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View Full Version : How much is it worth to keep cut?


Thunderhead
12-08-2009, 06:26 AM
I know that all you professionals get these type of questions all the time, but I have to ask, otherwise I wouldn't know. So here it goes:

How much is it worth to cut the grass for a church thats on 6 acres of wide open land? Have to weedeat, OR spray (my choice) around the gym and church. The gym is about the size of a school's basketball gym and the gym is bigger than the church! No graveyard or flowerbeds to mow. The church is only about 1/4 mile from my house!! I don't wanna under bid but I DEFINATELY don't wanna over bid either. It would be Very simple for me to maintain this property. I'd be cutting it with my brand new Hustler Super Z 31hp Kawasaki/ 60" cut. They want it cut AT LEAST 2 times a month, possibly 3. So, what do ya'll think it's worth and what should I tell them (my bid)? I do not wanna lose this because it would be easy money this close to the house.

If I get it, this would be the first job I would have starting my grass business. If it makes a difference, my truck, mower, blower, and weed eater are all paid for.

Thanks So Kindly,

Thunderhead:)

jaybow
12-08-2009, 09:29 AM
I know that all you professionals get these type of questions all the time, but I have to ask, otherwise I wouldn't know. So here it goes:

How much is it worth to cut the grass for a church thats on 6 acres of wide open land? Have to weedeat, OR spray (my choice) around the gym and church. The gym is about the size of a school's basketball gym and the gym is bigger than the church! No graveyard or flowerbeds to mow. The church is only about 1/4 mile from my house!! I don't wanna under bid but I DEFINATELY don't wanna over bid either. It would be Very simple for me to maintain this property. I'd be cutting it with my brand new Hustler Super Z 31hp Kawasaki/ 60" cut. They want it cut AT LEAST 2 times a month, possibly 3. So, what do ya'll think it's worth and what should I tell them (my bid)? I do not wanna lose this because it would be easy money this close to the house.

If I get it, this would be the first job I would have starting my grass business. If it makes a difference, my truck, mower, blower, and weed eater are all paid for.

Thanks So Kindly,

Thunderhead:)

Well I havent yet done any properties this size yet but I have read when cutting acerage you price the first acre at $45 and go down each additional acre depending on how many. The bottom line is how long is it gonna take you to do it. I would say it will take you around 3 hrs. I think maybe around $130. I would rather undercharge a little and get the job then overcharge and not get it. Espeacially since you dont have any work lined up yet. Did they ask if you have insurance?

JB1
12-08-2009, 09:32 AM
Around $75.00

topsites
12-08-2009, 11:13 AM
Sorry, I won't give a quote without physically looking at the work,
but basically it has to do with the amount and complexity of the labor
plus the cost of the machinery and a few other things.

LouisianaLawnboy
12-08-2009, 11:32 AM
Around $75.00

That us way too low. It will probably take you 3 hrs. I would charge about 180.00, but since your just starting out I'd go for 130-150.
Posted via Mobile Device

LouisianaLawnboy
12-08-2009, 11:33 AM
Sorry, I won't give a quote without physically looking at the work,
but basically it has to do with the amount and complexity of the labor
plus the cost of the machinery and a few other things.

Me either, but I can give an estimate.
Posted via Mobile Device

mudwisr2
12-08-2009, 11:45 AM
Around $75.00

HAHA...... Nice. You need to move to west TN. I'll sub some accounts to you if you do good work.

topsites
12-08-2009, 11:55 AM
Me either, but I can give an estimate.
Posted via Mobile Device

So if I tell someone a price without looking at the work and later it turns out to be way more, you think raising the price
while explaining the subtle differences between estimates and quotes is going to mean something to the customer?

It's all the same in my book, once a price has been mentioned it's out,
show up and find out the grass is 4 feet tall you got yourself a problem.
Oh, well, it's going to be a "little" bit more... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Yeah right, except $100 ain't going to fly after no mention of $30-35!

