How much can a solo make!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cgrant711, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Have you considered doing just aps for turf only and at some point drop mowing. There are a fair number of lawn APS only Co. In my area.

    Very few lawn cutters here can match my cut quality and vertical squared up zero scalp edging...but in some ways it seem like I could clearly be making more on APS only. My basic plan is to phase out mowing except for those who are willing to pay full throttle rates for my double cutt manicured to perfection look. :D
    Also dropping all my bi-weeklies this year. The bean counter chiseler clients are not worth it.
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  2. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,001

    I wouldn't consider just going to apps only at this point, since it seems like most of my app opportunities come from existing mowing customers that are looking for one-stop lawn care. I like the idea of being able to sell multiple services to each customer, whether it's hedge trimming, apps, mulch, etc.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    I have people that have me do everything.

    Though I cherish the customers that only have me just mow, just fert, just fall clean ups, just snow. Because they all help to fill my schedule and all pay me well.

    I think some one starting out should not do sprinklers because of the time and equipment needed is just diverting resources away from getting all the landscaping equipment.
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I replace busted heads that I break and set and adjust timers but I have to agree with this statement. Unless someone already has worked it already and already knows their way around.'s the consistency work that matters to me. I typically over bid shrubs and pruning just so I don't get stuck fiddling with it. :D
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  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    ^^^^ This. Spoken from experience, I do believe.
  6. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    Not sure how some of these solo guys are pulling in over 40k cutting grass
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    I do not do hardscapes. Though I do more then just mow.

    My minimum charge is $35 for a 1/4 acre or less. I do my them in 20 to 30 minutes.

    Being generous with travel time I could do 1 lawn with travel time in 1 hour. 10 lawns would yield $350. 15 lawns 525.

    Four days of 10 lawns a day yields $1,400. 15 lawns a day = $2,100.

    28 weeks = $39,000 to $58,800 a year.

    Five days of mowing yields $1,750/$2,625 = $49,000 to $73,500 a year.

    I do not have five full days of mowing those there are people here that do.

    Though mowing 28 weeks of 50 hours a week work will gross up to $73,500.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    32vld, ... good math, but it cannot work in reality. As much as I would like to schedule packed days, six days per week (never work on Sunday), such a plan is impractical. One must leave slack for weather related delays, and other interruptions.

    It is great to plan, and necessary. But, one has to be realistic as well. Ed2... has it right.
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Minimum charge of $35 for smaller lawns in my area is violated constantly by a number of long-term larger Co. $25 per cut is the new $35 min charge.

    I start the clock when the truck stops and as I drive off is when I clock out.

    It is not uncommon to see a crew of 2-3 mow a $25 lawn in 15-20 min. Scalped edging, dull blades, cut too short.

    Granted my focus is quality not mass appeal and much of the time I double cut. Most of my growth goals are in applications where the client mows themselves and I only mow for those willing to pay a bit more than Johnny Cheap cuts.

    Granted as a solo one can expense a fair of overhead but really....every time I see these threads where someone want to start their own Lawncare Co. but there currently making $45k-$75k with benefits. Um....why rock the boat. I basically stumbled into this business as a side line rototilling home gardens and mowed a few lawns with a push mower while working another business...after my wife got fired from her job. If I could time travel back to that time frame...I would.
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  10. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    In my opinion, your price could be a little low for a 1.5 million dollar home on 2 acres in the Fort Worth area.

    These properties should not be treated like a mow, blow and go property. That is not what these clients are paying you to do. Do not sacrifice quality for speed. These clients expect top quality lawn & yard care and customer service that is second to none. Details matter to these clients and we won't last long if our attention to detail slips because we are rushing to get the job done. If we miss the weed in the flowerbed or missed a spot while trimming or whack our trimmer on the turf to extend the line and we scalp the lawn or the edges look terrible because they were done one time with a trimmer and not an edger, the client will notice and will probably look to replace us…I'm not saying that you or I do these things, it's just something we need to make sure doesn't happen on the properties we service.

    Also, 35 mows per season seems a little short for our area. Look to extend your mowing season to around 40-42 weeks to handle all the late falling leaves that we get and then add, at minimum, one service day in January and one service day in February for a total of 42-44 weeks of service. These type of clients usually want year round service.

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