Low Cost / High Volume

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dwthomas, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. dwthomas

    dwthomas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been working on a new business plan for the '05 season and was wondering if anyone has implemented this idea. Currently we run a 52' Bobcat, a 36' Exmark, and a 21' inch Toro. On a part-time basis we handle between 30-40 accounts per week, the majority of my customer's lots are around 9,000 sq. feet. We have a few that are larger acreage sized properties.
    We are putting together a plan that would target the numerous sub-divisions that are popping up everywhere. Most of these lots are 7-8,000 sq feet and do not require the larger machines. We are thinking about using smaller sized trucks (s-10's) and 21'inch mowers to reduce costs. We are also thinking of dropping our mowing prices down to $22 for properties measuring up to 10,000 sq. feet. Does anyone run a similar business model, and if so how is it working? Thanks in advance for all of your advice.
     
  2. B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc

    B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    You have to set a base price for what you think your quality of work and time are worth. Don't lower your price to much just to get the work because then it'd hard to raise a price if you find out later you figured a little off. I don't unload a mower for anything less than $25. The lowest price i use is $25. What that covers is a garden home (1400 sq ft) sitting on a 1/4 acre lot with basic mowing and bagging and the trim, edge and blow. Most of these type yards only take about 15 to 20 minutes to work and i have several side by side down the same street. I even put my 61" Scag turf tiger on them as well or my 48" Scag tiger cub. If there are any trees on the lot i go to $30 immediately. I run my same full size GMC Z-71. You might spend more money than you make if you have to buy the s-10's and smaller equipement. If a customer request i use push mowers or smaller mowers i raise the price as well. Anything the customer DEMANDS cost extra.
     
  3. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

  4. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    There is an LCO here at the beach who has a F350 crew cab and a 20' enclosed trailer. All 21" mowers. 6 guys jump out and "run" to cut a yard with the 21" mowers. It is a sight to see. They are fast and do a pretty good job. Just not our style. They also cut it for next to nothing and speak no english.
     
  5. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 465

    how big are the yards?
     
  6. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    The more truck you run the more insurance and gas you'll shell out. I'd say keep your prices up and so fewer. Low balling will eat up a lot in the way of trying to replace customers, track through all the billing etc. Sure fewer lawns will hurt more if you loose one customer but is much requires less expense. Think of all the extra trimmer line, gas for the mowers and extra wear and tear you have to got through to maintain any level of profit. Get a tight route of fewer houses.
     
  7. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850


    1/4 to 1/2 acres. Most look to be about 1/4.
     
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    do a search.
    the member just mow it does what you speak of check out his web site.
    he does $1.4 million/year with little 1/4 ton trucks and 21's
     
  9. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    This idea is leading to less profits for sure. Switching to less productive machines and then lowering your price on top of that. If you drop your rates some nut will come in even cheaper than you to get accounts. I don't mean to sound harsh but I'd like to see us all make more money not less!
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    10k is a little under a quarter acre. you will kill yourself, and the 21"'s on these properties. why not use 36" machines? they are more durable, will cut high wet grass with ease, and will be more productive. i hate your idea. entirely too cheap too
     

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