Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #61  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:01 AM
moneyclass moneyclass is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 56
One thing that I was thinking was I spend say 5000 on equipment and stuff and go out there and first year only make 5000 and I dont like the biz anymore I made my money back and i could quit the biz and have all this commerical equipment for my personal house and it would basically be free stuff.
__________________
2005 Ford Ranger Edge
No Mower yet
No Weed Whacker yet
No Edger yet
No Blower yet
All will be bought this winter
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:30 AM
White Gardens's Avatar
White Gardens White Gardens is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bloomington IL
Posts: 6,750
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyclass View Post
One thing that I was thinking was I spend say 5000 on equipment and stuff and go out there and first year only make 5000 and I dont like the biz anymore I made my money back and i could quit the biz and have all this commerical equipment for my personal house and it would basically be free stuff.
Doesn't work that way. If I had a nickle for everyone who says, "Oh just buy it, if you've got a couple of jobs to pay for it, then it's paid for." What happens is those people don't realize that those jobs also pay your expenses. I might have 5 jobs that paid for my mini-skid, but in reality it takes about 15 jobs to pay for it after my expenses.

Your not figuring in fuel expenses, equipment repairs, insurance, office supplies, etc....

So lets say you spend 5k on equipment. You would need at least 7 accounts at 30 dollars a week, at 30 mows a year to get at and a little above your 5k mark.

What about living expenses? Even if you have other income coming in, you would probably still need to have at least 10 more accounts at a 30$ average to supplement any other income you have already.

So lets figure fuel expense, equipment repair and other overhead. So you might be looking at another 5-6 accounts at a 30$ average to cover expenses.

So your looking at roughly 23 accounts at a 30$ average to break even on operating and to give yourself a supplemental income.

Ooooops, forgot about that drought that hit your area, so you lost about 10 mows for each client, and now your looking to have at least 35 accounts or more to break even.

Now, in my 6th year of business, I only mow 5 accounts. Consistently it's been 5 every year since I've started. I've gained a few, and lost a few. But, my business isn't centered around mowing and I don't advertise or push for anymore mowing accounts. Even if I don't push for mowing accounts, I'm still surprised that I haven't gotten up to 10 accounts yet either by word of mouth, or have requests for that service. You would think 10 would be obtainable even if I cost a bit more than the average mow service.

Not trying to be discouraging MoneyClass. We all have to start somewhere. I just feel that you think that it will be easy to get started and going with a mowing business, and that's not the case at least anymore. If anything, my post is only trying to get you to realize that it can potentially take a lot of work and effort just to make your money back in this current economy. Your posts make it sound just like any other guy I talk to who is going to start a mowing business, think they are going to make a killing, and then fail.

....
__________________
White Gardens On Facebook.......WG Thread......Greencare For Troops......... mywhitegardens.com(under construction)

2005- Completion of University of Illinois Master Gardner's Program.

Last edited by White Gardens; 10-24-2011 at 08:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:32 AM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 8,207
Ever hear the old adage "you have to earn 2$ to keep 1$"?
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 10-24-2011, 11:40 AM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
Ever hear the old adage "you have to earn 2$ to keep 1$"?
Posted via Mobile Device
I would think more like earn $5 to keep $1, but I get the point your are making.

I purchased quickbooks to keep track of my stuff and it doesn't lie as long as you keep track of stuff. Operating gets expensive and is probably more expensive the less accounts you have, because less money is coming in, kind of like what White Gardens was saying. Things take time to pay off and you'll need to make more than $5000 to pay it off, even if it's only $5500-6000 it's still more that needs to be made. Most of my money made, as a part time business, paid for home improvements or keeping my wife home with our son when he was a baby. I think I was lucky to keep about 20% of what came in, then that amount got taxed . I had a bunch of equipment too (mowers, trailer, dump trailer, handhelds, etc..) that ate away at profits. But you've got to be in this for a while before good money starts coming in.
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 10-24-2011, 06:35 PM
clydebusa's Avatar
clydebusa clydebusa is online now
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Tulsa Oklahoma
Posts: 1,607
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyclass View Post
hi everyone i'm new here actually my first post been browsing thru this site alot and getting lots of good info but my question is.....

Just lost my job few months ago and there is seriously no jobs out there so been thinking of next spring starting a landscaping biz. I have no knowledge and no equipment any advice would be greatly appreciated.
wow ...................................
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:27 PM
JContracting's Avatar
JContracting JContracting is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
Posts: 1,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by clydebusa View Post
wow ...................................
My thoughts exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superdog1 View Post
I got the same idea you had in March of this year. I read everything I could find and then re-read it just to be sure it sunk in. The first rule is this:
Everything everyone on here said would happen did, and then some!!!!

I ended up working all summer. I did NOT make the big $$ I thought I would. I busted my ass from sun up till sun down. In the end, I had to buy another mower (My Cub Cadet RZT died 1/2 way through the season) to the tune of $7000 for a Scag Vride 54". As it turned out, I made just enough to live and put gas in the mowers.

