Commercial contracts are a trip !

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by topsites, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    This is my first year with a commercial contract and I'm still adjusting to the strangeness of it all because it's enough money on one hand, not enough on the other...

    Hate to mention the dollar amount for fear my customer might actually see this, but I suppose if I leave out identifying information that should be ok... Anyway to make the point, I get paid 570 a month for 10 months.

    Based on an hourly scheme, it appears I lose out hard:
    It takes 3-4 hours a day, one day a week, so four times a month to keep the place looking half-way decent. On an hourly basis, we're looking at 3.5 hours x 4.3 (cauz 31 days / month there are 3 extra weeks in 10 months) so it's roughly 15 hours a month at 570 = 38 dollars / hour ... hmmmm....

    But if I base it on the contract's scheme per se:
    Assume I had 6 contracts identical to this one (just for argument's sake):
    I'd work 6 days a week, one day for each contract, 4 hours a day with maintenance and travel time I'd be looking at 6 hour days, roughly.
    Take the 570 x 10 months = 5700 x 6 contracts = 34.2 k /year
    That 34.2k is a record, the most I've ever grossed is 31k and this 34.2k means working what, 36 hours / week for 10 months?
    Now even thou it's year-round, I'd trade sustained short days for the spring rush / summer lull without much further thought.

    This doesn't take into account cost of supplies but neither does the 31k, it would make this figuring way too confusing right now.

    I'm still adjusting to this lol, but it really does appear that even thou contracts appear to be a losing proposition from the per hour standpoint, over the long run they are acceptable and to a fair degree profitable.

    After 4 years in the field I can't see an apparent loss in my face but it does linger around the edges as a reminder...
    Has anyone else noticed this, am I right assuming this is the case?
  2. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    Topsites are you saying that the most you have made in 4 years is 31K max per year.
  3. Badgerz

    Badgerz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    And that's gross?
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yes, that is correct. First year 10k, second year 25k, third year 21k and fourth year 31k, and that is total gross receipts.

    It is possible, I suppose if I kissed tail and bent over backwards and if I were pushier at the door and did other things which simply catch me in the throat that I could boost the figures maybe up to 20 percent but regardless, things don't add up.

    Sure some Lco's charge more than I do but it likely takes them close to twice as long to do things which, granted quality work is nice, but to a point when time's a wasting, I don't see how one finishes in time enough to earn the per hour rate required to gross the claims.

    In my world it happens another Lco pulls up to a yard near one of mine and with my 48" Wb there aren't many guys in this town can finish their yard before me, so long we arrive within a few minutes of each other, I am almost always starting my truck by the time they're still weed-eating, sometimes they're just then putting the mower back up. Combine this with the above mentioned waste of time and once again we're at odds.

    Some cut lawns to the tune of 24 and 28 cuts / year... These Lco's are either burning lawns in July and August while preying on the customer's ignorance, or they're not telling the truth because grass simply does not grow in July and August. Perhaps in a colder climate one can work long days in the middle of summer, but around here 98 degree stuff can hurt you but at the very least it slows you down. And in a colder climate, how can one cut 24+ times / year when the grass only grows May - September?

    Granted, I see some services involve snow removal, grading, and installs, and if these folks want to brag off larger numbers, I generally tolerate this but it also involves tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

    To let the matter rest, I don't play with the calculator to inflate my numbers. Yes I know how to do it, but it doesn't make sense to get into fancy math just to make myself feel better about a truth which at least to me, is acceptable as is.

    That's my point of view.
  5. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    I guess making 30K something is probably equivalent to making 100K here. I know in western ks. 30K would be alot for some. Good Luck!!!

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