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SouthallMowing
04-29-2011, 10:08 PM
Okay, lets clear this outta the way.
I'm 17.
In High School.
And I have a lawn care business.

Now, I have 10 properties that I mow. 4 Wednesday, 5 Thursday. I am keeping Monday and Tuesday free, that way I can still be a teen. However, for summer I already have another 5 people on my waiting list. This will be another 2.5 hours (about) added to my schedule. However, in the summer, I have all day to go at it. It takes about 8 hours to complete the 10 I have now, without rushing. Should I take some more lawns, or what? I don't wanna get behind then get my name turned into mud with everyone.

Hedgemaster
04-29-2011, 10:33 PM
You could.

Or you could leave some work for those of us who are trying to make house payments and put food on the table.


:) ;)




Do what works for you. If I didn't need to do this to survive, I wouldn't bust my a$$ just to make a couple more people happy - especially if it will have a negative impact on your current clients.

CHEESE2009
04-29-2011, 10:33 PM
This is a very interesting scenario. I don't think we've addressed this yet?

How does a person run a successful company while being successful in school?

You can't drop out, and I wouldn't advise it. Though, if your business is getting a lot of calls - you have to sacrifice your education or the growth of the business.

The only way to avoid losing anything at all, would be for you to take advantage of this summer to really build your business, so that you can hire someone to manage it while you are at school the following year.
The truth is, it's easier said than done!

As a teenager, this is the only time I would recommend a partnership - you and a friend will both have the drive to grow the business (hopefully).
You can then schedule who works during different weeks, etc.



Partnership Terms
We found a solution, but we now face a different question, "TRUST".

"How can you make sure that this person doesn't run off with your customers?"

The answer is simple;

Your tasks: Office, collection of payments, minor lawn work. 40% Income

Your friends tasks: Lawn work. 60% Income


*Payments are to only be collected by you, make sure your customers are aware of this.

SouthallMowing
04-30-2011, 08:54 AM
This is a very interesting scenario. I don't think we've addressed this yet?

How does a person run a successful company while being successful in school?

You can't drop out, and I wouldn't advise it. Though, if your business is getting a lot of calls - you have to sacrifice your education or the growth of the business.

The only way to avoid losing anything at all, would be for you to take advantage of this summer to really build your business, so that you can hire someone to manage it while you are at school the following year.
The truth is, it's easier said than done!

As a teenager, this is the only time I would recommend a partnership - you and a friend will both have the drive to grow the business (hopefully).
You can then schedule who works during different weeks, etc.



Partnership Terms
We found a solution, but we now face a different question, "TRUST".

"How can you make sure that this person doesn't run off with your customers?"

The answer is simple;

Your tasks: Office, collection of payments, minor lawn work. 40% Income

Your friends tasks: Lawn work. 60% Income


*Payments are to only be collected by you, make sure your customers are aware of this.

You are the man. One of my friends has his own little lawn care business, but he does it as "the neighborhood boy." and I'm going to be gone two weeks out of June and I've "contracted" him out for them. $200 a week. He just about died when he heard that, cause he's used to making about $30 a week. However, he's been wanting to help me out for some extra cash, but I can take care of all calls, desk work, etc. It's the mowing and stuff I need help with. One of my teachers who has a really good lawn care business in Circleville is giving me a trimmer rack. :D that way I can go get a second trimmer. But I have a 5x10 trailer, so a second zero-turn is out of the question. But I'm probably going to buy another push mower if my friend can help me this summer. I have no business experience. but, what percentage of the income should go where?
Maintenance (Repairs, Gas etc.)
John (Me)
Brock (My friend)

What percentage of the income should go where?

Muchas Gracias. :D
-John

CHEESE2009
04-30-2011, 05:36 PM
Maintenance (Repairs, Gas etc.)
John (Me)
Brock (My friend)

What percentage of the income should go where?

Muchas Gracias. :D
-John



Well, we need to cover several things;

The Business
Your business is your bank, it holds all the money for repairs, materials, products - and it pays it's staff.

Your business is first priority over anything. When you receive a payment, it goes directly towards your business.


