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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2011, 02:02 PM
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jklawncare jklawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian'slawncare View Post
I'm 13
In Middle School
Take care of 10 lawns
Mow 3-4 days a week after school.

The way I do it:

I underbid all the professionals
but heck I have waaaay less expenses.
No transportation costs
No taxes / fees
I only mow in MY neighborhood. I simply ride to each lawn with my trimmer and blower on the deck of my mower and me on the sulky. (I get a lot of looks going down the street on a lawn mower, trust me!) (yesterday 3 cops saw me riding around on it and didn't look very happy because there is nothing they can do to me)

I take on a lot more lawns in the summer because there is more time.

I have CONSIDERED hiring a neighbor to help trim and stuff but backed away when I saw how much my profit would go down

I agree with scott. Example 3 sounds best for you
Don't underbid all the professionals just to get the job. Find out your actual overhead and charge atleast that
find out what your minimum is.

sure it will be under most others because they have larger overhead but if you want it to be an actual company you need to compete with their prices or you wont last.

My overhead is lower because i have less equipment and less employees but i still charge what my competitors charge
average minimum around here is 25$ mine is 20$
but thats what i advertise..if i go to a house i charge 25$ as a base and go up from there

all the low ballers will not last more than 2-3 years in this business and their quality of work will sure match their prices..low prices..typically low quality..and you cant count on them to afford to come back
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2011, 02:50 PM
SouthallMowing SouthallMowing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jklawncare View Post
Don't underbid all the professionals just to get the job. Find out your actual overhead and charge atleast that
find out what your minimum is.

sure it will be under most others because they have larger overhead but if you want it to be an actual company you need to compete with their prices or you wont last.

My overhead is lower because i have less equipment and less employees but i still charge what my competitors charge
average minimum around here is 25$ mine is 20$
but thats what i advertise..if i go to a house i charge 25$ as a base and go up from there

all the low ballers will not last more than 2-3 years in this business and their quality of work will sure match their prices..low prices..typically low quality..and you cant count on them to afford to come back
agreed with jklawncare. Can't lowball. I lowballed a 1 time mowing just so I could get it and i regretted it. It became a ton of work cause i had to clean a ton of stuff up. I charge about $5 under the competition, because I can. I don't have too much overhead. However, it's so rainy in Ohio if i get ahead of myself, i could screw myself.
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2011, 05:03 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian'slawncare View Post
I'm 13
In Middle School
Take care of 10 lawns
Mow 3-4 days a week after school.

The way I do it:

I underbid all the professionals
but heck I have waaaay less expenses.
No transportation costs
No taxes / fees
I only mow in MY neighborhood. I simply ride to each lawn with my trimmer and blower on the deck of my mower and me on the sulky. (I get a lot of looks going down the street on a lawn mower, trust me!) (yesterday 3 cops saw me riding around on it and didn't look very happy because there is nothing they can do to me)

I take on a lot more lawns in the summer because there is more time.

I have CONSIDERED hiring a neighbor to help trim and stuff but backed away when I saw how much my profit would go down

I agree with scott. Example 3 sounds best for you


If your expenses are covered, I say go for it! It's one thing to say "don't lowball" but honestly, you could lose a few customers charging the average price. If you are making a profit and willing to do the work for it - good!




The variables I would consider:

You are 13, customers wont take you seriously. Charge what you can get away with. As long as your gas is covered you are pretty much set.

Don't worry about anything else, by the time it gets serious there will be a lot of adjustments to make along the way. Your first task is to get your license, then you can worry about setting up prices and have more control on where you can work.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2011, 06:24 PM
SouthallMowing SouthallMowing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
If your expenses are covered, I say go for it! It's one thing to say "don't lowball" but honestly, you could lose a few customers charging the average price. If you are making a profit and willing to do the work for it - good!




The variables I would consider:

You are 13, customers wont take you seriously. Charge what you can get away with. As long as your gas is covered you are pretty much set.

Don't worry about anything else, by the time it gets serious there will be a lot of adjustments to make along the way. Your first task is to get your license, then you can worry about setting up prices and have more control on where you can work.
I thought people wouldn't take me serious, being 17, but oh buddy. They do. Here's the funny thing. All winter, people were making fun of me for mowing lawns as a job. They all said "there's no money in it". I pretty much said whatever, I'll show you. These people work for minimum wage, ($7.40) and only make about $100 a week, working all the time after school and on weekends. I work a total of about 10 hours a week, and make $250 on average so far. Now, which is smarter? Work more hours for less pay, or work less hours for more pay. You tell me.
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2011, 02:13 PM
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Keep up the great work and keep us posted on how everything goes!
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  #16  
Old 05-04-2011, 02:52 PM
brian'slawncare brian'slawncare is offline
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it was tough getting my fist customer, since I looked so small to cut grass, but once I got one, people would see me always going over there and began to ask how much I charge. When I say $20 or $25 they immediately want me...



Quote:
all the low ballers will not last more than 2-3 years in this business and their quality of work will sure match their prices..low prices..typically low quality..and you cant count on them to afford to come back
SIMPLY NOT TRUE IN MY CASE...
that may be true in with other people although I don't just show up with a push mower, mow, and leave. This is my second year in the business and I am going so strong I have to turn people down. (to me, thats good for 13)



Quote:
You are 13, customers wont take you seriously.
I beg to differ.


Quote:
As long as your gas is covered you are pretty much set.
Really, that is my main expense. Some others would just be maintenance for equipment and new equipment. PRETTY MUCH IT.
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  #17  
Old 05-04-2011, 04:02 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Regardless if customers take you seriously or not, you still have a good chance.


A lot of what is said on this forum is a myth (watching Myth Busters).

I can do a job for free, and provide better quality than my competitors - so if I did happen receive enough income to cover my expenses, while making few bucks for myself to enjoy - I'm in the business!


You can go to a fancy restaurant and pay $200 for a meal, only to head to McDonald's minutes after. Price and quality are very separate things, and the idea that they are the YIN and YANG of each other is all in the heads of ourselves and our clients.

If I buy an apple for $1 and I sell it for $3, what happens?
1. I have $1 to buy another apple to sell
2. I have $2 for myself
3. I win

It's a slower process, but it's not broken.

The more expenses you do accumulate throughout your business will have you charging more for your work. NOT because the YIN and YANG = money and quality, but because YIN and YANG = quality and time.






Thank you for your time, keep up the good work!

Dr. Scott
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  #18  
Old 05-05-2011, 09:26 AM
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I'm gunna start selling apples.
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