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View Full Version : What is your minimum you lower your trailer gate for ? :)


hunlimo
11-28-2007, 10:11 AM
Hey guys!

I'm so sorry I was abandoning you guys for a while but I started about 4 weeks ago and did not have a day off since. I'm getting the good and bad of the lawn service industry. I'm sure you guys experienced this already. I'm just curious what is your minimum charge for mowing, and will you do (in my opinion PITA) one time cuts? Also how long does it take you to that property? Please remember back in the old days when you started your company or just post your standards if you a newcomer just like me.:C) .

Grits
11-28-2007, 10:36 AM
$35 minimum. Might go up to $40 next season.
I will do one time cuts if I have the time and/or feel like it.

lawnjockey56
11-28-2007, 11:16 AM
dont know where in fla you are but my monthly customers average out to 25 per visit-anyone who just calls and is an add on is 60 for a one time shot.

Dodge Truck
11-28-2007, 11:25 AM
30 is the min and usually takes less than 12 min

hunlimo
11-28-2007, 11:58 AM
I really appreciate the replies guys! It made me realize that I was fishing in the bottom of the barrel :). There are just people who think that the reason you invested thousand of dollars is that you could cut their lawn for 15.00...itís funny in some way but rather makes me sad. Also like the customer who let me know that my hourly rate is too high for cutting grass. He quickly figured my 80.00 monthly estimates, he said his yard should take me 30min so Iím making 40.00/h and that is too much :)

Thanks for the replies guys!!!

Turf Commando
11-28-2007, 12:20 PM
He quickly figured my 80.00 monthly estimates, he said his yard should take me 30min so I’m making 40.00/h and that is too much :)


Since when does he decide your to expensive? tell him find someone else or go buy a cheap $100 mower and get pushing...
Maybe he forgot who owns the lawn service...''You can giveth or taketh away.'' lol...

Patriot Services
11-28-2007, 04:13 PM
I know what you mean about the math genius' that like to break everything down to an hourly figure. Out of 40.00 an hour 25 of that is tax and overhead. I just sigh and tell them that is the price and it is not negotiable.I then refer them to the hand written sign on every corner that says any lawn 20.00. My one time cuts went up to 50.00 for 1/4 acre this year. In all honesty my PITA volume was way down this year. I guess when the heat index is over 120 people are more agreeable. :usflag::usflag::usflag:

Daves Propert Maintenance
11-28-2007, 04:16 PM
$25 this year, bumping it up to $35 next year.

topsites
11-28-2007, 04:45 PM
I say we do what we gotta do until we can afford to tell them to take a hike, that's how it works, at least it did for me.

I'm sorry to hear about it happening but I did go through that crap too.
Oh yes sir, more than once, more than a few times even.
I wouldn't worry about it but so much, it's actually good for you, seriously.
That stuff builds humility, if it were not for that can you imagine how arrogant a guy like me would be?
If it weren't for those days my current arrogance would be like a walk in the park in comparison.
Well...

It gets better in time, it really does.

Now I'll tell you but keep in mind I'm fixing to start my 7th year...
I don't start my truck for less than $100 a day, and I don't drop the gate for less than $30...
But I also got money saved so when I don't have enough work it don't bother me but so much.
Nothing wrong with having a minimum, don't go too low, but you might consider 25.

I'll tell you one secret: Advertise, advertise, advertise.

Good luck sir.

Stillwater
11-28-2007, 04:54 PM
I really appreciate the replies guys! It made me realize that I was fishing in the bottom of the barrel :). There are just people who think that the reason you invested thousand of dollars is that you could cut their lawn for 15.00...itís funny in some way but rather makes me sad. Also like the customer who let me know that my hourly rate is too high for cutting grass. He quickly figured my 80.00 monthly estimates, he said his yard should take me 30min so Iím making 40.00/h and that is too much :)

Thanks for the replies guys!!!

what you make per hour is none of your customers business

All_Toro_4ME
11-28-2007, 04:58 PM
You might try asking some others from FL. The prices for lawn service there are MUCH different then for the rest of us. By different, I mean much lower. 35 is the min for me for avg size prop.

