How do I get to $1/minute?

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
Another account like what?
$15,000 a year?
That’s nothing

typically
Contracts come and go.
So you bid everything that you are interested in or is “up your alley” (I don’t bid on mow only hoas and I don’t do snow in residential for example)
Then you balance out which ones you lost and which ones you win

typically if you do not underbid youre never “too full” because someone underbid you on something you always did before.

if you find that you have more wins than you can handle
That’s what over time is for.
If you have way too much you probably screwed up on bidding.
What do you do?
Well I’d just buy more equipment
Hire more people
And find the contracts I underbid and find ways to upsell to make up for the underbidding.
I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so these scenarios just really don’t happen to me.
I’ve got lots of practice.
Thinking more about this. Do you guarantee 32-40 hours for your crew or are they seasonal and work whatever is available? I think that’s where my question stemmed from. What does the average employee expect/get from a landscaping job? I wonder if an owner sometimes has idle time in crews because maybe a contract ended or something.
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
I know rates will vary by area, but $35 for that size yard is too low. I have 2 properties priced at $35 and they are neighbors. One almost has no grass, the other has more but it is easy. Both yards take 2 of us 25 mins to service. So that is $70 in less than half and hour. Your boss can't be making much at all charging those rates and paying you, especially after paying all the other expenses. The only way to make $1 per minute is to charge it. I may not meet that goal on all properties, but I am not too far under it. But then, that is per hour on the ground working. My average yard here is somewhere around 15k sq ft and my average price for those properties are $55-60. Many in my area are .45 acre lots and they go for $60 on average. Most I have been pricing this year are averaging $65. The last yard I picked up I priced at $65 and the lady said she felt it was worth $80 so she pays me 80. lol...It is only slightly more than 1/2 acre. Took both of us 40 mins to service it the other day.

Having most yards in one confined area does help, but then by yourself you are making the business what $280-300 in a day. That's still not too good. No idea what you make, but I assume you get over $100-120 in an 8 hour day. Your boss can't make any money after expenses.
 

Bitches_Brew

Banned
Location
earth
You need to restructure. Your $1.00 per min doesn’t really work for all lawns. Say you have a lawn that takes 15 mins. You’re only making $15.00 on that property. That’s not gonna cut it.....:laugh: You need a bare minimum price. I’m not dropping the door on the trailer for less than $40.00

I get $4min. for a commercial yard that takes maybe 5 min. to mow, trim, blow. Two small grass areas 1 swipe with the 60.

I'm a sucker and will get my mower off the trailer for any price as long as it makes money. :nod:
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
I'm at $50 on a lawnn that size.

So you guys don't do any other maintenance work for your customers? More money to be made doing full service, even if you aren't doing apps. Shrub, mulch, fall cleanup just for starters.

Keep in mind if there are two guys, how long does it take to do the same lawn? That puts the closer to $1/minute by cutting the time in half.
Agreed. I don't do apps either. I do some granular fert and pre emergent for a handful of customers, but I do shrubs, pine straw, mulch, irrigation repair, and small landscape installs lawn repair/sod. I don't do a ton of those services for random one time customers, but I do a lot of extra for my maintenance customers. It's pure profit. If I am already there mowing and the customer needs a sprinkler head replaced, it takes all of 10-15 extra minutes and it is pure profit since I am already there. I even cut them a break on the irrigation service call fee for not having to drive there just for something that small.
 

