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Green Team Landscaping
10-09-2008, 08:33 PM
Hey guys, whats the best way to go up with my prices? In a polite way that adults will consider "acceptable". It's just time to go up with my prices so I can afford to make more more money. I'm not trying to be greedy, but it's just going to be so I can afford investments. And I'm talking about for fall clean ups with hourly rates. I was planning on going from $10/ man hour to $20/ man hour. Thats just where it's at to keep my friends out of Market Basket and at my job.

JB1
10-09-2008, 08:44 PM
tell them your not doing it for beer money anymore.

Marek
10-09-2008, 08:44 PM
So you were only charging 10 an hour with your own equipment and your own gas ? Think of it this way, a back pack will burn about .7 gallons per hour, at 3.35 a g thats 2.35 per hour plus the oil for mix. A good blower will cost you 450- 500 dollars. I see that you are only 15 but you should be trying to get closer to 25 an hour. The rest of us that are doing things right are going from 40 an hour and up. And even there its tuff to make money.

mngrassguy
10-09-2008, 09:08 PM
Stop working for free. Your only hurting all of us who are trying to make a living at this. Know your costs and start charging accordingly.

IN2MOWN
10-09-2008, 09:22 PM
I charge $90.00 for the first hour and $40.00 each hour after that. Im solo BTW.

Green Team Landscaping
10-09-2008, 09:22 PM
Alright. So when I go up on the price, how do I say it to them? And $25 sounds like a good price. I think I'll stick with that. the thing is though, it's going to be $25/ man hour. Is that alright? Do you think people will pay?

topsites
10-09-2008, 09:24 PM
tell them your not doing it for beer money anymore.

Hell yeah lol I tell you my mind was prepping up some sage advice until I saw the hourly rate bit,
soon as I saw that it just kinda fumbled everything around.

Brother, you gots to get paid more than that, way more, way way.

Now so, ahem...
The easy way to do it is since you already have regular customers is quote by the JOB!
That way you just basically tell your customers the TOTAL should be about the same as last year,
they should be fine with that, if you have to tell them that hourly isn't always fair that you think since it should
be about the same amount of work as it was last year that you foresee the total price being about the same.
So if it cost 70 last year it probably will cost 70 this year, maybe a little more or less, depends because
you're getting some new powerful equipment that will allow you to knock this nonsense out, right?
Right.
So they will, most likely, go for that.
Because you can, with a decent backpack blower like the BR-600, easily make up the time to where you're
earning 20-30 an hour, way it works is it's the same dollar amount in the end but you get done so
much faster then you knock it out in half the time it used to take and everybody's happy.
Hopefully that works out for you.

Peace out

Green Team Landscaping
10-09-2008, 09:33 PM
Thank you man! Just bought that BR600, and man does it have power. It's ridiculous how powerful those things are compared to the homeowner quality.

Icepuck72
10-09-2008, 09:49 PM
You have a long list of professional equipment, it's time to start charging people what professionals are charging. It's almost low-balling.

Green Team Landscaping
10-09-2008, 10:27 PM
You have a long list of professional equipment, it's time to start charging people what professionals are charging. It's almost low-balling.
I know. Thanks guys. The only reason why I havent done this before is because I would rather have the job, than not get it, and starting out this was enough because I didnt have investments like I have now. Thanks again guys for bringing me back down to earth with this.

david shumaker
10-09-2008, 10:36 PM
Don't give them an hourly rate. Estimate how long you think the job will take and give a flat price. For example, if you think the job will take 2 hours and you need to bill $40.00 and hour to be profitable, tell them the job will cost $80.00. I made the mistake of giving an hourly rate when I first started out. Alot of customers are clueless above overhead, equipment replacement cost, etc. They think what you charge by the hour is your net profit. $10.00 an hour is way too little to charge. Even if your gross profit is 50%, you are only netting $5.00 before taxes. You could make more than that pan handling on the street. I saw a girl with a "homeless sign" standing at a stop light take in more than $5.00 in a few minutes. I've noticed that plumbers and other tradesmen are using a flat rate price from a price book rather than charging by the hour. It took me awhile to figure how long a job will take. Some jobs are just an educated guess, especially on clean up work, so I usuallly estimate on the high side to be safe.

S L C
10-10-2008, 01:14 AM
Alright. So when I go up on the price, how do I say it to them? And $25 sounds like a good price. I think I'll stick with that. the thing is though, it's going to be $25/ man hour. Is that alright? Do you think people will pay?

LOWBALLER!!!! GLAD YOU DO NOT LIVE IN MY AREA!!!!!!!!!!! :hammerhead::dizzy::dizzy:

Dude, get a clue, plain and simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me guess.......... all CASH jobs too ? :hammerhead:

Lawnut101
10-10-2008, 02:17 AM
LOWBALLER!!!! GLAD YOU DO NOT LIVE IN MY AREA!!!!!!!!!!! :hammerhead::dizzy::dizzy:

Dude, get a clue, plain and simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me guess.......... all CASH jobs too ? :hammerhead:

Dude, he's only 15. I highly doubt he's doing it on purpose. Now, he's gotten educated on what he should be charging.

S L C
10-10-2008, 02:27 AM
Dude, he's only 15. I highly doubt he's doing it on purpose. Now, he's gotten educated on what he should be charging.


& what is that?? your lowballer rate next????? :hammerhead::hammerhead:

Lawnut101
10-10-2008, 02:30 AM
No, of course not. I pay taxes and workmans comp. All that crap. I can't afford to be a lowballer. I charge what I know my area will support.

mngrassguy
10-10-2008, 02:51 AM
& what is that?? your lowballer rate next????? :hammerhead::hammerhead:

Does name calling make you feel better? Keep it up. We can take it.:laugh::laugh:

Green Team Landscaping
10-10-2008, 07:52 AM
It definately wasn't on purpose. At the start of this year I was at a customers house(my personal favorite), and when I gave them an estimate(I didnt know what was fair), so my dad sepped in to save me from stuttering and said $10/man hour. And I ws fine with that but then I needed more professional equipment, which was hard to afford at that hourly rate. Thank you for all of the POSITIVE AND HELPFUL members here. **Ahem**S L C**Ahem**

IN2MOWN
10-10-2008, 09:48 AM
It definately wasn't on purpose. At the start of this year I was at a customers house(my personal favorite), and when I gave them an estimate(I didnt know what was fair), so my dad sepped in to save me from stuttering and said $10/man hour. And I ws fine with that but then I needed more professional equipment, which was hard to afford at that hourly rate. Thank you for all of the POSITIVE AND HELPFUL members here. **Ahem**S L C**Ahem**




Green Team, the ONLY time I charge by the hour is when Im doing bed maint. When doing cleanups you should charge by the job.

On an average house around here I start out around $125-$145 a cleanup which usually takes me about an hour and a hlaf to do and thats why I quoted that hourly rate earlier.

What if you are out there by yourself and the job takes one hour. You just made $10.00.

Wait, then you pay for gas.

You are already in the hole.

Charge by the job not the hour.

topsites
10-10-2008, 12:04 PM
LOWBALLER!!!! GLAD YOU DO NOT LIVE IN MY AREA!!!!!!!!!!! :hammerhead::dizzy::dizzy:

Dude, get a clue, plain and simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me guess.......... all CASH jobs too ? :hammerhead:

Man I hate to say it already because I know what comes of it
but with the state of the economy we need guys like him,
folks out there struggling to make ends meet and there's
no end to this one in sight and someone is willing to work
for a little less money than most, that's all right.

lawnjocky
10-10-2008, 01:21 PM
"Alright. So when I go up on the price, how do I say it to them? And $25 sounds like a good price. I think I'll stick with that. the thing is though, it's going to be $25/ man hour. Is that alright? Do you think people will pay?"

I don't mean to make you mad or offend anyone, but...
Wow, you went from $10 to $20 to $25 all from a public forum. My guess is this is your folks buying the equipment or you are working you tail off and not making a dime. But that's alright. Everybody starts somewhere. Instead of setting your prices by means of a WAG or off this board, learn how to charge. You can do this by talking to your teachers at school, accountants, and other business people. You might visit your local chamber of commerce and see if they can set you up with someone. I wouldn't pay a dime for this help. At 15 you should get it for free just because people want to help you get started. Asking others for advice will show ambition and maturity that will earn you respect. Not to mention some customer leads. Once you know your cost's you can then add profit and that's your hourly rate to bid with. The final step is a market survey. If you can work for $20 but everyone is $30 or more then charge accordingly. Lawnsite is a great place to learn but you really need to sit down with someone face to face. Learning what goes into setting prices will serve you well for the rest of your life.
Good luck.

Lawnut101
10-10-2008, 01:37 PM
Does name calling make you feel better? Keep it up. We can take it.:laugh::laugh:

I agree. I was merely trying to help out.

BTW, are you right by the twin cities?

bakerc8
10-10-2008, 03:37 PM
tell them your trying to more profesinal and the work is harder for fall clean ups so your price will be more

brandtb1
10-10-2008, 04:01 PM
Tell them the truth. You were new to the business last year and way underbid on the price of the work. Since you are a trustworthy person, you did the work for the lower price. Now that you know your true expenses, you need to charge $25 per man hour. I doubt most people on this site have not had a job where we screwed up and underbid, but consider it an expensive lesson. If you are honest, people should be fine with it.

david shumaker
10-10-2008, 07:21 PM
You will learn what to charge after some trial and error. Talk to others in the business and you will learn what the going rate is in your area. Add up all your costs and also what it cost you per hour to run each piece of equipment. I also keep a record of how long it takes me to do each lawn or job. You will make mistakes....just try to learn from them.

djchiodo3
10-10-2008, 07:39 PM
You did say you are fifteen right? Are you still living at home with your parents and going to school? You shouldn't have any living expenses. You can afford to be cheap until you go off to college. You are doing same thing I did when I was your age.