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Need As Much Advice As Possible.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by unearth888, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. unearth888

    unearth888 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 15

    I am 19 years old from the midwest. I want to start a lanw care business next year at this time and I want to start preparing for it now. I will be done with college this year with a 2 year horticulture degree(turfgrass management). Here's a bit of a resume-this summer I will be starting my 5th year on a golf course, I have 1 year experience mowing for a school(including baseball and football fields), and 5 years experience on a tree farm. The question I have is this-I live in a small rural town with a pop. of about 10,000 and it is surrounded by other small towns. I'm wondering if it is worth it to drive to the surrounding towns which are about 15 minutes away to mow?
    Also what should I charge? I'm thinking about $30-$40 an acre average, $30 minimum.
    Thanks for the help!
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    sound like whre i live and it works just fine...but...
    your prices are way too low....

    have you done a business plan, that would be a good next step. you have to understand your expenses to price work properly,
  3. unearth888

    unearth888 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 15

    No, I don't have a business plan yet. Like I said it will be next fall that I really get things going. Is the program that they sell on this site any good? Because I thought about purchasing it. Also what exactly is a business plan? Is it things like what you want to achieve, what you want to give the customer, pricing, goals, etc.?
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    lots of good resources on the net, start now dont wait on this... it will help you figure out your cost of doing business, and this is how you figure out what to charge, expenses plus profit decides how much you need to make per hour to succeed, \\many dont do this, and are out of business in a couple of years because they dont realise they are really loosing money
  5. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 798

    30 - 40 dollars an acre? you won't be in buisiness long. The norm is about 65.00 an acre.
  6. unearth888

    unearth888 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 15

    I didn't know for sure what to charge, I don't know if people in the area I live would pay that much.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The question is, what choice do they have?

    I mean, seriously...
    Lets say you need 4 tires for your car...
    The first mechanic quotes you (mounted and balanced and tax and all that), $340...
    What choice do you have?
  8. unearth888

    unearth888 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 15

    Lol how about this planning 9 months in advance! Pretty cool isn't it!
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh, I forgot...

    I think so, at least for the trial and error, yes.
    You may find some places are worth it while others are not, the idea being you try to get more than 1-2 yards / town so that when you make the 15-minute hop, you can spend a few hours there.

    That's what I do, I cover an entire county...
    It's 20-30 miles from one end to the next, so I might do 3-4 yards in the east section, finish up for lunch and take a stroll over to the southside, knock out 2-3 more, then head for home as an example.
    Unfortunately, 50 miles / day is not unusual for the truck, but just keep a light foot on the throttle.

    btw, I was just reading about your experience and education...
    That's no joke ...
    Even an uneducated and inexperienced Lco likely wouldn't do an acre for no $30, and with what you know, definitely $60 / acre.
    Keep in mind, the price / acre goes down with each additional acre (so 2 acres might go for $100-$110, et.al.)
  10. grassnazi1

    grassnazi1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    just wanna chime in about the business plan, there is an age old saying that goes like this.... "if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail." So very true! Getting started with the business plan is the best advice on this post so far! It will break down all your costs, goals, markets, pricing, everything will be outlined. I currently read and write business plans for a living and there are a ton of websites out there that cover these subjects, www.bplans.com is a good one, but the quality fo the plans is crap. I will, at least give you an idea of what one looks like so you can get the ball rolling on yours. If you need any help on how to structure or write a business plan, send me an email and I will be more then willing to work something out with you.

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