AlpineNaturescapes

LawnSite Member
Location
Payson, UT
I live in Louisiana. I thought for sure I read that you pay 15.3% self employment tax, then 15% income tax, but I can't find that anymore. Oh well. I'll talk to an accountant whenever I'm getting set up.
Your self employment tax is that much. It is Social Security(your half and employers half) and medicare tax. Income tax is going to be at least that much. About 5% for state income tax and 10% for federal income tax, but the federal income tax has a larger standard deduction, so it depends how much you make overall, but that is about right for say 25K taxable income. Obviously, if you make more, that percentage will go up. So, despite what others have said, you are definitely in the ball park. It may even be 15% on your federal inc taxes at that income level - I'd have to look that up. If you combine a wife's income, you might be in the 20% inc tax range or higher. Depends on kids, etc.
I am not too educated on the whole thing, but I think yeah an S-Corp is better for a single person? Because that lets you not pay all the taxes on your entire income, you separate your actual salary and your total income? Idk. I gotta learn more about it.
I have been a sole proprietor for 20 years. S-Corp really only provides tax benefits for higher income by taking "draws" out of the company. These draws avoid self-employment tax. The IRS will look closer if you are not taking what appears to be a "fair salary or wage" out of the company though, so for lower incomes, there really isn't any tax advantages. Otherwise, your taxes are going to be the same. However, an S-corp pretty much has to be a corp, rather than a sole proprietor, and as a corp will shield you from personal liability if run correctly. A corp can file as a sole proprietor if it is run by a single person - there are lots of LLCs that probably do this.
 

Bayou Turf Management

LawnSite Member
Don’t worry yourself over what the other guy is doing.

yesterday I got the bid results back from
A commercial bid that had three locations in one contract.
Winning bid was $9500
We were $15,500
The highest bid was $41,000

which number do you think was the right one?

The middle priced bid is what a smart bean counter would go with. Most landscape/mowing is tax deductable to companies, so in the end, it's worth it to make their business look business like.
 

TheHopper

LawnSite Member
Location
Kalamazoo
There is no way trimming should take so long on 1/4 acre lot.
This is one of my customers timesheet. I time absolutely everything.

this is Mow, Trim, Blow. Complete service. Blow off around entire house including patio, driveway and frontage. I charge $35 and raising all my properties next year that are 1/2 hour or less to $40, anything from 30 to 35 minutes to $45 and anything over that time wise will be calculated at $80 an hour.

this is by myself pricing. And trust me I MOVE! Use a Stihl 130 trimmer on a virtual dead run.
 

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Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
There is no way trimming should take so long on 1/4 acre lot.
This is one of my customers timesheet. I time absolutely everything.

this is Mow, Trim, Blow. Complete service. Blow off around entire house including patio, driveway and frontage. I charge $35 and raising all my properties next year that are 1/2 hour or less to $40, anything from 30 to 35 minutes to $45 and anything over that time wise will be calculated at $80 an hour.

this is by myself pricing. And trust me I MOVE! Use a Stihl 130 trimmer on a virtual dead run.
In fairness, that's not even an apple to apple comparison. Some people can have a ton of crap that needs trimmed around on the same sized lot as someone that has a sidewalk, curb, and one straight loop arpund the house.
 

TheHopper

LawnSite Member
Location
Kalamazoo
This one has a chain link fence and several trees in the yard. Most of my lawns in the 1/4 acre range take about 8 minutes or so less to trim and blow than to mow. All 25 to 33 minutes or so.
 

gardiner

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MASSILLON OHIO
I know rates will vary by area, but $35 for that size yard is too low. I have 2 properties priced at $35 and they are neighbors. One almost has no grass, the other has more but it is easy. Both yards take 2 of us 25 mins to service. So that is $70 in less than half and hour. Your boss can't be making much at all charging those rates and paying you, especially after paying all the other expenses. The only way to make $1 per minute is to charge it. I may not meet that goal on all properties, but I am not too far under it. But then, that is per hour on the ground working. My average yard here is somewhere around 15k sq ft and my average price for those properties are $55-60. Many in my area are .45 acre lots and they go for $60 on average. Most I have been pricing this year are averaging $65. The last yard I picked up I priced at $65 and the lady said she felt it was worth $80 so she pays me 80. lol...It is only slightly more than 1/2 acre. Took both of us 40 mins to service it the other day.

Having most yards in one confined area does help, but then by yourself you are making the business what $280-300 in a day. That's still not too good. No idea what you make, but I assume you get over $100-120 in an 8 hour day. Your boss can't make any money after expenses.

The last yard I picked up I priced at $65 and the lady said she felt it was worth $80 so she pays me 80. lol...It is only slightly more than 1/2 acre. Took both of us 40 mins to service it the other day.
If 2 people was there for 40 minutes. = The crew was there for 80 minutes
 

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