Just won a big one...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Herrick, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Kglenn04

    Kglenn04 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    good luck and congrats
  2. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    Haaaa, good come back! Was a bit grumpy last night!
    You wont be making enough money to pay yourself, let alone anyone else!
    When is this job starting?

    Good luck and Merry Christmas.:drinkup:
  3. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I sincerly appreciate your concern, but I honestly feel I'm going to be ok on this one. I guess time will tell. Job starts as soon as the snow melts and the grass starts growing again... probaby mid-April.

    Merry Christmas to you too!! :drinkup:
  4. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    I've been watching this thread since it first started. Its obvious you are extremely excited about this and thats great, I hope you kick a$$. But I don't think you have a clue as to what your getting into. You've put all your eggs in this basket it sounds like at the end of the day your not going to make enough to truly justify your efforts. I don't think you really know your operating costs. Machines break down, even new machines. I still can't believe the place will let you take 2-3 days for one mowing, thats insane. At your current numbers your looking at roughly $35 per hour GROSS based on just 28 cuts, you still have all your expenses to come from that. I can do 2-3 times that an hour SOLO with residentals. You have to know what your market is. Yes that $30K commercial job sounds impressive till you realise at the end of the year you didn't even make $10-12K off of it. Not trying to rain on your parade but we have seen this time and time before.
  5. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    Something you could do in the mean time is (get a cheap stop watch) walk around ALL the edges at about the same speed as trimming/edging and see how long it will take, or get a rough idea anyway. Stop at each corner for a few seconds where your Z wont get into for the extra trimming. Use a measuring wheel to work out how much of it there is. The edging/trimming is going to be a major or most time consuming part of the job.

    I would break the property into 3 sections and try and do each section in a day.
    You might like to look into a blower to attach to your Z. Theres a hell of a lot of blowing to do there. OCDC are good and help a lot but you will still need to blow it down.

    I think this could of been a good job had you priced it right. Your going to get real pizzed off doing it for the dollars earnt. This is a huge job and I dont think you realise it! Youll get break downs and rain that will mean missed weeks which in turn mean longer grass that will slow you down and generally make life miserable with even more clean up, trimming etc.

    You do have a positive attitude though and I hope this dosent suck the life out of you, and your dad!
  6. davis45

    davis45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 985

    Oh come on bud, he didn't bid so low to the point he can't pay himself. He surely won't pay the whole $30k on fuel/taxes/ins. etc. He just left ALOT of money on the table, he will be able to clear some of the 30k.
  7. keller's

    keller's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    That is awsome. Good luck to you.
  8. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,319

    Yea, there's nothing like a bunch of positive feedback in a time when you need it the most!!!!:clapping::clapping:You know, when I first joined this website, I was bidding on a 25 acre industrial plant and people were telling me to walk away because I didn't have a clue about what the he@@ I was doing. Guess what, I landed the contract and I've been maintaining it ever since-NO PROBLEM!!!!!

    I do have to agree with doing this thing by yourself, however. It's not a good idea:nono:. I use three guys to help me with the industrial plant. On large properties, you cannot....do them by yourself and look good in the eyes of the customer. It makes you look incompetent and you probably won't last long. You have to be able to get in and out of there in a day, at least. In fact, most of the large commercial accounts I bid on won't even accept your bid without a list of equipment and references proving that you have done similar sized projects and handled them. I work solo most of the time but have always felt that a three man crew is the necessity to handle most properties and be efficient. There is just so many other things you have to do besides mowing. My attitude has always been that when I get off the mower, that's when the real work starts and I think you'll find that to be true also. Good luck!!!
  9. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    That point does bug me, I'll be honest. If only I had a magic mirror that would tell me what everyone else was going to bid, so I could bid a few pennies under... :laugh:


    Fuel: Mower, trimmers, truck... should be under $3k for the season even at $3/gallon... job is only 5 minutes from my house.

    Insurance: Agent is working up a quote for me as we speak, but he's indicated it should be around $700/yr for my GL policy. Truck should be about the same, even switching to a commercial policy... Kicker would be work comp, but even that should be around $1k from what my agent has said.

    Taxes: Honestly, I don't make enough now to have even really paid much in taxes for quite a long time. I've got my 12.4% Soc Sec and 2.9% medicare figured in... I've got quite a few deductions and with a good accountant I think I'll be ok.

    Machines: I've got money figured based on the life expectancy of the mowers, and how much a new(er) one costs... same with the handhelds... few buck for oil changes and some trimmer line... few more for those unexpected things...

    I honestly can't see how it should cost $20k in expenses... unless you're taking all my expenses out of this one account... I turned about $12k Gross this year off my 14-15 residentials. I'm planning on picking up a few more of these type (already got a couple more signed up for next year). I've figured my break-even point to be $60k/yr... that's the point at which I can pay all my expenses and pay the household bills. My goal is to get at least that amount (and prefferably more) of just mowing accounts lined up, and then any additional services I do will be "extra" money used to pay down on any outstanding loans I have until I have everything paid off.

    Am I missing something?
  10. davis45

    davis45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 985

    It happens to the best of us. Ya live ya learn. It will give you more expeirence with bids and as a business if nothing else.

Share This Page