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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by willjones, Mar 9, 2007.
i dont know anyone that gets $56 for less than a half acre.
Back in the day, my dad said you used to charge a half a cent a sq. ft.
example = .005 X 5,000 sq ft = $25
I personally have never used that formula, I guess just being around the business for so long, I mostly eye ball it.
$215 an acre?
I'm just tellin ya what he told me a long time back. Of course back then there wasnt that many people in the business. My Dad started his business in 1972
I wish my 05 ram i had got 15 city empty. I got a wopping 11.5-12 on a good day. But it was lifted and had 35's and 20's probably didn't help much.
Size matters, but what really matters to me most is time.
Some large lawns go quick, some small lawns take forever due to trimming, obstacles, thick grass or whatever. I try to bill $400 per day in mowing, working solo. How I get there is hard to describe. It could be 7 expensive lawns, or it could be 10 cheap lawns. In my town, an average lawn is 15 or 20K sq/ft., and average charge for that size would be $50. So I have a 52 inch ZTR to deal with my market. Some guys around here only want to do smaller lawns with a walk-behind. And I bet they make as much or more than me if they want to.
A minimum charge of $25 is very aggressive, especially in eastern Mass. My minimum is $35, and I am out in the sticks.
I set my minimum at $32.50 this season. I have 2 lawns that I grandfathered in because they have been with me so long and 1 is a family friend. One of them literally takes me 10 minutes, $20 (the friend), and the other takes me 15 minutes, $25. I just can't see going below $32.50 any more though.
werent you $35 last year??
I was thinking the same thing.
As for formula, I look it up on county records and with experience, I'm usually 98% sure I got the lot size right in my mind, because anyone can claim this is 20k or 40k square feet, I want to know size for a fact. You can also use the mower to measure by how long it takes (i.e.: if it takes me 40-45 minutes to cut, it's likely an acre) thou I use this last method mostly to confirm my math.
If you're getting 55 per half acre and you don't feel that is enough, perhaps you need a 48" deck Wb and start cutting in high gear, I hardly get $55 for a full acre but my 48's git'r done in 40-45 minutes, the Z in 30 (and that's double cut, these commercial mowers can MOVE but deck size makes the biggest impact, I'd have to guess you got a 3-foot or smaller deck).
Via simple math, a 36" deck will be 25% slower than a 48"... So instead of 45 minutes, it takes an hour.
On another note, I can't wait to test out my new 15hp Kohler, I finally figured out how to increase rpm's as far as I want to LOL
That engine really revs now, too bad the older '05 Kohler got broke in at the lower rpm, pos.