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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.

The Next step.. Expanding help!


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 01-07-2012, 09:03 AM
Andrew's Landscaping Andrew's Landscaping is offline
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Default The Next step.. Expanding help!

i have been in business for four or five years now, im turning 18 and i want to expand i have been mainting on and off about 10-15 lawns and plowing about 25-50 accounts what i want to do this season is expand, i would like atleast 30 accounts, i have one guy that is 28 that works for me now and can get two others about his age i can pay them $15.00 an hour and there happy about it so $45.00 an hour run time just for workers, could anyone give me any advice on what to do? thank you

my lawn equipment:

- John Deere l120 48inch
-2 push mowers with baggers craftsmen
-one craftsmen push mower no bagger
-ryobi weed wacker
-craftsmen weed wacker
-craftsmen blower
-ford f150 4x4 8ft bed v8 5.4 2003
-8 ft trailer

Snow Equipment:

-craftsmen snow blower small one with rubber plade for walkways
-ariens 26 or 28 inch snowblower with light
-8ft Meyer Snow Plow
-2003 ford f150 4x4 v8 5.4
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2012, 03:57 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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No reason for you to have so many guys working for you if you only have 10-15 lawns, unless they are football fields.

If they are average sized residential properties, I take it you are making around $1000 per month for 6? hours work (alone) per week.
Income approx $41.66 per hour.

Minimum wage (I believe here) is $9.50/hour. (find out what it is in your area)

How many lawns can you get done in an hour with one person, and then with two people?

^ Figure this out, and I'll show you how your answer can help you.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-07-2012 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:38 PM
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thegroundscrew thegroundscrew is offline
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$15.00 is too much to be paying your employees. I pay $12.50/hr for each of my three employees but they have been working for me for three years. You should start them off at $10.00 or even minimum wage/hr. You can always give them raises depending on how they perform and how long they have been with you.

You also said that it will cost you $45.00/hr to operate three guys. That is false because you have to look at all the overhead. For me a paying my employee $12.50/hr comes with $3.00 of burden and $5.00 of gas/equipment use. So in reality it costs me $20.50 to run a man for 1 hour.

In your case it is going to depend on gas prices and other prices, but if you are paying $15.00/hr add about $3.00 for burden and $5.00 for gas/equipment use. So in reality for you to run one man it will cost you $23.00/hr. That means for three employees it will cost you $69.00/hr. This is really important to know and to take into consideration when you are not bidding the jobs and are charging by the hour.

You and one other guy can handle all those accounts you plan on having. There is no need for anymore employees because then your cost will just go up. Then listen to what Cheese has to say because he will show you how to properly operate your business and to eliminate all those extra, unnecesary costs.

Good luck and by the way I'm also 18 so I'm on the same boat as you.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:21 PM
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Hi Andrew,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
i have been mainting on and off about 10-15 lawns and plowing about 25-50 accounts what i want to do this season is expand, i would like atleast 30 accounts
What kind of marketing have you done so far to attract these customers? Could you scale up those marketing efforts?
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:21 PM
Andrew's Landscaping Andrew's Landscaping is offline
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so far i have flyers i have i put in mail boxes i usually just go door to door and i have different clients hand out my business cards to neighbors, what do you mean by burdon? and how many guys in a crew is needed to do say 30 average sized lawns that take about 30-45 mins each lawn with one guy, is my equipment fine to do residential do i need more different kinds? in your opinions what's the best way of marketing and getting clients?
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:09 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Yikes!

30-45 minutes per lawn is a rather long time! I will assume that these lawns are complicated and maybe you aren't being picky enough with who's allowed to hire your company. It's a mistake we've all made and must make during the beginning of running a business, but in time you will understand the importance of setting a standard for yourself.

I suppose I do have a lawn that may take me 45 minutes to complete alone, and it's nothing but obstacles and hills. I dread it.

You may also have a different technique than myself. It's always best to mow lengthwise and to never break from pattern. Ever.

The first thing you should cut with your mower, is the perimeter of the lawn. This is so that you leave yourself room to turn (180 degrees) without missing any patch of grass. I'd love to make a new video, but it's winter here. Try watching my old video, and the following form should also be used with a walk-behind mower.



-

As for your other question, of how long it should take 1 or 2 people to do 30 average sized lawns;

The average time it takes me to complete a lawn maintenance job for the average property is between 8-20 minutes, including everything but drive time and also with two people, myself and an assistant.

If you are alone, another person (1 person) will either waste a lot of time or actually triple your productivity, it's fascinating.

I hope this helped! Your advertising sounds solid.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
in your opinions what's the best way of marketing and getting clients?
I'd suggest getting referrals from current customers. Try to get the neighbors of your current customers. Reach out and meet as many people as you can. It's those personal connections that will help you land more customers.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew's Landscaping View Post
so far i have flyers i have i put in mail boxes i usually just go door to door and i have different clients hand out my business cards to neighbors, what do you mean by burdon? and how many guys in a crew is needed to do say 30 average sized lawns that take about 30-45 mins each lawn with one guy, is my equipment fine to do residential do i need more different kinds? in your opinions what's the best way of marketing and getting clients?
You cannot put flyers in mailboxes! Federal offense...yo can put them in paper boxes...We would pick a neighborhood where we know they have decent sized lawns and hammer that hood @ least 3 months in a row! Yes every month come back to the same hood , same paper boxes...good lucky A
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:02 PM
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Check out the discussion. Putting Fliers in Newspaper Box Laws?

Now it may be different in different areas but, knowing that this law exists should make you concerned about the practice of putting flyers in newspaper boxes.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:40 PM
Andrew's Landscaping Andrew's Landscaping is offline
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alright i will look into the mailbox laws, but that's one thing i have not done gone back to the same area i will have to try that when is a good time to start going out for clients for landscaping? do i need any other mowers or can i complete around 30 lawns weekly with the equipment i have if not what would you recomend for equipment? do any of you reach out to your clients montly via email? maybe sending out a news blast when your accepting new clients, saying clean ups are coming or try selling them new products to fertilize etc. so it seems with two guys working in a crew for a little above min. wage i could manage 30 accounts?
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