Dunlaps LawnCare
11-28-2007, 06:23 PM
$20 for a city yard and $45 for the ridder and depends on the one time fee depends on how bad they are

lifetree
11-28-2007, 07:22 PM
dont know where in fla you are but my monthly customers average out to 25 per visit-anyone who just calls and is an add on is 60 for a one time shot.

This is a good rule of thumb !!

DaveinSWFL
11-28-2007, 07:33 PM
I am new to the business as well. My minimum charge is $40 by the cut. Mow, edge, whip & blow. Full service, yearly contract $100-$125 per month. I am not interested in the by the cut customer so most will find someone cheaper. I find that most of the by the cuts will let their grass grow a foot high and call and say I just want you to cut to keep the county off my back. I refer those folks to someone else.

Nate@TLCS
11-28-2007, 07:40 PM
what you make per hour is none of your customers business

DAMN RIGHT!!! if they knew what we made some days, the'g go buy ztr's and blowers too.

QualityLawnCare4u
11-28-2007, 07:43 PM
My minumum is 35, don't care if the yard takes 5 minutes! I also will only do one time cuts if I really have the time and they are no less than 60. Most of the one time cuts I look at look like they have not been done in months.

mattfromNY
11-28-2007, 07:52 PM
Too bad the math genius can figure by looking at your estimate how much you 'make' per hour, but cant see how much it is costing YOU to stand there in front of him/ her, while they waste your time comparing your prices to the cheaper guy. Hopefully, too, they can figure how much it could cost them when some uninsured person gets hurt on their property, or damages their property.

B_gerrits
11-28-2007, 08:02 PM
Advertise, advertise, advertise.
.

So topsites what methods of advertising do you find cost effective

hunlimo
11-28-2007, 08:11 PM
Guys! I can't thank you enough for the replies!!!

You guys are awesome! It did help me a lot, to put things in perspective. Like most of you I guess I have to go through these people before I can find good accounts that I can serve years to come. In my area I'm shooting for at least 80.00 for yearly accounts ,and had two onetime cuts 25.00 and 30.00 but I got to tell you it makes me feel used , so I don't think I'm going to do them under 40.00 next season. Like you said , most of the onetime cut people are Cheap ass SOAB people who let their grass grow for a feet high before want to drop you 20.00 to cut it, and most of those yard never saw grass before , instead their nothing but tightly grown weeds :).

Again thank you for the replies guys!:usflag:

B_gerrits
11-28-2007, 08:20 PM
. Also like the customer who let me know that my hourly rate is too high for cutting grass. He quickly figured my 80.00 monthly estimates, he said his yard should take me 30min so Iím making 40.00/h and that is too much :)

Thanks for the replies guys!!!

If you like to negotiate to this you can politely reply my rig cost me xx and my insurance cost xx then there is ad cost, time doing estimates,and material and maintenance so really are my prices so bad? a lot of people don't think of these things, they just think of your actual time at the site. You also might want point out that you are insured and the uninsured guy will charge less unless he gets hurt and then it's your liability! That is if you need the work.

DiyDave
11-28-2007, 09:37 PM
I like to say, when I see the little wheels turning, in their transparent minds, "well, ya pays peanuts, and ya gets monkeys!" and just walk off shaking my head, laughing.:waving:

Grits
11-28-2007, 10:26 PM
dont know where in fla you are but my monthly customers average out to 25 per visit-anyone who just calls and is an add on is 60 for a one time shot.

Sucks to be you.
I'm up in the panhandle....don't see how it makes a difference.

txgrassguy
11-28-2007, 10:50 PM
I never, never, never, discuss cost performance figures with any of my clients.
I, and I alone, set the price structure for the services performed and the compensation received.
I have told more than one client to @#$# off when they demanded to know what is patently internal use only figures.
Interestingly enough, I have had almost eighty percent of those previous customers call me back to sign up for service. When this happens, a walk off then call back, the quoted price is raised by at least thirty percent. They squalk again, I walk again and never return.
Sure cuts out the pita's and in a hurry. Leaves me time to sell to those customers that realize quality costs. Right now I am backed up for at least two more months with new installs and maintenance jobs, in addition to those I already have. Life is good right now.

hunlimo
11-29-2007, 09:10 AM
Again! Thank you so much for the replies! I hope this thread turns into a good source of information for people like me (just starting), and will give them a general guideline for setting rates!

