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View Full Version : How much do I charge for mowing lawns


Muffy
03-29-2007, 10:47 PM
I'm just getting into the mowing business
and I'm lost as what to charge people. Do
I charge by the foot or do I rough guess
as to what the footage is. For example
what do I charge for a half acre or a
full acre? Any help in this matter will be
greatly appreciated by me.

cks dad
03-29-2007, 11:05 PM
Depending on is the yard flat with no obstacles.Is it hilly i take all of this in consideration.Plus are you trimming and blowingalso?Half acre cut trim and blow would charge$40.one acre with not alot of obstacles i would charge $65
Hope this has been of some help.Good luck

d.m.d.
03-29-2007, 11:08 PM
muffy(for real)........anyway ask around when you see other people cutting they will usually tell you.but here in missouri i dont cut anything for less than 25 bucks.i try to get 35 or 40/hr.remember do a good job and dont sell yourself short.always charge what your worth or youll be worth what you charge.dont be an under bidder to get work.it hurts everyone........just my opinion

dKoester
03-29-2007, 11:56 PM
I did an estimate this week on a 1/4 acre property and got the job for 40 bucks a week for every week in the year. Its like 2080 bucks for the year. We are slammed pack with new lawns this year. Advertising was awesome and worked great.

Bluestem
03-30-2007, 12:00 AM
muffy(for real)........anyway ask around when you see other people cutting they will usually tell you.but here in missouri i dont cut anything for less than 25 bucks.i try to get 35 or 40/hr.remember do a good job and dont sell yourself short.always charge what your worth or youll be worth what you charge.dont be an under bidder to get work.it hurts everyone........just my opinion

This is the most important consideration. Charge an amount that will allow you to stay on the property long enough to do a perfect job. If you underbid, you'll feel rushed and you won't do the job you should be doing. Starting out, you will bid wrong on some properties. We all have. Just learn from it. You'll be fine. Good luck.

justanotherlawnguy
03-30-2007, 12:21 AM
your an idiot, how are you gonna attempt to start a lawn biz and come on here and ask what you should charge....

Get a business plan.

YOu should have asked the sears lawnmower salesman when you bought the mower....

cranium2001
03-30-2007, 12:36 AM
I thought this forum was called "Starting a Lawn Care & Landscaping Business", not the "ask a question and get ruined by someone" forum.:cry:

CoreyD
03-30-2007, 12:38 AM
your an idiot, how are you gonna attempt to start a lawn biz and come on here and ask what you should charge....

Get a business plan.

YOu should have asked the sears lawnmower salesman when you bought the mower....

WOW dude.... your a real a$$hole you know?.... this forum is for starting a landscape/lawn business.... dont come on here calling people idiots like that.... just help him out .... jesus

lurch
03-30-2007, 12:59 AM
it's guys like that one that make me ashamed to be a human....we need to downgrade him to neanderthal status....(justanotherlawnguy)

Lawns by Steve
03-30-2007, 02:30 AM
your an idiot, how are you gonna attempt to start a lawn biz and come on here and ask what you should charge....

Get a business plan.

YOu should have asked the sears lawnmower salesman when you bought the mower....

I believe your the one that looks like an idiot, if you don't want to offer people sound advice then stay away from this forum. Your just wasting space and peoples time. As for the original question, like others have said make sure your not selling yourself short, figure out what you need to make an hour to support your expenses and to turn a profit and go from there.

Runner
03-30-2007, 03:18 AM
Wow. You want some sound advice? And I mean some SOUND advice? You need to do some research.... I know,...starting on here, and asking some questions can be considered research,....but you need to look deeper. You need to know your costs....no one knows this, or can figure this out but you. You start from the tail, and work the other way. It is not a matter of trial and error...let's see if this price works,...then settle for what you are getting. You probably have no idea of just how vague this question you are asking is. Let me tell you this.... You can get replies from people in one area that will tell you that 25 is the going rate (because that's what it is for their area), and you an get replies from people that will say that 50 is the going rate for the same amount of area. Then, you will get the proverbial "dollar a minute" thing which has been discussed on here many of times, and has always been a joke. Anyway, let me tell you this...you have a GREAT resource here. If used properly, it will benefit you the most. Do a search on pricing, and I guaranTEE you - you will come up with atLEAST a day's worth of reading that will benefit you.
Also, for the business plan response,...this guy may have been a bit crude with his reply, but he he is right on with the advice on the business plan.

TTPRODR
03-30-2007, 04:55 AM
business plan is a price sheet?thats whats all about?geez im gonna ask my 5 year old boy to do that for me, why go with the sears salesmen?

supercuts
03-30-2007, 10:10 AM
your an idiot, how are you gonna attempt to start a lawn biz and come on here and ask what you should charge....

Get a business plan.

YOu should have asked the sears lawnmower salesman when you bought the mower....

wow, what a responce. if you ask me MUFFY is smart except the name he picked. he wants to start a business and before he starts he is collecting information from people who do this for a living. what better way??? now, if he chooses to, he can start with a fairly good educated way to give estimates. if i had this opportunity when i started i wouldnt have started so cheap and would have been able to reinvest quicker without working my butt so hard to make some $. granted his question is vague, and he could have asked guys in NY to respond, or ask more specific areas of concern, but as people respond he almost gets alot of it.

now as far as just another lawn guy, grow up you hypocrite. this formum is titled "starting a lawn business" and is a punch of guys all asking what to charge and how to do things. guess what, most are responding positively with constructive advise. that makes you the idiot. because most of us are responding. are you going to put that on every question to this forum?? the way i see it is that not only are we helping him but ourselves as well. now when he starts hes not lowballing and taking work away from us.

and runner, his questions are vague, but he is new and probably doenst knwo what to ask. as people respond he knows were to start looking and researching. i think he chose the perfect place to start asking question. if i was able to i would have been more successful sooner. its unfortunate that some act like if they respond they themselves will go out of business.

as for your prices muffy, im in CT and $35 is my min with postage stamp sized lawn exceptions. if your starting you will have no idea how much fuel you will use and how long it will take to mow a lawn. layman's terms start at $35, the bigger the lawn, the more trimming, hills, bagging, lots of obsticles(trees,pools,fences,etc) the price goes up.

Duekster
03-30-2007, 10:17 AM
as much as possible.

TTPRODR
03-30-2007, 12:07 PM
hey lawn guy why you have not showed up, where can i meet you to kick your butt homie?

topsites
03-30-2007, 12:21 PM
- 1/4 acre lot: Min. $30.00
- 3/8 acre lot: Min. $35.00
- 1/2 acre lot: Min. $40.00
- 5/8 acre lot: Min. $45.00
- 3/4 acre lot: Min. $50.00
- 7/8 acre lot: Min. $55.00
1 acre 60 (thou mine's at 55 and you can do it for as little as 50, I wouldn't start giving discounts before you get to 3/4 acres, and $5 at most then).

your an idiot, how are you gonna attempt to start a lawn biz and come on here and ask what you should charge....

Well now if you don't know, you have to ask, that's what this is all about.
I wish more new guys just came right out and asked like that, he's not trying to trick us into telling him, he's not asking us to give him the entire blueprints for running his business, he's asking a simple question and I'm ok with that.

On that note, new guys do have to expect this occasional outburst, we all get our moments lol.

NELawnCare
03-30-2007, 01:01 PM
Asking that first lawn care (lc) question on this forum is a tough step. It takes some self-confidence and bravery. If you are a lurker here, you're quickly intimidated by all the experience discussed by other forum members. Anyone willing to jump out there an post a question gets 2-points.

My advice, create a business plan before you do anything else. A business plan is a snapshop picture of how you will do business, what money you expect to make, and what money it will cost to get your business started. The business plan should address:

- demographics in your area (population by age, income, etc). You can get this information by visiting your state government web site or go here: http://www.census.gov/ . The demographics will help you in many ways. It can help determine what is the average family size and income for your area. It will help you estimate what prices are reasonable for your area based on average income.

- Build a list of services you want to offer (e.g. mowing, pressure washing, tree removal, etc).

- Build a "conservative" estimate showing how much money you think you can make for year 1, 2, 3, 4, and year 5 for your services. You do this by figuring out a reasonable market value for your services. Call around to several other lc(s) in your area. Pretend you're a potential customer. Ask them how much they charge. Use your demographics information to forecast how many customers you think you can get in years 1-5. This is called revenue.

- Build a list of equipment you will need to perform the work. Take your competition into consideration. Shop around and get estimates on your equipment. This will give you your equipment startup costs.

