your opinion on that?
Posted via Mobile Device

Makes no sense at all. Like I said we provide other services in the place of mowing. We do have per cut contracts that are done no matter what the conditions. If the grass is brown and we don't mow it, we get a call wondering why we didn't mow!? There are a lot of variables no matter what type of billing/contract syle you use and the weather and the customer will always be the biggest two.

kyles landscape
12-08-2012, 09:47 PM
Yea it all goes back to the customer wants and needs surely there are things you would like to change but cannot always do that.. so u make the descion to do it your way and possibly lose customer or do it there way and keep them happy personally id rather have the customer happy unless there just a major PITA
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jrs.landscaping
12-08-2012, 09:50 PM
Yea it all goes back to the customer wants and needs surely there are things you would like to change but cannot always do that.. so u make the descion to do it your way and possibly lose customer or do it there way and keep them happy personally id rather have the customer happy unless there just a major PITAPosted via Mobile Device

Same here :drinkup:

yardguy28
12-08-2012, 09:57 PM
Makes sense, the market always determins price for all of us.

well cpllawncare seems to be suggesting $25 is too low for ANYWHERE. and that I should rally up the LCO's in my neck of the woods and try and raise the market.

the market anywhere is determined by 2 things. what the providers are trying to charge and what the customers are willing to pay. it's not a one sided thing.

just because everyone in town gives you x amount as the price doesn't always mean people will pay it. hence my statement about hiring a scrub or neighbor kid.

I don't care if every last LCO is charging $45 for that lawn. I'll find a cheaper way. that the shared opinion in my neck of the woods. if starting tomorrow every last LCO had a min of $45 there'd be an awful lot of unemployed people. everyone would fire there LCO and hire a scrub or neighbor kid.

kyles landscape
12-08-2012, 10:09 PM
I agree sometime ill take a bit less profit on a home in hopes that
A.I can get side work from them
B.get a good referal
C.get snow from them
D.one just tighten the route up
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Landscape Poet
12-08-2012, 10:13 PM
well cpllawncare seems to be suggesting $25 is too low for ANYWHERE. and that I should rally up the LCO's in my neck of the woods and try and raise the market.

the market anywhere is determined by 2 things. what the providers are trying to charge and what the customers are willing to pay. it's not a one sided thing.

just because everyone in town gives you x amount as the price doesn't always mean people will pay it. hence my statement about hiring a scrub or neighbor kid.

I don't care if every last LCO is charging $45 for that lawn. I'll find a cheaper way. that the shared opinion in my neck of the woods. if starting tomorrow every last LCO had a min of $45 there'd be an awful lot of unemployed people. everyone would fire there LCO and hire a scrub or neighbor kid.

Given your perspective you should lower your price to $23.99 per lawn and you would be so busy you would surely turn a profit twice as fast then because the market would surely take advantage of that price if that is their main concern.

MDLawn
12-08-2012, 11:22 PM
About Wal-Mart, isn't that how a business is supposed to operate? Use buying power and controlled overhead to provide a lower cost product to the consumer? Not many people ever complain about pharmacies, large aggregate suppliers, Car manufacturers or other major corps. run by shareholders who use the same tactics.

Unfortunately every piece of electronics I've purchased or received as a gift from that place fails within a year. TV, BluRay, etc.....

When you're big enough to service as many properties as they have customers then fine you can compare yourself to that model. Also good luck using the same employment model of cheap employees and beating the snot out of them with landscape work and paying them pennies. They'll leave for an easier cashier job for the same pay. If you think them or any other similar giant retailer has a great model just look at their employees. Paid pennies, no health coverage, and little to no benefits. Oh yea the owners of said store top the worlds billionaire list each year. I'm glad they put their employees first. Once the shareholder is involved many employees in these places suffer because the only people that matter are the wealthy shareholders who may just top that billionaires list too.

I'm just glad there are a few larger companies on this site that still treat their employees like gold and really make them feel like they matter. As much as we may beat our chests as an owner, if you're not a solo op, your business relies on your employees to get the job done. And even these owners will say its not always pay that matters. It's the other things like benefits and feeling as that they are a true piece of the puzzle.

Phew, rant over.

Thanks for the inputs to the original topic for those that contributed.
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jrs.landscaping
12-08-2012, 11:46 PM
I never said I would operate the same as Wal-Mart. I don't agree with a lot of their business practices my point was they aren't the only ones. Like you said MDLAWN once shareholders are involved, a lot of what we view as core business principals like good employee relations go out the window no matter who the employer is.

kyles landscape
12-08-2012, 11:46 PM
^^^ totally agree! Gotta know what you have and you are were you are because your employees. The better you treat them the more likely they are to produce better results and take better care of ur equipment/business
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kyles landscape
12-08-2012, 11:48 PM
And you can't doin anything about walmart and big companies if people keep going there just makes them more powerful it sucks just the way of the world cash is king to them
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cpllawncare
12-09-2012, 12:43 AM
Given your perspective you should lower your price to $23.99 per lawn and you would be so busy you would surely turn a profit twice as fast then because the market would surely take advantage of that price if that is their main concern.

THIS IS EXACTLY MY POINT! If you guys keep lowering the bar everybody suffers, I hear it from new customers that move here all the time," It didn't cost that much where we came from" My reply " but your not there your here and it cost more here. I've had plenty of people say I'm not paying that much! I say ok call someone else! they do and find out the competition is even higher and call me back and say I'll pay your price. So see it does work if everybody refuses to lower their price. Trust me, you can't compete on price alone, you'll run yourself out of business.

kyles landscape
12-09-2012, 12:50 AM
And you can't doin anything about walmart and big companies if people keep going there just makes them more powerful it sucks just the way of the world cash is king to them
Posted via Mobile Device
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cpllawncare
12-09-2012, 01:15 AM
I think it just comes down to what market you want to be in, I don't see verizon or ATT lowering their prices just because the newer low end companies have come into the market, I'll stay with verizon and pay a bit more because I want the quality service they offer unlike their cheapo competitors.

jrs.landscaping
12-09-2012, 09:11 AM
THIS IS EXACTLY MY POINT! If you guys keep lowering the bar everybody suffers, I hear it from new customers that move here all the time," It didn't cost that much where we came from" My reply " but your not there your here and it cost more here. I've had plenty of people say I'm not paying that much! I say ok call someone else! they do and find out the competition is even higher and call me back and say I'll pay your price. So see it does work if everybody refuses to lower their price. Trust me, you can't compete on price alone, you'll run yourself out of business.

I've heard this before. "Well my vacation home in florida only costs $50 per month to mow and you want $50 per cut?"

We can't control what people will pay, I agree with Yardguy. If I say $50, the next guy running a startup will do it for $35. It doesn't matter what your location. If a customer isn't willing to pay your rates and everybody had the same minimum those people would just buy a mower and do it themselves. I do the same as you, here is my price, if they ask why I explain the cost of doing business. If they want cheaper I wish them luck and if anything changes to give me a call.

MDLawn
12-09-2012, 09:28 AM
We have a mix of the $25, $35, and may $40 lawns here (1/4-1/3 acre) so if someone doesn't like your price they WILL find someone else if they are looking for a price. When and only when they go for a higher price is when the service is bad. I just walk when I get the "price" no rather than try and convince someone. Setting a premium price between all lawn contractors would only eliminate potential customers because it's a luxury service. Many people can't fix a plumbing, electrical, or automotive problem. And they NEED those things fixed. A lot of people can mow a lawn and don't need someone to mulch their landscape or trim bushes.

The other thing is catering to those who can afford your services. If someone wants a price over the phone and doesn't want to meet in person, fine here's my starting price......."click". Just look at the direction residential us taking. Those measuring software programs are taking the human contact out of it. I know they may save time but how can you upsell without an initial meeting? I don't know maybe it's just me but I like that initial contact and the chance to sell services.

There are plenty of business making money and lots of it in this industry. I guarantee they are not cutting lawns for $25. They probably don't even mow lawns.
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Florida Gardener
12-09-2012, 09:58 AM
We have a mix of the $25, $35, and may $40 lawns here (1/4-1/3 acre) so if someone doesn't like your price they WILL find someone else if they are looking for a price. When and only when they go for a higher price is when the service is bad. I just walk when I get the "price" no rather than try and convince someone. Setting a premium price between all lawn contractors would only eliminate potential customers because it's a luxury service. Many people can't fix a plumbing, electrical, or automotive problem. And they NEED those things fixed. A lot of people can mow a lawn and don't need someone to mulch their landscape or trim bushes.

The other thing is catering to those who can afford your services. If someone wants a price over the phone and doesn't want to meet in person, fine here's my starting price......."click". Just look at the direction residential us taking. Those measuring software programs are taking the human contact out of it. I know they may save time but how can you upsell without an initial meeting? I don't know maybe it's just me but I like that initial contact and the chance to sell services.

There are plenty of business making money and lots of it in this industry. I guarantee they are not cutting lawns for $25. They probably don't even mow lawns.
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This is exactly why I don't "just cut grass." I don't want to be competing with guys that will do it for $5 less and customers that are only looking at price. Most properties here have a good amount of landscaping and a good amount of people want everything taken care of. A lot of the mow and blow guys here just want to cut grass and if they do take care of the landscaping, they hack through it so people will generally pay more for quality work....
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yardguy28
12-09-2012, 10:26 AM
Given your perspective you should lower your price to $23.99 per lawn and you would be so busy you would surely turn a profit twice as fast then because the market would surely take advantage of that price if that is their main concern.

