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View Full Version : Minimum price


Perfect Lawn
02-22-2007, 07:33 PM
I know it goes by area. BUT, if we could all stick together it would pay off for all of us in the long run. Keeping your Minimum prices the same at least $35.00. Who wants to cut grass for 20 0r even 25 Bucks anymore? Maybe when I was 10. So spread the word guys.:usflag: Be Strong:weightlifter:

kc2006
02-22-2007, 07:55 PM
The United Ohio Mowing Association is sitting at $42 for our minimum. Talks are in the work of upping it to $44.

J&R Landscaping
02-22-2007, 08:02 PM
I wish I could charge a minimum of $40 and still have work. Even on some upper class type properties, I don't think I would be able to get that. To many people lowballing the job still doing it for $15. My minimum is $20 and I only have 2 lawns that I charge on that. My average rate is $25-$32 per lawn.

ed2hess
02-22-2007, 08:11 PM
The big company out of Dallas offers mowing for a lot less than your $35, better send some of your boys up there to work him over. The prices continue to come down in general for simple mowing....just too many mowers and not enough yards. Everybody with a trailer now has a big riding ZTR machine.

cpel2004
02-22-2007, 08:16 PM
If Starbucks can get close to 6 buck for a coffee, then you could get 40 bucks. You might not have a lot of customers at first but keep at it. Find a way, build value for the customers. I have a min price, but that depends on what type of property. If it is a convential property its 40 bucks, however its sold as a monthly amount instead of a unit price. Also get as close to your target price as possible of tthe course of the year deliver good service build the expectation that you raise your pricing yearly, get your foot into the door. Let customers know who you are and how your business is different.

cpel2004
02-22-2007, 08:21 PM
its easy to focus on how much money we make per cut. Although its important, the real focus should be on providing and ensuring you have good systems in place. Your systems will tell you how much money you are making and if you should be raising or lowering your price to stay competitive within your market. A mistake that I mad when I started, was focusing too much on price and not my company systems. A good system will ensure that you have an efficient operation, that you are not loosing or wasting money. Your work hard for the money make sure you are not loosing it by wasting time and materials

GreenN'Clean
02-23-2007, 10:46 AM
The Larger the Company seems like the cheaper the cut. I know of a company here that has a min of $10 but then again they have a ton of Mexicans probably illegal so they still are making money from being so cheap.

topsites
02-23-2007, 01:02 PM
Not disagreeing, but in my case it took time (years) before I could enforce a half-decent minimum (which has been $30). More and more the $35 has been playing with my mind, so I'm pretty sure one day soon, I'll be ready for it.

In the meantime thou, I'm also looking to get into not only bigger, but better lots (no more crap that's nothing but moss and weeds {or rocks and dirt, or a combo}, a minimum average quality turf is required before I will service a lot in terms of grass cutting)... On that note, I'm ok with a crappy yard the owners want to refurbish, but don't call me in spring with this crap of a yard expecting me to cut it until september when they think they'll be ready for that (should've called me last september, far as I'm concerned). That right there cuts out a SLEW of customers, but I just can't deal with carrying 5-10 extra customers on my schedule whose yards need cutting maybe 7 times the entire season, when I can cherry pick 2-3 better lots to replace all of that. Quality beats quantity financially, last year proved this much to me, so in my case less is better.
Now, a higher minimum would cut out more of the smallest lots, $30 is still dang good money for those postage stamps, even if few people are willing to pay that much, $35 would help towards getting into larger lots, but then I also have a special going on for acre+ lots for '07 AND I still need a certain amount of customers to survive.

Considering the balance of the above, I think the below has everything to do with it:
Established Lco's (5-8 or more years) have all the good customers and they don't let go easy. This leaves the new Lco struggling with whatever they can get, and we have to be able to make do with that, or we can't make it, either.

It's like that everywhere you go, when you start out anywhere, you start at the bottom and slowly work your way to the top (thou I can also say you never really make it to the very top, it just gets better with time).

