How much income should a two man employee only crew bring in in a day mowing?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jasonnau, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. rjh4758

    rjh4758 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    I my area they pay minimum wage to $10 an hour. I know CT and most of the northeast pay much higher due to cost of living.
     
  2. slamjamrockinman

    slamjamrockinman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 715

    You hit the nail on the head. These guys that move so SLOW and don't even realize it. They take 5 minutes just to get the mowers off and start mowing. That 5 minutes adds up when you do 15+ properties a day. Not to mention accounts spaced out, unskilled operators, the list goes on. When your doing volume, there is so many little things that can eat away your productivity. I totally agree, 17+ is completely attainable.
     
  3. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    Just to add my two cents back and give you a little more info, we mow 16-19 lawns per day with the price range being somewhere between 35 and 90. Take them all, divide the income and they average about 40 or so dollars each. As for a dollar amount, I've had plenty of 1000 dollar (gross) days. And quite a few 100 dollar (net) days. Usually when conditions are good and we've been behind and need to catch up. I doubt that my employees will accomplish that any time soon. If it's just me, with a helper, it's totally possible, just one long hard high paced day. Average day is about 700-800 if I'm the lead guy and I have a good helper. Solo, my day is usually around 500 or so given good conditions. There are plenty of guys on here that are full of it. Some people also get more where they live depending on the cost of living. Some people can't get $30 a cut in the South. In my part of the country, most lawns are $35-$45 cuts. That would be a nice average 150- $250,000 house with a .25 to .5 acre lot.. I also have found that I make more money mowing smaller homes. That's a fact. We have one $90 lawn that takes two people about an hour and a half to cut and trim. Some of my $35 dollar lawns take less than 15 minutes each with a 60 walk behind. Do the math. Plus, every new lawn care company that starts each year does the exact same thing. They go to the rich neighborhoods and advertise the hell out of them. This is generally where the bigger lawns are here. Either that or there in the country and those people don't hire lcos. They use their tractor. New guys don't know what the hell they are doing with bidding, and end up driving the price down by lack of knowledge, and so much competition in the rich neighborhoods. These people are used to it and the likelyhood of customer loyalty is less here than in the middle class neighborhoods. Your 60 dollar lawn could be underbid by half next year by the guy who just started out and wants to low ball. Here's what happens next, that guy works his but off on these big complicated lawns and either realizes he didn't make what he thought he was, or does a shitttty job and ends up replaced so many times that he goes out of business the folowing year. I constantly see this. So here's my perspective. I've always taken it slow and carefull, being myself and one good helper. I've looked for middle class neighborhoods as close to my home as possible (this is also a selling point for myself). I've done as close to perfect as humanely possible on everything I've ever done and gotten to be really fast and next to perfect at the same time. This year, I've found myself forced to grow. So now I've left my reputation and income in the hands of strangers who I really don't know all that well. So, I posted this thread to get someone elses vantage point that's already been in these shoes. Wether I confused people with gross and net, the only gross and net that I've really looked at was when it came to filing taxes. I've never taken the time to add repairs and equipment (mine is all paid off except the trucks), or add the insurance and such to figure out a bottomline. I think most of you guys are right on with your figures. Some of you haven't taken the time to figure out the hidden costs (as I haven't either), and some of you have spent quite a bit of time on it. I appreciate the responses so far. Tell you the truth, landscape and landscape maintenance is where the money is really at. I've had $3000 (gross) days with that. Problem is that I can't rely on it. I do a lot of it, but summer is slow. Mowing is what keeps the money coming in steadily. But, having a product to sell for more than what you paid for it as well as making your hourly rate always leads to a more profitable day. I'm just rambling on now, but that's where I stand on things.
     
