Most everyone has dreams or financial goals they would like to hit with their lawn care business. Some are simply looking to make a few extra bucks in the evenings or the weekends while others really have their sites set high. One lawn care business owner talked with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about his plan to hit $150 a day and wondered if it was realistic.
He wrote “my business literally only has $200 to it’s name and I don’t have a penny more to invest. I know I need a truck and found a good deal for $9,000. It doesn’t sound like much but I am broke. I would really like to purchase it and have it paid off by the end of April but in order to do that I would need to make $150 everyday. In order to boost my income, I want to expand the services I offer. I’m going to try to repair people’s lawn mowers. I have no idea what I can/should charge. If you have any ideas on how I could make $9,000 in 60 days PLEASE help.”
One lawn mower repair shop owner said “I wish I could profit an average of $150 per day!! I have 15 years experience in this industry and this year I just raised my labor rate to $50. I would highly recommend not charging more than $20-30 per hour unless you know what you are doing.
The first question I have for you is what experience do you have with lawn mower repair? Do you think you will be able to get enough customers to repair their mowers if you intend to do something else in 2 months? There is a considerable start up cost associated with lawn mower repair as well. I have been investing in my own business for about 5-6 years now and am no where close to having all the tools I need or having the parts inventory I would like to have. If I had $25,000 - $50,000 cash right now to invest I could have it all invested in my shop within 2 months and this is all without investing in new equipment to sell. Just a simple start up with simple essential tools would easily cost in excess of $1,000. At this investment level and with a reasonable amount of small engine repair experience (automotive repair experience really doesn’t count) you may be able to charge the $20-$25 per hour.
Personally, I think you would be better off investing your time in getting your lawn care customers lined up, getting a loan for the $9,000, and going straight to work repaying that debt. I don’t see the purpose of trying to start 2 businesses at once (this essentially what you would be doing). You would have to gain 2 sets of customers (customers for both businesses) at the same time. Is it possible for you to start doing odd jobs around the area to start creating some cash flow? Perhaps spring clean ups, etc? These same customers may have you mow their yards, etc when you get your equipment and mowing time arrives. Either way, think this out and don’t make any quick decisions.”
Another lawn care business owner shared “I agree, if you are building your lawn care business and also venturing into small engine repair, I think something will suffer.
At some point your lawn care company needs to establish credit. I’d suggest you save a 25% down payment and finance the rest. Vehicles and equipment are easy to finance. I would also suggest you finance through the dealership, they tend to offer better deals than banks.
As for making $150 a day profit, instead of trying to run multiple businesses at once, you might want to look at offering additional services that can be upsold to your current lawn care customer base. Consider adding pressure washing, fertilizing etc. As we all know there are a lot of new lawn care companies constantly being started. Many do not know their costs so their quotes tend to be far too low yet we still have to compete with them. A great way to gain an advantage over these startups is to offer services that take a higher level of skill to perform or require you to spend money on the purchase of equipment to perform. As you add more services, you can become a one stop shop for property maintenance and ultimately make more profit per customer.”