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Per Cut, Monthly, Yearly...What's your take on it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MDLawn, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Geez no wonder you guys are going broke! $25/cut? $50 $75/month my mininum is $45/week and I don't do bi-weeklys! Freakin low ballers.
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,685

    Why not bundle everything together like clean ups and plowing and lawn cuts? Hmmmmmm probably because one not everyone wants all of those services and two I can do 200 lawns with my current 4 man set up but 50 snow removals would be pushing it thus 75% can not be done. Which means I would either need a massive amount of temp workers in winter or I need to scale back big time in summer.

    The monthly billing works, and you most certainly can plan a budget around what is expected to actually show up each month. Iv been doing it for 10 years. I currently do not plow and that's fine. I'll finish fall in about 10-14 days and go into Jan owed 20k + then its just a matter of planning out your bills till next March. And of course they are much smaller when your in hibernation mode In the summer I need 20k a month in winter 4k will do fine and that's only because I have 2 very large truck loans.

    Now a certain fella here is majorly hung up on droughts. Now I have had a few in my area we had 2 mini droughts and one that lasted 2 months in the 10 years iv been in business. I can also remember a much worse one in the 90s when I was working for someone else. But in my 23 years in the trade Iv not seen anything to make me constantly worry about all the lawns dying and the end of landscaping days. Yes the 2 bigger droughts hurt and were talking 2k a week pain but that's not the full picture. Yes income drops then but so does payroll workman's comp unemployment insurance. Overtime dries up completely and your fuel usage gets slashed in half then there's less wear and tear as well. So on a bad drought that costs us 10,000 the actual bottom line hit is perhaps 2,000 which kind of makes those drought fears look exaggerated.
  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I totally agree Kelly, monthly billing just works. I'm not running a lawncare/hobby business, either the client realizes he's dealing with a legit business not a cut for beer money business or he doesn't. I have a budget to meet and plan and you can't do that on a per service cut for beer money operation.
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    should I be the one to point out cost of living and the market in general are different everywhere.

    my min in my area is $25-$30 per week. average is $32 per week per lawn.

    good luck trying to get hired in my neck of the woods at $45 min.
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    If you guys would quit giving away your services for that amount it wouldn't be that way, I'm glad I'm not in that lowend market. we live in one of the lowest cost of living area's in the country, hell I'd have to cut everybody twice a week at those prices. There are two lco's that live behind me and they charge more than I do. I guess I should ask how much time are you spending on your accounts we're generally at an account for 30 mins
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  6. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I guess we up north here are just stupid, Is this what your saying?

    Some of us did not just fall off a push mower yesterday. If It works well for you good. Monthly year round billing is not unheard of here in the North Central part of the US.
    But as a hole it will not fly, not because we have not offered it as you have assumed. Thinking out of the box is OK, but to reinventing the wheel is going to far. I have many "snow bird" accounts. These are accounts mow their own lawns in the summer and leave the mid-west and winter in Florida and Texas. I mow these accounts from October to April as needed. I don't think these accounts will ever go for a monthly year round billing.

    You ask how do we "Plan for growth" or go get a loan at a bank and give your income for a year? Well here in lies the problem. One can plan all you want but we bank on profits. No more than a farmer planets his corn in hopes to see a profit at the end of the harvest. At the end of the harvest he can then plan for new equipment and go the the bank and show his profit.

    You stated more and more of your work has become a "middle man" from your networking. Fine sounds great, I say go for it. I am sure in your area there is room for a middle man. Plenty of work and everyone gets paid good money.

    There well might come a time someone will see the savings of not paying for a middle man and you will be out in the cold..

    My question is what type of work did you do before LCOs? Next I will hear that we need to unionize.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  7. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Kelly, just trying to make sure I'm on the same page. Monthly billing as in fixed payments or bill at the end of the month?

    I agree with your snow assessment, it's a different animal.
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  8. TinMan1

    TinMan1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SC
    Messages: 518

    Thats the example I dont do yards for $25
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    it's not giving them away. like I said you come here and try and get $45 for one of my $25 properties. they'd laugh in your face.

    you can't force people to pay a certain rate. that's the market in here for a reason. I'm sure if we could raise the market we would have done it already.

    my $25 yards are generally done with a push mower and take between 15-30 min start to finish.
  10. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Whew! am I glad to hear that! that's just plain scary here in SC. Unionize,Hmm that would never go over, I understand the predicement you guys up north are in, year round billing won't work for you, I was mostly refering to the guys that are in parts of the country that it makes sense for. Sometimes it's hard to be clear on here. Honestly, I have talked to several of the large LCO companies here and they agree they would like to see a standard licensing test in place by the states in order to conduct business, the same as a builders or contractors license, I think that would be the best thing that could happen for our industry. I'm trying to figure out a way that we could make that happen, I just need to get in touch with the "Right" person and start pushing for it.

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