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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.

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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.
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  #11  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:06 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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Originally Posted by WeekendWarriorLawn View Post
6 hours? where did you get that, man? just under 3 hours on our part guy. almost 20 an hour.

you obviously dont live in our area. this area's busted when it comes to that kind of money, 20 per man per hour. ideally i reckon id like to move to your state/area, but out here, it's brutal.
2 people x's 3 hours = 6.

Some people charge next to nothing here too. They just dont last.
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  #12  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:12 PM
PineHillLawn PineHillLawn is offline
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SectLandscaping is right! Even if its more than they want to pay you still need to bid it at least at $1 per minute per person. If it took you 3 hours and there were two of you, I would have bid it for around $250-300.

I went to a bid today in a lower end area, the guy asked me to bid his yard (overgrown and outta control) plus cutting honeysuckle out of 400-500 feet of chainlink fence. I told him $800 just for the fence. He about choked. I figure Im the one taking the time, risking my equipment to either wear out faster or get stolen, yeah $800 and that was a little light if you ask me.
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:19 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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The ad? Not bad. At least it's creative and not just a line ad.

The pay? Meh, we all learn from our mistakes.
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2012, 10:52 AM
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i can't see who is honestly paying 800 dollars to have their yard work done.

i mean i know it happens, but i think you guys might be dealing with well-off people, more often than not.

if you are bidding some regular joe 800.00, and you know he's not going to pay it, why don't you just tell him you don't want the job? is it a pride/arrogance thing? to show up and tell some guy you need 800 for the job, just to see how he reacts? i guess i don't get why you would throw away work/money like that is all.



i can't throw away work by over bidding it in an area where people aren't used to hearing astronomical costs. foolish, especially when this is my only income now.


however, i am starting to think about jobs in terms of man hours now. sixty dollars for the gig would have paid us out at 10 per man hour. 55 flat put us at just under this. not exactly where i want to be in terms of wages. i do need to be able to get better bids. still, 300 would be wayy too high to bid the job.

so if it were 300, thats 100 an hour... that's 50 per man hour!


it would be nice to deal with people who think like that, but i'm not, not in Port Huron, MI. look into the city if you get bored, this place is broke.

i also think that far over bidding looks desperate. i think it tells the cx, "i cant make my own bills off of my career choice, so i need you to foot my phone & gas bill for me this month,"

yes, people WILL think like that when they send you home on an overbid, and word like that gets around just as fast as a $hitty job!

Last edited by WeekendWarriorLawn; 06-06-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:42 PM
PineHillLawn PineHillLawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeekendWarriorLawn View Post
i can't see who is honestly paying 800 dollars to have their yard work done.

i mean i know it happens, but i think you guys might be dealing with well-off people, more often than not.

if you are bidding some regular joe 800.00, and you know he's not going to pay it, why don't you just tell him you don't want the job? is it a pride/arrogance thing? to show up and tell some guy you need 800 for the job, just to see how he reacts? i guess i don't get why you would throw away work/money like that is all.



i can't throw away work by over bidding it in an area where people aren't used to hearing astronomical costs. foolish, especially when this is my only income now.


however, i am starting to think about jobs in terms of man hours now. sixty dollars for the gig would have paid us out at 10 per man hour. 55 flat put us at just under this. not exactly where i want to be in terms of wages. i do need to be able to get better bids. still, 300 would be wayy too high to bid the job.

so if it were 300, thats 100 an hour... that's 50 per man hour!


it would be nice to deal with people who think like that, but i'm not, not in Port Huron, MI. look into the city if you get bored, this place is broke.

i also think that far over bidding looks desperate. i think it tells the cx, "i cant make my own bills off of my career choice, so i need you to foot my phone & gas bill for me this month,"

yes, people WILL think like that when they send you home on an overbid, and word like that gets around just as fast as a $hitty job!
Everyone has there opinions I guess! If you figure in your gas and drive time to get to the job, you wouldn't even be making minimum wage at $55 for 3 hrs.
You have to figure in all your expences and that comes off the top. If I'm paying someone to help me clean out honeysukle out of chain link, and it takes 2 days to clear, by the time I've paid my help, my gas, equipment costs, any fees for disposal, and should I break a tool and have to replace it plus pay the company and myself if theres any left over, yeah $800 is low. Just how I operate. And this is my only form of income too I might add!!!!
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  #16  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:43 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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I don't know how long you've been doing this, but my assumption is that you just started. I worked for peanuts last year too because I didn't know any better. I have since learned that I don't have to quote what I think THEY will PAY - I quote what I want/need to be paid. This does not mean that I throw out unreasonable figures, but if you are a legitimate business, paying insurance and any other fees, you MUST charge enough to cover those expenses.

Location does have a lot to do with what you can charge, but you can still charge a fair price and get jobs even if some won't pay what you are asking.
Wait until your schedule is filled with crap accounts and you realize you aren't making enough money. At that point there are only two options - work harder and longer hours for more low-pay accounts (remember there are only so many hours in a day), or get accounts that pay more.

I still have some slots I can fill this season and I'm not bringing in what I had hoped for. That said, I'm turning down crap jobs left and right because I know that if I take them, I won't have room in my schedule for a GOOD paying job when they come calling.

You do what works for you. Just don't sell yourself short because "twenty dollars an hour" isn't really $20/hr.
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  #17  
Old 06-07-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
I don't know how long you've been doing this, but my assumption is that you just started. I worked for peanuts last year too because I didn't know any better. I have since learned that I don't have to quote what I think THEY will PAY - I quote what I want/need to be paid. This does not mean that I throw out unreasonable figures, but if you are a legitimate business, paying insurance and any other fees, you MUST charge enough to cover those expenses.

Location does have a lot to do with what you can charge, but you can still charge a fair price and get jobs even if some won't pay what you are asking.
Wait until your schedule is filled with crap accounts and you realize you aren't making enough money. At that point there are only two options - work harder and longer hours for more low-pay accounts (remember there are only so many hours in a day), or get accounts that pay more.

I still have some slots I can fill this season and I'm not bringing in what I had hoped for. That said, I'm turning down crap jobs left and right because I know that if I take them, I won't have room in my schedule for a GOOD paying job when they come calling.

You do what works for you. Just don't sell yourself short because "twenty dollars an hour" isn't really $20/hr.


i like your style, i get it, too. i as well want to be able to get to a point where i can drop crap jobs in favor of good jobs, i'm just not there yet.

this is my first time doing this on my own (previously worked for other guys doing this being paid crap) , i'm just trying to build a presence right now. when i saw the job i wanted to tell her 125 or so, then i knew she would have just told us to leave. i ran 60 to 55 in my head and gave her the 55 quote.

she's stuck up anyhow, i wont be hearing from those folks again, i know it. my area is littered with guys willing to do anything for a case of beer, so being a new-jack out here it's hard to find people willing to pay good money for GOOD real work.



@PineHill, yes, i'm sure 800 is a very fair deal for all the removal of honeysuckle, and yes, there isn't a problem with asking that; afterall we doo need to be paid fair wages, but would that quote have been anything you could have told the cx over the phone though, in order to save yourself the time of going out there just to be shot down? that ****s hard work, harder than hell, i know, but to tell some guy out there who you know isn't going to pay it that you want 800 for the job - just seems like hubris to me.

i understand you are professional, and you want to earn a professional wage for professional work, i just.. cant see going to a guys house and telling him 800.

of course, i haven't been as far down the path as you, i'm sure, and eventually I will see those places myself though, and then im sure i will understand more. even now in retrospect i wish i could have gotten more for the job here we started talking about, but i knew she wouldnt bite, but after loading up the gear, i felt i had to get something out of her.
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  #18  
Old 06-07-2012, 10:17 PM
PineHillLawn PineHillLawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeekendWarriorLawn View Post
i like your style, i get it, too. i as well want to be able to get to a point where i can drop crap jobs in favor of good jobs, i'm just not there yet.

this is my first time doing this on my own (previously worked for other guys doing this being paid crap) , i'm just trying to build a presence right now. when i saw the job i wanted to tell her 125 or so, then i knew she would have just told us to leave. i ran 60 to 55 in my head and gave her the 55 quote.

she's stuck up anyhow, i wont be hearing from those folks again, i know it. my area is littered with guys willing to do anything for a case of beer, so being a new-jack out here it's hard to find people willing to pay good money for GOOD real work.



@PineHill, yes, i'm sure 800 is a very fair deal for all the removal of honeysuckle, and yes, there isn't a problem with asking that; afterall we doo need to be paid fair wages, but would that quote have been anything you could have told the cx over the phone though, in order to save yourself the time of going out there just to be shot down? that ****s hard work, harder than hell, i know, but to tell some guy out there who you know isn't going to pay it that you want 800 for the job - just seems like hubris to me.

i understand you are professional, and you want to earn a professional wage for professional work, i just.. cant see going to a guys house and telling him 800.

of course, i haven't been as far down the path as you, i'm sure, and eventually I will see those places myself though, and then im sure i will understand more. even now in retrospect i wish i could have gotten more for the job here we started talking about, but i knew she wouldnt bite, but after loading up the gear, i felt i had to get something out of her.
I honestly wasn't sure what he wanted till I got there. If you talk to people on the phone they'll tell you it's just a little brush next to the fence and if you bid it over the phone you can get screwed. I would rather take the time to drive 10 miles to bid on what I can see.
I figure up in my head how much work will be involved and go from there. You have to make money to do this and even if I don't get a job I bid or estimate, I still would rather phsyically go to it and see with my own eyes. Theres no way in hell you can bid something over the phone, and not get the shaft one way or another. So yeah, I'll take the time to go and bid a job even if its not one I want. I think that even if you don't want a job due to location or some other aspect, you should always show up for the estimate if you told the customer you would. I have gone to several lawns where the customer said the other guy I called, never showed up. That just looks bad on your part to drive by the place and see it's not one you want, then drive off without even talking to the customer of leaving an estimate. If you dont want it, bid it high at least you look like your trying, and if they say yes you make a little more than you normally would, which will "help" offset the nerve-racking feeling you get with leaving equipment in a rougher area. Just how I operate and what I think is right. To each his own!!!!
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  #19  
Old 06-08-2012, 01:22 AM
jandrbusiness jandrbusiness is offline
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Cool What I am learning about the mowing business.

What I am finding out about this business is that your sucess comes in phases,don't get me wrong I every client is important in building the business.

First when you are just starting out and are need clients you will mow yards for $20.00 and acre (just an example) and you will have several clients that you are working really hard for little money.

Then as your business grows you will get clients that will pay you what you are worth and you will phaise out the $20/acre clients because they will say that they can not afford to pay your new prices or that they can not afford to pay you for this service anymore.

this is what is happening to me in my expierance in the mowing business

Great job Chris on the yard it realy looks great.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:55 AM
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wknd warrior there were two of you there for 3 hrs thats about $10 an hr per person after gas, wear and tear on equipment, string etc etc.... they got the best of you man. not hear to point fingers or call anyone out just to help I use to do cheap work like this and always ended up felling disatisfied at the end of the day. Make sure the want for new customers doesnt cloud the ultimate goal making a good living.
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