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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.

Under Bid Really Bad :(


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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  #21  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:30 AM
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What do you feel is a good amount of lawns to service a week?
Thats not how my business operates
I set myself a targeted weekly income from all sources of work
My business income comes from numerous sources Lawns, Cleanups, Bin Hire, as well as Recycling both Scrap and other odds and ends furniture tools etc left behind by tenants
I also do the odd repair and maintainence on mowers and weed eaters for a small fee plus parts
I also do some graphic design of logos and business cards and now am getting into writing articles on lawn mowing and property maintainence
Just mowing lawns would bore me to death LOL
My whole business plan is based on only working 16 paid hours a week on Property Maintainence/ lawns to Break Even after that all jobs are Profit or I use the time for quotes and my other activities
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:24 AM
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I personally think that 25 US is way too low for that job. We are just starting out mind you(January was our first month of business)...but everyone I've had a quote with has signed up for annual service. So we have 5 clients total so far. I charge 40 dollars per visit for the average suburb lawn. That includes mowing, weed eating, edging, blowing. I've never had a person complain about the price once. I think you could be making a lot more money! Have you thought about bumping your price up a bit?

Also 30-40 clients a week would be great! How did you get all those clients? How long did it take? Any suggestions?
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:32 AM
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We are just starting out mind you(January was our first month of business)...but everyone I've had a quote with has signed up for annual service.
This is a fascinating topic too. We talked a little bit about this in the past. One of our forum members said he wanted to fill up his mowing schedule when he first got started and tried to get 100% of the estimates he gave. Then as he went he raised his prices until he started getting to the point where he wasn't making every estimate. When he landed a higher paying customer and his schedule was full, he would get rid of a lower paying one and this is how he began to earn more profit.

Quite fascinating!
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2009, 02:45 PM
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This is a fascinating topic too. We talked a little bit about this in the past. One of our forum members said he wanted to fill up his mowing schedule when he first got started and tried to get 100% of the estimates he gave. Then as he went he raised his prices until he started getting to the point where he wasn't making every estimate. When he landed a higher paying customer and his schedule was full, he would get rid of a lower paying one and this is how he began to earn more profit.

Quite fascinating!
Every one to their own way of doing things
Like I said Id get bored just doing Yards/Lawns what ever with my jobs 99 times out of 100 there is no pressure to complete them and if an urgent job comes up I can go do it the return and complete the other one
A word of caution to those out there be careful should your Government change the criteria for Welfare Beneficiaries or those made redundant
If when applying for Welfare they put on the application they pay $US XX.XX for getting the lawn mowed the government may let them buy one on them and say to them to drop you
This way I keep my costs to my few regular domestic customers (who have been with me since I started and always pay cash on cutting) at a reasonable rate only changing the prices as gas prices change and make any fat off the 1 offs and corporates/real estate/landlords
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2009, 03:57 PM
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If when applying for Welfare they put on the application they pay $US XX.XX for getting the lawn mowed the government may let them buy one on them and say to them to drop you
This way I keep my costs to my few regular domestic customers (who have been with me since I started and always pay cash on cutting)
Can you tell me a little more what this means? If a person is signing up for welfare and they write down in their application they pay a weekly lawn care fee, the government may have them buy a lawn mower?

How does that help the lawn care business owner?
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2009, 05:06 PM
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Okay, I don't cut grass, BUT I have under-bid jobs. Because I do sprinkler repair, and everything is underground, I've learned that without a "get out" you can find yourself in a no-pay job.

The worst one was 15 years ago. the guy had 10 non-working impact rotors. I normally charge $45 a rotor to replace each rotor, BUT from previous experience with Rainbird impacts, I assumed that they would be side mounted.

Since I had 10 'easy' rotors to replace I said "$45 a rotor and $20 for each swing joint (I knew due to the design and age of the system that the heads were hard piped)."

So $650 minus $125 for parts = about $400+ (minus overhead) for an hour for an hour and a half job. Good enough.

The guy says OK, I'm on my way to the airport, here is your check. Cool.

WRONG!!!!

Each head had a bag of concrete and rock poured around it (just under the turf) the size of a 55 gallon drum lid. I was breaking rocks like a convict for 10 hours! THEN, I had to load my truck with concrete, with my tailpipe scraping the ground, all the way to the dump!

Moral of the story? If you "flat rate" your pricing per task, include a disclaimer at the bottom stating "Standard Service".

Standard Service means whatever you want it to mean, but for example, if you add a spray head for $85, "standard service means 15 feet, not 300 feet around the retention pond!
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2009, 08:30 PM
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Moral of the story? If you "flat rate" your pricing per task, include a disclaimer at the bottom stating "Standard Service".

Standard Service means whatever you want it to mean, but for example, if you add a spray head for $85, "standard service means 15 feet, not 300 feet around the retention pond!
Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you had your Standard Service disclaimer and then had to recalculate a job once you found the project had gotten more complex? How did you go about handling that?
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2009, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by lawnsalonforyou View Post
I think the 7 multiplier is what I will use from here on out. Its hard to know exactly what or how long something like that would take, but as a general idea I think that would work. We just used the local dump to dispose of the leaf/debris bags. There was no charge. I don't know if that applies for all places, but when we pulled up the guys just asked us what was in the bags and told us which bin to put them in.

Does anyone think there should be an extra charge for the 2nd trip to pick up the bags?

There was no way we could of fit all those bags on our trailer with all our equipment.


www.lawnsalonforyou.com
yes you as a lco trying to make a profit, every trip has to count, and be in the price, also another thing alot of start ups dont think to add in the price is the cost of your bags when used, though it seems they are cheap it is still a cost to you that needs to be expensed to the job.
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2009, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Can you tell me a little more what this means? If a person is signing up for welfare and they write down in their application they pay a weekly lawn care fee, the government may have them buy a lawn mower?

How does that help the lawn care business owner?
In these tough times
It makes them aware that their customers may not be their customers forever and they should not be letting even their long time regulars get to far behind in their payments
Unless you have a good relationship with them you wont know if they are struggling financially
and have been laid off or been caught by the credit squeeze
If a domestic customer hasn't paid when the second cut is due I text them reminding them that I will be round to cut the lawn this week
If the customer is home I tactfully remind them they forgot to pay for the last cut based on their response I either cut the lawn or not
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