So I don't give estimates without looking at the work either.
Why, it's free, doesn't cost them anything, so what's the problem?

mudwisr2
12-08-2009, 11:55 AM
Thunderhead, figure how much you WANT to make per hour. Think "future" when you come up with this rate. If you can find a good rate that gives you a little wiggle room it can keep you from having to go up every year. The amount for this property depends on difficulty and it sounds like it's not very difficult. We have a 10 acre property that sounds almost identical to this one. It takes 3 guys 2.5 hours and is $305 per cut. That's running a 61" mower and a 52" mower.

On another note we also have a property that is around 6 acres of cutting that takes the same amount of time and is the same rate. (more trimming/edging)

LouisianaLawnboy
12-08-2009, 11:59 AM
So if I tell someone a price without looking at the work and later it turns out to be way more, you think raising the price
while explaining the subtle differences between estimates and quotes is going to mean something to the customer?

It's all the same in my book, once a price has been mentioned it's out,
show up and find out the grass is 3 feet tall you got yourself a problem.

So I don't give estimates without looking at the work either.
Why, it's free, doesn't cost them anything, so what's the problem?

If the customer wants a price right now I explain that its an estimate and then usually give a range.
Posted via Mobile Device

Thunderhead
12-08-2009, 07:04 PM
Wow, thanks for all the replies.

I don't have insurance (and they never asked either). But if I damage something, I'll replace it.

Like I said it's very easy to cut all the grass. There's no edging, no graveyard, and I could spray weed killer around the gym and church instead of weed eating. I heard they were willing to pay $400 per month, but don't know exactly how many cuts that is. I'd be doing this all by myself. I do have someone I could pay to do the weedeating for me if I chose to.

Again, I really do appreciate all the replies. Thanks.

Thunderhead:)

LouisianaLawnboy
12-08-2009, 07:38 PM
I don't have insurance (and they never asked either). But if I damage something, I'll replace it.

Thunderhead:)

Not to be mean, but you have the money to replace a child's eye? Or pay a lawsuit if you kill someone.
Posted via Mobile Device

JB1
12-08-2009, 07:43 PM
Wow, thanks for all the replies.

I don't have insurance (and they never asked either). But if I damage something, I'll replace it.

Like I said it's very easy to cut all the grass. There's no edging, no graveyard, and I could spray weed killer around the gym and church instead of weed eating. I heard they were willing to pay $400 per month, but don't know exactly how many cuts that is. I'd be doing this all by myself. I do have someone I could pay to do the weedeating for me if I chose to.

Again, I really do appreciate all the replies. Thanks.

Thunderhead:)


Man whatever you do, don't ever say you don't have insurance on here, they will crucify you.

AmGreen
12-08-2009, 08:04 PM
I assume that since you have no insurance you also are not licensed to spray "weed killer". Make sure you charge enough to pay your fine when they catch you.

Keep in mind that cutting 2 week old Bahia, (assuming you have a lot of that on 6 acres in Louisiana) will be a b*tch. Especially if it's been a rainy season.

lawnboy852
12-08-2009, 09:01 PM
What I do around here to try and generate business, is give an estimate cut type deal. If someone contacts me for an estimate, I tell them I will cut it once at essentially just enough to cover my gas. THEN after giving the customer to see the high quality of my work, and giving ME a chance to really see how much the job is worth, I give an estimate. If the customer does not want it, they are out $10-15, If they DO, then sure I may have just done an entire job with essentially no profit, but I also secured a season long client, who I can go on to build the relationship with and have as a year long, then several years client.

I know this system does not work for most people, but it does for me, because A) I have time to fill during the work season, so not making a profit on A single cut does not hurt me, B) Most of my clients are people who are cutting their own lawn, and looking for an LCO to do it, its not like they need to fire one guy then pick up the next in a week or less, so if they dont want my service, im not cutting another LCO's turf, and the customer is not left with no service at all.