Thank you so much guys!:usflag:

lawnjockey56
11-29-2007, 11:42 AM
Sucks to be you.
I'm up in the panhandle....don't see how it makes a difference.

im in sarasota as stated in my profile and it really does not suck to be me-the yards are postage stamp size lots and i do upwards of 25 yards a day-i currently have 112 yards-all resi's and you can do the math on that for a solo outfit.

lawnjockey56
11-29-2007, 11:44 AM
id say my biggest lot i mow is 80x80-and that is 30 per mow :)

lawnjockey56
11-29-2007, 11:51 AM
$35 minimum. Might go up to $40 next season.
I will do one time cuts if I have the time and/or feel like it.

ok it's slow here today but i just looked at my gross per week by going through all my accounts-and it's just under 2900 per week on 112 yards-averaging 25 per mow-on wed and thursday i have an entire subdivision that i virtually mow up one side and down the other with 52 yard -i finish it mid thurs then go on to do more yards.-so yes indeed it makes a huge difference where in florida you are-for exampe in orlando the yards are even smaller-or go just over to ocala they are all big acreage.

B_gerrits
11-29-2007, 12:20 PM
I never, never, never, discuss cost performance figures with any of my clients.
I, and I alone, set the price structure for the services performed and the compensation received.
I have told more than one client to @#$# off when they demanded to know .

I have never had a cust demand to know. I have gotten jobs after telling my operating costs she just thought 40 an hour was high a I don't blame her I wouldn't pay anyone 40 an hour to cut my grass. In the end it's up to you what you want to say and how bad you need the work. It also helps to know the going rate in the area.

Grits
11-29-2007, 01:34 PM
im in sarasota as stated in my profile and it really does not suck to be me-the yards are postage stamp size lots and i do upwards of 25 yards a day-i currently have 112 yards-all resi's and you can do the math on that for a solo outfit.

That totally makes sense then. I only wish we had postage stamps around here, I would be doing the same as you. The smallest yards I do are around 1/8 acre, most yards are around 1/2 acre. I would much rather be doing the postage stamps. So, you are right, it doesn't suck to be you.....it sucks more being me!!!!!!:)

Jay Ray
11-29-2007, 02:26 PM
A couple of customers both retired business owners -- one had an advertising firm and one had a medical billing and transcription co. -- guessed my overhead percentage pretty close. This was not a bad thing in either case. One pays more than I asked and one says I have to go up on price a bit next year.

This was refreshing because all of us have run into the segment of customers that just figure the elapsed time you are on their lawn, do the simple math, and believe that is what you make per hour, blissfully unaware that there is such a thing as overhead.

ed2hess
11-29-2007, 04:53 PM
A couple of customers both retired business owners -- one had an advertising firm and one had a medical billing and transcription co. -- guessed my overhead percentage pretty close. This was not a bad thing in either case. One pays more than I asked and one says I have to go up on price a bit next year.

This was refreshing because all of us have run into the segment of customers that just figure the elapsed time you are on their lawn, do the simple math, and believe that is what you make per hour, blissfully unaware that there is such a thing as overhead.
Jay,
Kinda funny that most solo guys have a much higher overhead than we do with a larger business......manybe they need more volume?

B_gerrits
11-29-2007, 10:17 PM
im in sarasota as stated in my profile and it really does not suck to be me-the yards are postage stamp size lots and i do upwards of 25 yards a day-i currently have 112 yards-all resi's and you can do the math on that for a solo outfit.

Now thats what i'm talking about, low overhead low equipment cost, I think your a great buisnessman, 112 yards what types of advertisement did you use?:drinkup:

lawnjockey56
11-30-2007, 06:55 AM
Now thats what i'm talking about, low overhead low equipment cost, I think your a great buisnessman, 112 yards what types of advertisement did you use?:drinkup:

all from flyers that i threw out each sunday morning next to the sunday newspapers-from there word of mouth-i went into a new home subdivision before the first home was even built and started mailing my info to the homes as soon as the owners had moved in. from there it snowballed. i run just one ad year round now to sift trhough and pick up whats worth it to me-otherwise good work and word of mouth will get you all you need.