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xandrew245x
07-30-2012, 06:55 AM
Hey guys, i'm in the first couple months of my lawn care business and I currently work a full time job. I do eventually want to this full time once business picks up, what i'm wondering is about how much money could I possibly bring home a month?

I will just be a one person outfit, probably handling 40-45 clients at max, I will do fall and spring cleanups and mulching and I also want to include snow removal in the winter.

Also how do you guys deal with the drought? I don't think I have to worry about that to much in Pennsylvania for we had a dry spell and I still saw lawn care companies out every week. But regardless, if a drought did happen, how do you deal with it?

I just want to get an idea of what i'm going to be dealing with if I decide to do this full time, I know its completely different then having a full time job with a steady income. I only make roughly $2200 monthly and wife makes about $1500, so if I could make $2200 or more profit a month, then thats awesome with me.(have bills to pay)

Steve
07-30-2012, 04:00 PM
I will just be a one person outfit, probably handling 40-45 clients at max

Have you figured out yet what kind of profit you are making on the customers you are servicing now? If you scaled up that number, how would it compare with your desired income level?

LawnBoy0311
07-30-2012, 04:08 PM
Stick with your full time job and build it slow. I'm doing this now and loving it. I'm off on my own working for myself in the afternoons, and have a steady income with my full time job. When you get too many clients, get a helper. Then when you still have a lot to do, think about going full time and evaluate then if you can. I think its a HUGE risk to take now adays with the bad economy and people still worried about money.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-30-2012, 04:22 PM
to make $2200 a month you would need to make around $3500. Now making that in one month isnt that hard but to average it over the year. Good luck with that.

dpld
07-30-2012, 04:26 PM
Stick with your full time job and build it slow. I'm doing this now and loving it. I'm off on my own working for myself in the afternoons, and have a steady income with my full time job. When you get too many clients, get a helper. Then when you still have a lot to do, think about going full time and evaluate then if you can. I think its a HUGE risk to take now adays with the bad economy and people still worried about money.

and we are on the verge of the economy going further in the dumper which only means the risk will be higher.
going head first in any kind of business in this enviroment is a major risk and i would agree with you that if you have steady income coming in to not jepordize it for the short term gain.

business is a funny and decieving thing where some folks get a taste of making a few bucks on their own and they think it can only get better and then winter time comes and you get a cold hard slap of reality.
we all like to get into snow removal in the winter as our saving grace and when it does not snow enough or at all it makes a bad situation worse.

xandrew245x
07-30-2012, 04:43 PM
Well, this is slightly discouraging. The nice thing is I can still work full time in the winter, and have the majority of the summer off. I think I'm going to finish out this year and see how it goes, it might not be worth spending more money on.

xandrew245x
07-30-2012, 06:26 PM
Well if I made $300 a day, thats about 8 $40 jobs, $40 jobs only take me 30-40 minutes. $300 a day for the mowing seasons is a gross for 50k, just for mowing. Thats more than I make in a year now. Then I either have the rest of the season to take off, or I can do fall cleanups, then snow removal in the winter, spring clean ups, mulching and then the start of the mowing season again, it seems like a pretty good money maker to me, but what do I know.

wat5150
07-30-2012, 09:26 PM
Well if I made $300 a day, thats about 8 $40 jobs, $40 jobs only take me 30-40 minutes. $300 a day for the mowing seasons is a gross for 50k, just for mowing. Thats more than I make in a year now. Then I either have the rest of the season to take off, or I can do fall cleanups, then snow removal in the winter, spring clean ups, mulching and then the start of the mowing season again, it seems like a pretty good money maker to me, but what do I know.

It seems not much. You have much to learn. I would suggest doing as much research as you can. This forum can only answer so much. This forum cant take the place of real life experience.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-30-2012, 09:27 PM
Well if I made $300 a day, thats about 8 $40 jobs, $40 jobs only take me 30-40 minutes. $300 a day for the mowing seasons is a gross for 50k, just for mowing. Thats more than I make in a year now. Then I either have the rest of the season to take off, or I can do fall cleanups, then snow removal in the winter, spring clean ups, mulching and then the start of the mowing season again, it seems like a pretty good money maker to me, but what do I know.

Sounds good, when you find out how to make $300 everyday, let the rest of us know.

wat5150
07-30-2012, 09:32 PM
Sounds good, when you find out how to make $300 everyday, let the rest of us know.

LOL!!! Indeed. Jesus kid you need to get real.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-30-2012, 09:54 PM
These are the results of a poll that was done here. Notice only 2 out of the 5 are still active members. 90% of lawn care businesses fail in the 1st year.

0-25,000 15 78.95%
25,000- 50,000 2 10.53%
50,000 - 75,000 1 5.26%
75,000 - 100,000 0 0%
100,000 + 1
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=12913


Maybe some of the guys that joined since can vote in the poll to make it more up to date.

PVMS
07-31-2012, 03:32 AM
LOL!!! Indeed. Jesus kid you need to get real.

We are lucky in that regard over here. We don't get snow in any of the capital citys, and its not too hard to target and get $4-500 a day all year round.(not rainy days of course)
I have talked to a few guys that survived our 14 year drought, and they just put on an extra 60 or so clients and got through.
I cant see that having 45 clients to be enough. I need around 100 per worker (averaging $50 jobs)

LawnBoy0311
07-31-2012, 05:33 AM
I think you've missed the mark completely on running a business. Lets start off with a simple question. Whats the only thing needed to make your car/truck go? HINT: this also has to be put in a mower, and does not rhyme with "foil" or coil".

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 06:05 AM
Geez guys, I never said I would make $300 a day, I just read somewhere if you could easily make $300 a day, but I have little experience so I really wouldn't know.

I didn't start a business to make a lot of money, I started this business because its actually something I like to do. But if I can make more money at my full time job, than whats the point.


Also, I don't understand how you can't make decent money with this job, my wife's step brother works for a lawn care company and gets paid more than I do! He has 3 employees and pays them all $15 an hour or more. I know the owner of the company makes a pretty penny too.

wat5150
07-31-2012, 06:49 AM
Look, no one said you cant make money at this job. You definitely can. You just need to understand that once you start getting into multiple clients (like 40-60 or anything like that) you will need to hire people. You will need insurance. You will need more equipment. Your expenses will be higher. Dont listen to anyone that says there is no money to be made. There are some big time guys around my area that do very well. You just need to understand all your overhead. You can make money but it costs you money to get there. As you grow you will understand this. If you already have your equipment than you are well on your way. Just do some research. Dont rely solely on this forum. Maybe speak to some guys in your area, thats the best way to get a handle on whats going on where you are. But dont listen to people say there is no money to be made. You can do it you just need to understand all the variables.

LawnBoy0311
07-31-2012, 07:11 AM
Look, no one said you cant make money at this job. You definitely can. You just need to understand that once you start getting into multiple clients (like 40-60 or anything like that) you will need to hire people. You will need insurance. You will need more equipment. Your expenses will be higher. Dont listen to anyone that says there is no money to be made. There are some big time guys around my area that do very well. You just need to understand all your overhead. You can make money but it costs you money to get there. As you grow you will understand this. If you already have your equipment than you are well on your way. Just do some research. Dont rely solely on this forum. Maybe speak to some guys in your area, thats the best way to get a handle on whats going on where you are. But dont listen to people say there is no money to be made. You can do it you just need to understand all the variables.

100% correct. You can make money doing just about anything. Just be GREAT at it. Lawn care is a service, like a restaurant, or even Peapod (the grocery trucks). People will always continue to pay for a service if its worth while to them. There is a saying "you have to spend money to make money"...but be smart how you take that. Mowing townhouses with a ZTR would not apply to that quote. Manage your expenses and stay within budget. Thats where most people fail. By wanting to start your own business, it shows you have the drive to do it. Thats the hardest step because its not for everyone. Like I said before, don't quit your day job and take things slow. Who knows, maybe by the end of next year your burnt out and want nothing to do with mowing. Take it slow, collect some profit, and keep that "money hungry" drive going.

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 07:27 AM
Thanks guys. I know one guy thats in lawn care, he does trimming for my grandma, I would be doing it but she didn't want to drop him mid season. He only charges $40 to do almost 2 hours of trimming, that seems a little cheap in my opinion, but hes been in business for 4 years.


I'm defiantly going to finish this year and see how I feel about it.I know it takes money to maintain a successful business, if I decide to do this full time, I want to just have enough money to be comfortable with life.

I guess the whole name of the game is to be smart, there is no point taking your trailer and all your equipment to a lot that could easily be push mowed. It would more profitable to just put the mower in the best of the truck and drive there with that.

I think the main reason I want to have my own business is because I don't want to have to rely on my parents business, like I said, I am going to be running it one day, but I have seen a decline in the business over the last couple years that it really has me worried, this is my livelihood, both me and my wife work here, so if this goes under we are pretty much **** out of luck.

