Another New Guy In The Grass

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Kleen Cut, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Kleen Cut

    Kleen Cut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Just wanted to say hello to all the pros and amateurs on this site, I fall into the latter group. I have been reading some posts for a few weeks and have already gained some much needed knowledge. This will be my second year mowing would like to get into it a little more, last year I part timed it with 3 steady lawns ranging from about half an acre all the way up to a 3 acre lawn. I would like to build my clientele up this year and hopefully go full time in a few years, I don't believe its possible to go gung-ho so soon here in upstate NY. My equipment is more residential to date, not commercial grade, last year I went out and bought a Husqvarna lawn tractor, 24 horse with a 48" deck and a husky 21" regular push mower, for a trailer I commandeered an old jayco camper striped her off re braced the frame, welded some shaker screens down for a deck, added some lights works for the time being. Hopefully if all works out this year I would like to get a nice commercial zero turn, possibly an ex-mark, but before that I have to see about getting my dba, some liability insurance, and some good advertising to pick up customers, the problem is ppl are so cheap around here, and I dont want to rip them of(or have them think Im trying to) I was charging the guy with the three acre lawn 50 bucks, it took me about 2 hours to do, alot of weedeating involved, Is this a fair price?

    Just to pick some brains, whats the best way to market myself for commercial business, I was thinking about sending letters to realtor's and such, about dormant properties, I ran advertisements last year and got lots of tire kickers nothing else.

    Well any advice anyone has to offer is more than welcome, as you can tell Im not a know it all, don't wanna be, lol Ive just got the usual problems on pricing and all i was thinking 30hr, not sure if thats to much or not.

    Thanks Kevin Klee Kleen Cut Lawncare
     
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    3 acres for $50.00 the way gas prices were last year did you make any money? My rate for 3 acres would be $195 a cut for commercial and at least $100-$125 for residential.
     
  3. Kleen Cut

    Kleen Cut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    No I cant say i made any money, It was kinda a get the foot in the door job, and the door never opeaned any further
     
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    no offense, and not personally to you, but to all the new guys, especially part timers....

    you cant just go out and mow a lawn for whatever price.... you are too low, what you have done is make your customers think that is what the job is worth... so when you quit, and they call a real company, they will think they are getting ripped off because you did it for (X) amount of dollars, and the real company is so much more...

    you are DRIVING DOWN THE MARKET PRICE FOR OUR SERVICE... its bad for you, for me, for all reputable business....and its bad for the green industry in general...
     
  5. jinx 88

    jinx 88 LawnSite Member
    from ozarks
    Posts: 44

    Have you had any trouble with your Husky rider Kleen Cut? I bought two last year and both had to get new engines.
     
  6. horticulturedawg

    horticulturedawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Hey daveintoledo, Very well said. Thank you.
     
  7. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    i never worried about gas for the my wb's. 5 gal. tank on them and seemed they ran forever compared to the tritons 12? gal. tank.
     
  8. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I haven't started yet but you make a reasonable point. I can't count the number of times I've read comments from pros on this site complaining about low-ballers (which I don't wanna be). How can a new guy like myself overcome the new guy image (with inferior looking equipment) and still charge what the pros do. I know the equipment doesn't really matter,(at least it shouldn't) it's the quality of the job. Do you have any suggestions for explaining the price for a service if a customer feels I am trying to charge him or her too much.
     
  9. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 159

    If you sell yourself as a professional, then you wont have to justify your price. In my opinion, the (good) customers are often buying you not just your service. The ones that question your price, more often than not are the ones you dont want to deal with. Be confident in the price that you give and sell yourself and your company. Remember, more often than not, when you are giving the estimate, you dont have your equipment with you. Sell them on yourself, and then when you get your foot in the door, do excellent work. Do good work and everything else will follow. To me confidence is key in getting work. Just my .02

    Ron
     

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