Kansas City Mowing Market

Discussion in 'Network: Central' started by OPLawns, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. OPLawns

    OPLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Hello everyone, my name is Scott and I am in the Kansas City area and new to this forum. I am currently a student at Kansas State and will be graduating shortly. I am considering starting a commercial lawn mowing business in the Johnson County area. I have a few questions that some of your experience may help to answer:

    (As a preface, I must mention that through highschool I mowed 30-40 lawns per week with a truck/trailer/commercial equip...so I have a good base of experience for estimating, billing, and scheduling)

    1) Is anyone on this forum familiar with the KC mowing market? Do you feel that it is over-saturated with lawn care businesses? HOW EASY WAS IT FOR YOU TO COME UP WITH A SUBSTANCIAL AMOUNT OF ACCOUNTS IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME?
    2) This is a glimpse at my business plan: Start one crew next season with me anD one employee mowing around 2.5 residential lawns per hour for a 40 hour week. Invest about 30K into truck, trailer, and commercial equip. Next season, start another crew and promote the old employee to a foreman position on the original crew and invest another 30K into a second truck, trailer, and two more mowers that are larger for the more commercial accounts and hire one more employee to help me with the second crew. So the plan is to have around 200 residential accounts (total) or less if there are more commcerial accounts mixed in by my second season. DOES THIS SOUND OUT OF THE QUESTION?
    3) I also plan to plow in the winter with each of my trucks and realize that most contracts in Kansas/Missouri are on triggers and bill per push. DOES THIS SOUND RIGHT FOR OUR AREA? HOW MUCH DO YOU GUYS CHARGE PER SQ FT/ACRE?
    4) Lastly, I plan to buy a Lesco-style spray rig and an aerator and would hope that at least 30% of my customers would have me perform those services. WHILE COMPETING WITH CHEMLAWN, DOES THIS SOUND ACCURATE AND/OR LIKELY?
    5) Including fall cleanup...can I expect AT LEAST 8 MONTHS of mowing Kansas City?
    6) How easy was it to find warehouse space in Johnson County and how much are you paying for sq ft?

    ***Thank you very much for your help. In order for me to jump head-over-heals into this mowing venture, I must have a proven business plan that minimizes my risk. Any and all feedback that you guys give will help!
  2. Loy's Home Services  LLC

    Loy's Home Services LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Sounds to me that you really don't need any advise. You sound like your pretty familiar with the buisness. As far as finding shop space I can't help you in that part of KC, I'm up in Platte City.

    Good luck with your biz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:usflag: :clapping:
  3. OPLawns

    OPLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    So was it easy for you to get a substancial amount of lawns in the KC area? Do you mow a full 8 months?
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Anything easy to get into is going to be oversaturate with high school kids to weekender's making money to make new truck payments,etc.

    Yes I feel it is oversaturate in KC. Sounds like you need to buy accounts for your game plan.

    How much were you charging for average size lawn (7 - 9K) in high school?
  5. OPLawns

    OPLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I guess there are some benefits to buying lawns because it is more sure-fire than spending money on hit or miss advertising...but undercutters really do suck:(
    During highschool I charged $25-$35 depending on size, location, layout, etc for all of my lawns that were in the older part of Overland Park (north of 435). I had a couple of commercial accounts that I estimated by using a rate of $75 per hour to complete. I have a good friend that cuts a fair amount of lawns south of 435 in new OP that charges $35 minimum...and most of those lawns have sprinkler systems:)
  6. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    I saw a flyer Saturday left at a empty house I mow that they are trying to sell it. This is in a 300,00+- subdivsion I mow in. The flyer had to be from teenagers and it said:

    We will mow your lawn for $25 - $35 and we provide gas. :laugh:

    Somebody on this site said they never advertise but get new customers from referrals. Recently that same person posted on a buying customers thread that he gains customers by buying others out. Well no wonder he never advertises since he spends his advertising budget on buying lawns. Oh yea now I remember it was Rodfather. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Buying lawns made be the best way to get a kick start the first year but still advertise beginning of mowing season.

    Send an email to a few of the guys who mention they buy lawns on this site and maybe if you ask real nice they will send you a sample non-complete buying lawns contract they use.

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