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Just call Jeff
05-07-2010, 08:51 PM
I was laid off a few days ago. Since I have always wanted to do something on my own and have a background in lawncare/lawnscape. I decided I would see if I could round up some business for myself. I spent the week hanging fliers on doors. I was expecting to develop a mowing base. Something that would assist my income while I was looking for work and something I could continue and build once/if I got back into corp America. I have received several calls from people needing Landscaping done. I set appointments and will be meeting with the homeowners early next week. Problem is I don't have any idea how to bid landscape work? I am smart enough to not take a job me or my euipment can't handle. Also, I don't mind spending as much time as need to do it right. I have nothing but time at this point. My problem is I have no idea how to bid landscape work? Any advise?

punt66
05-07-2010, 09:05 PM
read this site. Tons of info.

Think Green
05-07-2010, 09:23 PM
Jeff,
Let me start off this story--through interest in something other than a business to subsidize my families income. Ten years ago, during a tough time my family started with yard sales. It manifested into more than just paying for a seasonal permit to sell junk out of your garage. It is more of a monster that overtakes your senses!! You realize that the money you can make far outtakes the money you can make working on the clock for someone else. The profit margins can be awesome.!!!!!
Now lets get to the brass tacks. After the fun wears off and the twinkling lights of stars disappear from your eyes, you will realize that there are tax's to be paid and tax's to be collected from individuals. This isn't a game to pass the time away.....it is a way of life. Landscaping, designing, and installation is no game........it has rules and regulations you must follow especially when working for individuals who will use any improvements to a home as a tax write off.
Professional flea marketing has become a second profitable market for me and has also become a secondary taxable income to our family. You need to find your market and price yourself along with the majority of the other pro's. If you have the abilities to do the same work as those with the same experiences as you, then stay within the competitive market on pricing. No single person can tell you what to charge and how to charge. It is learned by trial and error...........just as reading all the other posts of problems with customers to not getting paid. All these things are part of your pricing and cost per labor hour and cost of doing business.
All I am saying is make sure you have all of the appropriate documents and licenses before you start. There are others out there who will not hesitate to turn you in for not having these credentials.
I wish you prosperity and good fortune's as long as you do good by the rules and put an end to the shameful idea that this business is so easy>!!!!
I was approached last week at Tractor Supply Company about spraying weeds from a man who wanted to know what herbicides to buy so he can spray some customers illegally..??????????????????? It didn't take me long to set him to the number of the STate Plant Board and the correct officials..

Just call Jeff
05-08-2010, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the replies. I have read a lot of good information about what I want to do on this site. I realize there are certain things I just can't do until training and permits have been obtained. My problem is I am not really sure how to bid this job. There are shrubs to be removed and some to be planted. There will be ground cover, smaller plants and mulch. Do you bid by a total time estimate or by what you remove and put back? I don't want to come in too high I don't get the work. But, also don't want to work for free. Thank you in advance for any direction. I do appreciate it.

White Gardens
05-08-2010, 10:25 PM
One person told me you can't lose money on a job you already have. With that said though, you want to have ethics and not over-charge for services either.

First off, I would go to all your suppliers in the area and get price sheets for supplies. That will give you a better idea on cost of materials used. Then figure out the time and cost involved with picking up those materials.

When you look at the labor end of it, you just need to guestimate as close as possible as to how long something will take to do. Then figure out your per-hour charge and go from there.

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
05-09-2010, 04:10 AM
white gardens has the right idea for ya. go to ur local supply stores. for your mulch job....get the formula for figuring how much mulch is needed. Converting cubic feet into yards. measure all garden beds and use the formula. this will give u the exact amount of mulch needed to do your job.

for planting/transplanting= say u bought a plant for 10 charge the customer at least 15 for each one u buy (and thats on the low side). figure how long it will take u to plant them. est 2 hours?= $100 i would use the $50/hr guideline to make it easy on urself until u know exactly how to bid landscaping jobs. make sure u upcharge for materials! u need to put gas, time, etc into consideration while charging for materials.

another good thing to know for mulching is charge a flat rate of labor per yard of mulch for labor. so say u get the mulch for 20/yard for example. charge 25/yard on top of that (your mulch cost) to install per each yard.(on the low side). Make sure any bed preparation (weeding, edging) is extra and charged according to your "per hour rate"

hope this helps as i know how it is to lose a job and need an income but if u ever plan on doing this for a serious income then def. get licensed/insured. its sketchy to work on peoples property these days with all the lawsuits and crazy people out there