Your Staff
Your staff is your second priority, but should also be thought of as your first priority. You always want to make sure that your staff is paid for their work.

The Owner
As the owner, it's your plan to have staff to manage your business while you take care of other tasks or until you don't have to work at all!


There are a few scenarios you should look into;

1. Example;
In this scenario, it may become difficult to pay your staff
The Business: 50%
Your Staff: 25%
The Owner: 25%

2. Example;
In this scenario, you have a risk of not being able to afford repairs, buy materials/products.
The business: 25%
Your Staff: 50%
The Owner: 25%

3. Example;
In this scenario, the owner doesn't receive a lot - though the business and it's staff are covered! The more your business grows, the more money you'll eventually be able to make - and you still don't have to work as hard!
The business: 40%
Your Staff: 50%
The Owner: 10%



As a small business, I would try Example # 2 - your expenses aren't very high and your business should be able to cover repairs, materials/products etc.

The safest scenario would be Example #3. Though I would only go this route if your staff is serious and capable to manage the work properly on his own. If you find yourself doing most of the work, this example can backfire.



As an owner, the plan is to also find a "foreman".
"noun: a person who exercises control over workers"
You are the president, your foreman is the general who controls the army of the company.
You want someone who can control enough of your business, without giving them the power to steal it from you. Payments should be given directly to you, and checks should be written to your name only.

This does not stop your friend from starting his own business and stealing your customers. Usually you'd make a contract where if he/she attempts to start a business of their own, they will not be able to advertise anywhere near your customers for a certain amount of time (or something like that). Getting them to sign the contract upon hiring them is a smart move.

Even if you aren't registered, make this contract and have your friend sign it. He wont know the difference. :)




I hope that I have been helpful! I also hope that your friend does good work and doesn't bother you for help all the time. He's your "foreman in training" and he makes a lot of money out of your business - he has to work for it!

jklawncare
04-30-2011, 06:39 PM
Im 17 and in Highschool too
i mow 3 days out of the week
and take care of 22 houses right now
adding on until i hit 25
then when summer comes i may bump up to 30

it all depends on how much you want to be making and how much of your time you are willing to dedicate to your clients

SouthallMowing
04-30-2011, 09:22 PM
Well, we need to cover several things;

The Business
Your business is your bank, it holds all the money for repairs, materials, products - and it pays it's staff.

Your business is first priority over anything. When you receive a payment, it goes directly towards your business.


Your Staff
Your staff is your second priority, but should also be thought of as your first priority. You always want to make sure that your staff is paid for their work.

The Owner
As the owner, it's your plan to have staff to manage your business while you take care of other tasks or until you don't have to work at all!


There are a few scenarios you should look into;

1. Example;
In this scenario, it may become difficult to pay your staff
The Business: 50%
Your Staff: 25%
The Owner: 25%

2. Example;
In this scenario, you have a risk of not being able to afford repairs, buy materials/products.
The business: 25%
Your Staff: 50%
The Owner: 25%

3. Example;
In this scenario, the owner doesn't receive a lot - though the business and it's staff are covered! The more your business grows, the more money you'll eventually be able to make - and you still don't have to work as hard!
The business: 40%
Your Staff: 50%
The Owner: 10%



As a small business, I would try Example # 2 - your expenses aren't very high and your business should be able to cover repairs, materials/products etc.

The safest scenario would be Example #3. Though I would only go this route if your staff is serious and capable to manage the work properly on his own. If you find yourself doing most of the work, this example can backfire.



As an owner, the plan is to also find a "foreman".
"noun: a person who exercises control over workers"
You are the president, your foreman is the general who controls the army of the company.
You want someone who can control enough of your business, without giving them the power to steal it from you. Payments should be given directly to you, and checks should be written to your name only.

This does not stop your friend from starting his own business and stealing your customers. Usually you'd make a contract where if he/she attempts to start a business of their own, they will not be able to advertise anywhere near your customers for a certain amount of time (or something like that). Getting them to sign the contract upon hiring them is a smart move.

Even if you aren't registered, make this contract and have your friend sign it. He wont know the difference. :)




I hope that I have been helpful! I also hope that your friend does good work and doesn't bother you for help all the time. He's your "foreman in training" and he makes a lot of money out of your business - he has to work for it!

