what the Hel....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rrhonda, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. rrhonda

    rrhonda LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    OK, What the hell am I doing wrong? This is my first year. I have 20 regular customers, each about 20.00 dollar per cut.Ones 120.00 per cut. And I have a lot of other garden and other work customers. 200.00 to 300.00 per job. The problem .... I'm so broke my husband and I are using a craftman and (1070),Wheelhorse tractor. I can hear you all laughing :) I can't imagine ever getting a Z , cause I'll never be able to afford it. I'm two months behind on my mortage. My husband fixes all the equipment ( thank God) cause the Wheel horse needs a lot of fixing, lol. So whats the deal. P.S no shopping or drug habbits, I'm putting it all in the checking account.
  2. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Well, the problem is obvious. You're not making enough money.

    Do you have a seperate business and personal accouts? If not then that would be a good place to start. Its easy to over spend all your bus. money when it is all in the same place. Sounds like you may need to keep better track of all your expenses as well as your income.
  3. Liberty Lawncare

    Liberty Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    My best source of advertising to gain new customers has been flyers.

    This is my first year "full time" on my own. I have about 35 lawns & other landscaping jobs that I do weekly.

    I think your problem is your equipment, it's too slow. Sell the craftsmand & wheelhorse, buy as used walk behind 48" mower, hydro if possible, belt drive is usually cheaper. I have a 48" Lesco belt drive w/b.
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Bottom line: You need more customers, and the accounts need to be more profitable than 20 bucks. It takes time to build up clientele though. I wouldn't let yourself get behind in your mortage payment though. When we started 6 years ago, we jumped right in and were blessed with enough accounts to get by the first year. It's great if you can concentrate solely on your business to build it up, but if you can't make ends meet right now, you may have to get a part time job. You can't fall behind like that on the house payments.
  5. Timbo

    Timbo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    doorhang, doorhang, doorhang
  6. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    I don't know all the details but I'd say one problem is your prices. You've got to know your expenses and it sounds like it is costing you more to run your business then you are making. For me, I know I can't touch a yard for under $30-$35 and still make money, NO EXCEPTIONS! I'd say you need to step back and analyze everything real good and figure out where you are going wrong and what to do. You may want to focus on one part of lawn care (whether it be mowing, landscaping, etc.) so that you don't have to worry about having all the professional tools in every area. If you were to focus on mowing grass, you wouldn't have to worry about having other tools (other then the mower, trimmer, edger and blower) that will cost you more money. Also, I don't know if this is your only job, but with only 20 accounts I would say that you need to get your name out and get some more. A one man (or lady) show can easily do 8-10 yards (give or take a few depending on the size) per day. Hang in there, don’t give up. Keep asking questions to everyone on this forum and everything will be ok! Good Luck.
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    On the other end of the spectrum were in our 2nd year we have over 125 accounts and don't expect to see much profit this year just as last year. When you add in fixed business expenses they can really add up fast. The plus is the bigger you get the smaller the % is for fixed expenses.

    I do know this if I had a mortgage id have lost my house. Last year we had to invest a ton of money each time the season changed and we had to retool for a different phase of the business like fall clean ups or hedge trimming. This year we still pouring cash in the company as we are expanding very quickly. The thing to keep in mind is if your growing your income is significantly less then if you’re already where you want to be.

    Find a form of advertising and get on it you cannot support 2 people and a house on 20 accounts. Also as the money starts to come in your need to upgrade your equipment as that’s killing you as well. It sounds like you have 2-5 very painful years ahead of you but its what’s required of you so you best dive in and get to work or you be out of business very shortly.
  8. rrhonda

    rrhonda LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Your all great! Thanks for so many replys. I have to ask you guys one more thing. ...Ever since I started doing lawn care , my both my arms from the finger tips to my elbows are going numb.It's when I use the hedge clippers or the 22" to cut in. It seems like anything that vibrates. ( No sex toys for me:(
  9. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Try wearing gloves? That might help. My HTs have anti-vibe bushings on them and would appear to be doing a good job. Same on my small mower.
  10. rrhonda

    rrhonda LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I hear yah cameron, but there's a whole lot of freaks here cutting huge lawns for 15.00 a cut , I don't know how there doing it.

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