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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BRET, Jul 10, 2000.

  1. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    OK my turn. I see all of this as "How much is your time worth?" and "Where are you willing to spend it or sacrafice it?"

    How much time do you spend working to get that $35, $50, or $80 an hour? How much time do you waste chasing the money when you are putting off more important things? I am a solo op. I do not have many accounts right now. Why? Time! Yes, time is money but money cannot always buy what you what you want or need. Which mostly is to have that time back.

    I have a 2 year old daughter. She needs my time now, not later. What is that worth? My father is dieing of cancer, with only 6 months at most to live. He needs my time. What is that worth? If I put both my little girl and my father off so I can spend more time pursuing the all mighty $60-$100 an hour what do I gain? Even if I get to keep the majority of the money what do I lose to gain? Its all time!

    I am sorry to carry on so, but please all consider where I am speaking from. Time equals whatever is most important to you. If you sacrifice the right time for the wrong time what do you gain? Nothing, you will lose!

    So lets not worry about where someone gets $100 an hour or $35. Its all about the time!
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    Yes, we should all be looking at how much me make per hour after expenses as should our customers maybe then they would give us tips.
  3. Just Cut

    Just Cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    you hit the nail right on the head crazygator, I agree 100%
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,898

    Part of the problem is probably because you are focusing on commercial work. A long time ago I figured out that I couldn't afford to do commercial work because of the reasons you just cited (other companies bidding at $25 or less PMH.)

    I found I could gross about $4600 per month for a day's work for two of my 2 man crews, each on seperate routes, each crew doing 20 or more residential accounts that day. Whereas, for most commercial jobs (e.g. appartments) the going rate was about $2500-$2800 for the same 4 workers for an entire day.

    There is just a lot higher profit margin in residential maintenance. The tighter we pack our routes (more houses in one neighborhood) the higher our hourly rate gets up to.

    Now we still don't make anywhere near $70 or $90 PMH for lawn care. But I bet we get $40 or more on some days.

    With landscaping and irrigation work we often get $40 - 50 PMH or even more. Did a job that ended today and we netted $93 per man hour. Part of that is due to the 100% mark-up in plant materials that we can make. We buy plants at 50% of retail cost and double the price on every plant. The customer still pays regular retail price just as they would if they went to the nursery and got them themselves. So we're not scamming anyone. We just end up being much more profitable.
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808


    Am I figuring this right?

    $4600/4men = $1150 per man, per day

    10 hours = $115 per man hour

    12 hours = $95.83

    Even $2800 would be great.. $60-70 per man hour.

    What did I figure wrong?
  6. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540


    I think it was the "I found I could gross about $4600 per month for a day's work for two of my 2 man crews, each on seperate routes, each crew doing 20 or more residential accounts that day." that has me confused.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,898

    Sorry, I know that's confusing. I use MS Excel to figure out how much a crew of 2 guys can make me in one week day.

    For instance, every Friday, crew 1 does 25 yards. Those 25 yards make me about $2400 per month. Now there are usually 4 weeks in that month, so you can break it down further if you want. 2400 / 4 weeks / 9 hours / 2 guys = $33 per hour. (Once in a while we have 5 Fridays in a month and so they make $27 PMH those months)

    But I wasn't referring to an hourly rate. I was just referring to what I can make, PER MONTH, for a given day every week.

    e.g. if two crews are out doing 22 lawns each, I am making roughly $4400 (PER MONTH) for that day. But if I did commercial work for what some of my local competitors do, I'd have those same 4 guys at some appartment complex all day long and that account would only bring in $2500 or so for the month. That's what the going rate is around here.

    Hopefully this makes more sense now.

    I just try to think of things on a per month basis because 1) it's more consistent than the hourly rate. and 2) all accounts 'round here are year-round so in the winter, the hourly rate is much higher, because we don't come as often.
  8. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    Thanks, Jim....it makes sense to me now. :)

    I need to look into that computer program stuff for the biz,

    Right now I just keep a daily log of my total hours (working, driving, maint., ect.) and add them at the end of the month and then divide the P&L (and expenses) figures from there to get an hourly average on my net and gross for the month. To break the monthly figure into weekly figures I divide by 4.3 (4.3 weeks in a month).

    I'm 'old fashioned' I suppose.........:)

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