PDA

View Full Version : I need some advice please


outcold00
04-19-2007, 01:13 AM
hey, im 17, i have been doing landscaping since i was 13, and i wanna know what a good hourly rate would be for me? right now i get $9hr and i know you all would consider me a low baller, but i dont own any equipment i use all my clients stuff, and i dont have a ton of experience but i do have some, do you guys suggest me to bid on the type of job? like mulching? or should i just keep my hourly rate? one of my clients says he wants to order 50 yards of mulch, he said thats what he has gotten before, now i understand alot of you guys here get like $50 bucks a yd, i mean thats alooooot of money to me, but could i charge like $25 bucks a yard? would that be reasonable? i just would like to know because, my mom doesn't want me to price myself too high, because im still new to the business and all, and i know its my business, my mom thinks ill lose the client if i charge him 25 a yard, my mom does his accounting, and she doesn't think he pay me anything close to a reasonable amount, i dont want to lose the client, then i lose money, and i wont gain as much experience, i just wanna know what you guys think, you all probably hate me because i am so cheap, but any input would help, just keep in mind im only 17, 4 yrs ex, dont use any of my equipment thx.

p.s i know i said my mom way too much, but since i still live "under her roof" you know how it is, or used to be, and she knows alot more then me, so any advice on pricing would be really helpfull

britsteroni
04-19-2007, 01:36 AM
outcold,

If you really enjoy doing this type of work, I would suggest trying to get a job with a company in your area so that you can gain experience on what it is like to truly run a business. Besides, most companies will pay you $9.00/hr starting out, and if you show up on time and work hard you will be making more than you are now within a month or two. If you do not enjoy this type of work, find a different p/t job and study to prepare yourself for college.

I would be very careful with what you are doing... First of all, it is against the law if you are not licensed and insured. People told me the same thing and I din't want to hear it, but if one thing were too happen.... I don't want to spoil your fun, I am just trying to help.

I am sure you will get people pissed off because of the lowballing. I can't say I blame them for being upset. Remember, some of us are feeding our families with this type of work, not our savings account.

Good luck to you with whatever you decide to do!

haybaler
04-19-2007, 03:45 AM
actually, it's not against the law. since he doesn't have any equipment, isn't providing any marerials, and he's only 17. the only person that stands to get in trouble is his customers, because by law he's there employee and there liable for all taxes workmans comp ect...

outcold00
04-19-2007, 10:55 AM
outcold,

If you really enjoy doing this type of work, I would suggest trying to get a job with a company in your area so that you can gain experience on what it is like to truly run a business. Besides, most companies will pay you $9.00/hr starting out, and if you show up on time and work hard you will be making more than you are now within a month or two. If you do not enjoy this type of work, find a different p/t job and study to prepare yourself for college.

I would be very careful with what you are doing... First of all, it is against the law if you are not licensed and insured. People told me the same thing and I din't want to hear it, but if one thing were too happen.... I don't want to spoil your fun, I am just trying to help.

I am sure you will get people pissed off because of the lowballing. I can't say I blame them for being upset. Remember, some of us are feeding our families with this type of work, not our savings account.

Good luck to you with whatever you decide to do!

actually i am going to apply to Delaware Valley Landscapes to gain more ex, but what do you all think i could charge a yard? with my experience and also i do like this type of work or else i wouldn't still be in it

haybaler
04-19-2007, 04:35 PM
actually i am going to apply to Delaware Valley Landscapes to gain more ex, but what do you all think i could charge a yard? with my experience and also i do like this type of work or else i wouldn't still be in it

Just work for someone else for now. It's fine if you want to help out the neighbors, ask them what they will pay you. your not in any position to be demanding any more money, plus once you start doing that then you get into the whole business side. (taxes insurance ect..) like I said before, as long as you just show up there, use there equipment, do what they tell you, and let them pay you cash your fine. Whatever you do DONT give them a written bill. Just keep it verbal, that way they are responsible.

PS if you do a good job there likely to give you more money or tips, if not then don't show up anymore or tell them your to busy

outcold00
04-19-2007, 05:50 PM
Just work for someone else for now. It's fine if you want to help out the neighbors, ask them what they will pay you. your not in any position to be demanding any more money, plus once you start doing that then you get into the whole business side. (taxes insurance ect..) like I said before, as long as you just show up there, use there equipment, do what they tell you, and let them pay you cash your fine. Whatever you do DONT give them a written bill. Just keep it verbal, that way they are responsible.

PS if you do a good job there likely to give you more money or tips, if not then don't show up anymore or tell them your to busy

so $9hr is ok for my age doing landscaping? do you think i could try to charge for a mulch job by the yard? or should stick with hourly? it would be ahell of alot cheap hourly tho, thats the sucky part i dont like being a low baller,i do want more experience and more money, i just dont know when i can start actually charging a reasonabe amount

Equalizer
04-19-2007, 06:40 PM
I did a small weeding and mulching job about 2 weeks ago (a total of 332 square feet) and to weed it, and mulch it took me about 2 hours. I charged 160 and got it and she bought me a seafood lunch, lol. all i used was a little hand tiller and bought bagged mulch. If I would have charged 9 an hour i wouldnt have even covered the mulch that I bought, so I would price mulch jobs by the job. just my .02

haybaler
04-19-2007, 07:11 PM
I did a small weeding and mulching job about 2 weeks ago (a total of 332 square feet) and to weed it, and mulch it took me about 2 hours. I charged 160 and got it and she bought me a seafood lunch, lol. all i used was a little hand tiller and bought bagged mulch. If I would have charged 9 an hour i wouldnt have even covered the mulch that I bought, so I would price mulch jobs by the job. just my .02

your not listening to me. have her buy the mulch. one you start buying materials and billing her your going to get yourself into BIG trouble.

haybaler
04-19-2007, 07:14 PM
so $9hr is ok for my age doing landscaping? do you think i could try to charge for a mulch job by the yard? or should stick with hourly? it would be ahell of alot cheap hourly tho, thats the sucky part i dont like being a low baller,i do want more experience and more money, i just dont know when i can start actually charging a reasonabe amount

you can charge a reasonable amount once you go legit. get a truck, your own equipment, insurance and pay taxes.

Darrin A.
04-19-2007, 07:27 PM
so $9hr is ok for my age doing landscaping? do you think i could try to charge for a mulch job by the yard? or should stick with hourly? it would be ahell of alot cheap hourly tho, thats the sucky part i dont like being a low baller,i do want more experience and more money, i just dont know when i can start actually charging a reasonabe amount

I think $9/hour is fine for you. Like the others said, you are working for the customer directly and they are paying for all materials and tools. ALWAYS do the best job you can!!!! Those that would call you a low baller have a very valid point. They are feeding their families but, it sounds like this guy wouldn't hire one of us anyway. I would personally consider you a 17 year old making some extra cash on the side, not a lowballer.
Working for that landscaping company for a couple of years will give you a really good idea of how hard the work can get, how long things will take, and what equipment should be used. You still live with mom so, save as much as you can so if you want to start your own business, you'll have some money set aside. The other thing you should do is continue reading here and post questions when you have them. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Just my .02
Darrin

outcold00
04-19-2007, 08:29 PM
your not listening to me. have her buy the mulch. one you start buying materials and billing her your going to get yourself into BIG trouble.

no i listened and read, i dont ever buy any materials for my customers, but is it possible for me to charge the customer by the yard for installing mulch? or should i keep it hourly?

supercuts
04-19-2007, 09:06 PM
just because your 17 doesnt mean you need to make squat! 9/hr isnt bad but since your doing this on your own you should be able to bump it up to at least 10/hr. i think the guys are right when they tell you to get a job with an LCO in your area to learn more. do a year or two and you'll really be alot farther ahead.

outcold00
04-19-2007, 09:12 PM
just because your 17 doesnt mean you need to make squat! 9/hr isnt bad but since your doing this on your own you should be able to bump it up to at least 10/hr. i think the guys are right when they tell you to get a job with an LCO in your area to learn more. do a year or two and you'll really be alot farther ahead.

thx guys i really appreciate all the advice, i guess when i turn 18 ill get a liscense, now whats the process of getting liscensed as a landscaper? do you learn anything? or is it just getting a card that says your liscensed? so i should be happy with 9 a hr, and i am, but mulching for 9 a hr? thats rough do any of you think i could charge by the yard?

slclawn
04-19-2007, 09:35 PM
Have you ever seen what 50 yrds of mulch looks like its a lot of mulch to move with a wheel barrow. I just layed 30yds of mulch yesterday at a factory and had three guys spreading. With me in the bobcat halling the mulch. The pile was about 300 yards away from where i was laying it and it took a long time to lay in all. You will have your hands full i would say not any lower than 15$ per hour. 25$ per yard seems cheep there are about twenty wheel barrow loads in a yard maybe more good luck hope you make some $$$$$$

M&SLawnCare
04-19-2007, 10:18 PM
First, i guess it depends on where you live. Here as i understand it, any form of income over a set amount, no matter how you get it is taxable. Its an incredibly low amount, like 500 per year i believe as well. So your still dodging taxes illegally by not reporting that, regardless of who's equipment you use. Not that I would make a big deal about that or anything since its just small part time cash for you, I've been there myself, but just to make you aware that you might not be "clear" as some have said.

I'd avoid setting an hourly rate simply because nobody uses that method for cutting grass. At 9/hour your cutting yourself short on what you could be making, and your missing out on learning how to really price and give estimates that will be essential if you want to become serious about it. Learning how to use your equipment to its fullest, give accurate and fair estimates, learning the differences on each lawn and how you need to respond to that is all invaluable experience your missing by hourly rates and constantly changing mowers.

Also your taking a risk by using other peoples equipment. What happens if it breaks? How will they react? Also by using equipment your not very familiar with you wont be as productive as you could be or even as safe. Lastly your severely limiting the amount of potential clients you could have (its expected lawn care providers have the equipment they need for the job without depending on the customer) Beginning startup for this business is extremely easy and cheap (probably why everyone and their brother has at least tried it) so why not do it right and buy some cheap equipment and really learn how its done?

My advice is do one of two things. As many said find a job with a real service provider is a great way to start. The other way, and way i prefer personally, is just dive in and learn from doing. All you need is a very cheap mower and pair of trimmers and your set to start (forget commercial or fancy new mowers. a used 20$ residential is fine to start and you'll be able to replace it with a new residential very quickly with fair pricing. The key is start as cheap as you can and build with your business. Never buy with money you don't have or know for a fact will be coming. Make your business pay for itself, not you pay for your business). Get a rough idea on the prices in your area and give competitively or slightly cheaper estimates and build yourself a small client list. Put quality above all else while your just part time and testing the waters. Learn from everything you do. Mistakes are as good of a learning experience as your successes and always try to learn something from everything you do.

britsteroni
04-20-2007, 02:59 AM
outcold,

You asked what we thought you should charge per yard... I would still charge by the hour due to your circumstances. 12/hr sounds fair for that type of work (25 yards or mulch). Make sure you know what you are getting into with that amount of mulch to spread!

bishoplandscape
04-20-2007, 04:13 AM
I hope you and the customer knows how much mulch 50 yards is. Trust when i say your gonna get some hours in on that pile.:weightlifter: :weightlifter:

[QUOTE=outcold00;1799870]hey, im 17, one of my clients says he wants to order 50 yards of mulch, he said thats what he has gotten before,

outcold00
04-20-2007, 11:06 AM
I hope you and the customer knows how much mulch 50 yards is. Trust when i say your gonna get some hours in on that pile.:weightlifter: :weightlifter:

[QUOTE=outcold00;1799870]hey, im 17, one of my clients says he wants to order 50 yards of mulch, he said thats what he has gotten before,

yea i know its allot, the most i've ever done is 20, thats why i want to have a good profit on this, and if he wont pay it, then he can get a estimate from someone else, or do it himself, but i know this guy, he put braces on my teeth when i was eleven, and if i dont do it, he will do it, so maybe $30/yrd and even thats cheap but i have never charged by the job, and i want to start charging by the job, but i think i have to do it slowly and easily or else i ll lose the clients