Retiree's cutting grass..$12 a pop. Could be the future.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DennisF, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I'm retired and mowing lawns here in Florida. Most of the accounts I have are also retired people looking for low cost mowing service. Many of these folks know that there are plenty of retired guys willing to mow grass for a reasonable price. However.. I ran into a retired old fart (70 and proud) mowing lawns (up to 1/4 acre) for $12 per week. Now this guy knows that he is not going to make much of a dent in the business, and I can't believe that he thinks he is going to survive in this business at these rates. Even the customers that I have that he has approached are sceptical about his motives and prices.

    However... he got me to thinking...

    I'm not concerned about this particular individual... but... and this is a big but....
    what if the baby-boom generation (a huge bunch) decided to do the same thing....maybe out of need to supplement their own retirement.

    In the next 10 years the baby-boomers (I'm one of them) will have total control of the "service" economy in this country. We (they) will have total control of pricing in the service industry since we (they) will be the largest percentage of individuals that will require services. This is not an assumption... it is a fact, that the Social Security Administration is aware of and indeed afraid of.

    Now... some of you younger guys might think that the baby-boomers will be easy pickings ( a very stupid business assumption if you think this way) since they are old folks that are unable to take care of their own needs.

    So... I pose this question to my fellow LCO's.

    How will you compete with these Baby-Boomer LCO's, that are willing to cut grass just to supplement their retirement?
     
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    DennisF its funny you wrote this thread. I was talking to a couple of soon to be retired State Troopers today and the one asked me how well I did in the lawn care business. I told him probably not too well this year due to a sub-contracting issue. But he said he was really looking into getting started in 2 years when he retired. I told him the price of my new mower and his mouth hit the floor. I said thats nothing wait till you start paying for a couple more things. He had no idea what it costs to run a profitable LCC. I think I deterred him for now,LOL. :waving:
     
  3. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 281

    Last year in one neighbourhood that I charge from $25 to $30 per cut, a retired fellow came over and asked me what I was charging. When I tell him he laughs and says that he's cutting lawns here for $15. He's got a MTD rider, a little Weed Eater trimmer and a 5 x 8 trailer that he pulls with his Ford Escort. No insurance. Doesn't claim any of it as income. He's just doing it for something to do. Doesn't really need the money. Laughs and says that he just likes to give us LCO's a hard time. And he used to be a cop.
     
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Yeah they can be real PITA! I always tell people when they ask for my opinion on what to charge for a lawn at least double if not triple of what I really would do it for. payup It may be underhanded but know your business!
     
  5. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    I would be afraid an older gentleman may just have a stroke out in my yard then his wife and family try to sue me. Besides why would you want to retire and go put in the hot sun and mow for $15 its just not worth the hassle. there are plenty of walmarts around just looking for door greeters.
     
  6. jgtxusa

    jgtxusa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    Well, its too bad all you guys live in mild climate areas. These senior citizens could not make it for 5 hours a day around here in August. I am just kidding. You guys need to worry about somebody other than these guys taking your work, or find better work. These guys cannot even pay for the diesel in my trucks with the money that they make. Let them lose their ass and have a heart attack doing it if they want to. You guys go bid some work worth doing for a reasonable price. I have nothing against seniors, ex cops, strippers, elephants, teens, chimps, horses, parakeets, or anyone else trying to supplement their income, because I will out sell, work, or market them.
     
  7. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Parakeets? ;) :D
     
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    3d year I picked up about 10 accounts in a row that an older fella was doing. They were surprised at first at my 2x what he was charging (15 bucks) but after the 3rd one I bid found out the 72 year old that was doing it had a heart attack in her back yard. She was more than willing to pay 2+times the amount.
     
  9. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654


    What they dont understand is when your out working in your own yard you have the luxury of stopping when you get hot and going inside for a break and cool off, so they think hey...i will go out out and start a business and bam
     
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Do Ya really think the baby boomers are looking to cut lawns?????? I think they're looking to have "others" cut THEIR lawn.................. :D
     

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