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How do you make it

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by chesterlawn, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    I was just checking out Fla. craigslist, $30 per month for lawn maintenance ??? I live in S.E Pa and it has almost become a joke giving price for cutting grass. We have large lawns where I live and today I gave a price of $125 per cut, just shy of 3 acres and the guy said he wasn't even paying half that last year WTF, I thought I went low. Landscaping I do alright at but cutting, how do you guys do it? Are you just pricing to make $25 bucks an hour? There is drive time, maintenance, fuel, insurance, etc. you have to factor this in, plus you have to make a living. Oh well.
  2. stickleylawncare

    stickleylawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Cheapskates will be cheapskates, but there is also a market of customers who know the cost of true full service and want that. I dont think we've ever really lost someone to a craigslist price... mostly just get called in later to fix it when they realize why the price was so low.
  3. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,078

    Keep in mind, mowing is very competative---many people only have it cut to keep it from growing tall and don't care about what it looks like-any dude with a pickup truck and lawn mower can do that-
    -its a LOT easier to get into mowing and more competative than landscaping -

    many guys mow for a year or two and then run out of steam becasue the difficult part is juggling the schduling and actually doing the work day in and day out for years-
    .... making the lawn look really nice is a whole different story...that takes some experience and skill-

    Same as landscaping, anyone can throw some plants in the ground...planting them correctly and in a way that looks good is a whole different animal-
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    so far my prices are competitive with what the market is in my location.

    but my secret? I don't try to nickle and dime my clients. I even try to save my clients money.

    I live within or below my means so I don't have to raise prices to afford a lavish lifestyle.
  5. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    The idea of running your own business is to make more money than if you worked for somebody else, living below my means is not what I strive for. Ten years ago most guys were shooting for $1 a minute or $60 an hour, now what $30-$40 an hour, it's going backwards. It is almost back to customers paying what what they would the kid next door to cut their yard. I saw another landscape about 2 weeks ago passing out flyer's $30 on lawns 1 1/4 acres. How can you make money doing this, I guess it keeps customers happy, until they find out their neighbor is paying $20.
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    maybe that's the idea for you to run your own business but not mine.

    I run my own business to keep myself from doing the services I don't like and don't wanna do.

    I could easily be making more money working for someone else. but then I could get stuck doing things I don't wanna do.

    I have always lived below my means. even when I was a manager at a local car wash netting $80,000 a year.
  7. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 714

    Ive recently had a few people that told me that $25 is way too high and I explained its not $25 in my pocket after business expenses but theyre also the people telling me they want their grass cut to the dirt and want it cut every three to four weeks.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    A lot of these bigger companies are shooting lowball prices to keep their crews busy. The then feel as though they can up sell them on other things.

    All I do is mow and treat. I have never lost a customer to a lower price. However, this year I see more and more guys with mowers. Likely all cash w/o insurance or even a real business. To them $25/hr is more then they were making at their last job, so they think it's fine.

    I'm more concerned with the first, as the latter are usually out of business as soon as it gets hot.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Do you think we believe you netted $80,000 as a manager at a local car wash? Sorry, but that's hard to swallow. What does a manager do, and how much would the owner make? Also I to think the bigger companies lowballing are a big problem, they think nothing of bidding large properties at rock bottom prices. But just in general, grass cutting has gone down hill fast, almost over a cliff.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    really don't care if you believe me or not. this local car wash has 40 locations spread out between IN and OH.

    6 of them are in my city. as a manager you hire, fire and schedule employees. open or close the place down. do repairs and maintenance on the equipment as needed. deposit the money. keep the detergents filled. deal with customer complaints. train new employees. and from time to time work with the employees washing cars.

    but yeah I don't really care what you believe. the point was I'm making a lot less running my own business than I was working at the car wash. but I am way more happier because I'm doing work I love doing. and to me that much more important than money.

    I'd rather live below my means doing something I love than work somewhere that is just okay or sucks making a ton of money. money is not an incentive of any kind for me.

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