take home pay

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jsfrk, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. jsfrk

    jsfrk LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 126

    How many of you have fewer accounts but make good money on them?

    For example:

    20, $50 accounts
    10, $100 accounts
    or 5 $200 accounts

    This to me seems like a better way to go. Rather than doing $30 cuts through the week. The figures above are base on a $1000 a week of sales. I just used that as an example. But it is a goal of mine to to make $1000 to $2000 a week in take home pay.
    Forest likes this.
  2. Creative Lawn Care

    Creative Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 271

    Your idea is good in theroy. Have to be carefult hough. About 3 years ago, my biggest contract was over 60% of my total income. I was under bid by a Hispanic crew by $15000 a year and lost the account. Nearly put me out of business. A situation like that would be the biggest downside to your plan. Lose a $30 account and it doesnt hurt nearly as bad as a $200 does
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Good thread jsfrk. Most of my accounts are larger ones and most are also grouped so tightly together that we will mow many at one time, however we have to have a lot of equipment suited for the taske. A lot of properties are hilly so we have several wbs ranging up to 62" and have a 72" for more open areas. Of coarse your take home pay may or may not be what you want when you include your cost of doing business.
    Creative has good point, dont put all egg in 1 basket. Im starting to get a little nervice with one of my customers (developer) giving me more and more properties to maintain. Its a double egded sword when you like getting all the business hes throwing at you, but you know if you lost it all it can hurt.
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    My philosophy has always been to not put too many eggs in 1 basket. Obviously, it's easier to mow 5 $200 lawns to make your $1000. But, one of those quits, you are suddenly out $200 a week. That's a big chunk of change. And people quit for various reasons, no doubt about it. You can't foresee these things. It's easier to replace 1 or 2 $25 to $30 lawns than it is to replace 1 or 2 $200 lawns.

    That's my opinion on the subject, though, and I'm sure others will disagree. It's all about how you work, and who your target is.
  5. Mycannon

    Mycannon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Why do people put limits on there business. Go for all accounts don't limit yourself or else theres no reason to be in business if you only want 1000 a week :cool:
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i like my $30 accounts. if i lose one, it's easy to replace, and if they aggrivate me, they are easy to dump.
  7. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    Diversify, some of this, some of that. There is no rule. There is no limit. Take what you can get today, for tomorrow it may rain.
  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    I don't think people put limits on their businesses so much as they set goals that are attainable with a reasonable amount of effort.

    Since most people who go into business for themselves are not familiar with the concept of bringing home $1000/wk this may be a good goal to set, one that might be fairly attainable in a relatively short amount of time or even a longer time. But the fact remains that they have set a goal. As they near that goal and want the business to continue to grow, then they need to refine and adjust the goal.

    If you set the goals too low, attain them with minimal effort and never adjust, then the business will be limited. On the other side of the coin, if you set the goals too high and never come close to attaining them, then discouragement sets it and the business suffers there also.

    Maybe a better way of making the statment is to set the goal as "I don't want to bring home less than $1000.00/wk." Now it becomes a goal with a floor mark and no limits on the top end.

  9. thill

    thill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245


    We are mid size and fairly new at this. We run three crews of 3-4 each and gross about $45K per month. We are over 70% commercial and 8 of those clients constitute over 65% of the gross.

    That all sounds pretty good but the rub is the loss of any one of the large clients puts a glitch in our bottom line (the most important number).

    We will concentrate on increasing our residential accounts, in our Februrary marketing, to try to balance out our base.

    MTDMAN talks about about too many eggs in one basket. This is sorta true for us. In our case, we have a few giant eggs that can easily topple the basket.

    JERRYRWM is correct about not limiting your business. I might add that you also need to try mucho hard to balance the various segments of your business and always, always, know what your bottom line is.

    Good Luck,
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I disagree. Unless you are a large company that has employees and equipment to handle any and all business that comes your way, that is. Otherwise, you'll find that equipment and methodology used to maintain smaller and residential lawns doesn't fit larger lawns, and vice versa. I don't take larger lawns when they come my way, nor do I take tiny postage stamp type lawns, or lawns that are difficult for me to maintain with the equipment I have. I am established, and I can pick and choose what I want to work for. I know my niche and I stick to it, and there's plenty of work there for me. I knew an lco that took on a huge property, bought large rider mowers to do it, and then the mowers would sit in the shop the other 90% of the time he didn't need them for the rest of his lawns. Sitting in the shop doesn't earn you any money. And he ended up losing the large account, didn't need those mowers in the end.

    Anywho, my point is, you gotta be smart about how you do things. Work smarter, not harder.

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