LawnSite Member
I have been reading these posts for some time...lot's of good info.....thanks. But despite all the talk about how much to charge, how much time it takes to mow, how to charge for services, etc.....I still am having a hard time grasping what I could reasonably expect to gross mowing lawns with myself, my wife and 2 sons (just old enough to help with some of the lighter work). If we were to pick up enough customers to keep us busy 5 days a week just mowing.....what could we expect to bring in? I'm not talking sun up to sun down, bust your butt, but rather a good hard day's work. I'm not out to become RICH, just make a living. Can it be done? 20, 30, 40 thousand gross? More?<br>We have 6 months of mowing here in a city of over 250,000 and rapidly growing. Thanks in advance for any imput.
I have never broke it down to see what maintenance makes only. But Iam looking at buying a smaller company out he had 90 customers he and 2 labors cut them in 3 days and just for the mowing they grossed $80000 he took home out of that was $ 40000. So you can make a good living IF you want to work. 1 other ex. I looked at a company alst year to buy out. He cut 60 lawn and only worked 2 1/2 days with 1 labor they only cut grass they grossed $ 65000 he took $ 45000 of that. so like I said you can make money.


LawnSite Bronze Member
No.VA, zone 7
Just a few questions to get a better picture of your situation.<br>Have you done any lawn maintenance before?<br>In what area of the country are you located?<br>Are you going to use commercial equipment?<br>Are you going to do leaf clean-up in the fall?<br>Does your wife like hard work? Being dirty, sweaty and exhausted?<br>Do your kids really want to do this? <br>If they are old enough to help, what about their school responsibilies? (There's alot of grass to be mowed before and after the summer school break)<br>Do you have some capital to tide you over while you get your customer base established?<br>(OK, NOMB but working hard and starving don't mix well)<br>Are you figuring out the start-up costs that you'll incur since that has to come out of the gross, too?<br><p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>


LawnSite Member
Lexington, KY
This will appear rough as I don't want to take the time to go into all of the small pieces. Figure out what your equipment costs to run per hour. This means depreciation, maintenance, insurance, gas, oil, licenses, etc. Then figure what it costs for your labor. You know figure what you or your kids should reasonably make per hour. Include in this your taxes, workmans comp, an medical, retirement. If you don't want to pay yourself don't include this but assume you are going to take your pay out of the profit. From this you should be able to figure how long it will take to work a job based on how fast your equipment is. Now you are on the fast track to solving your problems. Input what it costs to run your equipment per hour plus how much labor costs then any materials you have like fertilizer and you should have your total direct costs. This is what it costs you to perform the work. Now find out what others are doing work for in your area and try and compete by tacking on a percentage of profit to the direct overhead costs. Here is an example of mine.<br>Job will take one hour to get there work and leave.<br>Machinery Cost/hr Hr. used total cost<br>Truck 15.81 .17 2.69<br>Bunton 4.70 .5 2.35<br>Trailer 1.33 .17 .23<br>Trimmer 2.21 .12 .27<br>Blower 2.21 .12 .27<br>Edger 2.34 .12 .28<br>Labor<br>1 man 10.44 1.00 10.44<br>Total direct cost 16.53<br>Overhead<br>17% of total direct cost 2.81<br>Contingencies(3.2%) .53<br>Total Overhead 3.34<br>Total job cost estimate 19.87<br>Profit Margin<br>35% of target bid price 10.70<br>Target bid price 31.57<br>Now you want to see if this is competitive with bids in your area. say it is, well now you know you have a profit margin of 10.70 per hour. Say you work 6 months full time at 40hr weeks. 4weeks/month X 6months X 40hr/week = 960 hrs Now take 960hr X 10.70/hr and you make 10272 clear profit. This doesn't include what you made as the laborer. This is also rough because I didn't factor an efficiency for the laborer and various other little things. But, it should be a start for you to figure what you can &quot;really&quot; make. Lots of guys say they made this amount or that amount but they aren't giving you actual free and clear figures. Sorry for the long post but to get real figures this is what you need to do. Look at some of Phil's books. They will go into more detail and explain what I put above a little more clearly.<p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY

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