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  #1  
Old 11-02-2011, 02:07 AM
zfisher zfisher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ulster county ny
Posts: 10
looking to start up in the spring

Hey guys new to the site and after weeks of research had a few questions.I already have a decent amount of equipment. have a few that I do already but i want to do the real thing. Where do I advertise and how much do I charge. not looking to make it rich in one job or one season but would like to make a profit after paying my helper,fuel,insurance,equipment and most of all my time.
Thank in advanced guys!
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2011, 11:45 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 2,998
Being that you have done a few. At the end of the season figure out what you costs where for doing these jobs. Then figure your gross and your net. Then take your gross and net and divide them by the hour to do those jobs. Come back and then we can talk some more.
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2011, 12:29 PM
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JodyG JodyG is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cumming, Georgia
Posts: 27
Go solo and pocket what you will be paying a helper. You need a lot of accounts or several larges one to justify a helper. (You can always use causal labor.) Business license and a small liability policy won’t cost much. Fuel is going to be a big issue because of the price fluctuation. Figure up what it would cost to replace or finish your equipment purchases, add a small amount of interest and calculate payoff in 12/24/36 months. (There are a lot of interest calculators on the net.) Your time should be worth around $60.00 / hour. That being said there are many lawn care companies who operate on a lot less. The minimum for dropping the gate around here seems to be $35.00 but I see ads all the time for less. It’s been a tough year here due to the drought. I really didn’t do anything to expand and may not do so this year either. I am going to spend the next couple of months trying to decide what direction to head in.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:31 PM
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Ijustwantausername Ijustwantausername is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 788
I had about 30 accounts a week this past summer and I only had a part-timer. That includes, businesses, estate homes, Churches, etc., not just homes. Do what you can by yourself until you absolutely have to have someone. You'll know your limits.
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:28 PM
zfisher zfisher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ulster county ny
Posts: 10
Thanks guys! the helper only gets 8 bucks an hour. while I am on the zero turn he is trimming and blowing.what takes me an hour alone takes me about 25 mins with him.I could just ditch him or use him if i scored a large job.
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:32 PM
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jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 1,656
JodyG- Sounds GOOD! Follow that and it will be a good start. Hepler? Go Solo.
__________________
All equipment is wore out. <- Never mind. All equipment has been repainted and with new decals. It's like I have new mower's again!
48" Ferris WB
36" Ferris WB
All Echo hand helds
<- That's how I feel at the end of the day.
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:33 PM
zfisher zfisher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ulster county ny
Posts: 10
Hey 32vld, after making payments on the new mower,fuel,trimmer line and other stuff I was making about 12 bucks an hour from the formula you gave me above.I think I must be to cheap I could make more working at wal mart unloading trucks! That was not having a helper , just had him start helping me with fall clean ups
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:38 PM
lawnman24949 lawnman24949 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 145
One thing you should do for advertising is run a ad in the newspaper and another in some sort of advertiser year round. One thing you may want to consider with advertising is running a special in the winter months for mowing with a slight % discounted if they prepay before a certain date. If you keep a ad in year round people will see it regularly and consider calling you. You asked about pricing but that is up to you. One suggestion would be figure out about 5 local companies prices and then you can have a basis as to what you should charge. Just remember you may need to charge more than them but make sure it is not to much more because people wont go with you and if the price is to low you will get all the cheap people. Good luck with expanding.
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:56 PM
FDJ FDJ is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vienna, VA
Posts: 23
The way I like calculating mulch is by the cubic yard.
if it is between 2 and 11cy of mulch I pretty much know how much I am going to spend and need to make.
Our mulching here includes:
Weeding, trimming, edging the beds edges, cleaning, installing mulch and hauling away the debris.
If it is nothing out of ordinary, like the client ask us to use clippers instead of the power trimmers. or there are no trees such as holly over 8ft... well you get the idea.

I generally would not charge less than $120 per "cubic yard" of installed mulch.
say 2cy or less is more labor and expensive, so I'd definitely charge more .. and anything over 12cy I'll calculate on the hrly + material + costs base.

That seems to be a good number to be at with the level of work required around here.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2011, 09:29 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
Posts: 2,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by zfisher View Post
Hey 32vld, after making payments on the new mower,fuel,trimmer line and other stuff I was making about 12 bucks an hour from the formula you gave me above.I think I must be to cheap I could make more working at wal mart unloading trucks! That was not having a helper , just had him start helping me with fall clean ups
What are you charging per hour?

"I can dump the helper unless I have a big job"

If you have a good helper and want to keep him you won't if he needs steady employment.

You hire a helper because you need the manpower. And his employment allows more jobs to be taken, increasing gross and net.

So going solo or hiring help has to fit your needs.

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