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Business Update - Loss Leader

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turfer, Aug 29, 2000.

  1. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    I think your scenario was far from "typical". You mean you get the majority of your building clientele by mowing their lawn? Woohoo! Whats that I feel? So much sunshine being blown up my a$$ I could do a handstand and double as a floor lamp.
  2. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712


    No, I don't know what you charge for install work. I just know I can't sell it at the price I can the mowing. It seems as if you assume that all maintenance people are idiots and couldn't possibly understand the complexities of a "real landscaping business." And, of course, I'd pick up a "c" note if I found one. But I wouldn't want to dig for 3 hours for one.

    I find was that people are seldom willing to spend what I want to get the work done. They end up doing most of the stuff themselves. If you can do this where you work, more power to you. But I don't care what you say, there is a great deal more overhead, and a much larger margin for error in installs rather than maint.

    As far as letting my business run me, sometimes it does. So does everyone else's job, so what? I also understand what a loss leader is. I just don't understand why you would want to do it. If you ever attend sales training, you know it's a technique used by poor salespeople. So you made all this other money on a client after you cut $256 from the mowing. If she decides to get someone else or mow herself, you stop making money. If she keeps you, unless you start to charge more, you start to lose money. What I'm asking is why not do both?

    Now here are a couple of numbers for you. I've cut one yard 37 times. 21.35 (notice about a half week's work to make $925) total manhrs, avg time is .58 manhrs. Cut is $25. ($44.73/manhr) This is one that's close (on the money) for what I want. I have had jobs where I was making under $30/manhr. I check often to see where I am on a per hour basis with each cient. If it's under $30/manhr, they get a new price or a new grass guy. If you do 40 lawns like the one I used as an example, you can easily cut them (alone) in a week and you'd make $1,000 and work around 23 hrs plus drive time. 15 min ea is 10 more hrs.

    Not profitable? I'll take profit like this every day. Sorry this is so long.
  3. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    I'll take on any job that will make good dollars.My business
    used to revolve around land clearing and slashing.Then I
    bought my Walker.I'm making better money with the Walker than I ever made with the tractors.In comparison to slashers
    the Walker is incredibly cheap to maintain and operate.
    eg; Tractor clutch plate $2000.00 AUD or $1600.00 USD.
    Tyres 14/9-28 Firestone 10 ply $800 AUD or $650 USD. You get the picture.Now I'm finding that there are other jobs that can provide me with even better dollars. We are moving into commercial cleaning,landscape maintenance,ect.

    The moral of the story is NEVER TURN AN OPPORTUNITY AWAY.
    Don't classify yourself as soley a grass cutter,as thats
    all your business will remain as.

    Just my 2 cents (AUD :) )


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