How to go about....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466

    This is my first year in the lawn service business.
    I'm going to mow, trim, blow.
    I have a friend that's going to help out, but I won't have to pay him for the help.

    Equipment: 52" Exmark Lazer Z HP
    Stihl Trimmer
    Stihl Edger
    Stihl Backpack Blower

    Question: What's the best strategy for my first year?

    Option 1: Try to get a lot of smaller yards (under 1 acre) and
    charge $30-$40?

    Option 2: Go for the bigger yards (1 acre +) and charge
    $45/acre, $80/2acres, etc...?

    Option 3: Try to get whatever I can get by lowering the price

    Option 4: Tough it out....keep the price higher and hope you get
    enough yards to mow at the higher price?

    Question 2: When someone wants their yard mowed monthly, or
    every other week, what do you do?

    Option 1: Tell them you only mow weekly?

    Option 2: Mow every other week, monthly, whenever they want
    it mowed?

    THANKS IN ADVANCE GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ADD ME to msn messenger:
  2. Heller Landscaping

    Heller Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    ?1 Option 2
    ?2 Option 1
    Why are you not paying your helper?:blob2:
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Option 4
    If they want it mowed infrequently, advise them it will cost them more the taller it is (If your willing to mow it at all)
    #1 its harder on your equipment
    #2 you will probably need to go over it twice to make it look decent
    I dont mow once a month in most cases, but I would probable double the cost. I wouldnt let him save money at your expence!
  4. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,033

    Man I wish I had great friends like that!:D

    I would start out trying to get smaller yards at a good price.

    Bi-weekly cuttings are fine, but make sure you are charging enough to cover the extra time you will spend at the lawn. Stay away from monthly mowing accounts. They are way to hard on equipment, and take to long to make look even half decent.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    It's a good thing you don't have to pay your friend to help you cause at $40 an acre, you probably won't be able to.

    BTW, that's after all of your expenses such as fuel, insurance (business, truck, etc.), taxes, licensing, maintenance and repair, rent/storage, your own salary, and host of other things.
  6. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    Where is MO are you, and your friend can come work for me in West Stl County, hell i may even pay him a little.
  7. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    ? #1, option #1 & 4 both. With what you have you are more profitable on smaller ones and also they're easier to schedule in like if there is just 20 minutes left in the day before you have to be somewhere, you can still squeeze in another one. Real helpful when you get behind because of weather too. Also, if a customer drops you its only $25 a week or whatever instead of $80. You can afford to turn down these kinds of jobs too, just alot easier. It's like counting to 100 with 10's or 30's, 10's just fit alot easier!
    ? #2, option #1 for reasons already listed.
    Best of luck in your venture!
  8. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Whats the story behind this?
  9. My post is much more pointed that Bob's. What do you think you're doing taking advantage of not paying someone for work? Helping you out of a jam is one thing, but not paying for labor is slavery. Even if they'll let you abuse them, it won't last. Then what's your plan? Surely you are not serious.
  10. NC Big Daddy

    NC Big Daddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Those are very good questions. My first suggestion would be work only on a contract weather it be weekly or bi-weekly. Nothing fancy to start off with. Just write out what you will be doing ie. how many mowing's per season multiply that times the amount per cut. Add in extras if there are any and divide by 12.
    As for weekly vs. bi-weekly take what you can get right now. Then thin or upgrade your customer base to weekly only. You'll figure out why on your own after cutting the bi-weeklies for a season.
    If you need help pay them. DO NOT rely on free help don't even think about it.
    What to charge? No one here can help you with that. But I will tell you it's better to do less work for more money. Get my drift?
    Use this website to help you make money. Use the search feature you'll find lots of reading.
    Last words of advise. Remember you are in the Customer Service Business don't forget it. Go above and beyond for your Customers and you'll go far.

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