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Some of you guys are scaring the heck out of me!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CLT Bluesman, Feb 11, 2020.

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  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,215

    The low success rate has a lot to do with the opposite belief
    “I’ll make a lot of money in lawn mowing”

    thr attitude going in is EASY money AND I can do whatever I want couples with a “doesn’t work well with others and doesn’t want to be told anything mentality”

    so most people that go into it (and then fail) are lazy know it alls running from a 9 to 5 job because they can’t handle their boss nagging at them to do stuff like - show up to work on time, do their work with in the allotted time and uphold a certain level of quality control/profitability.
    So the problem here is ... working for yourself is ALL those things.
    You need to get up early
    Get to the property/project on time
    Do the work in the slotted time
    And have quality and profit

    except now there’s no co workers to deal with it when you want to call in sick to avoid accountability and no one else to blame when the work doesn’t get done.

    the new guys blame it on crazy unreasonable customers or the guy who repaired their equipment charges too much... the list of excuses goes on
    But most of the time, they were horrible employees who now make horrible business owners.
    They never had any business going into business
    They come into our chow hall just long enough to piss in our wheaties before they blow through their 401k pretending to be a big shot business owner with lifted truck 30 foot battle ship enclosed trailer and a 60” ztr yo mow postage stamps with.
    They ALWAYS buy too big or too much equipment with the excuse they need to “save the wear and tear on their body”
    This is landscaper code for “I’m a lazy desk jockey”

    the last equation in the fail is the over abundance of competition which is CAUSED by the never ending flood of lazy desk jockeys thinking this is easy money.

    every day they drive to work seeing the landscaper thinking how easy that is to ride that mower ... in their opinion it’s playing on an atv
    Then they get a quote for their own lawn , $50?!
    Omg that’s too much!
    I could mow 30 lawns a day I need to do this myself.
    Then they start a business thinking they’re going to make $1500 every day by having fun riding an atv
    And THATS how the fail begins....
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,215

    Statistically speaking opening a restaurant is only slightly more likely to fail than landscaping
    They are the top two.
    IF you removed food trucks/carts/kiosks from the restaurant category, it’s actually safer to open a brick restaurant than a landscaping company
    The caveat is most restaurants require a LOT more capital (and there for you lose even more money) than a landscape company so it’s a bigger risk.
    Most restaurants require/ involve some kind of loan.
    Just to open up a restaurant has to pass several inspections and meet many codes... it’s one of the reasons so many fail... by the time the open up they’ve blown through their operating capital trying to get passed all the inspections and they’re paying rent:lease on their location the whole time , but no money is coming in.

    could you imagine how little competition you’d have if that was required to open a landscaping business ??
    CLT Bluesman, Mark Stark and hort101 like this.
  3. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 15,454

    You'll be fine. We had a horrible drought my first year and i'm still around 8 years later and doing really well.

    Guys gave some good reasons for why people fail.....listen to that.

    For the most part though it's just telling guys the reality of it all. It's not to scare anyone off or crap on their dreams, just telling them the reality of overhead, how busy you actually are and how much money you'll actually make....
  4. OP
    CLT Bluesman

    CLT Bluesman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I am determined to not be a low baller. Today I did a job trimming a boat load of Monkey grass. Took two of us 1.25 hours. I charged $125. I think that’s in the ballpark. My helper got paid $20.

    I had a conversation with him about not being paid cash or 1099. I explained it will hurt him years from now when he retires.

    So I’m trying. You can lose a lot of sleep pondering and such.
    sjessen likes this.
  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 20,392

    Thee is such a thing as "healthy fear." You will be fine. Just try to spend less than you make.
    Puttinggreens, No gloves and JFGLN like this.
  6. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,416

    Show up and do what you said you'd do and you will have all the work you can possibly handle. Around here 3 hours for $125 would be pretty cheap.
    sjessen likes this.
  7. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,679

    Even at 2.5 hours it's low.

    Doesn't even hit the make believe $1min/$60 hr rule.
    CLT Bluesman likes this.
  8. OP
    CLT Bluesman

    CLT Bluesman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    Ok. So I should have asked at least $150. So it’s at least 1 dollar a minute for each person working. I’ll remember that.

    I’m learning. Thanks guys. I have a hurdle to overcome of asking what I’m worth. I’ll get over it.
  9. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,679

    No that was just some number someone came up with that guy's like to throw around.

    Figure out your numbers and the local going rate for services.That will determine what you should charge. Get a break even number and make sure you charge more then that every hour.
    CLT Bluesman likes this.
  10. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,170

    I agree mostly. I would suggest Lawnshark needs to figure out his base cost including his wage and then add a % on top of that for profit.

    LMN has a free budgeting tool that is fun to play around with.
    CLT Bluesman likes this.
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