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View Full Version : Need help pricing big job for family member


jem6881
04-19-2009, 12:44 PM
I have recently started a fully-insured and incorporated lawn care and landscaping business in Indiana. A family member has asked me to do some clean-up and landscaping to a 2.6 acre commercial property with building he owns. Here are the basics of the property: NO ONE has done a thing to it in nearly 3 years except for mowing. Weeds around the building have grown to "trees" with 3" trunks and there is so much brush surrounding the 2-car detached garage you can barely see the door. He wants me to remove all brush, weeds, trash, etc. surrounding the building and mow the property. I will not be doing any major tree removals. I currently have approximately 40 man hours in it and probably have another 60-70 to complete the project.
The property is on a busy road in Carmel, IN (northside of Indianapolis... higher end living and business).
Thank you for your time and insight!
JM

VirginiaLawnCare
04-19-2009, 02:31 PM
From my experience doing any work for a family member dosnt work out. Maybe you will have better experience but they always expect something more or expect it so much cheaper.

93Chevy
04-19-2009, 02:42 PM
Working for family can be tricky. I'm doing a big job for my aunt who lives 2 hours away. On the plus side...I get free beer, a cold shower, and a place to spend the night if I need to. It's also a bit more lenient as far as time constraints, e.g. I can work there a 14 hour day every couple Saturdays, instead of getting it done fast in a week.

On the down side, I'm charging less because they can't afford $40 an hour for the work that needs to be done.

Basically, I charge as much as I can without feeling guilty about it.

Bru75
04-20-2009, 01:07 AM
I see two options when working for family and friends:
1. Charge your normal rate and handle everything the same as you would for anybody else (this is business after all).
2. Work free.
The idea of lower prices for family doesn't work. You have just as much work to do, and they get the same service as they would if you weren't related.

Madd Dogg 52
05-21-2009, 06:19 PM
I agree with 93chevy. Working for family can be tricky. I generally charge my normal rate and discount it anywhere from 5 to 20 percent for being a relative and depending on the size of the job. This way I know exactly what I am getting into and it lets them know what is expected. If your pricing is competitive, they will know they are getting a good price after the discount... They save a little money, you make a little money, and everyone is happy. Beyond that, I try to keep it as professional and business like as possible. Other things to consider, is the relative approaching your services like any other business or are they expecting a discounted price? Are there time constraints or out of pocket expenses outside of time and labor. Best policy, be up front about what is wanted and expected including payment. That way you stay a relative on speaking terms. Do a good job too. Remember, they may refer you to someone they know.

Natural Impressions
05-21-2009, 11:49 PM
From my experience doing any work for a family member dosnt work out. Maybe you will have better experience but they always expect something more or expect it so much cheaper.

Agree with this

Natural Impressions
05-21-2009, 11:55 PM
I always try to work it like this with any family member. And I got this thought from my own father.

If you are working for a family member during the week during business hours then they are a costomer and business is business.

On the other hand if you are working weekends, hours on the side or you are using any other free time that you have. Family is family and take care of them anyway you can.

Remember we all have to make a living but we all should help out our family.

JDiepstra
05-22-2009, 12:34 AM
O man you have put in 40 hours and haven't talked about price yet? I am scared for you!

Natural Impressions
05-22-2009, 12:43 AM
O man you have put in 40 hours and haven't talked about price yet? I am scared for you!



HA HA, you took the words right out of my mouth.

S.I.
05-22-2009, 02:08 AM
I see two options when working for family and friends:
1. Charge your normal rate and handle everything the same as you would for anybody else (this is business after all).
2. Work free.
The idea of lower prices for family doesn't work. You have just as much work to do, and they get the same service as they would if you weren't related.

^^Unless you are hard up for work, have free time, and need the money. ^^

I won't do work for family unless it is during my free time, I don't feel right about charging them and won't put out paying customers to work for discounted rates.

Bru75
05-22-2009, 09:45 AM
^^Unless you are hard up for work, have free time, and need the money. ^^

I won't do work for family unless it is during my free time, I don't feel right about charging them and won't put out paying customers to work for discounted rates.

So you're gonna let the competition build for your family? Just kidding.
Seriously though, I see your point, but if I had a "no family work" policy that would disqualify half of the people in my work area (small town and my family has been here for almost 300 years, I'm related to just about everybody).
As far as feeling right about it, business is business. If they don't hire you they'll have to pay the same amount to somebody.

S.I.
05-23-2009, 12:27 AM
So you're gonna let the competition build for your family? Just kidding.
Seriously though, I see your point, but if I had a "no family work" policy that would disqualify half of the people in my work area (small town and my family has been here for almost 300 years, I'm related to just about everybody).
As far as feeling right about it, business is business. If they don't hire you they'll have to pay the same amount to somebody.

Sounds like it would be hard to find a date

Bru75
05-23-2009, 01:27 AM
Sounds like it would be hard to find a date

Yep, but I managed to find one who is unrelated so I married her.:laugh:

topsites
05-23-2009, 02:02 AM
Quote them regular price.

jsw2008
05-23-2009, 01:49 PM
I do work for some of my family on occasion. Then there are some relatives I will not get involved with. I know which ones are which. I give the "good" relatives 10% off labor and charge them my cost for materials. They understand that I have to make a living too. I tell the "bad" relatives I'm too busy to get to it.

ontheouter
06-13-2009, 11:41 PM
One of my unbreakable rules for my lawn business:

Never work for or hire family, friends or neighbors.

Nothing good can ever come out of it, and if a family member does ask, I only accept if they are in a bind and can't get someone else, they know I will only do it once, and I do it for free.