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View Full Version : Has anyone ever heard of Just Mow It? TJ Justice


hansenslawncare
10-19-2012, 08:40 PM
So I read this huge thread on Just Mow It owner TJ Justice. Anyway, this guy would have really competitive prices but would make up for it in huge volume. The thread was in 2005, and at the time he had over 2K accounts. So, part of the business concept was using 4 cylinder trucks, using 21" mowers and paying his employees by piece work.

This thread really intrigued me and I wanted to ask everyone here what they thought about this? Good and bad please provide your thoughts.

Thanks.

willshome
10-19-2012, 08:51 PM
using 21" mowers and paying his employees by piece work.

Getting a worker to walk around the edge to trimmer is hard but push a 21" all day good luck


what size lawns?

SECTLANDSCAPING
10-19-2012, 09:00 PM
First off theres no snow in TX. So he can get away with a fleet of 2wd 4 cyl trucks. Saving a bundle on trucks, repairs, and gas.

Second he doesnt do lots over 16k. You have to live in a populated city with lots of small yards. This also allows him not to use trailers and big mowers.

Third they bill with auto payments at the beginning of the month. No need to chase payments or people owing money.

Fourth theres a answering service so theres no missed calls.

hansenslawncare
10-20-2012, 08:26 AM
Around 8-14K sq ft. I'm just wondering what others have to think about this business model for a LCO.

Great point on the lack of snow...definitely can't snow blow a parking lot. Keep the feed back coming. I'm interested on everyone's opinions of this type of operation.

Thanks

willshome
10-20-2012, 11:39 PM
I sell mowing with a 21 as an upgrade. Does a better job and no damage to the lawn

hansenslawncare
10-21-2012, 03:07 PM
I sell mowing with a 21 as an upgrade. Does a better job and no damage to the lawn

How does that work out? Do you try a percentage more compared to using a ZT?

willshome
10-21-2012, 04:32 PM
How does that work out? Do you try a percentage more compared to using a ZT?

Two times as much because it takes 3 times longer
My basic mow I pick what mower will work best/fastest

brian'slawncare
10-21-2012, 06:30 PM
the reason the cut looks so much nicer with a 21" mower, is because you are going a hell of a lot slower. You'll notice a big difference when you walk behind your walk-behind at "walking pace", rather than standing on it, going a little faster than "walking pace"

hansenslawncare
10-21-2012, 06:31 PM
Two times as much because it takes 3 times longer
My basic mow I pick what mower will work best/fastest

Two times as much...that's a good idea there. How long have you been pricing it like that and how do customers like that?

willshome
10-21-2012, 07:22 PM
the reason the cut looks so much nicer with a 21" mower, is because you are going a hell of a lot slower. You'll notice a big difference when you walk behind your walk-behind at "walking pace", rather than standing on it, going a little faster than "walking pace"

Plus
z-turns compact soil
Rutting a lawn (even with changing directions)
turfing when turning (once and awhile)

Two times as much...that's a good idea there. How long have you been pricing it like that and how do customers like that?
most like the z-turn mow but the few the want the "best" need to know that takes time and time is money

hansenslawncare
10-21-2012, 07:32 PM
Plus
z-turns compact soil
Rutting a lawn (even with changing directions)
turfing when turning (once and awhile)


most like the z-turn mow but the few the want the "best" need to know that takes time and time is money

Yeah you have some good points there.

So going back to TJ Justice...would you structure a business like he did, if you weren't in the field mowing with 21", or even a 30" like a timemaster or the new Toro commercial 30" Turfmaster? If you had a large volume, would you use these smaller mowers because of the easy transition for new employees, hardly any training? Not to mention the maintenance on these are much less and easier to replace....thoughts?

Steve
10-23-2012, 12:40 AM
I do remember him. A lot of entrepreneurs on the forum try a lot of different angles to see if something will work better over another. Did you do a search to see if he is still in business or if he has a website?

That would be helpful in figuring out if the niche was worthwhile or not.

Also, which thread was it you were reading so we can all read it?

hansenslawncare
10-24-2012, 05:42 PM
I do remember him. A lot of entrepreneurs on the forum try a lot of different angles to see if something will work better over another. Did you do a search to see if he is still in business or if he has a website?

That would be helpful in figuring out if the niche was worthwhile or not.

Also, which thread was it you were reading so we can all read it?

Yeah from the looks of his website he's still mowing. Just Mowing.

dpld
10-24-2012, 07:29 PM
First off theres no snow in TX. So he can get away with a fleet of 2wd 4 cyl trucks. Saving a bundle on trucks, repairs, and gas.

Second he doesnt do lots over 16k. You have to live in a populated city with lots of small yards. This also allows him not to use trailers and big mowers.

Third they bill with auto payments at the beginning of the month. No need to chase payments or people owing money.

Fourth theres a answering service so theres no missed calls.


i guess the bottom line is what ever works for him is the best route he can take with his business and if he is happy and making money, that is all that matters.

as far as saving money goes, i think that is open to discussion because with liabillity insurance, commercial auto and workers comp goes having smaller equipment is not gonna change those costs as well as have smaller equipment with a large scale of work means more employees.

with more employees the chance for mishaps rise and small trucks break as easily as the big ones do and they also cost money to fix.

as i said it depends on the lot size but cutting 1/3 of a acre or larger with 21 inch mowers seems a little extreme and using smaller mowers does not automaticly mean it is better for the lawn.
even though grass is grown and used on athletic feilds and lawns for people to walk and play on it really does not naturally like to be walked on too much and frequent foot traffic can lead to the demise of a lawn.

i myself personally think the extra lines and smaller stripes in the lawn look like crap but at the same time it all depends on the type of customer you have and what works best for your individual business.

i know plenty of guys that have built up big businesses but still only buy walk behinds and basic equipment because of two reasons,
1. they are not doing the work so they could care less if their cheapness makes it hard on anyone so as long as it is not them using it.

2. unless you babysit your guys all day or happen to have some guys you can trust it is a little hard to give someone a 13k mower and let them go to town and honestly expect them to take care and caution with it.

i find it hard to let my gear go down the road without me in it or supervising it.
i mean my trailer cost me 12 k and there is a easy 80 k sitting inside it and then the 4 door dump truck pulling it is another 65k and to hell if i am handing over the keys and letting someone go get em without being under my watchfull eye.

but once again it all depends on the type of client you are servicing and me myself there would be no way and no hope in hell in getting done what i got to do in a week with a bunch of 21 inch mowers even if i had a 100 of them.

ArningLawns
11-05-2012, 08:34 AM
I like the "lean and mean" approach. Why someone would have $100k worth of stuff on one rig boggles my mind. I'd rather have multiple economic trucks with crew leaders I can trust doing hundreds or thousands of lawns a week while I sit on the beach in Costa Rica than be tied to my stuff, because I'm afraid something's going to happen to it.

LawnBoy0311
11-05-2012, 11:24 AM
I like the "lean and mean" approach. Why someone would have $100k worth of stuff on one rig boggles my mind. I'd rather have multiple economic trucks with crew leaders I can trust doing hundreds or thousands of lawns a week while I sit on the beach in Costa Rica than be tied to my stuff, because I'm afraid something's going to happen to it.

I talked to another LCO, he used a mini van with 2 push mowers in the back. He had 2 workers too. He didn't work, he only drove. His prices were high, but he was doing city yards. He was saying years ago he had a truck, but sold it. He still has the walk behinds, but doesn't use them. He says life has never been easier since he stopped that. The gas on his van is great, and the push mower maint. has been easier to handle. Sounds like he had a good system going.

I've always thought about doing a spin off of that. Around me, townhouses are going up like crazy. This area is growing fast, so townhouses can pack more people in. My idea would be to buy an old Ford Ranger, push mower, and used trimmer. Also a hand held blower. 1 operator can hit all the townhouses. The profits on mowing these are large, they take less time, and can get more done. For example, I have 2 right now, side by side. No front yards. It takes me and my helper 7 minutes to do both. We charge $45 for the both of them. The only problem I see with that is my prices can't compete with a lowballer. Lowballers can't handle larger properties, where as I can.

hansenslawncare
11-08-2012, 09:03 PM
I talked to another LCO, he used a mini van with 2 push mowers in the back. He had 2 workers too. He didn't work, he only drove. His prices were high, but he was doing city yards. He was saying years ago he had a truck, but sold it. He still has the walk behinds, but doesn't use them. He says life has never been easier since he stopped that. The gas on his van is great, and the push mower maint. has been easier to handle. Sounds like he had a good system going.

I've always thought about doing a spin off of that. Around me, townhouses are going up like crazy. This area is growing fast, so townhouses can pack more people in. My idea would be to buy an old Ford Ranger, push mower, and used trimmer. Also a hand held blower. 1 operator can hit all the townhouses. The profits on mowing these are large, they take less time, and can get more done. For example, I have 2 right now, side by side. No front yards. It takes me and my helper 7 minutes to do both. We charge $45 for the both of them. The only problem I see with that is my prices can't compete with a lowballer. Lowballers can't handle larger properties, where as I can.


You said you were thinking about doing a spin off of this...what's stopping you from trying it?

LawnBoy0311
02-08-2013, 11:01 AM
You said you were thinking about doing a spin off of this...what's stopping you from trying it?

I know its an old thread, but i wanted to pick it back up. The reason I havent done it yet is because I'm moving in 2013. My wife and I lived in NC for a little while, then I was deployed to Iraq. After I got home, we moved to where we are now to be with her family. We just bought some land in NC and plan to build on it. It's 7 acres, so some of it will be used to house equipment and trucks.

I'm in the process now of getting a good attack plan going for down there. Part of the plan is to try and see what the best operation would be.

If we stayed here i'd definatly do it. Especially around me now where all the properties are the same size. Not to mention washington DC is just down the street.

LawnBoy0311
02-08-2013, 11:02 AM
Has anyone thought of or is doing the justmowit concept?

hansenslawncare
02-09-2013, 10:53 AM
I know its an old thread, but i wanted to pick it back up. The reason I havent done it yet is because I'm moving in 2013. My wife and I lived in NC for a little while, then I was deployed to Iraq. After I got home, we moved to where we are now to be with her family. We just bought some land in NC and plan to build on it. It's 7 acres, so some of it will be used to house equipment and trucks.

I'm in the process now of getting a good attack plan going for down there. Part of the plan is to try and see what the best operation would be.

If we stayed here i'd definatly do it. Especially around me now where all the properties are the same size. Not to mention washington DC is just down the street.

Thank you for your service! What branch are/were you in?

dpld
02-09-2013, 11:52 AM
I like the "lean and mean" approach. Why someone would have $100k worth of stuff on one rig boggles my mind. I'd rather have multiple economic trucks with crew leaders I can trust doing hundreds or thousands of lawns a week while I sit on the beach in Costa Rica than be tied to my stuff, because I'm afraid something's going to happen to it.



it depends on what you are doing and your return on your investment and all those multiple economic trucks and crews all add up to the same as one big crew and rig set up.

i have over 100K set up in just my trailer and it's content's not even including the truck and other equipment and the type of work we are currently doing and have been doing could not be done any other way.
all of our sites have been huge and some have as much as 20 acres of grass to be mowed weekly and the amount of leaves in the fall is so immense it would make you puke.

in the end it really don't matter what you set up cost you and the only thing that matters is what it is bringing you back in return.
if your set up cost you 10K and you are making 50 to 70K then you done good.
if your rig cost you a 100K and you are bringing in 500k then you done good.

every business and it's bottom line is different and the only thing you can go by is how you do your thing based on the market you are working in and how much money you are making.

hansenslawncare
02-09-2013, 11:56 AM
it depends on what you are doing and your return on your investment and all those multiple economic trucks and crews all add up to the same as one big crew and rig set up.

i have over 100K set up in just my trailer and it's content's not even including the truck and other equipment and the type of work we are currently doing and have been doing could not be done any other way.
all of our sites have been huge and some have as much as 20 acres of grass to be mowed weekly and the amount of leaves in the fall is so immense it would make you puke.

in the end it really don't matter what you set up cost you and the only thing that matters is what it is bringing you back in return.
if your set up cost you 10K and you are making 50 to 70K then you done good.
if your rig cost you a 100K and you are bringing in 500k then you done good.

every business and it's bottom line is different and the only thing you can go by is how you do your thing based on the market you are working in and how much money you are making.

That's really sound advice DPLD. Obviously most markets are different, and within those markets some mowing strategies work better than others.

LawnBoy0311
02-09-2013, 01:33 PM
Thank you for your service! What branch are/were you in?

Thanks! I was in the Marines. 2003-2007 Infantry. Fun times, buthappy to be out!!!!!!

LawnBoy0311
02-09-2013, 01:57 PM
I was reading A LOT about just mow it and TJ. It seems like he's pretty much figured out a really steady plan for his business.

From what I read, he cuts 36 weeks. Theres 15 routes, each route has a 3 man crew,mowing 40 lawns a day. All mowers are 21" mowers. His crew does mow, trim, edge and blow. Prices start from $23, and he charges by the square foot by looking it up with GIS or county websites-not by looking at the property. He uses H2B employees (pretty much Mexicans with work visa's), and pays them based off the square footage and I think how many they cut. Maybe a percentage?? Thats pretty much it in a nutshell, obviously theres a hell of a lot more to it though.

What I do know is you CAN NOT do this everywhere. All the properties have to be relatively the same and minimal amount of trees. He has a VERY strict guideline for his customers to follow.

I'd be curious to know if anyone has tried it and how it worked out.