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Per Cut, Monthly, Yearly...What's your take on it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MDLawn, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    do you pay your kids when they help? and thats great i was thinking you were smaller to be putting up numbers like that. i have 1 employee and im about 40-60 peRcent but my numbers got killed this year bc the drought and we havent had any snow
     
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Yeah the kids get paid....you think they'd come along if they didn't? The problem I have with them is that toward the end of the season when their wallets are full they start dropping out on me. The older one who is 18 now and going to college was at $12 in 2011 but I cut him lose this last season and fixed him up with some work of his own...bascially with elderly people who need a "yard boy" and aren't willing or able to hire a landscaper....one place has a freaking cable car going up from the garage to the house...nice place. The "little guy" (he's 6'2") just started this year at $8/hr and honestly didn't work out that great...he's sloooow and his quality is still a bit off. On a lot of accounts he never gets to the blower, but he's still a help and he never whines or complains...just keeps plugging along. I'll probably bump him up to $10 next year and his brother to $15 if he works with me at all. He prefers working on his own though. He did a lot of mulching and does it very nicely. When he mulches with me I give him all the detail work.
     
  3. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 534

    People want to talk about business, profit margins, overhead costs and how people need to charge what the market will bear but nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. The market is large. If you bump your minimum up to where you are making more money you freely admit there are people who wouldn't or couldn't pay for your services. What you fail to acknowledge is this creates a void in the market.

    There is a market for low price. Just like in any business some people just shop price. There is a reason Wal*Mart is so big. They found the niche and filled it. If you notice though there are still higher end retailers. You can still go to Macy's and pay double for pants, you will get much better quality, and people still want better quality. The same goes for mowers. You can order a chinese mower off the internet or you can go get a quality machine made by men and women in the USA and pay more but also know you got a quality piece of equipment.

    Some people shop only price; they want the cheapest no matter what. Some people shop only quality; they want the best no matter the cost. Some people shop value; they want a quality product or service but do not want to over pay.

    Lowballers are not created by the industry, they are created by the consumer. Somebody also said everything has gone up but the prices for lawn service. Not true at all. Look at any technology product. I have a phone that was $200 and it has more ability than my first computer which was over $900 and that was 17 years ago. Mowers today are faster and more productive than they were 11 years ago. Usually when an industry experiences a technological advance prices fall. This is due to increased productivity. Rates stay the same or even raise but because what used to take 1hr now takes half that time overall price falls.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  4. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    I'm close to those numbers as well. This year might be different. I did a lot of mulch jobs. I haven't hit anywhere close to 76% but have been close. For mowing/lawn maintenance it floats around 60%. This year I'm going to draw up a graph of the ups and downs each year on paper to see what it looks like.
    Next season will be very big for me as I signed up more then a dozen new clients for mowing and over half want full service as in treatments, pruning, trimming, mulching and such. ALL of them are on my list for snow removal, including two long private drives with 5-6 homes on each drive!
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I should probably mention that my plowing income was way up there in 2011 too. We had a LOT of snow. I can plow a lot of driveways with a tank of gas and my hourly take is usually over twice what I can get doing lawn care. As long as I don't break anything my cost for plowing is pretty low.
     
  6. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    are you also a small operation??
     
  7. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    lucky you! we havent had snow in a record 281 days and counting :confused:
     
  8. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774



    Great post!!!!
     
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Nevermind, lol...replied to a post directed to someone else.
     
  10. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I can agree with this...


    You make a good point.

    However, my buddies LazerZ he used 9 years ago wasn't THAT much worse than the new one he purchased a couple years ago.

    But I agree on your point. A 1994 mower that produced a 30 minute job compared to a newer mower with a 17 minute job time makes a difference. If prices STAYED the same I'd say for sure you can now increase your profits based on equipment productivity. But rates have dropped from when my friend had his LazerZ 9 years ago!!! I don't think the new mowers are THAT better and even he admits that.

    These last 3-5 pages of this thread is why I detest lawn mowing and really enjoy landscape work :laugh:
     

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