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Trevors Lawn Care
07-26-2004, 11:34 PM
DONT EVEN READ IF YOU DONT WANT TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME THINKING....

Going over some numbers for this coming year. Is mowing really worth it? This year is mostly paying off equipment and a little cash in pocket when it is all said and done...NOTHING MAJOR...See thread "i work for free" and i am in the same boat.

Here are some numbers i was toying with: Please help me correct them if they are wrong:

Next year:

100 mowing accounts at AVG:$25 = 2500*27 weeks=$67500
50 Fertilizing accts (5 step) AVG price = $200 50*200=$10000
Spring/Fall Clean-ups, mulch installs= $8000

Did i miss anything? I do some light shrub work..Not enough to count anything.

The above totals to $85500. Now...Take Uncle Sams quarter
85500*.25=$21375 LEFT OVER: $64125

NOW: I take my .5 $64125*.5=$32062
Partner takes his .3% and business takes .2%
partner=$19237 Business=$12825

Based upon what i have now equipment wise i can do 44 jobs in 16 hours. I plan on upgrading equipment next year to increase productivity, but will still use this years numbers:

Based on this years numbers 100 lawns would take us 37.5 hours per week. 37.5 hours*27 weeks=1012.5hours in a work year MOWING ALONE Now take the total of $32062 % 1012.5=31$/hr BASED ON MOWING ALONE... That doesnt even take into consideration that i have figured in the money made from mulch, hedges, fertilizing, and spring/fall clean-ups. figure those in and i am probably closer to 20 dollars per hour.

Is it even worth it. I love being outside but i can make that much in sales at radio shack

dvmcmrhp52
07-26-2004, 11:37 PM
1) You won't make the same hourly rate mowing alone.
2)25% to uncle sam? Get an accountant.

Trevors Lawn Care
07-26-2004, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by dvmcmrhp52
1) You won't make the same hourly rate mowing alone.
2)25% to uncle sam? Get an accountant.

it is my first year...Be gentle. I am still trying to figure everything out.. More or less to uncle sam.. My guess is more.

trevor

dvmcmrhp52
07-26-2004, 11:40 PM
OK,gentle it'll be.
Now go find an accountant!

Lawn-Scapes
07-26-2004, 11:45 PM
You should be able to do more than that with a partner/helper.. Those numbers would be my goal as a solo operator.

Trevors Lawn Care
07-26-2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Lawn-Scapes
You should be able to do more than that with a partner/helper.. Those numbers would be my goal as a solo operator.

Those jobs will put us at 40 hours a week.

Will taxes be more or less?
Trevor

Lawn-Scapes
07-26-2004, 11:52 PM
Well... then you are either not charging enough or you are not productive enough.


Or a combination of both..

Trevors Lawn Care
07-26-2004, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by Lawn-Scapes
Well... then you are either not charging enough or you are not productive enough.


Or a combination of both..

right now we are doing 44 jobs weekly, and with drive time included it is averaging us 22 minutes per lawn.

trevor

fixer67
07-27-2004, 12:01 AM
Get an accountant and stay away from H&R Block. They work for the IRS and I thank they get a kick back from the IRS as well. And if any of you work for H&R Block there is no need to even try to tell me different. You should be able to write off equipment and repairs on equipment. Gas for equipment and truck. Even your clothes and works shoes. You will not get it all back but every bit helps. And I would 10-99 your partner so you are not paying taxes on his half.

soonerlawns
07-27-2004, 12:13 AM
I also have about 100 accounts....however my average is closer to $35 per mowing (I have some commercial accts and a couple of 2 or 3 acre fields). However at 100 smaller accounts a two man crew sounds right. You may want to try to target some larger accounts to get your average up.

You should try to cross sell your accounts some landscaping services....I don't do anything very fancy but by creating some flower beds or just planting annuals for some of my customers I will do about $10,000 of annual sales making on average $35 per man hour for this work.

On taxes remember it is on your net profit after all expenses....taxes for me run at about 25% of my net profit not my gross sales.

