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looking at my options for next year

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JCLawn and more, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. LandscapeSavannah

    LandscapeSavannah LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 112

    I think it is all in organization. If need be hire someone else that is cheaper. I know I start guys out at $8, and I tell them there is plenty of room for growth and responsibility. If you get you someone eager to work and grow with you then great. But if you don't find the root of the problem it will just happen again. But I do not see how $50 per hour for you and another guy is running you into the ground. Unless you just have a ton of expenses that you're not saying, a gambling problem, drug addiction, I have no idea. But I would stop paying $1000 on your mower for right now. Damn thing should be paid off by now then. And keep your expenses separate. You don't pay your advertising and mower from the same salary you pay yourself.
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    Ok let me answer all your questions. I pay to much in fuel. About $400 a week to much, my labor needs to be cut down to 40 hrs weeks. In a 40 hour week they need to make a min of $1600. That's 8k a month. Doing what I am doing I should be making 16k with 2 people with half the expenses and 20 less hrs of my time a week. I need to drop advertising for lawn care locally and focus on being searchable for property manangement companies and focus on grabbing key accounts close together and working area current LCO's aren't grabbing. I already know what I am doing wrong, I'm done with it the end of this year. IMO I have to much to restucture. I need to work in 5 locations instead of 20 and so on. My personal numbers right now really don't matter because I know they arnt what they should be. The 1k payment is so I only have to pay 6 months out of the year. I advertise so companies out of michigan can find me. That's my nitch. Now how do I get there?
  3. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    And fyi I am not running myself into the ground. I just know I am at a wall when it comes to growth. I know its costs $45 a hour to run 2 people. $50 a hour is a small profit. Ill break down the $45. $30 in labor, workmans comp, taxes. $15 for diesel fuel in mowers, maintenance, gas in trucks, liability insurance, replacing eqipment. So then 2 people full time at 40 hrs is $3600 cost and you make $400. $400 is smalllll. One or 2 issues a week will whipe that profit away. I want to see that $400 more like $1000+
  4. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,727

    what's your breakdown of clients... how much commercial vs. residential? How would you break down your residential.... %mid class, upper mid class, upper class... Sounds like how we were a few years back...
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    15 percent comercial, 50 percent laymen ill call them (20k-50k a year), 15 percent with money coming out their ears, 20 percent mid upper and I do their 2 second houses. I want to drop the laymen and gain all second house for the mid upper on the lakes and charge $30-$35 min.
  6. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 756

    It seems like you know what you need to do, I'd say trim the fat and get-er-dun. lol.
  7. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,757

    How large is your service area? My mowing crew mows 5 days and puts 160 miles on the odometer.

    I have to suggest mgt cos are not your friend. We are contracted for ~$100k of work thru feb with a few and are walking when contracts are up. Define a small service area and focus on your most profitable client types in that area. Any other area or type of client becomes easy to say no on.
  8. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    We have had this discussion before. You said "there is no money driving long distances for lawns". Well for most part your right and its going to stop unless I get more cash cows. I can put 160 on in a day. Here is something with that, I know its a hike but one place I got is 60 miles away, but there are 4 subdivisions within a 5 mile area with 1000 homes atleast a piece. Also its a higher dollar neighborhood. I see it as a potental gold mine being that the lots are like 100ft by 100ft.
  9. TJW_692

    TJW_692 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    1,000 per month for the mower you can easily change. You could get a really nice pre owned one from a home owner or cut that payment in half and do 500 per month. Even then, you don't even need a new mower. A well taken care of home owner owned mower can work just as good as a new one. Get one amd put a little money into it and there you go.
    Then you can keep your advertising going.
    You are making some great money for a 22 year old. I think you are just wanting more than you can get cause the money is there.

    If you can't afford the second guy then maybe it's not a wise choice and you could keep your big time customers and do it on your own. You won't get as much done but you wouldn't have to pay for the extra person to use extra gas, another machine and need to pay for his help.

    Unless you get enough money to pay yourself twice as much maybe more when going to the place that is 60 miles away then it isn't worth it. That is after paying for the gas, maintenance on the machines and paying your worker. 60 miles away wastes a half a day just going there for one lawn. You can do 10 or more in the time it would take you to drive there, unpack and mow. pack up and then drive all the way back. You're wasting that much more money in gas just to get there when you could be putting that all in your pocket without traveling.

    Keep your accounts in a close radius and set your limit of travel time.
  10. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    My longest drive lawn to lawn is 15 miles and that's to do 2 in a row. I drive 60 miles out but I have lawns that dot the whole place. The mower is a 13 grand mower. Like I said I don't have to pay $1000 a month, but I like to in the summer. The mower will still be in operation after 10 years while putting 600 hrs on it a year. I can't do that with a gas mower. Gas mowers would be shot in 5 years. Plus I save $100 a week in fuel running diesel over gas. Oh and the goal of the subdivison thing would be to get 40 to do in a day and move the truck 2 or 3 times. They take about 10 min a piece with 2 guys that's $1200. I'd take that anyday.

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