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  #11  
Old 09-15-2012, 04:44 PM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam360 View Post
This isn't a full-time job. I'd be happy doing only a few jobs each week in town. I could ride my bike to each job. This is not a business. Beer money is the least of my concern. However, I do believe I am asking the wrong questions here. I believe a better way to start is to ask a few people I've known for a while and see if I could mow their lawns or otherwise. Wherever that takes me, I couldn't care less at this time. I'm experienced, inexpensive, and am already within their comfort zone. I would much rather hire someone I know personally for my own lawn than hire a professionally landscaper for basic yard work anyway.
Okay, so only a few lawns. Say you do 6 a week and you are able to average $20 a week per lawn. Even if you have no overhead for fuel, you are then still talking only $120 a week over 32 mowing weeks. You still have to pay for General Liability Insurance, then pay taxes, that leaves you with $83 at the end of the week.

Of course you could always save the $500+ and not get insurance.

I know it seems like I'm being a d***, there is a reason I am posting this. People get into this business all the time, like you, thinking that they can make a quick buck. But in reality 99.99% of them fail and lose more money than they make. They price themselves so low thinking "I can do it for cost or close to cost for a year to get the customers, then I'll raise my price a little each year" Then when they try to raise the prices the next year, they found that those cheap customers they have are just that, CHEAP, and the customer drops them for the next guy that comes knocking offering a cheaper price. Or guys like yourself who operate without insurance have an accident. Have you seen what can happen when a small rock is hit with a mower or even a string trimmer? You would be shocked how far it can go, and how easily it shatters a window. The customer calls his auto or home insurance and files a claim and mentions the guy mowing the lawn caused it. Guess what? Insurance is denying it and you are stuck with the $1,000+ bill.

Even worse are what "companies" like this do to us legitimate legally operating businesses. Lowballers drive the market prices down, making it harder for companies that pay taxes and insurance to make a legitimate profit. We work hard enough to get ourselves to standout against our legitimate competition and peers, let alone Joe Schmo who will act as if he can do the same work for 1/4 the price.

What are your hours you are available to do this work? Are you planning to work an hour each day after your full time job? or weekends? If you are a halfway descent worker I guarantee you can find a landscaper who will use you part time. You will make as much, if not more money than your current $10 a cut business plan, have insurance coverage if you damage anything and workers comp if you get injured. Start goggling in your area, pull out the yellow pages. You will find plenty of landscapers, many will be looking to pick up part timers this fall for cleanups, get in with one of them now, and next season you will be able to find season long part time work.
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2012, 10:56 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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What is your motivation then if you don't want to make money?

Now, if it's just a satisfaction thing, I can understand, but you have to realize that that there are people out there that do this for a living.

So, with that said, you need to still be competitive with your pricing. It's a business ethics sort of deal.

The reason being is that someday you'll leave or not do them anymore and your clients hire a dedicated contractor, you don't want your clients saying that the last guy did it for 10 bucks when the contractor bid it out at 40.

Even if you are at the low end of market value, it's still better than being dirt cheap.

That and even if you make a few bucks at it, that's OK. Just squirrel the money away and use it for a rainy-day fund or even donate back to a church or something. But, you still need to ethically charge your customers.


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  #13  
Old 09-16-2012, 11:03 AM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam360 View Post
This isn't a full-time job. I'd be happy doing only a few jobs each week in town. I could ride my bike to each job. This is not a business. Beer money is the least of my concern. However, I do believe I am asking the wrong questions here. I believe a better way to start is to ask a few people I've known for a while and see if I could mow their lawns or otherwise. Wherever that takes me, I couldn't care less at this time. I'm experienced, inexpensive, and am already within their comfort zone. I would much rather hire someone I know personally for my own lawn than hire a professionally landscaper for basic yard work anyway.
Holy crap you are all over the place here. People that hire us generally don't have the right tools in the first place. If your not motivated by money what are you trying to prove? If you have little need to make money you are likely to lose interest quickly. Your whole business plan comes across half baked.
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam360 View Post
Thanks, but I don't expect this to make money on this really. I won't have many expenses with this and would gladly charge $10 for a small lawn. I could do the same when it comes to pruning someone's shrubs. Working "well" is not an issue. Liability will be my biggest concern though of course. Thank you for your input.
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You should open a lemonade stand...
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2012, 12:30 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Originally Posted by cgaengineer View Post
You should open a lemonade stand...
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Would the customer have to supply the lemons, sugar, water, ice and a cup?
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2012, 12:52 PM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
Would the customer have to supply the lemons, sugar, water, ice and a cup?
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Yes, like a BYOB party!
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  #17  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:17 AM
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Durabird02 Durabird02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam360 View Post
I am planning to start up my own landscape freelance business. I do not intend on making this into a full-scale business, but I may consider filing for a sole proprietorship one day (probably not). I have 6 years of experience in landscaping and I intend on doing simple yard work and cleanup while using the tools and equipment a customer is able to provide. I own a car. I also intend on leaving as much information as I need to on my business flyers, so that people do not just look at me like a scam artist. However, I am not sure if it is a good idea to leave my home address. With that in mind, I would like to know my options as far as how much I should charge and any legal issues I might encounter.

Thank you
Your help is much appreciated,
Cam
Definition:
"a.Also called: freelancer a self-employed person, who is not employed continuously but hired to do specific assignments"

You used the word "business" above in your initial post, but also the word "freelance". This is so confusing and you are obviously not interested in making this a full-fledged business, so why bother posting on here? This site is designed to help people with their "businesses".
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2012, 09:57 AM
acculawnsystems acculawnsystems is offline
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