Also how much do you want to make per year....if you want to make $50,000 in a year you are going to have to have to run more than 1 crew....I am hoping to get big enough eventually to have 3 crews running...but this will be slow process that takes 3 to 5 years to get to.

Mowing Freak
07-27-2004, 12:19 AM
It is your first year so learn from your mistakes and go on. Sounds like you are doing fine but like was said earlier, find an accountant. Also, consider charging more for mowing. In my area people will work for $15 to $20 but my minimum is $30. The $20 people crawl back in the bar when it hits a 100 outside then the cheapskates call me and most I end up keeping for the next year too. If you are self employed for the money only, go back to work for somebody else as you will never be satisfied being your own boss as money sometimes will be the least of your problems. I just spent around $1100 to $1200 fixing my truck and had other plans for that money. Yes, working for somebody else was looking good right at that moment but then punching a clock still don't sound good for me anymore. If you are self employed for the enjoyment of being your own boss, money should come second only to being your own boss as first. Stick with it for another year or two and see what happens. Don't let it scare you that people are pulling out of this business. Look at all the businesses that close. Lawn care isn't the only service industry that people quit. I would like to quit someday and become a pro fisherman but I still can't find where to turn in my application!

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by soonerlawns
I also have about 100 accounts....however my average is closer to $35 per mowing (I have some commercial accts and a couple of 2 or 3 acre fields). However at 100 smaller accounts a two man crew sounds right. You may want to try to target some larger accounts to get your average up.

You should try to cross sell your accounts some landscaping services....I don't do anything very fancy but by creating some flower beds or just planting annuals for some of my customers I will do about $10,000 of annual sales making on average $35 per man hour for this work.

On taxes remember it is on your net profit after all expenses....taxes for me run at about 25% of my net profit not my gross sales.

Also how much do you want to make per year....if you want to make $50,000 in a year you are going to have to have to run more than 1 crew....I am hoping to get big enough eventually to have 3 crews running...but this will be slow process that takes 3 to 5 years to get to.

Probably the most helpful piece of advice came from this post. I will only be taxed on my gross profit. that was something i did not know.

I am not thinking of quitting, this is putting me through college, and i am making it work. I will be looking at commercial accounts as i will be sending out a letter of intent to EVERY business in the towns i service. I AM NOT A FLY BY NIGHT BEER MONEY BOB!

Thanks for all the info so far

Trevor

Kelly's Landscaping
07-27-2004, 12:26 AM
What the hell is 8 k spring and fall clean up are you saying you expect to make a whole 4 k for fall and 4 k for spring on 100 lawn accounts. Thatís like 40 dollars a clean up I am not sure what you do but most of mine are 200-300 and many are 500-1000 each and thatís not both spring and fall thatís just one clean up.


10-20 k for fall and 8-15 k for spring would be much more accurate then what you listed as your expectations.

TotalLawnConcepts
07-27-2004, 12:27 AM
You need to get an accountant, it is worth every penny you pay them and then sum. They will be able to lessen the tax burden on you.

As far as Money, you need to test the market, are you charging enough? Are you going in there and bidding what you think you need or what the lawn is worth?

Unlike some people beliefs you don't start a business and become rich. You have to struggle you have to starve you have to learn from your mistakes and better yourself each and every day. You have to remember you are running a business it is tough to be the boss, employee, accountant, billing, customer service, etc...

Buckle down, hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel you just have to look for it.

dvmcmrhp52
07-27-2004, 12:33 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by TotalLawnConcepts
Unlike some people beliefs you don't start a business and become rich. You have to struggle you have to starve you have to learn from your mistakes and better yourself each and every day. You have to remember you are running a business it is tough to be the boss, employee, accountant, billing, customer service, etc...



No truer words can be spoken.

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Kelly's Landscaping
What the hell is 8 k spring and fall clean up are you saying you expect to make a whole 4 k for fall and 4 k for spring on 100 lawn accounts. Thatís like 40 dollars a clean up I am not sure what you do but most of mine are 200-300 and many are 500-1000 each and thatís not both spring and fall thatís just one clean up.


10-20 k for fall and 8-15 k for spring would be much more accurate then what you listed as your expectations.

