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how long to turn a profit

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hsieh, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. hsieh

    hsieh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    how long did it take you to get your business to where you could live off it?

    i look at these big operations how do they make money when they have to fuel those gas guzzling trucks and employ people?
  2. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    the question is vague. how much do you need to live off? my business grew year after year while i worked other jobs but it took at least 3 or 4. all the trucks and employees mean more $ coming in. if you dont understand how you make money, your not charging enough. thats also why people complain about how much larger companies charge, becuase of the large overhead
  3. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    About 45 days. I walked out of my job of 5 yrs due to poor management skills of a new hire in early Feb. 2001. Our mowing season starts mid March. Learn your cost. Don't barrow long term and price your work accordingly. And yes, I had a house payment, health insurance payment and a wife and kids to feed.

  4. hsieh

    hsieh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    i bid $30 just to do a small lawn and they don't take my bid. it seems like where i live people just don't want to pay. all's i have is my walk behind self propelled mower i haven't invested in any big equipment.

    maybe the problem is i work my full time job and don't take those small lawns for $20?

    i guess with a crew and lots of equipment you can do a small lawn in 15 minutes and charge $20.

    i guess if you want it to pay you need to do it 40 or more hours per week?

    is that how you got it to pay by doing it full time and in 45 days you were making a profit?
  5. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,067

    It takes years to build a solid base of good paying customers and then you lose some to these so called success stories who underbid just to "keep their guys busy". Better keep your full time job and be patient with getting customers.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    be patient and take your time. it will build slowly
  7. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    It all depends on how motivated you are and your business skills.

    I will give a few hints and I am sure others will too. Employees managed correctly will bring you in more money then a solo operation. Commercial equipment will be more productive then homeowner equipment. Keep your area of operation within 25 miles will be more productive. Eliminate drive time as much as possible. Knowledge of the business as a whole will be most beneficial. If you are not sure what to charge, how to get clients, different aspects of landscaping and management I suggest you work for a well established landscaping firm for a full year and ask lots of questions. Ask to be on different crews to learn the entire business.

    My biggest mistake was when I was 17 working for a landscaping firm which had over 350 weekly maintenance clients, 500 fertilization accounts, a tree division and a landscape design team was I thought I knew more then the two owners who only had sixth grade educations. Still to this day, 21 years later they are still more successful and I have a few years of college.

    The biggest thing though, that I can tell you is, charge correctly. You need to charge $60.00 per man hour to be ahead of the game. Charging 30 will only net you 8 bucks an hour after expenses and you will only be cheating yourself. Do quality work and get your name out there. Build your business 1 day at a time.
  8. vincent1

    vincent1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    You can't compare yourself to anyone.

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