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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Money/family


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 05-02-2010, 07:49 PM
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Default Money/family

Ok I got a good one for you. My sister in law called me to hire me to cut there entire property down "About 3/4 acre" She wanted a quote and I told her I would do it but there would be no charge. I cant bring myself to charge family, especially sense I have my brother to thank for my current web server. Anyway do to the economic downturn my brother lost his job and do to my encouragement started his computer business. At that time a couple months ago he was only 2 weeks from his bachelors anyhow. So I get there today and get to work. My sister in law yells at me and waves something in the air and says "I am putting this in your truck" I stop and ask what it is and she says a check. After arguing she says its just a tip, I say fine, I guess at least my gas will be covered. Later today I get back to the truck and notice its a check for $100 So now I sit here with a question. I dont want to take money from family, My brothers business is netting him about 2K per week but we all know how business can drop off. On the other hand I melted the head of my best WW on the job so I am thinking ok I will cash it and replace the head and put gas in the truck but I feel kinda guilty. Any suggestions or ideas? I thought maybe I will replace the head "Only $20" then give the difference back to them, at least that way I get my damaged equipment replaced.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:01 PM
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Well I can relate and understand your concerns. However with that said, you do need to make a profit, or when it comes to your situation at least break even. Just my thoughts, but I am new to this game,. Now with that said, If I didn't want to make a profit from family, I would still be sure to break even, as you said at least your gas is covered, and possibly your repairs.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:48 PM
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You have to eat bud, if they didn't have the money they would not have offered it to you so take it in kind.

I am fortunate in that my family is 7 hours away, at the same time I have a super close relationship with both my neighbours, they quite often see me come home late and yell to me through the woods to come over for a beer and a burger or whatever so when they need something done I charge them next to nothing, basically the fuel and we have a few beer after.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:20 PM
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I charge familyu and friends but only for material if any. When they pay for matrial, it relieves their conscience. I donate time.

I do expect food though.

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Old 05-02-2010, 10:18 PM
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I don't charge family either, but I have charged friends.

It is a business we are trying to run after all, but I would expect family to pay for extra.

For instance, I mowed and fertilized my brothers law and days before told him I would do it for free, but he would have to pay for the supplies. So, once I'm done he says "Thanks man, I owe you a beer". Um, no, you owe me $12, lol. I haven't said that, but I need to.

I would only charge for supplies. Not sure what to tell you about them already giving you money though. Just call him, tell him you don't feel right taking money.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:48 PM
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I used to not charge my dad for his lawn but his wife complained every time so I quit. They hired someone else to do it and they were disappointed with the quality of the job so they asked me to come back. I told them "mowing is cheap, complaints are expensive". Now they pay me (a lot less than the other company though) and I haven't heard a complaint since.

If you're not going to charge family get shirts printed that say "Don't criticize the free help".
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:10 AM
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Well here is an answer to your question. Put the money into improving her property. If her garden needs mulch to freshin it up, get mulch...

Other than that, take the money man!!! LOL

Family is the worst, but my attitude with them is simply, "Where the hell is my money, I want my money. You are my worst client, if I don't see my money I'm going to take your T.V & all the food in your fridge."

I don't like when people think they could just open a tab with me, only in a fantasy land would that work for lawn service.


I charge family extra, just because they ruin my day(s) whenever they call.

I had my stepfather come to a job site, just what I needed.

"I haven't seen your brother lately, what is his number?"

HEY MAN, I DON'T KNOW, where the heck did you come from? - GET GET GET!!!

It's too funny...

He'll find my truck parked outside somewhere, he probably drives around all day looking for me... Then he just walks onto the customers property as if he's Breeze crew, lmao.

Starts saying things like, "Are you going to do this...that.. it would look nice"

I say, "Hey, you paying for that or what? Go grab a shovel if you want to stick around here"

I do enjoy the surprise by family, it amazes me how they can find me - though it's seriously bad for business.

My MOTHER showed up at a job site... It went like this...

I finished a mowing job, as I was leaving I saw her vehicle... Alright, weird. Where the heck is she?

She's up having tea with one of my customers... CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Well, that's what I get for avoiding family - they hunt me down.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:59 AM
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ok alot on here say don't charge family but i am the opposite. i charge my parent's the same rate as i would any other customer. they are in the end a paying customer. i do do side jobs for them for free like gutter cleaning, pressure washing, etc. they pay for the rental. i donate my time. it depends on what the service is for.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:09 AM
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I get along great with the family. There are some I dont agree with but none that I would not be thrilled to see no matter where I am or what I am doing. Shoot when I do the property next to my parents house my father grabs his trimmer and pitches in. If not for him it would take a couple more house and be declared a loss. I have built a very successful life by myself but would never have done it without my families support albeit negative at times. I see the negative "That will never work, you are wasting your time" as moral support to work harder and prove them wrong. I am the only person in the family with no degree, no HSD however at 31 I sit financially set for life and I think my family greatly respects what I have put into life and what I now take from it. Anyway that being said I think what I will do is take the money and open and account with it. Now my brother only being in business for a little while is bound to see a downturn at some point. If this happens I will give him the money that has sat collecting interest. Maybe a good surprise and thank you for the help with my web server any all the computer related problems I have had in the past. Thanks for the help everyone.
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