How is my business plan sound

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Chop chop lawns, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Chop chop lawns

    Chop chop lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hi all so I'm starting a part time mowing gig. I work a full time job that is a rotating schedule so I have time to mow. Basically I like to be outside an smell fresh cut grass. I have all the equipment I need, exmark mower an a new trailer and hand tools,not sure about pricing my plan is a dollar a minute, I have many subdivisions with 20 miles of cards an flyers will be my marketing does this sound like a good business plan
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,338

    A dollar a minute sounds good until you cut a lawn that takes 15 minutes then you drive 30 minutes to cut another lawn in 15 minutes.
  3. Chop chop lawns

    Chop chop lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I'd have a minimum fee of 30 bucks a yard
    North Idaho Dream likes this.
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,071

    Isn't that still a dollar a minute?
    Both cuts should be $30
    Because travel/load unload should always be included in the estimates

    It takes a minimum of 15 minutes to drive anywhere, unload your equipment and put it back on the truck.
    So if it takes a real 15 minutes to mow/trim/blow the WHOLE estimate is 30 minutes.
    If it takes an hour to m/t/b the estimate is an hour and fifteen minutes.
    When you start building denser routes
    That 15 minutes a lawn might drop significantly, enabling you to either making a frigging killing (this is why I would average $85 an hour even though I didn't bid $85 an hour)
    Or drop your prices a little to encourage that denser route.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 20,039

    100 bucks per hour is now the standard!

    Everything needs to be price as high as you can and still get the amount of work that you want.
  6. PalsLawnServices

    PalsLawnServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Setting up a website and ranking it up with SEO is a good idea too if you have any experience with it. Flyers/business cards may not be enough but may yield 1-2 yards if you're lucky. As for pricing, you will eventually learn what the market is in your area. $1 a minute with a min of $30-35 is a good start though. I have some yards in rich areas that take me 45 minutes but I make closer to $2 a minute.
  7. jonnyz37

    jonnyz37 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    $30 time doesnt count....$1 per minute is fair. This is idiot work with low entry point. While i would love $500 per hour, $60 is more than fair.
  8. AL's

    AL's LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    How does drive time not count?!?
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,071

    Drive time most definitely counts.
    You have to pay an employee to drive
    You have to pay insurance and fuel to drive
    You should be paying yourself to drive if you're solo.

    If all the figuring you've done to get your target $/hr is correct, you need to be charging enough to average that target amount from door to door, because your $/hr also recovers your overhead and non billable time.

    Most guys who claim they're getting $60 are either lying or fooling themselves.
    Get a clock
    Punch in the minute you start your day
    Punch out when your done, not when you're done mowing, when you don't do any more work.
    Don't grease and sharpen off the clock.
    Done is done
    No cheating

    Now are you still averaging $60/hr
    Because guys aren't recovering non billable time.

    If you're working 13 hour days
    That means $780 a day solo
    If you are doing 14 lawns a day they need to be $56 lawns.

    Don't go around charging $40 lawns doing them in 40 minutes and claim you're doing $60 an hour, then drive 12 minutes to the next and 15 to the next and then 20 minutes at the gas station filling up and then 20 minutes home to spend 45 minutes washing sharpening and cleaning and another 12 minutes on paperwork.
    That's not $60 an hour,
    This is why people say they can't afford employees, because they don't actually understand PER HOUR means the whole day, not simply on the property.
  10. Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC

    Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    In a word "no" this does not sound like a business plan-where are the details/goals, steps to execute and achieve those goals?

    YEA yea listen to Tpendagast ^^^^^ I learned that post the hard way.

    start pricing like you have two employees (1x and yourself) who are getting' paid either way; they are on the lawn working or in the truck sleeping...

    What is your marketing plan details? we talking about direct mailing them post-cards out? hand delivery? What is your realistic goal for marketing to capture? Website part of that equation/budget? You working the free social media marketing?

    How many lawns can you handle with a rotating shift? Contingency plan(s) for when it rains when your free, and they your obligated to mow at the same time you have to report to this other job? <I guarantee the worst case scenario scheduling will happen> that is just life<

    Lets be clear on vocabulary: You got to know your cost before you can determine a sales rate. You are stating a $60/hr selling rate, if your on the lawn for a full what is your selling price over the total time commonly called a man hour rate?

    example#1 (long drives) 15minute drive, 20minute mow, 10minutes to the next/back to office....15+20+10=45 total time over a $30 selling price (your min comes into play here or it would be $20) = your not making much if any would have to sell the yard at $45/cut to get $60/man hour.....your at $1.50/minute selling which is $40/man hour with your company minimum.

    Example #2 (closer drive) 10 minute drive, 30minute mow, 5 minute trip... by your post you would charge this the same as the above, but your putting in and extra 10minutes of labor. so what do you do your leaving money on the table with this example #2 client.

    Your pricing strategy or objective(s) has to compensate for the differences between my two examples.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
    North Idaho Dream likes this.

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