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Single employed LCO's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by walker-talker, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I am just curious how many LCO's are out there that are one man operations....and what kind of money can you make....annually and after cost. I work full-time at another job and have for 10 years, but I have been cosidering making a change over. I know demographics have a lot to do with it. I was just curious if it possible to make anywhere from $60,000, up to $100,000 a year after taxes and all other cost, by myself. Any input is appreciated.
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I have seen those kinds of numbers for small operations. In my own situation, I make about half of the kind of money you're talking about, but only put in between 18-20 hours per week on the job and in the field. A lot of reason for that was because my wife was working full-time until recently and, as the only driver in the family, I was spending a lot of time commuting her as well as working on the business. Now, with the wife released from her former job and helping me full time with the management of business, we have an opportunity to focus hard on the business and solely on the business.

    If I can fill in the other half of my week with like work, I can definitely make the kind of money you're talking about just on the lawn maintenance end.

    However, in the don't-quit-your-day-job category, it's not easy. We'll have to provide our own benefits and there are hassles of self-employment above and beyond what you see as an employee. It's not altogther less complicated, less political, or in any way easier than in the working world. In a lot of ways, a lot of days, it's a lot worse. There isn't a self-employed person I've ever met that doesn't think about jumping to the employment world several times a year.

    The most important thing to remember is don't do it for the money. There are a lot of ways to make money, so find what you love and do what you love while you have the opportunity.

    If that's in the Green Industry, my friend, welcome aboard. ;)

  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i thought you were single and solo. then you would be in a position to take full advantage and build big money before you choose a lady.:) later now
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Well I am single and solo...lol I guess I should of put in a different subject, something like "one man operations" or somthing to that degree. Thanks
  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,050

    To make that kind of money after taxes you would need to gross about $400,000.00 in sales, I don't know in your area but I see a lot of people here saying they charge between $25 and $40 per lawn....

    If you mow 52 weeks a year and have around 200 $40 customers and don't skip any lawn for reasons like drought. I think you got a pretty good chance in getting to that number.
  6. GrassMaster

    GrassMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Hello Everybody: I'm Back!

    To try to make that kind of money, first you need to stray away from the Cutting end as much as Possible! :)

    That Kinda Money is there but you need to work on Spraying Chemicals & Fertilizers (Granular, Liquid & Maybe look into Organic). Aeration, Dethatching, Seeding & Mulching is Very Good Income.

    I did Quite a bit of Fertilizing, a Little Spraying & Quite a bit of Aeration. Goood Money! :) I also loved doing Big Clean Ups, Very Profitable. All of this work is not as Time Critical as Mowing. So if ya don't get it that day, well you get in the next day or 2. That way you can get your Regular Scheduled Maintanance out of the way & then make the $BUCKS$

    Every Clean up I did, that I can Remember, I always got other work from it.

    Questions for you?
    Cut for an hour for $45 bucks or Spray (Or Fertilize) for 15 or 20 minutes for $45?
    Cut 10 or 12 yards at $45 each in 8 or so hours driving all over the place or go to 1 Clean up & Work 6 or 7 hours for $500?


    About your least Profitable is Riding a Mower!

    Off Topic!
    LOL, if you want to make Big Bucks, Check this out!
    My Drain was Clogged at my shop, I call Roto Rooter. The $10 an hour Guy Shows up at 5:45pm he gets his Motorized Snake ($600 New) Cleans out the Drain. At 6:25pm he's finished. LOL, he gave me Discount & Charged me $129.95 yep for 45 minutes work max. He said they Bill out at $175 an hour.

    It was his 7th or 8th call that day! He had 2 more jobs before going home. I asked him to clean up bathroom, he said if he had Rags he would (his company does not furnish employees with rags?) We gave him a Hand Full & he was Tickled. He cleaned & we Talked!

    His Truck was 6 Years old & he had a Total of less than $4,500 of tools in the Van. LOL, a Ladder, 1 big & 1 Small Motorized Snake & a few Hand Tools? I was in the wrong Business?

    I think this is a Worth While Business to look into. He is not a Plumber. Very little Skill involved, He only cleans drains & yes he Plunges a Few Commodes at $75 a Pop Min. If Sewer or any Plumbing needs repair. They get 10% referall fee for repairs!

    Just my Thoughts! :)
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I was not thnking that you could make that kind of money just from mowing alone. I do dethach, aerate, overseed, verticut and so on. I recently recieved a study manual to take a test for spraying chemicals. As a reply to AztlanLC post, if I was grossing $400,000 just from mowing annually, would I have to pay $300,000 in taxes and overhead??
  8. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,050

    It's hard to believe but it's true, after you pay all you taxes and overhead cost most of the people in this business take about 25% after taxes and some take even less than that.

    Even if you get into fertilizer, detaching, aerate, clean ups, and whole nine yards, let's say you make $500.00 a day multiply that by 6 day a week and that's $3,000.00 a week by the times you can work on a season in my area it's about 40 weeks
    40 x 3,000 $120,000.00 minus SS and medicaid $102,000 minus state tax, minus federal tax, minus gasoline, minus equipment expenses, minus insurance and the list goes on and on.

    and tha's working from monday to saturday about 10 hrs. a day about $50.00 dls on hour and not skiping a single day, (rain, drought, holidays) think about that, most people says in here they make about $50 dls p/hour, but you don't get pay to change your blades, drive from one property to the other, take you equipment to get fix, lunch, etc.)
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    The average lot is 8-10m/sf and one operator can cut and trim an average of 22 a day solo. If you charge at the low end of the spectrum $25/day thats $550(gross) and $2750/ 5 day week or $88,000(gross) for 32 weeks of cutting.

    Net will depend on your overhead expenses, type of machinery used etc.
  10. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,050

    The average lot is 8-10m/sf and one operator can cut and trim an average of 22 a day solo. If you charge at the low end of the spectrum $25/day thats $550(gross) and $2750/ 5 day week or $88,000(gross) for 32 weeks of cutting.

    That means you have to get 100 customers and half of those will let you mow monday tuesdays and wenesdays, commercial I don't see a problem but residential is a whole different thing.

    100 customers, hmmm I don't know in your area, but that's a really big number to start, than you have to pray for rain at night or wekeends throughout the whole year.

    Belive me it's hard to walk out with $100,000 at the end of the season.

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