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mowing is a loss

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i've heard it here many times, "mowing is a loss leader." i heard it again yesterday, while talking to a very nice young man who owns an lco in a neighboring town. seems he mows 300 lawns per week. and he says, "mowing is a loss, i make money on the extras." please, someone explain to me how the hell that can be. here is an example of an average residential contract- 28 mows per season x $30 per = gross of $840 for the seasonal mowing. the same property fetches perhaps a gross of $300 for the fert program, and perhaps $250 in trimming. not everyone gets ferts + trimming though, the majority of residents use an outsource cheapo fert company. why would u take a repeat service like mowing, and work it as a loss, in hopes of making a few crumbs on the 1x - 2x per year trimming + a few ferts? this makes no sense to me. my mowing work is by far, my #1 priority + money maker. please help me understand
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    To him it's a loss leader cause he doesn't make the % margin he does on the premium services like fert, aerating, etc. But I agree with you bg...I couldn't survive without it (mowing). And alot of the time the only way you ever get the premium services is to first offer mowing...the premium services come later on after you have established a repoire with that customer.
  3. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    His yards must be really spaced out. The tighter the route the more you make.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Without mowing I would be at a loss. I make pretty good money on mowing only and it's certainly enough to do the things I need and want to do. The extras are nice but without a huge route list of customers I don't see how it can be steady money like mowing is.
  5. slebeau20

    slebeau20 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 103

    Mowing is my salary week in and week out. Everything else is a bonus.
  6. METRO 36

    METRO 36 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    Aeration is my bread and butter spring and fall.

    Mowing is the reason im in the business, and pays all the bills threw the spring and summer.

    hedge trimming,tree trimming and removal,brush clearing,snow removal,etc is winter spring and fall work. gotta do something dont wanna get fat.

    but i run a tight route,(my furthest lawn is 7 mile's away and i do three there) so windshield time is not a problem, I can m ow all day most days and only put 30 miles on my truck but on average i only average 20-25.

    example thursday morning pull truck out from under carport, mow neighbor to left right and across the street, load mower drive to the end of the street mow three more. first 3 15 min each 20.00, next three 20 min each 25.00.
    135.00 before i even leave my street, done byb ten then move on to the next lawn.
  7. zim bob the landscaper

    zim bob the landscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    u should of said ill take your accounts. lol but that kid doesnt know what hes talking about unless hes not making the pay much.
  8. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    Here is what I would call a typical bobbygedd post as to the "real world" too many of you live in the world that is advertized in turf, Using the same technology that was developed in 1980.

    Mowing is big money if you are efficient. Get mowers that trim while you mow. Get mowers that contour mow even if wide. They can be found.
  9. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    power washing, aerating, dethatching, painting, fertilizing, mulching, garden maintence. theese are all extras that i've seen lawn care pros offer. they can be much more profitable than mowing. but come on BG, you have been in biz for what, 9 years? and you haven't figured this one out yet?. wow, you ask the kind of questions i would, well, maybe not even me.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    wrong. mowing can be extremely profitable, when done properly

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