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Trucklover
12-19-2012, 10:35 PM
I was wondering how many of my fellow members just do mowings and mulch jobs vs doing patios etc. I have had great luck with it just not sure if im ready to do more or stay were im comfortable.

weeze
12-19-2012, 11:23 PM
i mostly just mow, blow, and go and do nothing else. i have a few people that have their lawns mowed when leaves fall during november/december. most don't even care to have that done. i've done a few small mulch jobs and trimmed some shrubs a couple of times but nothing regular. i just mow basically and that's really the only part i wanna get into in this business. i'm solo so i have no help to do things like patios and big mulch jobs and so forth.

Darryl G
12-20-2012, 12:26 AM
I don't do hardscaping, patios, pavers etc. at all. It's just too labor intensive for me. I will do things like ripping out overgrown beds and replanting them, reclaiming overgrown areas, lawn renovations and such, but I stay away from anything resembling masonry. The funny thing is that my original business plan had me doing all the stuff I stay away from and not doing a lot of the stuff I do. A lot of the reason is that I don't like living job-to-job. Maintenance work is a more steady flow.

GMLC
12-20-2012, 10:58 AM
Some of the largest landscape companies in the US are maintenance only companies. Property management I believe is term being used by them, focusing on commercial, residential and municipal property maintenance.
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hackitdown
12-20-2012, 01:42 PM
I do 95% maintenance. No masonry. We do put in lawns, beds, shrubs, trees.

yardguy28
12-20-2012, 02:25 PM
I was wondering how many of my fellow members just do mowings and mulch jobs vs doing patios etc. I have had great luck with it just not sure if im ready to do more or stay were im comfortable.

I'm like Jason. I mostly do mow, trim, edge, blow and go and leaves in the fall.

I do have a handful of accounts where I do the rest of the maintenance as well. mulching and shrub pruning. but by and far the majority of my clients are the quick mows and leaves in the fall. which is one of the reason I started my own business vs working for someone else.

in my business I focus on what I enjoy doing and leave the rest for someone else.

Trucklover
12-20-2012, 07:59 PM
I'm like Jason. I mostly do mow, trim, edge, blow and go and leaves in the fall.

I do have a handful of accounts where I do the rest of the maintenance as well. mulching and shrub pruning. but by and far the majority of my clients are the quick mows and leaves in the fall. which is one of the reason I started my own business vs working for someone else.

in my business I focus on what I enjoy doing and leave the rest for someone else.

Thats my thinking just enjoy working for my self and not have a boss. The only person I have to answer to is the government for taxes :cool2:

weeze
12-20-2012, 09:22 PM
Thats my thinking just enjoy working for my self and not have a boss. The only person I have to answer to is the government for taxes :cool2:

right on man. if you can't do that then what's the point of owning your own business? no need to be a slave to your own business. make it what you want it to be.

zechstoker
12-20-2012, 09:25 PM
Our business was built on chemical applications, so we do a ton of weed control and fertilizing aside from lawn/landscape maintenance. Maintenance for us includes bush trimming, shrub pruning, tree pruning, bed cleaning, leaf removal, gutter cleaning, and of course, mowing/edging/blowing. We also do gopher and mole control as part of our lawn service.

ponyboy
12-20-2012, 09:46 PM
Oh boy
1st If you are solo how do you go on family vactions take time off in summer for family? To me that is why I have my own business
2nd cutting grass can make you a living but every year lawns get cheaper and cheaper so it is harder tan ever to make a good living
Briefly I have been in business since 1986 my original customers are some of my best payers
When I started it was me, then me +1 and i did very well
Then I got married and wanted to spend time in vacation tough to do solo or with 1 guy
So after several years like that basic mowing I realized I was an employee not a real business owner R
After years like that I now have 15 guys working doing full hard scraping anD yes it is labor intensive but in a 2 or 3 day job I can make more money than in a month of mowing
You need to decide what you wnt to do be a slave to your company or be a boss and let your company make you money
How many years do you want to cut lawns or will your body let you cut lawns for

PineyPower
12-20-2012, 09:51 PM
Yeah. All I mostly do is lawns. Ill mulch from time to time, plant and do beds but being a solo guy with a helper fro time to time. If I do get a person asking about pavers and such, I give it to my buddy and he gives me lawns that either he can't handle. We work like that and it works well. Networking, the key to saying small and making money.

