How many lawns to start 3, 5, 10.....

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by twins_lawn_care, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    Just wondered how some of you guys started out in the first few years.
    We are doing this part time now, and for our first year (started in July) we have 4 regular weekly mowing jobs. Doesn't sound like a lot, but we wanted to see how to handle everything first (taxes, licenses, insurance, billing, etc.)
    next year we are going to set our goal for 10 lawns.
    Most of our work has been in the extras (bushes, clean ups, etc.) and just wondered how you guys started out.

    Our goal, long term looks a little like
    1st year 4 lawns
    2nd year 10 lawns
    3rd year 25 lawns
    4th year 60....
    slowly growing until we can support the business as our full time income.

    any thoughts are appreciated!
    Yeah, and I know 4 lawns is not much, but like I said, we are trying to only take on what we can handle at this time. We want to do it right, and grow slowly, so we don't over-grow, and fail.
     
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    1st year: 12 lawns part time.
    2nd year: 35-45 lawns part time.
    3rd year: 85 lawns full time
    4th year: 100+ full time

    Basically by my 3rd year we were going full blast. I'm now in my 8th year, I had 85 lawns total this year, solo, very full time. Next year I am going to drop down to 65, and try to stay there, unless I start hiring.
     
  3. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 692

    1st. year 38 Lawns
    2nd year 82 Lawns
    3rd year Cant Find the paperwork right now but it was overa 100
    4th year 191 Lawns

    Word Of Mouth landed most Jobs
    80/20 Split resdental/commercial

    Twins so your not going full time untill your 4th year
     
  4. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    Hey weatherman, thanks for the reply.
    For a little background, I operate the business with my partner. He will probably go full time first, then myself when able.
    We want to ensure we can live off of the income before making any drastic moves. I have a wife and 2 kids (TWINS) and quitting my full time job will be a big decision. So we want to get a good foot in on the business, and be sure we can handle it when we go full time. He is getting married, and has financial needs as well.
    We figure we can handle 20 lawns in one day if needed, so until we at least reach that, we'll both be fine still working full time.
    We don't expect to go full time for 4 years, just to ensure enough time to experience as much as we can before making such a decision. Until then, we're trying to put as much money back into the business to build it up. We'd like to hit 100 lawns, and hire out some help when the time comes, then have a comfortable pillow to fall back on in a bad season. All a learning experience right now, but loving it!

    Let me know what you feel about this plan, if it seems odd, or if you agree with the ideas?
     
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Number and size really doesn't matter all that much...it's how much revenue they bring in that is most important. 20 postage stamp sized lawns a day may be nothing to some (me included). 10 or 12 3+ acre props each day is something else.

    Find your niche and go from there...good luck.
     
  6. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 692

    Your Plan Sounds Good you do what you have to do That's my Motto
     
  7. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,285

    started in may with 1 lawn. up to 12 weekly and a few bi-weekly in september, already taking accounts for next year too
     
  8. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi Twins_lawn_care,

    You have a lot of foresight. That is going to really pay off for you in the future!
     
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I think my first year I was like around 12 lawns, just by myself with my trusty old push mower...awww, those were the days
     
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++Word Of Mouth landed most Jobs++++

    I haven't seen that here at all in the DFW area. I started in January with zero accounts. I'm doing this full time and here I am 9 months later with 27 accounts. I'd guess about 65% hired me from a door hanger/flyer or other form of "paid" advertisement, and the balance hired me because they saw me doing their neighbors' lawn.

    Only one customer that I know of actually heard about me from a friend...word of mouth.

    Yes. I'm starving.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     

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