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Do you think I am making enough money?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hartmas, May 17, 2006.

  1. hartmas

    hartmas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    I am working now with a part time employee this year. First of all let me say that I have about 40 accounts, so I really needed him. I work part time in the evenings and weekends.
    For example, Monday I took in 377 dollars from customers. I pay him 11 dollars/hour. He made 48 dollars. I used about 15 dollars in fuel.
    So 377-48-15 = 314
    Is 314 dollars worth it a night? Less my equiptment and insurances and taxes?

    Any input would be welcome.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    First of all, 11 an hour is rather high for a part time person ...especially if they are merely a mowing assistant. Second of all, there is no way of telling if you are making money or not, because there is no way of telling what it takes for you to run your business. I CAN tell you this....you will never know either until you start running your business as a whole and a legitimate business. you will only be fooling yourself. Let's put it this way,...if you are paying this guy "$11" an hour, then it would be costing you around 16 per hour with taxes, insurance, SS, and payroll expenses. You aren't paying in taxes on this guy, so how are WE to determine what your "other taxes" are. I can also tell you this...you are screwing yourself, because (if you ARE paying taxes on all this) you are paying his taxes for him, too. Geez, 11 bucks an hour under the table,...that's not bad money. Where do I sign up? Don't feel bad, though...there are alot more guys out there in this "business" who are only part way into the business than what are in it all the way and for the long haul. Alot more guys out there cutting grass with trailers loaded full of mowers than who actually know how to RUN a business. This is the reason we see about a 90% complete turnover rate every 7-10 years. There are very few guys who have been in it for over 15 years. Good luck to you, though.
  3. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Since you said any input let me have a go. Since your employee worked about 4 hours I'll guess you worked 6 and that would be around $50 per hour minus taxes, equipment and other things you need. Are you worth $50/hr minus whatever the cost of insurance taxes and equipment are? If you are worth $50 hr minus expenses would you rather do what you are now doing or something else where you could make that much?
  4. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    I'm happy making 350/ 8hr day by myself so I think you should be doing alright. Take as much as you can under the table. I can't becuase this is my only job but if you can do it go right ahead.
  5. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Damn good for part time IMHO...
  6. hartmas

    hartmas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    Thanks for the input. I guess I could pay him 9 or 10 dollars an hour, but I wouldn't get the kind of work out of him I do now. I do pay taxes on him and I pay his SS, medicare and workers comp.
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    I'd say that is good....I mean if your not paying WC $48 is nothing, so you don't have to pick up a trimmer or blower.
  8. mr.glenn

    mr.glenn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    you did ok if you manage to hide that money from the tax man. if not you were absolutley not making a profit considering fuel,insurance if you have it and wear and tear of equip. today i did 8 yards with no help and two of these yards are large and detailed. i made $1150. drove over 150 miles and filled up the ford and jd with $103. in gas and even i don't feel like i made much profit!!
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    So, if you're paying taxes, insurance, social security, and workman's comp., then why would you have said that you paid $48.? Again, something doesn't add up. Then, it was said that you pay Medicare on this guy? For part time? How in the world does someone afford to pay ANY medical on a part time employee....I know it is a MAJOR accomplishment to provide ANY sort of medical to employees in an industry like this. If you ask the guys on here that are established, and have a payroll, they will tell you the same thing. How much does this medical cost, and please give us the link to find out how we can provide medical for our guys, because these guys would eat that up if it was affordable to us.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Years ago when I started, I discussed having employees with an old-timer.

    He said I should learn to walk before I run, get some experience under my belt before I hired employees. He said if I hired anyone in my first 2-3 years, I would only lose money by both of us half-timing it due to inexperience... First, I didn't have the answers to the questions, second if something broke I would lose even more time because I wouldn't know how to fix it. Oh no doubt I can figure it out he said, but if I knew what I was doing, it would be fixed in a fraction of the time when an employee is on the clock.

    He said I would have good days more than bad, but one bad day is all it takes for the inexperienced owner to take a hard beating, and it's at least twice as bad with an employee. Worst case scenario owners can work for free, but employees never do.

    He was right, today I have 40+ accounts and take in about that much by myself, last year I had 55 and also deposited 5k / month during peak of season, all by myself.

    And, I keep all the money... The few employees I did hire off and on over the years only ended up costing me as much if not more than I could rake in by myself, so for me that was the end of it.

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