Not all of my lawns require spring/fall clean-ups.. does your clean-ups entail dethatching/aerating/overseeding? That is something i didnt figure in...

trevor

economiclawncare
07-27-2004, 12:39 AM
you also have to look at how many months you will be working. If we could do mowing all year round then we would make alot. But when you can only work 9 months out of the year then it is a different thing. Just think alot of people dont make what we make in a year and they are punching a clock and asking for days off for vaction. We take our vactions in the winter and sit on our butts (if it doesnt snow in your area like mine). Just remember you are working for yourself. Oh and you need to rise your prices at least $5 that will give you $13,500 more a year.

Shady Brook
07-27-2004, 12:55 AM
I am not sure what your aspirations are after college, this could determine how much equipment you want to buy, and how big to grow. If you want to make a good living with lawn care from my experience you either need multiple crews, or to be in business a few years. After you are around for a while, and as you client base grows you will cluster more lawns together. After awhile you don't have much drive time, and this makes it possible to make many dollars per hour.

You will probably look at the numbers and come to the conclusion that you are making more then you had thought based on what you are being taxed on, but you will also likely realize in a year or two that you again don't feel like you are making money. After a couple years of machine wear, of truck repairs and ageing, higher insurance and other such things, you face the reality that you were not profiting as much as you thought. Don't be discouraged, this will be a good learning experience, and you can fight through it too a better healthier business.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to make it, but you do have work like a swine in the begining, and learn from your mistakes.

Treat your customers great, and they will reward you over time.

Enough philosophy.

Good luck
Jay

LAWNS AND MOWER
07-27-2004, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by Trevors Lawn Care
Probably the most helpful piece of advice came from this post. I will only be taxed on my gross profit. that was something i did not know.

I am not thinking of quitting, this is putting me through college, and i am making it work. I will be looking at commercial accounts as i will be sending out a letter of intent to EVERY business in the towns i service. I AM NOT A FLY BY NIGHT BEER MONEY BOB!

Thanks for all the info so far

Trevor 6 years in the biz and he's just now learning that Uncle Sam gets his share off the gross profit and not the gross revenue??? I'm trying to be patient here, but once again I make my plea to Sean. WE NEED A 18 and UNDER FORUM!!!!!!

Kelly's Landscaping
07-27-2004, 01:06 AM
Dethatching is a bit drastic and I do not offer it I use a jrco spring rake as part of my spring clean up but not for them its for me. It loosens up stuck on leaves and see pods and makes the clean up go a lot faster.

As for aerating I am not sold on it and do not plan on ever doing it.

Now overseeding is something that I don't think should be done at the time of clean ups. Its something I do specialize in and plan on going much deeper into next season. We did over $30,000 in seeding work in spring I just did another $10,000 worth of seeding and sod work in July and September looks like it could more then double what we already have made on seeding year to date. Lets just say I use a lot of to soil and my results are stunning.

But back to clean ups my clean ups are basic only clean beds clean the lawn take the leaves and sticks with me. There are a lot of leaves up here. The only difference in clean ups between people as far as I am concerned is how clean do you get the account and I for one do go after every last leaf that I can after all its my name on the truck.

The Dude
07-27-2004, 01:34 AM
100 mowing accounts at AVG:$25 = 2500*27 weeks=$67500
50 Fertilizing accts (5 step) AVG price = $200 50*200=$10000
Spring/Fall Clean-ups, mulch installs= $8000

Did i miss anything? I do some light shrub work..Not enough to count anything.

The above totals to $85500. Now...Take Uncle Sams quarter
85500*.25=$21375 LEFT OVER: $64125

NOW: I take my .5 $64125*.5=$32062
Partner takes his .3% and business takes .2%
partner=$19237 Business=$12825

Your business only costs 13000 to run?

37.5 hours a piece? or combined? What about time spent billing and fixing things? These are hours that have to be accounted for as well.

