Just Grass? Is it worth it? Solo?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by K.Carothers, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Great site! As I finish my second season I would like to know who only cuts. I have 60 accounts and found myself doing anything and everything to do with landscaping(mulch jobs, prunning, planting, weeding, walls etc....). Last year(my first yr) I did this because I only had 35 accounts and needed the cash. I continued this pattern this year and found myself chasing my tail the entire year to please my customers. I hired 2 employees and went at it. We did get all the work done but the headaches :realmad: My 2 employees will not be with me next season(moving). I need advice from you pro's. Next year I plan on just grass, solo. This is what I love to do. Are you doing/done never to do it again? Can you make a good living being a solo just cutting or do I need to be a full sevice landscaping co.
     
  2. Green Care

    Green Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    It's up to you you can make money just mowing,we do everything.With help you can take on more just charge the right price.
     
  3. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124


    Thanks for the reply. Good help is hard to come by. I was talking with a local lco and he said he had some very good workers but once they learn the business they start there own. Have you found this?
     
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Just out of courisity how were you running your crews? Did you have a mowing crew and then another to do everything else or just have one crew and do it all at each stop? The companies that I see here that seem to do the best have seperate crews. Theory of constraints philosophy I guess, they cut as much grass as they can and keep that crew moving while another trims busshes and trees, changes the annual flowers, and adds mulch and yeeat another crew that sprays PGRs , fertilizes and sprays weeds. Would a set up like that work for you better? They get a lot of grass cut and the accounts that want the add ons still produce money but at a little slower rate.
     
  5. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    The key is charge a lot for the P.I.A. sidework; it's draining and often you loose money on sidework. P.S. no favors or freebees for customers this will sink you, I promise!
     
  6. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    1 crew/myself and 2 others. 2 cut / 1 trims and blows then we go. A systematic approach. This system worked great until I started adding landscaping jobs. my thoughts at the time was "hey, I have 2 hard working people lets get the business" and I did. I have to admit my lack of experience with time managment/lawn industry/pia that want you to do anything and everything broke my smooth running system of just dealing with grass. On top of that all the rain we had put my cuttings behind. I charge by the cut and when you skip a week here and there due to the weather it adds up to a lot of cash at the end of the year since you only have a set amount of weeks of cutting for the season and can never regain that week. Thanks for your advice- much needed!
     
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    noooooooooooooooo
     
  8. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Please give me the reasons you can't make it at being a solo. I'm crunching the numbers. Your experience will be greatly appreciated. :help:
     
  9. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Yhea if you're getting more into the installation biz then it really neeeds to be a seperate entity. That way you can back your installs with maintence programs. I think that you'd be better off in the long run to do the installs rather than maintain. People seem to have less of a problem paying for installations but think maintence should be dirt cheap. The consumer has absolutely no idea what overhead costs are involved with mowing and expect you to do it for nothing but when it comes to hiring an arborist or rennovation/installation company they seem to have no trouble with that. My suggestion here would be to have 2 seperate companies and wait until the installation/rennovation one grows large enough to support you then if the maintence side is really not producing much sell it off. jmy.02
     
  10. Lawnkeeper

    Lawnkeeper LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 31

    I found out the hard way that if you only cut grass, you are enviting other lco onto your clients property. Do you really want your customer calling another business to mulch, fert and trimm shrubs? Once they are at your customers house they usually try to sell themselves as a one stop business. Try to offer as much as possible and charge accordingly.
     

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