I'm only one person. I also am only willing to work so many hours in a days time and work so many days out of the week.

when I start the season I fill up any holes in my schedule then I'm full until something opens up.

my mind set has never been quantity. as the example goes which is better 5 $10 lawns or 10 $5 lawns.

cpllawncare
12-09-2012, 10:32 AM
I've also seen people who charge for x amount of cuts and they provide x amount of cuts drought or soaking wet what's your opinion on that?
Posted via Mobile Device

That's just wrong, you're saying they go in the yard when it's soaking wet? or charge and don't cut when it's wet? I've seen guys cutting yards in the pouring rain, just wrong imop. I've also gained accounts because they rutted up the yard as a result.

cpllawncare
12-09-2012, 10:50 AM
We have a mix of the $25, $35, and may $40 lawns here (1/4-1/3 acre) so if someone doesn't like your price they WILL find someone else if they are looking for a price. When and only when they go for a higher price is when the service is bad. I just walk when I get the "price" no rather than try and convince someone. Setting a premium price between all lawn contractors would only eliminate potential customers because it's a luxury service. Many people can't fix a plumbing, electrical, or automotive problem. And they NEED those things fixed. A lot of people can mow a lawn and don't need someone to mulch their landscape or trim bushes.

The other thing is catering to those who can afford your services. If someone wants a price over the phone and doesn't want to meet in person, fine here's my starting price......."click". Just look at the direction residential us taking. Those measuring software programs are taking the human contact out of it. I know they may save time but how can you upsell without an initial meeting? I don't know maybe it's just me but I like that initial contact and the chance to sell services.

There are plenty of business making money and lots of it in this industry. I guarantee they are not cutting lawns for $25. They probably don't even mow lawns.
Posted via Mobile Device

All true! I don't give prices over the phone either for the same reason. You have to accept the fact that everybody isn't going to buy your services, and that's fine, just like everybody can't afford a million dollar home, well EVERYBODY can't afford a landscaper either, so I wish guys would quit trying to make it so they could. We're in a luxury industry, and have to charge accordingly. Yes , most basically everyone can mow their grass, but can they do it well? Shoot, everybody can drive a car, but everybody isn't good at it, or even wants to. I never got into this thinking I was only going to mow grass, it was just a base from which to grow into other services.

jrs.landscaping
12-09-2012, 10:59 AM
Guys up here do the same thing. I'll be making a parts run and a lawn guy will come in dressed like a lobsterman. They say they don't want to get behind on their accounts. A little rain isn't bad, but when it's pouring outside it's just as productive to be in the shop catching up on maintenance.

Florida Gardener
12-09-2012, 01:57 PM
All true! I don't give prices over the phone either for the same reason. You have to accept the fact that everybody isn't going to buy your services, and that's fine, just like everybody can't afford a million dollar home, well EVERYBODY can't afford a landscaper either, so I wish guys would quit trying to make it so they could. We're in a luxury industry, and have to charge accordingly. Yes , most basically everyone can mow their grass, but can they do it well? Shoot, everybody can drive a car, but everybody isn't good at it, or even wants to. I never got into this thinking I was only going to mow grass, it was just a base from which to grow into other services.

Totally agree, it's def a luxury. It's been dumbed down to the point that anyone can afford it. Another reason why I stay away from mow and go....those people typically can't afford much more than that so my prices don't fly with them...at least down here. Not saying that's how it is everywhere.
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MDLawn
12-09-2012, 02:44 PM
Totally agree, it's def a luxury. It's been dumbed down to the point that anyone can afford it. Another reason why I stay away from mow and go....those people typically can't afford much more than that so my prices don't fly with them...at least down here. Not saying that's how it is everywhere.
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I've mentioned this before in other threads. Why spend $600 on a decent self propelled 21" mower when you can have someone mow your lawn for 3 years! I found it amazing some people who have their lawns mowed by a service.
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TinMan1
12-10-2012, 01:05 PM
Everyone beats on the maintenance guys but how many companies since 2007 have made more money in the Maintenance section than the Landscaping and had to convert. Not everyone can afford a $40,000 back yard but can afford $150 a month so they dont have to cut their own grass. Gotta make it where you can I would definitely like to do Installs for 5x more but thats not reality

yardguy28
12-10-2012, 01:11 PM
I've mentioned this before in other threads. Why spend $600 on a decent self propelled 21" mower when you can have someone mow your lawn for 3 years! I found it amazing some people who have their lawns mowed by a service.
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there more to it then just the intial cost of the equipment and that's what clients look when hiring a service.

the people that hire us but could do it themselves don't wanna mess with having fuel and filling it up, the maintenance of the equipment, etc.

to be honest I don't blame them. at this point in my life if I weren't in the business and could afford a lawn service I'd hire one too. I'm only 31 and in excellent health but I'd rather spend my free time enjoying it with say swimming in the summer or playing video games or watching a movie or some form of entertainment.

in fact even though I say I'm never going to retire if I ever would get out of the business the first thing I'm gonna do is sell EVERYTHING and hire an LCO or move to a condo where I don't have to do that stuff.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 04:18 PM
there more to it then just the intial cost of the equipment and that's what clients look when hiring a service.

The people that hire us but could do it themselves don't wanna mess with having fuel and filling it up, the maintenance of the equipment, etc.

To be honest i don't blame them. At this point in my life if i weren't in the business and could afford a lawn service i'd hire one too. I'm only 31 and in excellent health but i'd rather spend my free time enjoying it with say swimming in the summer or playing video games or watching a movie or some form of entertainment.

In fact even though i say i'm never going to retire if i ever would get out of the business the first thing i'm gonna do is sell everything and hire an lco or move to a condo where i don't have to do that stuff.

THAT WAS MY POINT! Why mess with all the stuff when you could probably spend the money on a cheap lawn care company. If more companies charged normal money making rates these people would not have a mowing company doing their lawn. But there will always be the low price volume lawn company niche. Not for me.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 04:23 PM
Everyone beats on the maintenance guys but how many companies since 2007 have made more money in the Maintenance section than the Landscaping and had to convert. Not everyone can afford a $40,000 back yard but can afford $150 a month so they dont have to cut their own grass. Gotta make it where you can I would definitely like to do Installs for 5x more but thats not reality

I would agree on this but why not have them spend $200 a month, $300?? I bet you could if you wanted... Oh wait nevermind $20 per cut guy is going to mow their lawn because it's "fair".

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 04:34 PM
I would agree on this but why not have them spend $200 a month, $300?? I bet you could if you wanted... Oh wait nevermind $20 per cut guy is going to mow their lawn because it's "fair".

10 years ago, before all the illegals got in the game you couldn't touch a LCO for less than $300/month, and all that had a LCO doing their yard was someone that could actually afford it, not every Joe on the block. We've got to get back to target marketing and leave all these people that have no business hiring a LCO alone.

yardguy28
12-10-2012, 04:44 PM
I disagree.

having a lawn service is no longer for the rich as a luxury.

there are tons of people who need someone to cut there grass. the elderly and disabled are the major ones.

I'm not saying charge dirt cheap but we need to keep prices afforable and fair.

as long as there scrubs though prices will never be able to total raise to where some of you want them and the higher you raise yours the more scrubs you will employ.

I'm 100% legal as a business in every way but because I'm solo my overhead is much lower than those with employees. because I'm single my cost of living is less than those with wife's and children. I personally capitalize on this because I can afford to charge less and still turn a profit than the guy who is married, has a couple kids and 6 employees. so in some regards you guys wanna keep raising your prices through the roof go right ahead. I'll be right behind you with a price that's a little cheaper signing up the clients.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 04:45 PM
10 years ago, before all the illegals got in the game you couldn't touch a LCO for less than $300/month, and all that had a LCO doing their yard was someone that could actually afford it, not every Joe on the block. We've got to get back to target marketing and leave all these people that have no business hiring a LCO alone.

That is my plan for this year.

I refuse to be part of the volume mindset. "If I get X amount of lawns I can make this much, well if I double that I can make this much, triple that and WOW I make a ton and only have to work 90hrs per week!!"

I'd rather have 30 customers at premium mowing rates with total landscape maintenance (trimming bushes, mulch, aerating, overseeding, tree trimming, snow plowing, etc...) Make the same money as the volume guy and only need to maybe put in 50-55hr work weeks in the busy part of the spring and then have time to do other projects later in the summer and early fall because you're only maintaining a reasonable amount of lawns (solo that is). But I realize this is not easy to do and more than likely will be like climbing Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen.

What's funny is that all these big time operations you read about in the magazines got their start in the 80's. Made boatloads of money like a business should and have tons of equipment thats been paid off from all the loot they collected. They can survive in the current market on their increased efficiency because the great profits allowed them to purchase things that just made the work easier rather than completely efficient only.

New business.....can't even afford a mower to do his job without going broke.

