Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

Tons of Questions!!


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 04-05-2012, 10:57 AM
gage2001 gage2001 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Age: 40
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 3
gage2001 is on a distinguished road
Default Tons of Questions!!

My husband is a go getter!! His love is for landscaping!! We had 5 children and 4 of them are boys ranging from 10 months to 10 yrs old. He has been doing side jobs for as long as can remember. I have been telling him that all it takes is 1 commercial jobs and the sidework that he has now and from there he will soar!! I am taking this upon myself to get him started. I plan for the year 2013 to be our year!! My goal is set for our future. He has a relative that works for a medical building and they are accepting bids. We have never truly bid something this large, so all I am working with is a proposal from another company. I also looked up some local businesses in our area for some of the services that they offer. I believe we are low balling tremendously. The way I look at it is that it's a start. The contractor bid for a weekly lawn service 175.00 I bid 150.00. He is charging for a garbage removal 15.00 I am not charging at all. On my proposal I threw in Spring and Fall cleanup n/c. replenishing mulch beds once a yr he charged 750 I charged 650. He is spraying the mulch beds weekly for a charge of 10. I as well charged 10 for mulch bed maintence weekly. Tree and shrub pruning he charged 525 I charged 475. I would like to throw into the proposal edging of walkways and planting beds that the other con tractor did not. I am not sure what to charge??? Any suggestions? That is my final part in submitting my proposal. I am limited on time if anyone can help!! ty kindly. Wish me luck.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 04-05-2012, 02:01 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 74
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 11
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I'm pretty reasonable, and I'm not going to tell you "you shouldn't undercut" but screw that, money money money baby! Go and get it!!!!

Cut out your competitor by offering them a lower price. You guys are somewhat new, and yes, this is the way we all begin.

but...

Take photos of your current work, and create a portfolio to submit along with your bid. It might give you an advantage.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-05-2012, 05:51 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Cutting prices to get work is in my 35 years of experience why thousands of companies small and large go under every year.

The entire problem with this industry is pretty much summed up in your post, I am in no way picking on you, do you have any idea what your costs are to do the work in question?

Best
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:07 PM
Upscale2 Upscale2 is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 126
Rep Power: 9
Upscale2
Default

That about sums it up. You're lowballing just to get the work, without knowing your costs, overhead etc.

Bid it like you don't need it.

Before you know it, you'll be out of business and the original guy doing the work will be back taking care of that property.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:13 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 74
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 11
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

We do things a lot differently here.

I forgot to mention, I do business in hell. Things may be different for you.

If this property was in my area for example, I would have to charge the same amount, or a little under. Making sure I can afford to do the work while making a hefty profit. The standard price in my area is so low, that there is no possible way to undercut anyone without giving yourself a headache.

My best bet in your position, would be to get the property by any means, and then raise the price accordingly over a period of time. If one were to charge the same amount as their competitor, especiallya newer company, the chances are very slim for this person to land the account.

Think of it as heroin. You get a little taste, once addicted you'll want more, but the price has gone up! Yikes! You gotta get your fix, so you will continue to pay, or browse around for new dealers. However, the account may want to replace YOU for even cheaper later on.

If the client cares not about quality, something you are strong with, prepare yourself for a price war. Other than that, I'm sure you will do just fine!


-

I do agree that you should figure out your costs. It will help you out a lot. Also think of things you may want to purchase later down the road, this is so you aren't beating yourself up when you wonder why you can't afford a new trailer, etc.

**********

None of us can say for sure if what you charge is correct, unless we do business in your area. Prices vary across the world.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 04-05-2012 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Making a sanwhich sandwhich sammich sandwich
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-05-2012, 06:37 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 1,912
Rep Power: 0
SECTLANDSCAPING is on a distinguished road
Default

Your making a bunch of mistakes. First off its one thing to charge a few dollars less. Its another to do something for free. To make it worst you dont know the cost.

Your basing your proposal off another company. No two businesses are alike. The other contractor could be using a $14,000 mower and cutting in 45 minutes. Your husband might take 4 hours to cut it. The contractor might have a bucket loader so he couldve bid the mulch with 2 hours labor plus materials. When your husband might pay $600 for mulch and spend 8 hours spreading.

I have been doing commercial work for years and every year at least one wont pay there final month of service. Get use to being stiffed for thousands. Can you survive that?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-05-2012, 07:04 PM
gage2001 gage2001 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Age: 40
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 3
gage2001 is on a distinguished road
Default

I truly appreciate both the ups and downs of your posts. My goal is for the 2013 year and I am so glad that I am now a part of this site. Keep it coming all!!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-05-2012, 07:36 PM
CHEESE2009's Avatar
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
Dr. Scott - Ruler of the Underworld
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Switzerland, Grindelwald
Age: 74
Posts: 4,475
Rep Power: 11
CHEESE2009 is on a distinguished road
Default

Any profit is good profit, just make sure you are at least making a profit that supports your lifestyle.

Forget about your competitors, run your ship like a proud captain and blast them into oblivion. Take all you can get your hands on and never stop.

