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Postive look on this yr!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by The Lawn Connection, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. ryanh11

    ryanh11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    This year is looking up for me too. I do this part time, so I dont make a whole lot due to time constraints with my full time job. last year I brought in 6700 for the year. This year I am currently doing $2500/month (which by the way is more than my full time job). I will more than triple my income. I landed some big accounts and am getting calls daily for lawn care. I also have a website that people are finding constantly on google, yahoo, msn, etc. So, i believe it will be a good year also. As a matter of fact am going pick up my brand new Exmark AS 48" ZT either tomorrow morning or monday afternoon. I cant wait. But, like lawn connection, my minimum is $35. I dont do bi-weekly's. If you cant afford me, dont hire me. I have one yard that I charge only $20 and it's because she's right across the street from my house and it literally takes me 10 minutes to do her yard. besides that I agree that lawn connection is a lil cheap, but hey if you can pay your bills and do what you have to do off of that then more power to ya brother. I dont have over head, so i dont need to make a certain amount. so i can cut prices here and there too so i get a lot of accounts like that too.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I have low overhead. It is impossible to operate a business and not have any overhead. What about your truck and trailer? Who buys tires, oil and gas? At a minimum you should cost your truck and trailer at the IRS 52.5 cents per mile. How about that brand new mower you're bragging about? Have you figured out how may hours you're going to have to work to write it off? You do know standard accounting practices call for you to cost it for each and every hour you expect it to last don't you? What about your business insurance? Trimmers and edgers? Trimmer line? Fuel and 2 stroke oil? Blade, belts, filters. How about that web site hosting? Who pays for that? Etc....

  3. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    That's just one opinion. There are several ways to skin a cat.

    1. Some may not enjoy selling, wasting time giving dozens of quotes that go nowhere, and would rather have a customer on the books and paying NOW vs not having a full schedule well into the year. For a sales type, it's a rush to spend time selling. For others it's a bothersome annoyance.

    2. You don't have to give the service away to get a customer, just beat directly comparable companies and be so much more confidence-inspiring than the knucklehead outfits offering little but low price that they go with you. Saving $5/cut on lawncare ($150/year) is hardly worth worrying about for most customers who can afford it. Having your lawn guys burglarize your home when you're not there, damage your property, fail to show up regularly, or butcher your prize lawn due to incompetence is probably more important to them.

    3. Maybe he's simply more efficient at providing the services and blows the competition away on pricing for the value received. It may surprise some, but some operations are better and faster than others.

    3. Maybe he's financially set up so that he doesn't have to squeeze every dime out of a lawn business and can coast a little. Not everyone is doing this because they have to.

    4. Maybe he's simply got a much better sales presentation or experience and people feel more confident working with him. It's not always about price. I know I never hear "you're too expensive" yet checking my spreadsheet where I track the time of every stop all year I average $68.29/hour mowing. Could I get more? Probably. But It's hardly lowballing. When you're a great value you tend to have less turnover than if you're on the high side.

    5. The above equals lower turnover which equals less downtime which quickly makes up for the lower price. People cannot afford to switch to a new guy when you give them no reason to. Hiring a service is a hassle most people want to avoid. When your up there in your price you give them a reason to solicit bids.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Of course you're right, he has thousands in overhead he has no clue about. However, ironically the vehicle expense is the one that while certainly there, can be glossed over when comparing earnings to a "job", which is what most of our newly minted "lawn guys" are doing.

    Because with a "job", one still has to own a vehicle, and one still has to drive 5,000 or 10,000 miles to commute. Most lawn businesses probably put on the same or fewer miles. I know I put on a lot fewer than I would if commuting. So other than the added cost of commercial insurance and the lower fuel economy, it's almost a wash. So in that regard I could forgive someone not considering that a cost. (though it certainly is) As unless one is unemployed, that cost is mostly a sunk one anyway.
  5. mhaley927

    mhaley927 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    I do a couple $20 lawns... I have three that I can knock out only having to unload the trailer once. It takes about 15-20 minutes each, then I just ride my Tiger Cub across the street to the next. Call me a lowballer all you want, but we are a small operation with a tight 6 mile (round trip) route, so we can charge less per mowing hour b/c there is virtually no travel time and minimal unloading/reloading.

    PS... Richard Martin, offer your advice if you want, but there's no need to attack people on LawSite.com, let him do his thing, if he fails, that is his problem. When you attack someone (especially their competancy) from behind a keyboard, it doesn't make you look too respectable.
  6. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    You mean Pawn Stars? Thats a great show. Back on topic, though, I should up my prices too.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    P.S. I will continue to ask questions (which is all I did) as long as I want. Another problem with sitting behind a keyboard is trying to guess what inflections are intended. You guessed wrong.

    Also, if you hang around long enough the question of company costs will come up and it will get far more vicious than this little question session I had. I did not question his competency. I merely said he has costs but doesn't realize it.

    The HA HA HA sentence was more to those people that run around accusing small guys like myself of not knowing our costs.

    I myself have often been accused of not knowing my costs. I keep a little notebook right on my desk. Some of the things in that notebook are what my machines cost. What's been done to them. When they were bought. Just about every little thing I can think of is in there right down to how much it costs me per gallon to use Amsoil. I can even tell you how much my trailer tires cost and when I bought them. It's all in there.
  8. ryanh11

    ryanh11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    man u guys are really harsh on this site. its almost as if you guys wonder into threads looking for someone to criticize on there post. I was simply making a statement to the original post. And yes, Richard, I do have overhead if you want to put in all the small things. But bruce is right, i own a personal vehicle for my full time job and dont really look at that as over head. I do have over head, but very little compared to you "Big Shots." And as far as the mower im braggin on...how do you know that there is over head and its not being donated to me? If you guys have nothing informative to add to the original post (which why the majority of us are on her for) then take a hike. I appologize for not being an accounting expert as you persume to be.
  9. ryanh11

    ryanh11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Thank you mhaley
  10. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    An articulate salesman may be better at selling the job than the rest of you illiterate lawn boys....ever thought of that? I'm closer to 100%.

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