We'll see what happens in the next few years, but it's good paying work or no work at all. Not worth killing yourself for pennies instead of dollars.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-10-2012, 04:58 PM
How many of you like paying for something you don't receive?.......I read many posts of some being confused how you can run a business without knowing how much is going to be coming in. Almost all business runs that way. You can project the years possible income from past years performance and growth, but you never know for sure! Doesn't matter if your retail, building and construction, service industries, etc...... In the end, I feel better billing for what I've done, not what I might do!

jrs.landscaping
12-10-2012, 04:59 PM
I disagree.

having a lawn service is no longer for the rich as a luxury.

there are tons of people who need someone to cut there grass. the elderly and disabled are the major ones.

I'm not saying charge dirt cheap but we need to keep prices afforable and fair.

as long as there scrubs though prices will never be able to total raise to where some of you want them and the higher you raise yours the more scrubs you will employ.

I'm 100% legal as a business in every way but because I'm solo my overhead is much lower than those with employees. because I'm single my cost of living is less than those with wife's and children. I personally capitalize on this because I can afford to charge less and still turn a profit than the guy who is married, has a couple kids and 6 employees. so in some regards you guys wanna keep raising your prices through the roof go right ahead. I'll be right behind you with a price that's a little cheaper signing up the clients.

At the end of the day the only person you are shortchanging is yourself. Rationalizing lower rates because you have lower than average personal expenses is just crazy. What happens when you have a family? Sit down and figure out what you are turning for a profit AFTER you pay yourself a fair wage, for all intents and purposes you are an employee of your business. I wish you luck dumpster diving with customers, myself I want to weed out the low payers for more lucrative opportunities.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 04:59 PM
I disagree.

having a lawn service is no longer for the rich as a luxury.

The cause of the downfall

there are tons of people who need someone to cut there grass. the elderly and disabled are the major ones

That's great and you know what, if this industry paid what it should most companies probably wouldn't mind cutting breaks to these people, or even servicing for free. But everyone wants to be treated like they're elderly or disabled!!

I'm not saying charge dirt cheap but we need to keep prices afforable and fair.

Fair for who? Why are people afraid and ashamed to make money??? Never have I ever understood "fair and reasonable" rates. You know how many products and services you probably pay for that you would consider unfair or unreasonable but still pay for anyways..... Also why should a customer always dictate what is fair? They don't even know what it cost you to run your business. They have zero clue what good equipment costs, employees, taxes, etc....


I'm 100% legal as a business in every way but because I'm solo my overhead is much lower than those with employees. because I'm single my cost of living is less than those with wife's and children. I personally capitalize on this because I can afford to charge less and still turn a profit than the guy who is married, has a couple kids and 6 employees. so in some regards you guys wanna keep raising your prices through the roof go right ahead. I'll be right behind you with a price that's a little cheaper signing up the clients.

You're destroying someone's ability to create jobs and help others live a life who cannot get a decent job or even start a business. You choose to live with mommy and daddy and undercut a legit business who employess people and keeps them off assistance and gives them something to wake up for everyday. I understand your costs are lower but it's not like your a big business choosing to buy gently used equipment or more efficent stuff to reduce costs compared to the next guy. Sorry but that's shameful.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 05:01 PM
How many of you like paying for something you don't receive?.......I read many posts of some being confused how you can run a business without knowing how much is going to be coming in. Almost all business runs that way. You can project the years possible income from past years performance and growth, but you never know for sure! Doesn't matter if your retail, building and construction, service industries, etc...... In the end, I feel better billing for what I've done, not what I might do!

I do agree with you about this, but only in the mowing aspect. It does make sense especially in our area. And there haven't been massive droughts either and our area is probably not as prone to it.

GMLC
12-10-2012, 05:24 PM
I always get a kick out of those who say I lowball because my cost of living is lower. Does that mean if you worked for someone else and the starting pay was $20 per hour you would offer to work for $10 per hour because your cost of living is lower?
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cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 05:25 PM
MD Lawn I'm sure glad SOMEBODY gets it, I don't mind giving an elderly person a break, but like MD says EVERYBODY isn't elderly. After a lot of thinking and reading this thread I'm going to offer a mixed batch of year round and per service this season, it seems to make sense, but no more bi weekly, at least no more than I already have. GMLC, I guess I should be cutting for $10/yard I'm single and have no kids either, NOT! That's just plain STUPID!

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-10-2012, 05:30 PM
I like this thread.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 05:36 PM
How many of you like paying for something you don't receive?.......I read many posts of some being confused how you can run a business without knowing how much is going to be coming in. Almost all business runs that way. You can project the years possible income from past years performance and growth, but you never know for sure! Doesn't matter if your retail, building and construction, service industries, etc...... In the end, I feel better billing for what I've done, not what I might do!

Well! let's see, I pay the same every month for my cell bill weather I use all the mins or not, I pay taxes for the school system that I don't use, I pay the same every month for internet again weather I use it or not, same for cable.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 05:37 PM
I like this thread.

Why?

It's so dissappointing because it shows why this industry is going into a further downward spiral.

A few of us will try to save it but it will be an uphill climb for sure.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 05:38 PM
Well! let's see, I pay the same every month for my cell bill weather I use all the mins or not, I pay taxes for the school system that I don't use, I pay the same every month for internet again weather I use it or not, same for cable.

But according to some it's not a "service". :dizzy::dizzy::hammerhead: It's a luxury one for sure which can cause problems with that but too many are stuck on just mowing vs offering total maintenance they just can't see it.

I get it.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 05:48 PM
OH! and NO MOW N GO! from me, it's full service or nothing!

yardguy28
12-10-2012, 05:56 PM
At the end of the day the only person you are shortchanging is yourself. Rationalizing lower rates because you have lower than average personal expenses is just crazy. What happens when you have a family? Sit down and figure out what you are turning for a profit AFTER you pay yourself a fair wage, for all intents and purposes you are an employee of your business. I wish you luck dumpster diving with customers, myself I want to weed out the low payers for more lucrative opportunities.

first I will never have a family because that not something I ever want in my life.

second it's not that I don't want the higher paying jobs. but I'm against raising the market so high no one but the rich can afford to hire us just because we are greedy and wanna have our "toys" in life.

The cause of the downfall



That's great and you know what, if this industry paid what it should most companies probably wouldn't mind cutting breaks to these people, or even servicing for free. But everyone wants to be treated like they're elderly or disabled!!



Fair for who? Why are people afraid and ashamed to make money??? Never have I ever understood "fair and reasonable" rates. You know how many products and services you probably pay for that you would consider unfair or unreasonable but still pay for anyways..... Also why should a customer always dictate what is fair? They don't even know what it cost you to run your business. They have zero clue what good equipment costs, employees, taxes, etc....




You're destroying someone's ability to create jobs and help others live a life who cannot get a decent job or even start a business. You choose to live with mommy and daddy and undercut a legit business who employess people and keeps them off assistance and gives them something to wake up for everyday. I understand your costs are lower but it's not like your a big business choosing to buy gently used equipment or more efficent stuff to reduce costs compared to the next guy. Sorry but that's shameful.

fair prices in the sense that people can afford us and we still turn a profit. it can be done. I know because I do it everyday.

if you wanna make $100,000+ a year for all your "toys" pick a career where that is a normal salary for the job. but don't try and jack up some market of another job.

service the elderly and disabled while the others pay outrageous prices.

I'd rather just have an affordable price for everyone. you must be a democrat. tax the hell out of the rich so the middle and lower class can sit on there @sses and reep free benefits the rich are paying for with there outrageously high taxes.

oh and who said I let the client dictate a fair price. you don't think I don't know what my cost of doing business is and that my prices aren't based off my cost of doing business.

well they are. they are based off my cost of doing business and what kind of profit I need to make. not what joe down the streets cost of doing business is or what he needs to make. that's kind of the whole point about what to charge. my cost of doing business is lower than a guy with 6 employees. the profit I need to make is lower than a guy with a wife and 4 kids.

I'm not gonna charge more just because I can. I'm not that type of person. I don't care if the going rate is $100,000 a year. if I only need or can get by with half that my prices will reflect that.

perhaps you don't know this is an every man for himself world. everyone wants to be there definition of successful in life and there going to do whatever it takes to do that no matter who's toes they step on.

I always get a kick out of those who say I lowball because my cost of living is lower. Does that mean if you worked for someone else and the starting pay was $20 per hour you would offer to work for $10 per hour because your cost of living is lower?
Posted via Mobile Device

maybe you aren't directing it towards me personally but I don't lowball to begin with.

in my market I'm middle of the road on all my pricing. I'm not on the high end because I don't need to be. I don't have a family to support. it's just me, myself and I I charge what I need to turn the profit I need for things like food, heat, water, electricity. the things I have like tv's, iPads, Xbox, etc were all gifts on birthdays or xmas. I would never work to make enough for those luxuries on my own. they arent necessities in life. that's why I don't set my prices at the high end.

I'm not in a race in life to make as much money as I possibly can. only enough to live a comfortable life. and I've been able to do that with prices in the middle range of the market.

Groomer
12-10-2012, 06:32 PM
Back to the original topic, I've always charged first of the month for the previous month's service. So really, with fall cleanup and spring bed prep/mulch and prune, it turns out I pretty much bill throughout the year anyway.

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-10-2012, 06:38 PM
Why?

It's so dissappointing because it shows why this industry is going into a further downward spiral.

A few of us will try to save it but it will be an uphill climb for sure.

