we are gonna grow big this year.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by allaroundguys, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    Why do you feel that most of your accounts would not be weekly? In this area most all the grasses are cool season, meaning they grow like crazy till about mid June. They slow done a bit during July and August then kick your butt for the rest of the season. We have around 180 accounts. Out of all of those only 3 are bi weekly. They are usually the dreaded, always overgrown, trashy accounts that you wonder why you excepted them years ago. The KC metro is a fantastic market. Tons of new housing, lots of wealthy subdivions, and the avg lawn still pays well. Example, my Aunt lives in Prarie Village. She says I wish you were in this area so we could have you maintain out propery. Its about 7k lot size and has a fenced in backyard, nice easy to mow landscape and a wide gate. I asked out of curiousity what is the avg in your neighborhood for weekly mowing. She said it about $65 per mowing. I almost fell out of the truck. The lawn would have taken me by myself 35-40 minutes to properly service it.
     
  2. allaroundguys

    allaroundguys LawnSite Member
    from kcmo
    Posts: 56

    I definitely get what your saying. i worked in cssamo and taught classes regularly. (E-3 in a e-7 slot) i feel fine showing people exactly how i expect things done. I feel this will only become hard when trying to find a 2nd crew leader. then it will become harder to properly train people to my standards. We crawled in 09 walked last season this season we are going for a good airborne shuffle.
    I am well aware that you learn something new everyday in this industry. i plan on continuing to learn. I'm very good at problem solving and adapting & overcoming situations.
    on a side note. di are badasses. took me a little while to just realize what all you have to do. i was worn out everyday. you guys watch us go to sleep & are there before we get up. i honestly don't know how you guys do it. my hats off to yo.
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  3. allaroundguys

    allaroundguys LawnSite Member
    from kcmo
    Posts: 56

    im just going off my current customer base. i think its more of the economy. honestly id prefer all weekly accounts but im more than happy to do bi weekly if that's what they can afford. i do charge slightly more for bi weekly customers. we also kept our service area kind of small. i really like to focus on dominating neighborhoods. for logistic reasons it makes us more efficient. I'm huge into having multiple houses by each other. i feel it greatly increases money per hour and money in grass.
    $65? She must really like them. then again this is why my business partner will be bidding the lawn mowing. where i get $35-40 for about a 5k lawn he will get $40-45.
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  4. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    In her little area she says that $65 is common. I do not believe its common all over the metro. $35-45 seems more like the norm from those I have spoken to. If you are taking lawns in the KC area less then $30, you are being taken. Btw, I was not suggesting that you were. Just a blanket statement.
     
  5. allaroundguys

    allaroundguys LawnSite Member
    from kcmo
    Posts: 56

    Also cpllawn i wanted to touch on the little details part. the offseason is the only time that i have to go over this stuff. gives me a chance to research as well. I'm only spending 4-6 hours a day working on my business right now. come late feb-March i won't be as Lucky. as my di taught me. failure to pay attention to details will get you killed.
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  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    You'll do fine, I'm spending probable 3-4 hrs/day working right now also, You seem to have a good attitude and your right, logistics is a huge part of the game, keep your routes as tight as possible, I've seen guys actually go under because the lack of this. I've dropped a few accounts this year so we can gain some more closer in, it really only makes sense.
     
  7. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    OP try not to read too much of what people say on here. Don't get me wrong you can learn a lot from this site but some people can tend to be very negative about certain things or simply just misunderstand what you're trying to say. When I first read your post I too thought 250 with a 3 man crew was impossible but 125-150 is def doable. If your lawns are as small as you say I would figure a 3 man crew can do about 35-40 in a 10 hr day. Try to do the majority of your advertising in the first 2 months for lawn accounts but make sure to space it out.

    I'll be entering my 3rd season this spring and hope to be at 150 weekly myself. First make sure you have the capital to support the expenses that are going to come along with this many accounts. I myself have am preparing to have about 20-25k in capital. This should cover me for 2 months of expenses. Second, make sure you have the time to do the estimates. In the spring people expect you to meet them that day or at least within 24 hrs or they'll get someone else. Make sure you get the bang for your buck on advertising because the first 2 months will be crucial in adding lawn accounts. Personally I'll be doing 25k flyers in the first 2 months. 5k every 2 weeks starting April 1st. I plan to only work 30 hrs max a week so I have time for all the estimates that'll be coming in.

    Some guys on here have mentioned using 36 inch mowers and wonder why they can't reach this many lawns done in a week. Personally I have a 52, 48, 36 and a 30. I try to use the bigger machines as often as possible and last year was doing 25-30 a day with 2 men. Same size lawns as you mentioned. So it's def possible. Also if you're going to be working your guys that much you might wanna consider upping their pay a little. They'll work harder for you and get your lawns done even quicker. Sometimes a1-2 dollar increase in pay will be enough to get them busting there a$$es. But again. Most important things to remember. Make sure you have the capital and make sure you have the time to do the estimates. If you can do that you should be fun. All the best
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  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Don't forget to factor in weather, it screws us up every year, LOL if you don't build in some makeup time you'll only screw yourself. Don't max yourself out, it'll only come back to haunt you. I agree, have a plan in place to be able to quote within 24hrs. I was never able to have as much capital as I wanted and it slowed things down quite a bit also, 25K for operating would be a great start for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  9. allaroundguys

    allaroundguys LawnSite Member
    from kcmo
    Posts: 56

    First id like to thank you guy's for your advice.
    my biz partner and i are still debating on how many days we want to run. id like to do 5 days mowing specially for allowing for weather. he wants 7 days. lol probably go 6. All depending on the work load we can generate.
    I'm good but not great at saving money so 25k would be a stretch. Simply because there's so much we want to add equipment wise. we do have a goal of 10k stashed away for business by July 1. our plan is for every dollar spent on gear a dollar goes to saving.
    We are pretty good at trying for a 24hr turn around for estimating. we also write estimates for simple mow & go on flyers as we go. we get better response and cuts out the need to go and estimate a mow. (We offer more services such as landscaping fence etc)
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