American Lawn & Landscape

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by AmericanLawn&Landscape, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Your best bet is to break everything down separately.
    1) Find out your trucks MPG, then figure out the mileage of your route, route mileage a week/mpg will get you what it costs to run your truck.
    2) Find out what it costs to run your mower. Usually its about 1-1.25 gallons per hour. Then you will know what it costs to cut a lawn.
    3) Go a week using your handhelds. At the end of the week how much gas mix did you use? Divide that by the number of lawns you did. That should give you a general idea of how much you need per lawn.
    4) How many blades, oil, trimmer line etc. do you go through a week/month. Generally you change blades every 40 hours depending on the type of grass your cutting, some sooner. Oil every 50-100 hours. Find out how many hours you run a month and divide that by those two values, that should give you a good idea of what maintenance will be.
    5) How much is your insurance payment. Factor that in to your monthly cost to operate.
    6) How much is your finance payment. Factor that into your monthly cost to operate.
    7) Divide 5 & 6 by 4, that will give you a weekly number to work with.
    8) Do you have a rent/house payment? Do the same thing for this as 5/6
    9) Do you want to save money? I try to shoot for 40% of my net going to bills, 20% goes back into the business, and 40% goes into savings.
    10) Now that you have a weekly/monthly cost to operate, you can figure out what you need to gross to break even, and what you need to net after expenses to make a profit. So say you need $1000 a month for bills, and another $300 for gas and maintenance, that's $1300 you need to gross just to break even. Anything more than that is profit in your pocket.

    Honestly, you wont be able to figure out anything but your overhead until you sign some accts and start cutting.
     
  2. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 246

    Until the mower is paid off, I'm not looking to make any money - simply just breaking even until the mower is paid off that'd be great.
     
  3. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,701

    That's not running a business and it's a plan for failure. You're essentially working for free and by the time the mower is paid off you've got a depreciated asset that is worth substantially less than you paid for it. You're better off calculating your overhead properly and figuring in the cost of the equipment and working at generating a profit.
     
  4. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    I understand where you are coming from, but I believe he has a full time job at the moment. I can see where he would want to break even and just pay the mower off doing a couple houses for a year, then going at it full force. As long as he has a steady income and doesn't lose any money cutting grass, I can see where it would be okay. I wouldn't advise it, but just learning the ropes it might be best to not just jump in head first and try to take on a bunch of business, if your not ready.
     
  5. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,701

    You don't want it calculate it per lawn. You want to calculate it per hour. You need to base your pricing on per hour costs (overhead, labor, profit). You need to bid your jobs on a time basis. Benchmark your own performance so that you have numbers available that will tell you how long it will take to mow XX amount of square feet or edge X amount of feet. Don't fall into the trap of bidding jobs on a per lawn type basis. Remember.... ultimately you are selling your time and including the hourly costs that you incur to sell your time.
     
  6. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 246

    This is not going to be my full time situation, I work full time for a law enforcement agency. This is my backup / retirement supplement, if it means I don't make a dollar in profit for the first year - I'm okay with that. I will start making a profit in a year after.

    For what its worth, I won't be starting till 2014 - I can decide if I want to make profit right away or not. Would I like to, yes - will I care if I don't...no. Is this bad business ethic - you may think so but to each his own. We all have different business plans, we all work differently.
     
  7. AmericanLawn&Landscape

    AmericanLawn&Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    well, today was long haha! we've gotten a ton of rain, but i didn't think i'd have a problem.. guess i was a little too close to the pond. oh well. live and ya learn! also i did a cleanup job today, a lot of weedwhacking, did around the whole pond and this guys ditches, trees, everything! boy was it hot!! the pond i got stuck in and the cleanup one are two different ones.. whatever is sticking up in the pond in the after pictures was stuff out in the water i couldn't reach/aquatic plants.

    ztr stuck.jpg

    stuck ztr 2.jpg

    pond cleanup.jpg

    pond clean up 2.jpg

    pond clean up 3.jpg
     
  8. AmericanLawn&Landscape

    AmericanLawn&Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    Finally goin to get a truck toolbox tomorrow. Sure do need one
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    Yeah it's definitely nice to have a place for all your tools on the job. I have all my oil, string, handtools, straps, impact gun, etc, in mine.
    On the note of getting the ZTR stuck, don't worry, it might be your first but it won't be your last! Happened to all of us unfortunately. My suggestion, pick up a come-along if you don't already happen to have one, and throw it in that tool box with a couple recovery straps, might just save you one day.
     
  10. AmericanLawn&Landscape

    AmericanLawn&Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    yeah forsure.. I love the way it looks in there. I'll put a pic up tomorrow
     

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