B/c it's funny to see different ppls opinions.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 06:54 PM
YardGuy28, I'm just gonna say we agree to disagree. You believe in your way and I don't. Also whats this about taxing the rich BS?? I dont care if someone makes $15k or $100k this is my price. But again lets just agree to disagree. Sounds good end of story.
Posted via Mobile Device

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-10-2012, 07:53 PM
Well! let's see, I pay the same every month for my cell bill weather I use all the mins or not, I pay taxes for the school system that I don't use, I pay the same every month for Internet again weather I use it or not, same for cable.

I'm guessing you dont like paying for those things you arn't using all of, so why then charge your customer for something they may not receive all of. Your making my point, do for others how you would like......bill for what you do, not what you might do.....get billed for what you used or received, not what you might use or receive.......Just a note on the Internet and cable, you are paying for a monthly "license" to access those services, not for minutes used. On the cell.... if you are paying for many more minutes than you use, why not change to a lower minute plan?.....On the school taxes.....couldnt agree more. However, taxes are forced government seizure that are a completely different conversation all together.

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 08:02 PM
I don't get those who say its a luxury in my opinion you take the job for what its worth I have plenty of cheaPer homes I do for 25 bucks and a share of ones for 35 plus I'm not gonna tell the 25 people I won't do it because there not luxurious enough that's stupid. Also I have plenty of people who are more wealthy and willing to spend and less pain in the butt customers in 250,000 homes vs people in 500,000 and up
Posted via Mobile Device

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-10-2012, 08:06 PM
B/c it's funny to see different ppls opinions.

I would say its educational to see others opinions. One thing many on this site always fail to remember, we are all in different markets. I would love to charge based on a $60+ an hour rate, but that won't work here. I do try and make as much as possible from any job I do, mowing to hardscape. With that said, I do cut breaks to the elderly and veterans when I see the need. I feel its my way to give back to the community that I live in.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 08:50 PM
I would say its educational to see others opinions. One thing many on this site always fail to remember, we are all in different markets. I would love to charge based on a $60+ an hour rate, but that won't work here. I do try and make as much as possible from any job I do, mowing to hardscape. With that said, I do cut breaks to the elderly and veterans when I see the need. I feel its my way to give back to the community that I live in.

I bet the other local service providers charge $60/hr+ check around, I'm not arguing here just trying to make a point. Your in business to make money at least I hope so, it has nothing to do with greed, I think a national standard of 60/hr+ would benefit all legitimate LCO's. Hell! even with all the guys that "claim" they have lower overhead which I don't believe if there operating legit, how the hell are you making a profit of any decent amount at 25-35 a yard? are you only paying yourself $10-12/hr after taxes,ins,legal, gas, office expenses, advertising, phone, maint, misc there's nothing left for profit, your probably in the hole. I've heard it all, we don't advertise we don't do this we don't do that, there's just basic overhead that adds up to 20- 30/hr then you gotta get paid then all the other crap that pops up.

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 09:01 PM
I bet the other local service providers charge $60/hr+ check around, I'm not arguing here just trying to make a point. Your in business to make money at least I hope so, it has nothing to do with greed, I think a national standard of 60/hr+ would benefit all legitimate LCO's. Hell! even with all the guys that "claim" they have lower overhead which I don't believe if there operating legit, how the hell are you making a profit of any decent amount at 25-35 a yard? are you only paying yourself $10-12/hr after taxes, gas, office expenses, advertising, phone, maint, misc there's nothing left for profit, your probably in the hole. I've heard it all, we don't advertise we don't do this we don't do that, there's just basic overhead that adds up to 20- 30/hr then you gotta get paid then all the other crap that pops up.

easy to profit being a solo op or 1 employee, id say my average lawn is 25 bucks. i park and store all my equipment at my garage i have areas i can cut 4, 8, or 15 homes without moving my truck. i do try and upsell my side work a little bit though and like someone else said my expenses are kept down best i can i dont have a new 50 thousand dollar pickup or new 50 thousand dollar dump truck

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-10-2012, 09:10 PM
I bet the other local service providers charge $60/hr+ check around, I'm not arguing here just trying to make a point. Your in business to make money at least I hope so, it has nothing to do with greed, I think a national standard of 60/hr+ would benefit all legitimate LCO's. Hell! even with all the guys that "claim" they have lower overhead which I don't believe if there operating legit, how the hell are you making a profit of any decent amount at 25-35 a yard? are you only paying yourself $10-12/hr after taxes, gas, office expenses, advertising, phone, maint, misc there's nothing left for profit, your probably in the hole. I've heard it all, we don't advertise we don't do this we don't do that, there's just basic overhead that adds up to 20- 30/hr then all the other crap that pops up.

Ive talked to many from solo on up, they arn't basing their prices on 60 an hour either. I'm making a good income. I was a printing press operator for 19 years before going full time LCO 8 years ago and I make more than I would be if still a press operator. My sales have been up, to my goals, every year. I believe when it comes to pricing, I know I'm a little higher for plowing than others. I believe my summer work is priced a little higher also. I get customers for the quality of service I provide. I was talking to another LCO about a job we both quoted. I was higher in price, $500.00, than he was and I got the job. I believe it was because of how I sold the quality of how the job was going to be completed.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-10-2012, 09:15 PM
i dont have a new 50 thousand dollar pickup or new 50 thousand dollar dump truck


Good point on not over buying equipment to keep costs down.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 09:16 PM
easy to profit being a solo op or 1 employee, id say my average lawn is 25 bucks. i park and store all my equipment at my garage i have areas i can cut 4, 8, or 15 homes without moving my truck. i do try and upsell my side work a little bit though and like someone else said my expenses are kept down best i can i dont have a new 50 thousand dollar pickup or new 50 thousand dollar dump truck

You actually charge less than $25 a yard? I don't care if I had an entire neighborhood with 400 houses I'd still charge 35-40/yard, your killing me, my truck and all but one mower are paid for as is all my handheld stuff and all the other crap I have, DANG maybe I am greedy? I just thought I was in business to make money.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 09:29 PM
Ok enough I promise. Do what works for you, I'm going to stick with charging monthly with the option for year round service. Weekly service March 1st thru Dec 1st, for the ones that don't want year round.

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 09:49 PM
You actually charge less than $25 a yard? I don't care if I had an entire neighborhood with 400 houses I'd still charge 35-40/yard, your killing me, my truck and all but one mower are paid for as is all my handheld stuff and all the other crap I have, DANG maybe I am greedy? I just thought I was in business to make money.

Greedy?? Not a chance.

These guys prices (area dependent) are LOWER than prices 10 years ago!!! Believe me we were charging more than that 11 years ago. Everything has gone up except lawn mowing. Milk, gas, candy bars, vehicles, haircuts, etc.. I guess we can all just put our tails between our legs, lay down, and be put out to pasture.

Here's the thing CP you had a well paying job before lawn and landscaping. Some guys come from $9/hr jobs and (not saying anyone here) any increase is great and you don't need much intelligence to pull a start cord and mow in a back and forth pattern. Then whack down the grass you couldn't cut with a mower and fire up a blower.

Some have lower expectations of what they want in life and others like you and I have much higher ones. Some want a self employed JOB others want a business. Right now I have a self employed job. I want more than that.

I'm done also. Back to my original topic.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 09:55 PM
Some have lower expectations of what they want in life and others like you and I have much higher ones. Some want a self employed JOB others want a business. Right now I have a self employed job. I want more than that.

I'm with you, I'm in the same boat as you,

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 10:00 PM
well going back to hrly rate what you expect say your rate is 60 an hr if I can cut that 25 dollar yard in 15 mintues or 20 mintues that in my opinion isn't being cheap or anything that's priced accordingly so why do you say ur 35 is set in stone
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 10:11 PM
Cause my market will bear it. I'm still bewildered with this I have low overhead so I will charge less theory? what kind of business sense does this make, lower overhead only means increased profit margin in my business class.

back to schedule! my issue with per cut is in the spring when it rains for a week are you ok with losing money over something that you have no control over. It just seems like possible setup for failure especially if your just starting out and need to build up a cash reserve.

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 10:12 PM
And that's a dumb statment because I'm sure you didn't start with 30 employees you prob started as a solo op which in ur words isn't a business
Posted via Mobile Device

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 10:20 PM
Cause my market will bear it. I'm still bewildered with this I have low overhead so I will charge less theory? what kind of business sense does this make, lower overhead only means increased profit margin in my business class.

You're speaking a foreign language to most.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 10:31 PM
And that's a dumb statment because I'm sure you didn't start with 30 employees you prob started as a solo op which in ur words isn't a business
Posted via Mobile Device

I don't recall saying a solo op isn't a business, the #of employees doesn't determine a legit business, I did start out a solo op and actualy only have three employees as of now, but I've always been insured licensed and a separate company bank account for business use only, no comingling of funds.

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 10:32 PM
Were are you located ? I can't see from my phone but like you said your market will bear it mine will not
Posted via Mobile Device

MDLawn
12-10-2012, 10:35 PM
I stated that and yes it's a business either way. I just look at it as a self employed job when you're doing all the labor. Especially this industry.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 10:35 PM
Down deep south SC, where the world runs backwards, we talk funny and our women don't have teeth LOL But we play some mean football!

Florida Gardener
12-10-2012, 10:46 PM
Cpl, I agree with you 100%. Charge as much as you can. That is what biz is all about. That is what this country is supposed to be about.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 10:50 PM
Cpl, I agree with you 100%. Charge as much as you can. That is what biz is all about. That is what this country is supposed to be about.
Posted via Mobile Device

Thanks FG I intend to.

