Ready to go all out?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Love Thy Neighbor, Nov 23, 2002.

  1. Love Thy Neighbor

    Love Thy Neighbor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Hey everyone. This site is really delicious im eating everything up.
    Last year I took a break due to a new baby and this year im ready to go all out.

    I'm a solo operator with a fulltime job I've been on for 15yrs.
    I want to do both. I figure I can handle 10accounts per week on my own. I would like to have my brother do another 10 a week.

    Many of the accounts that im after are big. Maybe $120 per trip
    I want 20 $120 jobs.(All of these jobs are commercia)
    I had one in 2001 and it took me 3hrs to trim, mowand blow by myself on a bad day.

    I have a scag 60in three wheeler, a snapper 48in mulching mower and a 21in push.

    Someone tell me if I'm biting off more than I can chew or seeing $$$$$ too much. Would be nice to get a response this is why I joined to get you guys expert opinions. Thanks
     
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Anything is possible. Only you will know if will be more than you can chew.

    Have a well thought out plan and go for it!
     
  3. Love Thy Neighbor

    Love Thy Neighbor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Thanks I'm gearing up for it all now.
    Is it more to my advantage to go for two year contracts or one.
    I have notice that a few places that I have contacted are obligated for two years to another lawn service. So I have to wait a year or two to go after them. Is it difficult to get those accounts? I know that I cant think about the competiton's feelings, I have to go for it. Any pointers on how to have a company hire me instead of renewing their contract.
     
  4. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    I've been doing this P/T for over 15 years. I have "no" large accounts, except one that I have a helper for. Being solo, you'll beat yourself up too much working on the big jobs. You "need" the "break" to refresh between jobs, which comes from the smaller accounts. The "down time" of loading and driving to the next job gives you a minute to relax, grab a drink and food, plus some A/C. You have to realize if you're in for the long haul you need to "pace" yourself and the small jobs give you this automatically. Finally, the smaller jobs let you fit them into you "life style" better than having to find a "big chunk" of time for the larger jobs. It sucks when it's starts to rain and have to come back to the job. Smaller jobs can always be fit in as needed.
    Pete
     
  5. One good way is to find out what they are currently paying and summit a lower bid. A lot of times they will want to save the money and will switch.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Also, you need to look at it realistically. If you are going to do 10 "$120", and you are looking at 3 hours on the job for each one, that's 30 hours a week just in that and that's withOUT your loading and driving time. Another thing to consider, is that in the spring, you're REAL busy with cleanup AND starting the mowing, and in the fall, we lose all those daylight hours then time changes - making it worse. It can sometimes be overwhelming. You say that your brother can help. That's great, BUT you say you'd want to double if he does. Again, the dilemna. Just a suggestion, but you may want to target some residential areas. The money is just as good, if not better, and the nice thing about those is that you don't have too many eggs in one basket - per basket. The shorter time on the jobs can be made up once you get into an area and pick a few more up. Give incentives for refferals. Also, with the shorter job times, it gives you much more variable on worktime for shorter days, rain, etc. Good luck with it!

    Oh, I just HAD to change this once I saw the post above about the "lower bid". Yes, you CAN do that, and we can all work for free in 10 years, but here's a BETTER solution. How about if you submit a bid for the same or slightly higher, and give them better SERVICE and VALUE? THAT'S the difference between Living and just existing. The difference between SUCCESS and just getting by. I've been in this business for 20 years now, and I would NEVER suggest undercutting!
     
  7. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    I knew that was coming.

    If you want good clients, sell them superior service and a comprable cost.
     
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Hey, The Lawn Choupique, are you Phil N**lson in disguise. Sounds like his 'no kidding' advice. Your not going to tells about your seminars and books are you.
     
  9. Andrew S

    Andrew S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    Why should you price lower just to get the job.

    This just shows that next year someone else will turn on you and undercut your price-and so the merrygo round goes on.

    If you underprice or under cut you will only regret doing the job and either take short cuts or eventually move on.
     
  10. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Not taking my own advise, as a friend, I just accepted to a job at a "predetermined rate", because the customer thought my estimate was too high and she could get the work done cheaper by another LCO.
    I only lost a few bucks over my orginal price BUT........... the whole time I was doing the work, I was pushing to try make my standard rate, which I feel short of, and was pissed at myself the whole time for being stupid enough to work for what "someone else" though "I" was worth..........
    Pete
     

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