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Survey... Average gross for solo LCO...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bassman, Jul 20, 2001.

  1. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Informal survey question... regardless of what part of the country you are located, would 50K be a reasonable yearly GROSS figure for a solo LCO? I realize this is a loaded question. There are infinate variables that come into play with every biz. I'm not talking about 70 hr. weeks or doing tree work or installations, just normal LCO work and an average hr. work week year round. PLEASE leave ego's at the door, not asking any posters what they are grossing, just comments please.
    Thanks to all.
  2. carl28

    carl28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I think for a solo guy 50k is very reasonable just be careful that you realize that you will only net about 30-35 percent of your gross so before yu go make a huge investment evaluate if 15000-18000 is a satisfactory income for yur self and realize that you will be workin twice as hard and twice as long as you intially think
  3. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Lets see...

    $50,000 gross with $45,000 in expenses (not including salary) is not good compared to $40,000 gross with $20,000 in expenses (not inlcuding salary).

    There was a good article in Lawn & Landscape magazine about a company that at first was looking towards gross not net..at one point was $100,000 in the red (1998 I believe) Someone stated that "You are not a non-profit organization. You are a profit organization" ...I would worry about my net income than my gross income.
  4. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    cari28 im grossing in the 60s and i net in the mid to upper 40s thats well over 35% if i didn't make over a 35% profit id be doing something else for a living. Im very conservtive with my expenses. Marks Mowing Service
  5. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Thanks LoneStarLawn... Exactly what I was hoping to hear. Met a guy who ran a succesful LCO and decided to expand. He went from grossing 60K and netting 40K to having 10 employees with a gross of 600K and a net to him personally of 10K. I understand the importance of the bottom line. Still want to hear from posters regarding GROSS revenue regardless of the huge importance of "net" income. If I threw that into this informal survey, "that dog would not hunt". Just to many variables involved there.
  6. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    I'm just getting started, but I would think that if you are primarily mowing you should be able to gross 50 and net 35-40 if you dont have any other labor cost. Should be possible to gross 1200 to 1500 per week X 30 or more weeks.

    Hopefully this is realistic.
  7. carl28

    carl28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    speaking for myself with 12 fulltime field employees and a gross maintainence income in the mid 6 figures we are quite satisfied with a 30% profit margin. I can however see that being a solo operator with no overhead your expenses are less and your margin higher I was speaking for my self and sis not mean to offend any one who is making a higher margin. as long as it wors for you i say go for it just remeber you wont always be able to follow that walkbehind and sometimes its better to lead thatn follow.
  8. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    If you are making a decent profit and decent living than yes 50k is fine.
  9. Bob_McNaughton

    Bob_McNaughton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I would certainly hope a guy grossing 50k would take home more than 15k. At 15k, I would think he needs to seriously take a look at his books, and figure out what he is doing wrong.

    I've talked to alot of guys running around my area with trailers and mowers over the last few weeks. They all seem to average around 50-90k gross for solo operations. One guy I talked to today, did 78k last year solo, and plans on doing 100-110k this year with a fulltimer working with him.

    Remember, thats 50-90k over summer, or an average of 7 months of mowing with 5 months of downtime during the winter. None of the guys I talk to plow. Thats a HEALTHY income for a summer only job. Much more than most teachers make.

    Net is too complicated of a beast to discuss, because everyone has different overheads. My overhead will be somewhat higher when I start next year, because i'm a "All out" kinda guy. I don't like to do anything half assed. My major expense will be my truck, and probably my other other payment will be a 52 or 50ztr on payments. Everything else, including the enclosed trailer will probably be cash.

    Without looking at figures indepth, I would assume that a net margin of 45-55% should be obtainable to the average guy. If not more..

    15-18k a year is NOT a satisfactory income for anyone. After looking over some figures, I honestly don't see how someone doing over 50k a year in lawns can only net 15k. The math just doesn't add up that low.
  10. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810


    I was solo down in West Palm Beach area and did 50-60K. You can count on 50-60 hours in the summer, but kick back in the winter. I'm hoping to do 50k in my 3rd year here in MD... in 8 months time.

    That guy you mentioned did something very wrong...

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