What do most of you guys make?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GreenHor7, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. GreenHor7

    GreenHor7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    This was my first year doing applications. I still am doing mowing but i would like to convert over to strictly applications, but i do not know what to expect in terms of income. I am looking for some feedback.
  2. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,136


    There are too many variable for anyone to even answer.

    How many customers?

    Size of lawns?

    Pricing structure?

    Buying power (inputs)?

  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,924

    Too many variables. I say just play it by ear, and you will figure out what creates profit in your market. BTW I like the mowing & application combo capability. If you are athletic, healthy , and smart, you will do well. Then start hiring dependable help. I used to have a "budget" my first 3 or 4 years, but quickly I threw that out the window. Now we just plug away, work hard & smart, and hopefully profit. I started with ChemLawn in the late 70's. Started my company in 1990. We are streamlined (mostly chemical applications). We subcontract our mowing, but we do aeration & tree/shrub care. I have a hort degree which helps, but it's experience that counts.

    Good luck, and I hope more members will chime in -- especially if you ask more specific questions.
  4. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    I'm going to net about 1.9 million for my 4th quarter...

  5. Hogjaw

    Hogjaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I know what you're after..........probably, in the beginning we all thought about the question you've asked.

    However, is it all about money........................no!!

    I know what I have to have to pay business expenses, live on, buy for my grandchildren, and have some for me and my wife to be able to do a few things we enjoy.

    Start small............grow slow.

    What will it take for you to operate the business and live on, and do a few of the things you enjoy for relaxation?

    Occasionally I ask myself three questions.......................

    (1) Hey fella, what'cha doing?

    (2) Hey fella, where are you headed (heading)?

    and last

    (3) What are you going to do when you get there?

    Three important questions for business, personal and spiritual.

    It's not all about how much we make, but how much is left over.............believe me, "a satisfied mind means more than money".

    As Americanlawn said. "play it by ear".

    Best wishes.

  6. A.T.A.K

    A.T.A.K LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    I do pretty well for myself in the high 6 figures. It will very quarter to quarter but I have a decent size company. When I started out on my own I pulled 50K a year for the first 2 years till I was doing a lot better. When I got the chance I started buying out companies I have stopped for a bit but will start again in a year or so. The fastest way to build is to buy some may dissagree but this is only my 2 cents worth. If you are real good clients will beat your door down but you have to have some clients for new prospects to see your work this can take some time. This is why I chose to buy first and have found it cheaper than a sales force.
  7. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    You guys actually pull a profit? :dizzy:

    There are so many fluctuations in materials, equipment, fuel, etc that it's hard to say until the receipts are finished at the end of the year...

    I work solo and grossed about $90k this year. But I'm not sure yet what I truly made. Lot of equipment purchases this year. At least $10k in chemicals...

    I know my biggest competitor here, a guy with a customer base in the thousands, is about to go out of business b/c his profitability sucks so bad...

    Just be attentive to your costs after each season and adjust accordingly.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Give it a few years....there will be no living to be made at this. The same thing that happened to the maintenance (mowing) business from 20 years ago is now happening to this business. There are too many people wanting to jump onto the bandwagon and go into the "fert." business just like they want or wanted to go into the "grass cuttin" business. The only thing that is keeping prices a little sustained or rising right now, are the prices of product - namely nitrogen for one. Yea, yeah,...it's all on how you price your stuff, and your quality of work and all that, but let's face it....the dollar bottom line rules for the most part to the customer. There are fluctuations and people who are willing to pay for quality, but the low end of the market sets the pace for even those markets. This is why people are still paying 1980's (or near) prices for their grass to be cut.
  9. ampeg76

    ampeg76 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297


    this came up in another thread, and its amazing that the going rate to fert a 4,000 sqft lawn is about the same as the early eighties, it truly boggles my mind, could you see the reaction you would get if you offered to treat said lawn for $60:)
  10. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    You make a great point. When I got into this biz in 1990 we were doing little 1/4acre resi lawns for $36. Those same lawns are about $42 now, yet our fert prices have tripled. I used to pay $4.50/bag for 46--. 25-10-10 Ammonium Nitrate for $5.25/bag. My most expensive fert was 32-4-12 w/fe and 30% slow release, I think I paid like $8ish.

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