Florida Gardener
12-10-2012, 11:05 PM
Thanks FG I intend to.

As do I. I agree with the overhead thing. Why do people want to charge less bc they have less overhead? I think that you can be more competitive if you needed to be, but why charge less....
Posted via Mobile Device

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 11:08 PM
As do I I charge as much as I can get depending on the location some 30 some 40 some 50 I won't take a job were ill lose money but I will take one and make lil less profit in hopes it will lead to side work
Posted via Mobile Device

jrs.landscaping
12-10-2012, 11:14 PM
As do I I charge as much as I can get depending on the location some 30 some 40 some 50 I won't take a job were ill lose money but I will take one and make lil less profit in hopes it will lead to side workPosted via Mobile Device

Common mistake, never assume extra work is forthcoming because you have a lower rate than the next guy. I'll admit, I've broken even on jobs because we maintained other properties for a customer, but the work was already there and even breaking even I was getting the margins where they needed to be.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 11:17 PM
As do I I charge as much as I can get depending on the location some 30 some 40 some 50 I won't take a job were ill lose money but I will take one and make lil less profit in hopes it will lead to side work
Posted via Mobile Device

Kyle, it's all good! we all have our own way of doing business, if it's working for you keep doing what's working, shoot from the looks of it you've got a nicer rig than me so something is going right for ya.

cpllawncare
12-10-2012, 11:20 PM
Common mistake, never assume extra work is forthcoming because you have a lower rate than the next guy. I'll admit, I've broken even on jobs because we maintained other properties for a customer, but the work was already there and even breaking even I was getting the margins where they needed to be.

I agree, I've fallen for the "I'll give you more work if you'll cut me a deal on this one" never again though.

kyles landscape
12-10-2012, 11:26 PM
U can have a nicer truck and be an ******* and rub it in but bein my second year in business I. Think its a great truck and does the job
Posted via Mobile Device

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 12:15 AM
first I will never have a family because that not something I ever want in my life.

Sounds like you're just pretending that you have a choice in the matter. :laugh::laugh:

cpllawncare
12-11-2012, 12:36 AM
U can have a nicer truck and be an ******* and rub it in but bein my second year in business I. Think its a great truck and does the job
Posted via Mobile Device

Like I said looks like your doing just fine.

orangemower
12-11-2012, 09:45 AM
Cause my market will bear it. I'm still bewildered with this I have low overhead so I will charge less theory? what kind of business sense does this make, lower overhead only means increased profit margin in my business class.

back to schedule! my issue with per cut is in the spring when it rains for a week are you ok with losing money over something that you have no control over. It just seems like possible setup for failure especially if your just starting out and need to build up a cash reserve.

You are exactly right. I don't get it either. Why would a person leave money on the table? Because they don't have as much overhead? That's about the dumbest thing ever said. Lets see. If someone gave me a 5k mower for free (low overhead) and I didn't need it. Do you think I'm going to just give it to someone else since I didn't have anything invested? People that think this way have NO business sense at all.

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 10:04 AM
Why? Because it's easier to land accounts at a lower price. It works for them for a while......

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 11:13 AM
Why? Because it's easier to land accounts at a lower price. It works for them for a while......

Then the "Uh oh" moment happens..........

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 12:28 PM
How much do u guys gross a year if u don't mine me asking and net ?
Posted via Mobile Device

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 12:56 PM
I don't share my gross with anyone but my wife, my insurance agent and the tax man, but my net is consitently over 50% of my gross. That's without taking out my salary. Last year I managed 76% but usually it's in the high 50s. Most of my revenue is from labor.

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 01:03 PM
I don't share my gross with anyone but my wife, my insurance agent and the tax man, but my net is consitently over 50% of my gross. That's without taking out my salary. Last year I managed 76% but usually it's in the high 50s. Most of my revenue is from labor.

good stufff thats a great %, do you have alotta guys workin for you? and what would you say your main work portion is? (installs, hardscape, maintenance, etc)

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 01:12 PM
Mostly maintenance and snow plowing. I do lawn renovations and some landscape tractor work too. One or the other of my 2 sons, 15 and 18 will do the trimmer/blower routine with me for 3 or so days a week 4 or 5 hours a day in the summer, but I can do it without them. It just makes for a much easier day when I have help. They both know my whole route but usually only help with part of it in any given week. My books are on the other computer, but usually landscaping is less than 10% of my gross, so that keeps my percentage higher...it would be less if I were consuming a lot of materials. I didn't have any major repairs or purchases in 2011 which helped too...bought a new backpack blower and that's about it.

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 01:18 PM
Mostly maintenance and snow plowing. I do lawn renovations and some landscape tractor work too. One or the other of my 2 sons, 15 and 18 will do the trimmer/blower routine with me for 3 or so days a week 4 or 5 hours a day in the summer, but I can do it without them. It just makes for a much easier day when I have help. They both know my whole route but usually only help with part of it in any given week. My books are on the other computer, but usually landscaping is less than 10% of my gross, so that keeps my percentage higher...it would be less if I were consuming a lot of materials. I didn't have any major repairs or purchases in 2011 which helped too...bought a new backpack blower and that's about it.

do you pay your kids when they help? and thats great i was thinking you were smaller to be putting up numbers like that. i have 1 employee and im about 40-60 peRcent but my numbers got killed this year bc the drought and we havent had any snow

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 01:35 PM
Yeah the kids get paid....you think they'd come along if they didn't? The problem I have with them is that toward the end of the season when their wallets are full they start dropping out on me. The older one who is 18 now and going to college was at $12 in 2011 but I cut him lose this last season and fixed him up with some work of his own...bascially with elderly people who need a "yard boy" and aren't willing or able to hire a landscaper....one place has a freaking cable car going up from the garage to the house...nice place. The "little guy" (he's 6'2") just started this year at $8/hr and honestly didn't work out that great...he's sloooow and his quality is still a bit off. On a lot of accounts he never gets to the blower, but he's still a help and he never whines or complains...just keeps plugging along. I'll probably bump him up to $10 next year and his brother to $15 if he works with me at all. He prefers working on his own though. He did a lot of mulching and does it very nicely. When he mulches with me I give him all the detail work.

hi_speedreed
12-11-2012, 01:36 PM
People want to talk about business, profit margins, overhead costs and how people need to charge what the market will bear but nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. The market is large. If you bump your minimum up to where you are making more money you freely admit there are people who wouldn't or couldn't pay for your services. What you fail to acknowledge is this creates a void in the market.

There is a market for low price. Just like in any business some people just shop price. There is a reason Wal*Mart is so big. They found the niche and filled it. If you notice though there are still higher end retailers. You can still go to Macy's and pay double for pants, you will get much better quality, and people still want better quality. The same goes for mowers. You can order a chinese mower off the internet or you can go get a quality machine made by men and women in the USA and pay more but also know you got a quality piece of equipment.

Some people shop only price; they want the cheapest no matter what. Some people shop only quality; they want the best no matter the cost. Some people shop value; they want a quality product or service but do not want to over pay.

Lowballers are not created by the industry, they are created by the consumer. Somebody also said everything has gone up but the prices for lawn service. Not true at all. Look at any technology product. I have a phone that was $200 and it has more ability than my first computer which was over $900 and that was 17 years ago. Mowers today are faster and more productive than they were 11 years ago. Usually when an industry experiences a technological advance prices fall. This is due to increased productivity. Rates stay the same or even raise but because what used to take 1hr now takes half that time overall price falls.

orangemower
12-11-2012, 01:41 PM
I don't share my gross with anyone but my wife, my insurance agent and the tax man, but my net is consistently over 50% of my gross. That's without taking out my salary. Last year I managed 76% but usually it's in the high 50s. Most of my revenue is from labor.

I'm close to those numbers as well. This year might be different. I did a lot of mulch jobs. I haven't hit anywhere close to 76% but have been close. For mowing/lawn maintenance it floats around 60%. This year I'm going to draw up a graph of the ups and downs each year on paper to see what it looks like.
Next season will be very big for me as I signed up more then a dozen new clients for mowing and over half want full service as in treatments, pruning, trimming, mulching and such. ALL of them are on my list for snow removal, including two long private drives with 5-6 homes on each drive!

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 01:49 PM
I should probably mention that my plowing income was way up there in 2011 too. We had a LOT of snow. I can plow a lot of driveways with a tank of gas and my hourly take is usually over twice what I can get doing lawn care. As long as I don't break anything my cost for plowing is pretty low.

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 01:50 PM
I'm close to those numbers as well. This year might be different. I did a lot of mulch jobs. I haven't hit anywhere close to 76% but have been close. For mowing/lawn maintenance it floats around 60%. This year I'm going to draw up a graph of the ups and downs each year on paper to see what it looks like.
Next season will be very big for me as I signed up more then a dozen new clients for mowing and over half want full service as in treatments, pruning, trimming, mulching and such. ALL of them are on my list for snow removal, including two long private drives with 5-6 homes on each drive!

are you also a small operation??

