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SOLO: Dollar a minute? Above or Below?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doublewide6, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Doublewide6

    Doublewide6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    I'm just below a dollar a minute working solo. Most lawns take me about 50-55 minutes start to finish and I charge about $50 on average. I feel like I am cheap, but I can be because my jobs are bunched together. I just don't see how anyone could stay in business with gas, insurance, and equipment costs if you don't charge at least $1 a minute. Thoughts?
  2. 4slservices

    4slservices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Agreed. You aren't being cheap you are marketing yourself in a neighborhood and staying local thus saving you travel expenses and unbillable time. Only discount up to what your potential savings are. You can always try to get full price but if you already have a few customers in the area you have some wiggle room. Just make sure you make profit and dont low ball yourself trying to be the cheapest out there to get the job.
  3. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    Bigger profit comes with time. Better paying customers for your time; tighter routes. It's a process.
  4. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,551

    I try to be right at $1/minute from getting out of truck to getting in the truck. I think I am at the very top end of the pay scale in my area. 95% of residential lawns can be cut with an Exmark 30. The cost of using the mower is extremely low. My city isn't big enough for even the biggest companies to have multiple crews so nobody has huge overhead. When most people are running 21's and have very limited drive time it's tough to compete with people willing to do $10 cuts when my minimum is $22. I had a guy about laugh in my face and call me a scam artist today because I have a minimum of $40 for aerations. Back to your original question, I personally charge $1/minute. There are plenty of people around here happy to gross 25/hour. I think it depends on your part of the country, size of your city, the average lawn size, and if you want to be at the high end, mid, or bottom of the pay scale. I personally would rather work less and earn more. I may only win 40% of the quotes I do, but I know I am earning good money when I do win the bid.
  5. Grasshackers

    Grasshackers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I also aim for $1/ minute. I don't always hit it, but am very close. 15 of my properties are within 5 miles of where I live. So my travel time and fuel expenses are lower. There's are large guy around me I heard charging $30 an hour and he's been doing it for years. But I'm still getting yards at $1 a minute.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,736

    No offense to anyone,

    But I think Solo operations with poopy lawn equipment, charging $60/hr are trying to make too much.

    No employees? No workers comp…what overhead are you talking about? don't have a shop or anything like that, why would you, you're solo?

    There is a totally different price to trying to recover the cost of a high production mower, vs. a couple of 21s and a used stealth 33"…

    Everyone's numbers are different, of course.

    But IF , for example a 48" mower is 'worth' $60/hr, how then do you justify pushing your personal pace 21" for the same $60/hr?

    IF you cut the very same lawn with the 48" and it takes an hour so you charge $60… do you cut it next week with the 21" and it takes 2 hours so you charge $120? Because you 'need to get $1/min'??

    I think 80% of the guys on this site are echoes of someone else.
    Meaning they have no clue.

    the parrot "$1/min" Sqwaaak polly want a cracker, polly want a cracker, dollar a minute!
    and "Insurance, legitimate" Sqwaaaack, Don't know how anyone can charge less , insurance! sqwwwaaaack.

    4 or 5 guys say that and 100 copycats chime in.

    The only guys who actually know what they are talking about are the first 4 or 5.

    Kelly's in CT charges $85… why, because he's done the math and figured it out.
    he's also running about as expensive of a machine set up as possible.

    Lawns that would take personal pace guy 2 hours to do at "a dollar a minute" are taking Kelly's 20 minutes, and he charges his minimum of $50 to do it….
    But the 21" guy with this Dollar a minute theory is trying to charge… what? $120?
    Then comes on this sight to Sqqwwwwaaaak don't know how anyone can do this cheaper…sqqwwwwwaaaaak low baller.

    the only reason most people on here are charging $60/hr is because they heard/read other people where.

    It's like a hive mind.
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Pretty tough market in my area for $1 a minute. Possible in aerations but not mowing unless ones quality stinks and a client doesn't care. Lots of "Iffy Cuts" operations here. Just average cuts or slightly worse.

    Yeah sure a solo can slide by on tighter margins but growth is capped. I honestly can't see hiring anyone for mowing in this area. Aplications...? Different story...maybe.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Where is the LIKE Button :laugh::laugh:
    Dollar a min I'm going buy me the slowest mower out there and the smallest so I can get the dollar a min price
    Im cutting my own throat running big mowers.
    My 50 dollar lawn I cut with my 72'' I could use a 21'' and make 150

    I see the light now :laugh::laugh:
  9. Doublewide6

    Doublewide6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    I don't know about everyone else, but I am using a 60" zero turn for 40 minutes per property. I also have a small gravely zero turn for insides gates, and a Honda 21" for smaller gates. I do have a shop and I use it to service my mowers, but the shop is not part of my business model.
  10. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    Surely you're smarter than this.

    A smaller mower takes longer this allowing you to mow less properties. In other words...it's the same in your scenario.

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