Jerry wrote the Gopher Lawn Care Business forum looking for insight into how many lawn care accounts he could possibly service as a one man show. Jerry asked “for the single person crew, how many lawn care contracts are needed to maintain a healthy income. I was thinking 40. My brother-in-law does good on 25 but he also does a lot of brush hauling and debris as well. I am only doing lawn cutting and trimming with some hedge cutting and gutter cleaning. My average is $25 per lawn cut. I currently only 10 lawns per week.
Andy: “I wouldn’t be so worried about the amount of contracts but rather the amount of income, and what you can accomplish within a week by yourself, without working too many hours.
I have 25 lawn care accounts for a monthly gross income of $4,700, and the only help I receive is on Fridays. My buddy helps me all day for $100/week. I could actually accomplish all the work myself, but the help on Fridays is very nice. Most of my accounts are larger complexes, with only a handful of residential customers.
When I first started my lawn care business, I went to every property management company and introduced myself, and started with a few on some smaller projects and worked my way up within the year to larger complexes. I would say 90% of my customers are projects where a previous lawn care service provider was terminated and I was hired in their place.
So if there’s any advice I could give out, it would be to make sure you do the little things like pull the weeds and rake the flower beds, oh yeah and keep that grass green, cause these things are what people want and expect, and matter most.”
Steve: “How close to your working capacity do you feel you are at? Are you maxed out at 100% or do you feel you still could take on more accounts?”
Andy: “I would say with the help I get on Fridays, I’m at 80% Capacity, This includes taking care of a few properties close to my house on Saturdays. I work very fast and efficient and hard. I don’t skimp on any detail of the work that needs to be done, which is why I’ve been fairly successful.
It’s funny, I’ve pulled up to a house to work and see another lawn care guy at a house next door already mowing, with yards of equal size, I’m done and pulling away and this guy is still edging, with blowing down still left. I think some guys assume the longer they are there the better job their doing?? I can also see this same guy doesn’t pull the weeds in the landscaping?? Some people out there I guess are just out to make a quick buck, but I’m in it for a lifetime. Even when I can’t do the work anymore, I’ll hire someone.”
Steve: “What do you think contributes to your ability to work faster?”
Andy: “I would basically say speed, I don’t dilly-dally around like I see some of these other lawn care guys doing. I get in, get the work done, and get out. I suppose I get into a routine and get a consistent work pattern. I simply go from 1 step to the next without stopping. I guess you could say I’m great at time management.”
Chuck: “By not dilly dallying it will save you time but it’s your routine that makes the money. In my area, if you edge the lawn before you mow then you’ll have compressed moist dirt into the concrete. That takes a lot of time to clean up. Also if you line trim the grass first, you have to trim with both sides of the trimmer head but if you cut first then your only using one side. These are some time saving ideas that have allowed me to out worked up to 3 others at once.”