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What should I aim for in my first year?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Green Acres, Jan 10, 2001.

  1. Green Acres

    Green Acres LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    I've been doing Lawn care and Landscaping for the last couple of years. This year I'm going to do it full time. I was wondering on how many accounts should I aim for? Also how much in sales should you be able to do in your first year? There's alot of homes and commercial sites around me. I will be offering mowing, landscaping design and installaions, and full lawn care. Hopefully I will be able to stay busy and maybe be able to get a helper. Thanks
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    try reviewing this post to get some ideas on different production rates.

    You need to try to estimate:
    - what your machine(s) can produce hourly,
    - what you can edge/trim hourly,
    - expenses for overhead, insurances, replacement costs, upkeep, production etc.

    There are many other variables as well.


    On a side note if you intend to shear shrubs and landscape your accounts on top of general grounds care, then you need to look at what it will cost you to hire an employee. This will let you know if it's feasable or not.

  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    kris is right on target ..... and with your past work experience....you should be able to fiqure your own ability for 1 hour work ..... from this it's a little easier to figure time needed to do a job ..... the over head issue MUST be fairly calculated

    In time other expenses just seem to come up .... so try to save a little and up grade slowly .....also in the start that extra help means more $$ out and not necessarily more work in ..... or even that a job can be done in 1/2 time
  4. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Green for what its worth, every-nite i gas up all equip, for the morning, then i write down the time before i leave the driveway. Then at the end of the day i write down every expence i used that day, if i made 400 dollars i then just subtract all the expences. Truck fuel, mowers,trimmers,blowers,repairs,taxes,insurence,labor,ect,ect. Then i know what i spent that day, and what my profit was. I do this everyday and have for yrs now, and i usually hit it just about right, when tax time comes. Just a thought--- Marks Mowing Service (P.S) I just try to keep it simple
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    The first yr. it would be nice if you
    manage to pay the bills and dont go to far
    in debt .Also if you have working capitol
    try to hold it even if possible.Increasing
    it the first year would be a positive.TM
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183


    I will be offering mowing, landscaping design and installaions, and full lawn care.

    My suggestion to you is this...........build up your customer base doing ONE thing. From the sound of it your services out number your ability for the first full year in business.

    If I were you I would:

    1. Create a business plan.
    2. Put on paper some realistic goals with a deadline.
    3. Get by with as little as you can without looking "scrubby"!
    4. Make every customer aware that in the future you will be adding services-----when it's appropriate!
    5. Re-evaluate your business after the first year, adjust accordingly.

    Bottom line is you need to survive. You know what you need per month to get by on, don't expect to get rich your first year--------or second---------or third.

    Visualize where you want to be in 5-10 years and stick to your guns. There is a world of variables that will de-rail you if you let it-----mainly people that say you'll never make it. That was always a motivating factor for me although it shouldn't have been.

    Discipline yourself to follow your business plan, achieve your goals or target as some call it, keep advancing that target a little farther each year. Grow slowly and consistently. Above all, listen to advice, if it fits your plan use it, if not chunk it.

    I watched a PBS special once and the guy they were interviewing said "THERE ARE RICHES IN NICHES".
    Find your niche and play it for all it's worth, get too spread out and your setting yourself up for disaster. Big outfits take many people to manage them let alone do the work involved. If that's what your vision is then focus on it and you will get there in due time. You know where you're at now, you know where you want to be------what happens in the middle determines how you'll get there and how fast.
  7. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    homer is right,GROW SLOW.try to grow the cutting end of your business 1st.try to make your accounts perfect,then try to expand your business one service at a time.
    don`t be afraid to say you don`t offer that service,YET.IT will all come to you if you are consistent,and strive to do the best job for your customers.But don`t be everything at the start.
    good luck,
  8. Pauls Mowing

    Pauls Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    The guys are right....

    Plan your work, work your plan. Don't grow too fast. I run the nich market, I mainly do weed and brush mowing along with some commercial. I hate it as much as anyone else when someone asks for a service I cannot provide. I'll tell them I may add that in the future if there is enough call for it. I also keep a file called service requests. In it I make a note of what someone wanted that we don't do now. It helps me keep track of any trends or areas we should consider. I have a business plan, and I stick to it. Other than the money I have invested in my company, It has run at a profit from the first month. It must stand by itself. Use common sense and go slow. I've had very few headaches since starting last fall. Even one good memory....a little white haired old lady running down her drive waving her check book to pay me.... and a basket of fresh veggies from her garden for my wife.

  9. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Talk to Small Business Associations. They can help. I've use S.C.O.R.E before. They give free advice. Remember, it's not the number of lawns you have its the dollar amount that counts.
  10. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    Amen Homer.Good advice.

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