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View Full Version : $ per hour, different services.


Tlvoskamp
09-04-2007, 02:42 PM
Here is a question for all of you pros, I am wanting to make sure that I am quoting my jobs in the right neck of the woods for a professional LCO. In West Texas where I operate we have diifferent hourly values we place on different services and we try to quote our jobs to net a certain amount per hour. I was curious about three different areas.

1 Mowing.
2 Landscaping.
3 Chemical Application.

What is your per hour goal when you quote jobs for these areas. I guess you can say how much you hope to net per hour after employees get paid and other expenses get absorbed.

Thanks,

Tlvoskamp

DillonsLawnCare
09-04-2007, 06:59 PM
well i think the old saying is that for labor $1 a minute is what it should be at!

ive never acheived that goal!! its too expensive for some.....

nobagger
09-04-2007, 07:53 PM
Sorry to say but if you are a "Professional" then you should know what to be charging.

Tlvoskamp
09-04-2007, 10:18 PM
No bagger,

I have a pretty good feel, I am just researching to see if my approach is consistent with other markets. " The unexamined life is not worth living " I think the unexamined business is not worth running.

topsites
09-04-2007, 10:58 PM
I don't quote per hour anymore, I quote by the amount of work, how long it takes is then my problem. What takes me 2 hours one time could take all day another, there's just no solid ground to stand on here, quote a customer an hourly rate and I end up working twice the amount over... Don't ask me to quote per hour, it's $30 to start the timer, $2 a minute after that, $100 minimum, nobody asks me how much per hour anymore.

There's a system I use, it defines my prices, it simply costs this much for that, regardless of how and when I decide to do it, and regardless of how long it takes me in the end, x amount of work costs y dollars.

It's all worked out, things weren't always like that, but something to keep in mind for years 2-3 and 4.

As for what I gross, in the end, truck time and maintenance, deposits and paperwork and taxes, who knows for sure because I do a lot of work on days I don't get paid because I'm not out servicing any lots... But on a service day, from the time I leave until the time I sit down, the total amount billed / the total hours adds out to somewhere between 25-35 / hour, which is to say I estimate around $60 an hour if you want to look at it that way but don't assume a first or 2nd year Lco can go out there and quote $60 an hour, they'll give you the 'gimme a break' look, customers can see inexperience from miles away.

I work for my money, my machines run so good they never fail (well, almost never), they run and run and run all year on one oil change, I push them to their limit time and again, all the work that goes into them is what makes me efficient, no farking around.
What happens is I got 3,500 cuts under my belt, today I can look at a lawn and tell you what height to cut it at so you don't spend all day there and still make it look good, no bagging, wether it's 6 inches or 8-10 inches tall it's blam and shazzam lol.
Took 6 years to get there...

See...
My first year I grossed closer to $30 an hour, mostly due to inexperience and lack of equipment, it used to take me dang near an hour to finish a 1/4 - 1/2 acre lot, nowadays I cut an acre in 45 minutes and I'm done in an hour, $55 for an acre lot, but if I want to use the 21" it's still $55...

Tlvoskamp
09-04-2007, 11:12 PM
Top sites,

Thank you for your information. I appreciate the assistance.

steve5966
09-04-2007, 11:37 PM
"they run and run and run all year on one oil change"

I don't know whether to laugh or just shake my head at you lack of mechanical knowledge.

txgrassguy
09-05-2007, 12:00 AM
well i think the old saying is that for labor $1 a minute is what it should be at!

ive never acheived that goal!! its too expensive for some.....

Then change your market strategy.
I have a charging rate for my employees, and it starts at $40 per hour for general landscape maintenance.
Tree trimming is $55.00/hour unless a ladder is involved then it goes to $75.00/hour.
Irrigation repair is a flat $65.00 per labor hour.
Chemical applications are almost entirely done by me and I will not quote an hourly as the chemical, degree of difficulty, amount of labor involved all adds up to a final amount far in excess of a per hour charge.
For instance, I applied a soil sterilent to school campuses to control for unwanted noxious growth in playgrounds and curb side. My cost for the 100 gallons of material was less than $125.00, I had less than four hours into the preparation, spray and decontamination of the tank and I charged over $12.00 per gallon applied. So do the math but it was a winner for me.
Long story short - if you have a "feel" for other markets you are not pushing the envelope in your area to it's potential = leaving money on the table.

All of this said, markets differ somewhat from area to area yet if you deliver a quality product with a reasonable assurance of accuracy and professionalism, you can charge essentially what you are worth not what a "market" will allow.