fifty thousand dollar question

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by barefoot lawns, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. barefoot lawns

    barefoot lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Is anyone really making any money in the chemical application business, or are we all kidding ourselves. Does anyone out there clear $50,000 a year, and I mean take home, spendable income. Purchasing equipment does not count because it depreciates as fast as you use it. There are a lot of expenses in this business that are overlooked, including but not limited to license fees, license renewals, city license fees, insurance, advertising, office supplies, billings, the list goes on. Maybe TGCL has it right.
     
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    If you mean only in applicaions - no. Only because I do not, at this time, have the ability to focus only on applications.
    On the days I actually get to applications, I net between $60 to $80 per hour. You do the math.
     
  3. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 707

    all we do is applications. lawns and trees.

    if you are not making money at this, something is very wrong with your operation.very wrong
     
  4. LCSR

    LCSR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Barefoot Lawns,

    I would take a close look at your production and organization. You have to be routed effectively. i would recommend you map out your customers and set a tight route schedule. I would not use a zip code system it tends not to the best method. Set your boundaries with Interstates, Creeks and Rivers or any other obstacle that would slow down your technician.

    Have your technician load his truck at night and have their gas tank full. Doing so in the morning generally takes more ***-scratchin time. Only load the products you will use that day. Overloading the vehicle with excess product will burn additional fuel.

    There are numerous things you can do to increase your production.
     
  5. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    Maybe look at how you are pricing your work. Factor in every thing you can think of that effects the bottom line and divide out to the hour. Set a target revenue dollars per hour that you need to get and adjust accordingly.
    Example:
    Material cost x 2
    Labor per hour(true costs,wages benefits,etc) x 1.75
    Time for service including travel between stops and time to write up paperwork,cleanup etc.
    Cost to operate equipment per hour.

    Time X marked up labor rate.

    Material+labor+operating exp.= rate per hour needed


    My target dollar per hour for lawn applications is $110.00/hr.
    For tree/shrub spraying, $155.00

    Just my way of doing it but it made me very profitable this past year
    payup
     
  6. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    "take home, spendable income" - as if they're that same thing? You must not be married!

    I can take it home, but can't spend it.

    The short answer to your question is: Yes and much, much more, but it's not as easy as most think.
     
  7. No don't bother, the more who get in on this side will bring the prices down.
     
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yea man, waste of time. also, pests will be outlawed soon enough, so anyone in nj even thinking about doing it, take my advice, its non profitable. ;)
     
  9. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    Barefoot,

    The spraying part of my business is the only thing that is showing a positive return.

    I started out in this business doing nothing but applications. I grown into other areas. Now I know from experience that the fert and application side of this business is very profitable. When I am out applying myself. I am taking in right at $100 per hour of work. This is after material cost only.

    You might want to control your cost a little more. Or look at your cost of materials.
     
  10. barefoot lawns

    barefoot lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I appreciate all the good comments on this post. My problem is not my margins. I am running with a PG unit and do at least $1200.00 per day. I just don't have enough accounts (200) and am getting a lot of pressure from low ballers in the area. I am finding it difficult to increase my customer base and have tried almost every form of advertising including direct mail, flyers, radio, Chamber of Commerce membership including inserts, local TV, newspaper. Advertising has not proven cost efficient. Thanks for any help you can give me. I really enjoy this Forum.
     

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