PMLAWN
07-27-2004, 02:26 AM
Get an accountant. That is the best advice as you don't really know you costs and your overhead. Your 50-30-20 after taxes is all wrong. And saying you will charge X amount so we will get X is backward. How much do you want/need to make. Just for kicks lets say $10.00 per hour and you will sell 80 hours of work per week. You will do your half = 40 hours x 10 = $400.00 for you. That is what YOU will take home. You will now pay taxes on that as personal income. Same for you partner.
Add overhead--That is the cost of doing business and the cost of equipment to do the business. Again just for kicks lets plug in $12.50 per hour of work. (This is saying that it will take around 4000 per month to produce this 80 hours of work a week. And if you really know your costs this will not be too far off). This will also cover the money to pay for the time of running the business,- Maintenance-you, Bookkeeping-your accountant, office work- you again. Get the picture. So it is going to cost you $22.50 to produce the work and the business is not making a dime. Lets say that you want the business to bring in a 10% profit. Well at 25 an hour that leaves 2.50 for profit so $22.50 +$2.50 is $25.00 per man hour that you need to charge.
The time on a job is drive time to the job and all the time there. So if it takes 10 min to drive there and the 2 of you are there 20 min. than total time should be 50 min x $.42 per min=21 for that job. Do you see how this works. This example is very simplified and that is why you need an accountant.

Notes----
Taxes payed by the business would only be on the 10% profit.
These numbers are just made up and nowhere near what I work at.
Even if you sell an additional 1000 hours of work that is still only 13 weeks so you will put in about 40 weeks of work per year. Add the 20 hours or so that you get for maintenace and paperwork each week(if you do it). 40 weeks at 60 hours=2400 hours of pay for you= $24,000.00 -25% taxes =$18,000.00 take home for the year. Can you live on that. If not you now see why you need to be at a higher rate for work.

As a side note Don't know how up to date your equipment list is but I would think that you would need a longer list to do the 100 accounts per week.
I would say that to do this business right and make a liveable income would take 4-5 years. It is up to you to decide what is liveable is. As a solo or with a helper I think that taking home between 40-50K a year is about the max. But I also believe that it will take a lot of work to get there. Go to an accountant and sit down with them and make a business plan. It should only cost you 2-300 dollars and it is worth every penny. (and it's a tax writeoff). Good luck in your planning.

Sooners
07-27-2004, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by LAWNS AND MOWER
WE NEED A 18 and UNDER FORUM!!!!!!

L&M,
Then they'd lie about their age as some already do.

Trevor,
Sounds like you're doing pretty good for a teenager. However, college is serious business. How can you devote the proper time to your lawn service and college both? My son is in college now and has just awaken to the fact of how much time it actually takes for his studies.

Best of luck though.

Mikes Lawn Landscape
07-27-2004, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by Trevors Lawn Care
DONT EVEN READ IF YOU DONT WANT TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME THINKING....
Next year:
100 mowing accounts at AVG:$25 = 2500*27 weeks=$67500
50 Fertilizing accts (5 step) AVG price = $200 50*200=$10000
Spring/Fall Clean-ups, mulch installs= $8000

Did i miss anything? I do some light shrub work..Not enough to count anything.

The above totals to $85500. Now...Take Uncle Sams quarter
85500*.25=$21375 LEFT OVER: $64125


I find it ironic that you have a smartass answer to everyones questions then you come on here and ask us to Help Serious Readers only. But having said that here is where you will be by the end of next year.

Assuming you numbers are correct

Gross Sales $85,500
Overhead $21500
COGS $6000
Equip Dep $3000


Net Profit $55,000

Your Part $27,500
Partner $16,500

SS Tax $4125
Federal Tax $3500

Your Net After Tax = $19,875

Are you magically going to have 100 lawns on 3/1/05 I doubt it and are they going to be as tight as they could be no. You will have to take less profitable work to get up to 100 accounts.

Your New equipment will cost real money and will reduce your $19,875 take home pay

So is it worth it in your case I would say the answer is NO !

tippi931
07-27-2004, 03:26 AM
i totallly agree with the advice on getting a cpa. you need to spend some time and find one that works with you, some of them act like your deducation are coming out of their pocket. i meet with several before going with the one i got now. he is a great investment for the fact that he payed for his services many times over. the one thing that he stressed to me was good books, by that i mean receipts for everything down to the smallest item. because a good cpa knows way to deduct thing you will never even think of.

