One Man Operations

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by howardsells2000, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 355

    This is my first year in the business. I was wondering if you guys that run your business alone offer other services besides cutting grass during the grass growing season. I have about 75 accounts now. Not all of them are every week cuts. I have a hard time just keeping all of the grass cut. People ask me all the time to get mulch or trim bushes but I really don't seem to have time for that. From what I have read on this site, it seems that there is alot of money to be made with the extra services.

    I really want to work by myself. I don't want to take on more than I can handle. I am still learning everyday. Maybe it is something that you work up to. In the spring or fall I can do other things.

    Just courious how you guys and girls handle all of this.
  2. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    getting your business plan lined out will help you alot. You are very correct when you say you dont have time for the extra's. What you might consider is finding another capable indivual who could assit with the extra's. Doing that when you are cutting. Or you might decrease your mowing to allow time for the extra's. But the extra work will die off at times. If I was in your shoes I would find a part-timer with a second shift job to do some work for you. Or just galdy reccommed soemone else. You can be all thing to all folks being solo unless you keep your client base very small and provide full service to everyone.
  3. mrbray101

    mrbray101 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Maybe if you got a helper you could set it up where you mow mon-thursday and save friday and saturday for extra services, rain days, or maintenance days. I do not have a full schedule yet so I enjoy getting the extra jobs because they are a bonus. I just did a 15 yard mulch job friday that took 5 hours and was bid at 1050 so I think that pretty good money can be made from extras like mulching, trimming, small landscape jobs, cleanups, etc. Good luck to you.
  4. A1A Lawn Care

    A1A Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Im a one man operation and I have about 20 accounts, but only 4 of them are solely mowing. The rest are full lawncare services. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of money to be made in "other" services. Thats where most of my revenue comes from is offering a full package.
  5. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    You would be surprised at the services you can accommodate when customers ask for extras to be done.

    The other day I stopped and talked to a guy a couple houses down from my home who was grinding some stumps out for these people. He was a lot like us here ... he started out a few years ago mowing. He now does "some" mowing .. but does other things as well, like the stump grinding. (I had a tree that died over the winter, and I wanted to see what he would charge to take my stump out .. which was $75. by the way). Well ... he started talking about mowing, a practically brand new dump trailer he saw in a guys yard for sale, and got really really cheap ... how he sets aside one day a week as his "free day" ... where he mows for his church, a couple of elderly people, a single mother who just got divorces, and he is helping her till she gets things right in her life ... etc. etc. etc.

    Anyway ... he gave me his card ... and you know what ... now I have a guy who can grind stumps and stuff for me ... for my customers. He said his grinder is (or was) $15,000., and he would like to have the a bigger one too. The one he wants now sells for $35,000. I never thought of it ... but a couple of days after he was down the street grinding the small tree stumps ... he was back removing a few bigger bushes from a couple of flower beds. He says he does more flower beds then he ever thought he would be doing.

    This is what networking is all about. I know four guys in the mowing business, and at one time or another guys call each other to see if they can do a job or two for each other during busy times.

    I guess after all this ... my reply way ... get someone to do the "extra work" you don't, or want to do.

  6. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 355

    You guys gave me some great advise and I will think about it seriously. I have been thinking about getting a helper but I'm a little uncomfortable about doing it. I worry if I can support myself let alone someone else. I sure could use some help though.

    Thanks, that's what I like about this site. Great advice.
  7. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    It is amazing how much money good help can make you. With my two man operation I mow Mon-Wed. about 65 properties and Thurs. and Fri. are for landscape jobs. All of this is done by me and another guy. The landscaping jobs are were major profits are, but with the right equipment and the right people on that equipment your profit margin can go up on the mowing part too. It is all just a numbers game, if you can do a property in thirty minutes, you and another guy can probably do it in 15 to 20 in. If you have a large property, you can cut it down from 3 hrs. to 1hr 45min. A good employee will pay for themselves.
  8. The Kiwi Lawn Ranger

    The Kiwi Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Dont think of an extra worker as someone you have to "support". Think of him as someone that is freeing you up, to help you make more money. So that you can go out and get those more lucrative jobs .
    The Lawn Ranger
    Taupo New Zealand.
  9. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    I plan to mow Mon-Thurs and have Fri/Sat as extra job days and or rain days. I've gotten ALOT of people wanting extra services, mostly people who I don't even cut for, just random people..
  10. qualitylawnmanagement

    qualitylawnmanagement LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    Why do you guys mow at the beginning of the week? People want there yard to look nice on the weekends for when people come over. I mow wed-friday and use Saturday as a back up day if it rains, and do all of my landscaping jobs mon-tuesday. I just always wonder why some people mow at the beginning of the week.

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