Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > General Talk

General Talk If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.

Working my Arse off!


General Talk

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, post it here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Reply With Quote
  #1  
Old 06-12-2009, 06:51 AM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 8
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default Working my Arse off!

Guys, rainy season is back and the lawns are growing with a vengence again.
I've been working 9-10 hr days in the field & still can't keep up! I have 3 landscape estimates/designs waiting to be done, 2 homes to do complete trimming/pruning clean ups, & about a day & a half worth of lawns to mow, I can't belive it's already friday. I am exhausted. The phones are still ringing too with new lawn maintenence clients, I am at the point where I am pretty well booked up so I have raised my prices in the past month bacause I can't (& honestly don't want to) land ALL of these new people as customers.
It's insane. I am thankful to be busy, I must have something going right for me as they are still signing up! All I can say to the new guys is people are willing to pay a little more for quality & reliability so don't sell yourself short.

I haven't been on here much lately so I figured I drop a quick update. Business is good.
Now I am off to work. Have a good one!
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:


Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 06-12-2009, 12:58 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Chuck,

That is fantastic news!

Quote:
so I have raised my prices in the past month bacause I can't (& honestly don't want to) land ALL of these new people as customers.
Do you have any advice as to how much a lawn care business owner should raise their prices when they start filling up their schedule?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-12-2009, 04:06 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Great news, may be the time to consider adding staff, IMHO when we get to a size that we can hire people, that is when you make serious cash without working the 16 hour days.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-12-2009, 08:17 PM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 8
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Steve, I am up about 8-10% over pricing a few months ago, I do want some new customers to complete in the schedule (which I am about there) & then a few more so I can decline to renew agreements with a few PIA customers & slow payers from last year.

Picframer,
I have 2 employees now & so we run a 3 man team. Granted one of them was out 2 days this week which didn't help either. As far as employees go, in a lawn mowing operation here is what I have found....
1 man running solo is the best $$ per man hour
2 men is a good happy medium, each man hour is fairly profitable & you can move faster.
3 man teams can FLY all day long & keep that pace up for a 9-10 hour day if you rotate out the guy on the line trimmer to give them a break. Less fatigue thus a steadier pace all day long. Though, when you figure that because you got more done, you have used more fuel, miles on the trucks, & hours on the gear etc. The 3rd guy rarely (unless your day goes perfect... no mechanical delays or estimates with really talkative people..) covers much more than his labor costs in additional revenue. I am at the point where without the 3rd team member I can't keep up, but not quite ready to roll out crew #2, So That's where I am at there. If you are running BIG properties, gated communities etc. Then the story is a little different & 3 men are more profitable that way. Drive time is the supreame enemy with this configuration. You gotta keep blades on grass or the labor will eat you alive.
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #5  
Old 06-12-2009, 08:26 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I am up about 8-10% over pricing a few months ago, I do want some new customers to complete in the schedule (which I am about there) & then a few more so I can decline to renew agreements with a few PIA customers & slow payers from last year.
For the newer lawn care business owner trying to figure this out. When should they look to raise their prices? Should they do it when they start hitting x% capacity?
When it comes to non-contract customers, will you stop servicing the non-contract customers that aren't as highly profitable to make way for newer more profitable ones? Will you want the new ones to be on a contract or no?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-12-2009, 09:30 PM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 8
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Capacity is all relative, Capacity of what?
For me I am at the capacity of what 1 truck can feasibly do with up to 3 members on the team.
I blew past 1 man capacity over a 14 months ago, Hired 1 helper, then blew past one mower capacity 12 months ago, & added a 2nd machine. Then even with 2 machines.... 2 guys couldn't keep up, so we added a 3rd guy 11 months ago. Next step up is a 2nd truck, trailer, machines, & at least 2 more employees. That's a damn big step! So that is the threashold at which my prices are heading up.
This is going to vary for everyone. Nobody & I mean Nobody runs their business the same as anyone else on here. Some are more cautious, some are more aggresive at growth. Some are rpiced to land the high end clientel with quality, some are low ballers incapable of great quality due to the equipment used & lack of experiance.

As to contracts? I prefer a nice 50/50 split of contract clients to per cuts. In the summer you do more work & thus have higher expenses, It's nice to have the extra cash flow from per cut clients who spend more in the summer & less in the winter. But in the winter you need those monthly agreements to survive the slow months.
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

  #7  
Old 06-12-2009, 09:40 PM
majoe7 majoe7 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 184
Rep Power: 7
majoe7 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
Steve, I am up about 8-10% over pricing a few months ago.
Chuck,

I glad to see that you are busy on the west coast of Florida. I hear you loud and clear when you say that you can't keep up. Everybody is asking for quotes on jobs and lawn care. I had to pass some off to my good friend. I did the same and increased my prices 20 - 30 % and they still want me to service them. I am part time at this and the money is great. Staff is happy. Everyone is making money. I think that with all the rain that we had and will continue to have clients don't want to be out there maintaining their own properties. Also with these giant, mammoth mosquitoes eating us alive it really stinks.

I agree with you about the 3 man crew. Everything runs smoothly and controllable. I listen intently to Andy with all that he has going on and maybe it's time to take my company in a different direction. With us having year round nice weather we could make a ton of money.

Anyways glad to see you stopped by and said hello.

John
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:06 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
I listen intently to Andy with all that he has going on and maybe it's time to take my company in a different direction. With us having year round nice weather we could make a ton of money.
What would you ideally like to do differently?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-13-2009, 04:15 AM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 10
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
Steve, I am up about 8-10% over pricing a few months ago, I do want some new customers to complete in the schedule (which I am about there) & then a few more so I can decline to renew agreements with a few PIA customers & slow payers from last year.

Picframer,
I have 2 employees now & so we run a 3 man team. Granted one of them was out 2 days this week which didn't help either. As far as employees go, in a lawn mowing operation here is what I have found....
1 man running solo is the best $$ per man hour
2 men is a good happy medium, each man hour is fairly profitable & you can move faster.
3 man teams can FLY all day long & keep that pace up for a 9-10 hour day if you rotate out the guy on the line trimmer to give them a break. Less fatigue thus a steadier pace all day long. Though, when you figure that because you got more done, you have used more fuel, miles on the trucks, & hours on the gear etc. The 3rd guy rarely (unless your day goes perfect... no mechanical delays or estimates with really talkative people..) covers much more than his labor costs in additional revenue. I am at the point where without the 3rd team member I can't keep up, but not quite ready to roll out crew #2, So That's where I am at there. If you are running BIG properties, gated communities etc. Then the story is a little different & 3 men are more profitable that way. Drive time is the supreame enemy with this configuration. You gotta keep blades on grass or the labor will eat you alive.
Chuck, Just thinking.....

I new you had at least one helper, that is excellent that you have two. I also recall you pull a trailer.

Would it be worth considering letting the two that work for you have your truck and trailer and let them go at the bigger lawns, hire a part timer for yourself, get a used truck (us Canadians envy you guys in Florida as vehicles & trailers are so cheap and old stuff is mint, many friends drive down and buy their vehicles there), you and the part times could do smaller lawns and gardens, this would require the least amount of capital. The upside is you have time to work the new calls and get the part timer trained up.....just a thought.

I struggle with travel time and cost, it's ok for the wood clearing and excavation as we charge a daily fuel charge, it's desperate expensive moving gear for us, gas here is now $4.45 a gallon, I suspect we average 12 mpg. Excavation jobs generally require two trips to get set up, one to bring an excavator and we almost always need a loader and other stuff, at the moment I only have two trucks that can pull this stuff due to weight, we are generally pulling in the 5 to 6 thousand pound area, never go over 45 on the highway, even though I have weight distribution systems on the trucks, Tambor stabilizers on the springs, overload springs and sway bars, at 45 if a gust of wind hits that 18 foot trailer with gear on, it can make your heart skip a beat, I really need at least one of those 2 ton diesel trucks.

The spray crews are high profit for me so travel is not so bad, lawn care is the one with the least profit as our lawns are scattered.