But one thing's for sure: Whatever you do, don't drop your price!

bullethead
02-23-2007, 06:31 PM
I know it goes by area. BUT, if we could all stick together it would pay off for all of us in the long run. Keeping your Minimum prices the same at least $35.00. Who wants to cut grass for 20 0r even 25 Bucks anymore? Maybe when I was 10. So spread the word guys.:usflag: Be Strong:weightlifter:

Ok, we'll get right on it. You picked one of the lowest barrier to entry industries going - so if you don't like competition, I think you best look elsewhere.

Perfect Lawn
02-23-2007, 10:19 PM
Ok, we'll get right on it. You picked one of the lowest barrier to entry industries going - so if you don't like competition, I think you best look elsewhere.

Yea, whatever dude. we are all here on the site to help each other out. If your not game,:nono: then go. Ok Mr. Lowballer?

bullethead
02-24-2007, 01:30 PM
I am helping you - by telling you how it is and how it is going to be. Call me as soon as you complete your statewide price increase, with the power of the internet - I'm sure it won't be long.

supercuts
02-24-2007, 07:51 PM
wow, looks like school is out, anyway, my min is $35 and goes up from there, ruffly at 45 average

acutabovelandscapinginc
02-24-2007, 08:06 PM
I won't unload anything for less than $35.00.

LB1234
02-24-2007, 08:26 PM
I think its impossible to have a 'statewide' minimum or industry-wide minimum. Its the biggest bunch of BS I've ever heard. I don't want anyone to tell me what minimum charge I need to have.

I'm assuming everyones operational costs are the same? We all travel the same distance to the jobsite? We all pay our employees the same? I know what my operational costs are and what I need to make, I don't need someone else to inform me of a minimum.

I charged 20 bucks per cut on one account last year. According to everyone else I'm a 'lowballer'. Well, the lawn is approximately 20x10 with a small island in the middle. It takes me exactly 3 passes with my 48" WB and all of 3 minutes to cut the lawn. In less than 15 minutes I have it trimmed, sidewalks edged, lawn cut, and clippings blown off....all with one person. 20 Minutes if I include 5 minutes to unpack/pack the trailer.

This 20 dollar cut gets me (for additional $) a spring cleanup, fertilizer/pesticide program, leaf cleanup, snow plow/salting contract, as well as various other no contractural property maintenance related jobs. But no, I should lose an account that generates our company hundreds of dollars a month over a difference of 15 dollars per cut to stay at an 'industry minimum' in which we have no idea where the number comes from.

If you haven't guessed I think its ridiculous.:nono:

Chilehead
02-24-2007, 08:39 PM
I have raised my minimum price to $25.00 for a Cut/trim/edge/blow. Clipping collection is extra. If per chance I get 7 houses in a row that are smaller lots (esp. new subdivisions), I may charge a lower fee due to the sheer volume of clients, and due to the fact that I don't have to pack up and leave between each house.

Uranus
02-24-2007, 08:47 PM
Got you beat already. $40 minimum. Sorry old timers on fixed incomes. With my 4 month vacation every winter I need the money to survive and pay my taxes. Oh yea there is something called profit. There's now way I'm running a business and only going to earn a paycheck. If I wanted to do that I would have stayed working for others for $14 per hour. That $40 does not include edging. Mow, trim, blow, and go.

Perfect Lawn
02-25-2007, 07:13 AM
My Minimum is $ 35.00 for anywhere from 0-3000 SQF. Even if the want me to pull up and edge the street only, I let them know that I do have a minimum charge of 35 bucks.

YardPro
02-25-2007, 10:04 AM
we have a $40.00 minimum here as well..

you'll never get ahead mowing for $25.00/yard... NEVER..

solo, you may be able to pump out 15 per day.
you work 6 days per week that's a maximum of 90 yards a week.
this works out to only $63,000.00/year, if you mow EVERY yard EVERY week for a full 28 weeks..

you minus out all your overhead and you'll be lucky to clear $40K....