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 01:52 PM
I should probably mention that my plowing income was way up there in 2011 too. We had a LOT of snow. I can plow a lot of driveways with a tank of gas and my hourly take is usually over twice what I can get doing lawn care. As long as I don't break anything my cost for plowing is pretty low.

lucky you! we havent had snow in a record 281 days and counting :confused:

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-11-2012, 02:00 PM
People want to talk about business, profit margins, overhead costs and how people need to charge what the market will bear but nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. The market is large. If you bump your minimum up to where you are making more money you freely admit there are people who wouldn't or couldn't pay for your services. What you fail to acknowledge is this creates a void in the market.

There is a market for low price. Just like in any business some people just shop price. There is a reason Wal*Mart is so big. They found the niche and filled it. If you notice though there are still higher end retailers. You can still go to Macy's and pay double for pants, you will get much better quality, and people still want better quality. The same goes for mowers. You can order a chinese mower off the internet or you can go get a quality machine made by men and women in the USA and pay more but also know you got a quality piece of equipment.

Some people shop only price; they want the cheapest no matter what. Some people shop only quality; they want the best no matter the cost. Some people shop value; they want a quality product or service but do not want to over pay.

Lowballers are not created by the industry, they are created by the consumer. Somebody also said everything has gone up but the prices for lawn service. Not true at all. Look at any technology product. I have a phone that was $200 and it has more ability than my first computer which was over $900 and that was 17 years ago. Mowers today are faster and more productive than they were 11 years ago. Usually when an industry experiences a technological advance prices fall. This is due to increased productivity. Rates stay the same or even raise but because what used to take 1hr now takes half that time overall price falls.



Great post!!!!

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 02:03 PM
Nevermind, lol...replied to a post directed to someone else.

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 02:06 PM
Lowballers are not created by the industry, they are created by the consumer.

I can agree with this...


Somebody also said everything has gone up but the prices for lawn service. Not true at all. Look at any technology product. I have a phone that was $200 and it has more ability than my first computer which was over $900 and that was 17 years ago. Mowers today are faster and more productive than they were 11 years ago. Usually when an industry experiences a technological advance prices fall. This is due to increased productivity. Rates stay the same or even raise but because what used to take 1hr now takes half that time overall price falls.

You make a good point.

However, my buddies LazerZ he used 9 years ago wasn't THAT much worse than the new one he purchased a couple years ago.

But I agree on your point. A 1994 mower that produced a 30 minute job compared to a newer mower with a 17 minute job time makes a difference. If prices STAYED the same I'd say for sure you can now increase your profits based on equipment productivity. But rates have dropped from when my friend had his LazerZ 9 years ago!!! I don't think the new mowers are THAT better and even he admits that.

These last 3-5 pages of this thread is why I detest lawn mowing and really enjoy landscape work :laugh:

yardguy28
12-11-2012, 05:03 PM
Sounds like you're just pretending that you have a choice in the matter. :laugh::laugh:

well who wants to date a guy who lives with his parents, never leaves the house except to go to work and is already snipped at the age of 31.

let alone marry that guy.

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 05:10 PM
well who wants to date a guy who lives with his parents, never leaves the house except to go to work and is already snipped at the age of 31.

let alone marry that guy.

i dont disagree i dont really wana get married that may change when i meet someone who is unlike the rest but 99 percent of married couples i see arent happy lol.

ive also lived on mmy own and supported myself since i was 19 :cool2:

yardguy28
12-11-2012, 05:12 PM
i dont disagree i dont really wana get married that may change when i meet someone who is unlike the rest but 99 percent of married couples i see arent happy lol.

ive also lived on mmy own and supported myself since i was 19 :cool2:

I lived on my own for 4 years. after that I needed to move home for a bit and haven't left yet. no real reason to leave.

plus I'm not out there looking for ms wonderful so there is no changing my mind if I met someone. can't meet someone if your not out there to meet them.

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 05:16 PM
I lived on my own for 4 years. after that I needed to move home for a bit and haven't left yet. no real reason to leave.

plus I'm not out there looking for ms wonderful so there is no changing my mind if I met someone. can't meet someone if your not out there to meet them.

how old are you??

i couldnt go back to my parents too much freedom now lol hopin to buy a home in the next 2 yeaars if all goes as planned maybe 3

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 05:42 PM
You could always buy something like this and you could have your home and equipment with you at all times. I bet checks would find that sexy!

But now I'm thinking.....I wonder if I could make a living being a traveling landscaper...Vagabond Lawn Care, LLC....Your first job with us will be your last....kind of catchy don't you think?

http://www.crankyape.com/default.asp?pg=DispSingleItem&ItemNumber=38116

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 05:45 PM
You could always buy something like this and you could have your home and equipment with you at all times. I bet checks would find that sexy!

But now I'm thinking.....I wonder if I could make a living being a traveling landscaper...Vagabond Lawn Care, LLC....Your first job with us will be your last....kind of catchy don't you think?

http://www.crankyape.com/default.asp?pg=DispSingleItem&ItemNumber=38116

hahah thats awesome take some grass clippings you got yourself a nice soft bed tooo!

jrs.landscaping
12-11-2012, 05:59 PM
I was posting on another thread and it hit me. People are talking about minimum charges (I do have a minimum for residential) and I looked at the books. We maintain 50 properties for $20 and under, I service these properties in an 8.5 hour day with nothing but a pickup and a trimmer grossing almost $800.00. I understand both sides of the argument about what people charge to mow a lawn, but I think these numbers vary widely depending on the circumstances involved. Another company put in a price of $30 saying "that's the lowest I charge." So I'm grossing over $90 PMH and the next guy thought my price was cheap :confused:

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 06:05 PM
I was posting on another thread and it hit me. People are talking about minimum charges (I do have a minimum for residential) and I looked at the books. We maintain 50 properties for $20 and under, I service these properties in an 8.5 hour day with nothing but a pickup and a trimmer grossing almost $800.00. I understand both sides of the argument about what people charge to mow a lawn, but I think these numbers vary widely depending on the circumstances involved. Another company put in a price of $30 saying "that's the lowest I charge." So I'm grossing over $90 PMH and the next guy thought my price was cheap :confused:

well look who got the job and is making the $$$ i think 800 a day is awesome against his 0

but you might get reemed by everyone else who says they dont go under 35 lol but id do the same as u

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 06:17 PM
I was posting on another thread and it hit me. People are talking about minimum charges (I do have a minimum for residential) and I looked at the books. We maintain 50 properties for $20 and under, I service these properties in an 8.5 hour day with nothing but a pickup and a trimmer grossing almost $800.00. I understand both sides of the argument about what people charge to mow a lawn, but I think these numbers vary widely depending on the circumstances involved. Another company put in a price of $30 saying "that's the lowest I charge." So I'm grossing over $90 PMH and the next guy thought my price was cheap :confused:

If it works for you that's great....But....managing every account takes time too and adds to your invoicing, bookkeeping, banking, collections cost, etc. Just make sure that you figure that time in too because it's not free.

My lowest account is $25 and it's no more than 1,000 square feet of lawn. My next lowest is at $30 and is a grassy parking area for a guest cottage that parks about 8 cars. The rest are all at least $40, some of which take no more than 20 minutes to service.

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 06:20 PM
I was posting on another thread and it hit me. People are talking about minimum charges (I do have a minimum for residential) and I looked at the books. We maintain 50 properties for $20 and under, I service these properties in an 8.5 hour day with nothing but a pickup and a trimmer grossing almost $800.00. I understand both sides of the argument about what people charge to mow a lawn, but I think these numbers vary widely depending on the circumstances involved. Another company put in a price of $30 saying "that's the lowest I charge." So I'm grossing over $90 PMH and the next guy thought my price was cheap :confused:

Yes I agree.

I also think there are those of us that just don't want to deal with properties like that. If you're servicing 50 accounts in one day they're obviously small and don't need much other than knocking down the weeds if all you need is a trimmer. Trailer park?

I'm not saying that doing those is a bad thing but some of us want the other properties that give us multiple services. I think some of us look to get more money out of fewer properties where some get fewer dollars out of more properties. Just different business models. And I wouldn't say your prices are off for the size of the properties, if I'm thinking they are quite small. I think those of us that think guys are nuts at $25 and below are those servicing 1/3+ acre quality residential properties.
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-11-2012, 06:25 PM
how old are you??

i couldnt go back to my parents too much freedom now lol hopin to buy a home in the next 2 yeaars if all goes as planned maybe 3

i'm 31.

my freedom still exsists just the same. just because i live with them doesn't mean they treat me like i'm 12.

but since i don't party or hang out with a bunch of friends all the time it doesn't really matter. once in blue moon i'll have some friends over for some drink and cards or something but thats about it.

women aren't in the picture for me right now either so thats not an issue. they are way too high maintenance for me to be bothered with. just not worth it.

when i do finally get out on my own again i'm either going back to an apartment or getting a condo.

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 06:26 PM
Yes I agree.

I also think there are those of us that just don't want to deal with properties like that. If you're servicing 50 accounts in one day they're obviously small and don't need much other than knocking down the weeds if all you need is a trimmer. Trailer park?

I think some of us look to get more money out of fewer properties where some get fewer dollars out of more properties. Just different business models. .
Posted via Mobile Device

what happens when you lose a few to a low bidder or the fact they cannot afford you anymore your screwed, no?