Become a filthy pirate, and rule the lands. Hardy-har-har!


It's not negative-lowballing if what you charge works for you.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 04-05-2012 at 07:40 PM. Reason: editing for reason, and raisins.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-06-2012, 02:00 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Welcome to our forum!

A couple of things I would like to point out here is bidding on such large jobs is not found money. You may think you are lowballing a company who has accurately bid a job with a % of that bid being a profit, but what if that company already low balled it? Then you come in and go even lower. YIKES! It could be a mess! It is possible to work on jobs where you lose money and that is like doing it for no pay and then when you are done, you pay the customer money for the privilege of working for them.

Why not start small with smaller yards first and then scale it up? That way, you can feel out how to bid and learn on smaller jobs where you have less to lose.

If you don't want to do that, can you break down each part of this job you are bidding on and do your best to be scientific about the bid?

for instance.

Quote:
The contractor bid for a weekly lawn service 175.00 I bid 150.00.
For how much lawn? How many sq ft?

How long will it take you to mow it? What will you be using to mow it? How much will it cost you to mow it? Will you need a new mower?

How much for gas?

Will you be insured? Does the customer require you to be insured?

That's just a start but answering it will help you move forwards.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-06-2012, 03:42 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Just to add to what Steve said:

You Need a business plan, determine what you want to do, the equipment you have or will need and for goodness sake know your costs.

If you read the struggles here on the forum it's low balling, it has almost killed the lawn mowing part unless you are very large, you have quite a few children and I assume a stay at home mom which I think is excellent, I also know it takes a fair amount of money to get by.

I mainly do excavation and landscaping but we have a niche business, I had the capital to buy equipment the small guys could not afford or get financing for and I stay under the radar of the larger companies by simply not doing the work they do.

But even in landscaping this year I see guys renting equipment with no experience and doing a terrible job, I would guess 70% of our business has been fixing other's mistakes, customers want to sue the previous companies and many do, problem is they declare bankruptcy and are back in business under another name in no time, it just baffles me.

I have a neighbour who had a very, very successful lawn care company and they were big, I know he had at least 4 wide area mowers, those rigs are thirty grad plus each, at least 6 trucks with trailers, they also offered snow plowing.

We had three winters with little to no snow, the majority of their lawn work was commercial which is put out to tender from time to time, they got low balled, he told me in April of last year they lost over 80% of their clients as they could no longer compete with the new guys on the block that have no idea what it costs to do this legally and right.

He went out of business and has since lost his home, it's a really sad story, I see almost all of his equipment is still at the dealership, some of it he had paid for over the years but the gear he had was top of the pack and around here if you get 30 cents on the dollar of the original cost you are doing good, I am speaking mowing and trailers.

Four years ago for example I bought two 18' trailer with dual 5,000 pound axles, I bought an additional one last week, brand new, same company and brand, the trailer has 42% less than four years ago. The dealer told me the bottom had dropped right out of the market and he suspected the manufacturer would be going under, tragic as these trailers are very well made, some of the best I have seen.

