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Update on my 1 year old lawn care business.....
Old 03-31-2008, 09:52 PM   #1
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Update on my 1 year old lawn care business.....

Some of you might recall me asking about the lawn care industry last year. I started a company with a friend (yeah, yeah...i know) from scratch and this is what happened

2007 (March 20th-Nov 15): 27 regular mowing accounts, 6 fertilizer customers, 125 yards of mulch spread, 38k gross sales,

2008 To Date: 42 regular mowing accounts, 11 fertilizer customers, 66 yards mulch sold, 39k gross

2008 Expected: 55 regular mowing accounts, 15 fert customers, 160 yards mulch sold, 51k gross

If anything,it keeps me busy and in-shape during the 'off-season' for duct cleaning
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:04 PM   #2
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That is a LOT of work for just two guys!! Guess you're staying out of trouble, huh? Seriously, congratulations on your thriving business.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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It's not really to bad. Once we got past the first 4 weeks of spring (Rain, fast growth), we could handle 27 accts in 15 hrs...so maybe 80 accts would be a nice 45 hr work week! I think we can max-out at around 80 accts/week...with help in the spring and fall,each for about 4 weeks,for mulch and leaves respectively


im trying to push it as far as i can before i step back and let a laborer take my place entirely. that's the short term goal still...within 2-3 years.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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You must live in a warm climate. So far we've only needed snow removal. Another 8 inches expected tonight.

Congratulations on your success! They say the first year is the hardest. It's only getting easier from now on.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:53 AM   #5
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It's not really to bad. Once we got past the first 4 weeks of spring (Rain, fast growth), we could handle 27 accts in 15 hrs...so maybe 80 accts would be a nice 45 hr work week! I think we can max-out at around 80 accts/week...with help in the spring and fall,each for about 4 weeks,for mulch and leaves respectively


im trying to push it as far as i can before i step back and let a laborer take my place entirely. that's the short term goal still...within 2-3 years.
Would that laborer be a high school Gringo? Or an illegal south of the border day worker??

By the way doing what you are doing is well WORK! I mean real physical work, now what I am doing is really not work, Example.. Last friday in the gym classes I teach we had 2nd 3rd and kindergarden students playing volleyball with large Balloons for 30 mins at a clip times 5 classes!!! Just stood back after giving directions and watched the smiles on their faces and listening to the laughter. Gross 33K a 10 month year!! With 5 sick days included! Oh that is with working 3 6 hour days a week for about 39 weeks.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:08 AM   #6
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Congrats, thefed. Nice to see you doing so well so quickly.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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How about them diesel prices??
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:12 AM   #8
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There are guys in Houston who started this way, and have pretty big residential lawn care services today. Some start bidding for commercial work and some don't want the hassle. I met plenty of them with my ad agency. Hard workers all!
I say you are right on track, doing well...and I can only admire your efforts!!! Good job people!!! Good job!!!!!!! Keep up the great work!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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Your stories are always interesting; in the context that I'd like to start a business someday. Thanks for the update. I always wonder about the actual numbers, thanks for providing them.

-CC
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:53 PM   #10
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....
By the way doing what you are doing is well WORK! I mean real physical ....
Sounds great, TheFed, if I was doing so well, I might think of it as really good exercise with the bonus of getting your business off the ground. Congrats!
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:05 PM   #11
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2007: 38k gross sales
2008 Expected: 51k gross
Great! What's the profit margin?
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:21 PM   #12
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Congratulations ! New baby and the lawn business going well !
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:11 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies...I just know I like updates to stories I see/hear/read...so you got it

Mead BH: We had about 11k in start-up costs, 7k in day to day today expenses....so 20k profit 1st year. Expecting 10k in day-to-day + 5k equipment this year. the nice thing is all the equipment is paid for...2 '95 trucks, 52" ztr,48" walk behind, 36" walk behind, 2 trailers, bed edger, tiller, trimmers, ground and backpack blowers,edger, etc etc

CCDace: go for it!! it really is worth it...even when times get tough
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:19 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies...I just know I like updates to stories I see/hear/read...so you got it

