Help! Is there anyone making money out there as they grow?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by guitarman2420, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,650

    I didn't read this entire thread, so I'm probably not adding anything new, but...Guys in this business think that having a large number of mowing accounts will make them they cut prices to try to sign as many customers as possible. It is amazing to me how many people do this over and over, waiting for "economies of scale" to magically produce profits.

    When I learned a little about business, I learned the difference between fixed costs and variable costs. Maintenance/mowing has small fixed, but huge variable. So there is almost no "economies of scale".

    Buying customers with low prices is a recipe for losing money.
  2. candrserviceco

    candrserviceco LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    You can make money but you have to be smart and think ahead. We make money mowing sorry to hear that you are not. We make average of 30% for year and have done it year after year. Stop low balling and get the right price.

    If a employee sucks fire them and move on. Get out of the field, you own the business you should not be mowing or doing jobs, you should be getting new jobs and managing you company and keeping it tight.

    I have not mowed a yard in 2years
  3. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 617

    First of all, in response to your earlier enquiries my labor rate is based on 50 dollars an hour per employee so I have 3 at employees out I am trying to make 150 dollars per hour.
    . Secondly, I am NOT a lowballer. As stated in my thread, my niche is high end residential and high end commercial accounts. No one is immune to making some bidding mistakes, especially in the beggining.
    I did make the changes I was talking about in the thread, and as a result this year was my most profitable year. The key to any business is not being afraid of making some mistakes and then learning from the mistakes. It is amazing to me how many people write things on this site as if they never had to learn things when they started.
    I understand the comment above about not mowing and I tried that, but everytime i did, we lost control of the quality and costs. Many people on this site have said you have to be quite a bit bigger than 400k in revenue to come out of the field. I would love to, as sales is my best ability and I'm closing in on 60.
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  4. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 995

    you should buy profitsareus cd "know why your charging what your charging". thank me later.
  5. Sensation Man

    Sensation Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I can never seam to reach that point of being out of the field and being just a sales man. I'm too meticulous about my landscape maintenance methods to ever fully delagate out to a crew. That & I'm too small potato's to every justify hiring a full time crew. I feel like I will always be stuck as the foreman of my maintenance crew.
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  6. Sensation Man

    Sensation Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I agree! I've never beleaved in the concept of lowballing to build up the maintenance clientel. Though it seams that's what sooooo many of the companies around here in North Jersey do. I'm so sick of having to compete with all the lowballers that get every house on the block while I hold my price for the one lone house on the block. Nobody cares about quality or if you're insured any more. The customers just want the cheapscape guy that shows up with 3 men doing all the neighbors houses. The lawn maintenance business is really not proffitable unless you are a high volume, super efficient machine, & that I am not.
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  7. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I totally disagree with this. I'm small time. I have more then enough work. I have a hard time keeping up at times. I don't have a high volume of customers. The ones I do have all pay very well though.
  8. Greyst1

    Greyst1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 900

    I may have missed this so sorry to have to ask but how many peeps on your maintenance route and how many on your landscape route?
  9. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Glad to hear you got everything figured out :clapping:

    It's easy for people to blame it on being a "lowballer" or anything else when they are on the outside looking in. Good luck and we all learn from mistakes, even the people who seem to know everything have made bad business moves.
  10. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    Like it's been said before, it's all in developing good systems and sticking to them. Glad you figured it all out!! I've got some growing pains as well - mostly employees - they are good but I need more =D.

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