# I need a business coach!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by APLUS LAWN CARE, Jul 19, 2013.

1. ### APLUS LAWN CARELawnSite Senior MemberMale, from North MissouriPosts: 587

When I bid the job I didn't figure in any extra for travel but I did charge quite a bit. I mow two properties, one is about 1.4 acres and the other is about .25 acres and I make \$140 off them. It usually takes me a little less than 3 hours to drive there and mow and drive back.

2. ### APLUS LAWN CARELawnSite Senior MemberMale, from North MissouriPosts: 587

I don't mow very fast, I would say 2-3 mph so that would be around 1.5 acres per hour. I sometimes mow faster but a lot of the lawns I now are pretty rough so I have to take it easy or the mower will beat me to death. My mower uses around 1.5 gph so I use about a gallon an hour. So I'm guessing with overhead, repairs, fuel and everything else my expenses probably cost me around \$20 per hour.

3. ### dllawsonLawnSite Memberfrom Southeast, GAPosts: 172

When you first start trying to calculate a budget it is easy to get overwhelmed with the small details. It is often better to start with big easy numbers and then work to smaller more detailed numbers as you have the time or the interest.

There is a very simple way to start calculating your cost per hour to operate. Add up all of your expenses for the past 3 months. Dividing that number by 3 will give your average monthly expenses. Divide that number by the number of days a month you plan on working. (I use 20 for budgeting, but it would be more if you work Saturdays.) This will give your average daily expenses. Finally divide that number by the number of hours you plan on billing each day. This will give you an average cost per hour to operate.

Example: Expenses: April - \$2000, May - \$2800, June - \$2400.
Total expenses = \$7200. \$7200 / 3 months = \$2400 a month in expenses.
\$2400 / 20 working days = \$120 a day in expenses
\$120 / 6 billable hours = \$20 an hour in expenses

I understand this is an overly simplistic approach to budgeting, and I am only suggesting it as a starting point. However, it is fairly accurate and can be calculated in about 5 minutes so that you can start using it on your next bid.

4. ### zimmaticLawnSite Senior Memberfrom MinnesotaPosts: 411

aplus,

PM me I have a business coach you can contact.

5. ### APLUS LAWN CARELawnSite Senior MemberMale, from North MissouriPosts: 587

I just wanted to update everyone on what is going on now. I actually decided to take on some subcontract work for another LCO in my area. So far it has worked out really well. It really helps the bottom line. It did more than double my number of accounts though, so it keeps me busy.

6. ### 32vldLawnSite Gold Memberfrom Long Island, NYPosts: 3,984

Great advice. Trying to figure in every small cost when you have know idea how much 2 stroke oil, you will go through, or line, or edger blades in a season is a total guess that you hope you will not be that off. Bad to think you were making money and find out you broke even due to under estimating one's costs.

7. ### cpllawncareLawnSite Silver Memberfrom Greenville, SCPosts: 2,659

It really does get overwhelming trying to figure ALL the cost associated with a season, there's so much you just can't figure it all down to the dime, I try to keep up with all my receipts and do a pretty good job but it's almost like a job within a job, when your an owner operator. You really do have to watch though it's very easy to get in a negative cash flow situation.

8. ### APLUS LAWN CARELawnSite Senior MemberMale, from North MissouriPosts: 587

Yes, you are exactly right. When you are an owner/operator it is a job within a job. I keep really good track of my expenses. Luckily, I am not in a negative cash flow situation at this time and actually I am working on improving my cash flow but I could see how it would be easy to get in to that situation.