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 06:27 PM
i'm 31.

my freedom still exsists just the same. just because i live with them doesn't mean they treat me like i'm 12.

but since i don't party or hang out with a bunch of friends all the time it doesn't really matter. once in blue moon i'll have some friends over for some drink and cards or something but thats about it.

women aren't in the picture for me right now either so thats not an issue. they are way too high maintenance for me to be bothered with. just not worth it.

when i do finally get out on my own again i'm either going back to an apartment or getting a condo.

you got me by 10 years lol but **** bank as much money as you can while your not paying rent utilites groceries etc i prob waste 25k a year living on my own

jrs.landscaping
12-11-2012, 07:13 PM
Municipal contracts, two invoices, two checks. Just an example of how it can work.

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 08:02 PM
what happens when you lose a few to a low bidder or the fact they cannot afford you anymore your screwed, no?

Well hopefully you've become established and advertise enough to keep the phone ringing. JimLewis can tell you all about this. Seriously read some of his threads or posts. His phones ring constantly so that there is a steady stream of potential clients and he's not taking on cheap clients. Can everyone have his success? Probably not but I'm going to listen to what him, ETWMan, Zedosix, idealscape, tthomas, and other well established high end companies have to say. They don't chase low priced work and would make any of us look like landscape fools.

There is niche for the low end work for sure. I DON'T WANT IT. I also don't want to just mow lawns.
Posted via Mobile Device

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 08:11 PM
Well hopefully you've become established and advertise enough to keep the phone ringing. JimLewis can tell you all about this. Seriously read some of his threads or posts. His phones ring constantly so that there is a steady stream of potential clients and he's not taking on cheap clients. Can everyone have his success? Probably not but I'm going to listen to what him, ETWMan, Zedosix, idealscape, tthomas, and other well established high end companies have to say. They don't chase low priced work and would make any of us look like landscape fools.

There is niche for the low end work for sure. I DON'T WANT IT. I also don't want to just mow lawns.
Posted via Mobile Device

do you think they started out high end or normal end? and worked there way up....thats what i plan on doing i dont make 6 figures or work 6 days a week so i take what i can get within reason before i cant start weeding out the lesser properties.

i think the reason they need to target hhigh priced properties is the physically cant do the others without losing thier butts

yardguy28
12-11-2012, 08:12 PM
you got me by 10 years lol but **** bank as much money as you can while your not paying rent utilites groceries etc i prob waste 25k a year living on my own

I already pay all that. that's another reason I'm in no hurry to move out.

the only real difference between me living with my parents or on my own is I see my parents usually every single day.

I've tried a thousands times to tell the other guys that, that squawk about me living with my parents but they don't listen.

I pay rent and split the utilities 50/50. plus the mortgage and property tax.

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 08:18 PM
do you think they started out high end or normal end? and worked there way up....thats what i plan on doing i dont make 6 figures or work 6 days a week so i take what i can get within reason before i cant start weeding out the lesser properties.

i think the reason they need to target hhigh priced properties is the physically cant do the others without losing thier butts

I've pm'd these guys and yea each one started somewhere but I'm learning from the mistakes they admit. Pricing too low, chasing the wrong customers, etc.... They offer the information so we can avoid the mistakes they made.
Posted via Mobile Device

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 08:23 PM
I've pm'd these guys and yea each one started somewhere but I'm learning from the mistakes they admit. Pricing too low, chasing the wrong customers, etc.... They offer the information so we can avoid the mistakes they made.
Posted via Mobile Device

yep we all start some place

if i may ask how old are you, many years in bus, lot of employees,

also did they put in their 2 cents on being a big company vs a small one ?

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-11-2012, 08:23 PM
I've pm'd these guys and yea each one started somewhere but I'm learning from the mistakes they admit. Pricing too low, chasing the wrong customers, etc.... They offer the information so we can avoid the mistakes they made.
Posted via Mobile Device

Well let us know what they say

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 08:25 PM
I did that 2 years ago Blades.
Posted via Mobile Device

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-11-2012, 08:29 PM
I did that 2 years ago Blades.
Posted via Mobile Device

Oh well then I'm a little late lol

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 08:35 PM
yep we all start some place

if i may ask how old are you, many years in bus, lot of employees,

also did they put in their 2 cents on being a big company vs a small one ?

Old enough, 6 years (11 years total), just me. Like I said a few pages ago I'm working a self employed job. Oh yea ready for this that will set off a nuclear bomb in this thread......I do this part time. Just in case you question my business I am registered, have insurance, pay taxes, have a website, and have a CPA to help me. I'm cherry picking accounts so no need for low end stuff. If it goes well enough I'll jump ship but low priced guys have slowly prevented this. But I moved this past year to hopefully a better market that isn't so saturated.

Look up and read their business threads. All the answers you seek from them are in there. Just be prepared to read a lot of pages.
Posted via Mobile Device

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 08:36 PM
Oh well then I'm a little late lol

Go read their threads along with ProTurfs. Seriously.
Posted via Mobile Device

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-11-2012, 08:43 PM
Go read their threads along with ProTurfs. Seriously.
Posted via Mobile Device

I have before. He is an excellent example for ppl starting out and seasoned veterans

Darryl G
12-11-2012, 08:45 PM
Go read their threads along with ProTurfs. Seriously.
Posted via Mobile Device

They'd probably be surprised that Jim just recently bought his first mower bigger than 21 inches....a 36 incher...after 16 years. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=372960&highlight=larger+mower

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 08:47 PM
They'd probably be surprised that Jim just recently bought his first mower bigger than 21 inches....a 36 incher...after 16 years. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=372960&highlight=larger+mower

So true.
Posted via Mobile Device

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-11-2012, 08:48 PM
That's crazy!!! But still awesome that after 300 properties he is just getting a 36"

kyles landscape
12-11-2012, 08:53 PM
I sat and read proturf like 250 pages haha good stuff very informative would you guys rather have a larger bus 30+ emploees or smaller 6 or less?
Posted via Mobile Device

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-11-2012, 08:59 PM
What's that old saying....mo money = mo problems.. I think I would rather just have me and maybe 2 other guys. And then slowly get away form it and let them 2 do the work lol

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 09:00 PM
If I could do it ........ 15 or less. But mowing would have to only be a small side of it if it could be. Honestly I want to be meeting customers and making deals and schmoozing the clients i have rather than digging holes, riding a mower, or slinging mulch. I don't mind doing the work but I'd rather have a business making me money rather than just me working a job (aka solo). But that takes time......
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yardguy28
12-11-2012, 09:51 PM
if you wanna undermine yourself saying you don't own a business just because your solo go right ahead.

but don't pawn that idea off on the rest of the solo guys.

as far as I am concerned, along with anyone else I know or have come across I own a business with one employee. me, myself and I.

MDLawn
12-11-2012, 10:01 PM
Gather your reading comprehension skills and read that I would like a business to make me the money rather than me doing all the labor end of the business to make money. It's fine be a solo it's a business too.

Although to be considered a true business you need to not live with mom and dad. ;-)
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-12-2012, 08:45 AM
If I could do it ........ 15 or less. But mowing would have to only be a small side of it if it could be. Honestly I want to be meeting customers and making deals and schmoozing the clients i have rather than digging holes, riding a mower, or slinging mulch. I don't mind doing the work but I'd rather have a business making me money rather than just me working a job (aka solo). But that takes time......
Posted via Mobile Device

yep that sure says solo guys own a business to me......:hammerhead:

MDLawn
12-12-2012, 09:38 AM
yep that sure says solo guys own a business to me......:hammerhead:

You're funny. I already admitted that on a page or so back. Hence the quote from myself below, last sentence. You crack me up.

"Some have lower expectations of what they want in life and others like you and I have much higher ones. Some want a self employed JOB others want a business. Right now I have a self employed job. I want more than that.l
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-12-2012, 01:15 PM
You're funny. I already admitted that on a page or so back. Hence the quote from myself below, last sentence. You crack me up.

"Some have lower expectations of what they want in life and others like you and I have much higher ones. Some want a self employed JOB others want a business. Right now I have a self employed job. I want more than that.l
Posted via Mobile Device

yeah now I remember that post.

but I'm solo and I have a BUSINESS not a self employed job.

but the rest of your quote definitely holds true and I couldn't agree more.

cpllawncare
12-12-2012, 10:54 PM
I would have to agree that just because your solo doesn't mean your not a business owner, There are tons of people that own their own business and run it by themselves, real estate agents come to mind right away, but like MD I want more than that. I'm still struggling with the "Even for the low end guys" why do you not have a desire to make as much as you can, the saying "Profit is not a dirty word" comes to mind. Why does one feel guilty about making money? I can assure you if you go to work for the other guy he doesn't feel guilty about paying you as little as possible for as much work as possible.

kyles landscape
12-12-2012, 11:13 PM
^^ that's what I'm saying id be satisfied with owning a phone and an office.....subbbing out million or 2 in work and making a bunch of money once I have good contractor lineud up I can work when ever from were ever and not break a sweat although I like doin the work now to see diff ways to do it what's more effective and leArn the industry
Posted via Mobile Device

MDLawn
12-13-2012, 09:28 AM
Kyles landscape, I agree learning is important but others whom are very successful seem to say its important to find the best employee, who may know more than you, and put them in place to do the job. This enables you to do the business end of things. But that takes time too. Some people may know all the ins and outs but just want to be an employee. Put that person in power so you could sell. All this takes time and getting the work too but I'd rather have a team that makes me look good rather than being a dictator having to be at EVERYTHING.... But the you as the owner have the responsibility of making sure you have the work to keep people employed. My friend who has been in business for 15 years, part time, finally let go of the reigns and has summer help that is great. He makes more money and has more family time. He still works his tail off though.
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yardguy28
12-13-2012, 09:38 AM
I would have to agree that just because your solo doesn't mean your not a business owner, There are tons of people that own their own business and run it by themselves, real estate agents come to mind right away, but like MD I want more than that. I'm still struggling with the "Even for the low end guys" why do you not have a desire to make as much as you can, the saying "Profit is not a dirty word" comes to mind. Why does one feel guilty about making money? I can assure you if you go to work for the other guy he doesn't feel guilty about paying you as little as possible for as much work as possible.

who ever said I feel guilty about making money?

the desire to make as much as I can is not there because I don't desire to have the things that go along with having that money.

why make millions, spend only thousands and have the rest go to waste when I die. remember I'm single. I don't have anyone to leave money to when I die. seems like a waste to earn a bunch of extra that will go no where and a waste of time and energy earning it.

