New In The Business... (Seeking Advice)

Cam15

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Willowick, OH
Thank you all for the reply’s, it’s looks I’ll have to save more money to increase my purchasing amount. Also in yalls experience is it better to charge by the hour or by the job? I get nervous about charging too much, I live in a small town I know I’m doing a clean and good job but I also know I’ve done work for a cheaper price than I should’ve.
I almost always charge by the job. You should be charging at least $35 an hour and that's on the way low end of the scale if you do wanna do it that way. If your doing a good job showing up and doing your best, you should never be afraid to charge what your worth!
 

ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA
Mowing, edging, leaf pickup is by the job. If you quote $35/hour and it takes you 30 min then they customer is going to questions why your so high. They don't get the overhead involved. Your time to get there, unload, gas, wear and tear, load, drive home. Oil changes, 2 stroke oil/gas, blade sharpening, string for trimmer, de -clumping the deck when its rained since October, etc etc... I set my pricing at $1 a minute and round up. I do three nieghbor yards so they are close so little travel just the time. One yard takes 40 minutes because I have to get out the push mower for a gated section, I'm getting $45 for that one and when I edge the drive and sidewalk I add $15. Yard work, fertilzer, hoses on and off the house etc is all at $1minute. Another is an easy 25 minute job and its $35. Another is $35 not as easy as it has a lot of trees you have to mow around. I'm finding time burn is not in the straight lines, its in the trimming / edging.Trees bushes etc always slow things down. Getting on and off the mower to pick up trash, move stuff, dog toys, kid toys, tree limbs etc. Saved a lot of time with a 3 gallon pail and a trash picker upper arm. Stop grab the tennis ball and keep going. Don't have to disengage blades, set the brake, throttle down, and get off and back on the mower. The other killer this year has been with tropical rains the grass is growing an inch a day of more. Double cutting a lot of it. I cant charge for that when it's by the job but when it gets hot out the grass slows down growing so it should be a wash. I'm in a mode to payoff equipment before I retire from the day job, preferably a layoff and package would be nice. Not trying to make millions just want to be sure my time is providing value towards the goal of zero lawn business debt ASAP.
 

ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA

ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA
I can't get the link to come up it just keeps loading....
42" Ariens Ikonx 1.5 hrs. $2500 spotless.. still has the blue strips on the front tires... no tax to the government either...
 

ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA
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Mumblingboutmowers

LawnSite Senior Member
If you're not serious about your future in the business, I would pass on most commerical accounts. When I first started, I made up my made to invest in decent equipment. I bought a 6' x 12' trailer, and a Scag Freedom Z (a fine entry level mower) before I ever locked down my first account. If I were you, purchasing quality equipment would be my first move, and that may be hard to find with a 1K budget.
I got to disagree with the "buying decent equipment first" approach. Old equipment can get a job done it just takes more work to do it. Buy better equipment when it's justified to do so and not in advance only on "hopes" that you may need it. I started out with an old hand me down rider many years ago and all worked out fine. I upgraded as I needed to and could afford to. I've seen a lot of people start a business and go out of business quickly based on the fact that they were "buying" more than what they needed.
 

Skol

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
The Ozarks
I got to disagree with the "buying decent equipment first" approach. Old equipment can get a job done it just takes more work to do it. Buy better equipment when it's justified to do so and not in advance only on "hopes" that you may need it. I started out with an old hand me down rider many years ago and all worked out fine. I upgraded as I needed to and could afford to. I've seen a lot of people start a business and go out of business quickly based on the fact that they were "buying" more than what they needed.

I felt it was important to look the part from the get-go, and $7,000 is a pretty small initial investment when starting a business. First impressions are important, so is being able to rely on your equipment. It comes down to personal preference, I suppose.
 

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