Big Vs Small

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by a1lawncare, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. a1lawncare

    a1lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Here is a question for you pros. We have been targeting 3/4 to 1 acre home sites. We have the right equip, however are we missing the boat on smaller homes? Also will our hanger closing ratio go up with the smaller homes?
  2. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I only cut part-time. All of my lawns are smaller 1/4 to 1/3 acre. Not by choice, but that is the majority of homes in this area. I make between $25 and $35 per cut on these lawns. My $25 lawn takes about 20 minutes. The $35 lawns average about 40-45 minutes. I would think the key to really making money on smaller lawns is getting a bunch at one stop just like any other size.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah, I used to only service 3/4 acre and up properties. Now I'm actually servicing stuff down as small as 10,000 sq ft. I probably wouldn't want a whole lot of them unless I could drop in one spot and get several before loading back up.

    Personally, now I've realized I like to keep it mixed up. Some big, some small ad some between. I like the small accounts because it seems to be easier to get more per thousand sq ft/more per hour on these jobs. It seems like it's a lot easier to impose a $40 minimum stop fee on a 10,000 sq ft property and get it ($4 per thousand). Try getting $4 per thousand on an acre. Plus I like the change up in job length. But I wouldn't want a days worth of 10K lawns all scattered out. The go-stop-unload-work-load up-leave repetition would wear on me quick and the time involved would start eating into the profits.

    I like the 1 acre and much larger jobs because of the lack of hassle and travel. But once they get to a point in size, I begin to bog down in productivity during the really hot days.
  4. protouchlawn

    protouchlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    I tried to target 1 acre and up suburban properties when I started my business 4 years ago, and now I do only 3 small lawns because these were some of my first accounts and I do feel some loyalty to these people. I work with 1 helper and so far the larger properties have worked well for me. In my area, most of the small yards are in little developements of 30 to 50 homes jammed pretty close together. They are ALWAYS crowded,(people parking in the street) and a pain to park and unload in, and there is always someone willing to cut these lawns 5 dollars cheaper. I can see where it would be profitable for a 3 or 4 man crew to park at one end and do 10 or 12 of these before loading up and moving, but for just me and a helper it seems working on a 5 acre property for 1 to 2 hours makes more sense. Fortunately, I have a fairly tight route and we can get to the next one pretty quickly. I think it mostly depends on the particular area and situation you are in. just my 2 cents.
  5. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    If you have "the right equipment" for larger homes, it may be that you really shouldn't try for the smaller homes. Protouch raises the issue of more competition for the smaller jobs, something you really ought to bear in mind.

    Envy's comment about getting tired on the large jobs is relevant, too, though. I'm trying to take breaks when on those larger jobs, but one has to remember to do so. It's really easy to just gogogo, but not necessarily smart.

    I agree with CoachLinz's comment about bunching. Next season, I intend to go after larger home lots, but regardless, I'm going to hit each home in the target neighborhoods with at least three messages between the end of January and mid-April next year. The higher closing ratio provided by multiple message exposures should do a nice job of clustering in smaller neighborhoods and give me a good start in the larger ones.

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