I'll take a look at those. See which would fit the best. However, I wanna be out doing the work. Not sitting doing nothing. So, the owner thing would go into the business part. But those helped.

SouthallMowing
04-30-2011, 09:24 PM
Im 17 and in Highschool too
i mow 3 days out of the week
and take care of 22 houses right now
adding on until i hit 25
then when summer comes i may bump up to 30

it all depends on how much you want to be making and how much of your time you are willing to dedicate to your clients

I dedicate any time needed to do the job right. Here's my dilemma, I can only have the truck and trailer on thursdays, so I have to get business in my neighborhood. Which isn't too hard, I'd just have to make a lower bid on houses than I'd want to.

jklawncare
05-01-2011, 01:29 PM
I dedicate any time needed to do the job right. Here's my dilemma, I can only have the truck and trailer on thursdays, so I have to get business in my neighborhood. Which isn't too hard, I'd just have to make a lower bid on houses than I'd want to.

Why are you cutting your bids short?

brian'slawncare
05-01-2011, 02:16 PM
I'm 13
In Middle School
Take care of 10 lawns
Mow 3-4 days a week after school.

The way I do it:

I underbid all the professionals
but heck I have waaaay less expenses.
No transportation costs
No taxes / fees
I only mow in MY neighborhood. I simply ride to each lawn with my trimmer and blower on the deck of my mower and me on the sulky. (I get a lot of looks going down the street on a lawn mower, trust me!) (yesterday 3 cops saw me riding around on it and didn't look very happy because there is nothing they can do to me:D)

I take on a lot more lawns in the summer because there is more time.

I have CONSIDERED hiring a neighbor to help trim and stuff but backed away when I saw how much my profit would go down :eek:

I agree with scott. Example 3 sounds best for you

jklawncare
05-01-2011, 03:02 PM
I'm 13
In Middle School
Take care of 10 lawns
Mow 3-4 days a week after school.

The way I do it:

I underbid all the professionals
but heck I have waaaay less expenses.
No transportation costs
No taxes / fees
I only mow in MY neighborhood. I simply ride to each lawn with my trimmer and blower on the deck of my mower and me on the sulky. (I get a lot of looks going down the street on a lawn mower, trust me!) (yesterday 3 cops saw me riding around on it and didn't look very happy because there is nothing they can do to me:D)

I take on a lot more lawns in the summer because there is more time.

I have CONSIDERED hiring a neighbor to help trim and stuff but backed away when I saw how much my profit would go down :eek:

I agree with scott. Example 3 sounds best for you

Don't underbid all the professionals just to get the job. Find out your actual overhead and charge atleast that
find out what your minimum is.

sure it will be under most others because they have larger overhead but if you want it to be an actual company you need to compete with their prices or you wont last.

My overhead is lower because i have less equipment and less employees but i still charge what my competitors charge
average minimum around here is 25$ mine is 20$
but thats what i advertise..if i go to a house i charge 25$ as a base and go up from there

all the low ballers will not last more than 2-3 years in this business and their quality of work will sure match their prices..low prices..typically low quality..and you cant count on them to afford to come back

SouthallMowing
05-01-2011, 03:50 PM
Don't underbid all the professionals just to get the job. Find out your actual overhead and charge atleast that
find out what your minimum is.

sure it will be under most others because they have larger overhead but if you want it to be an actual company you need to compete with their prices or you wont last.

My overhead is lower because i have less equipment and less employees but i still charge what my competitors charge
average minimum around here is 25$ mine is 20$
but thats what i advertise..if i go to a house i charge 25$ as a base and go up from there

all the low ballers will not last more than 2-3 years in this business and their quality of work will sure match their prices..low prices..typically low quality..and you cant count on them to afford to come back

agreed with jklawncare. Can't lowball. I lowballed a 1 time mowing just so I could get it and i regretted it. It became a ton of work cause i had to clean a ton of stuff up. I charge about $5 under the competition, because I can. I don't have too much overhead. However, it's so rainy in Ohio if i get ahead of myself, i could screw myself.

