Growth question for high schooler.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bowpro, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. bowpro

    bowpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have been doing lawn maintenance for a few years, but finally this year got a proline, and commercail blower/edger and trimmer. I am still amazed at the efficiency, and time that is saved. I manage 15 regular accounts after school, and of those 11 are weekly. I have the opportunity to take on a subdivision front that will be $1,100 a month for 4 cuts. The guy doing it now spends 3 hrs per week with two helpers. Also of my 15 customers 7 are in that subdivision. My delima is if I should try to expand after school, but time is already short, or if I should drop some customers and take on the commercial account. I don't want to put all my ducks in one basket though. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    First before you take on the sub entrance, I would highly recommend getting a license and some insurance. It is always important to have these with commercial or even residential accounts. Also take your time with growing your business, stick with the good solid customers that you have now and if you can take on some more go for it. Also make sure you charge accordingly, don't undercut your competition or it will bite you in the butt. Good luck, hope this helped.
  3. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    If it takes him 3 hours with 3 guys, its gonna take you much longer, also he probably have 2 to 3 mowers running, if not 2 trimmers. So its gonna take you much longer, maybe the whole day after school, if you have a free day, id say take it, but maybe get a helper. Maybe invest in more equipment after you have the account for a while.

    Also, there probably not gonna hire you if you dont have insurance.
  4. bowpro

    bowpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I looked into getting a license and insurance and am going to do both. Also he is using a single vrt mower about 42 inches wide, and a have a 36in proline so I plan on it taking a little longer, and I have helpers now. I just don't think I can handle it and my current customers, and don't know if it is worth dropping some of them for one big job. I'll continue to think about it, and thanks for your help. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    why cant people here just tell the truth..... and you have employees, do you pay workes comp, soc security matching, unemployment...??? ill bet not, and your 20 and in high school.... just be honest, your credibility is already shot....
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I must have missed something, because I didn't see anything abut him saying he had employees. i DID see the part about him doing these accounts after school, but I was attending college part time during the day when I was his age. Anyway, if you think you can do it, and it sure sounds like you can, then go for it. If it is worth $225 a cut, have at it. It sounds like a fair price - 3 hours worth for a machine of his capacity. Just remember, if it takes YOU 5 hours, it would be about the same as if you went in there and did 6 $40 residentials ($240 gross). Is this about the same timeline for doing these residentials? I would think that if they are standard 1/2 acre lots, you are then cutting about 20,000 sq.ft. of turf. With your machinery, I could see this feasibly taking around 1 hour apiece, by the time you mow, trim, and blow. So, as I say, it sounds like a decent figure for taking it on. You will just not have the stop and go times involved, so like I said, 225 to 240 is a decent comparison. Good luck with it, and WOW them!
  7. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    there is really alot of help here, maybe i misunderstood you, about being 20 years old and in high school......but in order for anyone to help you you need to be straight up.... your profile said you are 20.... if this is a commercial account you will need to be completly legal....
  8. bowpro

    bowpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Ok, first of all I am not 20. I put that number in my profile because my father didn't want me to put my real age online at the time. I am 17, and in high school. No I don't pay ss, workers comp, or unemployment. I don't even have employees. I have about five different friends who like to work with me, so I will call them up when i need them. Each one averages working with me about 1 or 2 times a month. I don't think thats worth paying workers comp, or unemployment. I am simply a high schooler trying to make some extra money. Sorry.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534


    You state that you have no insurance and you need that.
    You have customers in the hood and if you mess up they may drop you.
    GROW SLOW--GROW SLOW!!! Your are young and will have many opportunities. Don't jump in too fast and mess up your reputation. There is a lot of time to get the big accounts.
    3 guys at 3 hours is 9 hours of work. I believe that is too much work at this time. Get your education and make some dollars on the side but wait till you are READY to go for the big fish.
    To much to lose at this time.
  10. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    pm is right, dont mess up school, or your current customers, those bigger accounts will be there when you are ready to make the full time jump..... good luck and keep at it, sounds like you have a great start..... payup

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