Help! Is there anyone making money out there as they grow?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by guitarman2420, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 1,544

    shoot me a pm and we can talk that way or I can give you my cell if you want. Talking numbers excites me like most dont know.
     
  2. I would venture to say they need to have a financial incentive like a sales commission. Even that might not be effective for "most" employees, but it'll motivate some a bit, I'd imagine which can only help your sales.
     
  3. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,621

    Here it is in a nutshell. You sound like you grew too fast by being a lowballer and now that you have all these cheap @$$ accounts you are realizing that you are not making money. You must not have been watching your numbers and just growing without putting pen to paper. But isn't that what everyone on this site thinks, I need more accounts.

    What everyone fails to see is that more accounts at low rates = you losing money. But wait, look at all the accounts I have. Who cares. I don't want a few hundred accounts that I have to run around chasing my tail every week.

    Heres the lesson folks. Don't focus on how many accounts you have, focus on how many good profitable accounts you have. Drop the cheap ones and scale back and you will make money. Not much but you will make a profit.

    Don't count accounts count profit.

    Dave...
     
  4. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    You have the perfect opportunity to raise prices- send out a letter saying economy,ever increasing labor costs, fuel etc.... and raise prices $5 a week to "help" offset your costs.

    if you have 3 trucks going I assume you have over 100 accounts, so $20X100 = $2000 bucks a month if 10% drop off then you are still ahead cause the rest are paying more and you don't have the expense of those 10%

    For the "nay sayers" if the OP is making no money, what's he got to loose?

    People seem to think that if you loose a $150 account, that you're loosing $150, but what you're really loosing may be closer to $60 because of the cost involved to care for the account.

    Especially if you do good work, if your guys do a crappy job, then reconsider price raising, but if the quality is there, then most people won't hate you for it, and $20 is not usually enough for most people to shop around and use up their time.
     
  5. Texas Lawn

    Texas Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    you should never be afraid of growth. If you are, you dont have systems in place. A lot of people say its easy as a solo operator, I think its harder, because you have to do all the work. With systems in place, you can have others working while you handle the business side or the aspects of your business you enjoy the most. I know what I am describing is the ideal situation, but it is obtainable. In most companies, the guy at the top usually has the easiest and most fun job. Why? Because he worked his tail off to build it, then got people in place to run it.

    You need to put systems in place from the beginning, so that as you grow, they are already there. Its a lot easier to put in systems with 1 employee when your doing 40K a year then it is at 5 employees doing 400K a year. Good luck and dont give up
     
  6. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 651

    Now that's a good plan. :)
     
  7. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    Bingo, we have a winner. This guy is a textbook case and the reason mowing isnt worth doing anymore. At least half the guys in lawn care do it for too cheap and cant figure out why they dont make money or even dont realize they arent making near enough. Anyone that charges 50 per hour knowing a crews labor costs alone are 60 per hour must have taken a sharp blow to the head somewhere along the line.
     
  8. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,621

    Exactly, you have to think ahead. What I mean is you have to get out of that solo mentality even while your solo. I don't win many bids because I price my work to make a profit and that way eventually I can pay a helper and then eventually get out of doing the physical work and run the business.

    Guys want to grow too fast and will trip over their Dick to get accounts. Same with commercial. What good is having work and chasing your tale if your only making peanuts and wearing everything out including yourself.

    Slow healthy profitable growth is the way to go. That way you can afford to hire when it is the right time and still be profitable.

    I can work my @$$ off and go broke or I can sit on the couch in the A/C and go broke. Id rather sit in the A/C.

    But hey that's me.

    Dave...
     
  9. newtostone

    newtostone LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 681

    If I am correct he said his labor rate is 50 per hour. I would assume it would be 50 per hour per worker, Or for a crew it would be 150 per hour. I really don't think he could be where he is at now if he was losing $10 per hour every day. Even making 150 per hour its still hard making money mowing when you take in consideration the overhead involved. I would love to hear others input that have been in the same boat many of us are stuck in. Please keep this thread on track boys.
     
  10. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    I think that in one thread he said his labor cost alone was a little over 60 per hour. In another thread he said he bids the jobs at 50 per hour. I think there are a whole bunch of guys stuck in this situation too and thats why it is a good business to get out of.
     

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