IN2MOWN
02-25-2007, 10:17 AM
I have a 35 min except for a few older customers that I have had for a while now. I still havent raised them up.

Having a national or even a statewide minimum will never happen.

There are too many guys out there who wont adhere to it and there isnt anyone in this country that could force a company to charge a certain amount for cutting grass.

Aint gonna happen.

bullethead
02-26-2007, 10:35 AM
we have a $40.00 minimum here as well..

you'll never get ahead mowing for $25.00/yard... NEVER..

solo, you may be able to pump out 15 per day.
you work 6 days per week that's a maximum of 90 yards a week.
this works out to only $63,000.00/year, if you mow EVERY yard EVERY week for a full 28 weeks..

you minus out all your overhead and you'll be lucky to clear $40K....

Never say NEVER:nono:

IN2MOWN
02-26-2007, 10:58 AM
Never say NEVER:nono:


Your probably right about the never say never but the FACT is that it will take a heckuva lot longer to get where you are going with a low minimum.

I started out with a 25 minimum 6 years ago. I was shocked at the warm reception I had when I went to a 35 minimum for new customers 2 years ago. Nobody said a thing about it.

Az Gardener
02-26-2007, 11:15 AM
I charged 20 bucks per cut on one account last year. According to everyone else I'm a 'lowballer'. Well, the lawn is approximately 20x10 with a small island in the middle. It takes me exactly 3 passes with my 48" WB and all of 3 minutes to cut the lawn. In less than 15 minutes I have it trimmed, sidewalks edged, lawn cut, and clippings blown off....all with one person. 20 Minutes if I include 5 minutes to unpack/pack the trailer.

This 20 dollar cut gets me (for additional $) a spring cleanup, fertilizer/pesticide program, leaf cleanup, snow plow/salting contract, as well as various other no contractural property maintenance related jobs. But no, I should lose an account that generates our company hundreds of dollars a month over a difference of 15 dollars per cut to stay at an 'industry minimum' in which we have no idea where the number comes from.

If you haven't guessed I think its ridiculous.:nono:

You are only looking at half the picture. What about the liability you are exposing yourself to? How long would you have to do that job to pay for the deductible if you break a window? What about the risk you are exposed to every time you put your truck on the road? For a 5 or 7 $ per week profit? Then there is the issue of the time the job occupies on the schedule I guess not a big deal if your schedule is not full. What job are you not taking to keep a $ 20 job. These are all things that you should consider before taking on a job. Your time would be better spent working on your business rather than in it for that 20 min each week.

I know you are getting all this other work too but to me that is even more scary because it is clear you have no minimums. So I can only assume your exposure is as great and the pay as low for these other services as well. Given your pricing strategy.

I'm not trying to bust your ball's just trying to save you an expensive lesson. Do this, calculate your profit from this job for the entire year and then look at the number objectively and ask yourself is it worth the liability I am exposed to to service this property?

Just to throw my minimums into the fray. We don't stop the truck for less than $70 and that is the exception because this one client is a good friend, for everyone else the minimum is $120.00

bullethead
02-26-2007, 01:21 PM
You are only looking at half the picture. What about the liability you are exposing yourself to? How long would you have to do that job to pay for the deductible if you break a window? What about the risk you are exposed to every time you put your truck on the road? For a 5 or 7 $ per week profit? Then there is the issue of the time the job occupies on the schedule I guess not a big deal if your schedule is not full. What job are you not taking to keep a $ 20 job. These are all things that you should consider before taking on a job. Your time would be better spent working on your business rather than in it for that 20 min each week.

I know you are getting all this other work too but to me that is even more scary because it is clear you have no minimums. So I can only assume your exposure is as great and the pay as low for these other services as well. Given your pricing strategy.

I'm not trying to bust your ball's just trying to save you an expensive lesson. Do this, calculate your profit from this job for the entire year and then look at the number objectively and ask yourself is it worth the liability I am exposed to to service this property?

Just to throw my minimums into the fray. We don't stop the truck for less than $70 and that is the exception because this one client is a good friend, for everyone else the minimum is $120.00

You do bring up a good point and everyone should be cognizant of his/her liability issues (it's can be a big factor in many landscape construction projects for us). Just to play devils advocate, the other side of the picture is one will hopefully have greater volume at the lower price - accordingly with more houses and shorter service times the probability/risk of an event is lower.

Jake Wolf
02-26-2007, 02:25 PM
What are you pulling in on an hourly basis? At the end of the day, what matters is what's left in your pocket.

Doing that helped me double my profits and I'm working less than I was before. Bring on the lowballers. They keep my business growing every year!

LB1234
02-26-2007, 07:15 PM
You are only looking at half the picture. What about the liability you are exposing yourself to? How long would you have to do that job to pay for the deductible if you break a window? What about the risk you are exposed to every time you put your truck on the road? For a 5 or 7 $ per week profit? Then there is the issue of the time the job occupies on the schedule I guess not a big deal if your schedule is not full. What job are you not taking to keep a $ 20 job. These are all things that you should consider before taking on a job. Your time would be better spent working on your business rather than in it for that 20 min each week.

I know you are getting all this other work too but to me that is even more scary because it is clear you have no minimums. So I can only assume your exposure is as great and the pay as low for these other services as well. Given your pricing strategy.

I'm not trying to bust your ball's just trying to save you an expensive lesson. Do this, calculate your profit from this job for the entire year and then look at the number objectively and ask yourself is it worth the liability I am exposed to to service this property?

Just to throw my minimums into the fray. We don't stop the truck for less than $70 and that is the exception because this one client is a good friend, for everyone else the minimum is $120.00

Appreciate the insight and I don't think you're busting my balls (my wife does plenty of that:cry: ).

Remember we are speaking about lawn servicing here. The statement was made to have a minimum price to perform your basic lawn service (mow, trim, & blow). The point I'm trying to make is you can't. How do we establish what the minimum is? What is the criteria for establishing X amount as the minimum. The orginal poster I believe said 35...why? Because thats the going rate in his area or does he actually now how much he needs to make in a day hour whatever to turn a profit??? And you can't tell me all those numbers are going to be the same. Impossible. Hence my stance on this minimum charge suggestion.

As far as that one $20 cut...that is my only one. Lets just leave it as there is an exception to everything. My next lowest lawn cut is 35. Appreciate you looking out for my numbers, but I do know what they are and I know what I need to make to turn the profit I want. I have a number that needs to be generated as soon as my key goes into the ignition. So yes, I do have minimums...but as stated above there are exceptions. In this case there is one.

I give you a for instance...

We do sod installations...small under 5kft. I need at least 1.5 a sqft to turn a profit and make good on the job. The going rate is ~$1/sqft. Do you see me bitchin that the minimum sod installation cost should be $1.5?

Mow Mony
02-27-2007, 09:15 PM
Wouldn't establishing a statewide, national or any minimum across the board be considered price fixing, which last time I looked was illegal?

By the way, our minimum to show up and unload is $35 which seems to be pretty common, and we have a very tight route...

I also have some properties that are front yard only, take about 6-7 minutes per account, and guess what price they pay?

$35 and they are happy, we are happy so...

Do quality work, and a lot of advertising, and you will be able to charge a price minimum, and be able to turn down work that isn't as profitable or undesirable, and not think twice about it.

Good luck!

