Wife thinks I should low ball $20 an hour to get business?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Exact Rototilling, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Just so you know my wife will reading these responses. We did have a bit of a disagreement over my prices. She thinks I need to be willing to work for cheap $20 an hour including maintenance, equipment replacement fund, advertisement, gas, insurance and all the related expenses.

    We all know the $1 or $2 for each minute rule. I'd honestly be really happy with grossing $60 per hour. Sometimes I gross more than $60 an hour but more often it is $30+. If I'm not grossing at least $30 I figure I'm falling way behind. According to my wife I should be grateful to gross the $20 an hour.

    Her logic is cheaper rates = more work = more money.

    My view on this:

    $120 to $60 per hour = doing something right -- this is the sweet spot. :)
    $30 an hour gross = how can I work more efficiently to increase my bottom line - better faster equipment etc.
    $20 an hour or less gross = I feel cheapened and used and I'm loosing self respect & dignity. Might as well work for someone else. :hammerhead:

    Last week I bid on a huge clean up job and I ended up making just over $20 and hour but that's my bad - live and learn.

    Any input?
  2. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Always do what your wife wants. Especially while she's watching...
  3. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    let the wife do them and you do the high end ones!
  4. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 441

    If you're sitting around amusing yourself, waiting for the 100 dollar an hour jobs to call, then the wife may have a point. If, you're working 50 plus, and getting over 40-50 per hour, tell her to shut the **** up. (With all due respect.) :) :)
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I have a degree in accounting and have the expenses down to a science. Not even an illegal, non tax paying person can survive on $20 per hour. Equipment cost, truck fuel, mower fuel, 2 stroke fuel and other expenses will eat that up.

    I can go broke sitting at home. I don't have to go out and work and spend myself broke.
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    Look at your expenses, If you are a legitimate company, you are probrably spending close to $20 an hour on expenses. You may have more work, but you will not be making any money.

    Also, There are only so many hours in a day. The more work point does not apply once you have enough work to keep yourself busy, and you cannot afford to hire a helper bringing in $20 an hour. He will get the entire $20 after you pay workmans comp, your share of his taxes, and his salary.
  7. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Not a good idea $20.00. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of your expenses and established a budget. Show her the numbers and explain that her reasoning is flawed, show her why.
  8. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    Let me put it this way. Would you rather cut 2 $20/hour lawns, or cut 1 $40/hour lawn? Seems to me if you are charging $20/hour you are working twice as hard for the same amount of money you could get charging $40/hour. The point is, you will get jobs charging low figures but they aren't jobs that will make you any money in the long run. Sure, you have to stay busy, but you need to be charging enough to cover all your expenses and still make a profit. $20/hour in this business won't cut the mustard.
  9. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    More jobs at $ which doesn't meet operational expenses = going broke more quickly.
    The single best thing that you can do is to really document and chart all of the overhead in order to ascertain what your bottom price per hour really is rather than arguing for a set figure of $20.00 or whatever per hour.
    Facts will assist both you and your wife in determining the outcome of this discussion, not guess work.
    And take it from me, you do not want your wife angered at you. I realize my situation was just a wee bit different than yours as my soon to be ex-wife expressed her displeasure with a handgun. Made for more than a few tense moments until the cops got to my house with their tazers.
  10. bluflame1914

    bluflame1914 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    is your wife cutting too? if not why does she want to work the **** out of you for no money. some times women don't think. they see things one sided.

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