Most of the crews are three person, as you noted allows longer hours per day, some of this work as you know is desperate hard, especially spreading top soil and laying sod. My lawn crews are two person, for the trimmers I bought the body harness from Stihl, I think they are around $125.00, man they are comfortable and you can run a trimmer all day and not get tired, just something to consider.

It is great that your business is doing so well and I hope it continues to grow as I am sure it will.

Andy
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Last edited by picframer; 06-13-2009 at 04:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-13-2009, 07:41 AM
musician/lawnman's Avatar
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 8
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Andy,
I hear you as far as the 2nd truck & I had really planned to do just that this spring. But to be honest I think I have been growing boarderline too damn fast. So I decided to but big growth in neutral this season & let the bottom line catch up a bit. Growing fast is fine but you are reinvesting every dime counting on the future profits that way. So I want to sit back & use this summer to filter out a few clients, get myself better organized, get an actual employee handbook together & be ready to gear up bigger next year if I feel the timing is right.

If I remember correctly... you are relatively new to this business right? You have started many business also? I'd love to get on the phone with you one of these nights & B.S. for a bit. I find it interesting & impressive how well you seem to be doing too.
__________________
AAA QUALITY CLEAN CUT, LLC.
LAWN CARE & LANDSCAPING
Visit us here:

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Working on your Business! lawnandgardenwv General Talk 6 02-22-2008 03:42 PM
Working with a Editor pnplawn Search Engine Optimization and Website Design Discussions. 4 10-14-2007 07:27 AM
Is everything working now Steve Community Assistance 7 07-31-2007 10:17 PM
Working in hot weather S.P.Martin Lawn Care Health, Safety and Accident Issues. 10 07-19-2007 04:30 PM
Working for yourself is very different Steve General Business Discussions 0 07-05-2006 02:38 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Hydro oil
googus
Today 06:45 AM
Today 06:45 AM
by googus
0 5
Bid for large home...
lxarth
03-22-2015 11:06 AM
Today 01:08 AM
by lxarth
10 361
Dethatching attachments
jcurr33
Yesterday 08:56 PM
Yesterday 08:56 PM
by jcurr33
0 29
Billing methods
jcurr33
03-26-2015 01:33 PM
Yesterday 05:13 PM
by avetslawncare
8 222
Covering a landscape...
Dan Tanner
Yesterday 09:01 AM
Yesterday 05:06 PM
by avetslawncare
2 71
bidding a cemetery....
NPM_LLC
03-28-2015 10:56 AM
Yesterday 01:18 PM
by jrs.landscaping
5 130
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
Yesterday 12:50 PM
by SC93
3 399
35,000 Eddm
greenscaper123
03-18-2015 12:51 PM
Yesterday 12:32 PM
by SC93
19 539
Weed and Feed
robkattankate
03-19-2015 09:00 PM
Yesterday 08:42 AM
by Dan Tanner
5 489
Ferris FW35 questions
Chilehead
03-10-2015 08:31 PM
03-28-2015 03:14 PM
by Dan Tanner
5 402
First big mower decision?
SGL1
03-28-2015 08:58 AM
03-28-2015 08:58 AM
by SGL1
0 81
Employee job training...
brookline
12-15-2014 07:15 PM
03-28-2015 08:43 AM
by biglee
28 2,416
Mower vs lot size advice
jcurr33
03-25-2015 09:29 PM
03-28-2015 08:37 AM
by Dan Tanner
5 206
Finally got a warehouse
avetslawncare
03-12-2015 07:52 PM
03-28-2015 08:25 AM
by SGL1
11 547
Trepidation about...
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 07:46 PM
03-28-2015 05:35 AM
by Dan Tanner
2 184
How do you get...
ESREVER
03-25-2015 01:30 PM
03-28-2015 12:18 AM
by lxarth
7 217
I lost a long term...
Sprinkler Buddy
09-04-2011 02:24 PM
03-27-2015 11:42 PM
by lxarth
15 3,456
hoa bid need help
bigdaveha12
03-24-2015 08:29 PM
03-27-2015 11:17 PM
by lxarth
6 264
introducing myself
chris2500hd
03-24-2015 11:16 AM
03-27-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
8 243
Commercial Jobs
CurbAppeal1