JFF
02-27-2007, 09:24 PM
I certainly won't do anything for less than $35.

cyberdogpa
02-28-2007, 09:02 PM
I was charging $28 per .25 acre then we had lowballers saying that they would do it for 20 per lawn -- after 1 season with the lowballers -- customers were calling me back and I had to charge them 33 per lawn ( new customer rates) a lot wouldnt pay the increase -- so I sold all my equipment -- short of a few peices == this yr they have started calling already and still want it done for 28-33 It would cost me closer to 48 for each this yr --- I think I'll stay with handyman stuff it pays better

mulchmaster
03-01-2007, 09:21 AM
Talking about a base price, I was talking to a plowing customer last year who told me the local LCO was charging him $12 to mow his property! With my 60"" exmark it would take me 25 min from start to finish. He told me that If I could do it for that price I could have it. This company is a very large operation also. I told him that as long as he was happy with their work he should stay with them because that was a great price.

Andrew

LB1234
03-01-2007, 10:16 PM
Talking about a base price, I was talking to a plowing customer last year who told me the local LCO was charging him $12 to mow his property! With my 60"" exmark it would take me 25 min from start to finish. He told me that If I could do it for that price I could have it. This company is a very large operation also. I told him that as long as he was happy with their work he should stay with them because that was a great price.

Andrew

My wife and I bought a house last year on two acres, 1.5 acres mowable. The guy we bought it from informed me the guy cutting it was doing it for 50 bucks a cut. My jaw dropped. I was contemplating calling him up and asking him to continue to do it. LOL

Perfect Lawn
03-01-2007, 10:51 PM
I think its so much better to have small propertys at 35-40 bucks a pop, Than the acre lot where you are trying to get 50-75. I dont even advertise in those type neighborhoods. Small is More....

Chilehead
03-16-2007, 12:57 AM
Let me add one further clarification to my $25.00 minimum price: all customers who qualify for this price are in cluster homes. Eight residences take me 70 minutes to cut/trim/edge/blow! That's approx. $200.00/hour! Some top U.S. attorneys don't make that much.

ncls
03-16-2007, 01:44 AM
Well, let me put on my fire suit. :blob2: We have a large suburb outside of Cleveland, where we charge a minimum of 17.50 per cut. That is a contracted price. Guaranteed to pay for 27 cuts. In two days one 2 man crew cuts 127 homes. The total lot size is roughly 45-50 by 75-90. These people can't afford more. Many new scapers come here every year and start out. It is pretty cut throat. That works out to 123 per hr. The houses are very tight. 6-12 on a long street. One area, the rider comes off the trailer at 8:30, and doesn't load back up until almost 2:00pm. Took me 4 years to develop that area.

For me, it's all about the hourly rate. I know my costs, every last one of them. I pay my people real well. Minimum money needed to be generated is $80.00 per hour for a two man crew.

I ran two crews last year, plus myself and two part-timers. We also plow in the winter. Newer equipment, trucks, trailers, etc.

I do some of the administrative work. I'm in the field 5 days, 5-6 hours a day.

If I'm a low-baller, then I've been successful at it since 1994. I'm in other suburbs where the money flows better. You bet I get top dollar.

It's all about what the market will bear.

Chilehead
03-17-2007, 01:14 AM
Look, NCLS, I used to live in Cleveland, OH (North Royalton, actually). If you are willing to travel to Beachwood, Pepper Pike or to Summit County's Richfield/Bath area you could do alot better. I used to cut Crystal Lakes off of Rt.18 in Fairlawn/Montrose area of Summit County back in the mid-90s and even back then, $20.00 a house/cut was the norm for the area (and these are cluster homes). I've even thought of opening a branch office in Cuyahoga County if I wasn't so busy here in Atlanta. I need to get more help first. And take it from me: if your work is your best reference you do NOT need to low-ball.

Perfect Lawn
03-17-2007, 07:50 AM
When I lived in Charleston SC, which was my first yr in buis. My minimum price was $20-25. That was because I was afraid they would say no. When I moved to Georgia I said no more being afraid, minimum price $35. I tell the customer "I know its a small yd. but my minimum is $35. Only a few say NO, The ones that say no to that price you dont want as a customer anyway. Those that only care about price will cancel soon anyway. NO FEAR NO FEAR NO FEAR:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: