How much can a solo make!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cgrant711, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. cgrant711

    cgrant711 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Ya that's one of the mowers I've been looking at. I'm either gonna buy the commercial toro or exmark 30 or a little bit larger walk behind, because it would eventually become a back up and for use on smaller yards
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  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    I do not have a full schedule though if I did it would still be hard to give a straight answer. Even if we get $60 and we worked a 40 week season you hit the buttons on the calculator you would come up with the potential to say wow, $96,000 a year gross.

    But the we do not just work a fixed week schedule. You can not even say you are not going to do any Landscape work over the winter. Well I did 3 jobs January 2014. Because you work every day during the summer does not mean you work every day in the spring and fall. So with hours varying week to week you can only guess.

    In my case if I were to hit my target number of customers I could say that based on that my mowing season is x weeks long I am going to make y dollars. Though even that number will be off. Because not every one has the full number of cuts. You are not always going to have everyone feed and water so their grass starts growing early and delays going dormant in the fall.

    Same with Fall clean ups, spring clean ups, fert & lime, aerate, reseeding, are things that not every customer wants. So just because you have 40 customers does not mean you will get 40 Fall clean ups, etc.

    You will have people that want their lawns mowed and do their own clean ups, or pay for clean ups and mow their own lawns. So even if you plan on having 40 customers. They will not all want full service.

    Now if I was to hit my ideal number of customers. The best way I can project my gross would to say if I have 12 customers now 4 want fert, 8 want clean ups, etc. Then if I had 24 customers then 8 would want fert, 16 would pay for clean ups, etc.

    So I could get what I would think is a good guess.

    For me 24 customers wanting the same mix of work that I currently do I could yield a gross of $35,472. Now if I had all full service customers then I could gross $50,592.

    Now I do some tree and shrub pruning though they are not that often so my numbers could go any where from $100 - $1,000 more.

    Then I do some snow. Though where I live we get snow every year though not every year can be counted on to make a lot of money. So I never count on making money with snow and never project how much money I can make. You can not run budgets on money that may not be made.

    Could I handle more then 24 customers solo? I do not know. Let me get to 24 first. It is easy to count your chickens before they hatch and properties before you have them.

    Though 48 customers would put me at $70,944 - $101,184.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  3. cgrant711

    cgrant711 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Thanks, that's much more realistic and helps when making a decision to do this full time, what to really expect. I know not everyone is going to want weekly mowing and full service, but I would try to narrow my customers down to the ones that will pay someone to do all there yard work. I also didn't clarify what I meant as well in my first question, I wouldn't just have 30 or 40 customers, but may have 100 total customers that want different things, but I would try to get a schedule that would give me 30-40 lawns to mow each week, plus weekends to do any misc. work. And with a ideal schedule i wanted to know how much was possible to gross, and I think I've figured out now what I could realistically what do.
    Thanks again!
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  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Here in the land of $25 cheap cuts from the bigger Co. I'd say do this as a sideline income booster with minimal equipment. Go to college and get an education.

    In another thread someone was claiming they where making $75k with a regular job and enjoyed mowings his limited number of accounts. Hey that's great but whatever happened to enjoying ones down time and go fishing or something vs chasing after more work. If you can't live off of $75k....? Maybe cost of living is outrageous...:confused:

    I believe it's possible to make over $60k gross a year in my area in lawn maintenance but would require doing snow or other more profitable work than just mowing per say.
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  5. cgrant711

    cgrant711 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Thanks for the help, I am going to college, and I'm getting a degree in the construction field, My grandfather and uncle are both contractors and I will probably go towards that direction, but I am wanting to build a landscape business so when I become a general contractor and building homes or remodels, I can use my landscape company and not have to sub out as much work. But I want to start with lawn maintenance and gradually build it up mowing 4 days a week and earning different license to do irrigation, herbicide, and pesticide, and taking classes for landscaping. For now I would be solo, but I think by the time I'm out of college, I should have a crew or 2 doing mowing routes and the extra jobs, while I found more work to keep them busy and would have time to start the construction side of business.
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  6. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    If you want to have more opportunity and more income, get your cert/license to do chemical applications. There are a lot fewer guys that provide these full service capabilities to their customers, and if you are already visiting a property, it doesn't take that much time to do an app while you're there. What I'm saying is everybody and their brother is mowing, so you need to provide something extra.
     
  7. cgrant711

    cgrant711 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Ya I really want to be able to do that and irrigation repairs and installs as well. I think this next fall when I'm not mowing, I'll take the classes and get certified/licensed for both.
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  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,963

    A reasonable answer is less than $30k take home.
     
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Good point most of my growth in 2014 will be in lawn applications this year. Problem is everybody and their brother does that here as well. One has to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

    Nate, Do you spray trees and shrubs as well or just stick with lawns?

    I've already met a fair amount of resistance since I don't spray trees and shrubs. :(
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  10. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    I'm licensed to do ornamentals and turf, but don't really go after the trees and shrubs as far as chemical apps. We mainly treat turf for weeds and fire ants around here. In my area, I'd estimate only about 10% of LCO's have licenses to do apps, most just mow.
     

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