Too often people confuse an ESTIMATE with a price. clarify that with the customer.

Thunderhead
12-08-2009, 11:20 PM
First, I know the people who are "over" the church. Second, I won't be cutting while there's people there.

No, I do not have insurance YET. Hell i aint even got my first yard! When I get me a few "regular" clients, then I'll get licensed and insured...and another trimmer...and an edger...and a back pack blower...and maybe eventually an enclosed trailer. These are my full intentions. But I figured I should crawl before I walk.

Thanks to everyone who replied to the original question.

Thunderhead:)

ljhanson12345
12-09-2009, 01:48 AM
First, I know the people who are "over" the church. Second, I won't be cutting while there's people there.

But I figured I should crawl before I walk.

Thunderhead:)

crawl, walk, ride
with that hustler you skipped the walking part. my biggest mower is a midsize walkbehind it fit me well though. youll enjoy that mower. Go out and put that thing to work.

Thunderhead
12-09-2009, 01:57 AM
crawl, walk, ride
with that hustler you skipped the walking part. my biggest mower is a midsize walkbehind it fit me well though. youll enjoy that mower. Go out and put that thing to work.

Well maybe I should've bought a walk behind because it SURE wouldn't hurt my little ole 255 lb. self to walk alittle bit!lol:laugh:

Thunderhead:)

topsites
12-09-2009, 10:48 AM
If the customer wants a price right now I explain that its an estimate and then usually give a range.
Posted via Mobile Device

Sure, that's fine, just making sure it's understood.

To answer the original question, it's worth as much as they're willing to pay for it,
which in this case is likely not enough... And the reason I say that is at least in my
experience churches are notoriously cheap.

Try quoting any of $200 to $240 or also anywhere in between those two,
it really depends how much work it is, but quote them that and see what happens.

BearWise Landscapers
12-09-2009, 03:42 PM
Wow, thanks for all the replies.

I don't have insurance (and they never asked either). But if I damage something, I'll replace it.

Like I said it's very easy to cut all the grass. There's no edging, no graveyard, and I could spray weed killer around the gym and church instead of weed eating. I heard they were willing to pay $400 per month, but don't know exactly how many cuts that is. I'd be doing this all by myself. I do have someone I could pay to do the weedeating for me if I chose to.

Again, I really do appreciate all the replies. Thanks.

Thunderhead:)

Not to be mean, but you have the money to replace a child's eye? Or pay a lawsuit if you kill someone.
Posted via Mobile Device

Man whatever you do, don't ever say you don't have insurance on here, they will crucify you.

First, I know the people who are "over" the church. Second, I won't be cutting while there's people there.

No, I do not have insurance YET. Hell i aint even got my first yard! When I get me a few "regular" clients, then I'll get licensed and insured...and another trimmer...and an edger...and a back pack blower...and maybe eventually an enclosed trailer. These are my full intentions. But I figured I should crawl before I walk.

Thanks to everyone who replied to the original question.

Thunderhead:)

Thunderhead,

I'm not going to 'crucify you' as JB1 commented, but I do HIGHLY recommend that you consider a simple general liability insurance policy. It will probably cost around 400 dollars a year, which is about 35 dollars each month. You can get 1,000,000 dollars in coverage and protect any damage you cause to the property, other people, and general oversight you may have in operating your first job. You have many liability exposures by taking this job and the financing of those exposures (insurance) should be computed into your prices. This premium will be a fixed cost regardless if you only do this one job or pick up as many jobs as you can handle by yourself. Therefore it is more of a 'fixed' cost and can be spread over multiple jobs as you get those.

It is wise to purchase this risk financing technique of an insurance policy rather than take on the risk of owing a large amount of money for the damages you could cause. Your personal assets will be at risk for any of those damages.

If you have any questions about insurance now or as your business continues to grow, please feel free to ask me.

I wish you the best in your new business venture!