Northern Pricing Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnman_scott, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Someone started a thread about moving to FL because of a bad drought year and was asking about pricing in FL. He got the extreme bad of everything FL has to offer. So just for kicks I came up with some numbers.

    Say you make $1 per minute as has been stated on this site for years now. A 36 week season, 50 hours a week (you and one employee full time and a part time guy in summer), plus 8 snowstorms@20 hours each.

    You and the 1 employee should bring in about $110,000 each gross and say the part time guy works 20 weeks at 20 hours a week, thats an additional $25,000.

    So for the summer you are at $245,000. Now say you get 8 snowstorms @ 20 hours worked for you and your employee. I have heard people say they make about 3 times as much for snow. So that would be another $60,000.

    So your at about $300,000 gross for the year.

    Now in FL we charge a flat rate for the month. Say you charge $100 a month for everyone. You can do 2 1/2 lawns an hour easy with 2 guys. Lets say you work about 60 hours a week in summer and about 1/2 that in winter (nov-March).

    By doing 2 1/2 lawns an hour for a 5 day week you can do about 150 lawns a week, each week. So you have 150 customers at $100/month.

    You are now at $15,000 a month and $180,000 for the year. Now lets say you have the same summer guy to help out doing extra stuff for 20 weeks at 20 hours a week and bill him at $45/hour that brings you to about $200,000 for the year.

    The northern numbers were just what i perceive from what I hear on here (where some may inflate to boost ego), the FL numbers are easy to reach. I could get $100/month lawns all day long. That is bare minimum for a 10-15 min lawn with grass only.

    Also take into consideration that supposedly our cost of living and wages are cheaper, so that brings us even closer. I just dont see the big difference. Now there are those who will say "well i make $75...90...120........ an hour" Well if this is fact, then even for those with a small company your looking at an extra $100-200,000 to put away every year. So if yo start young at about 25, by the time you hit 40 you should be to the point of almost being able to retire, yet those guys that are 50+ are still going at it, and most of them have mulitple crews. Am I missing something, or is it just that fun to do?
  2. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    The only thing I can say when I went to Florida on vacation, We stayed with some friends in west palm beach. They lived in a development. I ask how much they paid for grass cutting he said 15.00 dollars. For the same lot up here it would have been 35.00 dollars. He said a crew of hispanics comes in and cuts probablly 3/4 of the development.
    I do a development up here and each lawn is at 37. min. I think it is overun with Landscapers in Florida wich drives down the prices. Just my own opinion
  3. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295


    You have a very interesting post. You take into account a lot of factors, but I have to wonder if a few of them not accounted for would affect the out come. One that comes to mind is the amount of day light during the winter months in Florida. Does this play into the calculation?

    I did enjoy your post and it gives me something to think about..:)
  4. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    the dollar a minute thing is no problem in the North East, but you seemed to have forgotten many time restraints. down time is a big one. did you factor daily lunch? equiptment failing? daily maintenance? fueling mowers? bad weather?? drought?? mowing season legnth?? im making more than $60/hr while working but the down time drives that number way down.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    We do not a have a 36 week season, at least we don't. We have a few customers that we cut about 35 times, but those customers are ones that insist on being cut 2 or even 3 times a week during the heavy growth periods. (and even these customers will get a skipped a few times during the season depending upon the amount of rainfall)
    a 31 week cutting season is good for us, but not even all customers will get 31 cuts.
    I know, i know, there are some on here that will say they cut faithfully every week, but the facts are, when the grass stops growing and turns brown due to lack of rain, nobody is cutting.
    And ya, sure we take on extra jobs, but as with anything, each year is different. some years the additonal work is killer good, other years picking up extras is like pulling teeth.

    It's easy to manipulate numbers on paper, but with this business, there are no guarantees. and that $1 a minute doesn't always hold up no matter how it looks on paper because something will come up like a breakdown.

    When it comes to $$$'s discussed on this site, I don't put much stock into it.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    See thats the thing. Your data consists of one person getting lawn done by, well we have been over and over this. There are a "crew of hispanics" everywhere that work for free. But in reality, there is really no difference in income. Differnces in income have a lot more to do with the operator than the area he or she is in.
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    That is one more thing to factor in:In the north a skipped cut equals less money, but with the costomers on a monthly flat rate, a skipped cut is free money. I just tell them it doesnt really need it and I am on my way.

    You dont beleive people that talk money on here???????? I find it kind of funny how so many guys will boost their numbers to impress a bunch of guys on the internet. Seems backwards........

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