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$10 a Lawn and making a profit!


General Business Discussions

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  #21  
Old 05-07-2010, 07:59 AM
SuperiorPower
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I am confused as to why you would want to limit your profit so drastically....

I understand there is a point where too much profit will actually cause you to loose profit due to lose of work. But in this case, too little profit will cause you to loose hope. Don't just charge what it takes you to get by. Tomorrow your truck will break down and you will need to do a repair or your mower will blow up and you will need to replace it. Or you will need to buy a bigger mower so you can do 4 yards in an hour.

The bottom line is that your overhead is more than you are thinking it is. I don't know if you are in denial or simply oblivious to it. Like I think I mentioned before, even if you don't have the overhead, charge enough so that it will help make up for it in case you ever do have the overhead. Breeze mentioned earlier that if you want to undercut the competition who charges $20, charge $19. I think that is decent advise. My opinion would be to be the best. Then go fix those $20 yards (for like $30)......

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the guys that are charging more are having to come along and fix someone else's $10 yard job?
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  #22  
Old 05-07-2010, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorPower View Post
I am confused as to why you would want to limit your profit so drastically....

I understand there is a point where too much profit will actually cause you to loose profit due to lose of work. But in this case, too little profit will cause you to loose hope. Don't just charge what it takes you to get by. Tomorrow your truck will break down and you will need to do a repair or your mower will blow up and you will need to replace it. Or you will need to buy a bigger mower so you can do 4 yards in an hour.

The bottom line is that your overhead is more than you are thinking it is. I don't know if you are in denial or simply oblivious to it. Like I think I mentioned before, even if you don't have the overhead, charge enough so that it will help make up for it in case you ever do have the overhead. Breeze mentioned earlier that if you want to undercut the competition who charges $20, charge $19. I think that is decent advise. My opinion would be to be the best. Then go fix those $20 yards (for like $30)......

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the guys that are charging more are having to come along and fix someone else's $10 yard job?
LOL You read my mind. I always like to say "Ok thanks for your time, Here is my card. Give me a call when your lawn gets hacked" LOL
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  #23  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:53 PM
Yard Elements Yard Elements is offline
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Originally Posted by JP Landscaping View Post
ok but self employment is 7.65% additionally to the 7.65% that would be deducted from your pay if you were an employee anyway. So 1 yard out of the day's bunch would pay for that.

I still think in the right situation you can make a profit charging $15 per lawn that would take you about 30 minutes to complete. I know landscapers who charge $30 an hour and they have more overhead than would be needed.

lets say you buy a used self porpelled mower in good condition for $300. A trimmer and a blower for an additional 300. if you already have a truck, then you are set for business.

What would be your overhead?

You are already paying insurance for the truck so you don't need it.
you would have gas, maintenance (wouldn't be much for a 21'' mower, etc), advertising, and depreciation of equipment.

Overhead would be

* Rent to store your equipment

*Maintaining your truck

* Getting a trimmer and blower that will do the job for $300?

*gas

*Time



$1 dollar a minute why limit yourself
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  #24  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:16 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
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Default I agree

I agree with all of you. You are all right because you know how the business works. But if you read the first post. I talked about an employee not thinking too deeply about it would think this way.

And it is possible to make a living cutting $15 lawns but not practicle for a very long time. (I mean as an employee he was grossing $5 per yard) Unless he doesn't want to grow the business and just make somewhat more than being the employee.

as far as having to fix a lawn just because the prior guy charges less isn't always true. as a matter of fact I have a few lawns out of my route that I have subbed out to those guys charging the $20 and let me tell you this guy does a fantastic job. He has been mowing my $40 lawns, trimming, bagging, edging, and blowing off all the debri (or brooming because it looks too clean for a blower) ... and using a push mower all for $20.

I admit, after looking at the size of the lawns, I think I overpriced them. They would take about 25 minutes to finish with riding equipment. but these are in higher end neighborhoods and we offer extra services along with that price.
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  #25  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JP Landscaping View Post
I agree with all of you. You are all right because you know how the business works. But if you read the first post. I talked about an employee not thinking too deeply about it would think this way.

And it is possible to make a living cutting $15 lawns but not practicle for a very long time. (I mean as an employee he was grossing $5 per yard) Unless he doesn't want to grow the business and just make somewhat more than being the employee.

as far as having to fix a lawn just because the prior guy charges less isn't always true. as a matter of fact I have a few lawns out of my route that I have subbed out to those guys charging the $20 and let me tell you this guy does a fantastic job. He has been mowing my $40 lawns, trimming, bagging, edging, and blowing off all the debri (or brooming because it looks too clean for a blower) ... and using a push mower all for $20.

I admit, after looking at the size of the lawns, I think I overpriced them. They would take about 25 minutes to finish with riding equipment. but these are in higher end neighborhoods and we offer extra services along with that price.
I see your point. I would hope that an employee would realize there is much more to it than that and also respect their boss enough to not try to under cut their boss. But, as we all know, there are some real winners out there who think they could do better than anyone else. In the end they will drive their business into the ground because of poor management and lack of business sense.

At least that is my take on it.

Eli
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  #26  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:39 PM
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that is true. Eventually they find out the hard way.

As they say, just because you are a great landscaper or lawn guy doesn't mean you will be a great lawn care/landscaping business owner.

doing the actual work and running the business are two separate things.
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  #27  
Old 05-08-2010, 01:21 AM
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BINGO!

You hit the nail right on the head.
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  #28  
Old 05-08-2010, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JP Landscaping View Post

And it is possible to make a living cutting $15 lawns but not practicle for a very long time.
Only f you plan on living with your parents and driving dads truck. $15 per lawn in my area equates to about $30 per hour. I wont even get out of bed and turn on the Coffey pot for $30 per hours. If I have my A game on during this time of year I usually average about $160 per hour. This of course is a tinny pit smaller if I hire help. I am not sure why everyone ells went into business for themselves. I know this is stupid easy work and some may have started because, well they are stupid. Not to sound rude but they are uneducated and really cant do anything ells "I know a few of them" Others did it to be there own boss, to live a better life making better money than they were before. Shoot, I would charge $6,700 per lawn if I thought I could get away with it. Normally while bidding a lawn I will take a number, this number is the absolute most IO think I can make from that job, then I will knock off a few bucks just to look like a good guy. Every once in a blue moon depending on location for example I may cut my price in half for a neighbor or do it for free for a family member. My prices hover around the $40-$50 per lawn mark and thus far I have only lost one because of my prices.
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  #29  
Old 05-08-2010, 03:58 AM
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Ok, so let me play a little evil here......

I totally agree that you guys need to charge as much as you can and still get away with it. Many of you say you won't even show up to mow a lawn for less than $xx. But lets be fair. How do you feel about it when you take your mower to the shop and they charge you $xx for the repair, even if it is simple? That is exactly why most shops have a minimum charge of $20+. Lets be fair, and honest about this, how do you really feel about that?

Did you feel the same way about this yesterday as you do now that I have pointed this out?

I am not trying to be mean, but I think this ball needs to roll both ways. This also goes for when you go to any other business in town. I find this is a very hard one for me to bite but I try to be fair in the matter. For example, if I have to buy parts from other dealers, because I can't buy them from other sources (like certain John Deere parts) or need them TODAY and don't have them in stock, I won't shy away from paying full price (even though in a round about way it gets passed on to the customer, I am not making any profit typically on these parts). But, that is a bullet I feel like I need to bite. I don't ask for a discount because they need to make a profit too. I need them to stay in business to help me out! lol I don't want to service all the losers myself! lol
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorPower View Post
Ok, so let me play a little evil here......

I totally agree that you guys need to charge as much as you can and still get away with it. Many of you say you won't even show up to mow a lawn for less than $xx. But lets be fair. How do you feel about it when you take your mower to the shop and they charge you $xx for the repair, even if it is simple? That is exactly why most shops have a minimum charge of $20+. Lets be fair, and honest about this, how do you really feel about that?

Did you feel the same way about this yesterday as you do now that I have pointed this out?

I am not trying to be mean, but I think this ball needs to roll both ways. This also goes for when you go to any other business in town. I find this is a very hard one for me to bite but I try to be fair in the matter. For example, if I have to buy parts from other dealers, because I can't buy them from other sources (like certain John Deere parts) or need them TODAY and don't have them in stock, I won't shy away from paying full price (even though in a round about way it gets passed on to the customer, I am not making any profit typically on these parts). But, that is a bullet I feel like I need to bite. I don't ask for a discount because they need to make a profit too. I need them to stay in business to help me out! lol I don't want to service all the losers myself! lol
Lawn care is not small engine repair so its hard to compare the 2. That being said nothing has gone wrong with my tractor so I have not had to work on it myself but if I did that exactly what I would do. I am not going to pay someone to work on something I am 100% capable of doing myself. As far as the push mower if it craps out it goes in the trash and I buy a new one. You see because I mow lawns for $40-$50 I can afford to do this. If I did it for $10-$15 I would be screwed in the event of equipment failure.

You see here is my feeling. The average person can NOT work hard and fast enough to mow enough $10 lawns to make any money. In order to mow enough lawns you would need to hire help which will cost you at least $8 or so an hour plus WC, You would make no money after the insurance, not to mention gas and upkeep. No matter how you look at this situation you are just pissing in the wind plain and simple. Now if you are unemployed and need to eat then fine mow $10 lawns, do it illegally under the table and do what you have to do to eat but if you are not that hard up why Screw yourself that way? Leave that for uncle Sam to do.
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