Bidding on a 130 home subdivision

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mmonte4, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Then I would say that you do not want to do quality work to build this a good service business. I own my company and I work on every property that we maintain. However, it is funny that most of the time, I put my helper on my $8000 mower and I use a $300 trimmer. Now, if you think that makes no sense for the owner to use the cheaper tool and do that harder work, then there is one thing about this business that you need to learn very quickly.

    Detail work is what makes or breaks a LCO when it comes to customer satifiaction. A mower does just that, it mows. The detail of trimming and Bed edging is what is going to set off the clean, crisp look of the lawn. If you think that an $8 an hour helper is going to do the detail work and not get complaints and care about it as much as you should, then you are mistaken. You need to learn to do the detail as clean and as quick as possible and I would suggest you do it more often than your help, if you actually get this business rolling.
  2. hess

    hess LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    100% RIGHT detail IIS THE kEY:)
  3. Dempsey7

    Dempsey7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Deffinetly would have to say let this one slide. You'd be in way over your head. I'm in the process of starting up a business and you can't just all the sudden deside you want to do it because something good comes up. It takes alot of planning and information.
  4. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad says that there is a business long before the business is ready to serve customers. It is kinda backwards to get the customers, then try to create the business. This makes it a business destined for failure.
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Good post. The edging and trimming is what makes everything look great if done properly.

    If I get to the point this year where I have to hire a guy, he'll be using the mowers, and I'll be trimming. Simply because I'm anal and don't trust anyone to screw it up but me:laugh:

    With that kind of cruddy attitude - "I will ride, but not walk(trim)" - that tells me you're a lazy person, and are only interested in this opportunity for the money. You know nothing about the business, you don't have the tools to do the job correctly, and you will not make any money especially if you're going to bid it below the current price with even more cuts.
  6. PbInvestor

    PbInvestor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I disagree with everyone here so far.

    1. I would do it all myself.....definately no more than 20 hrs. 15" x 15" lots should take no more than 3-4 minutes each to cut. I would not do 1 yard at a time...I would do 8-10 at a time to eliminate turns. I would get a used 48" WB ($2500), a weed-whaka with an edger attachment($300), Blower($400), Insurance($500). another $300 for misc. $4000 to start.....charge $1600 per cut. Figure on $100 in expenses for each cut( I know it's alot but I have to give the naysayers something!) So $1500 x 30 cuts(min) $45k - $4000 startup= $41k......for 2 days work! You may need 2 days for your back to recover until you get used to it.

    2. No need for a trailer, he lives IN the neighborhood.

    3. Get an Ipod and listen to music while working

    4. Buy everything used...if it doesnt work out(which I doubt) then you can sell for what you paid. (although you may have to move if this happens)

    5. after 3-4 cuts, he WILL be experienced.

    6. after a month or so, his back will be able to handle the workload so that he can pick up back yards....maybe another full day per week. for an extra $15k for the year.

    7. This really is a no-brainer...I'm not sure what these guys are smoking.

    8. enjoy...$41 to $56k 1st year....3-4 days a week......nice long 3-4 day weekends.

    9. but you WILL have to trim!
  7. mmonte4

    mmonte4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19


    to those who say to do the tough stuff themselves.

    that is like telling a contractor that he should physically build the house himself, instead of oversee the building by his workers.

    why in the would would i get out there myself unless i had to.
  8. mmonte4

    mmonte4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    finally someone is making some sense here!!!!
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    You're making WAY too many assumptions here.

    First off, I'm willing to bet the yards are larger than 15x15 feet. That's TINY and we have 100-200 home subdivisions here, and the smallest front lawns are still 3 times that size.

    You have zero idea how much trimming or edging there is to do. The trimming will likely take longer than the mowing.

    Does this guy have a truck? Trailer? How about getting set up with the state, getting a tax number etc? This stuff all takes time and money. There's going to be a good amount of equipment maintenance.

    It took the previous company 44 man hours to do this in one day. You think that ONE guy with ZERO experience is going to do it in less than half the time? HA. HA.

    Sure, just strap everything to the mower. Real professional.

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Maybe, maybe not. So what is your suggestion for his explanation while he completely and utterly screws up the first 3 or 4 cuts? "I'm trying to get experience"? HA! Now THAT will leave a GREAT impression on the HOA!

    Whatever it is, it seems like you've been hogging it...

    If it's that easy, then damn, I must be doing something WAY wrong:laugh:
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Completely idiotic comparison.

    Don't you think that MAYBE, just MAYBE, most general contractors have YEARS of previous building experience under their belt before becoming a general contractor?

    This guy's first sentence was "I'm new to the lawn game".

    Enough said.
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