2008 Goals

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by advantage landscaping, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    So as this year comes to a close, I am trying to get my act together for next year (who isn't?). I just started as a LCO in the begining of August - complete wrong time of year but just wanted to get into it as much as I could.

    I am in high school full time and play sports in the spring and fall, so theres never enough time in the day. This means I need to do ALL my mowing in 2 DAYS.

    This year I worked my way up to 5 properties, averaging $50 - $55/ cut. To do all 5 takes me from 9 - 4 give or take, so about 7 hours of my Saturday.

    Next year here are my goals. Please let me know what you think (if my plan's possible) and what you have for suggestions.

    Customers: Expand to 15-20 accounts, averaging 50-55$/cut each.

    Equipment: Purchase 6 x 12 trailer (used, $1000 or less), also ZTR or hydro walk behind for $3500 or less ($3000 or less even better) to add to my 36 belt wb.

    Profit: Make $ 25,000 total. (We have about 30 mowing weeks)

    Think it's possible? In 2 days per week for the spring and fall?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    You'd be doing a lot of work on those 2 days. But yeah, it's possible. I do the same thing as you, I play baseball in the spring, and basketball in the fall/winter. But I have an advantage, because I'm homeschooled. So I can do my work and school at any time.
  3. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    starting my rain dance in Jan. 08
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I think those goals are reasonable. be careful getting too big. you can always mow after school rather than all day on sat and sun. try get a new name brand commercial walk-behind that can be fixed locally and you won't regret it. good used ones are hard to find. it may stretch your budget, but it will last twice as long as an inexpensive ztr. many walkbehinds last 10 years of more.

    look at how many minutes each lawn takes you to mow and how much you charge per cut. after next year, if you are at you max capacity, you need to start culling out the worst per minute jobs to give your self room to grow. If you are making 200-250 on 7 hours of work ( but I don't know your dirve time) that is a bit low. most guys shoot for an average of 60 bucks per hour on solo ops. try to shoot for that until you are booked and then cull ( raise prices ) to achieve it or exceed it. don't get into the trap of not raising your prices. some people wait for 4 or 5 years to raise prices. I try for modest increases every year. make your 50 dollar lawns 52, your 55's 58, and so on. everybody seems to keep thier lawns at a "5" or a "0". so bumping them by 2 or 3 bucks never seems to get me fired, but a 5 dollar jump does.

    buy at least a 16 foot tandem trailer. you will need the space. trust me. this you can buy used for 700-100 bucks easy. look for working lights,good tires, small sides and at least one brake axle.

    do some reading over the winter about mulching, flower or shrub planting and landscape maintenance. consider adding a 3-400 gas hedge trimmer to your wish list. many folks charge 1-2 dollars per minute running one of those.

    The best way to make money in this business is to drive less and work more billable minutes. if you can increase your value to your current and future customers they are more likely to keep you. If you are already there mowing and can make an extra 35-45 bucks trimming hedges, pulling weeds, mulching, planting flowers, etc.

    every winter I tried to learn or add one new service every year. stone pathways, retaining walls,irrigation repair, Christmas lights, gutter cleaning, landscape lighting, fertilization/weed control. some of these may require a license in your area, so check on it. The more you know, the more customers will ask you to do.

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