I should have done this sooner,..

Mkylikesit

LawnSite Member
Location
Herriman Utah
Hi guys, I've been lurking for a couple of months. I'm a 43 yr. old and have been in construction for over 20 years. I owned and operated a small stucco company for almost half that time. Like many others I lost my business and almost everything else when the bubble burst in 08-09.
Since then I've bounced around way too much struggling to replace the income I lost, and my lifestyle.

About a month ago I printed some flyers and started going door to door. I now have about 8 regular weekly cuts and am grossing ~$1000/month. This is in addition to my full time job. I'm kind of surprised at how fast it has started taking off. All my lawns are within 2 miles of my house so far, and there are thousands of homes left within that distance that I haven't tagged yet. I'm getting pretty excited! I'm shooting for ~20 accounts by seasons end. If all continues to go well I'm hoping that year after next I can quit my job and be self employed again.

I started with a sorry little Lawnboy 21" non commercial mower, and found a used Red Max stick edger for $100, and an Echo trimmer and blower at Home Depot. Today I just picked up a used TimeMaster and am counting the hours till I can get out tomorrow night and try it out.

I just started playing with Yardbook to keep track of everything and everyone. My next purchase is going to be a small utility trailer, hopefully within the next month.

I have been targeting smaller jobs, and so far I have been able to keep my hourly rate ~ $35/hr. I'm sure this will go up a bit now that I'm using a 30" mower.

I feel like everything is going better than I could have hoped, but if you guys have anything to suggest or critique I'd love to hear from you. I probably didn't give enough info, but this feels like a horribly long post so I'm going to see where you guys take it from here.
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xstatikplus

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
toronto ontario
Excellent that you are motivated and bringing home the bacon. Just keep at it and you will grow. Only suggestion I can thing of is when the time is right for you upgrade to commercial equipment. Time cutter is a good mower for home owner use but the hours you will be slapping on it when you become self employed 100% again you will want more durable and reliable equipment. Hats off to you and good luck
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OP
M

Mkylikesit

LawnSite Member
Location
Herriman Utah
Excellent that you are motivated and bringing home the bacon. Just keep at it and you will grow. Only suggestion I can thing of is when the time is right for you upgrade to commercial equipment. Time cutter is a good mower for home owner use but the hours you will be slapping on it when you become self employed 100% again you will want more durable and reliable equipment. Hats off to you and good luck
Posted via Mobile Device

My hope is that next year I can generate enough money to get some nicer, commercial equipment without incurring any debt. As it is now, everything is paid for and if it lasts the rest of this summer I'm better off than when I started. It helps that I really enjoy the work.
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carltonbell1991

LawnSite Member
Location
oklahoma city ok
My hope is that next year I can generate enough money to get some nicer, commercial equipment without incurring any debt. As it is now, everything is paid for and if it lasts the rest of this summer I'm better off than when I started. It helps that I really enjoy the work.
Posted via Mobile Device

lol thats where you and i are different. sometimes i hope my clients aren't home or that they dont answer so i can mow the yard the next day. lol i guess i just like a day off every now and then
 

xstatikplus

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
toronto ontario
My hope is that next year I can generate enough money to get some nicer, commercial equipment without incurring any debt. As it is now, everything is paid for and if it lasts the rest of this summer I'm better off than when I started. It helps that I really enjoy the work.
Posted via Mobile Device

Excellent! Yeah I started out with no loans after work for my own contracts while working for another maintenance company. Found all my mowers online, used,cheap, commercial equipment. 52"wright stander still running, 32"ferris still running 2 21" lawn boys still running.....stihl br600 blower new and stihl km90r kombi with line head trimmer head and tiller head all new. Hand tools. Still to this day I love that set up for maintenance seem to have the right mower for any size yard. Debt free start up worked great for me. Never really had any worry about how fast I was picking up my own contracts due to all equipment was bought out right. No grey hairs from bill collectors lol
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grassmonkey0311

LawnSite Gold Member
Only about 350. From what I've read on here I'm getting an unusually good response so far
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If your response rate is "unusually good", chances are your pricing may be out of whack. Just some food for thought.
 
OP
M

Mkylikesit

LawnSite Member
Location
Herriman Utah
If your response rate is "unusually good", chances are your pricing may be out of whack. Just some food for thought.

If I am averaging ~ $35/hr with a 21" mower, and my customers are happy, I think I'm priced ok. Maybe I'm wrong. I have been out with a friend of mine on some of his routes. He's been in the business for almost 20 years and is his only source of income. My prices are higher than his, and all my cuts are less than 2 miles from my home. I'm guessing with the new mower that per/hr rate will get jump to ~ $50-55/ hr.
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AZ LawnSprinklerDrip

LawnSite Member
Location
Goodyear, AZ
35\hr. Is a bit low. I think Turf does a study each year and they say nationwide average is around $45 an hour. So consider yourself at least average. Remember you only are only paid while you are at your client's house, everything else you do timewise comes out of that hourly rate.
 

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