How much will that $25.00 per cut be in 20 years........?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mdirrigation, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,703

    It will be $ 25.00 to $ 30.00 . Yes its true , you may not believe it but if you realy think about and talk to any one in the business for any length of time they will tell you. I have been reading all these posts , pricing and professionals etc, and been sucessfull in the business for over 25 years , trucks have increased , insurance has increased , grass cutting sure as hell hasnt. The minimum charge in 1984 was $ 25.00 and we were turning work away . Today the minimum is $ 25.00 and every body wants to be a LCO .

    This year I sold my cutting accounts , concentrating on irrigation and general construction . The handwriting is on the wall. A 43 year old professional wont play the lowball games of a novice , plus there is a whole lot more demand for new houses and home improvement than grass cutting .
  2. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    I agree. Mowing prices haven't moved much in 20 years or more. I remember when 10,000 SF lawns reached the $20 level in Michigan. That was about 1982 or so. When I left Michigan in 2002 the same lawns were fetching $22-$25. In most areas of the country this business is saturated with competition and it gets worse every day. Competition is not a bad thing if the new entries into the business price their services at the going rates for their market.
    New start-ups in lawn care usually make the mistake of bidding far to low on lawn care accounts so that they can hit the ground running, then after they are operating at full capacity with a bunch of low priced accounts they suddenly realize they are losing money and close up shop. That leaves the rest of us having to deal with people that expect absurdly low prices. Then the low price syndrome perpetuates itself.
    The recent run up in the price of oil might be beneficial to LCO's that have been fighting low prices for a long time. Even though gas prices will increase our costs, it may also keep a lot of wanna be LCO's from entering the market and holding down prices.
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Simple, $25 or less
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I would agree.
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

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

    Minimum wage in my state was 3.37 an hour when I entered the work force that was 1986 its now 7.10 so 20 years from now it will likely be doubled again to 15 an hour. So as much as it pains me to say this I think that 25 dollar cut will likely be 35-40 not because it has went up in the past as obviously it has not. But because the cost of the employee in this trade is always more then minimum meaning they will be making 20-25 an hour and gas by then will be around 5 dollars a gallon. So if for no other reason the price will go up because the break-even price will be 35-40 as for profits well why did you go into this trade if thatÂ’s what you were after?
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I'll be the first to disagree. I can understand that lawns have not went up much in the last 20 years but 20 years ago $25 was a high price. This industry is at a low point now and I can't see anyone cutting grass in 20 years for a price they can barely get by on now.

    20 years from now $25 will be like $5 now and not even the worst scrub will stoop that low. He won't be able too even if he tried.

    Lawn prices have went up about $10 here in the last 15 years. 8K (average for this area) were going for $15-20 several years ago and now the lowest price is $20 -$25 but a lot of guys are getting $30-$35.

    It will be impossible for even a retired person to cut lawns for $25 20 years from now. I predict that the price will be about $50 (maybe $40-$45) with the price of operating (even illegally) going up much faster now then in the past.

    Another reason that some of the more legit companies are still only slightly above prices from 20 years past is because of more productive equipment that has allowed them to stay competitive.

    Prices might stay low compared to good wages in the future, but they will not be $25 in 20 years. $25 will get you a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread in 20 years, and maybe a slim jim.
  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Kelly, I started posting before you submitted your post. I'm glad I'm not the only one that knows inflation will get the better end of our business. Prices will still be low but not that low. Hopefully by then a new fad will have started and everyone will be pooper scooping or soemthing.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I'm sorry, but I disagree with part of the LAST post, Soupy . 20 years ago, $25 was not a high end price(around here). It was an average price. Even then, all the extras like edging, shrubs, and so forth were extra. It is the same now. While we are only getting around $35 to do that same lawn, look at the percentages of everything else that has went up. Now, it's just gotten even much worse. We are now paying $2.17 to $2.25 for gas.
    I've said it before,...and I'll say it again. With over 20 years experience in the green industry, mowing is by far the LEAST lucrative operation out of all operations in thid industry. For all the new guys that want to come out here and have "mowing services", I say more power to ya, and rotsa ruck!
  9. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I didn't mean it was high price compared to what others were charging. I meant that it was a very profitable price which took a fall when everyone started getting in on the action. 20 years ago you were making great money cutting small lawns for $25. That is why it has not went up much. Also, everyone wasn't hiring lawn care companies 20 years ago because they couldn't afford it.

    20 years from now even the dumbest guy won't charge $25 because there is no room for inflation in that price any longer
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I believe the answer is much deeper than just what WE want to charge but will have to do a lot with the overall economy.
    Where do all the lawnboys come from. Good paying factory jobs. Manufacturing, industry, the backbone of our country. The Middle Class.
    All making a last ditch effort to survive.
    20 years ago most people did not get their grass cut by a LCO but did it themselves. $25 was a lot of money.
    The 80's were a great time and a lot of people made easy money. They started to buy the frills in life. Lawn care was one of those. Keep up with the Jones.
    Enter Walmart- Lowes- HD. Grow huge. Kill all mom and pops. Become a monopoly. Create buying power that forces all vendors to sell at no profit.
    Vendors try to stay alive by moving to China. Jobs lost. Try to survive by cutting grass and get jobs by selling cheap. Times get tighter so car plants, textile plants, furniture plants, all chase cheap labor. more jobs lost.
    No problem because it is the computer age. 6 weeks of training and you can make $s as a computer wiz. Bummer, people in India will do it for next to nothing and it is really easy and cheap to move operations to India. More lost jobs.
    Still not to worry. The service industry will save the day. Cut grass, Clean cars, Wash windows and houses. Pick up poop, YaHoo!
    The middle class love to pay for someone to do all their work.
    BUT WAIT! Its the middle class that is being eroded in this country. When the Jones bought all the services, everyone had to. But when the Jones finally throw in the towel (which was made in China), Oh Happy Day as now we can all stop keeping up and admit that we are also going broke.
    So who does the service industry serve?
    The few remaining rich people in the country will be fought over by everyone and the price war will escalate. And yes there will always be someone to do it cheaper.

    Gloom and doom forecast? Sorry, I do not see light at the end of the tunnel.
    I'm lucky as I am old. I feel sorry for the Kid who is 16 and has a whole life to live as I feel that this country will drop in lifestyle.
    A global economy can only bring global equalization. As we are close to the top, where does that bring us.
    We have trained our people to wait for the government to help pay for everything and to not work. They live off our tax dollar. Our tax dollar also pays to bring in outside people to do work that is beneath the people that do not work. Middle class is disappearing and the gap between upper and lower is getting bigger.
    Where will pricing go? I feel that the number of people wanting our service will drop and at the same time there will be more people that will work for almost nothing.
    In 1990 I bought a Ford Taurus for $16,000, Today you can get a Ford Taurus for about $15.000. Front page of the paper had a story about GM having problems. Debt is at a all time high. The good times of the last 15 years have been financed and the credit worthiness of our people has about run out.
    Our industry will be one of the first to go as it is a luxury.
    I believe that in 20 years most of us will not even have the option of pricing any jobs.
    Have a happy day!

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