Shadetree Ltd
07-27-2004, 03:32 AM
Some good advice, but I think the core of the problem is a lawn taking 22 minutes and avaraging $25. That lawn is at least 44 minutes when you take into account the second person. You need to adjust your pricing.

Scott

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Shadetree Ltd
Some good advice, but I think the core of the problem is a lawn taking 22 minutes and avaraging $25. That lawn is at least 44 minutes when you take into account the second person. You need to adjust your pricing.

Scott

Calling the accounting firm today.

The 22 minutes are from my front door to my front door.. So that includes drive time.

Whoever said we need an 18 and under forum because i have been in the business 6 years and dont know how much uncle sam gets---You have to be 18 to even file a DBA form with the state. How are you going to pay taxes on income from a company that doesnt exist?

The equipment list will be reworked, to increase efficiency and accomodate more jobs.

Kellys Lawn - I havnt given much thought into anything such as seeding/sodding, spring clean up work. This year i started late, so only picked up 10 or so Spring clean up jobs which averaged about 150 bucks.

Trevor

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Sooners
L&M,
Then they'd lie about their age as some already do.

Trevor,
Sounds like you're doing pretty good for a teenager. However, college is serious business. How can you devote the proper time to your lawn service and college both? My son is in college now and has just awaken to the fact of how much time it actually takes for his studies.

Best of luck though.


College will interfere with about 2 months of the lawn season. I also have the business partner, and as cocky as it sounds...School comes easy to me. I know several people from this college and they explain it is a very easy going laid back college. I am not worried as much as i probably should be about the studies end of it. So...we will cross that bridge when we get there I GUESS.

trevor

Wolfie's L&L
07-27-2004, 10:13 AM
22 minutes per lawn including driving time? How large are these yards? My "smallest" yard takes me about 45 minutes without driving time. And this is a 2-man crew also.

Jason

qualitylandscaping
07-27-2004, 10:15 AM
Trevor,

From what I remember this is your first year in business.. Everyone's first 2-3 years are not great, unless there was some huge financial backing from the start.

Once the equipment is paid for all you have to pay is taxes, gas, maintenance and then living expenses. Those mowers should last 5 years..

In your case.. Choosing between Radio Shack and staying in the lawn business but making the same profit after taxes and expenses; I would still choose lawn care. You have no boss to yell at you, you can work your own hours (sometimes), and you are free to do whatever the hell you want because its yours:cool:

Ability
07-27-2004, 10:44 AM
There is simple math and economics to be used here.

1. $25 average is too low

Although there are $25 lawns out there to be mowed your average should be much higher. A simple increase to an average of $30 can make a huge difference when dealing with 100+ lawns like you have.

2. Re-evaluate your partner.
If he is a true partner he should get what you get. If he is not then he is an employee and should be paid as such. A common mistake with new business owners is that they have just come from the work force themselves and think that everyone should make the same money. It is your company and your risk and your name on the line and your butt going down the drain when it fails. You deserve the "profits" of the company.

3. Like everyone else said....get an accountant...there are too many loopholes and nuances that people can overlook. Turbo tax for $14.95 from Wal-mart cannot be used here.

I hope this helps.

Ability Lawn Care

ikesleeping
07-27-2004, 10:49 AM
I dont think Uncle Sam cares if you have a DBA but he cares intensely if you have unreported income. This includes income received by a non registered company. If you have been earning money over the years and havent paid any taxes GET TO A ACCOUNTANT NOW!My 16 year old babysetter pays 15.something percent in taxes for SSI and thats on less than $1600.00bper year.The IRS is not a agency to fool around with. Good luck to you

all degree
07-27-2004, 10:58 AM
Ike I cant believe you make your babysitter pay taxes on babysitting!!!!

That is stupid. In every way and no matter what you say it wont help. She has an exemption up to $6k anyway. You guys have no clue. I am sure that the IRS has a task force to go after the babysitters.

Just stupid...

Mark Lawncare
07-27-2004, 11:23 AM
Trevor, you need to lose your partner and charge more. If you cant do it by yourself hire someone and don't pay them much.

