Landscape Freelancer

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Cam360, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Okay, so only a few lawns. Say you do 6 a week and you are able to average $20 a week per lawn. Even if you have no overhead for fuel, you are then still talking only $120 a week over 32 mowing weeks. You still have to pay for General Liability Insurance, then pay taxes, that leaves you with $83 at the end of the week.

    Of course you could always save the $500+ and not get insurance.

    I know it seems like I'm being a d***, there is a reason I am posting this. People get into this business all the time, like you, thinking that they can make a quick buck. But in reality 99.99% of them fail and lose more money than they make. They price themselves so low thinking "I can do it for cost or close to cost for a year to get the customers, then I'll raise my price a little each year" Then when they try to raise the prices the next year, they found that those cheap customers they have are just that, CHEAP, and the customer drops them for the next guy that comes knocking offering a cheaper price. Or guys like yourself who operate without insurance have an accident. Have you seen what can happen when a small rock is hit with a mower or even a string trimmer? You would be shocked how far it can go, and how easily it shatters a window. The customer calls his auto or home insurance and files a claim and mentions the guy mowing the lawn caused it. Guess what? Insurance is denying it and you are stuck with the $1,000+ bill.

    Even worse are what "companies" like this do to us legitimate legally operating businesses. Lowballers drive the market prices down, making it harder for companies that pay taxes and insurance to make a legitimate profit. We work hard enough to get ourselves to standout against our legitimate competition and peers, let alone Joe Schmo who will act as if he can do the same work for 1/4 the price.

    What are your hours you are available to do this work? Are you planning to work an hour each day after your full time job? or weekends? If you are a halfway descent worker I guarantee you can find a landscaper who will use you part time. You will make as much, if not more money than your current $10 a cut business plan, have insurance coverage if you damage anything and workers comp if you get injured. Start goggling in your area, pull out the yellow pages. You will find plenty of landscapers, many will be looking to pick up part timers this fall for cleanups, get in with one of them now, and next season you will be able to find season long part time work.
     
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    What is your motivation then if you don't want to make money?

    Now, if it's just a satisfaction thing, I can understand, but you have to realize that that there are people out there that do this for a living.

    So, with that said, you need to still be competitive with your pricing. It's a business ethics sort of deal.

    The reason being is that someday you'll leave or not do them anymore and your clients hire a dedicated contractor, you don't want your clients saying that the last guy did it for 10 bucks when the contractor bid it out at 40.

    Even if you are at the low end of market value, it's still better than being dirt cheap.

    That and even if you make a few bucks at it, that's OK. Just squirrel the money away and use it for a rainy-day fund or even donate back to a church or something. But, you still need to ethically charge your customers.


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  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,678

    Holy crap you are all over the place here. People that hire us generally don't have the right tools in the first place. If your not motivated by money what are you trying to prove? If you have little need to make money you are likely to lose interest quickly. Your whole business plan comes across half baked.
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  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    You should open a lemonade stand...
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  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,678

    Would the customer have to supply the lemons, sugar, water, ice and a cup?
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  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Yes, like a BYOB party! ;)
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  7. Durabird02

    Durabird02 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 144

    Definition:
    "a.Also called: freelancer a self-employed person, who is not employed continuously but hired to do specific assignments"

    You used the word "business" above in your initial post, but also the word "freelance". This is so confusing and you are obviously not interested in making this a full-fledged business, so why bother posting on here? This site is designed to help people with their "businesses".
     
  8. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Get a website and a po box. You can give instant online quotes through your website and you can receive payments through you po box. The instant online quote/email feature can be set up through AccuLawnsystems.com. We what the customer will see at AccuLawncare.com. If you do the postcards I would advise you to drive business to you website and give instant online quotes. We did close to 1000 bids and received over 200 new contracts this past spring in just 2 zip codes using postcards and door hangers and instant online quotes. Customers simply type in their address and get a quote in seconds. Then they can sign up right then and there. The best thing is that we did not waste time on manual measurements and did not waste money on fuel. Check out how this is possible at acculawnsystems.com. Furthermore, we are offering this system to only one LCO per area. So once a LCO signs up for the area we will not be able to offer this technology to any other LCO in that area. This is a huge advantage to the LCO that is able to use this method in their area to gain new customers. Also, the LCO will be the only one posted as a provider on acculawncare.com. Check to see if your area is available by going to acculawnsystems.com and reserve your spot today.
     

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