yardguy28
12-21-2012, 06:58 AM
Oh boy
1st If you are solo how do you go on family vactions take time off in summer for family? To me that is why I have my own business
2nd cutting grass can make you a living but every year lawns get cheaper and cheaper so it is harder tan ever to make a good living
Briefly I have been in business since 1986 my original customers are some of my best payers
When I started it was me, then me +1 and i did very well
Then I got married and wanted to spend time in vacation tough to do solo or with 1 guy
So after several years like that basic mowing I realized I was an employee not a real business owner R
After years like that I now have 15 guys working doing full hard scraping anD yes it is labor intensive but in a 2 or 3 day job I can make more money than in a month of mowing
You need to decide what you wnt to do be a slave to your company or be a boss and let your company make you money
How many years do you want to cut lawns or will your body let you cut lawns for

was thinking we'd get such a question.

since I'm single it's more important that I enjoy all aspects of my work and forgo vacations. if I do take time off I can go for a long weekend during a slow time of the year.

as for lawns getting cheaper. not sure where you live but I've never dropped a clients price and when needed I raise my prices for new business I get. I hardly call that getting cheaper. at the least they stay the same.

I don't look at it as being a slave to my business. I'd rather be solo doing what I love each and every day and sacrifice vacations and time off than work for someone else possibly doing things I don't enjoy just to have vacations and time off. always have and always will see myself as a real business owner. never gonna let anyone convince me otherwise. there is no black and white way of running a business or what a business consists of. solo guys are every bit real business owners just like someone with 15 employees.

Toro 455
12-21-2012, 11:52 AM
I named my business "LAWN MAINTENANCE" over 30 years ago.
I stick to services with recourring charges.

I offer enough services to keep other maintenance companies out of "MY" lawns.
Mow trim & blow. Weed & feed. Core aerate & topdressing. Mulch installation.

I've been asked to:
bushhog
sweep parking lots
paint stripes in parking lots
cut trees
top trees
Lots of other stuff I have no clue how to do.

Every once in a while I'll try something I have no business doing. It reminds me how hard it is to do something I don't have the equipment to do and how unprofitable it is.
I have much better luck having a list of professionals in those other fields I can referr my customers to.
I tried employees, and found I do better on my own. I never liked sitting at a desk. I'm in good health because I work outdoors. It's the sedentary lifestyle that'll kill you. Though I do take off 5 months out of the year. But I don't just sit around while I'm off.

yardguy28
12-21-2012, 02:25 PM
must just be me but I have no problem letting another company into "my" lawns.

if its something I don't do or don't wanna do I'm quicker than the client themselves to recommend a competitor of mine.

some of the services I offer, I offer on a small scale only. meaning for example mulch. I'll do like 4 yards max. if its larger than that I'll recommend another company to do it.

I pretty much do what I wanna do and leave the rest to someone else. if I wanted to do some of the other stuff or do things on a larger scale I'd go work for the other guy.

ponyboy
12-21-2012, 02:54 PM
Ok my question it been asked before
What is average price of lawns I know it will vary
How many lawns can a solo do in a day
How many days you cut

Darryl G
12-21-2012, 03:08 PM
As far as family vacations...we keep them short and local...usually in August when grass growth slows down...usually camping at a nice beachside state park about 10 miles from home. I may work some short shifts while the wife and kids are at the beach...priority accounts only.

My average lawn is around $55 last I checked and I usually cut 5 to 7 a day but up to 9 or 10. My goal is minimum $300/day and I usually max out around $500/day mowing solo. I do have my 2 sons to help me in the summer as needed. I cut 3 days, typically Wed thru Fri. Mon and Tues are non-mowing maintenance work typically and Saturday is for overflow. I'll sometimes make Monday an errand day.

ponyboy
12-21-2012, 03:19 PM
So you are saying you can survive on $1500 max a week
What type of over head do you have
What area do you live in
Mortgage car payments insurance
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jrs.landscaping
12-21-2012, 03:21 PM
Ok my question it been asked before
What is average price of lawns I know it will vary
How many lawns can a solo do in a day
How many days you cut

$15-$525
N/A
4-7 depending on the time of season

ponyboy
12-21-2012, 03:22 PM
That is not an average
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Darryl G
12-21-2012, 03:31 PM
Overhead is low, all cars are always paid for cash. Bought wifey a new one this year...2011 Nissan Altima off lease. I'm on the CT shoreline. We own our own home and the mortgage isn't too bad. Wifey went back to work 3 years ago part time after taking 12 years off, so that helps.

