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Old 09-08-2013, 08:03 PM
underESTIMATED underESTIMATED is offline
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Location: Akron, OH
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Originally Posted by daniel1132 View Post
If anyone is reading this two months later...

I shoot for minimum $60/hour to send a 2-man crew to a lawn. I'm shooting for $100/hr for that crew, a rate at which we are currently bidding and getting accounts. He has lawns where his prices are $30 for over an hour's worth of push mowing, and yes, it is customer demanded push-mowing. I'd be charging them $35 to mow it with the 60". Another pushmowing account, takes 30 min to mow, charges $20. A bigger lawn that takes over an hour with the 60" he was charging $42. I mow another lawn down the road that takes the same amount of time and get $75 for it.

He was a solo LCO, so no workman's comp insurance, no unemployment, no FICA contributions on employees, windshield time costs the price of gas, and at the end of the day you take home all $30 you made for your hour worth of pushmowing. I have 2 full time employees besides myself, it adds up. I had one day this spring that I lost money mowing the accounts.

Prices are going up next year, and I hope to lost some customers, maybe 5-10%, and pick up more accounts at our price rate.

To top it off, the cheapes priced lawns are often on the pickiest customers.

There's a reason the guy got out of the business. I would have too.
Thanks for your follow-up.

It helps put things into perspective.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:12 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
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I think you will lose a lot more his customers then you think.

His willingness to low ball has taught them they will be able to find another low baller.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:56 AM
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Cedar Lawn Care Cedar Lawn Care is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,073
Before even thinking about buying ones customers I would have to literally drive to each of the lawns and do a quote without seeing how much he is charging. If our numbers are very different there is a problem. If one has contracts with their clients they can be sold for more. Without a contract it is more difficult because of the uncertainty of it all. It sounds like in your situation you will probably be fine and he will help with the transition. I would say that 1 month of pay per customer would be cheap. 30 dollar lawn x 4 = 120 for that client. 2 months would be the higher end I would even consider. If you have money, the lawns are priced right, and your goal is to grow quickly I think this could be a great opportunity.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:20 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 957
With such a small number, it would be a good idea to drive past each of these places and do an estimate to compare with what the current LCO is charging.

Most will expect the same price or a very slight increase. This will give a realistic view to see if this is a great opportunity or another minimum wage job.

Contracts don't mean anything when talking about 30 dollar properties so it is a mute point. Who would seriously sue someone over a 30 dollar property
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:30 PM
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YardPro YardPro is offline
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Location: coastal NC
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that list is next to worthless.

offer him 10% of next years billing off those customers.
dingo tx425 and lots of attachments.
8 Vehicles
5 trailers
bobcat T200
way too much other crap
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:27 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: McMurray, PA
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Originally Posted by YardPro View Post
that list is next to worthless.

offer him 10% of next years billing off those customers.
Hmmmm, you have moved from "worthless" to 10%. That is a huge gap.

In my area, that would be about three cuts for the season, not unlike what has been discussed above (some suggested a month).

I agree with a comment above that a contract is worthless, yes, really worthless for these menial, trivial jobs. If you start working a property that was formerly worked by another LCO, and you have paid for the name, the customer may choose to opt out after a few visits. If you show up, and the work is already done, your contract has shown itself to be worthless in the eyes of the customer. They've jettisoned you, and have chosen somebody else to do the work (or do it themselves). Contract, or no contract, ... the outcome is exactly the same.
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