Expanding into mowing and need a little advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rscritch, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. rscritch

    rscritch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Hi, im new to this site and so far every thing that i have read has been tremoundusly helpful. I got refered to this site from a fellow user of Fordtrucks.com which is another outstanding site. I have been doing landscape and handyman work full time for about 2 years, and this summer i am looking into expanding and doing some mowing. I all ready ahve an extra truck, and trailer and i am going to hire my yonger brother to mow for me. What i am needed some advice on is im located in central IL and im kinda just shooting in the dark when it comes to priceing, im haveing to baise every thing off of my own yard. My yard takes about 30-40 min to mow and about another 20-25 min to trip, i was planing on chargeing about 25-30 for a yard of my size and adjust the price to the size of the yard. I know you don't know alot of things but based on the amount of time that it takes to mow and my price do you think that i will be makeing enough money based on my price or am i too high thanks in advance ryan
  2. iclgs

    iclgs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    We charge 1 min on most jobs. We will not stop fpr anything less than $25. It just isn't worth it!!

    also are you sure you can afford to have someone else mow for you. I have been a LCO for 2 years and have 25-30 customers. I am no where near ready to employ someone? Just my 2cs

  3. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Bid your jobs based on costs (direct, indirect, overhead) plus profit. How much are you going to pay per hour for labor? How much does it cost to operate the mower, truck and other equipment per hour? What is the cost of insurance, equipment replacement, taxes, business license, etc.?
    How long does it take to mow, trim, edge & blow per 10,000 sq. ft (or what ever unit you wish to use)?
    How many $ do you need to make per 10,000 sq. ft. (or hour) to cover all costs and produce your target profit?
    How does a particular property deviate from the normal time trial either up or down?
    Final question, what's the market price and where do I fit? How can I change to fit (if necessary)?
    Using AZA's $1 per minute, your yard should cost $50. Ask yourself if you would pay $50 weekly for someone to mow. Check out the competition. Have one or two lcos come give an estimate so you have something to compare your price with. There is really more art than science to bids, I use a formula for a base more for uniformity and cost recovery than anything else and go from there, others us a price per hour or per minute. Just realize that it takes some work and experience to bid correctly for your business.
  4. rscritch

    rscritch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    The reason that im going to be paying some one else to mow, is currently i run a handyman, and landscapeing service, which takes up all of my time, and i was working some numbers and i figured out that if i pay my brother $8/ hour and charge an average of $25 per yard, for 10 yards and he works for 20 hours a week, at the end of the summer i then have a small 22" mower and weed eater and blower paid for for supplying the truck, now i know that the wear and tear on the truck and the cost to operate the truck i just ate, but sence i run my bussiness by my self and i have two trucks i still have to pay up keep on the second truck and every thing invloved with the second truck so i was just looking at it as a some what useful way to gain some more euqipment, with out me haveing to do alot. I know that may not sounds smart to some of you who do this for a living, but sence i have to pay for the truck i figure i might as well try to have it help get me something ya know, any other advice would be great thanks again ryan

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I'm not seeing any long-term profit from this scenario. Employing relatives is a disaster waiting to happen. Truck will break down, he'll walk away 'cause, hey, he's only getting $8 an hour, you're stuck holding the bag. Can the guy cut grass? I mean, professionally speaking? After a while, the customers will get tired of average and want to upgrade the quality. $8.00 help isn't something I'd want to bank on. The Amazing Kreskin is gazing into the crystal ball of landscape horrors and predicting problems with $25 lawns and cheap brotherly help.
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    You sound way too low. Like the guys say.. you want $1/min while your out mowing....If your getting more, thats when it's starts feeling real good.

    If It takes you a total of up to 65 minutes to mow your lawn and you would only charge $28 bucks, you will most likely get out of the mowing biz. Out here you shouldn't show up for less than $25 for a resi....and for a routine maintenance cut, shouldn't take longer than 18 min, (solo, with the right equipment) depending on terrain. Hopefully you can drive to your next bigger account within 7 min.

Share This Page