Legit vs Non

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rootytalbot, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Talk with your city
    My city about 3 yrs ago pass a new code on mowing Anybody mows must carry a Business License and Ins. even if its a kid. It help around here some.
    Im still working to change the code where everybody have carry WC no matter if you one guy or 10 guys Then everybody will be on same level.
  2. Down East Prop Serv

    Down East Prop Serv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I agree with you on the business license and GL insurance but you are wrong about the WC. I am a 1 man operation and WC is absolutely worthless for me, as it will not pay me if I am injured because I own the company. It is an added cost that comes with growth, if you stay small and do not want the headaches of multiple employees you should not be penalized for that.
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I know you would think its worthless but there is job that's require it if you are 1 man or 10 men. If don't carry it they will hold out a % for it. I think all Commercial account should require it even if you are solo or atleast hold % from them
    I pushing more towards all Commercial accounts that hires there mowing or anything done.

    Penalized When a solo guy under bids me cuz his overhead less due to the fact he doesn't run WC I am the one feels being penalized cuz I have to carry it .

    I know solo guys wont like what I said

    I took over a Complex, The last guy was solo and he had to carry WC to have this job. He got tried paying for it. So he called me told me I could have it. The WC kept raising the fee up to where wasn't worth it to him

    I target all the account that requires it but they are becoming less and less
  4. Down East Prop Serv

    Down East Prop Serv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    It is not required by any of my accts. because I operate within the state laws of 1-3 employees do not need WC, but when you hire that fourth guy you must get it. I may take on some accts that require it, but they are going to have to make it worth it to pay that extra money for a worthless piece of paper that says I have it.
  5. mclawns365

    mclawns365 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Im also in the one to three range. But not one of my commercial accounts have ever even asked about regular insurance, let alone w/c. Now I carry it, because eventually someone will be competant enough to ask, or one of my guys will blow out a bay window with a trimmer and I dont care to get sued. Im in business for good here. I advertise in papers and decal all my trucks. Thats a pretty big target to paint. Plus, we make enough money that if the irs found me not paying taxes on it, theyd put me in a big old federal time out corner for 3-5 to think about what I did wrong. I say take the hit, pay the fees, and keep in mind you just bought yourself some fairly expensive peace of mind.
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Every trade has people that do work on the side at low ball prices.

    They do so because there are people that place value on the service. They only judge value on what they pay.

    I had a woman this year say I was too expensive and she had no money. Yet she had a luxury import car being repaired at the dealer.

    I will not eat at McDonalds for the taste of poor quality lasts longer then the sweet taste of the cheap price.
  7. forkicks

    forkicks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    It's really not a question of being legit or not it is more a question of knowing your demographic work area and what you need to make to be profitable. There will always be low baller's in any business that's just the way it is just like there will always be someone that inherited dad's business and all his contacts. Or you will have the one's that can afford to go out and buy all kinds of new equipment because they have mom and dad backing them. and if this venture does not work out than mom and dad will bank roll something else. Or you could be competing with someone that paid their dues and has established their business over the years and can get the price that they are asking but even for them it is still hard sometimes. But the bottom line is you have to do your home work and know the competition in your area. Than you also have to know your bottom line and if you can afford to do this. Sometimes you have to take the job for less and do the best possible job that you can do just to build up your reputation. Sometimes you have to take that 30.00 job just to get your foot in the door in that area. Than it is up to you to provide a 45.00 dollar job and not just a low ball job. Because every time you are out on that lawn you are advertising your business. Than in time you can raise your rates to match your quality and you will have proven your work ethics and ability. And there will always be people out there that do not put a value on it but only want the cheapest rate. These people are good to fill up a day but by no means should you be seen doing a hack job because of it or that is what you will be known for. Use that job for gas money or what ever till to you grow your business and can get them to pay more or drop them and move on. You might be surprised that the cheap ass has come to appreciate the better job and is willing to pay a little extra for it. But you do have to start somewhere. Sorry for the long rambling but hope this helps.
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570


    the accounts that require it have nothing to do with state law. it is THEIR insurance companies that require it. What happens is that at the end of the year they are audited and are required to provide workmans comp certificated for all contractors that they wrote checks to.

    If they do not have certificated from you, the insurance company will charge THEM whatever percentage (usually about 14%). of the total amount they paid you. that will then be back charged to you..This is extremely common in the commercial market.

    The bad part is that it will be cheaper for you to have it as you will pay the 14% on your payroll... they charge the 14% on your invoice, so you pay the % on your overhead that you are billing them, and the profit that is in the price...

    The biggest issue i see in our business is the lack of insurance. We had a guy last year fall out of the back of a dump truck and had over $200K in medical bills due tot he way his wrist broke. This is in addition to the $16K in lost wages he would have had. Without workmans comp, WE would have been stuck with the bill...It would have bankrupted us.

    Everyone thinks nothing will happen, but it can and does...

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