CHEESE2009
05-01-2011, 06:03 PM
I'm 13
In Middle School
Take care of 10 lawns
Mow 3-4 days a week after school.

The way I do it:

I underbid all the professionals
but heck I have waaaay less expenses.
No transportation costs
No taxes / fees
I only mow in MY neighborhood. I simply ride to each lawn with my trimmer and blower on the deck of my mower and me on the sulky. (I get a lot of looks going down the street on a lawn mower, trust me!) (yesterday 3 cops saw me riding around on it and didn't look very happy because there is nothing they can do to me:D)

I take on a lot more lawns in the summer because there is more time.

I have CONSIDERED hiring a neighbor to help trim and stuff but backed away when I saw how much my profit would go down :eek:

I agree with scott. Example 3 sounds best for you



If your expenses are covered, I say go for it! It's one thing to say "don't lowball" but honestly, you could lose a few customers charging the average price. If you are making a profit and willing to do the work for it - good!




The variables I would consider:

You are 13, customers wont take you seriously. Charge what you can get away with. As long as your gas is covered you are pretty much set.

Don't worry about anything else, by the time it gets serious there will be a lot of adjustments to make along the way. Your first task is to get your license, then you can worry about setting up prices and have more control on where you can work.

SouthallMowing
05-01-2011, 07:24 PM
If your expenses are covered, I say go for it! It's one thing to say "don't lowball" but honestly, you could lose a few customers charging the average price. If you are making a profit and willing to do the work for it - good!




The variables I would consider:

You are 13, customers wont take you seriously. Charge what you can get away with. As long as your gas is covered you are pretty much set.

Don't worry about anything else, by the time it gets serious there will be a lot of adjustments to make along the way. Your first task is to get your license, then you can worry about setting up prices and have more control on where you can work.

I thought people wouldn't take me serious, being 17, but oh buddy. They do. Here's the funny thing. All winter, people were making fun of me for mowing lawns as a job. They all said "there's no money in it". I pretty much said whatever, I'll show you. These people work for minimum wage, ($7.40) and only make about $100 a week, working all the time after school and on weekends. I work a total of about 10 hours a week, and make $250 on average so far. Now, which is smarter? Work more hours for less pay, or work less hours for more pay. You tell me. :D

Steve
05-04-2011, 03:13 PM
Keep up the great work and keep us posted on how everything goes!

brian'slawncare
05-04-2011, 03:52 PM
it was tough getting my fist customer, since I looked so small to cut grass, but once I got one, people would see me always going over there and began to ask how much I charge. When I say $20 or $25 they immediately want me...



all the low ballers will not last more than 2-3 years in this business and their quality of work will sure match their prices..low prices..typically low quality..and you cant count on them to afford to come back
SIMPLY NOT TRUE IN MY CASE...
that may be true in with other people although I don't just show up with a push mower, mow, and leave. This is my second year in the business and I am going so strong I have to turn people down. (to me, thats good for 13)



You are 13, customers wont take you seriously.
I beg to differ.


As long as your gas is covered you are pretty much set.
Really, that is my main expense. Some others would just be maintenance for equipment and new equipment. PRETTY MUCH IT.

CHEESE2009
05-04-2011, 05:02 PM
Regardless if customers take you seriously or not, you still have a good chance.


A lot of what is said on this forum is a myth (watching Myth Busters).

I can do a job for free, and provide better quality than my competitors - so if I did happen receive enough income to cover my expenses, while making few bucks for myself to enjoy - I'm in the business!


You can go to a fancy restaurant and pay $200 for a meal, only to head to McDonald's minutes after. Price and quality are very separate things, and the idea that they are the YIN and YANG of each other is all in the heads of ourselves and our clients.

If I buy an apple for $1 and I sell it for $3, what happens?
1. I have $1 to buy another apple to sell
2. I have $2 for myself
3. I win

It's a slower process, but it's not broken.

The more expenses you do accumulate throughout your business will have you charging more for your work. NOT because the YIN and YANG = money and quality, but because YIN and YANG = quality and time.






Thank you for your time, keep up the good work!

Dr. Scott

SouthallMowing
05-05-2011, 10:26 AM
I'm gunna start selling apples. :D