Got the insurance and three clients, now how about this?

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Cut n Strut

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Midwest
A guy with limited hours to mow, and no skill yet, like the OP which is what we are talking about, can't make GOOD margins. You have to make up for tiny margins with high volume. That's all I'm saying.

What do you consider good margins?

I know a guy who cuts eow, on demand, overgrown stuff, etc., for cash, has 0 insurance, low grade/cheap equip, etc. He does very well for himself - not how I would recommend doing things but it’s his business, therefore it’s his problem.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
What do you consider good margins?

I know a guy who cuts eow, on demand, overgrown stuff, etc., for cash, has 0 insurance, low grade/cheap equip, etc. He does very well for himself - not how I would recommend doing things but it’s his business, therefore it’s his problem.
Good enough to support a wife and kid working part time due to the OP's self imposed limits.
 

Trust Turf Care

LawnSite Member
Location
McLeod County
Son of a B#$%& This was a good thread.

Best-Quality-Sewing-Thread.jpg
 

jonniesmooth

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Fergus Falls, MN
’s just mowing though. I’m not knocking mow only businesses but it’s unskilled labor. Anyone with a mower can cut the grass. No special license or certificate needed. Some do a better job than others but it’s still entry level work.
Not true.
I had a bunch of lawns that I subbed to a guy. Him and his wife started doing foster care, so he didn't have time to mow anymore.
So I approached another guy, offered the same route,same pay.
These were 20-40 minute accounts.
He took twice as long and more than the original guy.
Original guy was making $36/ hr
New guy was making $14.
From the same route,earning the same weekly pay.
Same equipment ,original guy is 45 yo, new guy 49.
So no, not anyone can do.
Double no,anyone can do it well.
Triple no, anyone can make any profit at all.

Everyone things they can.
 

Cut n Strut

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Midwest
Not true.
I had a bunch of lawns that I subbed to a guy. Him and his wife started doing foster care, so he didn't have time to mow anymore.
So I approached another guy, offered the same route,same pay.
These were 20-40 minute accounts.
He took twice as long and more than the original guy.
Original guy was making $36/ hr
New guy was making $14.
From the same route,earning the same weekly pay.
Same equipment ,original guy is 45 yo, new guy 49.
So no, not anyone can do.
Double no,anyone can do it well.
Triple no, anyone can make any profit at all.

Everyone things they can.

If the average ole Joe isn’t capable of cutting grass, then how do homeowners manage to mow their own lawn? I didn’t say everyone was capable of running a successful business but anyone is capable of mowing grass. And yes, even the low ball, hack it down and fly to the next to rinse and repeat can and do make $ but not everyone manages to stay in business but that doesn’t stop at lawn care. Think Sears, Toys R Us, Kmart, etc. It’s business model, there are different models out there other than yours and mine.
 

jonniesmooth

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Fergus Falls, MN
If the average ole Joe isn’t capable of cutting grass, then how do homeowners manage to mow their own lawn? I didn’t say everyone was capable of running a successful business but anyone is capable of mowing grass. And yes, even the low ball, hack it down and fly to the next to rinse and repeat can and do make $ but not everyone manages to stay in business but that doesn’t stop at lawn care. Think Sears, Toys R Us, Kmart, etc. It’s business model, there are different models out there other than yours and mine.
We are in a thread about starting a business.
Not homeower lawn care.

I also have had to teach 3 grown a** men who graduated high school, how to cut a yard diagonally.

I had one guy, a college graduate and an Eagle scout even. I told him, " take this Proline and go mow the slope at the end of the parking lot".
Off he goes. Next thing I know. He's at the far end of a 5 acre property.
The slope is 5' high and 60' long, it's 4-5 passes with the walk behind.
Common sense died a long time ago.
 

Cut n Strut

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Midwest
We are in a thread about starting a business.
Not homeower lawn care.

I also have had to teach 3 grown a** men who graduated high school, how to cut a yard diagonally.

I had one guy, a college graduate and an Eagle scout even. I told him, " take this Proline and go mow the slope at the end of the parking lot".
Off he goes. Next thing I know. He's at the far end of a 5 acre property.
The slope is 5' high and 60' long, it's 4-5 passes with the walk behind.
Common sense died a long time ago.

That’s pretty funny.

Most people who start a mowing business, mowed their own lawn as a homeowner at some point. You can pretty it up however you like, fact remains, a homeowner who wants to cut lawns on the side as business or start a full time business, can at any point as long as they have a mower.

Tell me why they can’t compete tomorrow against another mow only business?
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
That’s pretty funny.

Most people who start a mowing business, mowed their own lawn as a homeowner at some point. You can pretty it up however you like, fact remains, a homeowner who wants to cut lawns on the side as business or start a full time business, can at any point as long as they have a mower.

Tell me why they can’t compete tomorrow against another mow only business?
This is a pointless discussion. Of course homeowner can go mow lawns for beer money. Professional doing it for a living must compete in ways most side hustle people won't.....

Professional shouldn't be only offering mowing but if they are.....here's some things they SHOULD be doing for their clients that MOST side hustle mowers won't....

1. Be a resource when client needs other services. Be able to refer colleagues that you network with to handle mulching, gutters, excavation, patios, tree work, etc.
2. Offer professional billing. Accept CC. Take online payments.
3. Present a professional image. Name on truck. Name on shirts.
4. Be consistent
5. Do professional quality work with commercial equipment. Yes, this means you should own a leaf blower :dizzy:
6. Be a subject matter expert on you regions types of grasses
7. Be insured

The list goes on and on. Some side hustle Jimmy might do this but most won't. Plenty of supposed professionals don't do many of these things. Regardless, it's how you set yourself apart and how you present a pro image and get more money.
 
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