feeling a little discouraged about starting a LC biz

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by GreenS14, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. GreenS14

    GreenS14 LawnSite Member
    from Ca
    Posts: 10

    This evening, I asked a neighbor(Phil) how much he pays his gardner to maintain his lawn to get a feel of the going rate before trying to start a lawn care business. I live in a track home heighborhood, so the lawns are average. It would probaly take about 30 minutes to cut front and back. He told me he pays $60 a month for weekly maintanance. How am I suppose to start a business with the competition doing work for free? Phil says he doesn't know how he makes money because he has a helper too.

    I have calculated over and over, there is no way I can get into this doing work for that price.

    Any suggestions?

    TIA
     
  2. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,331

    Don't get into the business, maybe:confused:
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Asking Phil doesnt give you a great way to judge the entire area, there will be cheap people everywhere. Phil just found one of them.
     
  4. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,582

    If you want to know how much others are getting call 5-10 companys to estimate your lawn
     
  5. Ravenwood Landscaping

    Ravenwood Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    $60 for 30 minutes of work is usually what I get for mowing. The question is, is your thirty minutes of work only 15 for a crew with bigger mowers? If you're using a 21" mower, then of course it doesn't make sense but if a company is using a 48" walkbehind at a fast pace, then the money adds up quickly for them
     
  6. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,245

    I have noticed there are not many guys on here from Cali....that might say something...
     
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Yes, the competition here is fierce and the Mexican labor force has it all tied up. They are not making money in your eyes but in their eyes they are because they do outrageous volume and quantity. No saying all, but most work under the table and don't pay taxes because they are here illegally anyways. This make it possible for them to undercharge. I suggest you find another venue or another business in Cali.
     
  8. Big M LawnnSnow

    Big M LawnnSnow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    Competition is fierce everywhere.
    Prices are so secretive nobody knows what anybody else is charging and won't disclose what their rates are.
    Even the customer lies about what they are paying to get you to lower your estimate on what you would charge them.
    You have to know what your specific costs and overheads are and make your prices accordingly and hold your ground on them.
    Never work for less money just to have work. It's a losing proposition.
     
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I did not say it wasn't. I ask you, how close are you to the border of Mexico?
     
  10. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,330

    Get into the Fert side. Thats what Im doing...studying for my applicators exam. Ive become so frustrated with the maintenance side of things that its not even funny. Just the other day I was at Lowes...and they have 3 trailers set up...with regular old residential riders on them...and a rack with some cheap A** trimmer and blower. Now who do you think they are marketing to? Thats right!! Mr Lowballer himself! Mr --my prices can be lower cause I dont have insurance and dont pay taxes. Now Ive beaten these weasels before...because customers learn that these idiots do shi**y work, and they'll pay my price. BUT---the respect factor has to be at an all time low.

    Since I know most of these clowns arent actually going to educate themselves on anything more than how many times to prime the pump on their Ryobi trimmer...Ive decided to explore the fertilizer side of things. Maybe everntually even break free of maintenance all together. Truth is....it pays the bills...but wheres the security in that unless you hire a whole crew?

    See I know Tommy Low baller isnt going to advertise fertilizer services, because its not as appealing as mowing--not the mention federally regulated. Besides...how many times have we heard on this site "I have 2 accounts...10k worth of equipment...and just bought a 35K truck...umm...how do I get more accounts?" lol WHERES THE BUSINESS PLAN??? Oh...thats right...you dont have one.

    I have buddies that dropped the maintenance end...studied to be landscapers...got their license...and LOVE it!

    So the bottom line is...maintenance is the easiest way in...but it pays crap...to other lawn care and landscaping services. I bet you could make more money with a shovel, than a lawnmower.

    Check out other things lawn care has to offer...irrigation...fert...landscape lighting. Do something you actually have to learn...and you'll deal less with the bs of maintenance.
     

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