Is a 20 minute drive too long?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CompletePropertyCare, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. CompletePropertyCare

    CompletePropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I have an account ready to write me a check in two days, but he lives 20 to 25 min away from me. I can most likely lock up two other residentials in his area, is this too dar to drive?
     
  2. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    It is not for me. But, it really depends on what you need to make and how much the lawns are paying.
     
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    20 minutes can be 3 miles or 15 miles away. Hard to say. Most (90%) of my clients were withing 5 miles of my shop. I always had a few stragglers, people that moved or speculation on picking up more job in those outer areas.

    It depends on how much the job pays. if you can pick up a few more jobs in the same vicinity it begins to make more sense.
     
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Depends on your crew size for 1-guy no problem, for 3 thats 1-M/H. I build some drive time into my bid, if its real far I just tell the people I will bill you a flat rate for drive time. I avg about 85% of my M/H are billable, the rest is windshield or loading/unloading time.
     
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Not for us...we travel 45 minutes for our commercial accounts. However, once we get there in the morning we basically spend all day between them all. Our commercial accounts require a lot of extra work after the lawn...whether its bed weeding, sidewalk edging, annual arrangements, fert. the annuals, whatever.

    I think as long as you can recoup the cost of the drive then your okay.

    For instance, lets say I pay my employee $10/hr...well I get 30 per man hour for him from these accounts. Theoritically, if he works a billable hour...I have him covered for three hours...of course this doesn't include WC and the like...which is right around twelve per hundred.
     
  6. POPO4995

    POPO4995 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,206

    Starting this year, i'm going to drive 18 miles to one commercial account. Its a auto parts warehouse and it looks to be a $10000.00 account. It should be worth it. :)
     
  7. CompletePropertyCare

    CompletePropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Thats kind of the way I felt, since I'm paying someone to sit in the truck with me for 40 minutes a day its not so bad. Plus the houses are popping up like crazy in that area.
     
  8. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    Thats about the minimum I have to drive.
     
  9. elshauno

    elshauno LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    Drive it a couple times to advertise more in his neighborhood so you dont have 25 minutes of drive time to mow one property. youll mow 2 maybe more Periodically through the year put out flyers to gain more biz.
     
  10. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    Ask the new client for other accounts near by and flyer all around his house.
     

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