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Hedge Trimming Startup

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by YodaMouse, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Sixty dollars and hour!! LOL :D That is what the going rate is here for ALL DAY of shrub trimming! Thats why I dont do it anymore. I wished I could get 30 a hour here but client would have to have medical help with these prices!
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    LOL I was stuck at 30-45 for a long time myself but then I don't do trimming but every so often so it took longer to figure it out... Basically, to get $60/hour what I ended up doing is getting more work done in less time so in the end I might only get 30 or 40 dollars for a row of hedges JUST like the next guy but then instead of it taking an hour if I can get it all done in 30-40 minutes, that's $60/hour...
    What I did is the old sacrifice of quality for speed and in the end I was really surprised how fast I can go without much loss of quality at all. Every once in a blue moon I might take off a bit too much or the odd corner gets sheared but I feel that it happened just as much before and in both cases its rare...
  3. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,457

    when I was doing landscape maint. I was doing it by the job, , making $40 to over a $100 an hour
  4. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492


    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    i have never done a residential for less than $100 for trimming shrubs in about a hour. i am talking about shrubs in front and back of the house.
  6. YodaMouse

    YodaMouse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Uh, I think I may have phrased things incorrectly. I meant that I get $10 to $15 per house. (Mostly $15) We're talking about a gated community with houses piled on top of each other. When the houses are lined up like ducks in a row, often I can get 4 or 5 done in an hour. But realistically I do about 2 an hour reliably. So technically I'm making $30 / hour.

    From my prespective, the pay is sufficient--especially since I've been in this business only since June. What worries me is relying on someone else bill my customers. It feels like the guy is the owner of the route, not me.

    Also what worries me is that I really am not allowed to compete with the lawn guys in the community, that is our informal agreement. This forces me to over-specialize in hedge trimming. I'm not sure if this is a wise business approach.

    Honestly, I'm just trying to decide on a long term direction to take. For now the stuff I'm doing pays the bills. Now I have to figure out how to prosper!
  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Do you travel to jersey?

    I'll pay you $15/hr to work for me...
  9. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    Ok, YodaMouse, by now you know what's going on with this guy and how much money he is making off of you, so I won't comment on any of that. By now, though, you're probably thinking, "what should I do now?" Here is what I am thinking. You said that this guy does not want to do hedge trimming any more. Call him out. Explain to him that you know what's going on and offer to buy him out in some way. Ask him to tell you how much he is charging, and to show you his invoices, then make him an offer, either by continuing to sub for a FAIR rate(in other words, more favorable to YOU than to HIM, since he isn't doing any of the work anyway), or to buy out the accounts COMPLETELY in the form of contracts. Just my thoughts on the matter :) , sound like a good idea, guys? Comments please.....
  10. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    And also, regarding your informal agreement to not compete with the other LCOs, why would you agree to that? I guess I can sort of understand, because I used to live in a gated community, and wouldn't have wanted to step on any toes in a small community where everyone knows everyone etc. That being said, what other services are offered by these other LCOs? Do something they don't do. For example: instead of focusing on hedge trimming alone, why not think about including hedge trimming as part of a GARDENING service. (planting flowers, mulching, maintaining beds and foliage, etc.) Maybe after keeping their property in such immaculate condition, they would want you to go ahead and mow their grass while you are at it. You could sell service packages for maitinence, and price per job for individual items like flowers and mulch, etc. In a well to do private community (in Florida, where things grow basically all year), this might be a profitable business. And technically you wouldn't be competing with the lawn guys, right? Just an idea! Good luck in any case!

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