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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

For those who subcontract mowing....


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:00 AM
USA Lawn Care USA Lawn Care is offline
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Wandfsmall.....

After clarification from the large mowing company....80/20 seems reasonable.

#1...I've found residential customers are very loyal. A sub trying to 'steal' a client will immediately lose ALL the business I have given him. If someone is out there looking for work, being the sub can kick start a business. I know...I've done it. I don't see how it's foolish. If I give a guy 10 - $40 yards a week to mow, he's making $320/week off me. If he has half a brain, he won't try to steal $40 and lose the $320. And I don't have any employees at this time so I'm not sure where that came from.

Plus, a hard working guy looking for income to support his family......has the chance for xtra fill-in work.......seems ambitious to me.....not foolish. Do you do it forever? Nope....unless the yards are nicely priced and the sub is happy with the 80% and no hastles to go with it with billing, etc.


I did it with 25 customers of my own and 85 given to me to subcontract. It allowed me to buy another F250, another trailer, a couple mowers and quit my full time job and started me into self employment for 5 years. The rate I was taking was a little too low but it still supplied cash flow to take winters off (while plowing snow), gave me a hell of a 5 year ride with a lot of fun and experience. At those #'s....a sub has 25 - $35 yards...that's $875/wk. If he wants to do what I did.....say I give him 75 - $35 yards to cut...that's $2625 @ 80% is $2100/wk....he's now making a hair under $3000/wk. If I sub them to him at 85% ($2230/wk), he's now at $3100/wk. I believe for that, he can be self employed. Now, for every new customer he gets on his own, he can give one back and I'll find another guy to cut it. At that scenerio, 15-20% and I'm making $394-$525 week. There is no reason to stop growing and continuing the process.

That was why I was asking about a rate. Like I said, my rate was just a tad too low but was looking at maybe 80/20 or even 85/15. Back then, I would have been just a little happier with that rate based on the quantity we were mowing so my rate question was just to get a few more opinions so I could weigh my choices.

Steve,
No interest in property management......5 years of mowing 100+ a week....the lawns are where my experience is.....plus, it's a way to establish the business back to high profitability without the massive overhead.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:06 AM
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wandfsmall,

just re-read your last line about 'fool for an employee'.....now i understand what you were saying........but i disagree.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USA Lawn Care View Post
wandfsmall,

just re-read your last line about 'fool for an employee'.....now i understand what you were saying........but i disagree.
I did not intend to offend you that is just my opinion.

I left the family business for a few years working as a robotics engineer for a company that made cell phones. They had subcontracted to a few other companies in the past and they ended up starting cell phone devisions themselves. By the time they shut down all manufacturing in the us had stopped, they were not the dominating company in the cell phone market, and all of the subcontractors had cell phone devisions that were outperforming them.

Your subcontractor will figure out very soon if they are smart that they do not need you, and will approach the customer to steal your business.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:05 PM
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again, if he approaches my customer........he's lost everything. Lawn customers are extremely loyal to the great service they get from their lawn guy. I have absolutely no....and i do mean absolutely no loyalty to a cell phone company. It's a totally totally different market.

thx for your comment.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
if he approaches my customer........he's lost everything.
The thing I wonder is this. It seems it is hard enough to stop employees from taking on side jobs when you are not there to supervise them.

How will you deal with the sub-contractor taking on side jobs with the customer?


Quote:
I left the family business for a few years working as a robotics engineer for a company that made cell phones. They had subcontracted to a few other companies in the past and they ended up starting cell phone devisions themselves. By the time they shut down all manufacturing in the us had stopped, they were not the dominating company in the cell phone market, and all of the subcontractors had cell phone devisions that were outperforming them.
This is a really good insight. To understand this better can you tell us a little bit about why you think they decided to go the route of hiring subcontractors to do the work? And how do you feel they should have handle it instead?
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:45 PM
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Steve,
First, when I'm talking with a prospective subcontractor, we will go over the 'rules' of subcontracting. "Don't even think about stealing work..." because I will find out. I'm in constant contact with my clients (which is also reassuring to the client) and a phone call checking up on things will result in "oh.....your lawn guy did a nice job on my flower bed wall." Or, when I notice the new work done and ask about it.....nothing will get by me.

So....I don't think it's an issue.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:11 PM
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I would never sub out my mowing I think it is a bad idea
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
The thing I wonder is this. It seems it is hard enough to stop employees from taking on side jobs when you are not there to supervise them.

How will you deal with the sub-contractor taking on side jobs with the customer?




This is a really good insight. To understand this better can you tell us a little bit about why you think they decided to go the route of hiring subcontractors to do the work? And how do you feel they should have handle it instead?
I think they wanted what everyone else that subcontracts wants. They want to collect money and not do any work. If you do not own the tools, nor provide the labor the sub contractor does not need you much after you let them know of your clients.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:12 PM
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Isn't it the same thing as if you hire your own crew and let them do all the work for you? I would never sub out the work to another company, all they need to find out is the addresses you service after doing them once, then to put them on their mailing list and it's only a matter of time before they take them from you.
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2011, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jymie View Post
Isn't it the same thing as if you hire your own crew and let them do all the work for you? I would never sub out the work to another company, all they need to find out is the addresses you service after doing them once, then to put them on their mailing list and it's only a matter of time before they take them from you.
I don't know how it can be classified as the same thing. Hire my own crew again? Buy all the equipment again? And I don't know why everyone thinks it's so easy to just steal my customer away because they put them on a mailing list. It just doesn't work that way. I had my own business for 5 years and that was never the case. I never once heard "hey, i got this flyer from the guy who mows down the street....think i'll go with him now." And I guess I'll bring this up again. If the guy has 10 yards sub'd from me and decides that he might be able to get one of them......he's lost all 10.

I was originally looking for a percentage with my question..........I know the subbing works, I know there are honest guys out there mowing grass with reputable companies with insurance, I guess I'll drop the issue.
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