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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Hello from Troy NY.


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 07-08-2012, 10:05 AM
Godslapper Godslapper is offline
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Default Hello from Troy NY.

I have been a looker for a few years. Jumped on board today. I'm in my mid 40s started my small mowing biz in 04 and have learned a lot along the way, and have a lot more to learn.

The reason I joined is that as I was reading a few of the threads I found that most of you new guys are going through the same things I did when when I started. Alot of the advice your getting is good but some of the guys on here need a little more experience before you post. Some of what I've read is way off the mark. Sorry. For the most part I've been there and done that and at this point I think I can be helpfull on a number of different topics.

I've only got 3 to 4 guys working for me at any one time and that's the way I like it. I gross about 200k per year. The part that sucks is that it costs about 175k to make 200k. Hope we can help each other figure this thing out. BYOB. Be Your Own Boss.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2012, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Some of what I've read is way off the mark.
What kind of issues have popped up on here in the past that you feel you could shed more light on?
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:32 AM
Godslapper Godslapper is offline
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I think the biggest thing that most of the guys that are just getting started don't fully understand is the real cost of doing biz. Untill you get 2 or 3 years worth of running your small biz it's hard to figure out what the true cost per day or hour really is.

I get a chuckel when I read some of the posts concerning how much to charge to do something. Before I got a handle on my expenses I was way under charging for everything. I thought if I was busy I must be doing somthing right. I was busy but not very successfull. To some extent I still fall into that trap. It's something that you need to be on top of all the time.

I do everything by the book and I hope you do to. So I can't speak to the guys that mow under the table, but for the guys that want to be around for a while and want to grow a respectable profitable biz I'll be glad to give my .02 cents when ever I see an oppertunity to help. This is by far the best place for all of us to learn a thing or two about running a small lawn mowing biz.

I've been reading things on here for years and never felt I had anything to say that would help anyone. At some point if you do this long enough you'll be able to help out the new guys, and that's what it's all about.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:54 PM
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Before I got a handle on my expenses I was way under charging for everything. I thought if I was busy I must be doing somthing right. I was busy but not very successfull. To some extent I still fall into that trap. It's something that you need to be on top of all the time.
As you look back, do you find you have raised your prices a certain % to make them more profitable since you got started? For other new business owners looking to bid on jobs, should they increase their bid by a certain % because more than likely they will be underbidding?
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:13 PM
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I think the main reasons you underbid a job is 1. You really want the work. 2. If you're giving a price on the spot you don't want them to tell you that you're out of your mind. 3. You might be looking at a very large place and it's tuff to guess how long it will take to do the job. That gets you back to #1 & 2. First you really need to know how much you need to make each day to stay in business. Then on a big job don't mess around. Will you be there half the day or all day ? Bottom line is you need to know how much you need to make every day. Once you know that setting a price is much easyer. Plus once you know how much you need to make you can blame the price on how much it costs to run your business, and that your not just pulling a price out of thin air. Hope that helps a little.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:18 PM
Godslapper Godslapper is offline
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If you're a one man show. figure you need to make $350 a day to stay in business. That's a good place to start. So if you can only mow 6 or 7 lawns a day you better be getting about $50 bucks a lawn.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godslapper View Post
If you're a one man show. figure you need to make $350 a day to stay in business. That's a good place to start. So if you can only mow 6 or 7 lawns a day you better be getting about $50 bucks a lawn.
Based on what?? Where you live? Your operating expenses? I dare say there are a lot of people in here that arent pulling in $1750.00 in a week. Im sure there are some that do. You cant judge what everyone needs to make in diff parts of the country. You can judge labor, etc. but everyone has different circumstances. Someone with a couple mowers could work out of their home and have no overhead as far as rent, etc. You dont have to worry about paying hrly wage if your one man show. My point is, sure you can generalize and say you need to make sure you get this covered, make sure your expenses are covered, etc, but I find it hard to put a random number on what other people need to make in a day.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:21 PM
Godslapper Godslapper is offline
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It sounds like you need to get a better handle on the bottom line. I run my biz out of my house. I've got two trucks on the road with one man in each truck. I pay them a crummy $12.00 per hour. They work a 10 to 12 hour day. Last week when I checked my expenses per truck it came out to $342.68 per day per truck to break even. Pay roll is a killer. My guys only average about 10 to 12 lawns per day each. My average lawn is $51.41 . My cheapest lawn is free. My mothers. My lowest paying lawn is $45.00 and my highest is $360.00 When I first started I thought there was very little over head. What a joke. If you want your biz to grow. At some point you will need help. That's when the government thinks you're rich. It can't be much different where you are. If I was only pulling in $1750 a week I'd be broke.

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Old 07-10-2012, 07:44 PM
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Are you doing lawns as well?
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:00 PM
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I jump in where I'm needed. For the most part I go and do all the trimming jobs, small mulch jobs etc. I run the office handle the calls, good and bad. Take care of quality issues, fix and repair broken stuff. Sales. The thing I like to do best is tell my guys I have a very busy day and they're on their own so don't call me. Then when the leave the shop. I hop on my motorcycle and take off for the day. I call it wind therapy.
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