HOOLIE
07-27-2004, 12:08 PM
Ability hit it on the head about your partner. My buddy started a computer business on the side, hoping to grow it to full time. But he always felt "guilty" because he and his friend had talked one time about going in to business together. So he offered this guy a partnership in the business (even though his friend has nowhere near the knowledge he does)

Well, his friend doesn't do much of anything for him. Doesn't help with the books, doesn't help find new clients, basically just waits for my buddy to call him when a job needs to be done. Gets half the profits and is nothing more than a glorified part-time employee.

So definitely, if its your company, you assume all the risk. Treat everyone else as an employee.

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 12:20 PM
I do know what you guys are saying about the partner issue. We are in this together and until something comes up we will still be in this venture together.

The 22 minute lawns are postage stamps...not much more than 2000 sq ft. My largest lawn is an acre. i am going to target more commercial accounts this fall/winter/spring to raise my $/yard average.

Thanks for the information guys.

Trevor

HOOLIE
07-27-2004, 12:25 PM
Trevor-

If your partnership is working, that's cool. I was just trying to point out that some people enter into partnerships for the wrong reasons. If that's not the case, then you are better off than some people.

RedWingsDet
07-27-2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by fixer67
Get an accountant and stay away from H&R Block. They work for the IRS and I thank they get a kick back from the IRS as well. And if any of you work for H&R Block there is no need to even try to tell me different. You should be able to write off equipment and repairs on equipment. Gas for equipment and truck. Even your clothes and works shoes. You will not get it all back but every bit helps. And I would 10-99 your partner so you are not paying taxes on his half.


my uncle told me the same thing, as i am in the same boat as trevor, execpt i have alot of landscaping jobs too. but i am deff 10-99 my employees.

i would stick with it trevor. personally i could never deal with a partner, but if its working for you then awsome. also, within 5 years or less you will be glad you made the sacrafices you are now. well thats what people have told me.

hell, one of my cousins started like you and me, and now is 26 and lives in a 6 mil$ home that is paid for. its crazy. but then again his business is GIANT and he had ALOT of $ to start out with.

but the way i see it trevor, yeah it sucks for the first 2 or 3 years, but once ya hit the 5th year itll be awsome.

one of my buddies is 17, he started last year when he was 16. now he has like 225 accounts or something around there, he has 2 dixies and 2 hispanics and 1 partner. it all depends on how ya run the business and how decidated you are to it. IMO

Firstclasslawn
07-27-2004, 01:45 PM
OK here is the truth if you have 100 accounts at $25 per mow then you need to shut your business down RIGHT NOW-------I do not have 1 account that is $25 per mow, my cheapest is $30.00 and I have no problem getting accounts, YOU CAN make $1 dollar per minute its just up to you, if you go to do an estimate and you are scared to tell them sir it will be $35 per week then you should not even give an estimate because you are losing money, $ i literally wouldnt get out of the truck for $25 per mow, and actually I take that back I have 3 accounts taht are $25 per week and they are ONLY the front yard no back yard

Victor
07-27-2004, 02:11 PM
Like the other guys on here told you. I'd definitely get a good accountant.

As far as your business goes, I'd look at it this way. This analogy holds true with pretty much any business that a founder has the guts to develope.

As a business matures, it is a lot like a maturing tree. In the beginning stages, you have to ensure a young tree has enough water. You use staked guides to ensure it grows as perfectly upright as possible and you fertilize it so that it has the proper nutrients to grow.

In the beginning stages of a business, you often have struggles to find enough business to keep the business going. You have a lot of start-up expenditures to deal with. The accounts you do get aren't normally close together like they will be after your customer base matures. In addition to this, you still have to address issues like finding your niche, among other things. As a result of all of this work (if you're lucky), you often wind up barely making enough money to keep from closing your doors.

As you can see. In the beginning stages for both entities, you have to put a lot more into them, than you wind up getting back. At some point though Trevor, you reach a break even point, where you won't have to put as much effort into either one of them. If you ensure that they both keep maturing properly, they will both cross a break even point, where they will give you more, than you have to give them.