- Build a list of advertisement methods and costs (e.g. flyers, door hangers, business cards, signs, etc). This will give your your advertisement startup costs.

- Build a list of daily/weekly expenses you will need to run your business (e.g. gas, supplies, parts, etc). This will be your "cost of doing business" expenses.

- Tell a story in your business plan. Describe how you think you will start your business, how you will manage your business, and describe alternative plans if the business fails (e.g. recoup your losses by selling equipment, etc).

Bring all this information together in your business plan. Then take your business plan to the Small Business Administration (SBA) in your area. Let someone at the Small Business Administration review and critique your plan. It's a FREE service by the SBA. Take their comments and critiques and refine your business plan.

Once you've refined your business plan several times it will begin to take shape and provide you with a good information on your "plan to do business". It won't be perfect nor guarrantee success. But it will give you a clear understanding of:

- what your startup costs will be
- what your daily expenses will be
- what you can expect in revenue and profit
- what your advertising cost and strategy will be
- what market target should be

It will be invaluable in helping you make good logical decisions (what you can afford, what revenue you can expect to make, what services and prices will be reasonable for your area, etc).

Finally, don't be afraid to post questions on this forum. I would certainly recommend you use the search feature on this site and search on key words that interest you. Many times other folks have already asked the questions and the answers are here. Don't let anyone rude discourage you from asking questions on here!

Hope this helps.

SSS 18734
03-30-2007, 02:13 PM
topsite's minimum rates are right on the money for lawns here in middle to upper class Kansas City, and will probably be a good way to start your business unless your mowing in some bad neighborhoods.

After a while, you'll be able to just walk around the yard for a few minutes and determine the price. If there are few obstacles and moderate trimming and blowing, charge those minimum rates. Increase rates with hilly yards, long chain link fences, huge driveways/lots of sidewalks, or anything else that will cost you more time.

Ecoscape01
03-30-2007, 04:50 PM
NELawnCare - that was about the most useful I've ever seen given for a question like that. As a newbie myself, it's encouraging to see responses like that. Thanks. Also, could you elaborate on just how to use the Census website. I think "Muffy" and myself as well as many others could benefit if you could give us some guidance on using that site.(dude you gotta change that, I felt weird just typin it - lol). I've snooped around there before attempting to get useful market research for high-income areas and that sort of thing but I didn't get anywhere. Don't mean to hi-jack but I think Muffy got as 'bout a good of an answer as he could get. So, any suggestions

TNT LawnCare Inc.
03-30-2007, 08:43 PM
your an idiot, how are you gonna attempt to start a lawn biz and come on here and ask what you should charge....

Get a business plan.

YOu should have asked the sears lawnmower salesman when you bought the mower....

WOW :hammerhead: Shame on you Mr Pro Grass cutter:hammerhead:

xpnd
03-30-2007, 10:16 PM
as much as possible.

EXACTLY!! 4 WORDS, ONE PHRASE AND THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW. You will find self righteous individuals on here that would never say that. I am running a business not a non profit organization. I do not offer discounts to any group, retirees or otherwise. I am not affiliated with Wal-Mart nor share there goal of falling prices. I do not subscribe to the theory of, "I lose a little bit on every job I do but make it up at the end of the day in volume." My goal is to make the maximum amount of money for minimal amount of labor.

One of my competitors was fired from a site I now presently work. He was getting paid roughly $2600.00 a year to maintain it. He drove it into the ground. I came in as dirty and as smelly as a sewer rat from spraying jobs all day and walked away with a signed service agreement worth over $3800.00 and the customer was grinning ear to ear. I promised the same things my competitor did and was asked why I was more than 30% more expensive than last year. My reply was that I was actually charging enough to perform the work and not just promise the work. I came in did one app and one mowing service and the customer's response was, "You've only been here one time and it already looks better than it did all of last year." Even though I am comfortable at my current bid, guess who is getting at least a 10% price hike next year. This site is roughly under 12,000sft of turf. Shrub and bed work is not included in this price. Only mowing and chemicals.

Find out what the market price is for your area and then charge between 5-10% more. Present yourself in a professional confident manner; have swagger, speak as though you've been educated beyond the third grade, if the customer is wrong take the time to educate them so they have a self discovery. No one enjoys being told they are wrong even when they are.

Lets say lawns are going for $20.00 in your area. If you can convince every new client to pay you 5% more or $21.00 then for every 20 jobs you do, your competitor has to do 21 to make the same gross, yet probably 22 jobs to make the same net. If you have 100 jobs and are getting a buck more for each of them every week, after 30 weeks of mowing, the guy that is charging $20.00 a pop would have had to mow an additional 150 jobs just to match the extra $3000.00 of pure profit you made but really he probably had to mow 200 extra to match your profit. A buck more doesn't seem like a big deal but by the end of the season, it will turn my head and get my attention. Think hard, Work smart!!

justanotherlawnguy
03-31-2007, 01:02 AM
business plan is a price sheet?thats whats all about?geez im gonna ask my 5 year old boy to do that for me, why go with the sears salesmen?

your an dork also!!!
If you think a business plan is a price sheet, you have got serious lack of business skills.

your 5 year old probably has more business skills, and since you did not get my joke about asking the sears salesman (not salesmen like you typed). IT WAS A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh and I am in Tampa, so whenever your in town let me know and I will show you how the big dogs roll.....

justanotherlawnguy
03-31-2007, 01:10 AM
WOW dude.... your a real a$$hole you know?.... this forum is for starting a landscape/lawn business.... dont come on here calling people idiots like that.... just help him out .... jesus

Yes I do know that, but I appreciate the reminder. I understand its a forum called starting a landscape/lawn business, but jesus put some thought into it and SEARCH the previous threads for information.

Hell for that matter drive down the street and talk to the local LCO, most are not that bad. I have talked to more guys locally and give away so much business it is pathetic. I have no problem helping people out, but make some effort to help yourself first.

I give away accounts left and right to help people out. I met this one LCO while I was waiting for my lunch at this chinese place last year. They walked away with $300/a month in business that I was dying to get away from, and I still refer them to customers that I dont want to work for.

I may come across as an a$$ on here but it is usually because of ******ed threads and stupid questions (yes there are stupid questions despite what most say).

Chadman
03-31-2007, 10:17 AM
The guy who posted the comment is an idiot. I agree with the above replies, this is a thread to help people get started and have some questions answered, even if they are basic, easy questions. If you don't want to help the person then just keep the mouth shut, and keep your idiotic responses to yourself!

Muffy
03-31-2007, 10:40 AM
I want to thank everyone for the good advice and
for taking the time to answer. Now I can just go
through all the information and set my figures
according to what the information revield, thanks
again.

Lawns by Steve
03-31-2007, 10:45 AM
I want to thank everyone for the good advice and
for taking the time to answer. Now I can just go
through all the information and set my figures
according to what the information revield, thanks
again.

Good luck with your adventure! It will be a challenge, which I have come to find out, but that is what drives me. I think if there is no challenge then what is the fun in doing it. I started off this year as a solo operator and have visions of having 2 to 3 crews running in the future. You got to have a bigger picture to keep the drive going. Good luck.:usflag:

Ric3077
03-31-2007, 10:50 AM
I charge $95 for a 1 acre lot with minimal obstacles...those that do it for $60 or less are leaving money on the table...I know it varies by location but I am in St. Louis which isn't exactly a high cost of living if anything people elsewhere should charge more than me. My minimum is $30 though which usually covers up to .22 acre lots.

NELawnCare
03-31-2007, 11:15 AM
NELawnCare - that was about the most useful I've ever seen given for a question like that. As a newbie myself, it's encouraging to see responses like that. Thanks. Also, could you elaborate on just how to use the Census website. I think "Muffy" and myself as well as many others could benefit if you could give us some guidance on using that site.(dude you gotta change that, I felt weird just typin it - lol). I've snooped around there before attempting to get useful market research for high-income areas and that sort of thing but I didn't get anywhere. Don't mean to hi-jack but I think Muffy got as 'bout a good of an answer as he could get. So, any suggestions

On the Census site, look at the options along the right-hand column. One of the options is "Find An Area Profile with QuickFacts". Select a state. Or you can go here: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html . Once you select a state, new options are available at the top in drop-down menus. Select the county or city you're interested in getting information on.

Hope this helps.

daveintoledo
03-31-2007, 11:31 AM
i think this is a bad idea, what someone charges in penn, is gong to be different then texas or anywhere else... different license requirments, different overhead..

YOU need to go out bid some lawns, make some mistakes, loose your butt a time or two, and LEARN what YOU need to charge...

experience, only one way to get it.....