I work up to 6 days a week...that's just mowing income, but yeah that would be enough to pay the bills. My net was 76% of my gross income last year but that was higher than usual...it's usually in the mid to high 50s. My snow plowing income was pretty good in 2011 which skewed things upwards. I do other maintenace as well. I did a lot of "shrub yanks" this last summer. I do have a landscape tractor and dump trailer as well and can have pretty good days when using the tractor and/or hauling materials.

jrs.landscaping
12-21-2012, 03:31 PM
That is not an average
Posted via Mobile Device

Sorry I failed math, so I gave the range. Let me go through the 200+ properties we maintain and find the average ;)

ponyboy
12-21-2012, 03:40 PM
We do over 400 places I'm in the middles of getting a better hold on all my numbers
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jrs.landscaping
12-21-2012, 03:51 PM
Average is right around $48.68.

weeze
12-21-2012, 09:57 PM
Oh boy
1st If you are solo how do you go on family vactions take time off in summer for family? To me that is why I have my own business
2nd cutting grass can make you a living but every year lawns get cheaper and cheaper so it is harder tan ever to make a good living
Briefly I have been in business since 1986 my original customers are some of my best payers
When I started it was me, then me +1 and i did very well
Then I got married and wanted to spend time in vacation tough to do solo or with 1 guy
So after several years like that basic mowing I realized I was an employee not a real business owner R
After years like that I now have 15 guys working doing full hard scraping anD yes it is labor intensive but in a 2 or 3 day job I can make more money than in a month of mowing
You need to decide what you wnt to do be a slave to your company or be a boss and let your company make you money
How many years do you want to cut lawns or will your body let you cut lawns for


look man i'm 37. i've been to florida every summer for the past 30 something years. i'm sick of it at this point. perhaps i will go snow skiing in canada during jan or feb for my vacation? i've only done this once so maybe i'll do that for the next 30 years? lol

my prices stay the same or go up every year. my cheapest yard i make $35 a cut and the biggest i make $125 a cut. have many in the $50-$60 range. average is probably around $75.

where i live $1500 a week is rolling in the dough. that's $6000 a month and we work 9-10 months out of the year down here. 54k-60k a year here is way upper middle class. the average job here makes 25k a year.

Toro 455
12-22-2012, 08:02 AM
must just be me but I have no problem letting another company into "my" lawns.

if its something I don't do or don't wanna do I'm quicker than the client themselves to recommend a competitor of mine.

some of the services I offer, I offer on a small scale only. meaning for example mulch. I'll do like 4 yards max. if its larger than that I'll recommend another company to do it.

I pretty much do what I wanna do and leave the rest to someone else. if I wanted to do some of the other stuff or do things on a larger scale I'd go work for the other guy.


That's kind of what I said. And at the same time kind of not.

I divide services into;
(1) Maintenance with recourring charges, wheather it's weekly, monthly or even sometimes yearly (like mulch).
(2) Installation which would include building a wall, planting trees and other stuff that has to be sold to the customer each and every time.

I try to stick to maintenance. And if I don't really feel like taking something on I ask myself "Am I just being lazy?" "Is this something a competitor can use to get their foot in the door?"
If it falls into the maintenance category I usually take it on. Unless it's bushhogging. I have a trustworthy guy that does my bushhogging. Another for installations and one for earthwork.

There ain't no way I'd recommend someone in direct competition to do work for a customer. I've been burned too many times with someone doing inferrior work then leave me holding the bag.
I can remember the bad old days of ChemLawn when they'd spray liquid nitrogen then leave it to the LCO to bag the clippings. Then if you could possibly keep up the customer would ask "What's wrong with your mower? It's making the lawn all yellow!" Then I'd have to answer "Yeah, 'cause I'm cutting down into the root zone." They'd ask "Why are you doing that!"

So here I am arguing with my costomer on proper lawn maintenance while the actual culprit is somewhere down the road!

If I'm going to take the blame, I'm going to take control.

yardguy28
12-22-2012, 12:39 PM
well see I don't take any responsibility for work someone else performed.

all I do is pass along the name and number and its the clients responsibility to contact them and do business with them.

but yes it is a risk that they will come in and take the whole account but its a risk I'm willing to take whether its because its something I don't do or don't wanna do.

Exact Rototilling
12-22-2012, 01:43 PM
I have zero interest in wrangling with much past lawn maintenance, weed spot spraying, fertilizations, and core aeration. I do trim a few shrubs and bushes for regular clients but I find it to be a real PITA and I flat out donít enjoy it. I will not do these jobs for a non mowing client ever.

Major lawn renovations such as slice seeding along with multiple pass core aeration and top dressing was something I had hopped to get into heavily but I have found people get sticker shock and donít want to bother.