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How far will you go?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfguy33, May 20, 2001.

  1. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    I have a contract with a few apartment complex's in my area. All of these apartments are owned by the same Company on the other side of the state. They own or manage several apartments and community living areas across the state. Well anyways, they asked me to look at 2 more of there properties. One is about 47 miles away and is a small apartment, not even an acre, (around 35,000 sq ft) and the other is about 23 miles away but is 14 du-plex's side by side.
    I told the manager I would look into it, and did give her a price on both. Now, when I gave her the bid on the property, I included .65 cents per mile, both ways plus the cost of doing the job. So basically there paying me about $91.00 just to drive to the properties weekly, and i'm driving for about 2.5 to 3 hours total weekly. Normally I wouldn't consider this, but did have 2 free days that I did nothing, and thought that this could get me some more potential business in the areas where the properties is at, then it really would be great and worth my while. Right now, I'm charging $115 for one and $280.00 for the other. Seem like a good deal, or did I do some figuring wrong, and am I screwed for the rest of the year.
  2. are these mostly highway miles or back roads? i know that i drive about 20 miles from my home, a little bit less from the yard to get to one of my accounts. however i do a good amount of work out in that area, and it is a good area to work in (big $$$) so i just say to heck with it and go take the ride. i think you have to ask yourself, is this an area that i want to work in? is there good money to be made here? things like that. if you can answer yes to those 2 questions then i would say do them. if you would rather be workin in an area which is more upscale, or commercial, or industrial then those are the areas that you have to target more and if necessary go out of your area for. the others that you dont want to work in so much, maybe sub out? or reffer them to a good friend that does similar work in that area.
  3. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Well, if you average 45 mph your making $29.25 an hour to sit there and drive, not bad. Sounds good, and you never know what it may lead too.
  4. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    Close to 75% of the driving is actually parkway miles, and the rest is town driving, you know, stop and go. The manager thought that charging that much per mile was high, but I had to explain to her that gas wasn't cheap, and I had to make something to drive that far too. The reason why she agreed to this is it makes her paperwork easier, only one lco doing all the work in the same general area. She said that the quality of work that I do, exceeds her expectations of what she expected from someone and that if I wanted anymore, just to let her know. I really don't want to drive farther than 50 miles to do any job, but who knows. As far as the mileage, I figured that .34 cents a mile should cover gas, and general maintenence on my truck and the remaining 31 cents is what I get paid per mile. Not a whole lot, but like I said, I had two days freed up, I might as well make some on those days.
  5. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Congrats on her accepting your bid. You did the right thing. I'd fly back from overseas if the money was there. Some people say that would rather stay in "their neighborhood" but whats the difference if your making the money, especially if its only for driving!

    Make the best out of your new jobs: Find a dealer close to their in case you ever need something while your stuck far from "home base". Now, instead of targeting clients farther from there, target clients on the way back from there to close in your circle. You know what I'm saying? Advertise in the area between these far jobs and your normal routes. It'll work out very well!

    Good Job, and Good Luck!
  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    I think you did the right thing also... you figured out what you need to do the job , named your price and got it.... similar thing happened to me this year... a commercial account(we were recommended to them)... it was totally outside my area.... I priced it high and got it.... I was going to bid it even higher but decided that this could be a chance to get over to that part of the city ...it has worked out....I now have about 6 other accounts ..along the way and one even further. You will have lots of windshield time now , so keep your eyes open ...stop and talk to some potential customers along your way...good luck in 2001
  7. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    I have a customer 20 miles away. She was unhappy w/ Cheapo lawn Joe and got my name from a reference in town.
    I am considerably more expensive than Joe, and I explained to her that I would be glad to do it, but I would have to charge her a bit more for the drive.
    She gave me the ok and signed on for a full year. She lives in a very nice neighborhood, and I'm going to give her a discount if she can bring me her neighbors!
  8. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 121

    If we're talking about mowing, it's one thing. Landscaping is another. this is what I do: Because I mow only two days a week, I do the common areas of one neighborhood plus 3 houses in that same neighborhood. This is one day and I drive about 20 minutes to do it. The second day is similar--I do the common areas of a neighborhood plus 7 houses in that neighborhood. Another full day. Driving time is about 35 minutes one way. I may look at driving time differently than some of you guys, but all I really consider is the driving time I have from the first lawn through the rest of the day. I don't really consider the driving time to my first stop or the driving time from last stop to home. Sure there are limits, but if I have a full days work an hour away, I'll probably do it. And believe me, an hour away may only be 25 miles here in the metro Atlanta area.
  9. trimmer

    trimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293

    Go for it if they're going to pay you to make the trip. Then when you start picking up accounts over that way the drive will be paid for. Not only that if you pick up enough accounts to make a good days work over that way you can leave early in the morning when it is still dark out and come when it dark making money when you normally would not.

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