Craigslist Yard from Hell.

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by Ormond32176, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Some folks come off a bit to abrasive or harsh, we all start somewhere in fact I'm going to be starting next year. Not everyone can start out the same, I give the kid some credit - he's out there doing physical labor trying to learn the way it's done instead of sitting on his ass playing video games expecting mommy and daddy to hand him everything. My brother, 26 years old and states he is a "professional gamer" plays World of Warcraft for 18 hours a day not making a dime... lives with Mom & Dad, does nothing with his life and has everything handed to I'm 23 working 40+ hours for a local law enforcement agency and starting a landscaping business next year and I own my first home.

    However, I will suggest that if you don't have a business plan already to sit down one day/night and make one. There are plenty of resources out there if you don't know how in fact if you need some help finding those resources pm me and I will help you.
  2. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    We arent trying to piss you off. We are business owners that have learned and are willing to share info and help you not be a public service offering free work. Quit arguing that you are making money... you arent. You charged 50 bucks for that job... period. Him paying for the next months service doesnt matter... that is more work u will be doing. end of the day you charged 50 bucks for a 200 dollar job. If you want to learn ... then start by learning to listen to experience! We are only trying to help!!!
  3. Ormond32176

    Ormond32176 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 217

    Trust me, I encourage those with experience to critique my approach, but alexshultz1 brought absolutely nothing to the table.
  4. Ormond32176

    Ormond32176 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 217

    Well you all should be proud. I will be licensed and insured in under a week and picked up 3 $45/cut accounts today.
  5. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    I think there comes a point when you need to ask yourself why every other lawn boy is avoiding these properties.

    Even though you see your pricing as 0/hr, the more realistic view is negative 10 or more and hour. Sometimes it really would be better to sit at home. Just something to think about. I know it is tough starting in this biz with weak equipment and no customers so sometimes you lower your pricing structure.

    It is never too early to sit down with a mentor to help you figure out your exact operating costs just to keep the lights on. SBA has volunteers like retired businessmen that will help you out.
  6. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    Awesome. I like the price a lot better too... Here.. I dont care how small the job... if I am not already cutting on the same street in the same block.. they will be a minimum charge of $50. If they are small and on my route with no time lost to stop...and I mean NO TIME LOST... I can drop to $40... NEVER UNDER. Keep plugging away.. but stick to a price plan and dont negotiate a big job on promise of future work. You will get bit.
  7. TJW_692

    TJW_692 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    i don't know how most of you charge and get 200 bucks for a job like that. If i charged that i would lose the job cause no one would pay that high.

    I mean 200 bucks is a good price to do a job like that most definitely. But i don't how you get these people to pay that much
  8. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,046

    Shoot, if I had to judge by those pictures on page one, that is a $75 job tops. loco $200. No one would pay 200 for that small area.
  9. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    The reason some don't pay is because after I quote a realistic price of $200... they hang up and call around and eventually find someone who thinks like you. OMG ... they will never pay $200 so let me price it at $75 so they will like me ..... I don't work for free. Figure it like this and even sell it to them like this... if you had been maintaining it and hadn't let it go.. You would have spent $200 already. Now you expect me to com in here and clean it up for half of that?? Guys... it is called wear and tear on mowers.... It is call protecting our profession and bottom line....It is called making profit... not just being busy. Cut to make money... don't cut just to look like you have a business.
  10. kwwolfe

    kwwolfe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I personally think you are getting beat up a bit for nothing. I applaud you not only for trying to start your own business but for taking on a task that apparently no one else wanted you to. At the end of the day, you gained yourself a regular customer (hopefully long term).

    When I was younger by dad used to say “your time is worth something”. Bullsh*t! My time was only worth something if I was getting paid for it. Sitting on you a$$ makes you $0/hr. Now if you passed up a $50 regular account for this, then that would be a different story but that is not the case.

    I would be careful to possible walk certain properties before you take your equipment out on them. Just to see if there is some large lurking under that grass. Hell, you might even want to try and pick up and old Cub or Deere (late 70’s model) just for clearing crappy yards. Better than ruining a nice riding mower and faster that using a trimmer with brush blade.

    When it comes to pricing you should definitely take into account all aspects. I would start by budgeting a job given the fuel you use and hourly rate you would like to earn. I would then try and figure our what your average machine wear cost would be (blades, oil changes, etc.) plus you lsicence and insurance cost. Then try and factor that into the amount of hours. That should point you in the right direction.

    As you get new accounts, the overhead that gets added into each hour of operation gets diluted which means more profit for you. You live with your folks which helps you charge less. If you beat someone else’s $200 then good for you. If that person was quoted $200 and called around until he found you, there is a pretty damn good chance that their lawn would have just gotten taller.

    As for all of the comments, I realized that a lot of the people on this site have been there and done that, but “tough love” is not always needed. I see a lot of lazy as s**t kids these days. If one is willing to actually earn a living we could all try and be a little more helpful.

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