Solo vs employee's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smallstripesnc, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 714

    Thats why this year I plan to do things differently. I know the going rates and know whats fair to charge. I plan to get a zero turn as well to help speed things up on lawns that I can and the others with gates or slopes ill be using my walk behind.
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  2. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    You don't want to do things differently the second year in business. Sit back and draw up a business plan. Had you done this first, you wouldn't have to "do things different" after one year. I knew where I should be financially before I opened. As in I knew what I should be making TODAY/this year and I'm actually above that figure at this point. I have a good handle on things and don't have to reflect on my business plan anymore. You however will be changing things around every year for years to come just trying to find out how to do things. You put the buggy before the horse. Not only that, you'll have to figure out a way to convince the consumers in your area to pay you more after you advertized a cheap price. You'll learn the hard way but you'll learn.
     
  3. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 714

    I guess it all comes down to if im working and making profit doing what I love then im happy.

    At $25 per lawk (take $5 for expenses) leaves $20 per lawn. If I do 8 a day thats $160 profit a day. Minimum wage is 7.25 hr in NC so $58 for 8 hrs so im making $102 more than I woulld be making flipping burgers. Trust me thats good money imo. I dont have to drive a brand new truck, have a huge house, or eat steak every night to be happy.

    In charlotte theres TONS of lowballers. Ive even had ppl bid lower than me asking $25 but theres also tons of people wanting lawn care because the hufe company they had charges $50 for doing a crappy job and I come in asking $35 and do much better and I usually always get tips.
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  4. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Wow! This guy can't catch a break on this forum...so what if the guy gets 30 calls or doesn't get 30 calls? If he's lying, so what? If he isn't, more power to him. This thread has gotten out of control it seems. What happened to just accepting a man's word?

    Anyways...

    Smallstripes,

    If I was in your situation, I would take the calls and add on to your business...but if you want to stay solo, that's fine too. There are a lot of people on here who are solo and do well for themselves. But you also have others who have built a business and do great also. The deciding factor is obviously yours, and like you stated earlier, you plan to stay solo.

    All things aside...on pricing...you have to do what's right for your business, and your market is usually completely different than everyone else. Therefore, keep providing good work and you'll succeed.
     
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I did my market research before opening, I set my price stucture accordingly, at that time I didn't even know about lowballing, but I didn't get swamped with calls either, really never have. Last year I advertised more than any year before and got a ton more calls, but still mangeable. Stripes, I'm sure if we were to look at your books we would find that your not making the "Profit" you think your making, like most on here your not counting ALL your expenses, $5? REALLY?
     
  6. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    I really am trying to help you here. You are not making $20hr if you are only charging $25. There's no way $5 will cover even the tightest and smallest run business. You for obvious reasons are not doing things correctly. Even if the market in your area is low priced, you're still not doing all the math correct. You re setting yourself up for a big hit without insurance, a registered business, taxes just to name a few. If you keep going like you are, you'll have that much more trouble trying to correct everything you've done wrong just in one year. It could take even longer to get established at this point.

    You need to sit down and make a list of every single expense that a lawn service business encounters. From the stamps you use to mail invoices to the tube of silicone gasket maker you used to repair a mower. Once you add all that up, you'll begin to see that the $5 you thought was covering expenses is a drop in the bucket. You'll then seek out higher paying customers and also stop the flooding of your phone with useless calls asking if you can do it cheaper.

    As for thenewguy123 saying you can't get a break, well you have to have some common sense to run a business. If all you keep doing is backwards or wrong things then you won't get a break. Try heeding the advice from someone a little bit more wise and do things the right way. It WILL save you time and frustration in the end.

    Start writing things down today. You may not remember or know everything all at once. Just keep jotting down anything you think is a expense. There's your start. Good luck and be sure to post a list of what you have going so myself or others can continue to help you along.
     
  7. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I keep a small file in my truck whereas ALL receipts go, at the end of the week I separate them by catagory, IE: fuel, oil, office supplies etc etc anything and everything I bought during the week. I then staple each catagory together and total them up, then they go in their own file in the office. You'll need these receipts anyway in the event your audited. Then when the bank statement comes in it goes to the accountant and she updates the P&L statement and all A/R and A/P.
     
  8. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    More good advice. After reading the OP's posts, I KNOW he isn't keeping track of anything but fuel. With that said, this advice is a great place to start.
     
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    personally I only keep receipts for large purchases. fuel I don't even get a receipt.
     
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,303

    Damn talk about taking this too casually. Were about to sort and enter our receipts for 2012. We will have the usual 400 or so gas receipts 250 receipts too our mulch soil and dump site. There's well over 1000 and we track it to the penny which may sound anal or dull but we also enjoy our off road gas usage credit each year which is about $500 when we most need it spring start up.

    We use our amx business platinum card for any and everything we can and its nice since even when were missing gas receipts you still have a record of the purchase. Iv never had an audit but I do feel confident if I ever did I would win and thats because we keep all records and they are all organized.
     

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