A lot of money

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Bennett scape, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Bennett scape

    Bennett scape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    Hi all just me again, this time i have a comment/question i have lived in many places in the states and in Europe and have 8 years experience in the industry and a horticultural degree. Any way a i have been reading the forums lately and came to the conclusion that the prices we charge seem way to high what i mean is that even with all my experience and skill in all my life i have only been payed a max of $16 an hour and that was considered good. Anyway i am planing a lawn and garden business and have noticed that many people charge $1-5 a minute that seems realy high. I want to be competitive but I am afraid at those prices no one would hire me. Also I currently live in the poorest part of the country MS so I think I definitely will not get any business however, I am about 10 miles away from Memphis TN so maby I will anyway any info will be greatly appreciated thanx :cool2:
     
  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    If you make $16.00 an hour, how will you ever survive the winter months?
     
  3. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    if you were being paid a wage of 16/ hour by an employer there is a big difference between that and what you need to charge to make any money after your overhead is taken care of.
     
  4. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195


    hey bennett, what you seem to be leaving out of your "equation" is the investment one must make to be competitive in this field. do you have any idea what one MUST purchase to become a legit lco? there are trucks, trailers, mowers, trimmers (of many kinds), roller blowers, backpack blowers, hand tools, miscellaneous supplies, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, registrations, computers, printers, software, office supplies, rental space... and the list goes on. all this and more is factored into an hourly rate one must charge in order to make a profit and/or have a paycheck at the end of the week. i too have an education... bachelor of science in business and finance.

    just because one has a "degree" (of any kind), doesn't guarantee anything! i don't want to sound flippant but "c" rated mechanics with a couple years of vo-tech are making 18hr. moreover, people who are paid by salary or hourly DO NOT have the risks and/or responsibility of small business owners, like lco's. have you priced out carpenters, electricians and/or plumbers lately? you'd have a point IF the 60hr. (most charge) was all labor but IT'S NOT... not even close! what determines anyones labor is degree of difficulty, investment in equipment and/or education one had to make in order to do the job at hand.

    my brother just had his ankle fused, after a fall. he went threw almost 1 year of rehab, to no avail. his operation lasted only 3 hrs. however it cost over $80,000!!! you think we lco's are charging too much? how long do you think he would have to work just to recoup this cost, not to mention the 6 months he can't work, if he was only making 16hr? the answer is, the rest of his life... fortunately for him he makes far more than that and has "decent" insurance.

    everyones business plan is different however if you want to get into this, or any field, as an "owner" you need to do a little more homework before you tell the others they're fees seem to be unreasonable. no offense intended and hopefully not taken. good luck. have a good one.
     
  5. N.H.BOY

    N.H.BOY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,604

    ------bruno rs------well said, you might want to save this thread and post it whenever someone ask this question or--"how hard is it to be a LCO?"-- or --"why are you guys charging so much?"--or--" should I get involved in this business?"-- the list goes on , but this was well said and well written.
     
  6. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    45-65/ man hour.....it's that simple. Learn how to read customers. Some will pay double and others won't even pay half.
     
  7. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    http://www.vanderkooi.com/

    buy this guys book and follow it like it is your bible. do not just jump out into the world without some help.
     
  8. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 940

    Charge what you and your market will bear, not a penny less or you will regret it later.
     
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,466

    If you made as low as $16 and hour cutting grass...you would owe money at the end of the season. To be profitable in this industry you gotta at least be making $50 and hour, just one person, and you goal should be twice that. Don't be scared if someone won't hire you for a certain price...that's what screws up our industry, lco's pricing jobs way too low. Just think of gas prices...I burn fuel all darn day long.
     
  10. Bennett scape

    Bennett scape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    thax for the help and what does lco mean but i will not just be cutting grass i will offer everything i know how to do from garden design to correct horticultural maintenance of all plants however if the rate is $1 a minute then that's what i will do I hope i have made some good decisions i will be fully licensed and insured and have a good plan (I have worked many weeks on it so i can be fully prepared) and will purchase good equipment and tools i hope this works i am going to try and send a very prelim price sheet as an attachment so you guys can see what i was thinking any comment suggestion or insult welcome thanx
     

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