  4. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,897

    I'd love to have a $1000 day. Much of this depends on the market one is in too. When I lived in Akron, OH I could easily charge $40.00 a cut for a city lot. Here in Atlanta the going rate is $20.00. I have seen my competitors' quotes and most of them are well-respected legit companies. Then there's acreage. A one-acre lot could easily bring home $80.00-$100.00 a mow, but not in the Atlanta market:$60.00. Companies around here are generally larger operations that make their money on volume, not margin. This is why so many of the smaller operations are driving around in 20-year-old trucks and beat-up trailers. They need to compete with the larger discount pricing outfits just to have their bids considered. All the other facets of landscaping are the same way. The craziest bids are probably on irrigation systems. Guys down here price by the number of zones (stupid IMHO). Three zone system? $1200.00 installed. That's $400.00 a zone. Gotta go.
     
  5. southern118

    southern118 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    i really dont understand how people cant mow that many lawns in an 8 hour day. i work part time and we mow roughly 10 to 15 yards in a 3 to 4 hour shift. all residential and average size yards. The best thing you can do is have two or three yards that you never have to go back to the truck for. this is with a 2 man crew or 3 man crew on the days we have to bust out 15 in about 2 1/2 hours
     
  6. RECESSION PROOF MOWING

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    I can run myself and one other guy from 7am to 5:00 and generate gross $400-$500 pretty comfortably. I'm making money. Your numbers are a little low for my liking. Something's better than nothing, I suppose but I have a simple and effective way of determining if you're business is worth doing. Find your net income per day, after all expenses up, down, left, and right, it's all taken off the gross. Then look at that number square in the face. Is that number enough to get you out of bed in the morning? Honestly? If that number doesn't excite you, you're not making money and the business probably needs to be farmed out and you spend your time doing something else. Or, if the number does get you up and out, concentrate on making the route leaner. Cut payroll, add properties, whatever. I do both and I'm looking good at a strong 40% net, up from 23% last year margin. See, $100 in my pocket for a long hard day isn't worth it to me. I won't get up for $100. I could sit in front of Craigslist in my underwear and sell crap for much more than a Benjamin. But $250...yeah...I'm in for that number. And the good thing about my income is that I've got 5 crews making money for me every day while I go out with one other worker. So money's coming in from all directions. That's what you want to accomplish. Anything short of that and you're just trading time for money...and not much at that.
     
  7. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    Even with a 3 man crew 15 lawns in 2.5hrs is very difficult. We can do it in a sub division where we have 7 lawns all together and another with 8 lawns. This practically eliminates wasted windshield time, etc. If the routing was not that close I don't think we could get then done no matter how small the lawns are. The windshield, loading/unloading would kill you. Think about it this way, you must be getting a lawn done in less then 10 minutes. If you have to drive to the next lawn you must deduct your drive time plus your loading/unloading from that 10 minutes. Crap you may be left with only 3 minutes to get the lawn mowed, trimmed and blowed off. Like I said if the lawn are not in groups of 7 or more we or probably no one else could not get them done in 2.5 hrs.
     
  8. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    maybe you should find someway to see if they are slacking off. maybe follow then and see what they are doing. if they are newbies still, theres a concern right there.
     
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    It never ceases to amaze me how people on here don't realize that not every area is like theirs. Not every area has the population density and layout to allow mowing multiple lawns in a single stop. If I parked my truck and mowed three lawns in a row on my road I'd end up over 1/2 mile away. The minimum lot size is 20K square feet (1/2 acre) and just north of me its 80k (2 acre) and many of the house are on lots much larger than that. My house lot is 4.2 acres.
     
  10. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,897

    I'd have to agree. Those lawns would have to be fairly small and located right next to each other to make this happen. A 60" Z rider can pump out roughly 4 acres an hour on wide open land, so maneuvering in between residences would probably net someone 2-3. If the houses average a fifth-acre of turf or less then this could be possible with another guy at the hands of the trimmer/edger. The mower operator would likely be done right around the 2:15 mark which would leave time for him to start up the blower.
    Operating solo with a 48" hydro walk, I can usually drop gate-mow-trim-edge-blow-reload trailer-deliver paperwork on a quarter acre lot in about 30 minutes.
     

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