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View Full Version : Figuring Commercial mowing and Commercial only!


Denlinger326
01-15-2013, 11:52 PM
We are a small company in Ohio and it seems to get tougher and tougher to get a competative price for commercial mowing. Alot of apartment communities are hard to figure due to it being all cut up and not a wide open cut. Plus on top of it, guys are coming in and undercutting the price, just curious what rates are going for anymore? Thanks

lawnkingforever
01-16-2013, 06:22 PM
Where I live there is no money in commercial work unless you are a larger company dealing with volume and don't mind making pennies on the dollar. I am asked every spring to bid on different commercial properties, at this point I dont even bother.

This winter I finally dabbled into snow removal through a friend for some work at an hoa. The guy asked me about taking over the lawn maintenance. When I found out what the current bid was I just politely declined. I am simply not comfortable with the low margins. The residential market is still fairly strong here. To outfit a crew with expensive equipment to run around all day does not make any sense. I could easily make more money with a couple of employees in a different line of work, with a lot less overhead
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Denlinger326
01-16-2013, 10:03 PM
Thanks for the post lawnking, we started in residental mowing but here in dayton when generel motors left all the employees who took the buy out went and baught mowers. the residential market is so flooded around here and average yards are only getting $20 to $25. If I could gert $40 to $50 id be right back in it!!! This whole area is way too cheap and getting worse!

gallihergreen
01-16-2013, 10:06 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=341624
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Denlinger326
01-17-2013, 12:08 AM
read your link gallihergreen, i think you missed what i was asking. Ive been doing commercial properties for years, i know how to figure all the prices and manage the exspenses. My point was that around here the prices and formulas we have used for years are getting harder and harder to use, I cant keep relying on our formulas and pricing, we are losing more and more bids due to the massive undercutting of prices. Just curious where others are at per acre? Commercial properties are dropping pricing in massive quantities around here, very little room for profit. For an example in 1 year one of our properties went from $26K down to $20k but still wanted all the bells and whistles from before. Ohio has been hit hard by the economy!

lawnkingforever
01-17-2013, 02:41 AM
Thanks for the post lawnking, we started in residental mowing but here in dayton when generel motors left all the employees who took the buy out went and baught mowers. the residential market is so flooded around here and average yards are only getting $20 to $25. If I could gert $40 to $50 id be right back in it!!! This whole area is way too cheap and getting worse!

At $20-$25 a yard I would not even bother. I know of 2 medium size companies here that over the last 2 years have stopped chasing mowing work. Their focus has moved to the landscaping side. They still keep a crew around for mowing a day or 2 a week. For me brushmowing and mulch installs are much more profitable than mowing. Mowing is still a big chunk of my income and it is a steady revenue stream though. After years of not wanting to do snow removal, I finally realized the money I was leaving on the table and jumped into it this year. I only went out 3x this year, but the money was good. It does not snow like it used to around here.

Another thing I want to do more of is reseeding and arating. Seems like I am always busy running mowers to focus on some of the higher profit services. Diversification is the key to being a well rounded business. I have a very tight mowing route and this year I am not even sure I am going to accept any new mowing clients unless they are in a neighborhood I already service. I am constantly examining my numbers, if at some point I feel the mowing is not generating the profit I want to make I will dump my equipment and move onto other things without hesitation.
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orangemower
01-17-2013, 08:15 AM
At $20-$25 a yard I would not even bother. I know of 2 medium size companies here that over the last 2 years have stopped chasing mowing work. Their focus has moved to the landscaping side. They still keep a crew around for mowing a day or 2 a week. For me brushmowing and mulch installs are much more profitable than mowing. Mowing is still a big chunk of my income and it is a steady revenue stream though. After years of not wanting to do snow removal, I finally realized the money I was leaving on the table and jumped into it this year. I only went out 3x this year, but the money was good. It does not snow like it used to around here.
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What kind of money did you make on the three events? I grossed $3200 and only worked a total of 25hrs.

lawnkingforever
01-17-2013, 08:52 AM
What kind of money did you make on the three events? I grossed $3200 and only worked a total of 25hrs.

Good money orange. I did not make the money you made. Around half of what you took in.
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Realslowww
01-17-2013, 02:28 PM
As the economy get's worse and worse and the jobs keep getting offshored the prices are going to continue to drop. The powers that be want this because they want no middle class.

The European middle class will soon be extinct in the USA, don't be surprised when the whole country collaspes coming up. We are just #'s on a spread sheet to be managed and they are managing the biggest collaspe ever coming up and if they have their way America will not be coming back at all ever.

Denlinger326
01-17-2013, 10:31 PM
Orangemower, Snow removal has been real good to us this year, similar numbers for us this year. I think were gonna keep picking up more and more snow removal, far more profitable than mowing and with alot less hours and stress! Just curious, whats more profitable for your area commercial or residental mowing?

Nate'sLawnCare
01-18-2013, 01:34 AM
Sounds like your area is saturated with mowing services, so you might want to offer something else that isn't as competitive, like landscaping. It's too bad things are going that way.

Narisbola Landscaping
02-09-2013, 02:30 PM
As the economy get's worse and worse and the jobs keep getting offshored the prices are going to continue to drop. The powers that be want this because they want no middle class.

The European middle class will soon be extinct in the USA, don't be surprised when the whole country collaspes coming up. We are just #'s on a spread sheet to be managed and they are managing the biggest collaspe ever coming up and if they have their way America will not be coming back at all ever.

What the hell is the "European Middle Class" ? Are you trying to say the white middle class, if so than just say that. Unless you are some recent immigrant from Scotland or something.

dhardin53
02-09-2013, 05:07 PM
NOT to start a fuss, not to disrespect anyone. When Obama gets his immigration policies enacted you think we have low-ballers problems now. Just wait the Lawn Care Industry and Landscapers will be flooded with new start-ups. All with a new drivers licensed and green cards and work permits. There will be no more illegals, just immigrants enabled and willing to work for themselves. (with small business load, food-stamps, a night class in English all paid for by you and me)

But more to your point, The bigger Commercial accounts have always got a better price compared to the regular residential. The biggest effect in the profitability on Commercial accounts is the one thing we all enjoy but forget. It is the manufactures of the biggest and better Commercial mowers. You have to understand that these companies read the high end industrial magazines and read how todays mowers can mow at such a fast pace. But many don't buy these expensive machines, but they base there lawn care expenditure on what they see and here is in the industry. If you don't have these hight end machines and hope to do the work with a couple of 50" ztrs and a weed tip, good luck. And to say nothing of these LARGE commercial LCO using legal and illegals being payed a sub-par wage. There is going to be some hard time ahead gentemen... Get use to it, some call this progress?

ed2hess
02-09-2013, 09:09 PM
As the economy get's worse and worse and the jobs keep getting offshored the prices are going to continue to drop. The powers that be want this because they want no middle class.

The European middle class will soon be extinct in the USA, don't be surprised when the whole country collaspes coming up. We are just #'s on a spread sheet to be managed and they are managing the biggest collaspe ever coming up and if they have their way America will not be coming back at all ever.
And you thought it would all be better after voting blue:dizzy: