Some light reading material

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
Where’s he gonna put the extra dirt, in the rav4? French drains take planning and know how. Not sure what drainage you’re referring to. Digging ditches with a shovel sounds fun, I’d rather mow, and I’m getting out of the mowing business.
You miss the point entirely. The entire point of my original post is to make decisions based off financials (which he claims he doesn’t know) and ROI strategy. It doesn’t matter what specific job. And I bet I could buy 1 shovel, 1 wheel barrow and rent a truck for the day, and make triple than him mowing.
 

Toro44

LawnSite Senior Member
I do understand, that’s why this will be my last year mowing. Sometimes the transition into other ventures isn’t as easy as you are making it out to be though.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
I do understand, that’s why this will be my last year mowing. Sometimes the transition into other ventures isn’t as easy as you are making it out to be though.
I would agree with you on that, but that’s why having decisions made from solid financial numbers help. Your not alone in exiting mowing, many many other guys have, or limit what they take on, or require a full maintenance contract so they extra work. That’s nothing new or rocket science, mowing has the least amount of margin. So when I look at it, I would have thought long and hard about that purchase and if there was a better place to spend the money. Maybe there would not be, I don’t know.

you have to consider this, I have never heard anyone else say they could constantly not mow their lawns, using their “normal” equipment because things where too wet and the ground was too soft. I have seen and heard it every now and then, but not daily to the point of buying a specific machine. How are the other companies doing it?

ok, even if he does have the worlds worst conditions to mow, that requires him to use that small machine…. The big question…. Is that a sustainable business model ? Im aware he works alone, but if he had employees, could he pay them, plus pay him self, plus turn a profit ? Knowing exact cogs and times spent on site would answer that question.

besides, I suggest marketing…. I also could have said to buy a used pick up truck, sure would help with clean ups.
 
OP
Hurryupelectric

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
You miss the point entirely. The entire point of my original post is to make decisions based off financials (which he claims he doesn’t know) and ROI strategy. It doesn’t matter what specific job. And I bet I could buy 1 shovel, 1 wheel barrow and rent a truck for the day, and make triple than him mowing.
I think I followed the fact that I don’t know what the 32” looks like in a black and white analysis, and honestly I don’t know what anything I run is earning or costing me. Having command of the financial understanding involved is something I see as high priority. I think at some point no matter how far I go in anything really, I’m gonna have to base certain decisions off the gut. My gut said “you only have one employee, don’t break him over something easily afforded“. As the employee, I greatly appreciated the fact that my job was able to afford equipment that wouldn’t kill me and not force me to fight with push mowers in 98* 90% humidity.

I guess what I’m hoping is that while it’s correct that the snapper isn’t a pure numbers based decision on paper, in practice it holds much more value. The snapper is my go to now for reasons besides wetness, sometimes it’s just a little quicker on odd lawns.

I made my entrance into this with mowing and it’s supported my transition into a small business owner from a plebe. But, it’s become my job and will be my job for the next few years I bet. This post is about me having interest in morphing into more profitable services. I’m rapidly “cutting to the chase” in mowing to make it as pain free and efficient as possible while it’s a staple of my sales.
 

Toro44

LawnSite Senior Member
Agreed, it really comes down to efficiency in this business. There are only so many hrs in a day. If your maxed efficiency or price increases are the only way to make more $ on the same accounts. Unless you stick with the $60 an hour montra, then why be efficient at all. Changing services is the other way to add profit to the low margin categories.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
I think I followed the fact that I don’t know what the 32” looks like in a black and white analysis, and honestly I don’t know what anything I run is earning or costing me. Having command of the financial understanding involved is something I see as high priority. I think at some point no matter how far I go in anything really, I’m gonna have to base certain decisions off the gut. My gut said “you only have one employee, don’t break him over something easily afforded“. As the employee, I greatly appreciated the fact that my job was able to afford equipment that wouldn’t kill me and not force me to fight with push mowers in 98* 90% humidity.

I guess what I’m hoping is that while it’s correct that the snapper isn’t a pure numbers based decision on paper, in practice it holds much more value. The snapper is my go to now for reasons besides wetness, sometimes it’s just a little quicker on odd lawns.

I made my entrance into this with mowing and it’s supported my transition into a small business owner from a plebe. But, it’s become my job and will be my job for the next few years I bet. This post is about me having interest in morphing into more profitable services. I’m rapidly “cutting to the chase” in mowing to make it as pain free and efficient as possible while it’s a staple of my sales.
Very simple formula.

calculate total hours worked last week, Including job time, travel time, gas station, loading/unloading and equipment maintenance.

total revenue for the week divided by total hours worked.

this gives you the average hourly rate. Subtract $17.50 for labor (labor and burden) , also subtract $10 for equipment use age, vehicle usage and fuel. This might maybe give you a rough idea of how much you might make hour if you where paying someone. Approx. actual numbers would be better, but this will get you in the ball park.

Take that number and multiple by 1000. If that final number allows you to draw a proper monthly salary PLUS profit…. Then you might have a business model that works. If the answer is no, then you should exit what your doing as fast as possible and go a different direction.
 
OP
Hurryupelectric

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
I have seen and heard it every now and then, but not daily to the point of buying a specific machine. How are the other companies doing it?
The company I bought the Turfmaster from last winter was replacing them with a fw15 for each truck, I think 3 trucks. I bought it from the owner and he appreciated my hustle and offered to answer a question every now and then. I rarely bother him but I did reach out about the fw15’s. He said that he his crews were having to walk a lot more lawns this summer and the Ferris was a big improvement. Local small guys I’ve chatted with are using their 21” a lot lately.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
The company I bought the Turfmaster from last winter was replacing them with a fw15 for each truck, I think 3 trucks. I bought it from the owner and he appreciated my hustle and offered to answer a question every now and then. I rarely bother him but I didn’t reach out about the fw15’s. He said that he his crews were having to walk a lot more lawns this summer and the Ferris was a big improvement. Local small guys I’ve chatted with are using their 21” a lot lately.
Just because they do it, doesn’t mean they are profitable.
 
OP
Hurryupelectric

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
Very simple formula.

calculate total hours worked last week, Including job time, travel time, gas station, loading/unloading and equipment maintenance.

total hours worked / divided by total revenue for the week.

this gives you the average hourly rate. Subtract $17.50 for labor (labor and burden) , also subtract $10 for equipment use age, vehicle usage and fuel. This might maybe give you a rough idea of how much you might make hour if you where paying someone. Approx. actual numbers would be better, but this will get you in the ball park.

Take that number and multiple by 1000. If that final number allows you to draw a proper monthly salary PLUS profit…. Then you might have a business model that works. If the answer is no, then you should exit what your doing as fast as possible and go a different direction.
Is there a simple way to crunch the sw15’s numbers isolated from the other intergrated parts of the business? Not just what it did two weeks ago barely running, but over the course of it’s useful life with me. How do I do something like this when it’s being used way more than my stander in august? The Deere was a loss leader in august more likely. The required long term information needed for me to achieve a more reliable understanding than my gut can provide is more than I can do currently.

Literature on keeping all the important numbers written down is mandatory before the new year comes. I will definitely be choosing a book on the topic and keeping track of time and costs sharpening blades, time filling up gas cans, ect. If I can’t do my numbers properly with my current knowledge and records then I’m still only guessing, and if guessing I’d rather let my gut lead.

There’s too many unknowns and undefined variables right now for me.
 

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