View Full Version : Does anyone mow/trim/blow for $15 (esp. MN operators)

Joel B.
07-17-2002, 07:02 PM
I am bidding lawn mowing and plowing for a 20 house association. The lots are approx 65x150 with nice ($300,000) houses on them. There is not that much actual grass to mow but the lots are somewhat awkward and would probably need to be hand mowed w' 22". The ass'n president says he has had bids for $50-70/month. I had thought about $15/cut which would put me right in the middle, but then I think that's way too cheap. On the other hand, I have a chance to get quite a few accounts ON THE SAME STREET so I could make up some in volume.

Looking for advice (especially from the Minnesota guys),

Joel B.

07-17-2002, 07:47 PM
I would look at your profit per yard and don't look at volume. Aren't in it for profit and not how much you stay busy? You can work 40 hours and go broke if you don't charge enough to make a living. Bid on it how much you want to make a profit per hour and not what a association president says bids per yard he is getting. He may be telling you that hoping he can get someone in that price range but actually getting bids alot higher now.

07-17-2002, 08:49 PM
hoa. equeals 20 headaches.,for 1000-1400 per month. on top o that u got
hard to access lawns that u have to use a small mower on. at 1400 their paying for a 20 day month. plus with $300.000
homes, u may get homeowners that have their own ideas about how u should do your job.guess im being negative .
whos to say. honest if i had the chance id look hard ,but dont believe id take it.
im thinking 90 per,and do a super job so they will get use to it and not look for faults.
just rethought . edging, trim, good cut an blow. im under on it.

07-17-2002, 08:50 PM
9750 sf lots for $15 each. You will go broke. I don't care how low you think your expenses are, you will not make enough to do it. If someone will do it for that, let them have it. Someone else can work for free.

07-17-2002, 09:06 PM
You need to get your rates in line with what others in your area are chargeing. As previously mentioned your expenses are likely to be more than you expect, and you will have many bosses telling you how to do your job, so charge for the nag factor also.

07-17-2002, 09:33 PM
So true, many HOAs can be PITA city.

Charge a PITA rate.

07-17-2002, 09:42 PM
$15 X 20 = $300 per week

What are you figuring for the snow removal rate?

Just Cut
07-17-2002, 10:11 PM
After you pay uncle Sam and cover your expense you will be working for free, or should I say paying money out of your own pocket to work

07-17-2002, 10:13 PM

I am in the North Metro and Charge $35.00 up to 10000ft to cut, trim, and blow. People do not seem to mind paying this rate. Why do it for nothing

07-17-2002, 10:55 PM
I even charge my invalid ,fixed income,blind,deaf, mother 40$. " Hey ma the kids gotta eat...fork over the dough"

07-17-2002, 11:03 PM
If you are doing ea. prop. for 15$ (15x20) that is $300 per day. With push mowers and 2 guys helping, you might be able to pull it off, if you bust it. That gives you $100, and your help $200. Even if you pay your help $50 ea that is 100 so know you are talking 200 labor and 100 expense. What about your profit?:(

Joel B.
07-17-2002, 11:23 PM
Hey ranger520,

What city are you from? I'm in Plymouth. This bidding thing is going to take some time to master; I couldn't imagine charging these people $35 to mow/trim/blow.


I'm thinking $15 to plow. Each driveway could park 2 cars, MAYBE three small ones.

What would you guys charge for a 112'X169' lot (mow/trim/blow)?

The Mowerdude
07-17-2002, 11:28 PM
Anybody that can live in a $300,000 dollar house has no moral right to expect you to obsess over a $15 per yard cut.

Flip the man the finger and tell him you don't need the work bad enough to agree to this kind of idiocy. Seriously man, if they're holding their subs to this kind of bidding, they're just having fun jerking your chain! And they will keep on jerking your chain until you go broke. Then they will gleefully do it to the next guy.

Get out of there!! And Fast!!

Or better yet. Be polite, be professional, bid it high and if you get it you're fine, but if you don't, you're still fine. You owe these people nothing.

AL Inc
07-17-2002, 11:35 PM
I think Mowerdude said it all. Don't waste your time. Good luck, Mike

Bob Minney
07-18-2002, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by turfguy
I even charge my invalid ,fixed income,blind,deaf, mother 40$. " Hey ma the kids gotta eat...fork over the dough"

You gotta watch them jobs, they think just cause they are MA they dont gotta pay on time either;)

07-18-2002, 01:55 AM
It concerns me that this job would even be considered at that price. To answer "Does anyone mow/trim/blow for $15", yes some people do....not me. .

07-18-2002, 01:59 AM
well joel i'll say since you have so many in a small area i would bid it at $20 insted of 15. i only do my neibors for real cheap. haveing lawn real close saves time. if your gonna cut grass for 15 cut fast!

07-18-2002, 03:28 AM
Originally posted by 65hoss
9750 sf lots for $15 each. You will go broke. I don't care how low you think your expenses are, you will not make enough to do it. If someone will do it for that, let them have it. Someone else can work for free. hoss is right here . if you are gonna lose money, make sure its because you are at home in the bed, not out busting your rump and wearing out your equipment..

07-18-2002, 04:34 AM
hey Joel,

I am working out of White Bear. i am being helped along by a guy who just retired after 20 some years of this and he thinks I should go for more like 40-45. As for the yard you mentioned it would be $35.00 then just make sure that you do a $40.00 job so you can bump your rate up in the spring a couple of buck

07-18-2002, 10:33 AM
ok, well i'm going to go against the grain here...the lots that your describing are right in line with the lots around here, and you said the lawns are fairly small. so if all they want is mow blow and trim i'd take them for 15 a pop easily .. and if they're like what i do already 20 of these located all in one housing development won't even take you 8 hours.

07-18-2002, 01:48 PM

The whole 20 lots should take 5 hours? divided by $300 is $60/hr.
Charge what will make you a profit, if you mistakenly price it dont be afraid to raise the price immediately.

For the snow, oh yes, you will do very good.

Ive heard that the Plymouth Police are aggressive on trailer inspections? Make sure your all tied down when buzzing along Co. Rd 9.

Joel B.
07-18-2002, 02:01 PM

All 20 in 5 hours? Don't forget I'm all by myself and will probably be using 22" WB mower. I would think more like 10 hours for all 20 (that's assuming I get all 20).

I don't know how most ass'ns are run but in this one each homeowner is responsible for their own lawn care. So I could put out a bid for "X" amount per lawn and get anywhere from 0-20 lawns.

I have an enclosed trailer so hopefully that shouldn't be an issue.

Thanks to all for the input,

Joel B.

07-18-2002, 02:35 PM
9750 sf lawns with a 21" will take you nearly 2 days by yourself.
$300 for 2 days
You'll be lucky if you bring in $25 per hour before expenses.

I hate to say this, but if anyone out there is cutting nearly 10,000 sf of grass, edging, trimming, and blowing for $15 per cut they are spinning their wheels.

"I can go broke from the house."

07-18-2002, 03:18 PM
We mow, trim, blow, edge, spring clean, fall clean and do 4 apps of weed & feed for 200 homes about 2000-5000 sq ft each
@ $9.25 per home per week for 26weeks thay are awesome money Snow is $9.25 per drive sidewalks mailboxes and fire H for 7 garteened plowing per year this works for me .

07-18-2002, 06:56 PM
$9.25 per home are you nuts or what i wouldnt consider pulling out my own driveway for that price . After taxes and insurance how are you showing anything profit wise at all ????????:confused:

07-18-2002, 11:10 PM

You have never been to St Cloud, Im sure Emerald has competitors doing it for $5! That $9 will keep him liquored up at the Red Carpet all Wednesday night.


Sorry, I was under the impression it was for all 20. If you can make it fly one at a time go for it. Starting out is hectic. My low prices got me going, and I raised as demand increased.

Good luck

Albemarle Lawn
07-18-2002, 11:19 PM
Like from an assocaition and you spend less than 10 minutes per lawn and do them all at once.

Otherwise, $35 minimum or you might as well apply for those food stamps now because soon you will get hungry.


07-18-2002, 11:46 PM

How long does it take to do those 200 homes.. how many guys?

07-28-2002, 09:23 PM
We look at 2.50 - 3.50 minutes per home about 28 - 35 man Hr

07-28-2002, 09:47 PM
I will not Mow a Lawn for under $40.00. Thats just my feeling I could not take the Mower out for that little.

scott's turf
07-29-2002, 09:05 AM
I think that I make the most money from these tiny accounts. $25 is my min. and I love those $25 accounts that take 10-15 min to do. The customer is happy and I am happy. That is nearly $120/hr. Hard for me to get close to that with my larger accounts.

07-29-2002, 12:42 PM
I get $15.00 for everything up to 3,000 sq. ft. . If I were you I'd offer to do it for 20.00 and then bump then $5.00 per year for three years. That is if you're hungry enough to mow it for that long at that low a price.