Should I take this lawn mowing job in the run down part of town?

Most every town has a nicer area and a rougher area. Nice lawns tend to be owned by people who care about what their property looks like and are willing to pay for lawn service. But what about those lawns in run down areas? Are they worth taking on? That is what one entrepreneur wanted to know in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner asked “I just got back from a call from my ad on Craigslist for lawn care and I have some issues about taking the job or not.

First of all it was in a rougher part of town, second there was no way to get to the front yard with anything but a 22″ push mower and you’d have to carry it up a set of stairs. The only other option would be to weed eat the entire front yard, which while not huge, was just not worth my time. Then the back yard was in a place where after you weed eat the front yard you’d have to drive the whole truck and trailer around the block to get to the back yard, which was full of dog crap and had a mattress and other stuff piled up.

I figured it would take 15 minutes to mow and trim, and if I charged $25 plus an extra $10 if the dog crap wasn’t cleaned up, it still wasn’t a yard I wanted. As politely as I could I told the guy I just couldn’t get my equipment in here.

Was this a wrong move? Should I have taken the job being that I’m just starting out and need the business?

Is this the kind of yards you get from Craigslist ads? I even put a picture of the nicest yard I do and I got this call. It makes me kind of wonder if Cragslist is the right move.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “you would have regretted taking it. You can tell a crap job when you bid it. There’s no reason to believe the yard will ever be cleaned up.

I just bid three yards for one guy. One is just like the one you described above. A fenced in backyard with no gate. You have to bring a push mower down two flights of stairs and then up to leave. I didn’t have a choice to bid all 3 since there close enough together.

This guy found me on CL as well. I did 3-4 mowing jobs for him before but I bid twice as many that I didn’t get. I don’t think I got this one either. I told him the only way I’m doing those yards if I can schedule them all the same day. Out of the 3, only 1 was a nice flat yard. The other had a steep hill down the whole backyard.”

A third added “I’ve had calls for a few of the yards as you described. (and turned them down). Overall, I have a pretty mixed bag of properties that I’ve gotten from Craigslist. To say that wealthy people don’t use Craigslist is just not accurate.

I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t take, but I will say this as a new guy going into my second season - If you fill your schedule with low-pay jobs, you won’t have any time left for higher paying jobs when they present themselves.

I’ve retained almost all of my clients from my first season. I have a limited amount of spaces left to fill now and I’ve already turned down several jobs this spring because I either (a) Don’t WANT them, or (b) don’t want to work a low-paying job that I will regret taking.

I just picked up a biweekly that I’m getting $50/cut for. It’s not terribly difficult and I think I can trim the time down to about 35 to 40 minutes after I get more familiar with it. Why fill that slot with a $15-$25 job?

Last season I took almost anything I could get. One thing I learned is that there are plenty (at least in my area) of people out there looking for a good lawn guy. No need to settle for the first lawn that comes your way.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

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Check out the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum for great prices on new and used lawn care equipment:

Chain Saw


Garden Tools

Hedge Trimmer

Lawn Aerator

Leaf Blower

Leaf Vacuum

Mower Blades

Mower Ride On

Mower Walk Behind

Multi Attachment Trimmers

Pole Saw

Pressure Washer

Salt Sand Spreader

Shop Tools

Snow Blower

Snow Plow

Stick Edger

String Trimmer

Stump Grinder


Tractor Attachment


Trailer Landscape Racks

Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success