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 > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

Math help!


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 07-09-2009, 07:42 PM
Scottler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Math help!

Okay, forgive me. I'm actually not a dummy, but after working the day job all week, my brain is just fried! I'm trying to create an Excel spreadsheet to help me in better estimating my jobs. (I'm actually kinda just thinking aloud here, but any input would of course be appreciated!)

I'm trying to calculate my operating expenses (equipment only), so I did a quick test in the back yard. Since I'm just using my current push mower for now, I'm a little slower than a lot of folks on their riders.

I plotted off an area about .01 acres (roughly 440 sq. ft.) I was able to mow this area in exactly 2 minutes.

I then did a second test, and calculated that my mower is using approximately 1 cup of gas in 11 minutes. Since there are 16 cups in a gallon, I'm using 5.45 cups, or .34 gallons, per hour.

So continuing with this way over-thought formula, I should be able to mow 1 acre in 200 minutes, and using 1.33 gallons of gas.

Okay, with that part out of the way - if my secret hourly rate is $35/hr (and let me know if that is about on track with the rest of you guys), a relatively standard half-acre, suburban subdivision residential lot would mean I'd spend about 100 minutes mowing, use .63 gallons of gas, and bill for $58.

For those of you whose heads have not already started leaking, does this seem overpriced to you? I can't imagine paying $58 per cut on my half acre lot. I figure since I'm not calculating the footprint of any structures on the property into the acreage, $58 would cover the extra time doing the detail work.

Am I even remotely close to on track? Many apologies for my long-winded post!

Last edited by Scottler; 07-09-2009 at 07:49 PM.
Reply With Quote

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 07-09-2009, 08:05 PM
mark123's Avatar
mark123 mark123 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,402
Rep Power: 7
mark123 is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I don't use an hourly rate for mowing because the time varies due to conditions, mistakes, equipment and 1000 other things.

My price for half acre is $36. Of course upstate NY may have higher billing than downstate PA.

Last edited by mark123; 07-09-2009 at 08:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:54 PM
turfmaster's Avatar
turfmaster turfmaster is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 366
Rep Power: 7
turfmaster is on a distinguished road
Default

My goal is $1.00/minute from the time I arrive to the time I leave a job site for mowing. At the very least I like to make $45.00 to $50.00 per hour. That more than covers my costs for labor, gas , maintenance and travel time.

For me a average 1/2 acre with a fair amount of trimming would bring me $40.00 to $45.00.

Last edited by turfmaster; 07-09-2009 at 08:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:55 PM
Scottler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks, Mark - That's in the range of what I'd originally thought, but then I did the math and it seemed to say I should be charging more, and to be honest, those numbers seemed ridiculous! Thanks for the info!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-10-2009, 07:40 AM
Scottler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Randy - thanks for your tip. When I was looking at my own yard, trying to mentally estimate it, I figured between $40 and $50 for mowing and edging. Like I said, when I overthought the math and came up with $60, it just didn't seem right, so I wanted to make sure I wasn't overthinking it....as suspected, I was! I think I'm going to be looking at about $40 for a half acre and then, as Steve says, as I upgrade equipment and get faster/more efficient, I can do more lawns in a shorter time, and thus be more profitable.

Great advice as always, gang. Thanks a million!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:24 PM
jasonw's Avatar
jasonw jasonw is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,008
Rep Power: 8
jasonw is on a distinguished road
Default

I have a very hard time trying to get 35 per hour in my area. Closer is about 20 per hour. I am sure there are those out there that would pay it just not so much in my area.
__________________
White Company
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-10-2009, 04:31 PM
turfmaster's Avatar
turfmaster turfmaster is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 366
Rep Power: 7
turfmaster is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
I have a very hard time trying to get 35 per hour in my area. Closer is about 20 per hour. I am sure there are those out there that would pay it just not so much in my area.
Wow, $20.00 bucks an hour. I would either move or get out of the business.
If your legit and paying taxes, insurance and maintenance on your equipment , gas,travel time, advertising, there won't be anything left. How do you eat?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-11-2009, 01:57 AM
jasonw's Avatar
jasonw jasonw is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,008
Rep Power: 8
jasonw is on a distinguished road
Default

If you followed my other topics you would know I eat with the nearly 5K per month from other ventures that I bring home. I am at this time attempting to massage the market up here and give it more professionalism while raising the bar on the prices. I actually had one person I know today say I was a crook because I charged a customer $35 per hour. Its hard to explain but we have so many people up here that mow lawns for $5 or $10 its extremely hard to get good pay out of it. These other people however are extremely unreliable with horable work ethic and no pride in there work. I have been promoting pride in our work as of late and it seems to be paying off. Business is still coming in more and more so I am happy. Soon will be the time to start bumping up the prices little by little until we have the market share in this area at the price we are happy with. I just started a job for a real estate investor that looks very very promising as he supposedly owns a lot of houses in and around the area That must be looking good in order to sell.
__________________
White Company
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-11-2009, 07:09 AM
Scottler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Jason - I completely understand where you're coming from as far as the focus on service and client satisfaction. While I was waiting for my DBA and tax certificate from the state, I was putting together my website and an informal business plan and one of the angles I'm going to be really marketing is service. In a way, I'm "justifying" my prices by reminding people that they're not paying for a product, they're paying for a service.

If they're in the market for a product, and you can get the same product in 18 different stores, it makes sense to shop for the best price. But if you're shopping for a SERVICE, you've got to buy the best service for your money. No two services are the same.

If you're faced with the "You charge WHAT?" dilemma, explain it that way and see how it works.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-11-2009, 09:05 AM
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
Chuck
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 919
Rep Power: 0
musician/lawnman is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottler View Post

I plotted off an area about .01 acres (roughly 440 sq. ft.) I was able to mow this area in exactly 2 minutes.

I then did a second test, and calculated that my mower is using approximately 1 cup of gas in 11 minutes. Since there are 16 cups in a gallon, I'm using 5.45 cups, or .34 gallons, per hour.

So continuing with this way over-thought formula, I should be able to mow 1 acre in 200 minutes, and using 1.33 gallons of gas.

Okay, with that part out of the way - if my secret hourly rate is $35/hr (and let me know if that is about on track with the rest of you guys), a relatively standard half-acre, suburban subdivision residential lot would mean I'd spend about 100 minutes mowing, use .63 gallons of gas, and bill for $58.

For those of you whose heads have not already started leaking, does this seem overpriced to you? I can't imagine paying $58 per cut on my half acre lot. I figure since I'm not calculating the footprint of any structures on the property into the acreage, $58 would cover the extra time doing the detail work.

Am I even remotely close to on track? Many apologies for my long-winded post!
Scottler,
I understand what your trying to do here, the problem is that a 440 sq ft area as compared to a .5 acre area is going to run a little less efficient. More turning, thus down time per minute in a small area. Keeping blades on grass is the name of the game. If nothings being cut than it just don't cut it! I often double & triple check figures like this for my business. Some weeks I'll record both start & stop times for every job & calculate a clients $ Dollars per minute rate to compare to all my other clients. At the end of every day I figure up the trucks total gross for the day, $ per truck hour, & dollars per man hour (I run a 3 man crew).
We often run 20-25 & sometimes up to 30+ stops a day. So efficiency (economy of motion) is key. 2 extra minutes wasted per lawn at 25 lawns a day = 50 minutes a day x 3 men on the team is an hour and a half worth of wasted labor each day! I have strict guidlines as to who on the team does what function & when on each job. It's like a well choriographed (mispelled I am sure) dance at every property. When I worked solo as I built the business I wanted to take as few steps walking as possible at each lawn, so I learned to edge with a line trimmer as opposed to using an edger too. The trimmer was already running & in my hand! So one trim around the house with the trimmer doing trimming & all edging, & one with the blower...
Stopping to start the edger would leave down time with no blades on grass & thus no production so I decided, the hell with that step. (just to give you a couple examples). Now we pull up & 2 guys mow. One the front & one side, the other the back & the opposite side. The 3rd does the trimming & edging as I have trained them to do. The 1st two guys to finish blow off, though the rule is that the 1st one to a blower goes around the back of the house
first, Then comes up to help the 2nd guy finish the drivewaywhile the 3rd closes up the trailer. All finish at the same time & off to the next one! If the 1st guy to a blower starts on the driveway, then the 2nd would have to go around back, & thus the 1st man on the blower & the guy closing up the trailer would be done before him standing around waiting.... WASTED TIME.
It is good that you are checking numbers like this it will help you in the long run.
Reply With Quote
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
Math Teaser for you tiedeman General Business Discussions 1 03-24-2006 09:31 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Poll & Discussion...
CHEESE2009
09-16-2011 06:16 PM
Today 03:05 PM
by holymoly
23 5,411
lawn care business...
holymoly
Today 02:56 PM
Today 02:56 PM
by holymoly
0 16
color fliers?
holymoly
Today 02:32 PM
Today 02:32 PM
by holymoly
0 14
Hustler Raptor
SGL1
04-13-2015 09:27 PM
Today 07:53 AM
by SGL1
15 336
is craiglist good to...
JBENI
04-16-2015 11:11 AM
Yesterday 10:25 PM
by Wolf4dk
11 211
Pictures of commercial...
avetslawncare
04-01-2015 09:47 PM
Yesterday 09:35 PM
by avetslawncare
20 733
Could be great news for...
SC93
04-14-2015 11:06 PM
Yesterday 08:58 PM
by SC93
10 279
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
Yesterday 08:40 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
53 4,938
Am I missing something...
googus
04-11-2015 06:33 PM
Yesterday 08:01 PM
by avetslawncare
10 366
weed
avetslawncare
04-16-2015 07:56 PM
Yesterday 07:59 PM
by avetslawncare
3 88
Aerating / Dethaching...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
04-12-2015 07:53 PM
Yesterday 07:27 PM
by biglee
14 384
Hello
sonny54
04-16-2015 09:49 PM
Yesterday 03:10 PM
by Steve
1 61
Unreal
Chilehead
04-09-2015 09:12 PM
Yesterday 08:27 AM
by Chilehead
11 416
starting a lawn care...
JBENI
04-14-2015 09:03 AM
Yesterday 08:03 AM
by JBENI
14 372
Finally got a warehouse
avetslawncare
03-12-2015 07:52 PM
04-16-2015 07:52 PM
by avetslawncare
23 1,197
bidding a cemetery....
NPM_LLC
03-28-2015 10:56 AM
04-16-2015 03:49 PM
by Steve
20 820