Best of luck but my best advise is a business plan and know your costs or as mentioned, you will be out of business in no time.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Last edited by picframer; 04-06-2012 at 03:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Questions We Have devuono311 Starting a lawn care business. 5 04-03-2010 07:59 AM
Few Questions Lynden-Jeff Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 3 01-04-2007 03:50 PM
Two Questions tiedeman Gopher Software Support Archived Question & Answers - Read Only 3 08-14-2005 05:04 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
How do you get...
ESREVER
03-25-2015 01:30 PM
Today 12:18 AM
by lxarth
7 172
Bid for large home...
lxarth
03-22-2015 11:06 AM
Yesterday 11:56 PM
by lxarth
8 278
I lost a long term...
Sprinkler Buddy
09-04-2011 02:24 PM
Yesterday 11:42 PM
by lxarth
15 3,407
Mower vs lot size advice
jcurr33
03-25-2015 09:29 PM
Yesterday 11:33 PM
by lxarth
4 144
Billing methods
jcurr33
03-26-2015 01:33 PM
Yesterday 11:27 PM
by lxarth
4 112
hoa bid need help
bigdaveha12
03-24-2015 08:29 PM
Yesterday 11:17 PM
by lxarth
6 210
Finally got a warehouse
avetslawncare
03-12-2015 07:52 PM
Yesterday 06:59 PM
by avetslawncare
10 493
Employee job training...
brookline
12-15-2014 07:15 PM
Yesterday 02:15 PM
by Steve
27 2,357
introducing myself
chris2500hd
03-24-2015 11:16 AM
Yesterday 02:02 PM
by Steve
8 210
Commercial Jobs
CurbAppeal1
03-25-2015 04:22 PM
Yesterday 12:29 PM
by biglee
5 168
Flag or no flag
Matther777
03-24-2015 02:41 PM
Yesterday 12:25 PM
by biglee
10 328
Office Administration...
Girlfriend
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
by Girlfriend
0 66
Is this tree beyond help?
SGL1
03-22-2015 05:35 PM
03-25-2015 08:55 PM
by SGL1
14 477
Opinions on truck wrap
Trupro
02-28-2015 03:21 PM
03-25-2015 07:54 PM
by Trupro
33 1,528
The New Wave!!!! Read...
Jamesw86
03-22-2015 08:33 PM
03-25-2015 02:50 PM
by Steve
10 297
grass in the gas tank
robkattankate
03-23-2015 04:37 PM
03-25-2015 02:36 PM
by Steve
5 177
Helping others
hansenslawncare
09-15-2011 08:50 PM
03-25-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
11 2,652
DOT Number
acrajchel
03-20-2015 05:56 PM
03-25-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
7 301
Michelin x tweel.
apmAkron
03-23-2015 04:22 PM
03-24-2015 12:40 PM
by Steve
3 130
Trepidation about...
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 07:46 PM
03-24-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
1 125
spike aerator???
Bradcook21
03-21-2015 01:55 PM
03-24-2015 10:32 AM
by acrajchel
4 208
Hello from Maryland
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 12:44 PM
03-23-2015 07:33 PM
by michellemarvin
2 127
hello from south GA.
CCandALawnCare
03-23-2015 03:46 AM
03-23-2015 07:06 PM
by CCandALawnCare
2 118
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
03-23-2015 06:14 PM
by jethro
1,218 380,007
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 11:30 AM
03-23-2015 12:28 PM
by Steve
9 829
35,000 Eddm
greenscaper123
03-18-2015 12:51 PM
03-23-2015 11:48 AM
by BLC7
18 463
Should i take on this...
christw
03-17-2013 01:23 PM
03-22-2015 09:02 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
36 7,555
mower stalls when...
boog
03-19-2015 08:20 AM
03-21-2015 08:13 PM
by Wolf4dk
7 259
Weed and Feed
robkattankate
03-19-2015 09:00 PM
03-21-2015 01:53 PM
by Bradcook21
4 297
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
03-20-2015 10:00 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 3,600
Hello Emily Reyes from...
Webster14829
03-20-2015 11:23 AM
03-20-2015 03:36 PM
by Steve
2 176
Finally going to give it...
jcurr33
03-12-2015 08:09 PM
03-20-2015 03:31 PM
by Steve
10 548
Weed id?
SGL1
03-17-2015 08:20 PM
03-20-2015 02:37 PM
by Steve
6 277
Mobile small engine...
luckylogger
03-15-2015 02:05 PM
03-20-2015 06:17 AM
by jrs.landscaping
15 477
Brad Cook 21
SC93
03-16-2015 10:40 PM
03-19-2015 09:04 PM
by Bradcook21
4 348
honest opinion please
uppercut
02-17-2015 01:30 AM
03-18-2015 02:55 PM
by Steve
15 1,304
Repair or replace the...
lxarth
12-17-2014 04:07 PM
03-18-2015 02:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
21 2,022
new to the site
bigdaveha12
03-17-2015 09:13 PM
03-18-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
1 202
Small dovetail truck...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-04-2015 06:47 PM
03-17-2015 10:14 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
17 855
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
03-17-2015 08:15 PM
by SGL1
3 281
mulch questions
Bradcook21
03-08-2015 08:37 AM
03-17-2015 07:00 PM
by Bradcook21
23 975
Scag hydro w/b frame...
Just for Cuts
03-11-2015 03:32 PM
03-17-2015 06:37 PM
by lxarth
11 494
Buy new or used?
lxarth
12-26-2014 09:50 PM
03-17-2015 06:11 PM
by lxarth
14 1,704
New to 2015
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 08:29 AM
03-17-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
4 287
Pulling trailer was...
SGL1
03-07-2015 07:14 PM
03-17-2015 08:11 AM
by SGL1
30 1,126
Diesel conversion?
Just for Cuts
03-02-2015 09:59 AM
03-16-2015 03:26 PM
by Just for Cuts
10 632
trimmer racks.
apmAkron
03-12-2015 09:07 AM
03-16-2015 03:17 PM
by Steve
4 354
Ferris FW35 questions
Chilehead
03-10-2015 08:31 PM
03-16-2015 03:11 PM
by Steve
4 354
new equipment
apmAkron
03-12-2015 09:12 AM
03-16-2015 03:07 PM
by Steve
7 366
When do you get the most...
CHEESE2009
09-14-2011 03:28 PM
03-16-2015 03:05 PM
by Steve
18 5,630
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger blowout bob villa bush commercial contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts demonstration design ditches door hangers employee problems estimate facebook google gravely growing a lawn care business hardscapes how to hydraulic jobs john deere quik trac landscape landscape services lawn lawn aeration lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business seo lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing managing a lawn care business marketing marketing secrets more customers business mulch new mower ordinance patio install per hour service scag v-ride scripts search engine optimization secrets to landscaping seo shreaded snow plowing sq ft starting a lawn care business steep lawns theft toro tractor auger trailer mate pro truck new used landscape up sell employee web design website won't return wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy