Why am I not making money mowing 50 lawns?

Depending on a bunch of variables, you can find yourself plenty busy with lawn care work but producing little profit. This tends to especially be a big issue the first year a new company is in business. If you find this to be the case with your company, consider some of these tips to increase profits from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I have a problem. I charge between $22.50 - $25 per lawn but I have 2 employees that cost me $10 per hour. I have 50 lawns to mow all over town and it takes 17 of those lawns just to pay my employees! How can I make any money at this?”

A second lawn care business owner said “if it costs the income of 17 lawns to pay your employees, then you are left with 33 lawns worth of income for your other expenses. 33 lawns X $22.5 = $742.50. At a minimum you are left with $742.50. Out of that, you need to pay your other business expenses and what’s left over is yours.

If you are not making money with that amount, your lawns may either be too big for the price you are charging or too far spread out or both, in order for you to have to hire 2 employees to get them done. If either is the case, it seems charging the price of $22.50-$25 is not enough. Generally 50 lawns is manageable by 1 person (taking into consideration the weather is ok for the week) or 1 person and a part time helper. Although at times you may have to work weekends and long days.

All in all.. to make money, you need to either charge more or increase efficiency…or both. Maybe you need more efficient equipment or employees.

Another thought would be to try to service areas of the town in a strategic fashion. For example one day service the southern area, next day service the eastern, next day the western, and next day the northern. Keep the properties as close to each other as possible to cut down on drive time. Map your properties and group them to do in the best possible least time consuming route.

The hardest part I have found is developing the technique to get more out of your current lawn care customers. Continually talking to them usually leads to more work.

Once your customer gets comfortable with you, they usually will ask you about certain things. It is good to take notice on some things they could do, but it’s also important to remember not to pile it all on at once. Customers tend to go into a shell then. If I notice they may need a hedge trimming, once the discussion starts about that, I say something like, I notice that your hedges need to be trimmed. We can do that for you if you like, but you would want to do the hedges before you put mulch in if you were thinking about doing that.

That usually leads to them saying, oh do you do that as well? You should be giving all your customers some literature that informs them of what other services you can also provide for them. I found the best avenue to do this is come up with a customer folder for each customer include in it flyers for every service that you could provide for them. When they want to do it, they will call you as the information will already be in their hands.

What has worked best for me is linking various services together to create a better bigger landscape picture. After the hedge trimming is done and you are collecting the pay for it, you can plant in their mind that now this will really look nice with some new mulch, flowers, landscape lighting, etc. Then follow up with ‘let me know if you want to do that, we can make this really look great.’ That seems to work best. I go into it looking to do the whole ball of wax, but I don’t want to scare em off either so I take it all step by step.

With this strategy, you should be able to make more money per customer, which should ultimately equate to more money in your pocket. Try these ideas out and see how they work for you.”

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