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there's money to be made for small guys

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Eho, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Hey guys, yesterday I was reading a thread about the differences in being solo, or having many crews. There was a lot of talk about the big hassle of being big, and a lot of small guys can make money too. I was doing a spring cleanup today, and had a lot of time to think about this. Not being solo, but having one worker here is what I came up with. These are just some rough estimates but here goes. If a worker and I mow 20 lawns per day at 30 bucks a piece in 10 hours( very do-able as long as you can find the lawns) that is $600 bucks right there for that day. Right off the bat, you lose only $100 to your worker. Down to five hundred. Now I say we take away another 200 for insurance, taxes, equpment, gas, etc.( i think 200 out of this 500 is a fair estimate) After all of that, you have just taken home 300 bucks in a ten hour day( prolly wouldnt take you that long if lawns are close especially with good equipment) Anyways, If you can do this only five days a week and save sat and sun for makeup days and days off(repairs, extra office work) that is 1500 bucks you are taking home per week. This comes out to be 6000 per month, multilply that out by 8 months and thats 48 000 net income. Also, you could use saturdays for extra jobs and do fall/spring cleanups for extra cash. Also, you could work Saturdays if u have the lawns. My point is simply that you can make a decent living working 8 months out of the year with one worker and good equipment. I understand for reading a previous thread that this isnt enuf to survive up north, but down here, I could live nicely off of this income
  2. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    So what are you waiting for?
  3. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    finding all those lawns is what i m waiting for, currently I m at about 20 lawns so I dont need help, believe me, I would love to do it
  4. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    Sounds sensible to me. The Trick is lining up the work and keeping the route tight. What constitutes a $30 lawn where you are?

  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    back up. ok, after expenses, you don't "take home" the $300, but that $300 becomes taxable income, if u want to write yourself a check for the entire $300. if u r single with no dependants, that $300 turns into about $225. now, if u lose a day to rain, guess what? it still cost you money to operate that day (ins, etc..all your yearly costs broken down into days) not to mention, if it rains for a few days, or if u have a rainy season, you better start giving your help something to do (equ maint, etc) or he'll be gone in a hurry
  6. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    Like Bobby says, there's a lot more to it. You also have to consider how long you can work in the field, the demands on you as you grow, etc etc. When I was a young buck at 25 I could bust my butt all day and put the workload on my back. 8 years later I'm starting to slow down, and in 10 more years who knows? There is a lot that goes into what size company you ae and want to be. As long as you're making money and happy, I say more power to you. But I can tell you from my experience your focus and decisions change as you get older.

  7. Rougher83

    Rougher83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I don't believe that you are taking "all" things into consideration. First of all, are we talking about a solo operator working at this part time or is this a full time gig. If it's the first (part timer) then yes that is pretty good money to have around for mad money. But, if it's the latter, then there are several other things to consider. First of all you mentioned insurance, but are you considering health insurance. That little item can be very expensive...on the order of 500 to 1000 per month if you have to pay for it yourself. Plus the taxable income as stated by Mr. Gedd. And how long are you going to just pay your 1 guy in cash per day, before Mr. Tax man and Mr. Labor man start getting wind of it. There are payroll taxes that you have to account for. There are I am sure many other considerations that I have not mentioned.

    I say this because I am a solo operator, however, I am operating my business as a part timer to help put my son through school. I have a nice income with nice "bennies" to fall back on, so I am not out to make a fortune or a living at this for that matter. I do operate a legitimate business and only take on what I (myself and my son) can handle and no more than that. I believe that there is a happy medium to be found where one can operate a nice business and make a decent living and not have to work yourself into the grave...but it is not as a solo operator. Just my .02 cents........minus taxes!
  8. slt40

    slt40 LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Posts: 30

    I should be in the insurance business!!!! are you paying cash for your equipment??? How many crews are you & your guy running????
  9. Eho

    Eho LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    That is just the going rate down here for average residential. In fact, I see a lot of people advertise for $25. The price of living is cheap down here, but apparently the price per mow is lower than up there. There might be some nicer or larger residentials I could get 35, 40+ for, but those are few and far between. I d say 30 is a good average.
  10. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    Yeah, there are a lot of logistial problems that have to be considered here but I think that the core idea is a good one. It amazes me that when a guy comes on this forum with a good idea, everyone tries to tell him why it will not work. What are we in business for? To show people that it can't be done?

    Eho, your idea is good. Now, you can either solve all of the problems that will come and make this thing work or you can tuck your tail between your legs and you can run.

    About getting those lawns, you need to advertise. Let's say that you are able to get 1 customer for every 1000 flyers that you distribute. You need to deliver 100000 flyers. Do you have the determination to do that? Success will only come to those who persevere.

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