PDA

View Full Version : Mowing price per SQFT?


qualitylawnmanagement
11-29-2006, 04:58 PM
How many of you guys do this? How much are you charging per SQFT? Do you change your price accordingly from residential and commercial? All of my equipment is paid for and will only have a new truck payment (totaled my 1997 F-250), fuel, laborers to pay, and normal business expenses (taxes, license, and such) for next year. so what I am looking for is a simple price guide to go by for mowing and fertilizer. I made up my own my don't know how my numbers compare to what I should be charging.

What should I be charging per SQFT for mowing?
What Should I be charging per SQFT for fertilizer & Weed Killer?

If some one could post some of their numbers for these I will gladly appreciate it.

Thanks mike!

Total.Lawn.Care
11-29-2006, 05:11 PM
You cannot (at least I don't) price mowing by the square foot. The reason is my services include edging, trimming, bed edging and blowing, and possible hedge trimming touchups and on my service agreement customers, I apply weed killer in the beds and other hard to trim areas. The extras aside from mowing have nothing to do with square feet. I have one half acre property that takes twice as long to service with less mowing area than another 1/2 acre property with twice the amount of grass. The difference is the bededging and other general service at the property.

I use my judgement of estimated time to price a property. I also have a minimum charge of $40. I will not unload any equipment for less than that. Do I get all of the accounts that I get called to do an estimate on, NO. However, I make sure that I am making money on all of the properties that I service.

So far, I have not had any complaints to my service.

rodfather
11-29-2006, 05:38 PM
Fertilizing can be estimated by the square foot, simple enough.

Mowing must be estimated by the man hour regardless of whether it's residential or commercial. Am I supposed to tell my employees they will make less per hour on commercial properties than residential since commercial properties for the norm go lower in mowing per acre?

daveintoledo
11-29-2006, 05:52 PM
some yards have lots more trimming, or hills, no good way of estimationng by the sqft...

hey where you from, neighbor..

Grn Mtn
11-29-2006, 06:01 PM
...All of my equipment is paid for ...What should I be charging per SQFT for mowing?...

I'm sure you are aware that it does not matter if the equipment is paid for, your still going to have to replace it at some point.

I agree that pricing by sqft isn't the best way unless you have some formula to compensate for all the things that slow you down.

Here is a link to a really great article (pertaining to snow, but numbers are numbers) ....uh, I guess they don't have a website anymore. Do you get Sima's magazine "Snow Business" its the article on page 22 "Is snow worth the risk"

qualitylawnmanagement
11-29-2006, 06:25 PM
some yards have lots more trimming, or hills, no good way of estimationng by the sqft...

hey where you from, neighbor..

I live in Lima, Ohio.

daveintoledo
11-29-2006, 06:30 PM
i like it out that way, very nice......:)
how did you like the test for pesticides by the dept of agriculture, im studying for mine now...

qualitylawnmanagement
11-29-2006, 06:43 PM
I'm sure you are aware that it does not matter if the equipment is paid for, your still going to have to replace it at some point.

I agree that pricing by sqft isn't the best way unless you have some formula to compensate for all the things that slow you down.

Here is a link to a really great article (pertaining to snow, but numbers are numbers) ....uh, I guess they don't have a website anymore. Do you get Sima's magazine "Snow Business" its the article on page 22 "Is snow worth the risk"


Yea, I hear you bout buying new equipment, but all my major mowing equipment is paid off for next year. So yea I may have to buy a new trimmer or blower as the season goes on but its not a 11,000 piece of equipment either. I'm not a SIMA member yet, plan to be though.

Eurosport
11-29-2006, 06:51 PM
All of my equipment is paid for


This should not affect your pricing at all. Do doctors or dentists lower their rates once their equipment is paid off?

qualitylawnmanagement
11-29-2006, 06:54 PM
i like it out that way, very nice......:)
how did you like the test for pesticides by the dept of agriculture, im studying for mine now...


I havn't taken the test yet. I sub all my out to my friend and and has done great work for me so far and plan to keep it like that for a year or two until I can get my prices under wrap. But I want to a couple cause I had on customer drop me cause my sub hired a person to work for him and do the fert for him and he ends up doing the wrong house the whole season lol. By the way what is your last name, I think I may of talked to you at the Knights Of Columbus in Lima this year or maybe I am thinking about someone else named Dave.

qualitylawnmanagement
11-29-2006, 06:57 PM
This should not affect your pricing at all. Do doctors or dentists lower their rates once their equipment is paid off?

No I'm not saying I am lowering my rates, it is just I will be bringing in more profit since the equipment is paid for. Most guys on here will ask how much to charge and alot of people will reply back what equipment do you own and is it paid for yet. I was just stating that the equipment is paid for and wont have to worry about any big payments. If anything I am raising my rates so I got money to buy new mowing equipment.

Flex-Deck
11-29-2006, 08:22 PM
Qualitylawnmanagement - Your signature is like yelling - takes up more space than 5 normal replys.

Allen's LS
11-29-2006, 08:46 PM
If you PM me I can send you a Excel spread sheet that I use as a guide. You can change the price per hour and whatnot.

vincent c. gomeyac
11-29-2006, 09:02 PM
No Sir, it is not HARD at all to pay TAXES and Speak ENGLISH at the same time.

LwnmwrMan22
11-29-2006, 09:47 PM
I know of guys that use a sq ft price, and then enter it into their excel program, or whatever, which also includes linear feet of trimming, a variable for obstacles, and then an extra number or two for other stuff that needs to be charged for.

Me, I find it much easier to go look at a job and say "xxx.xx per month please."

Flex-Deck - nice to see you're still around.

Flex-Deck
11-30-2006, 08:44 PM
In my operation there are two things that enter into my bidding of a property.
1. Size - I bid by the acre ($45 minimum up to 1 acre - $25/acre after that)
2. Complications Involved - (Extra trimming - curbs - high trash accumulation) These may warrant upping the bid a bit on an individual basis.

I have found that a property is a property, and it is going to get mowed for what the market bears in my area. Therefore I do not think it makes any difference to the consumer as to whether
1. My equipment is paid for:
2. I have to drive farther than another LCO
3. What kind of equipment I run - as long as it does a good job.

I really believe in keeping my operation dedicated to mowing (spraying and fertilizing) - All my equipment is dedicated to being the most efficient I can be as to doing a top notch job in the shortest time possible. All my equipment basically runs every day. If I split up into landscaping etc, I have twice the equipment involved, and 1/2 of it is setting around when the other 1/2 is being used.
Thanks, Brad

fiveoboy01
11-30-2006, 10:05 PM
No I'm not saying I am lowering my rates, it is just I will be bringing in more profit since the equipment is paid for. Most guys on here will ask how much to charge and alot of people will reply back what equipment do you own and is it paid for yet. I was just stating that the equipment is paid for and wont have to worry about any big payments. If anything I am raising my rates so I got money to buy new mowing equipment.

No, it's never really paid for. Sure, you can say you don't owe money on it(to the bank anyways). It still costs you money to operate, even if you've paid cash for it, and never had to replace a single part or fill it with gas throughout the life of the machine. You will also have to replace it down the road.

For the original question, it would be too impractical to price by the square foot. Sure, property size will factor into it but so will many other variables.

Price by TIME, not by size.

qualitylawnmanagement
11-30-2006, 11:55 PM
No, it's never really paid for. Sure, you can say you don't owe money on it(to the bank anyways). It still costs you money to operate, even if you've paid cash for it, and never had to replace a single part or fill it with gas throughout the life of the machine. You will also have to replace it down the road.

For the original question, it would be too impractical to price by the square foot. Sure, property size will factor into it but so will many other variables.

Price by TIME, not by size.

If you would of look at my first post and a few post in this thread is will stat that yes it will cost me to operate and have to buy a new machine down the road. But its not like I own 11000 on a machine each year, every other year yes but not every year.

In my first post it will stat:fuel, laborers to pay, and normal business expenses (taxes, license, and such)

to operate it yes This will be normal business expenses, fuel. I'm not saying you didn't read the whole thread but before you post something that I should be considering in this factor and I have at least read it all. Don't take this offensive its just this whole thread got taken over by a none related post in here not saying you made one, you made a very strong point.

qualitylawnmanagement
11-30-2006, 11:57 PM
No Sir, it is not HARD at all to pay TAXES and Speak ENGLISH at the same time.

ok, back to the subject.

qualitylawnmanagement
12-01-2006, 12:01 AM
If you PM me I can send you a Excel spread sheet that I use as a guide. You can change the price per hour and whatnot.

Thanks very much for the spread sheet.

Az Gardener
12-01-2006, 12:45 AM
The thing you are not taking into consideration is the years of experience it takes to "eyeball" a property and come up with an accurate bid. If you want your company to grow and not have to pay an arm and a leg for a estimator with years of experience you figure out a square footage cost.

Then you can hire a person with some basic math skills and they estimate for you. Yes it takes longer to figure out the footage estimating but once you have it done you have a viable system that will enable you to grow your company. Another step towards your business working for you rather than you owning your job.

Obstacles add 3min per each, slope add 12%, excess debris add 1%, also calculate line trimming LFT. and edging LFT. I'm just throwing numbers out there but figure it out and you can hire a estimator for half of what you would pay for a person with the experience to eyeball it. That is if you are serious about growing the company aggressively.

The thing to do is fine tune this while you are doing all the bidding then when you are ready for growth you have the systems in place.

Allen's LS
12-01-2006, 01:30 AM
Thanks very much for the spread sheet.

Anytime, Like I said I use it as a guide. I hope it helps you. and if not you have still learned something.

Kevin :drinkup:

MOW ED
12-01-2006, 07:19 AM
Not being a smart a$$ but take the time you have this winter and enroll in as many basic business management classes you can handle at your community college.
I have no idea on how to tell you to price your lawns, even a ballpark guess doesn't do you justice. You need to get some basics of business down and I mean that as a positive suggestion. Remember that just about anyone can cut grass. Not everyone is successful in running a business. Give yourself an edge.

Josh.S
12-07-2006, 08:54 PM
If you would of look at my first post and a few post in this thread is will stat that yes it will cost me to operate and have to buy a new machine down the road. But its not like I own 11000 on a machine each year, every other year yes but not every year.

I have no idea what you were trying to say in the end of this paragraph.

Was one of those F's you got on your last report card in english?:laugh:... Just kidding..

Anyhow, I would only do pricing per sq. ft. if it was wide open areas, but even then you can have things like big ruts to slow you down.

I would just try to calculate how much you need to charge per hour to make the money you want. Then after a while you will be able to eyeball a lawn and figure out how long it will take (remember to include all the trimming and stuff to mow around). That is my plan anyhow...

- Josh