How much can a solo make!

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

  1. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,094

    Based on weekly lawn service, we average 112 properties per 2 man crew in 55 hours or 110 man hours.
    Theses properties range in size from 2k up to 6 acres.
    So we average 1 lawn per man hour, but one day they do 40 in six hours(12 man hours)
    So the other 70 are done in about 48 hours or 96 man hours.

    Their plan looks great on paper looking at numbers but the reality may be different.
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Efficient is not measured by the number of lawns.

    He is measuring efficiency by having minimum time people standing around not working. As soon as you go from one man to two men there will always be time where one guy finishes before the other. So one man is not working part of the time. The larger the crew the standing around waiting time increases. Because even is when the people that finish early go and find something else to do there will always be people not finishing up at the same time.

    Also Drive time with one person is the most efficient. Every passenger on that truck is only costing you money. Riding shotgun does not produce billable labor.

    A 2 man crew will get more lawns mowed in a day then a solo guy. Getting more work done when their is more non billable hours is not more efficient. It is just more volume.

    Depending on a lot of variables such as long or short drive times, size of property's, equipment, ability of the workers, pay roll.

    A two man crew could gross more and net more because their increased volume could bring in enough money to offset their lower efficiency.

    So in putting efficiency aside if a two man crew will enable a business to net more money then I do not see the point of going back to solo and ditching customers because they hard to come by.

    If he feels that solo will yield him the highest profit. Instead of him and his partner working solo, firing two employees and getting rid of customers.

    Why does he not get two more trucks and have all four of them working solo?

    He will retain his customers. He will be more efficient. His profits will increase.

    Then if this increased efficiency means that the two employees work 40 hrs a week and there is only 30 hours of work left for each partner now they will have 10 hrs a week each out of the truck managing their business instead of working in the business. At a higher net due to increased efficiency.

    Though there will be increased costs because there will need to double the size of the trucks, trailers, mowers, equipment.

    So as we see you can not grow a business without it costing money.

    So with him and his partner working solo I no longer see the need for them to remain partners.

    Also has he thought out if he will be able to get the man power needed for fall clean ups being that he fired his two employees?
  3. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    This is what hit me last summer like a freight train. In my style of business I drive more for higher paying customers. Having someone sit in the passenger seat riding with to a job is no where near as efficient as having them drive to their own job. 2 people with 2 rigs will get twice as much done per day. 2 people with one rig are only as efficient as the route you have set up for them.
  4. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,396

    Yeah and once person will get completely burnt out before two ever do. That's what you both aren't realizing.

    Numbers can only go so far. We are not robots, we are humans. Sure you'll net an extra 400 a week - but at what expense?
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  5. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

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

    I think when he wrote "550-650 a day" I think he might have meant to write "$550-$650 a day".
  6. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

    Why can't a solo Make over $500 per day?

    It's not typical but I have a solo route, 8-10 hours, 70 properties, gross of around 1k.

    It can be done, though I do agree doing a route like this 50 hours a week for 30 weeks would be draining.
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  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,677

    Of course thats what I meant I thought that was self evident. Really was quite shocked that someone ran with it the other way despite it not making sense. My school of thoughts has always been if something isn't adding up then go back and start over and figure out why.

    32vld shall I call you that or do you have a name you prefer? You are right about the fall clean ups being a b i t c h with out the added man power. Many of the accounts I will be dumping have extremely bad fall clean ups. I intend to keep most of the ones that do not request clean ups. So I'm going to see if I can keep that annual number down too about 50 clean ups we have been doing 80-110 for years. And a Titan Pro Plus is in the cards for when we turn 50 in another 6-7 years. Cause there is only so much longer we wish to fight a manual 20hp leaf vac.

    As far as the hours go working 60 hours feels very natural to me and my partner of the last 11 years. 10-12 hour days are very normal and you feel like an 8 hour day was a half day. But the real average day for mowing with us is about 11 hours 9 am to 8 pm. Iv been doing that for years In fact I love those hours you go home feeling like you accomplished something. Now in spring those hours have spiked north of 80 in the past and thats tough and I am trying to keep from working Sundays plus you do realize we do lose days quite often too rain so its not a true 6 day a week schedule week after week.

    Now whiffyspark you are right I cannot have the same production out put working solo as I do with a 2 man crew. But that is not the definition of efficiency. How much are your bringing in per day per man. And in that I am right $350-425 a day while cutting lawns is what we bring in per man on two man crews. Been running them more than a decade those are the numbers. $550-650 per day is what my partner and I bring in per man when working with out employees. That's a massive difference in efficiency. And why do I know this lets just say the little darlings have a habit of screwing you over and not coming to work a dozen times a year each it seems. And it was on one of those times where I realized I made $100 less than I would of if my employee had shown up yet saved myself nearly $200 in payroll related expenses by him not showing in that day. So I knew 6 months ago the course of action I was taking.
  8. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,382

    Two man crew for the win. Aside from the reasons stated by others, I like the piece of mind knowing if someone gets injured help is there.
  9. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I think Kelly's has one advantage as he is probably quite experienced and knows this route inside and out and has the lawn down to the minute as to how long they will take. He is probably not somebody that expanded overnight or bought out a bunch of accounts and thinks they are going to reinvent the wheel. I worked with mopes and have gone out to do routes by myself that normally had 2 people assigned and got them done in a day. It was hard and yes there is alwYs the risk of dibilitating injury or unusual weather event, hopefully with the weather a good customer will understand. I'm very interested to see if this works as my plan is to stay solo, without full time help.
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  10. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,396

    Like I said you'll net little more than $100 a day more. Youre crazy thinking Youre going to do everything plus mulch cleans up etc yourself

    You either need better employees or better routes. $500 in payroll for an employee is worth the less headaches

    Youre going to get burnt out trying to do everything yourself. Working 6 days a week 8-am to 8pm? Come on man. Youre going to knock years off Youre life doing that stuff
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