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9518terry
05-14-2009, 10:57 AM
Howdy, I'm new to the lawn business and would like some advice.I live about 20 miles North of Charoltte NC. With a friend of mind we sugested that we would mow in Kannapolis NC. I'm embarrassed to say the amount he would mow for.$10.00 a yard.The yards are about 1/2 a acre.I think it is stupid for the price:mad:.Should I start my own business or just give up with the idea.:(

Steve
05-14-2009, 12:43 PM
Should I start my own business or just give up with the idea.

Welcome to our forum.

It sounds like your prices are very low.

What would you ideally like to do? Do you want to be in a partnership? Do you want to run your own business? What are your thoughts on this?

SuperiorPower
05-14-2009, 11:26 PM
I agree, that sounds way low. Something to think about is that if you quote a low, low price people will think that the quality is going to be the same way.

You need to figure out how much it costs you to operate per hour. Here are somethings to figure in:

-cost of equipment (Mower, blower, trimmer, truck/trailer, edgers, etc)
-maintenance costs,
-fuel to travel from job to job,
-pay your self wages doing so,

When considering cost of equipment, I know you probably already own most of this equipment but just remember you will have to replace it eventually. Figure it as if you just bought the equipment solely for the purpose of the business. Then find out how much it will cost you to service it at least once or twice per year (based on the hours it will run). Don't forget buying gas for the mower, trimmer, etc.

lets say that hypothetically you are using a $1500 mower that you already own and use for your own yard. I would suggest that this this mower cost can be split up into 2 years. That brings you to $1000 yearly mower costs.

Lets say the maintenance costs are going to be $350 per year, hypothetically. If you figure that you are going to be running your mower 400 hours this season, lets estimate the gas at, say $350. Now you have $700 per year in floating costs for the mower. your total per year costs are now $1700.

$1700/400 hours=$4.25 per hour of machine operation. This is figuring only while the machine is operating.

Now do that with all your equipment. If the trimmer costs $250 (divided by 2 years), maintenance costs, fuel, trimmer line, etc. costs you $125 per year =$250 in yearly costs. Let's figure that your trimmer will run 50 hours per year. $250/50 hours= $5 per hour of operation.

other equipment total costs $250 (divided by 2 years), maintenance costs, fuel, trimmer line, etc. costs you $125 per year =$250 in yearly costs. Let's figure that this equipment will run 20 hours per year. $250/30 hours= $$8.34 per hour of operation.

If a 1/2 yard takes you 45 minutes to mow, and another 15 minutes to trim, and 10 minutes with the other equipment, your out of pocket costs are:

mower $3.75 + Trimmer $1.25 + other equipment $1.40 = $6.40 in out of pocket costs to mow that yard. This leaves $3.60 for your vehicle insurance, wear and tear, and gasoline. And you have not done more than cover your expenses, much less made any money for yourselves. Pay yourselves at least $10+ per hour......

Here (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7132&highlight=expenses) is another thread that talks about the cost of doing business per hour. I think it is much better explained there.

Good luck.
Eli

9518terry
05-15-2009, 02:05 PM
Welcome to our forum.

It sounds like your prices are very low.

What would you ideally like to do? Do you want to be in a partnership? Do you want to run your own business? What are your thoughts on this?

Hey Steve,
To answer your question? I prefer to run my own business! Idon't know the first thing about running a business.I've always worked with a company.

9518terry
05-15-2009, 02:07 PM
I agree, that sounds way low. Something to think about is that if you quote a low, low price people will think that the quality is going to be the same way.

You need to figure out how much it costs you to operate per hour. Here are somethings to figure in:

-cost of equipment (Mower, blower, trimmer, truck/trailer, edgers, etc)
-maintenance costs,
-fuel to travel from job to job,
-pay your self wages doing so,

When considering cost of equipment, I know you probably already own most of this equipment but just remember you will have to replace it eventually. Figure it as if you just bought the equipment solely for the purpose of the business. Then find out how much it will cost you to service it at least once or twice per year (based on the hours it will run). Don't forget buying gas for the mower, trimmer, etc.

lets say that hypothetically you are using a $1500 mower that you already own and use for your own yard. I would suggest that this this mower cost can be split up into 2 years. That brings you to $1000 yearly mower costs.

Lets say the maintenance costs are going to be $350 per year, hypothetically. If you figure that you are going to be running your mower 400 hours this season, lets estimate the gas at, say $350. Now you have $700 per year in floating costs for the mower. your total per year costs are now $1700.

$1700/400 hours=$4.25 per hour of machine operation. This is figuring only while the machine is operating.

Now do that with all your equipment. If the trimmer costs $250 (divided by 2 years), maintenance costs, fuel, trimmer line, etc. costs you $125 per year =$250 in yearly costs. Let's figure that your trimmer will run 50 hours per year. $250/50 hours= $5 per hour of operation.

other equipment total costs $250 (divided by 2 years), maintenance costs, fuel, trimmer line, etc. costs you $125 per year =$250 in yearly costs. Let's figure that this equipment will run 20 hours per year. $250/30 hours= $$8.34 per hour of operation.

If a 1/2 yard takes you 45 minutes to mow, and another 15 minutes to trim, and 10 minutes with the other equipment, your out of pocket costs are:

mower $3.75 + Trimmer $1.25 + other equipment $1.40 = $6.40 in out of pocket costs to mow that yard. This leaves $3.60 for your vehicle insurance, wear and tear, and gasoline. And you have not done more than cover your expenses, much less made any money for yourselves. Pay yourselves at least $10+ per hour......

Here (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7132&highlight=expenses) is another thread that talks about the cost of doing business per hour. I think it is much better explained there.

Good luck.
Eli
Hello SuperiorPower,
Thanks for the information.That is very helpful.

Steve
05-15-2009, 02:20 PM
To answer your question? I prefer to run my own business! Idon't know the first thing about running a business.I've always worked with a company.

Well I would say you are well advanced in what you need to know. If you wanted to get started. This is the place to ask questions.

What would you say is holding you back from doing it?

9518terry
05-15-2009, 04:19 PM
Well I would say you are well advanced in what you need to know. If you wanted to get started. This is the place to ask questions.

What would you say is holding you back from doing it?

fear of failer

Steve
05-15-2009, 04:22 PM
The only time you fail is when you give up. :)

CHEESE2009
05-15-2009, 05:35 PM
The odds are on your side. Failure, nah. A crummy start, of course!

You wont fail my friend. Take a step back & play the role of the customer.

What are you required to do? Do it.

You need customers; Advertise > How to advertise? a) Business Cards b) flyers

Just ask yourself tons of questions & answer each one that branches off from it.

9518terry
05-15-2009, 07:39 PM
The odds are on your side. Failure, nah. A crummy start, of course!

You wont fail my friend. Take a step back & play the role of the customer.

What are you required to do? Do it.

You need customers; Advertise > How to advertise? a) Business Cards b) flyers

Just ask yourself tons of questions & answer each one that branches off from it.

thanks man

9518terry
05-15-2009, 07:40 PM
The only time you fail is when you give up. :)

thanks steve