Solo Operators?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scraper, Mar 14, 2000.

  1. StarCity

    StarCity LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Hey all you Lone Rangers....How many customers can you handle working alone? I know it will vary with how hard and much and efficiently you work.....but can I hear some numbers??? Do you have 100 res. 10 com.??? Do you work 8, 10, 15 hours a day during growing season??? Do you work on average 5, 6, 7 days a week??? Are you making just enough to get buy, or a good living, or your making a killing???<br>Thank you for your replies.<br>
  2. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Scraper,<p>If it is a 3-4 hour clean-up job I'll do it,<br>but anything bigger I just explain to them that my price wouldn't be that competitive and refer the work to the guy that has agreed to do my landscape work. To be honest <br>landscaping jobs and landscape maintenance just interfere with my mowing schedule thats why I decided to get someone that would take them over. This guy and his dad work together plus he is suppose to be hiring someone else. He's a real good guy.<br>As far as having a problem with this arrangement, I haven't had a problem with my old customers. I'm just starting to get calls from new potential customers. If it does become a problem I'll probably see if I can consolidate the billing some how.<br>
  3. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    My wife actually does most of our work while I build houses. We schedule the physical work around my full time job. She leaves messages on my pager for me so I know where to go at night and what needs to be done. Most of our properties only need trimming every other week so I just do a trimming run a couple of nights a week. Most of our customers are weekend cottagers so as long as grass is cut and trimmed be Friday they are happy. We team up for cemetery work and larger properties. We have bought a second Walker and a Toro walk behind so we should have enough equipment this year.
  4. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    Solo is nice...I brought my imaginary friend to help and he had a most unfortunate accident, fortunately noone witnessed it... Seriously, Ive turned down work I couldnt handle, but would rather do that than partnership or hire possibly unreliable help. I can handle 40 customers in 30 hours, with better equipment shooting for 60 customers in 40 hours
  5. JohnyNCa

    JohnyNCa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Im solo also and its great! I love it. No one tells me what to do and i get to work at my own pace and come and go as I please. There have been jobs that were to big for me so i passed them on. Once in a while I get a cleanup and usually get a helper to help me but its only for a day or so on one of my slow days...I have a 30+ route which is ok, but im working on getting on at least 10 more accounts or so.
  6. manr

    manr Guest
    Posts: 0

    I'm solo to I do however hire help parttime for clean-up in the spring. I use a temp. agency I don't have the hassle of workmans comp. state & fed. taxes they take care of all that. One drawback, the help sometimes isn't that great. But I don't like to clean-up either, just part of the job<p>To answer an earlier question<br>I maintaned 83 properties last season mon-fri aprox. 45hrs per week spent on them that was mow, trim, & bag everyone<br>the largest was 2 acres the smallest 2000sqft<br>average 6000sqft<br>I scheduled all my fert and landscaping after my last lawn of the day or on sat.<p>I'm not making a killing but living good<p><br>The season is just starting here and i'm guessing i'll do around 90 this season don't want to it's to hard to say no<br>
  7. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Tried it, didn't like it! After my wife could put her shoes back on from being barefoot an' pregnated, I put her to work riding. I still do most of the trimming, will need a full time helper this season and possibly a part-timer to boot.<p>83 in 45 hrs = 1.84444 per hour! You must be humpin' it!<p>Homer
  8. manr

    manr Guest
    Posts: 0

    yea that humpin' 30 of the 83 lawns are in pairs (side by side)
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I work by myself. My current cust. list is around 30. It takes me around 5-6 hours a day 4 days a week and I'm making a decent living. Quality machines and tools are the key to getting productivity from yourself.
  10. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    I'm also a solo operator,I try not to turn down jobs.What I do on bigger installations is do them in parts or stages.everyone so far understands and works with me on this.I do find I burn alot of time just running around trying to get things office,equipment dealers,estimates,ect...I just have to learn to manage time better.

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