My only saving grace was that my house and truck are paid off. With that in mind, I did a lot of work by hand that others wouldn't touch without machinery. I learned the hard way, as everything went wrong no matter how hard I planned ahead. I went over and above what other LCO's were doing to make my clients happy. While the customer was smiling, my bank account wasn't, as they quickly learned to take advantage of my goodwill. There was always just this one little extra thing the client would ask me to do for free. It could be as simple as removing a few branches they cut down and piled up to one lady who wanted me to trim all of her bushes for nothing, as she felt I should include that for all the big $$ she was paying me ($25 a cut, inside a fenced in yard where the grass was always 10 feet high because her 3 dogs were crap factories and it had to be bagged and removed EVERY time, not to mention the little "Doggie" land mines I had to mow/walk over).


Something I will be including in my resi service agreements next year is that (per occurrence per service visit) there will be a $5 or $10 charge (not sure how much I will have it) for dog crap in the yard because I HATE getting in my mower's tires and on my work boots because then I have to take the extra time and wash the tires for however long it takes to get it out. One account in particular I've had that happen.

I think next year will be a little better, BUT, it was a really expensive first year learning curve. Some advice I can give you is that you DO NOT have to take every single person who calls you. You will learn very quickly if a location is not worth your time. They could be slow pay, perhaps always leaving all of the kids toys all over the yard (Which you will have to pick up to do a decent job). Maybe they will always wait until the yard is 10" high before they feel it is time to have it cut (This will save them $$ and cost you a LOT!). Do not be afraid to tell the customer that they need to pay you more or find another LCO!

I do know that it seemed like a really easy thing to do, I mean, after all, how hard can it be to cut some grass and get a check right? Let me tell you, that is only 1/10 of what it takes to do this. I especially love when it rains for 3 or 4 days straight and all you can do is sit there and watch out the window wondering if it will ever stop? I also love the calls for "one time cuts" because the house is for sale or they are on vacation or their mower is broke, whatever.... you get there and find out it hasn't been cut in 2 months and they only want to pay you $20. You almost have to do it, as you just wasted the time and gas to get there!!!

Look, it's not all doom and gloom and obviously others do it and make a living at it, but you can bet it's not easy and unless you work for someone else for a year or two and learn the ropes, you are about to enroll in the good old "School of hard knocks" and will earn a nice little diploma for it, Lol
__________________
'01 Chevy 2500 HD ECLB w/ 8.1 - 06 Tow Mirrors, 285s, 17" MB Chaos Wheels, Torsions Cranked, Airlift Airbags
2014 Diamond Cargo 8.5' x 20' Enclosed Trailer - Fully Loaded Interior
Exmark Lazer Z X-Series 52" w/ Ultravac
Exmark TTHP 36"
225 Gal MN Wanner Skid Sprayer
8' Boss RT3 Straight Blade

Licensed Applicator

Graduate - Anoka Technical College w/ Associate's in Hort/Landscape - May 2013
In business since Feb 2011
23 Years Old

When you have systems, you have control.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:42 PM
JContracting's Avatar
JContracting JContracting is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
Posts: 1,698
My recommendation is this before you buy/do anything: Decide whether you actually want to own a business or do this for a year, be a lowballer hack, realize you paid people to mow their lawn, and fail, thus ruining the market for those who have a legitimate business.
Anyway, know your costs... low overhead + efficiency in all aspects = more profit. Research, research, research and don't stop researching. Get registered with your state (DBA, Corp, LLC, etc., (my biz is an LLC and that's what I'd highly recommend), where do you live anyway as you don't have a location listed? Obtain an FEIN & State tax ID (in MN you collect sales tax on most lawn services so I charge & pay sales tax, you may not...) Get a commercial liability insurance policy, get advertising (why buy equipment when you have no work lined up), get the advertising out and never stop.
__________________
'01 Chevy 2500 HD ECLB w/ 8.1 - 06 Tow Mirrors, 285s, 17" MB Chaos Wheels, Torsions Cranked, Airlift Airbags
2014 Diamond Cargo 8.5' x 20' Enclosed Trailer - Fully Loaded Interior
Exmark Lazer Z X-Series 52" w/ Ultravac
Exmark TTHP 36"
225 Gal MN Wanner Skid Sprayer
8' Boss RT3 Straight Blade

Licensed Applicator

Graduate - Anoka Technical College w/ Associate's in Hort/Landscape - May 2013
In business since Feb 2011
23 Years Old

When you have systems, you have control.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 10-24-2011, 09:07 PM
borwicks's Avatar
borwicks borwicks is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Council bluffs, IA
Posts: 615
good luck. MY 2 cents.
If you dont know if this is your passion???!!!!!!
All you need is that ranger, some insurance, 21" mower, blower and trimmer and maybe a license or 2.
Load it all in your truck find some 5k yards and go to town.
This limits your investment and keeps your costs low.
Keep your route tight. Less than 50 miles per day.
Plan on mowing about 2 per hour. Well i Hope..

Good luck
__________________
WWW.borwicks.com You cant control people and weather but you can be tolerant and respectful.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:36 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolluv View Post
No it doesn't but a lot on here do.

Dave

Wonder what the percentage would be from the hundreds of thousands of posts!
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 10-25-2011, 12:04 AM
borwicks's Avatar
borwicks borwicks is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Council bluffs, IA
Posts: 615
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
Wonder what the percentage would be from the hundreds of thousands of posts!
When it involves money. a lot. I think for general help stuff. Very little.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:45 PM.

Page generated in 0.08417 seconds with 7 queries