At this stage the business will be a much more efficient enterprise than it was at it's earlier stages. The same goes for the tree.

The business will have a good customer base, the customers will be closer together, and the average charge per customer will be higher than in the early stages of the company. You also will hopefully have lower equipment costs. You also might have found certain niches (like fertilizing) that increase your monetary yield beyond what you had even hoped to earn at the earlier stages.

It's the same with the tree. Now that it's big enough, it will shade your home, ad character to your yard, etc.. It's roots are now deep enough that it will even be able to supply itself with enough water and nutrients to survive the worst of droughts.

See what I'm saying? Stay with it buddy and as long as your business matures properly, you won't have these concerns about your business returning enough money.

Vic

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the info guys. firstclasslawn-as i stated before most of my yards are rather small. Therre was a thread recently about price tension (once you hit a certian price people get shaky) well around here it is $25. Anything more and people tend not to be so willing to sign up...

called the accounting firm...Closed today for some reason.

trevor

PMLAWN
07-27-2004, 03:54 PM
It does not take much effort to keep a plane in the air. You can back off the power and it will stay in the air. To get that plane into the air and off the ground takes every bit of power that the engines can produce. If you cut the power before the plane has reached it's crusing height it will fall to the ground.
So it is with a business. Lots of work to start and easy to keep going once you get it running. Just don't back off in the start.

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by PMLAWN
It does not take much effort to keep a plane in the air. You can back off the power and it will stay in the air. To get that plane into the air and off the ground takes every bit of power that the engines can produce. If you cut the power before the plane has reached it's crusing height it will fall to the ground.
So it is with a business. Lots of work to start and easy to keep going once you get it running. Just don't back off in the start.

interesting analogy.

Trevor

matthew horner
07-27-2004, 06:21 PM
[i][B]interesting analogy.

]'


I don't think its interesting. I think it was'nt thought through. Discipline, keeps the plane in the air. Discipline is just as hard as sweating to get there.

I remember before when all I did was work and get a couple of 20's and watch tv. Now I run a business. My goal is not to be huge. I am an trader/invester in training, but I am attracted to freedom, and hate to be told what to do by people not qualified to do so.

I worked in this business through my last few years of college. I skipped class once to do a 70/hr pinestraw install. It made sense because the money was good on that job. My teacher asked what happened, I told her the truth. She said, "you know, I'd of done the same thing if I was you, but you still have to take the 0". Well here I am, with a degree, and working hard, and smart.

You learn by pushing yourself. Associate with those whom you want to be like.

Keep your biz, don't overdo it.

Matt

Shady Brook
07-27-2004, 08:29 PM
You need to raise your prices too $80 per cut, then you will be successful!

I don't know how folks can tell you what you need to charge in order to make it. It is tuff to know what your overhead is, what your goals are, how big and difficult your properties are, or what your market will bear from reading some brief posts on the computer. In some areas competition is really heavy, and if you want the account, and know everyone in the neighborhood is paying $25, it is pretty hard to go in with a $35 bid.

I sell quality service, but so do 100 other companies in my area regardless of whether they perfrom quality woark or not. We are mowing lawns and folks think it is easy, so to be way out of line with the competition will put nothing in your pocket.

Maybe it is just me, but if I have 5 or 6 houses in a row, and can mow them with 2 guys in an hour and make $25/ house, I make more money then if I sit in the truck, or drive 5 minutes to mow a single house.

Hey if guys can make more per house that is great. Some areas like the east are considerably higher costs/ cut, but so is their cost of living. My point is, don't take a few guys word for it that you are way low in pricing, and go and loose much of what you have because you jack everyone up and they quit you. You can make a living with the bulk being $25 lawns, especially in the begining.

Take care
Jay

HOOLIE
07-27-2004, 08:48 PM
Discipline, keeps the plane in the air.

Autopilot can keep the plane in the air. That was his point.

Trevors Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by Shady Brook
You need to raise your prices too $80 per cut, then you will be successful!

I don't know how folks can tell you what you need to charge in order to make it. It is tuff to know what your overhead is, what your goals are, how big and difficult your properties are, or what your market will bear from reading some brief posts on the computer. In some areas competition is really heavy, and if you want the account, and know everyone in the neighborhood is paying $25, it is pretty hard to go in with a $35 bid.

