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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #51  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:02 PM
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I'm certain I have said this somewhere on this forum before: "You gotta be a hustler"...You need to convince yourself you can sell water to a well...
  • Sell yourself not your machine, your truck, etc.
  • What are you worth, really per hour? $50, $60? Once you know, you will be able to COMPARE your mowing times from other jobs you actually have done or do.

Let's say your work ethic is worth $50 per hour. Lawn mowing with all the extras(trimming & blowing)takes you a 1/2 hour....Ya think $25?(too low ~ Joe)Bump it up $5 ~ Bam ! ! $30

Now get 10 of those $30 jobs, you are in business. I personally think you are a hard worker that is lacking the confidence to sell YOURSELF
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  #52  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:26 PM
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I honestly think you hit the nail on the head with that last line. I have hired people in the past for odd jobs and I would honestly say that I would pay $100 per hour for a good honest worker so I guess the question is, how does one determined how much they are worth lol. Whats to stop me from saying I am worth $500 per hour other than the fact that no one would hire me lol.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ringahding1 View Post
I'm certain I have said this somewhere on this forum before: "You gotta be a hustler"...You need to convince yourself you can sell water to a well...
  • Sell yourself not your machine, your truck, etc.
  • What are you worth, really per hour? $50, $60? Once you know, you will be able to COMPARE your mowing times from other jobs you actually have done or do.

Let's say your work ethic is worth $50 per hour. Lawn mowing with all the extras(trimming & blowing)takes you a 1/2 hour....Ya think $25?(too low ~ Joe)Bump it up $5 ~ Bam ! ! $30

Now get 10 of those $30 jobs, you are in business. I personally think you are a hard worker that is lacking the confidence to sell YOURSELF
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  #53  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
Do you find such unreliability a trend in this industry? I have found when giving quotes the most common complaint I hear is "They just stopped showing up"
To many part timers with another job. They cant pick up the phone at the other job and have to work and quote on there day off. They end up giving up or taking work they cant handle and working for gas money.
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  #54  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
I honestly think you hit the nail on the head with that last line. I have hired people in the past for odd jobs
If you are truly going to start over ~
  • Do not hire anybody until the workload becomes completely overwhelming!
  • Do Not quit your full time until the steady income has arrived
  • Your Hourly Rate ~ Let's be realistic

Just recently I posted about the new skid steer I purchased. If you read it you will note that is was a decision I have been battling with for the past 3 years.

Why did I finally break down and get it, you ask? MORE jobs, simple! The snow account contracts were getting signed, and I was actually having more jobs than equipment....this = overwhelming!

Normally instinct should take over. Purchase = a needed JUSTIFICATION.
I don't know 13 commercial accounts, up from 6 last year...JUSTIFIED!

Let's be honest, I have been in business for 10 years and have a steady income that has given me this option. This option would have never presented itself if I did not put in the hard work.

Dude(that is right, I said Dude...42 year old kid)My wife is an over-educated woman with countless degrees in Business, Accounting & a PHD in Education & even she looks at me sideways in amazement that we are living off of this business.

Mowing lawns for a living? Who wouldn't kinda shake their head?
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  #55  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:52 AM
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Thank you to everyone, you have all been a great help.
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  #56  
Old 11-18-2012, 01:19 AM
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The way you set your rate has nothing to do with what the other guy is charging. You figure out what it takes to run your business and "sell" that to the customer.

figure your costs on a yearly basis then break it down to monthly and then hourly, then look at the job an decide how long, on average, its going to take you to do it the right way.

Assume you have enough accounts to keep you busy 40 hrs a week. So if you want to make $30,000 per year, and you want to buy $2,000 in equipment, and you need $2,000 for gas and repairs, $2,000 for insurance. and $2,000 for taxes, that,s $38,000 per year. (I'm using rough numbers - up to you to determine what your costs are going to be. This is the first job of a business owner!)

So divide the 38,000 by 52 weeks divide by 40 hrs/ week gives you $18.27 per hour.

So if your bidding a job and you think it will take you 30 min/ week then quote them $9.14 per week or monthly would be 9.14 X 4.3= $39.30 per month.

Make sense?

By the way, I'm talking lawn care, not weed wacking and lot clearing.
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  #57  
Old 03-01-2013, 07:26 AM
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Something I just thought of while revisiting this post, We don't have 52 serviceable weeks per year. We only have about 6 months which by your number "doubled since you divide 52 by 2" Which put's a person at $18.28 per visit per week for a total of $73.12 per client per month which for my in town residential service is not far off. Towards the end of the season I was charging $20 per week which I felt was WAY to low but that's what I was charging for $80 per month. That is only a few dollars more than your numbers but considering that there are NO lawns that need to be mowed over winter time here. This is not even considering at current prices $9.14 per week would not even pay for the gas in the truck and equipment, It might if you had 100 accounts within a small area but that is un likely, we live in a far spread county so one trip from one town to another for service would cost more than the service you perform at those prices. For larger jobs I am still getting $200 per acer and with my equipment it takes me about 4 hours to do a GOOD job which put's me at about $25 per half hour of work. That is money I can agree with, $9.14 per half hour of works puts me at $18.28 per hour to run my own business which is less than the mill is paying me per hour to work an 8 hour day and let them run their own business.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:27 AM
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Again, like you said Ken none of this includes weed eating or land clearing, just lawn care during the time of the year in our area that laws require care which is NOT all year round.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:13 AM
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In my area, I will not go any lower than $25 for any lawn, regardless of the size of it. I went through that thought of taking anyone who would call me and charge what they wanted to pay. Not anymore, those were the customers that were just looking for the lowest guy to come along. Forget about getting any additional work from those ones. I rather have $30 and up yards all day long, at least those ones you can market your other services to as they will most likely have you do other things for them like trim bushes, weed the beds and mulch installs. The cheapo will never have you do anything else. I have found that when I'm trying to sell a service to an existing customer, provide them with pictures of your before and after work, that sells bigger than you just saying you do this or that.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:16 AM
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Jymie, I was at $30 last year and will be $35 this year. I found that 90% of my problems came from lawns under $40. From nonpayment to complaining. There just not worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
That is money I can agree with, $9.14 per half hour of works puts me at $18.28 per hour to run my own business which is less than the mill is paying me per hour to work an 8 hour day and let them run their own business.
Thats what it comes down too. If youll make more money working for someone else with less stress, Then whats the point?

Working 40 hours a week to make $30k is less then what the average person makes.

Jason, if you cant get money in mowing. Find a few services that you can. Just use the lawn service to cover some expenses and get in the door. The best service is a dirty job that no one wants to do. I'm the only company in the area that does Roof Cleaning. I can name my price. No one has the experience or the know how to compete. The only landscaper that offers chimney sweeping and sealcoating. I keep looking for niche services to get into.

The majority of guys run their business the opposite way I do. I could careless about cutting grass. Its my lowest profit and most time consuming service. In 2012 I average over $200 a hour in 4 different services.
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