If I run my own business from the start, at least I have some sort of control over how its ran, nothing against my parents,but I can't stand how they run this business. Running a business is in my blood, my grandfather ran a business, my dad, and now me, the problem is I really don't know much about running a business and that scares me.

The reason I ask so many questions is because i'm afraid that my business is going to fail due to my lack of knowledge.

Simmo
07-31-2012, 08:13 AM
We are lucky in that regard over here. We don't get snow in any of the capital citys, and its not too hard to target and get $4-500 a day all year round.(not rainy days of course)
I have talked to a few guys that survived our 14 year drought, and they just put on an extra 60 or so clients and got through.
I cant see that having 45 clients to be enough. I need around 100 per worker (averaging $50 jobs)

I agree with you 100%... 100 clients is the magic number i target per worker also. We are very lucky over here to attract a large amount of clients fairly easy! Although our cost of living is much greater, more people are working longer hours in Australia and is the reason why most people have the cashflow to pay for mowing... as a result of working longer hours they are time poor but have spare cash.

One thing that does suprise me is the frequent of mows in the USA. I only have a hand full of weekly customers (in the peak of summer) and the majority are bi-weekly in summer... 3 weeks in Spring and Autumn and 4 weeks in winter (now).

I am starting to understand why getting clients can be difficult in the USA if you are targetting weekly mows, alot of competition and the economy is tight.

In saying that.... A successful business will flourish in any market. A successful business needs to be either:

1. FIRST to market
2. Be the BEST in your industry, or
3. DIFFERENT.

Simmo.

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 08:50 AM
How could 1 worker handle 100 clients, that's 14 a day 7 days a week

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 03:53 PM
I'm going to make an excel sheet to keep track of expenses and profit for the remainder of the year, if I turn a profit, then I am defiantly going to continue on into next year.

I use my personal truck as my work truck, so I use gas driving every where else, should I just keep track of the gas I use driving to and from jobs, or should I just count it every time I fill up my truck?

I know I use less than a gallon driving to my moms house, my grams house, my moms rental house and the other guy I have mowed for twice. They are all within a mile of eachother.

PVMS
07-31-2012, 04:49 PM
How could 1 worker handle 100 clients, that's 14 a day 7 days a week

Weekly mowing cycles are rare here. In Spring to Autumn, most clients will be on bi-weeklys, in winter monthly. We generally pick up alot of fruit tree pruning over winter to fill the gaps, as well as cleanups and laying mulch.
Winter is also when the weeds seem to burst into life, so its not hard to sell weed control either.

hansenslawncare
07-31-2012, 05:13 PM
Well, this is slightly discouraging. The nice thing is I can still work full time in the winter, and have the majority of the summer off. I think I'm going to finish out this year and see how it goes, it might not be worth spending more money on.

Don't let discouragement keep you from building this business...sometimes you have to take what you hear (especially from forums) with a grain of salt. If a guy had a bad day, he's likely to post negative stuff. Take the good and spit out the bad. I'm not saying don't listen to people, but, generally speaking, people are more negative than positive.

But again dude...don't let others negativity bring you down. Some of the best businesses in the world were started in depressions or recessions. Just find a way to bring awesome service to your customers at affordable prices.

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 06:12 PM
Don't let discouragement keep you from building this business...sometimes you have to take what you hear (especially from forums) with a grain of salt. If a guy had a bad day, he's likely to post negative stuff. Take the good and spit out the bad. I'm not saying don't listen to people, but, generally speaking, people are more negative than positive.

But again dude...don't let others negativity bring you down. Some of the best businesses in the world were started in depressions or recessions. Just find a way to bring awesome service to your customers at affordable prices.

Thank you, I really needed a bit of encouragement.

hansenslawncare
07-31-2012, 06:22 PM
Thank you, I really needed a bit of encouragement.

No problem buddy!

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 06:34 PM
No problem buddy!

I really appreciate the advice.

I was so discouraged today I thought about packing it up, but then I got a call to go mow someones grass for the third time, I think I may have just picked up a weekly customer. :D

Shark1611
07-31-2012, 06:42 PM
Don't let discouragement keep you from building this business...sometimes you have to take what you hear (especially from forums) with a grain of salt. If a guy had a bad day, he's likely to post negative stuff. Take the good and spit out the bad. I'm not saying don't listen to people, but, generally speaking, people are more negative than positive.

But again dude...don't let others negativity bring you down. Some of the best businesses in the world were started in depressions or recessions. Just find a way to bring awesome service to your customers at affordable prices.

