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Do you agree with...???

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by DoetschOutdoor, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    The article in this month's landscape construction magazine stating that the average income for LCOs is 35k and landscape contractors at 44k? It states the avg. lco maintains 70 yards and been in business for 10 years? This number seems kinda low. 70 yards at minimum of $35 for a 8 month season around here and I know I would profit more than 35k a year. 35k a year after having a business for 10 years, somthing must be wrong IMO.
  2. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I wonder if they are counting the teenager lco's. I also bet they are showing reported income, so that's $35g / $44g after every conceivable expense including company vehicle, home office rental etc. I still show way more income than that though, even after I and 2 accountants searched out every legal expense we could find.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Also got to remember there are a lot part timers in this biz, who aren't going all full out with their biz. They have a full time job, and this just becomes second income for them.
  4. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I say that is low. As Lawn Tamer said, that could be after all concievable expenses. Most people have a vehicle and a computer, internet access and cell phones. These are everyday expenses incured from disposable income for most people. For us, they become business expenses. Therefore, our net disposable income can be less and still be in the same buying power bracker of people making 20-30% more. Either way, i still figure that for someone that has been in the business for 10 years (and is full time) that is a really low number.
  5. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    Remember, it's an average. Many people will make more & obviously many less. Probably due to the fact that there are so many fly by night operations that go out of business because they low balled & didn't make any money.
    It would probably be much higher if they only took into account full time businesses that had been around for more than a year or two. Most who are not making a decent living would probably be out of business by then.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It is an average, and it is about right.
    I agree there exists argument, but ...

    You can forget the brags about Lco's netting 60-80k solo, that's bs.
    You can also forget cutting lawns weekly all year, unless every yard is a heavily sprinklered Chemlawn, even those slow way down in summer and winter.

    The ONLY time I cut them weekly is for about a month in spring.
    The rest of the year, grass does NOT grow that fast.
    I did cut a few this month, but certainly not once / week, not even every 2 weeks, the few I did cut hadn't been cut in at least a month.

    So, it's not 8 x 4 x 70 = 2240 x 35 = 78,400

    My lawns average 16 cuts / year, from a low of 7 to a high of 22 (maybe 24), all of them fall somewhere in between those extremes.
    My average cost / lawn IS close to 35 now, but it wasn't always like that.
    So it's more like 70 x 16 = 1120 x 35 = 39,200...and maybe 1120 x 30 = 33,600...

    Then it all depends what you do, for me 1,000+ cuts / year would be way high, I'm closer to ~700 and it's not all I do.
    But yes, after 5 years, this year's deposits = ~36k for me, solo.

    I am SO glad someone finally set that straight.

    About the only thing that ain't right is where did it all go?
  7. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    I have to admit the article was a little dicouraging for me. I am only part time right now but am hoping in 2 years to be full time
  8. hue-nut

    hue-nut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    top sites, do any of your customers have irrigation? We cut once a week from march through november. Every week, we dont give our customers the choice of having there lawn cut "as needed". That is the deal, if we mess with that it throws off the whole schedule. Granted in august a typical cut is hardly taking anything off of the grass, so it is very quick(cause we bag).
  9. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I average about 28 cuts/year, my best accounts (where I fertilize and they water liberally) get 30 cuts/yr. We don't even get the mowers out of storage Thanksgiving - early/mid April.
  10. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    Same here, we are cutting alot more than 16 times per year. I dont know if I would be in this business if I was only getting 16 cuts a year. This year was end of March up until about 2 weeks ago for mowing and that is about half of my yards being irrigated. I looked at the article again and it also stated that the average was 35k while having 2 workers....I really do not think that you would only make 35k if you had 2 employees. 35k is not that much and if you have to have 2 employees to make that it just doesnt seem worth it.

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