03-25-2015 04:22 PM
03-27-2015 12:29 PM
by biglee
5 212
Flag or no flag
Matther777
03-24-2015 02:41 PM
03-27-2015 12:25 PM
by biglee
10 353
Office Administration...
Girlfriend
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
by Girlfriend
0 500
Is this tree beyond help?
SGL1
03-22-2015 05:35 PM
03-25-2015 08:55 PM
by SGL1
14 917
Opinions on truck wrap
Trupro
02-28-2015 03:21 PM
03-25-2015 07:54 PM
by Trupro
33 1,603
The New Wave!!!! Read...
Jamesw86
03-22-2015 08:33 PM
03-25-2015 02:50 PM
by Steve
10 332
grass in the gas tank
robkattankate
03-23-2015 04:37 PM
03-25-2015 02:36 PM
by Steve
5 214
Helping others
hansenslawncare
09-15-2011 08:50 PM
03-25-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
11 2,678
DOT Number
acrajchel
03-20-2015 05:56 PM
03-25-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
7 467
Michelin x tweel.
apmAkron
03-23-2015 04:22 PM
03-24-2015 12:40 PM
by Steve
3 151
spike aerator???
Bradcook21
03-21-2015 01:55 PM
03-24-2015 10:32 AM
by acrajchel
4 238
Hello from Maryland
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 12:44 PM
03-23-2015 07:33 PM
by michellemarvin
2 157
hello from south GA.
CCandALawnCare
03-23-2015 03:46 AM
03-23-2015 07:06 PM
by CCandALawnCare
2 142
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
03-23-2015 06:14 PM
by jethro
1,218 380,310
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 11:30 AM
03-23-2015 12:28 PM
by Steve
9 865
Should i take on this...
christw
03-17-2013 01:23 PM
03-22-2015 09:02 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
36 7,597
mower stalls when...
boog
03-19-2015 08:20 AM
03-21-2015 08:13 PM
by Wolf4dk
7 284
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
03-20-2015 10:00 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 3,881
Hello Emily Reyes from...
Webster14829
03-20-2015 11:23 AM
03-20-2015 03:36 PM
by Steve
2 194
Finally going to give it...
jcurr33
03-12-2015 08:09 PM
03-20-2015 03:31 PM
by Steve
10 578
Weed id?
SGL1
03-17-2015 08:20 PM
03-20-2015 02:37 PM
by Steve
6 296
Mobile small engine...
luckylogger
03-15-2015 02:05 PM
03-20-2015 06:17 AM
by jrs.landscaping
15 506
Brad Cook 21
SC93
03-16-2015 10:40 PM
03-19-2015 09:04 PM
by Bradcook21
4 428
honest opinion please
uppercut
02-17-2015 01:30 AM
03-18-2015 02:55 PM
by Steve
15 1,342
Repair or replace the...
lxarth
12-17-2014 04:07 PM
03-18-2015 02:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
21 2,042
new to the site
bigdaveha12
03-17-2015 09:13 PM
03-18-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
1 220
Small dovetail truck...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-04-2015 06:47 PM
03-17-2015 10:14 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
17 881
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
03-17-2015 08:15 PM
by SGL1
3 298
mulch questions
Bradcook21
03-08-2015 08:37 AM
03-17-2015 07:00 PM
by Bradcook21
23 1,025
Scag hydro w/b frame...
Just for Cuts
03-11-2015 03:32 PM
03-17-2015 06:37 PM
by lxarth
11 602
Buy new or used?
lxarth
12-26-2014 09:50 PM
03-17-2015 06:11 PM
by lxarth
14 1,749
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter blades bush contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts design ditches door hangers employee problems equipment rental estimate ferris foreman free advertising google gravely growing a lawn care business how to husqvarna introduction jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business seo lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing managing a lawn care business marketing marketing secrets mulch new business new mower per hour service pricing pto secrets to landscaping seo shell snow plowing square foot starting a lawn care business steep lawns theft toro toro grand stand tractor auger trailer trailer mate pro tree trimmer rack up sell employee web design website website design winterization wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:20 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:20 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy