money questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by legendrider, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. legendrider

    legendrider LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    im only looking to make 500 a week or 2000 a month is my lawn business i am retired from the police force on disabilty. my pension has great benefits but i need a good 400 to 500 a week to stay afloat. how many lawns would i need if i wasnt to work part time. and if i wanted to sub out jobs like mulch and hardscape how does that process work. i have a good truck and 6x12 enclosed trailer and know what equipment to by. what do you guys do in the fall for clean ups as far as pricing goes. i can price lawns pretty good i assume an acre an hour is accurate so im saying 45 dollars? 40 and hr for pruning and like 50 dollars to edge curbs and walks once a month with stick edger?
     
  2. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    legend, If you need 2000 a month for your living expenses, you will need that for 12 months, I'm assuming, not the eight or so you can do lawns in NJ. Also, take home and gross are two very different things. Once you account for marketing, insurance, fuel, maintenance, taxes, equipment purchase, etc., you may find that the gross sales number being many times your net income needs. Your overhead and profit needs along with local going rates for inexperienced operators will drive your final pricing #s. We can't tell you if any particular # will work for you without knowing all those details and then some.
     
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    In brunswick area I would say your season (depending on year and assuming residential only) would start in early to mid-april and end right around thanksgiving. It'll come out somewhere around 8 months of operating. You say you need to have 2k/month in order to stay afloat. Making an assumption that uncle same takes 25% YOU will need to generate ~675 per week or 2700per month (assuming only 4wks/month) or $32,400 for the year. According to my assumptions (yes, they are very broad:( ) your business will need to provide YOU with ~4k/month...utilizing you are only working 8 months out of the year.

    Now, I'll make another WAG (wild a$$ guess) and assume you will need to make 35% over the 4k per month in order to cover all of your business expenses from insurance to phones and paper to pencils. So that means you need to gross somewhere around 5.4k/month or 1350/week. Assuming you do all lawns and only lawns and it averages out to be 50 per cut....you would need to be doing 27 lawns per week.

    Making another WAG...I'll assume you are getting 50 for a 1 acre lot and they average you 40 minutes per cut. So...1080 minutes or ~18hrs per week. So perhaps three 6hr days.

    Now, there are holes all over this theory, assumption, whatever you want to call it...I'm just trying to give you an idea of what you need to be looking at and taking into account. Okay give me a minute...bulletproof vest is one fire away:gunsfirin
     
  4. joe millionare

    joe millionare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    LB1234-that post was very informative. that is what helps us new guys. best answer ive seen to a post, thanks
     
  5. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    Do yourself a favor and charge yearly prices for lawn cutting out of 8 or 12 months either or depending if you can budget for those winter months. For clean-up the first year you may want to charge a flat 40 or so an hour for just a blower and charge disposal. Sub the disposal out if you can to a guy with a leaf vac. If you didnt live up north and were more in my area I would say you could almost get away with charging a monthly price for 12 months when its only meant for 9 months. Meaning that you bill the lawn care out for 9 months and then your paid. But you bill them for three more months due to the leaves and pick them up 2-3 times. With my system u would bring in an extra $270 for the leaves. I doubt I could get that for a regular $25 lawn but if could get away with half that you would be in good shape.
     
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I guess I'll be the one who ask, How can you be disabled enough from the police force and yet be able enough to mow propertys all week? Its not easy and you still deal with the public.
     
  7. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Posts: 907

    In N.J your season starts as soon as you can dig, I usually start mid march. I have planted in frozen ground, while your digging it thaws and then the sun hits it and your good, never had a problem. The season for you if you don't plow would end,middle November, before then though start advertising for Christmas lighting.
     
  8. exmark72

    exmark72 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    cant u get in trouble for doing this type of labor if ur on disablity?
     
  9. legendrider

    legendrider LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    an exellent questions i was complety disabled from my job over 4 years ago thanks to science and modern medicine im a better now but my certs have ran out and i am officially retired. going back is not an option as the liability would be too great to absorb for the pd. i can run a mower and probably enlist a helper down the road to lift larger loads. if your work smart you can avoid working to hard. if im only working 3 6 hours days that gives me plenty of recovery time if needed plus i have great benifits to cover any medical problems if needed . thanks for your concern. trying to explain how government works would take a year and a day and several phone calls to explain.
     
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    LB1234 makes some good points but one thing about pricing. You will have to build up to the point that you have customers that pay the right price to support that income.
    Also the WAG that you will make $24K a year with 18 hours of work a week I think is hard to do for 3-4 years. You need to buy equipment to do lots at a price that will be profitable. That will eat a lot into the income in the first few years. You will also need to build a client list and that will take a lot of advertising in the start. For every hour on the job you will need to drive to the job and do maintenance and repairs after work on equipment. Than you need to do administration work and sales work. If you are pushing a mower and swinging a trimmer 20 hours you need to figure about 40 hours total into the business each week.
    About your health- If you need to hire help to life heavy stuff that will cost you labor money. You now have to sell 2 X's the work to cover the help.
    If you need to recover from this work each day, I have to question why you want this.
    It is hard backbreaking work in hot conditions that will wear a young man down. For a older man that is already "challenged", that is just starting up and needing equipment, AND needing income from the start, I would think hard about this line of work.
    Not trying to put you down or bust a bubble, just talking honest and from experience. Lots of teens talk pie in the sky on this site (this is not to LB1234) but in reality this is hard work that pays low to OK depending on how hard you work. Good luck in you decision.
     

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