Florida Gardener
12-13-2012, 10:08 AM
who ever said I feel guilty about making money?

the desire to make as much as I can is not there because I don't desire to have the things that go along with having that money.

why make millions, spend only thousands and have the rest go to waste when I die. remember I'm single. I don't have anyone to leave money to when I die. seems like a waste to earn a bunch of extra that will go no where and a waste of time and energy earning it.
Not everyone hoards money for themselves. Believe it or not, there are people who bless others with money that they make. It's not all about you and you.
Posted via Mobile Device

orangemower
12-13-2012, 10:12 AM
who ever said I feel guilty about making money?

the desire to make as much as I can is not there because I don't desire to have the things that go along with having that money.

why make millions, spend only thousands and have the rest go to waste when I die. remember I'm single. I don't have anyone to leave money to when I die. seems like a waste to earn a bunch of extra that will go no where and a waste of time and energy earning it.

You're crazy. So you'd rather not make more money then you need to live in a basement? Wouldn't a child want to move out of their parents home and be living on their own in their own home? You'll never do that if you leave money on the table. Then again, maybe you LIKE being a grown man (if thats the case) living at home with his parents.

yardguy28
12-13-2012, 11:04 AM
Not everyone hoards money for themselves. Believe it or not, there are people who bless others with money that they make. It's not all about you and you.
Posted via Mobile Device

spare me your self righteous bull sheot about being a good human being and donating money to others.

i'm certainly not gonna work my tail off to make millions just to donate to others in need. if i have money leftover after i'm done working and making what i personally want to make fine. but i'm not gonna put in extra hours at work and take on extra business just to have money to donate.

find me one person who would work extra for the sole purpose of having that money to donate to others?

You're crazy. So you'd rather not make more money then you need to live in a basement? Wouldn't a child want to move out of their parents home and be living on their own in their own home? You'll never do that if you leave money on the table. Then again, maybe you LIKE being a grown man (if thats the case) living at home with his parents.

where have you been all this time orange?

i'm 31, live with my parents with no free rides. spent 4 years from the age of 19-22 on my own in an apartment and moved back home. i'm single, plan to stay that way the rest of my life.

DUH i don't mind living with my parents.

i do wish you'd get off the living in the basement joke though. it's getting old considering i don't live in the basement and considering i split all utilities plus property tax and mortgage with my parents and pay a monthly rent equivalent of a one bedroom apartment.

Darryl G
12-13-2012, 11:26 AM
One of the problems with our society now is that "kids" tend move out and away from their parents, rather than adding a wing to the house or building a house out back (or living in the basement) like they used to in "the old days." It used to be that kids stuck around and helped out their parents in their old age. Now when Mom and/or dad can no longer take care of themselves, the norm is to send them off to a convalescent home. I moved back to my home town to be closer to my parents in their old age...moving back in wasn't a very attractive option to me since I had a family and my mom drove me nuts. I'm proud of the fact that thanks largely to my committment to helping them, both of my parent's died in the comfort of their home. In fact the reason I left my former career and started my lawn care/landscaping business was to better be able to take care of my mom after my dad passed. So you won't see me faulting anyone for living with their parents...ok, I might tease a little, lol.

Florida Gardener
12-13-2012, 11:26 AM
spare me your self righteous bull sheot about being a good human being and donating money to others.

i'm certainly not gonna work my tail off to make millions just to donate to others in need. if i have money leftover after i'm done working and making what i personally want to make fine. but i'm not gonna put in extra hours at work and take on extra business just to have money to donate.

find me one person who would work extra for the sole purpose of having that money to donate to others?



where have you been all this time orange?

i'm 31, live with my parents with no free rides. spent 4 years from the age of 19-22 on my own in an apartment and moved back home. i'm single, plan to stay that way the rest of my life.

DUH i don't mind living with my parents.

i do wish you'd get off the living in the basement joke though. it's getting old considering i don't live in the basement and considering i split all utilities plus property tax and mortgage with my parents and pay a monthly rent equivalent of a one bedroom apartment.

Your response doesn't really surprise me at all. Everything you claim to want or do is about yourself, pleasing yourself, doing for yourself, etc. There are plenty of people that give away money to others. Just pointing out that not EVERYBODY is all about themselves.

MDLawn
12-13-2012, 11:36 AM
This thread has obviously derailed from my original topic but it's ok, there were enough answers for that question....


spare me your self righteous bull sheot about being a good human being and donating money to others.

i'm certainly not gonna work my tail off to make millions just to donate to others in need. if i have money leftover after i'm done working and making what i personally want to make fine. but i'm not gonna put in extra hours at work and take on extra business just to have money to donate.

find me one person who would work extra for the sole purpose of having that money to donate to others?.

I don't think someone starts a business to say to themselves "I'm going to work 80hrs/wk just so I can donate my money to someone else". What truly happens is they set out to make the most money they can because they want things or just want to prove they can build a large business. When all the effort pays off and they can afford the things they want and give their families good or easier lives they realize something else. They have it really good now and there are those less fortunate. Instead of hoarding all their money or buying more unnecessary things they realize that because of others who purchased their goods/services they became well off, wealthy, comfortable, etc... There is a feeling that they should give back to the community that supported them. It could be donating services at the holiday time such as giving Christmas trees or snow plowing for our troops who are overseas. It could be buying out all the local grocery stores turkeys during thanksgiving and donating them to soup kitchens or needy families. Or maybe it's just giving to local charities. Unless someone is just a cold hearted scrooge it feels good to give back, even if you're not wealthy. Every year I have customers send me Christmas gifts such as money or gift cards. They ALREADY pay me but feel good about giving and most of them have money. It's the grumpy miserable ones who maybe don't have enough that never give..... It's so easy to give back or just give.


i do wish you'd get off the living in the basement joke though. it's getting old considering i don't live in the basement and considering i split all utilities plus property tax and mortgage with my parents and pay a monthly rent equivalent of a one bedroom apartment.

I hate to point this out but they make comedy movies about guys like you that are older living with their parents....... But I will agree that it has no effect on me. You don't live by me nor work in my neighborhoods so what you choose to do is just that, your choice. But you do open yourself up for criticism, just like anyone doing things out of the ordinary.

MDLawn
12-13-2012, 11:37 AM
Your response doesn't really surprise me at all. Everything you claim to want or do is about yourself, pleasing yourself, doing for yourself, etc. There are plenty of people that give away money to others. Just pointing out that not EVERYBODY is all about themselves.

I will agree with this completely. Just couldn't get myself to write it....

MDLawn
12-13-2012, 11:41 AM
One of the problems with our society now is that "kids" tend move out and away from their parents, rather than adding a wing to the house or building a house out back (or living in the basement) like they used to in "the old days." It used to be that kids stuck around and helped out their parents in their old age. Now when Mom and/or dad can no longer take care of themselves, the norm is to send them off to a convalescent home. I moved back to my home town to be closer to my parents in their old age...moving back in wasn't a very attractive option to me since I had a family and my mom drove me nuts. I'm proud of the fact that thanks largely to my committment to helping them, both of my parent's died in the comfort of their home. In fact the reason I left my former career and started my lawn care/landscaping business was to better be able to take care of my mom after my dad passed. So you won't see me faulting anyone for living with their parents...ok, I might tease a little, lol.

I agree with you Darryl. I live near ALL of my family and I always want to keep my parents from living in one of those awful places and will do what I can to do so. I jokingly tell my parents that they can sell all that they have and I'll build a small 1 bedroom house in my backyard and use the rest to pay for in home care while my siblings and I fill in the voids. I've never lived far from them but my wife and I made the choice to move closer so our kids can easily spend time with grandparents and cousins. I'm a definitely family man.

But that doesn't mean you need to live with them your whole life.

Blades Lawn Maintenance
12-13-2012, 12:25 PM
I don't think anyone has the goal of working to make money and then donate all of it. I know i dont BUT with that said I, living with my parents (only 18 tho) have experienced times where we didn't think the bills where gonna get paid but with the help of others to willingly help us to get through it we did. My point is that you never know when things may go south and you will need help form your community and neighbors. So instead of saying "Well I'm not giving any of my money away" I try to help others out so if I need help again people won't be like "well he didn't do anything for me so why should I"

Groomer
12-13-2012, 01:04 PM
So, you guys bill monthly or not? LOL