Where do you draw the line? Scrub - Pro?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Feb 11, 2002.

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  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Where do you draw the line between a scrub and a pro lco?

    sometimes it seems like you all are discriminating against anyone not a member of LS:mad: :mad:

    Like well, if you don't use LS, your not a pro.....
    Or, if you charge less than $20 for a small lawn that takes 15 or 20 minutes, your a scrub lo-baller....????
    I am soon going to start a small time low cost bizness. A 5x8 trailer, 8hp 32" Rear engine rider (it's a 1989 Toro 8-32 Professional, Professional designates Industrial engine) and it cuts and stripes better than any rear engine rider there.. don't laugh, it cuts great. really. and anyhow, a weed eater brand string trimmer (yep, the cheap $59 ones from wallly world) and a 21" murray pusher. And a 1964 Bush Hog garden tractor (this is for snowplowing , driveway grading and garden plowing. I restored it and built a 48" vplow for it, fully angling. ) I know not the best machines, but I will move up. I can use mom and dad's 16" Craftsman rear tine self propelled tiller also as needed.
    I will only want $8-10/hour profit, plus gas/ other costs. Am i a lo-baller scrub? Where do you draw the line?
    ps, i do my neighbor's currently and get $20 a mowing and takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. They let me use my equipment or theirs. I use mine I like it better and if it breaks it's not their's. I fix my own stuff and theirs when needed.
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    Well, Eric, if you are a licensed and insured professional, and "$8 to $10/hour profit" will pay for your equipment, truck, fuel, license, liability insurance, health insurance, retirement, mortgage, and family expenses then you are not a scrub.

    Otherwise, get a job somewhere and work your way up. $8/hour can be made in a wide variety of fields, starting out, without the hassle of running your own business. When you're ready to take the full responsibility of running your own company, and all the inherent expenses and considerations, then do so.

    Until then, I would recommend you don't. There is a large number of professional companies out there trying to make a real living, for themselves and their families, and you're cutting into that by doing things "below board".

    On top of that, you're probably losing more money than you're making, though you don't realize that yet.

    Get an after school job and save some money while someone else handles the headaches (and responsibilities).
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    The "scrub" discussion really has been beat to death.

    Some of us here don't do this as an afterschool gig or to put a few extra bucks in our pockets. Some do this full time to put food on the table, to pay the bills, and to keep a roof over our families heads. So of course it is going to be important to us for the industry as a whole to charge the going rate. I guess that's why this topic comes up so much.
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i must agree major. lets not do this again. do a search . its probably still back there somewhwere.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    This thread was started just to cause problems.

    I do agree with TGCummings. If you think you can make money at $8-$10 per hour cutting you have no idea what expenses are. Also, if you think using the cheap equipment keeps your cost down, YOUR WRONG. They wear out faster and your constantly spending money to fix or replace.
  6. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

  7. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    Anyone with a respectable landscaping business would not call you a scrub. To me and most of the other guys on this site, we do not see you, or guys like you, as "competition". Chances are most of the clients you would encounter probably are not all that serious about there yards, and probably would not be able to afford the "going" rates on landscaping and grounds maintenance services. When I started out, i was like you... $15 -$20 a cut, i was looking for some spending money every week. However, i was not looking to make $8-10 an hr, you can make that anywhere, your in business now...
  8. plow kid

    plow kid Banned
    Messages: 516

    I got to agree with Jodi Also, it makes no sence to flog a dead horse.~NaTe

  9. PrimeGreen Lawn

    PrimeGreen Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    Hey I'll make it easier for you to make $8 to $10 bucks/hr......WORK FOR ME! ;) Thats what I start my guys at anyway. It'll save you the trouble of running your operation. Just kidding.......sounds like you have high hopes of succeeding in this business, but as far as your equipment goes, you get what you paid for. I'm sure ALL of us in here learned that in one way or another. Think of buying USED commercial equipment in the future, save a few thousand bucks...... Anyway....just don't be a low-baller, for the same reasons as stated above. Like many here, I quit my great paying desk job (State Trooper) to do this work full time to support my family. Just think of these things when you make your rate of $15-$20 bucks for a yard that takes 1 1/2 hours to do.
  10. corban

    corban LawnSite Member
    from K.C. Mo
    Messages: 49

    I would have to guess that almost every single one of us started out in the very same position as you. I'd stack my WalMart weed eater and a can of gas that my dad filled for me on my mower and walked door to door around the neighborhood. Don't call yourself a scrub and don't think your undercharging. The only judge of what reasonable profit is yourself. In fact, that is what we all do. Every bid placed is saying, "This much mowing is worth $xx to me". If it is only worth $8/hr before costs to you, then do it. Next year or middle of this year when your mower keeps dying because of grass buildup and it's 95 degrees out, you'll learn to charge more; a lesson that the rest of us had to learn and I myself am still learning to a point. Anyone upset with you for undercharging at this point is being unreasonable. A scrub is simply a professional in the making. May God bless you as you start your new business.
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