I need feed back on eco-lawn applicator

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by marquis de sod, May 10, 2010.

  1. roccon31

    roccon31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    wow, at over double your price, i find it very hard to make much money at spreading compost!
  2. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 625

    Thanks for the link- I'll be buying one of those, I could see that working quite well instead of the ol' scoop shovel.

    My main focus is delivering the Composted Cow Manure & Top-dressing is secondary. It's easier (not easy) scheduling deliveries compared to topdressing but I (as a one man band) want to try & do both during my days off from the regular job. Can definitely be tricky being 2 & 3 places at the same time but I'm getting pretty good with time management.

    I look at it this way:
    Customer A: Orders bulk soil for their garden-
    Great, I deliver 5 cubic yards.
    Customer B: Orders a topdressing service.
    Great, I delivery 5 cubic yards.

    Question: To which customer would I have not sold 5 cubic yards to if I had not had the Top-dressing unit (even if it's a slow Turfco)?

    Answer: Customer B never would have purchased 5 yards from me without the TD service offered.

    Friday the friendly Ecolawn rep & I had a very nice visit. He suggested I wasn't charging enough for our services but then a short time later when discussing dumptrucks etc- he suggested that when the economy turned south he had to sell all his TD equipment & trucks. I gleaned from his observation that my pricing was actually right on cue. At least I'm getting the work while turning even a moderate profit right? $275 for a layer of organic compost spread over my entire lawn- not a bad deal. Now try and sell a $500+ service, I just can't see it happening. The proof is in the pudding,,,,even with my bargain pricing---neighbors aren't beating down our doors for the same service.
    Have to say, i love this opportunity to learn from others in the same occupation. Thanks for all your insight!
  3. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Err wrong. Not to criticize but you need to factor in equipment cost, insurance, professional services (payroll), Taxes, etc. Before you tell yourself how much "money you are making".

    For three hours time, I would factor out anywhere from 45 to 90 bucks for cost of doing business. Thus $275 - $85(materials) - $60(cost of doing business) = $130. Divide that by how long it took you to advertise, bid the job, load the compost, get to the site, finish application, and billing/bookkeeping... and you will get a better idea of how much you make per hour charging that rate. Just my .02
  4. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

  5. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Good advice JD. Also sometimes its just the cash flow, the bucket of chicken and case of beer at the end of the day that really matters.
  6. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 625

    All great points throughout the last few replies- Very true indeed concerning the bottom-line.
    Unfortunately I'm tickled to just be working my tiny business that has evolved out of a microcosm.
    Indeed I need you guys to keep me focused on what pays the bills.

    Concerning my advertising time- Thankfully while delivering pizzas for a small restaurant three weeks ago I was able to hang some of our yard signs on my way back in. Was like I was getting paid to hang my signs- WORKED GREAT! Even better was three days later I scheduled several compost deliveries--& they'd all seen our new signs.

    Loving this thread!

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