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  #191  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:18 PM
kyles landscape kyles landscape is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
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
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  #192  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:35 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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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.
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  #193  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:36 PM
hi_speedreed hi_speedreed is offline
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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.

Last edited by hi_speedreed; 12-11-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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  #194  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:41 PM
orangemower orangemower is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
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!
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  #195  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:49 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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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.
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  #196  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:50 PM
kyles landscape kyles landscape is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemower View Post
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??
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  #197  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:52 PM
kyles landscape kyles landscape is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
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
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  #198  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:00 PM
KeystoneLawn&Landscaping's Avatar
KeystoneLawn&Landscaping KeystoneLawn&Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Erie, PA
Posts: 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi_speedreed View Post
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!!!!
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  #199  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:03 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
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Nevermind, lol...replied to a post directed to someone else.
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  #200  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:06 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi_speedreed View Post
Lowballers are not created by the industry, they are created by the consumer.
I can agree with this...


Quote:
Originally Posted by hi_speedreed View Post
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
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