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XtreemGreen
06-10-2009, 01:07 PM
Sorry to be posting something that was discussed along time ago..But I agree and disagree on chucks procedure for mowing..

Here is the page from Lawn School-

Lecture Title: How many lawn care accounts can a 1 man crew maintain?
Discussion: Jerry wrote and was looking for insight into how many lawn care accounts he could possibly service as a one man show. Jerry asked “for the single person crew, how many lawn care contracts are needed to maintain a healthy income. I was thinking 40. My brother-in-law does good on 25 but he also does a lot of brush hauling and debris as well. I am only doing lawn cutting and trimming with some hedge cutting and gutter cleaning. My average is $25 per lawn cut. I currently only 10 lawns per week.

Andy: “I wouldn’t be so worried about the amount of contracts but rather the amount of income, and what you can accomplish within a week by yourself, without working too many hours.

I have 25 lawn care accounts for a monthly gross income of $4,700, and the only help I receive is on Fridays. My buddy helps me all day for $100/week. I could actually accomplish all the work myself, but the help on Fridays is very nice. Most of my accounts are larger complexes, with only a handful of residential customers.

When I first started my lawn care business, I went to every property management company and introduced myself, and started with a few on some smaller projects and worked my way up within the year to larger complexes. I would say 90% of my customers are projects where a previous lawn care service provider was terminated and I was hired in their place.

So if there’s any advice I could give out, it would be to make sure you do the little things like pull the weeds and rake the flower beds, oh yeah and keep that grass green, cause these things are what people want and expect, and matter most.”

Steve: “How close to your working capacity do you feel you are at? Are you maxed out at 100% or do you feel you still could take on more accounts?”

Andy: “I would say with the help I get on Fridays, I’m at 80% capacity. This includes taking care of a few properties close to my house on Saturdays. I work very fast and efficient and hard. I don’t skimp on any detail of the work that needs to be done, which is why I’ve been fairly successful.

It’s funny, I’ve pulled up to a house to work and see another lawn care guy at a house next door already mowing, with yards of equal size, I’m done and pulling away and this guy is still edging, with blowing down still left. I think some guys assume the longer they are there the better job their doing?? I can also see this same guy doesn’t pull the weeds in the landscaping?? Some people out there I guess are just out to make a quick buck, but I’m in it for a lifetime. Even when I can’t do the work anymore, I’ll hire someone.”

Steve: “What do you think contributes to your ability to work faster?”

Andy: “I would basically say speed, I don’t dilly-dally around like I see some of these other lawn care guys doing. I get in, get the work done, and get out. I suppose I get into a routine and get a consistent work pattern. I simply go from 1 step to the next without stopping. I guess you could say I’m great at time management.”

Chuck: “By not dilly dallying it will save you time but it’s your routine that makes the money. In my area, if you edge the lawn before you mow then you’ll have compressed moist dirt into the concrete. That takes a lot of time to clean up. Also if you line trim the grass first, you have to trim with both sides of the trimmer head but if you cut first then your only using one side. These are some time saving ideas that have allowed me to out worked up to 3 others at once.”

it may or may not take less time doing it this way..It all depends on grass type and height..

My reasons are:

Trimming after you mow, may leave long strands of grass around the border of everything...Trimming first will allow the clippings to land mostly in the path of the mower and my mulched up..The only time I would trim after mowing would be on a clean up property where the grass is overgrown.

Edging last also makes a mess around beds, sidewalks and driveways.. By edging before you mow, the suction of the mower will pickup most of the grass and dirt off these areas making less time to blow off..

Plus I like to get the harder stuff done first, so you can relax alittle on the mower.. Then all you have to do is blow off.. I even trim hedges before I mow. That way I can mulch everything up and some or no clean up is necessary.

XtreemGreen
06-10-2009, 01:11 PM
I do not know why the above is being placed twice...There is only 1 section when I try to edit it...

swstout
06-10-2009, 01:34 PM
Steve: “How close to your working capacity do you feel you are at? Are you maxed out at 100% or do you feel you still could take on more accounts?”

I have very few lawn mowing accounts. 3 residential jobs (weekly), 2 commercial jobs (weekly), and 12 foreclosed properties (bi-weekly).

I run 3 service vehicles now, one full time and 2 part time doing tilling and re-seeding, spraying (fertilizer, soil enhancements, dethatching, and insect control), pressure washing, and whatever the customer's need or want (within reason) plus the mowing jobs mentioned above.

I have one golf cource spraying mosquito control every 4 - 5 weeks and another I feel I will get next week. The spraying Nature's Magic, fertilizer,and dethatching jobs are getting more jobs from neighbors of the jobs I alredy have (the results to the lawns are amazing and almost overnight).

I'd say I am at about 60% caapacity and will be at about 100% by the end of July. I'm not really interested in getting more mowing jobs. I pretty much will only do it for existing customers if they request it and then only by contract.

With the economy the way it is right now, most people are mowing themselves. The lawn treatments are a different story. They don't have the equipment or the resources to do organic treatments and are willing to pay for it.

Steve

Steve
06-10-2009, 02:27 PM
I appreciate and welcome your view on this topic. Ultimately the goal with the lawn school is to give some sort of base knowledge. All of the knowledge is based on different view points.

As forum readers learn and want to read more, they can find this post and educate themselves further with another viewpoint.

XtreemGreen
06-10-2009, 02:30 PM
I appreciate and welcome your view on this topic. Ultimately the goal with the lawn school is to give some sort of base knowledge. All of the knowledge is based on different view points.

As forum readers learn and want to read more, they can find this post and educate themselves further with another viewpoint.

I agree.. I just couldn't resit on giving my opinion...:D

hotwired
06-11-2009, 04:36 AM
I am glad to hear someone else mention their techniques, especially regarding trimming, that allow them to outwork 3 others. My foreman and I have been working together for 16 years now (in business 21) and we observe similar situations. We can make between $50-$60 per man hour mowing and trimming. And my foreman is usually in and out by himself while our competition's two man crew is still toiling away.

I sometimes feel like I'm exagerating when I tell new contractors that the NUMBER ONE determinent of whether you make money or not mowing lawns, is often weed wacking. It can double or halve your hourly rate depending on whether you have a slow or fast wacker.

And I LOVE weed wacking first. We feel the same way - it allows the mower to chop everything up - however, I think it's important, training-wise, to make sure the person trimming has some mowing experience so he or she gets a feel for how much they have to trim.

If anyone here has already purchased my book or package, I just wanted to let you know that I've revamped it. It's re written, re organized, with twenty pages of new material. You can log back into your account at www.LawnGuru.net and re download the ebook. For those of you who haven't, check out www.lawnguru.net - here is a coupon if you want to purchase - C7815 - and I do offer a 6 month money back guarantee, so if you hate it, there's no problem! But I know you'll love it!