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View Full Version : I stoped giveing bids and now go by the HR


Full throttle lawn care
03-24-2006, 01:29 AM
After a few under bids this year and doing work for free I decided to go to the 60.00 hr pay scale and no longer give bids but an estimate of time with a low and a high time. It really is working great and my clients understand that I'm not in business to lose money. I time my first cut and base my price on that for there weekly rate. Does anyone else work this way? I do this for everything now,even a mulch job etc.

Freddy_Kruger
03-24-2006, 01:33 AM
I will be timing out the jobs to see where I'm at then depending how much work I got and how much I make, I'll make a decision to try and bump a price up or lose it. I mean it's just an estimate but after you've done it a few times then you really know... mind you I won't be volunteering to go down in price.

olderthandirt
03-24-2006, 01:34 AM
After a few under bids this year and doing work for free I decided to go to the 60.00 hr pay scale and no longer give bids but an estimate of time with a low and a high time. It really is working great and my clients understand that I'm not in business to lose money. I time my first cut and base my price on that for there weekly rate. Does anyone else work this way? I do this for everything now,even a mulch job etc.

NO! as you get more experience you learn short cuts to save you time . Why pass that along to customers

Full throttle lawn care
03-24-2006, 01:54 AM
I start my time when I start mowing and stop it when I turn the blower off. I don't charge for loading and unloading. I work at a steady pace and do a really good job. I know for me my first cut is my slowest so this builds in time for me later to do an extra here and there and not feel like the job is costing me money.

Cooper725
03-24-2006, 01:58 AM
No way would I do that. Time is money, if I have 4 house's next to each other some people will lower there price because there is no window time. Not me I charge a 1/4 acre lawn at 37.50. Even if it takes my boys 15 mins to do. So if it takes 1 hour to do 4 house's for $150.00 so be it. None of there business how long it takes or how mutch money I make off the service. They want there lawn done, they pay the price. NEVER tell them what you get an hour!!!!! Some greyhairs would have a heartattack if they knew what they were paying by the minute lol.

olderthandirt
03-24-2006, 01:59 AM
I start my time when I start mowing and stop it when I turn the blower off. I don't charge for loading and unloading. I work at a steady pace and do a really good job. I know for me my first cut is my slowest so this builds in time for me later to do an extra here and there and not feel like the job is costing me money.

that loading and unloading is all part of the work so why not charge for it? You need to know your cost and how much profit you need to grow and plan for retirement.

topsites
03-24-2006, 02:03 AM
After a few under bids this year and doing work for free I decided to go to the 60.00 hr pay scale and no longer give bids but an estimate of time with a low and a high time. It really is working great and my clients understand that I'm not in business to lose money. I time my first cut and base my price on that for there weekly rate. Does anyone else work this way? I do this for everything now,even a mulch job etc.

Timer? I've been timing myself for years, but more and more the timer is just for me (like someone else said, over time you learn to save time). It's one way to increase your rates invisibly. Be able to do an hour's work in 55 minutes, then 50, then 45 later... And still charge an hour's labor for it all.

But I got lowballed today... Or maybe I should say I allowed myself to be lowballed... I really hate that crap anymore, you go out there and they somehow manage to do this thing, I don't know, maybe I just didn't have my shields up. Sooner or later someone always mess you around, you go out there and you're thinking 60/hour and all of a sudden you run into this job that's hard to estimate and you tell them 75-100 dollars (or whatever) and they come back with this thing about 'ok 75 sounds good then' or 'yeah well I got another guy said he'd do it for 75 so that sounds good' or whatever... Or you find yourself bending over, how they do that crap... ahhh nevermind, it just frustrates me.

I'll be calling the guy tomorrow to let him know I won't be doing the job.
Haven't thought of a good reason to tell him why not, but I'm sure something will come to me thou I'd like to hear some, it might help.

Not so bad when you can walk away, but I hate it when I agree to something that I should know better at the time.
That's not to say I've never low-balled and then just didn't show up because my tail wouldn't get out of bed.

Insometry
03-24-2006, 09:08 AM
Some greyhairs would have a heartattack if they knew what they were paying by the minute lol.

If you cant be up front with your customer, then are they the kind of customers that you are actually helping with your service?

The "greyhairs" around here know what they pay me. And they know how long it takes me to mow their place.

Their not stupid.

Splicer
03-24-2006, 10:27 AM
Timer? I've been timing myself for years, but more and more the timer is just for me (like someone else said, over time you learn to save time). It's one way to increase your rates invisibly. Be able to do an hour's work in 55 minutes, then 50, then 45 later... And still charge an hour's labor for it all.

But I got lowballed today... Or maybe I should say I allowed myself to be lowballed... I really hate that crap anymore, you go out there and they somehow manage to do this thing, I don't know, maybe I just didn't have my shields up. Sooner or later someone always mess you around, you go out there and you're thinking 60/hour and all of a sudden you run into this job that's hard to estimate and you tell them 75-100 dollars (or whatever) and they come back with this thing about 'ok 75 sounds good then' or 'yeah well I got another guy said he'd do it for 75 so that sounds good' or whatever... Or you find yourself bending over, how they do that crap... ahhh nevermind, it just frustrates me.

I'll be calling the guy tomorrow to let him know I won't be doing the job.
Haven't thought of a good reason to tell him why not, but I'm sure something will come to me thou I'd like to hear some, it might help.

Not so bad when you can walk away, but I hate it when I agree to something that I should know better at the time.
That's not to say I've never low-balled and then just didn't show up because my tail wouldn't get out of bed.
My look on this is that you made your bed by accepting the job for an agreed upon price and now you should lie in it by doing that said job. Don't lower yourself to lying to get out of it. That is about as un-professional as you can get IMHO. Go do the damn job and learn from it. Bet you don't lowball again very soon. If you don't follow through you have learned no lesson worthy of learning...:drinkup:

Joey bag a' donuts
03-24-2006, 10:29 AM
Some greyhairs would have a heartattack if they knew what they were paying by the minute lol.

If you cant be up front with your customer, then are they the kind of customers that you are actually helping with your service?

The "greyhairs" around here know what they pay me. And they know how long it takes me to mow their place.

Their not stupid.

What you make per hour is really nobody elses business but your own. Just because someone dosnt tell you what they make does NOT mean that they cant be trusted or that theyre not helping you...for example, next time you go see your docter ask him how much he makes...youd never ask, hed never tell...has nothing to do with being upfront with your customer.:weightlifter:

daveintoledo
03-24-2006, 11:00 AM
After a few under bids this year and doing work for free I decided to go to the 60.00 hr pay scale and no longer give bids but an estimate of time with a low and a high time. It really is working great and my clients understand that I'm not in business to lose money. I time my first cut and base my price on that for there weekly rate. Does anyone else work this way? I do this for everything now,even a mulch job etc.

its all part of the learning process, you bid a job you make a mistake, you learn from it..... you bid a number, you stick to it...you learn to bid correctly, your way you never really lear the bidding proces...

you need to learn how long thee jobs will take,

Kilroy
03-25-2006, 10:01 PM
After a few under bids this year and doing work for free I decided to go to the 60.00 hr pay scale and no longer give bids but an estimate of time with a low and a high time. It really is working great and my clients understand that I'm not in business to lose money. I time my first cut and base my price on that for there weekly rate. Does anyone else work this way? I do this for everything now,even a mulch job etc.Congratulations, I'm glad this approach is working for you. From personal experience, I know it's advantageous to the customer for me to charge by the hour, but they can't understand this so I make more money charging by the job. I'm not sure your method would work everywhere. Around here, if I told potential customers I charged $60.00 an hour, that's as far as it would go. I could imagine their mental calculations: $60.00 per hour times 8 hours per day times 5 days per week times 52 weeks per year. "Wow, you make more money than I do, and I'm a _______(fill in the profession)." That's the way they think. On the other hand, they're agreeable to a price of $30 for a job that might take me 30 minutes sometimes or 15 minutes most times. Go figure:) .

get rich
03-25-2006, 10:23 PM
Do those grayhairs know how much gas it took to mow their lawn, or how much gas it took to drive there? Or what your insurance premiums cost? Basically when you say i how much you get an hour you should figure that minus your over head and expenses, then tell em how much you get per hour...lol. Your hourly rate is your business. You should be able to figure out how long it takes you to mow a 1/4 acre lot after mowing professionally after couple weeks. I always measure lawns and count tree rings,beds and obstacles and figure it out from there. Not very hard if you take good notes. And yes you should be getting paid for drive time, and unloading and the clock shouldn't't stop till you drive away...then your on the next guys clock so to speak. I am not in this business too not recoup the expense of my trucks and mowers, and other equipment. Like someone else said where is the retirement plan in it if you don't plan these things out?:dizzy:

Full throttle lawn care
03-25-2006, 11:50 PM
Well it is working,but it does limit what I can make in a day witch is not good. What made me go this way was a job I did that was about 3acres. It looked nice and flat with few trees,my bid was 80.00 and once I started I new I made a mistake when my mower started bouncing all over the place because of ruts and uneven terrain. I was only able to mow at best maybe 3mph and took me over 2hrs to do. I guess I'll chalk that up as a learning lesson and just be more careful and walk the entire property before I bid.:hammerhead: