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FIREMAN Q
03-04-2006, 11:35 PM
I want to make sure that I am not low balling my compitition. Since this will be my first year doing lawn care I wan to make sure that I am competive and not bring down the market. What is the best way to find out what the going rate is in my area. I have read other post and the cencus is that I need to figure out my overhead. Even if I have my overhead figured out how would I know If its just to high or if its to low if I don't know what the local rate is. THanks in advance :drinkup:

29 Palms Property Management
03-04-2006, 11:41 PM
It's always good I think to call around to your competition and have them quote you a price. Have a friend or family member come out and give them an estimate on their property. Compare to what you're charging or will charge. But yes, you need to figure in all of your expenses to your jobs. You need to cover your expenses and then some to be successful. If not, no need to be in business losing money.

befnme
03-04-2006, 11:48 PM
It's always good I think to call around to your competition and have them quote you a price. Have a friend or family member come out and give them an estimate on their property. Compare to what you're charging or will charge. But yes, you need to figure in all of your expenses to your jobs. You need to cover your expenses and then some to be successful. If not, no need to be in business losing money.


i just wrote the same thing , but i didnt do this when i got started and i thought it a litttle shady so i erased it .sorry. the best advise i can give you is just to test your market and see what you get...best of luck.

Palmer'sLS
03-04-2006, 11:58 PM
calling your competition is the most briliant idea i ahve heard yet. this seems to be a wonderful plan, and i can find no faults, thanks 29 palms, and keep up the good work

Killswitch
03-05-2006, 12:10 AM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....

B&D Lawn Care
03-05-2006, 12:27 AM
I think that would work as well.

befnme
03-05-2006, 12:39 AM
dont do it man .if you want to make this bus work for you then you have to work for it .do the leg work and get turned down a few times then you will know where you need to be .dont take the easy way out .

rfed32
03-05-2006, 03:09 AM
learn from ur mistakes...ive lost pleanty of jobs but got pleanty...everyone gets turned down from time to time...dont set urself to low...ive gone low b4 and realized it wasnt helpin me out...and stick to ur price, dont bargin with a cust. get out there and look professional

PMLAWN
03-05-2006, 04:17 AM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....
I hope you have a flame suit to put on. Taking on the firefighters, Flamin coming your way big time:laugh:

garth1967
03-05-2006, 05:53 AM
calling your competition is the most briliant idea i ahve heard yet. this seems to be a wonderful plan, and i can find no faults, thanks 29 palms, and keep up the good work

i agree%100:waving: :waving:

cwlawley
03-05-2006, 10:19 AM
As far as I am concerned...if you aren't lowballing, then someone else is and you'll lose all your work to those people. Do the work for what you need to make your business sucessful.

firefightergw
03-05-2006, 11:10 AM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....

:usflag: :laugh: :laugh:

lawnman_scott
03-05-2006, 11:41 AM
I want to make sure that I am not low balling my compitition. Since this will be my first year doing lawn care I wan to make sure that I am competive and not bring down the market. What is the best way to find out what the going rate is in my area. I have read other post and the cencus is that I need to figure out my overhead. Even if I have my overhead figured out how would I know If its just to high or if its to low if I don't know what the local rate is. THanks in advance :drinkup:Knowing your overhead has nothing to do with the local rate, it has to do with making a profit. If your overhead is too high, and your charging way more than the going rate, you still wont be making what you should, and arent a lowballer either.

Even if you do get a general idea of what you should charge, being its your first year how will you be able to judge correctly how long a certain property will take you? And you havent learned timesaving tips that will come in time either.

Just a guess, but CT is a pretty high income area, so I would say about $60-75 per hour is a general guideline. If you bid that way and get nothing, your too high, if you get every estimate you do, then your way too low. The bottom line is that you are on your own as far as pricing. There are too many variables, you have to learn it as you go. How efficient is your equipment, how fast or slow do you work, .............

indy2tall
03-05-2006, 12:12 PM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....

Fireman said he did not want to be a lowballer or bring the market price down, seems like he wants to do things the right way. Why come out and call a total stranger a liar? Then you say his business will be under the radar implying he won't be paying taxes or following the rules the rest of us follow. What is it you have against fire fighters? They have just as much right to start into this business as a part timer as anyone else. Good grief give the guy a break. Maybe his wife or family wants him to do something a little less dangerous.

Ollie3
03-05-2006, 03:46 PM
My sister works for a printing company and she has all of the prices for the four major competors in my community. I think it's unethical looking at someones elses prices, but it helped me out a-lot and saved me some legwork. I'd call the competition and get some estimates.

Ollie

nocutting
03-05-2006, 04:13 PM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....
In my area its cops and fireman? [ they avg $50k + Great Bennies"].....I find it really intresting how many get out on a disability and then they're are mowin accross the street from me? or just goin to Florida and becomein Cops & Fireman again while collecting in NY?..........isnt there a law regarding this?:dizzy: :usflag:

Killswitch
03-05-2006, 10:52 PM
Fireman said he did not want to be a lowballer or bring the market price down, seems like he wants to do things the right way. Why come out and call a total stranger a liar? Then you say his business will be under the radar implying he won't be paying taxes or following the rules the rest of us follow. What is it you have against fire fighters? They have just as much right to start into this business as a part timer as anyone else. Good grief give the guy a break. Maybe his wife or family wants him to do something a little less dangerous.


Everyone around here has such a thin skin its rediculous.

All I know is that I work in the Green Industry and have for over 20 years. Im not out fighting fires part time or working in the Fire Industry on the side.

Theres also a lot of speculation and stereotyping that goes on here as to who does and doesnt do this legit, and frankly the fact that the fire guys are under the radar for the most part is one I can get behind.

The fact is that its true.

Im not slamming Firemen specifically, or the occasional "tax advantage."

You can assume he's the best fireman in town and he's getting out of it and going into lawn care legit all you want. Fact is he's probably the best fireman in town with a truck, trailer and lawn mower going out to take his share of the business in his generous firefighter off time.

Plus its either that or a wicked honey do list the wife has prepared....lol

Seriously.....And in all honesty.....these guys dont generally or wont generally affect the clientel Im targeting and servicing. They know better and they know the difference....and most importantly....they care, and can afford to.

Not trying to piss anyone off and I say a big thanks to the firefighters....its not about that. Its about do what you know, and dont expect a free ride when you want our years of experience to work for you, so you can screw up the way these jobs get priced on average.

Ya can see these guys a mile away....they all drive red ford f-250's with a 6 x 10.

lol



:walking:

Killswitch
03-05-2006, 10:58 PM
Im also not oblivious to the fact, and I hope the firefighters and side job guys arent either, but theres a serious tax advantage to working that 40/50 a year gig, and running a small business legit, and getting the write offs against the tax you pay in your regular job. *run on sentence*

It can be a winfall.

M RASCOE&SONS
03-05-2006, 11:23 PM
I want to make sure that I am not low balling my compitition. Since this will be my first year doing lawn care I wan to make sure that I am competive and not bring down the market. What is the best way to find out what the going rate is in my area. I have read other post and the cencus is that I need to figure out my overhead. Even if I have my overhead figured out how would I know If its just to high or if its to low if I don't know what the local rate is. THanks in advance :drinkup:
i wouldnt call any of the competition because they are not gonna tell you the truth and they are gonna think your a fool.what you need to do is get your tax id ,liability insurance ,and then find out what your hourly rate is gonna be because your gonna need to make a proffit so make sure you set your prices with that in mind ,chances are you might be very high to start but by the second year you will have a better grasp of it(all depends on the customers your lookin at getting and what the market will allow).make sure your legit from the get go because you dont want anybody spending there spare time makin problems for you ,and dont feed into the cry babies and just get out there and be agresive and dont look back because we all had to start some where..:weightlifter:

firefightergw
03-06-2006, 12:03 AM
Alright. I've bit my tongue long enough.

I am tired of all the cry babies complaining about firefighters. :cry:

You guys know who you are. Most of the people on this site are extremely helpful as I try to be too. But you cry babies are pathetic. Yes, I could make a living on my firefighter pay but why should I if I am able to do more? Most of us (firefighters) do our work because we believe in making a difference. Some days we are over-compensated for that if we have a slow day. However, I can assure you that you cry babies wouldn't do what we do for 1 second for a $1 million at times. To do what we do, it does take someone that is driven. That is why we choose to work on our days off rather then sitting around the house watching TV. If you cry babies would spend as much time on your business as you do worrying about us or who else is you think is sticking it to you, you would be more successful.

I am a legitimate business owner. I pay income tax, state sales tax, my business carries liability insurance, etc, etc. More importantly, I do excellent work. I put out flyers, have an ad in the yellow pages, advertise in the newspaper, and have signs that I put out. Last year I profited 73% profit over my expenses. Does that sound like I am lowballing my customers or does it sound like I've made some great business decisions? Everyone in life makes choices. I chose to be a firefighter so that I could help people from all walks of life, including cry babies. So what if that choice also enables me to own my own business. Sounds like some of you people (the cry babies) think you are owed something because I also own my own business that happens to compete with you. Stop crying and start competing. I signed $12K worth of annual business last Friday alone. Stop worrying about us and concentrate on your own business. Maybe you wouldn't have so much to complain about then.:hammerhead:

:walking:

CAG
03-06-2006, 12:23 AM
Being from CT i would say if you are just starting out charge 50 per hour and you should be able to get all the work you want.. But to get that rate you would have to be using reasonable size commercial equipment. If your doing backhoe work, drainage, hardscaping you would of course get a lot more. Dont worry about lowballing if your a little low on a job do a great job and when they call you for something else in the future you can re coupe some money. If your a little low on a lawn mowing estimate just finish it for the year and raise your rate the next year..good luck. Also don't give them a hourly rate just try to estimate the time it will take and give them a set price..

ozd12005
03-06-2006, 01:52 PM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....

I agree 100%..... I love when I get the competition calling for a quote, it's so easy to tell most of the time when they call, most dont even want you to come out but give them an idea of price over the phone lmao. IMO if you cant figure what your overhead is you most likely will become a lowballer and probably will get burned ooooouchhhh:angry: :angry:

get rich
03-06-2006, 03:30 PM
I think that is B.S. too say that it is not right or in some way shady too HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER OR EVEN SOME OF YOUR CUSTOMERS COLLECT COMPITION QUOTES FOR YOU. I know you can't smell me coming when my clients are more than pleased with my work and have been for years. So the chance of you coming in and taking it is slim, but you'll bid it and i'll know from them giving me the paperwork what your goun rate is. It really doesn't affect my rate, but next year it might. I worked for a larger company in town and ran the whole fertilizer division for couple years and was told every year to have my family members call compition for quotes, and did as i was told. So that he could see where we stood on our pricing. There is nothing wrong with knowing where you stand in the market place with your pricing. Although as i stated, i know what i need to earn from all of my work in order to make a good honest living(and i am not a fireman) And that is how i set my prices. And like others have said in this post earlier, there is nothing wrong with a side job fireman earning money doin lawn work. Man these guys risk life and limb almost evey day saving peoples lifes and their belongings. KUDO'S TOO YOU!! for desiding to enjoy a sunny day in my field to get away from the headaches of saving buildings and people's lives.:waving: Iwave at everyone i see out there, fireman or regular joe with small truck and trailer cutting grass. There is more than enough work in my town for everyone and i am always up for a little compitions, it only makes you sharper. Unless you have no edge? Good luck to all and hope your business takes off like a five alarm fire!! lol

Killswitch
03-06-2006, 08:12 PM
lol....Your boss demanded you have your family members call for bogus bids and ..."you did as you were told"


ouchie!

daveintoledo
03-06-2006, 11:35 PM
first of all if you call someone else to check out prices, you dont use your own home....and most all business know what the competition is charging...it is a common business practice, just dont be stupid enough to get cought...

second ... to those guys who get out of bed at 4 in the morning while im still drunk and save someones life . put out the fire, and help protect the community.....THANK YOU>>:usflag:

the ace
03-07-2006, 08:30 AM
[QUOTE=firefightergw]Alright. I've bit my tongue long enough.

I am tired of all the cry babies complaining about firefighters. :cry:

You guys know who you are. Most of the people on this site are extremely helpful as I try to be too. But you cry babies are pathetic. Yes, I could make a living on my firefighter pay but why should I if I am able to do more? Most of us (firefighters) do our work because we believe in making a difference. Some days we are over-compensated for that if we have a slow day. However, I can assure you that you cry babies wouldn't do what we do for 1 second for a $1 million at times. To do what we do, it does take someone that is driven. That is why we choose to work on our days off rather then sitting around the house watching TV. If you cry babies would spend as much time on your business as you do worrying about us or who else is you think is sticking it to you, you would be more successful.


Somehow if your firemens job could be jeopardized and done as a way for others to make "some extra cash" you may see how others feel about what you do, legit or not! The difference is when you bid a mowing contract and don't get it you don't go without because you still have your local government provided job. It's kind of ironic, the local llc's whos mowing contracts your taking are also the guys who are paying your firemens salary!

Just thought I'd throw a little gas on the fire!

Mdirrigation
03-07-2006, 11:28 AM
Simply charge what you need to make a profit. It doesnt matter if you are lower or higher than the competition . All that matters is making a profit and delivering what you promised . If you are cheaper than everybody else then youare a lowballer , if you are more expensive than everyone else you are ripping people off . NEITHER one of these statements hold an ounce of truth .
I dont care what anybody else charges , I set the price and the customer either says yes or no . Be it grass cutting , landscaping, or home improvements , bid the job to make a good profit , know your costs and expenses and go from there. I would also use the fact that you are a firefighter , if thats the clincher that sells the job more power to you .

Mdirrigation
03-07-2006, 11:33 AM
double post

Howard Roark
03-07-2006, 10:23 PM
who cares about your competition? Are you trying to keep them in business, or you?

Find a profit margin that you can live with, and go from there.

Jeff Tracey Enterprises
03-24-2008, 09:43 PM
That calling the competition for pricing information is lame IMHO. If you dont know what a local lawn is going for then you dont belong in the business. Im sorry but FFS.

Theres no question in my mind youll end up lowballing anyways because Id bet this is a side deal under the radar.

What is it with Fireman and lawn Mowing anyways.....

Well pal, us Fireman work side jobs because we have 20 days off a month!! I am also a firefighter and I work 1 day on and have 2 days off, so we (fireman) have plenty of time to make more money on practically a full time deal. And Im sure you had to start out in this business once so give us new guys a break and if your just gonna be a prick dont respond to the threads for "Newbies" needing advise.