Common Problems for Lawn and Landscape Owners

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by tpatt09, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    pay your bills ahead of time if you can, I know it works with advertising, insurances, cell phones, pretty much everything except credit cards i think. that's what i do, I wrote my check for december's shop rent at the end of november, and wrote january's in the first week of december, now i have no larger bills do until january 10th and i have money that should be in from plowing and mowing by then.
    but more work would be nice, but if i actually saved a single penny i would have been fine, but i didn't start embracing that until my work ended pretty much.
  2. We Scoop Poop!

    We Scoop Poop! LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I love hearing those problems...

  3. jbss86

    jbss86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Our issue is....making a living. We charge anywhere from $200-$475 for leaf clean ups. Basically the going rate here in NJ. It takes at least 4 hrs to complete a clean up properly.

    We try to take 1 or 2 laborers, which costs us $10/hr. for each laborer also the going rate here in NJ. By the time we finish our cleanups and pay for fuel our employees are making more than us? I don't get it? Feels like no matter how hard we try just spitting in the wind.

    Much of the day is wasted going to get the trailer which is about 20 min. away from us (no where else to put and it's free). Then we waste more time dumping constantly as we are using an 8ft. bed (dump truck not working) Btw most times for cleanups we use the mower to mulch it down and blow it onto tarps and empty into the truck.

    Any ideas besides buying new equipment since it just isn't in the budget right now?
  4. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    sounds like you need to charge more, what equipment are you using?
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Ditch the 2 laborers (unless they are full time employees) and use that money to buy better equipment. I'd buy a debris loader and either make or purchase a good box. We found buying two good backpack blowers over the ones we were using saved us over 40 MH on cleanups this year, it's amazing how just spending 1k can really make money.
  6. ryan41

    ryan41 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    The famous words "Since you're here can you..." (9 times out of 10 they don't wanna pay you extra)
  7. misterdawg60

    misterdawg60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I think there's a phone app for this purpose...Fake call or something along those lines, I believe. Hope this helps.
  8. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,857

    People in general. Blaming us for running over gutters when the gutters are 10 ft in the landscape, ever think of the meter reader guy. People not paying and then say well your service was only worth X. More and more mower guys coming out of the woodwork. Prices less today than 5years ago. More demanding customers like today, not tomorrow. Just a few thoughts for now!
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Yea I usually go off on the ones that think they set the price of my service, I own this damn company and I tell you what the price is not the other way around. This is more and more common for some reason, and I'm in small claims court now more and more I am not afraid to put a lein on your house and I let them know that along with a lawsuit.I have a lawyer that isn't afraid either, you HAVE to present yourself as a true professional not a guy with a mower, you have to have REAL service agreements with REAL letterheads, or people won't take you seriously.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    Employee issues would be number one and the comment about being 4 mins late :laugh::laugh::laugh: you have no idea how good you have it.

    The kids today have cell phones attached to them and lazy streaks a mile wide.

    Then there is just plain stupidity the inability to predict the predictable under any circumstances. Rocks at high speed = broken window so weed whacking at max rpms near gravel 10-20 feet from lots of glass is moronic.

    Then there is wear and tear and I do not get much of that from abuse but that doesn't mean I have few repairs. Things wear out and break all the time. Now I can weld so metal issues are that big a deal. However the pain in the rear of driving 30-45 mins each way plus time at the dealer and fuel used so a good 2 hours of my time to chase down a 5 to 10 dollar part that drives me nuts.

    Then there is the office it seems it takes just a few days to fall massively behind in phone calls and the amount of paperwork to sort through in a span of just a week can be astonishing.

    The late payers and worse the no payers can really put a cash flow crunch on you.

    Managed to go the year with out buying any tires other then a few rear tires for 3 of the mowers and one caster wheel. But the big ones on trailers and trucks not this season. So next year I need 8 trailer tires and at-least 4 truck tires and the year after that will get really ugly.

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