Solo vs employee's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smallstripesnc, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Brules

    Brules LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Oklahoma
    Messages: 958

    I second the opinion of getting better equipment (ZTR or a stand on hydro machine) if you can fit it in your yards.....that should make you much more efficient, as well as if you added someone.
  2. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I already have a hydro walk behind. Its a 36in gravely hydro with pro steer. It definitely made things much faster vs the scag belt drive i had. Also i thought about a ztr but i have too many propertys with slopes plus the gate issue.

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  3. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    as you grow business, your overhead goes up. Payroll taxes, payroll, new stuff, more fuel, more jobs, more repairs, more phone calls, etc....more expenses. Raise your rate to follow inflation and rising cost of doing business or you won't make it. Our minimum job charge is $42.50 and it doesn't matter if its weed control of picking up 1 trash bag worth of stuff--the charge is the minimum. In order for us to make decent profit, we have to produce $2400/week before materials not included in normal overhead and this is for a 2 man crew. I sell hourly jobs in the same mannor when customers question the fee...we can either make profit and stay in business or take a loss and you won't have us to be around next year.... make the decision to restructure and hire full time.

    5 mins average is a poor result, and you'll continue to sell poor jobs smallstripe....unfortunately I can't subcontract you in my area.... We spend no less than 30 minutes per service at an average of 30 maintenance services per year. Your selling yourself short to be the low quality low baller.
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,741

    i would keep things the way they are. that is exactly where i wanna be. i don't want the hassle of employees and all. i guess you live in a city area where the yards are really small? $25 a yard. i wish i had that man. that would be easy as pie. alot of my jobs are 2-3 acres and i charge $100-$125. more money at one time yes but a whole lot more work. i'd rather have small yards like you and be in and out in 20min or so. i'm at some for 2 1/2 hrs or so. it kinda wears you down faster doing the bigger yards. on the other hand i only do about 3-5 yards a day to make the same amount you do. it would still be easier to do more small yards as long as the drive time between them isn't too bad.

    i guess it depends on your goals. do you wanna keep things simple and just solo or do you wanna make more money which requires alot more headache to be honest. it's all about how much is enough for you. we all have different goals.
  5. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,716

    the only equiptment he needs to get is a real stick edger. that will save time and do a better job as well.

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,271

    Tell me how a stick edger saves time and does a better job?
  7. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I actually know I do really well edging and trimming and have used a line trimmer since I was 10 years old. I only provide high quality service and get so many refferals I have to turn down a lot of work. Now mowing I average 15 minutes a lawn solo. I take my time and do a better job than most of the surrounding lawns of properties i manage.

    So knowing I do quality work I am too cheap but hey I get millions of calls and refferals. 2012 season I do plan to charge more. But my ex was $25 a cut in the numbers I posted.
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  8. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Tell me as well. I can edge quickly and very straight with a line trimmer.
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  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    My stick edger gathers dust...not much for me to edge with it on my accounts since most town sidewalks and curbs are asphalt, most driveways are asphalt or gravel and most walks are pavers. It really drives me nuts sometimes that people from a totally different area think that everything is the same everywhere. Maybe some of you guys need an edger, but not all of us do.

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,271

    Not to mention you risk hitting sprinkler heads/bodies along sidewalks, etc... I have a large HOA and in their contract it states Stick Edgers are not allowed, and in reality I can do anything a stick edger can with a line trimmer as quickly, and as straight and nice without risking damage.... I see a response like the one above about stick edgers being the one and only way and have to think you have very little experience in this business...

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