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How much do you want me to pay you to let me cut your lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gogetter, May 28, 2004.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    That's what some of these idiot lawn guys should be saying when they go to give an estimate!

    I went to give an estimate on a 1 acre lawn. I currently do all smaller lawns (5K to 12K sq.ft.) and get $25-30 per lawn.

    I didn't really even want to go to give this estimate because I knew I wouldn't get it. I told him $70. He said I'm more then double what he was paying his last guy. They started at $28 and after two years raised it to $30.

    I can do 3 smaller lawns in almost the same amount of time (assuming they're close to each other) and take in $75-90.

    What idiot would do an acre lawn for $28-30?!?!?!? Minus helpers pay, taxes, gas, insurance, etc. etc. etc., what's left.......$10???.

    This is before factoring in all the "non-billable" hours of work involved in running this business (equipment maintenance, giving estimates, office work, etc). Then what's left then....$5-6???

    I can go work at McDonalds and make better money!!!

    The guy charging $28-30 for lawns this size is practically paying the customers to let him mow their lawns. How nice of him! Dumbass!

    I'll stick to my little $25 lawns.

    Just venting, I feel better now.
  2. GTLC

    GTLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 700

    Yes, I used to charge the same amount for a one-acre lawn before I really realized I was way low. Now, I price right. I have a 2/3 acre commercial account I mow weekly for $100. Now that is pricing right!
  3. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    Well-- I can see that you are smarter then most. You are right on target with your mind set. Here's what I live by " If you are going to work for nothing, stay home,--- it's cheaper"
  4. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Not really paying the customer though is he? He's incurring various expenses, but never actually giving the customer money :) It's more like the LCO and the Customer are sharing the expense of mowing the lawn. But I get your point, just playin with ya.
  5. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    Just a little more info, this last lawn guy was using a ztr. I currently use a 52" hydro wb, and a 36" belt drive wb.

    For a split second, I think to myself "if I had a rider I could do it in less time, and then I could charge a little less". But then I wake up and realize I have about 5 grand wrapped up in my wb's, and one rider would run between 7- 8 grand. So why would I charge less when I have more invested in equipment?!! Well....I wouldn't!.
    Besides, even if I had said $60, or even $55 for this lawn, this guy wasn't going to go from paying $30 to $55-60.

    So how this other lawn guy was making any money at those prices when you consider he's using a costly ztr is beyond me.
    And this doesn't even factor in replacement cost of that equipment! At some point that $7-8K mower will need to be replaced. Where does that money come from? I can't imagine there's much savings left in the bank account at his prices.

    Oh well, what can you do? Just keep doing what I do and let those guys knock themselves out! :laugh:
  6. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    I know you were just playing, but seriously, if you really broke it down to the penny, and I mean everything right down to the stamp and envelope the bill goes out in, I wouldn't be surprised if he was just breaking even.

    Obviously I don't know exactly what that guys costs are, but I have a separate business phone line, storage unit rent for my equipment, advertising costs, uniform shirts, and on and on right down to business cards, printer ink cartridges and trimmer line. It ALL adds up. None of that stuff's free.

    Now that guy may not have all of these same expenses, but still.......I just can't see there being any real profit left over.
    And why take on all the stress and responsibility of owning a business for peanuts? I'd rather punch a clock and leave all that stress to someone else, and actually bring home a paycheck.

    But like I said, I'll stick to my little lawns at $25-30 a pop where I can do 2.5 to 3 in an hour with a helper and a good dense route.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    gogetter that's why i do small lawns, there is more money in small lawns
  8. Burger

    Burger LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 192

    I am not in the Lawn Business, more of a vending route. seven years ago a fella blew in from Seattle and started hanging equipment everywhere. We bumped heads over one site, which I let him have. He told me he was going to put me out of business.
    I bought his Business last year, and he signed a non compete agreement. Keep your eye out, just might be a Cheap Z for sale there soon.
  9. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I agree 100%...especially if you can get a bunch in a tight route...that's the ticket!
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    read my new thread "do you really know how important neighbors are?"

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