I sell quality service, but so do 100 other companies in my area regardless of whether they perfrom quality woark or not. We are mowing lawns and folks think it is easy, so to be way out of line with the competition will put nothing in your pocket.

Maybe it is just me, but if I have 5 or 6 houses in a row, and can mow them with 2 guys in an hour and make $25/ house, I make more money then if I sit in the truck, or drive 5 minutes to mow a single house.

Hey if guys can make more per house that is great. Some areas like the east are considerably higher costs/ cut, but so is their cost of living. My point is, don't take a few guys word for it that you are way low in pricing, and go and loose much of what you have because you jack everyone up and they quit you. You can make a living with the bulk being $25 lawns, especially in the begining.

Take care
Jay

You got it when you said it is hard to drop a $35 bid when everyone else is paying $25. IT seems most of my customers talk too. I deffinitly can jack the price on a couple of em, but for the most part, i only see a dollar or two raise when the season ends. This alone will boost my gross by about $2700 annually.

I know the first years are hard, and in no means am i planning on quitting, i just think my problem is i want to get to autopilot before i lift the plane off the ground.

Trevor

Creative Lawn Care
07-27-2004, 10:29 PM
Drop the partner and go solo. This will increase your amount by 19,000. It will not double your work time because only the actual labor will double not the drive time. Work 60 hour weeks for awhile. Its what i have been doing solo now for 4 years. Also the taxes can be cut down from 25% with the correct right offs. Be sure to pay then everything that is thiers, but nothing that isnt. Ovarall it seems you are off to a good start.

hoyboy
07-27-2004, 11:29 PM
Go to work at Radioshack and manage the lawn business on the side...hire a laborer to push the mower.

mtdman
07-28-2004, 03:22 AM
Dump the partner, like I did, and you'll make more $$.

DGI
07-28-2004, 08:06 AM
What exactly has your "partner" done to be considered a partner? Did he contribute the initial capital, and has he been assuming all of the same risks?

brucec32
07-29-2004, 12:50 AM
Run, don't walk, to a community college and take an accounting course. You have no conception of how to figure out what you're making.

Norm Al
07-29-2004, 01:12 AM
there isnt any money in mowing you need to quit before you start!

tinman
09-25-2004, 05:55 PM
22 minutes per lawn including driving time? How large are these yards? My "smallest" yard takes me about 45 minutes without driving time. And this is a 2-man crew also.

Jason

From what I've seen posted in a lot of threads I beleive people exaggerate on how fast they complete lawns> Even a super small yard you have to figure unloading & loading mower , getting & putting back trimmer, getting & putting back edger, getting & putting back blower, leaving bill. All that is probably 7 minutes so that leaves about 15 minutes to do the actual work. Unless you have 3 or 4 lawns at each stop I don't beleive you can average 22 minutes per lawn in 95% of cases. Just my .02.

bobbygedd
09-25-2004, 06:11 PM
first of all you are taking "uncle sams" cut out of the gross. not the way to do it. your numbers are way off. get the $$$ up by doing more "high value " work. 60 grand in mowing, and only 10 k in ferts, and 8 k in "other"? lawn boys luv to bust thier asses don't they

economiclawncare
09-25-2004, 06:15 PM
if you make a tight enough route you and a partner should be able to do 30 yards a day that are about 10,000 sq ft or less and you should be able to get $30 on a yard that is over 7000 sq ft. i would take all your past customers and raise them $5 a yard. that way you can average $30 a yard and cut 5 days a week you should be making $4500 a week gross and $121,500 a year in mowing alone. This is what you should be pushing for and you should be able to do that in a 8-9 hour day. But the key is thight thight routes thight like so fresh ****y (you get the point) and you should not be paying 25% taxes more like 15% need to get a good accoutant and save all receipts and count mileage on truck and not gas you get 32.5 cents a mile. Also you can right off 50% off food while you are working can count miles driving to and from chruch. and when ever you go out off town put something in it about your business and be able to count half the trip off.