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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.

Lowballers scrubs & fools???


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 01-13-2014, 08:35 AM
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Default Lowballers scrubs & fools???

I've been reading these different forums for over a year now. I keep seeing comments about lowballers & "fools" or "scrubs" that buy a $1000 riding mower at Lowes or Home Depot & charge $30 a yard.

I also see a lot of comments from guys that have 10-20 lawns for $25-$35 each. And the startup threads say to start small, don't go into debt buying expensive professional equipment & just use what you have/can afford. And a lot of threads say the average price for a residential lawn is between $25-$45.

So WTF One guy tells you you're doing it wrong. One guy tells you you're doing it right. This really doesn't help new guys trying to learn.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:53 AM
willshome willshome is offline
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$30 for a normal size lawn is not that low but when guys think they are getting rich off $20 there is a problem. Think about your costs, then what you want to make a year. Most lawns cost me about $10 to $15 to do.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider001 View Post
I've been reading these different forums for over a year now. I keep seeing comments about lowballers & "fools" or "scrubs" that buy a $1000 riding mower at Lowes or Home Depot & charge $30 a yard.

I also see a lot of comments from guys that have 10-20 lawns for $25-$35 each. And the startup threads say to start small, don't go into debt buying expensive professional equipment & just use what you have/can afford. And a lot of threads say the average price for a residential lawn is between $25-$45.

So WTF One guy tells you you're doing it wrong. One guy tells you you're doing it right. This really doesn't help new guys trying to learn.

you have to be able to read between the lines and take it with a grain of salt.

if you want to bypass logic, which is save your money and get a job and get experience at someone else's expense. that in turn will make your transition as a business owner easier and give you a better chance of being successful then yes you are doing it wrong.

but, if you want to just jump into something blindly without any safety net and base your decision on, i like the work, i heard there is good money or i read a book that says... then yes, spend as little as you possibly can because your likelihood of failure is as high as it gets and you will incur less financial hardship.

what gets lost in this is there are a couple of factors in starting and building a successful business.

1st, you need to have knowledge in running and operating a business and the basic rules apply whether you cut grass for a living or sell ice cream and without it you are destined to fail.
if learning that was as easy as buying a book then i guess millions of people who go to college for 2 to 4 years or the people who took the time to learn the trade from the bottom up have been doing it completely wrong all these years.
i am sure steve will not like me saying that but it is the truth.

2nd, you need to know the industry you are working in. personally, if a customer can ask you a question that you can not answer about the industry or something related, you are not ready to be in business and if the customer accepts that you can not give them the answer you should kiss their feet and cherish them for being too stupid to notice because a educated consumer will eat you alive.

please don't take what i said personal because what i am saying is for your own benefit. you can buy a 1,000 dollar mower and cut lawns for 5.00, it is not going to hurt me and chances are the lack of experience will have you out of the picture in no time anyway.

we live in a i want it now society and that mindset might get you a little something now but it will cost you a whole lot more down the line because you could not wait and had to have it now.
on the flip side there are plenty here that are my age and had different careers and either got sick of it or lost their jobs and decided to make a change.
they obviously have no trade experience but they are older and more experienced in life as well as may be more familiar with how to operate a business.

out of the two most important things you need to have knowledge in when starting a business which are, trade experience and knowing how to run a business and you can only have one, you stand a better chance of success knowing how to run a business over knowing the trade.

the learning curve for basic knowledge of the trade is easier and comes quicker then the basic knowledge of running a business.

this is my 24th year in business and my 30th year in the industry and i spent the first 6 years working for a large company.
i started out as a pion that was as green as green can be and i worked my way up to branch manager. all the while i learned and i saved and when i started my business and because i did what i did in preparation of doing so is the sole reason why i have what i have today.
i know guys that have been at it just as long and started with much less experience and no money and they do OK but they can not shine my shoes and i did not go into business 24 years ago to " do OK ".

finally, let me end with i am not thumping my chest or acting as if i am holier then though. i certainly do not know it all and i learn new things every day, even after 30 years. i did not invent anything, i am no innovator and i am not the burning bush of knowledge.
all i am is some guy that was taught buy some very good people who mimicked what they did and learned from the people before him and had some success.
i can be sarcastic at times but not in a demeaning way to make me superior, just sarcastic because that is just the defect i was born with.

all you need to do to be successful is look at someone who is successful and do what they do because in 2014 you are not going to invent or change anything in this industry and too many people waste time looking for the smoking gun of success instead of just getting off your Azz and getting it done.


hope that helps and gives you the answer you were looking for.

best of luck to you.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:01 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider001 View Post
I've been reading these different forums for over a year now. I keep seeing comments about lowballers & "fools" or "scrubs" that buy a $1000 riding mower at Lowes or Home Depot & charge $30 a yard.

I also see a lot of comments from guys that have 10-20 lawns for $25-$35 each. And the startup threads say to start small, don't go into debt buying expensive professional equipment & just use what you have/can afford. And a lot of threads say the average price for a residential lawn is between $25-$45.

So WTF One guy tells you you're doing it wrong. One guy tells you you're doing it right. This really doesn't help new guys trying to learn.
This is the internet. There are some on here who want to bang their chest and tell everyone how great their equipment is. There are others who don't really tell the whole truth about their business. We've had members in the past seem to want to tell everyone how big their company is, when we all knew it was total BS.

Lowballers are on a whole other level. That's the typical guy of "flat fee $25", "will undercut any price", etc. These types last maybe a season, then are unheard from again. Heck, some only do it a few months!!!

The main thing you want to understand is cost. Know your costs. Figure out ways to cut costs too! Each of us have our own way to run our business. Each of us have thoughts that we wish we did when we started. Each of us also have goals and what direction we want to go.

Don't get so caught up on what mowers to get, etc. Come up with your niche, your own plan, and stick to it.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2014, 11:56 AM
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I agree with the guys. My average residential lawn is between $20-$50. It all depends on the area you service. If they are small lawns you may price closer to the $25-$40 range. If they are larger acre lots you may be in the $40-$70 range. I would advise upgrading equipment as you grow. If you can mow all your lawns with a push mower and make a good profit without buying expensive equipment I would do it until you either have to upgrade or can. As you grow you may also need to make your rates higher which is where alot of companies can begin to fail. I started the business with zero debt except for a loan on a mower due to credit building. My two sense is if you can run your business relatively cheaply while still being professional and make a nice profit then you are doing it right.


Thanks,
Tim Oezer
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:32 PM
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I can't tell you how many customers I lost to a lowballer. most of those customers end up coming back because the quality is not the same as what we provided them. My point is don't worry about customers that you lose to the low ballers. down the road you just might get them back. I get calls all the time from people that tell me there lawncare service stopped showing up probably because they want out of business from being a low Baller.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:03 PM
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For myself, I have to always remember that its a business. 1. I have to know my cost. 2. Know what the job entails. 3. Know what type of client I am dealing with.4. spend on what I feel conferrable with for equipment. (Know your wants and needs).

The what I call the "$25.00 club" are people doing something illegal .Ie not paying taxes, Insurance, and paying workers under the table. If they did they would have to charge at least 35% or more for just cutting. Sooner or later they will be caught or there job is so crappy that the homeowner will let them go.

Last edited by Ronnie Tomassetti; 01-13-2014 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:07 PM
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One guy tells you you're doing it wrong. One guy tells you you're doing it right. This really doesn't help new guys trying to learn.
Has all this insight helped you fine tune your future plans? What is your view on all this? What are some of the next steps you are going to take?
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
Come up with your niche, your own plan, and stick to it.
LawnBoy0311 hit it on the nose. You have to find your own niche. The goal is profit. I operate a legit mow and go operation for 2 years now. Iam sure many may consider me a so called low-baller. Look at this way, when you go to a automatic car wash, a basic car wash may be $5. The more options you want like blow dry, wax, etc, the price goes up. My target customer is the one that just want their lawn mowed initially on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This will set my initial price just below average. Most of the time you are in and out, then off to the next one. Over time your customers will want other services done that you offer. More money in your pocket. Of course you will not get rich quick this way if you are a one man army. Once you get your system down packed you can expand on it.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Billy Goat View Post
LawnBoy0311 hit it on the nose. You have to find your own niche. The goal is profit. I operate a legit mow and go operation for 2 years now. Iam sure many may consider me a so called low-baller. Look at this way, when you go to a automatic car wash, a basic car wash may be $5. The more options you want like blow dry, wax, etc, the price goes up. My target customer is the one that just want their lawn mowed initially on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This will set my initial price just below average. Most of the time you are in and out, then off to the next one. Over time your customers will want other services done that you offer. More money in your pocket. Of course you will not get rich quick this way if you are a one man army. Once you get your system down packed you can expand on it.
I could not have said it better. I make good money just mowing, I make great money on hedge trimming, pressure washing, gutter cleaning. etc. I always figured my income on just mowing. Extras are that extra, and I make good money on them. I have only 'worked' about 20 hours since Oct 1st, and plan on only 20 more hours until March 1. But still have enough money to pay the bills.
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