New 14 x 7 Enclosed...
whitepropertydetail
04-15-2015 06:46 PM
04-16-2015 03:40 PM
by Steve
1 110
quick pic
joshlawncare
04-14-2015 07:49 PM
04-16-2015 03:38 PM
by Steve
3 169
older used dump trucks
SECTLANDSCAPING
09-22-2011 12:33 AM
04-16-2015 12:41 PM
by biglee
21 7,895
Tax Poll
Steve
04-15-2015 02:13 PM
04-15-2015 02:13 PM
by Steve
0 118
lawn care by Aj
aj10261984
04-14-2015 06:50 PM
04-15-2015 01:43 PM
by Steve
2 138
Contact last years...
googus
01-28-2015 08:13 AM
04-15-2015 12:54 PM
by SC93
7 1,129
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
04-15-2015 08:35 AM
by Bradcook21
7 820
trying to sign up for...
JBENI
04-14-2015 10:20 AM
04-14-2015 12:11 PM
by Steve
1 323
Charging customers for...
Hard-Body lawn & garden
04-14-2015 07:34 AM
04-14-2015 10:35 AM
by Steve
1 152
New member
Jdlandscaping,LLC
04-11-2015 03:24 PM
04-14-2015 05:45 AM
by Jdlandscaping,LLC
2 197
hello
oasis_greenscapes
04-01-2015 06:18 PM
04-13-2015 12:03 PM
by Steve
8 433
New Member
Greenturion
04-11-2015 02:00 PM
04-13-2015 11:59 AM
by Steve
1 162
Client with...
OldSalt
04-07-2015 09:47 PM
04-13-2015 11:57 AM
by Steve
8 371
Getting rid of "mulched...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 04:21 PM
04-13-2015 11:26 AM
by biglee
3 192
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
04-13-2015 11:11 AM
by biglee
7 299
Billing methods
jcurr33
03-26-2015 01:33 PM
04-13-2015 11:07 AM
by biglee
15 800
Landscape Fabric
CurbAppeal1
04-10-2015 03:58 PM
04-13-2015 08:02 AM
by Chilehead
4 254
I lost a long term...
Sprinkler Buddy
09-04-2011 02:24 PM
04-12-2015 04:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
17 3,869
I'm Back With The Best...
aduttonater
02-21-2015 12:41 AM
04-10-2015 12:05 PM
by Just for Cuts
45 2,088
Snow removal contracts
CDLAWNCARE
03-31-2015 02:57 PM
04-10-2015 11:37 AM
by kslawn
6 450
Do you have medical...
Steve
09-10-2011 11:46 AM
04-10-2015 11:28 AM
by Steve
17 5,167
Shopping Centers
avetslawncare
04-07-2015 07:16 PM
04-10-2015 11:27 AM
by Steve
7 356
Leaf Vac's?
ABurlison
11-07-2007 10:18 PM
04-10-2015 06:12 AM
by RSE
14 5,660
Grass and Leaf vacuum
captain200
04-07-2015 07:05 PM
04-10-2015 06:02 AM
by RSE
4 316
Covering a landscape...
Dan Tanner
03-29-2015 09:01 AM
04-10-2015 06:00 AM
by Dan Tanner
19 914
I have a great idea!
biglee
04-05-2015 06:20 PM
04-09-2015 12:54 PM
by Steve
4 363
lawn care school
kevinburch48
04-09-2015 09:13 AM
04-09-2015 11:27 AM
by Steve
1 219
What do you suggest?
Growing Green
09-20-2011 09:56 AM
04-08-2015 03:09 PM
by Steve
8 3,092
Survey
Ducke
09-20-2011 07:27 PM
04-07-2015 11:33 PM
by SGL1
12 3,417
DOT Number
acrajchel
03-20-2015 05:56 PM
04-07-2015 10:55 PM
by SGL1
14 1,224
Avoiding Clients
CHEESE2009
09-08-2011 10:58 PM
04-07-2015 06:05 PM
by GLAN
24 6,375
Mass/New Hampshire...
jcurr33
04-06-2015 09:48 PM
04-07-2015 04:19 PM
by jcurr33
2 265
Ferris FW35 questions
Chilehead
03-10-2015 08:31 PM
04-07-2015 05:19 AM
by Chilehead
9 787
Dethatching attachments
jcurr33
03-29-2015 08:56 PM
04-06-2015 09:21 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 505
» Popular Tags
aerocore apartment complex auger bark billy goat brushcutter blades bush collections deliquentaccounts design edging employee problems equipment rental ferris flyers foreman free advertising grass growing a lawn care business hills hiring husqvarna john deere quik trac landscape landscape services landscaping training lawn lawn care 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 marketing marketing secrets more customers business mr dave mulch new business past due per hour charge per hour service pricing profit on employee pto push versus ride running a business scripts secrets to landscaping sell the vision seo shell small engine repair square foot steep lawns sulky theft toro grand stand trailer tree trimmer rack truck new used landscape up sell employee web design website website design winterization won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 PM.

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