What is an ideal amount of lawns?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AGG Lawn Maintenance, Aug 11, 2000.

  1. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Posts: 422

    We are at about 100 lawns 80 which are really good customers. The thought has crossed my mind to take on more accounts. Some guys I've talked to have 175,250 even 300 accounts. What do you feel is the ideal amount? We do 20 lawns a day with 3 men two workers and myself. I know if I take on more accounts my over head will be more but is it worth it? Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance
     
  2. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    Seeing there isn't any profits in mowing, I don't know if you can have an ideal number of lawns.

    You need to look at it as the amount of $ per customer or the amount of extra work (Landscaping, pruning, fertilizing, irrigation, etc.) you get from each customer.

    By no profits I mean I don't personally know anyone who makes more than 40K in a mowing-only business. That's not profits, that's just giving yourself a job.
     
  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Travis, I sort of agree with Lazer. I don't think there can ever be an ideal amount of accounts. You can't really put a number on that. If you made x amount of dollars on your 200 accounts, but I made more money than you on my 3 accounts, whats ideal??

    I'd say the ideal ammount is making the most profit with the least ammount of customers. I figure it like Lazer, there much more of a profit to be made in Landscaping, Irrigation, Fertilizer and Pest Control App's, etc. So if you can have fewer customers and fill in your extra time with landscape jobs etc, from your current customers, thats your best bet.

    You'll be making more profit, plus you'll have less boss's. I think Bill Phagan refers to this theory with something like "your customer is a money tree" or something along those lines, (HELP ME OUT HERE BILL!!) The more profitable you can make a customer, the better that account (and your profits) are.

    Hope some of this makes sense!!
     
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    Here's an example; I have a lawn that pays $455. It's 3 stops with the truck and takes about 4 hours with 2 guys. Or would your rather cut 18 -$25 lawns- and have 18 different stops. Bottom line is dollars and time , not quantity of accounts.
     
  5. My ideal number is 6.

    Yes only 6 sports field jobs for public/private schools.

    That will gross some real money with only one laborer.

    Mowing residential customers is not the way to go IMHO.
     
  6. Frank's Lawn & Home

    Frank's Lawn & Home LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Get as many accounts as you can....Somehow, you can always buy new equipment, hire more help, and have more headaches.
    An interesting thing to note is that two men cannot do twice as many lawns, nor can three men to three times as much as one. I do 25 lawns in one day, starting at 730 and ending at 400, and when I hired a worker, I still get the 25 lawns done, and I am not as tired, but we still finish at the same time.....I prefer to send that man out alone, and he can mow 25 more lawns by himself..
    Lots of time is wasted in travel, waiting for one to finish, etc....
    Grow your business wisely and run with it......but keep your eye on the bottom line....If you are not making money mowing, there are other things that are slightly more fun...
     
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Hey there Frank! First off, welcome to the forum. I hope you don't mind me disagreeing with your post.

    What does get as many accounts as you can have to do with raising your bottom line?? You can have 200 $20 accounts and I can have 10 $400 accounts, and we'll both be making $4,000.00 a week, right? So whats the difference?? EASY


    I have 190 less supervisors or boss's than you do!! I have 190 less customers to worry about making happy. I have less overhead cause I'm not blowing fuel driving all over the place to those 200 customers. I only have to worry about billing 10 customers while you spend a whole week chasing down a $20 bill from 200 accounts?

    You smell what Guido's steppin' in?

     
  8. cutntrim

    cutntrim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 474

    Less is more Travis. Provide more service to fewer clients and your profit margin should be alot higher. Residentially I think it's wisest to go after full service accounts. Commercially you can get some profitable mowing only properties if you find some big'uns like Larry.

    Convert your customers to full service and you can make the same (or more) money with half the properties.
     
  9. Getmow

    Getmow LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 445

    The ideal # of properties has a whole lot to do with Lazer's comments. PROFIT, not gross income is the name of the game. I am thinking about increasing my profits next year by downsizing to $1K worth of work a week and do it by myself. That would be my ideal #. There are a whole lot less headaches that way too.
     
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    "I have 190 less supervisors or boss's than you do!! I have 190 less customers to worry about making happy. I have less overhead cause I'm not blowing fuel driving all over the place to those 200 customers. I only have to worry about billing 10 customers while you spend a whole week chasing down a $20 bill from 200 accounts?"

    On the flip side, you lose one account you just lost 10 per cent of your business. If he lost two accounts, thats 1 per cent.

    Commercial accounts (generally the ones which would be the higher priced) are notorious for re-bidding annually and tossing the good guy under the bus just to save a buck.
     

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