I like your comment. I started out a little over two years ago and found some on this forum to be very mean. My buiness has blown out the roof and I love what I do. Many of you here on the forum have given me great advice. I started out with a handfull of accounts, now I have close to 100. About 35% are commercial accounts. Hang in there and keep going you will make it.

Hedgemaster
07-31-2012, 06:51 PM
What you can potentially earn per day will likely vary by area. Even within one area, there are sections that pay and those that don't.

I'm in "Pittsburgh", but that means squat in terms of what people pay "here" - it varies. In my neighborhood, you'd be lucky to get $30/$35 for a cut, but 2 miles away you can get $40/$45 without much problem for a similarly sized lawn and lawns that are larger fetch even more.

If I wanted to travel 10 miles, or more from home to an area that has more disposable income, I could earn more - I'd also need much bigger equipment, as the lawn sizes there require it. In time I may do so, and I have taken on two clients in that area to "test the waters".


I wouldn't think anyone who is established would have difficulty making $300 a day. I do that on a good day, but I still have holes in my schedule, so the other days aren't as high. Ironically, the day I make the most is the day I mow my lowest priced lawns. I have 7 of them on one street and the rest are nearby, making it possible to crank out more volume in a short amount of time.

Location is a big factor in my opinion. I see a lot of people posting asking about "finding" clients, but I barely need to advertise and clients are finding ME.
The population here HAS to be a factor.

hansenslawncare
07-31-2012, 06:57 PM
I was so discouraged today I thought about packing it up, but then I got a call to go mow someones grass for the third time, I think I may have just picked up a weekly customer. :D

Sounds good man...

hansenslawncare
07-31-2012, 06:58 PM
I like your comment. I started out a little over two years ago and found some on this forum to be very mean. My buiness has blown out the roof and I love what I do. Many of you here on the forum have given me great advice. I started out with a handfull of accounts, now I have close to 100. About 35% are commercial accounts. Hang in there and keep going you will make it.

Thanks Shark, glad to know you're business is going strong! Keep it up buddy.

xandrew245x
07-31-2012, 07:11 PM
What you can potentially earn per day will likely vary by area. Even within one area, there are sections that pay and those that don't.

I'm in "Pittsburgh", but that means squat in terms of what people pay "here" - it varies. In my neighborhood, you'd be lucky to get $30/$35 for a cut, but 2 miles away you can get $40/$45 without much problem for a similarly sized lawn and lawns that are larger fetch even more.

If I wanted to travel 10 miles, or more from home to an area that has more disposable income, I could earn more - I'd also need much bigger equipment, as the lawn sizes there require it. In time I may do so, and I have taken on two clients in that area to "test the waters".


I wouldn't think anyone who is established would have difficulty making $300 a day. I do that on a good day, but I still have holes in my schedule, so the other days aren't as high. Ironically, the day I make the most is the day I mow my lowest priced lawns. I have 7 of them on one street and the rest are nearby, making it possible to crank out more volume in a short amount of time.

Location is a big factor in my opinion. I see a lot of people posting asking about "finding" clients, but I barely need to advertise and clients are finding ME.
The population here HAS to be a factor.

Yeah, its all about location, I actually live in between Carlisle and Gettysburg, I'm sure you know where gettysburg is, they are both pretty populated cites, and I know for fact there are some major companies around here making major bank. The way I see it i'm in a pretty prime location, just need to get my name out there.

tx_limo
08-02-2012, 03:16 PM
Like you, I've been doing this part time. I've got a full time job and doing this on nights and weekends (mostly weekends). I've got 4 weekly customers and 3 bi-weekly customers. This is just strictly residential business. I haven't been advertising too much but I'm able to bring home roughly an extra $500/month. Like I said I stopped advertising (mainly on craigslist) but I still get calls. If I decided to advertise more, I'm sure I could bring more home but at that point time/daylight becomes my enemy (not enough of both!!).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can control how much you make. Sometimes you have to work a little harder for it, other times, not as hard.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
08-03-2012, 03:59 PM
wishful thinking I do believe....

Big Al
08-05-2012, 04:34 AM
wait... did I miss it? How do ya'll figure 100 customers per worker? Or did I read that wrong?

xandrew245x
08-05-2012, 07:22 AM
wait... did I miss it? How do ya'll figure 100 customers per worker? Or did I read that wrong?

He lives in Australia and I guess there most of the people only get bi weekly cuts, so that's how he can have 100 customers, that's like having 50 weeklys.

Big Al
08-05-2012, 08:30 PM
ahhh that seems more reasonable, thanks