Ok I pulled the trigger. Lawn Maintenance here we come.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BeautifulBlooms, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    We are moving forward with a lawn mowing service for next year. We bought a mower today. I know normally you want to try and get jobs beforehand to know what mower is best suited to the jobs you are getting. However, I felt like it was a decent deal, for a nearly brand new mower, that I felt like was the best bet for the jobs I will be going after.

    2006 Ferris 1500Z 25 HP Kawasaki with only 25 hours on the mower (his own property. We are aiming toward lawns 1/2 acre or more. And we pretty much have one condo complex of maybe 3-4 acres just about wrapped up. I felt like if we get that one we will be at least able to justify the cost of the mower.

    We paid $5700 for the mower. A brand new 2007 model with 2006 pricing would have been $6700, so for 25 hours worth of use I felt $1000 off was a good deal. In addition I got a trailer included to haul it around for another $250 and a Craftsman push mower for $50. Not that I really needed those but hey if they come in a package deal they are much cheaper.

    I figured the mowing may not be as profitable as our landscape division but doing the mowing and having face time every week with some customers can certainly lead to many more jobs, and profitable ventures. It also makes us more visible in the neighborhoods we will be mowing at. And typically the people who need their lawns mowed are the ones who also need their landscapes maintained. Lawn mowing is usually the first thing people will do on their own, then landscaping.

    We already have a pretty good customer base of landscape jobs, which some may very well be interested in our mowing services. We also have some business owners that we already work for who may have businesses that need attention too. That is the goal to get some commercial accounts, so lets hope our gut feeling was correct.

    So now I have my mower, I will be checking this forum more often. I am going to start to look for questions so I can plan out exactly how to price things.

    I know I need to base it on my costs, but I am speaking in general terms. What is the lowest price anyone would charge for going to a site to mow the lawn. Given a 52" ZTR, 22" walkmower, Backpack blower, String Trimmer. If the place took 30 minutes (1 person) to unload, mow, trim, and blow, and reload is $30 a good starting point or do people go higher or lower than that? I think I read somewhere that about $1 per minute was a good starting point. Obviously that will change from place to place, but is that close?
  2. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034


    I am currently running the same Ferris mower. So far so good.

    You will do just fine.

  3. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    Good luck! :)

    Sound like a Man With a PLAN!
  4. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    How big are your current jobs? How many square feet approx. and how much do you charge? Am I going to need a 36" walk behind too or can i do most places with a 22" pushmower. I will probably only try and take the jobs I can do with the 2 mowers at least for year 1. We do not want to overextend our expenses just to geta job or two, when we dont even plan on mowing 5 days a week. We are gearing towards 3 days per week to allow felxibility and also because the mowing is not supposed to be our staple service it is an add on service.
  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    I currently only have 30-35 places and they range from smaller trailer lots to apartment complex's, a day care, a custom kitchen cabinet retail shop, a couple of larger homes, and the side of a mountain (mole hill).

    my goal for next year is 300 accounts. I am currently bidding on more large apartment complex's and would like to have two crews going full time.

    The largest yards take a couple of hours by myself, or 40 minutes with the crew. The apartment/c takes 3-4 hours by myself and approx 2 hrs with the crew.

    I also have a NH TC30DA that I do final grading with and new lawn installs.

    My mowing equip is the Ferris, a 22" Wal-Mart special push mower, a Stihl trimmer and a Back pack blower that I picked up at a yard sale for $25.00.

    Both the mower trailer and the tracter trailer is pulled by an old 1T GMC dumper.

    I am assuming You are in a nice situation because you are farther along in the landscaping and therefore have a current source of income.

    Use your current clientel as a catalyst for getting lawn accounts.

    Hopefully you have data based all of their contact info and can send them advertising announcing your new services.

    I am implementing a new program this new year. For every new seasonal customer, my customers will recieve a free lawn cutting. My crew will get a bonus check equal to my minimum mowing fee for every lasting customer they bring in.

    For snow plowing, many of my current customers sound like they will be keeping me through the winter. I am also bidding on HOA's and the new apartment complex's that I am bidding for lawn care.

    So I am hoping for a very busy and profitable year next year.

    Hope that helped.

  6. parkeeee

    parkeeee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    Best of luck in your new venture. Estimating is difficult for me also, but I sure enjoy the work.

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