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tiedeman
11-08-2006, 09:49 PM
Do you think that a solo operation could pull in $100,000 per year? If not, then what?

Also, do you think that a solo operation could average out $100,000 year after year, or would it only be a one time shot maybe every 5 years?

Steve
11-09-2006, 01:08 PM
Quote[/b] ]Do you think that a solo operation could pull in $100,000 per year?
That seems to be the elusive goal many lcos shoot for.

Can we break that figure down to how much would have to be made each month and then how many customers would need to be serviced each month to reach that?

ritchiem
11-09-2006, 04:36 PM
Yes that can be reached. But what is your cost going to be? Not only money, but time with your family and friends. You'll never get to 100K by working Mon-Fri 8 hours a day (solo that is). It is not just a J-O-B it is a different kind of life.

You need to sit down and budget, budget, budget. I'll post one of my budget sheets from my business plan when I get home.

tiedeman
11-09-2006, 05:18 PM
I agree Rich. You would have to be working at least 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. The only area that I can think that it could be reached more easily would be in installations, compared to maintenance.

Steve
11-09-2006, 09:42 PM
For those reading this post, what would you say would be a healthy income range for a solo operator?

tiedeman
11-09-2006, 10:22 PM
Gross....I say between $40,000 to $60,000

Expenses are probably around $25,000, so take home pay would be around $15,000 to $35,000. This is just a guess on my part.
.

Steve
11-09-2006, 11:49 PM
Isn't it amazing how much work must be put in to get that?

ritchiem
11-13-2006, 06:46 AM
Hehe ya it is hard work. I get a lot of phone calls and resumes from retired guys wanting a job to keep them busy. They want to putter around in the gardens and mow a lawn or two...ha! This career is anthing but puttering, and I have to correct them. Time is money and this is a business where minutes count.

ritchiem
11-13-2006, 06:58 AM
Attached is a excel file of a sample budget sheet I use to plan my year. Some of the headings may be different for the US...such as ETH "Employer Health Tax" and such. You can fill in your own headers to split up the costs. It is a great tool and eveyone should detail budget.

Steve
11-13-2006, 03:06 PM
Oh great file! Thanks!

JimAdams
11-28-2006, 02:23 AM
Interesting thread.

During my last ten years in business (I'm retired), I worked mostly alone, running a ztr tractor on (mostly) big lawns. *I spent a lot of time experimenting, trying to maximize effiecincy and profits. *The result is an operation I have come to call "High Efficiency Lawn Mowing."

Briefly, at 1990s prices, I found no problem in grossing $400-plus per day and netting $300-plus. *In peak conditions ** hot and dry ** I did considerably better.

Since I was getting on to retirement age, I only worked about three days a week. *You have to have time to fish. *But you can exprapolate from these figures what you could do full time.

For more on High Efficiency Lawn Mowing, see my website.

Jim

Mow Right
12-10-2006, 01:25 PM
Quote[/b] (ritchiem @ Nov. 13 2006,7:58)]Attached is a excel file of a sample budget sheet I use to plan my year. Some of the headings may be different for the US...such as ETH "Employer Health Tax" and such. You can fill in your own headers to split up the costs. It is a great tool and eveyone should detail budget.
I have never seen a solo operator make less than 35-40% of gross unless he is one that has to have the newest, best equipment and brand new trucks every two years, and then he also has cheap prices.
Although I understand from your budget that you are not solo, I think you would be better off being solo with the numbers you are showing.


To anwser the original question, a healthy gross for a solo LCO would be around $150k gross, which should give him over $90k net (then he would take his salary out of that).

To anwser another question, I do know for a fact that a solo LCO with the right prices, equipment, and routes could EASILY do $100k gross in 40 hour weeks, year after year.

I am pretty much still considered solo because I do most of the work myself and just have a helper that runs the other chopper on big properties, and run the trimmer + blower on small properties. Although I am not near $100k gross YET, it is because I have other priorities that hinder the business.

My $.02

- Josh

PS: all of the numbers I am talking are for FULL TIME solo lco's, not part timers...

Mow Right
12-10-2006, 01:30 PM
Quote[/b] (JimAdams @ Nov. 28 2006,3:23)]Briefly, at 1990s prices, I found no problem in grossing $400-plus per day and netting $300-plus. In peak conditions ** hot and dry ** I did considerably better.

I would very upset if 1 employee and I grossed 400 on a full day of work, on a regular basis

Also, in your budget numbers for gross/net ratios, are you figuring your time in ($20 per hour or whatever you pay yourself), and depreciation on equpiment? My ZTR's cost me $7.50 per hour (this is including gas, matenience, repairs, and $2.50 depreciation, which is accurate of what it costs)



You stated on your website by reading your book you could make $50-70 per hour all day every day. I do not mean this to be a smart @$$, but $400 in gross in "peak mowing conditions", would mean $50 in GROSSper hour on the BEST days. Not icluding all the normal expeses, (insurance, depreciation, gas, matenience). How do you plan to make $50pr hour on a rainy day? In my humble opinion, you are off by a longshot with the numbers on your website.


