Rake competition with children...lol

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Just wondering, what is the competition rate with kids raking leaves? It is a suck job, but I'd rather do it than waiting tables if I can at least make $25-30/hr. What do kids 12-16 charge like $20 for a whole front yard ( like 2-3 hours work)??? I'm just curious if u guys have been underbid by many children and thus making it hard to get many customers. I'm pretty sure most of my LC customers will pick me for this, but it's not enough to pay the bills so I'm hoping to get a lot of new "leaf removal" customers. I was thinking about giving quotes as to sq footage, this way people won't trip over the hourly est ( of $25-35 hr). Like for 1,000 sq ft of leaves I figure about $50 since it will take about an hour and 1/2. I know it's sorta cheap for some of u guys but then I think I may have to just rake it.
  2. stuffdeer

    stuffdeer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,617

    Buy a bagger for your 36.
  3. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,676

    When I was cutting at a house the other day there had to be at least five kids raking leaves next door, all about 8 years old some even younger! I think they were all the ladys grand children. I was hoping she would come out and ask me to haul away the leaves! Thats probably how you could make money instead of cleaning up leaves cheaper. Buy a bagger then you can clean them up alot faster.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You best be one raking fool for that kind of money, because it's usually a minimum wage job...
    I mean what overhead you got that you need to pay off $25+ / hour to, you got a $20 rake and what else?

    Try a 2400cfm leaf blower, now that MOVES some leaves, probably 10-12 times what raking can do, and for that people are willing to pay 60 / hour, but you need the blower so you need a thousand dollars cash first...

    You think guys like me stick all that money straight in our pockets?
    How you get that money, slave it and save it, that's how I buy the equipment to get the job done.
    In the end I don't get paid much more than a raker, but that's after all the costs are covered, IF I work my tail off I can probably get $10 / hour for myself out of it, too... Most of the rest of that $60 pays for fuel, truck, trailer, insurance, tires, licensing and fees, taxes, oil, filters, electricity, compressor, tools, water, phone, etc, etc, etc...
    For this to work you have to know your costs.

    Now I figure if you work your tail off you can probably get $8-10 / hour.
    You gotta figure, they can either pay me $120 for 2 hours or pay some guy $10 / hour for 12 hours, either way it adds out.
    I'd have to guess leaves aren't as exciting anymore, right about now.
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    if you have the gear , you can get the price.... you rake a yard, takes 2 hours.. i bag with my z, takes 20 min.......

    kids, if they are your competition, your already in trouble, there is no real money in leaves and i dont advertise for it, i do it for existing customers only......

    you have to have the tools to do the job...
  6. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I've recently purchased a grass attatchment for my 36 in scag. But I need some kind of attatchment interface or something. Either that or I'll have to drill a hole or two. I'm not too fond about drilling into my almost new machine. I guess I should ask my scag dealer if they have the part or something. Surely it would collect leaves a lot faster than raking no?
  7. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I meant to say that it's not a bag but a heavy black metal cage like thing. It has some places to attatch it, but won't stay on unless I have some additional peice or drill a hole in the mower, one of the two.

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