Mead BH: We had about 11k in start-up costs, 7k in day to day today expenses....so 20k profit 1st year. Expecting 10k in day-to-day + 5k equipment this year. the nice thing is all the equipment is paid for...2 '95 trucks, 52" ztr,48" walk behind, 36" walk behind, 2 trailers, bed edger, tiller, trimmers, ground and backpack blowers,edger, etc etc

CCDace: go for it!! it really is worth it...even when times get tough
If I understand for 2008, $51k gross minus $15k expense, so estimated $36k net. Not bad at all. That's for you and your partner? Curious what the crude estimate of hourly net works out to for each of you? What's the typical charge per acre (or whatever the typical size is) of lawn? Oh yeah, what's your preferred equipment brand? (Sorry for being nosy, but always interested in this stuff)
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:15 PM   #15
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If I understand for 2008, $51k gross minus $15k expense, so estimated $36k net. Not bad at all. That's for you and your partner? Curious what the crude estimate of hourly net works out to for each of you? What's the typical charge per acre (or whatever the typical size is) of lawn? Oh yeah, what's your preferred equipment brand? (Sorry for being nosy, but always interested in this stuff)
Yes that 36k will be split. Then at the end of'08,if we were to liquidate at newspaper/craigslist prices, we'd have business assets of about 14k

Hourly should work out to about 750 hrs worked per person over 30 weeks or so....before taxes it works out to about 24/hr...not bad...but after today (first day out this spring) i am wondering WHY I was looking forward to this!!!

We charge an average of 28/lawn...average sq. footage of turf must be about 8-10k..... If we have a flat,wide open acre with minimal trimming,we charge around 50-55 bucks. $20 are the postage stamp lawns that literally require a pushmower or even just a weedwhacker for the whole front or backyard. Average 'mcmansion' lot is $25....none of them have trees...curbs/sidewalks are in good shape (less edging)...and it makes for good referral business


our favorite mowers right now are BOBCAT...maybe because we got such a deal on our first mower....but they sure leave nice stripes! we also prefer echo handhelds (blowers,trimmers,edger, etC)...kawasaki hedge clippers, stihl chainsaws....and pretty much stickwith kawasaki engines on big stuff and hondas on sub-10hp stuff
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:38 PM   #16
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We charge an average of 28/lawn...average sq. footage of turf must be about 8-10k..... If we have a flat,wide open acre with minimal trimming,we charge around 50-55 bucks. $20 are the postage stamp lawns that literally require a pushmower or even just a weedwhacker for the whole front or backyard. Average 'mcmansion' lot is $25....none of them have trees...curbs/sidewalks are in good shape (less edging)...and it makes for good referral business


Is that per cut ?
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:37 PM   #17
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Is that per cut ?
yes
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:57 PM   #18
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Interesting, the economy is supposed to be in big trouble, but people will continue to pay for guys to cut their yards!

Fed go getem!
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:48 AM   #19
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Interesting, the economy is supposed to be in big trouble, but people will continue to pay for guys to cut their yards!
I pay for mowing, I think it is $35 per cut, a little under a half an acre.

I think it is worth the $1,000 per year so I don't have to do it myself. I HATE yard work, and it is so easy to let someone else do it.

However, when I get closer to retirement, that $1,000 per year is $25,000 of my portfolio allocated for lawn mowing. Would I be willing to retire a couple months earlier and mow my own lawn for the rest of my life? Or stick it out? I think that's one of those things I'll be willing to work longer for.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:55 AM   #20
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I pay for mowing, I think it is $35 per cut, a little under a half an acre.

I think it is worth the $1,000 per year so I don't have to do it myself. I HATE yard work, and it is so easy to let someone else do it.

However, when I get closer to retirement, that $1,000 per year is $25,000 of my portfolio allocated for lawn mowing. Would I be willing to retire a couple months earlier and mow my own lawn for the rest of my life? Or stick it out? I think that's one of those things I'll be willing to work longer for.
I pay the same, and after ER I am planning to continue paying it. In fact, I am seriously thinking about paying a landscaping company to take care of the rest of the yard, as well.

I do not want to become a statistic (of people in their sixties who die of heart attacks while mowing their lawns). My exercise level is more controllable in a nice, climate controlled gym than it is out in the heat mowing the lawn.

Besides, I detest mowing, so I think this would be a good way to spend what money I will have in retirement.
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