- Josh

Billz
12-10-2006, 05:09 PM
I think it depends alot on your competetion, and the prices in your area. I do work in a city about 45 minutes away from here and 2 guys in 9 hours gross 1000 that day... another end of town on another day of the week the same 2 guys in 6 hours only gross 450. I havre realized that the smaller paying days are necessary, until the routes fill up in that area... so I am patient. We work about 40 man hours per week in the summer, and plow in the winter and we will gross about $100,000. I bet we only pulled $30,000 out together in earnings though...but we choose to buy equipment as needed... so we bought a trailer, blower, trimmer this year, that we will not need to buy again next year. We also paid off our Lazer this year, so next year will be more net and hopefully more pay!!

Mow Right
12-10-2006, 10:34 PM
Quote[/b] (Billz @ Dec. 10 2006,6:09)]I think it depends alot on your competetion, and the prices in your area. I do work in a city about 45 minutes away from here and 2 guys in 9 hours gross 1000 that day... another end of town on another day of the week the same 2 guys in 6 hours only gross 450. I havre realized that the smaller paying days are necessary, until the routes fill up in that area... so I am patient. We work about 40 man hours per week in the summer, and plow in the winter and we will gross about $100,000. I bet we only pulled $30,000 out together in earnings though...but we choose to buy equipment as needed... so we bought a trailer, blower, trimmer this year, that we will not need to buy again next year. We also paid off our Lazer this year, so next year will be more net and hopefully more pay!!
That is more of the numbers that I am looking at, just in smaller proportions because I don't have as many accounts. Although I am confident with how much of a tightwad I can be, IN MY AREA that I could net around $50k out of $100k. All area's are so much different though.

Billz
12-11-2006, 12:38 AM
I bet if we didn't pull alot of money out for personal stuff ( I mean business expenses) we could have cleared 50,000.

ritchiem
12-11-2006, 07:10 AM
Quote[/b] ]I have never seen a solo operator make less than 35-40% of gross unless he is one that has to have the newest, best equipment and brand new trucks every two years, and then he also has cheap prices.
Although I understand from your budget that you are not solo, I think you would be better off being solo with the numbers you are showing.

It is a 'sample' budget...I don't think I would post my actuals. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif But thanks for the tip.

Mow Right
12-11-2006, 09:06 AM
Quote[/b] (ritchiem @ Dec. 11 2006,8:10)]Quote[/b] ]I have never seen a solo operator make less than 35-40% of gross unless he is one that has to have the newest, best equipment and brand new trucks every two years, and then he also has cheap prices.
Although I understand from your budget that you are not solo, I think you would be better off being solo with the numbers you are showing.

It is a 'sample' budget...I don't think I would post my actuals. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif But thanks for the tip.
I thought of that after I posted what I said.. lol.. thats a good thing its a sample http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Mow Right
12-11-2006, 09:08 AM
Quote[/b] (Billz @ Dec. 11 2006,1:38)]I bet if we didn't pull alot of money out for personal stuff ( I mean business expenses) we could have cleared 50,000.
My whole life is business expenses, although next year when I go LLC or Inc. I think that I am undecided how much I will write off. If I wrote everything off (renting the shed to the business at $1000 per month) and stuff like that, if I went to sell the business or get a business loan for something else, I wonder if I could get the same amount because my schedule C wouldn't be accurate. I just don't need that much money to live right now.

Billz
12-11-2006, 06:17 PM
That's what we do. Storage space, office space, home phone, for fax, cell phone, lots of gas, anything the accountant will let me write off, we do. If I added all that up, I would bet we cleared about 50% of gross.

Mow Right
12-12-2006, 09:55 PM
Quote[/b] (Billz @ Dec. 11 2006,7:17)]That's what we do. Storage space, office space, home phone, for fax, cell phone, lots of gas, anything the accountant will let me write off, we do. If I added all that up, I would bet we cleared about 50% of gross.
Thats the way to go... plus letting this computer that is used for "business only" set in your house, cost at least $1000 per month of rent... http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

John/Logo-Mechanix
12-14-2006, 09:50 AM
In a service type business most of what you charge and also make depends on location, you cannot charge the same prices in say Alabama as you could in Connecticut. I believe it all works out though as it is much cheaper to live in some states than others. Just as an example I have friends in Ohio and they have a beautiful home which cost them about 150,000, that same house here in NJ where I live cost about 300,000. You also have to remember, all work and no play...Well to quote an earlier post you have to have time for fishing.