PDA

View Full Version : Basic clean-up rate?


DeWitt Lawncare
04-15-2005, 07:43 PM
I've been charging by the hour. $40/hr for one person, $20 additional for a second person, plus a $40 dumping fee. Is that too much or am I in the ball park? I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.


-Carl

packerbacker
04-15-2005, 07:44 PM
I guess it all depends on how much you are paying the 2nd guy and what YOUR dump fees are. If you are making a profit and its acceptable to you then its fine.

I charge 55 an hour for fall and spring cleanups.

proenterprises
04-15-2005, 07:45 PM
Your rates seem to be a little low. Regarding the dump fee, I assume that is just for one load that you leave with. Are you actually being charged 40- to dump, or is that profit. If dumping is free and your making the 40-, than you are doing well.

cbelawn
04-15-2005, 07:57 PM
45-65 depending on the type of car in the driveway

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-15-2005, 08:04 PM
This is a perfect thread to relate my cheap customer story.

Went today to look at an existing customer I've had for 5 years now, friend of the daugther as well and what not. Last fall they had some landscaping done ( I was underbid by $3000 and they were doing more work) so she needs a clean up done. The guy who did the work left all the crap in the grass and flowerbeds and a pile of cut offs in the backyard. She also wants old growth cut out, shrubs trimmed and a rose bush removed. So she asks me how much for the job. Knowing the customer and how she likes to tack extra work on, I say by the hour. She's not happy about it cause she wants a firm price, I say by the hour. So she asks how much, now before you flame me on a price, I've had them for a while now, I've known the family for a while so I cut them a deal now and again. So I'm charging $45 an hour for 2 ppl. Average going rate for 1+1 on labour is a combined $60.00. I can tell she doesn't like the price. She says fine.

A couple hours late she calls me back and lets me know she doesn't like the per hour and she feels $120.00 would be a good price. Yeah right, tell me my price. I say no per hour. I said u could save money depending on how fast we work. So she says, well fine but I think you should only charge $20.00 an hour for this kind of work (Me and general labourour). Anywho I laughed said no way I'm doing it any less then $45.00 an hour and she says, "Ill see you tuesday". On a bright note, she always pays on time lol.

fga
04-15-2005, 09:24 PM
i never understood the per hour thought. why limit yourself?
i guess you canuse it for a reference in your head, but price the job for what you feel its worth, and what you can get for it... then do it as fast as possible. the only time i calculate per hour is when i'm defending $10/$12 lawns on this site.. payup

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-15-2005, 09:38 PM
This is a perfect thread to relate my cheap customer story.

Knowing the customer and how she likes to tack extra work on, I say by the hour.


My flat rate for the job turns into more work. I know my customer.

packerbacker
04-15-2005, 10:06 PM
i never understood the per hour thought. why limit yourself?
i guess you canuse it for a reference in your head, but price the job for what you feel its worth, and what you can get for it... then do it as fast as possible. the only time i calculate per hour is when i'm defending $10/$12 lawns on this site.. payup




Like you said, its a reference. All I did was try to price what I thought my expenses would be for each cleanup and then come out of it with a decent profit.

DFW Area Landscaper
04-15-2005, 10:11 PM
$36 per man per hour. I never quote a firm price. Firm prices leave you with too much potential to underbid. Shrubs are very deceiving.

Also, as long as the customer is paying by the hour, they won't complain about things that they think need more work.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

packerbacker
04-15-2005, 10:20 PM
$36 per man per hour. I never quote a firm price. Firm prices leave you with too much potential to underbid. Shrubs are very deceiving.

Also, as long as the customer is paying by the hour, they won't complain about things that they think need more work.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper





Thats exactly why when I say 55 an hour i include I always give myself an hour to hour and a half cushion. For example I tell them it could take 2-3.5 hours. That way Im not locked in on a price.

sildoc
04-16-2005, 10:35 PM
i never understood the per hour thought. why limit yourself?
i guess you canuse it for a reference in your head, but price the job for what you feel its worth, and what you can get for it... then do it as fast as possible. the only time i calculate per hour is when i'm defending $10/$12 lawns on this site.. payup
I am in agreement. At least now that I am in my 6th year. The first few years I wasn't sure. Won some and lost some. Now I know what it takes to please. I up sell an yearly contract so we do not have to go through it again, and i price where I average 60-75 and hour. I have made a few tools to make my life easier with cleanups and with all of the power equipment at my disposal I cant see doing it for 40, 50, an hour. I try not to use employees although I have some acquaintances that I can call on when I really fall behind. I price on what needs to be done and usually over price by 10-20% to make sure I am on. I usually win but I do break even with what I am looking for hourly.
I do it this way because I have found that when I tell someone that I charge 40,50,60 heck even 30 an hour they will keep looking. Most wont pay some lawnboy to weed and pick up for 30 an hour if they only make 25 or less. If you tell them 185 an it takes 3 hours you are at better than 60 - cost. Cost is usually not that much with cleanups.

DFW Area Landscaper
04-16-2005, 11:41 PM
I get very little resistance to $36 per hour. I get resistance to the idea of $108 per hour for a three man crew, but very little resistance to $36 per man per hour.

I suspect my saving grace is the phone company and the mechanic. Both are getting around $80 per hour. When they hear $36, I think they're comparing it to rates they've been quoted from other industries. How could they not make the comparison at some point in their thought process?

If the customer is doing the math, trying to figure out how much you're making, he'll probably just end up taking the station wagon down to the labor camp and "do it himself". These people aren't really customers of our industry. Most of the callers I get won't do this. My shrub crew is booked solid for the next two weeks. Free estimates get done when we have no other work to do or if it rains. So far, we haven't been doing many free estimates. The shrub crew is swamped right now with work from clients who don't require free estimates.

One other thing: Once you do work for a client on an hourly basis, they will never ask for an esimate again. At least, that's been my finding. They'll just call and place the order.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper