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trim a lawn
12-06-2011, 10:12 AM
I'm getting into the industry next Spring. I'm trying to determine pricing. How do you guys determine how much to charge for a basic service of cutting, trimming, blowing? Should I charge by size, as in square footage or by time, although that would kind of be arbitrary, based on how fast or slow I work. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

cpllawncare
12-06-2011, 05:41 PM
Do a market survey for your area and see what the going price is.

dKoester
12-06-2011, 06:54 PM
Hit the phone book! Do some calling for estimates.

BrunoT
12-06-2011, 09:00 PM
Just ask your boss at the company you're currently working for. Oh wait, let me guess, you've never done this before?

yardguy28
12-06-2011, 09:59 PM
Just ask your boss at the company you're currently working for. Oh wait, let me guess, you've never done this before?

not sure i see the importance or problem with this.

before i started my business the grass i ever cut was my own. never worked for a single lawn company and didn't know a single sole who did.

is there some law i don't know about that states you have to have worked for someone in the industry before you go and start your own business in the industry???

justanotherlawnguy
12-07-2011, 12:06 AM
not sure i see the importance or problem with this.

before i started my business the grass i ever cut was my own. never worked for a single lawn company and didn't know a single sole who did.

is there some law i don't know about that states you have to have worked for someone in the industry before you go and start your own business in the industry???

You don't have to work for someone before you start on your own, but it helps. If you were a plumber, or ac guy, or electrician how far would you get on your own. Probably nowhere.

Why does everybody on here think it's so horrible to start out working for someone? When you truly think about everything involved it's overwhelming:
How do I price
Jesus, commercial equipment is expensive
How do I get customers
How do I fix stuff
What trailer to get
This customer sucks, how do I handle it
How do I invoice people
What kind of hedge is this
How do I handle the weather
I mean the list goes on and on for the crap that goes with a lawn biz, your not gonna learn it all here.

Oh yeah, the search button does actually work!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

Dr.NewEarth
12-07-2011, 01:35 AM
Search on this site for things like: Business Plan, budget, employee costs, Payroll, return on investment....How much do you want to make an hour for yourself? Realistically?

For example, if I pay a guy 14 dollars an hour to cut grass, once I pay the employee deductions and other government things here, he costs me a basic $24.31 an hour.

On top of that I know what my business overhead is for the year and I have divided that into how many working hours there are in the year....that number is then added to the $24.31 that I have to collect for the fourteen dollar an hour employee (but this number should also be divided equally between all employees and added to what you collect from your clients for their hourly pay requirements)...but wait, there's more to add....who's going to pay for the new equipment you need or have to replace next year? You need to collect a return on investment and add that to the employees hourly cost to your clients....and then you also need to make some money, so you try to add a profit to it all....

This information is by no means complete. As I am in Vancouver B.C., my number are going to be different than yours.

Do a search of your states business laws, employee laws and keep searching on lawn site. It rocks!

The bottom line, have a Business Plan written up, know your costs and be aware of what your regional competitors are charging in your target demographic for similar services.

*dim*
12-07-2011, 02:04 AM
try this spreadsheet (it's in pounds, but works the same as USD) .... it will give you a guideline ....

add your annual costs .... then add the amount of money you wish to take home for the year (after taxes etc) .... you can also use this per month etc

http://www.landscapejuicenetwork.com...edFi58%3A10146

*dim*
12-07-2011, 02:59 AM
oops .... that link never worked .... try this one:

http://landscapejuice.ning.com/forum/attachment/download?id=2074886%3AUploadedFi58%3A10146

yardguy28
12-07-2011, 06:14 AM
You don't have to work for someone before you start on your own, but it helps. If you were a plumber, or ac guy, or electrician how far would you get on your own. Probably nowhere.

Why does everybody on here think it's so horrible to start out working for someone? When you truly think about everything involved it's overwhelming:
How do I price
Jesus, commercial equipment is expensive
How do I get customers
How do I fix stuff
What trailer to get
This customer sucks, how do I handle it
How do I invoice people
What kind of hedge is this
How do I handle the weather
I mean the list goes on and on for the crap that goes with a lawn biz, your not gonna learn it all here.

Oh yeah, the search button does actually work!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

my point was the exactly opposite. it's not so horrible if you haven't worked for someone else either.

i've made it 5 years so far and my years keep getting better and better and i didn't work for anyone before i started my business.

i worked at car wash before i started my business, worked at menards before the car wash and before those 2 i worked at target. i didn't have an ounce of knowledge about the lawn industry.

sure it helps to have worked for someone else, but it's not so horrible if you haven't.

cpllawncare
12-07-2011, 09:40 AM
I've read countless stories about people that have started business's without an ounce of knowledge in their industry, it's called being an entrepranuer(sp) it's happening everyday and people are succeeding, why? they do their research and network with people that are already in the industry, IE HERE! I haven't learned it all here but I've learned a TON!

trim a lawn
12-07-2011, 06:51 PM
Thats for the advice guys. I will do some research as some of you suggested. I worked lawncare as for as fert application and such, only cut my own lawn and a few neighbors, i'm looking to start small, of course, and then grow. I have ten grand to invest in equipment and such, hope to recoupe that within first season.

S & L PROPERTY MAINTENANC
12-08-2011, 09:14 AM
Don't let anyone tell you different. I started a lawn care and maintenance business this year and made over $100,000 first year!! I worked for a lawn care company when I was 15 for about two weeks. I had a good business plan, the right employees, and a BA in Accounting, a BA in business management, and AS marketing. I have built the business up that would take others years to do. With that said; study your business, your competition, and do what you say!! Landscapers are a dime a dozen, how are you different?

trim a lawn
12-08-2011, 10:14 AM
Yeah, thanks S&L, I have a good idea as to what I want to do and how I want to go about it. I have quite a few years of business management experience and I am also earning my BS in business management, so I have a good gameplan and some ideas that I think will help me get off the ground running as far as generating accounts and then networking and marketing from there. It will take time, i'm sure, but i'm in it for the long haul, not just looking to make a quick splash.

Ticolawnllc
12-08-2011, 11:37 AM
not sure i see the importance or problem with this.

before i started my business the grass i ever cut was my own. never worked for a single lawn company and didn't know a single sole who did.

is there some law i don't know about that states you have to have worked for someone in the industry before you go and start your own business in the industry???

No. But if you're looking to start up put in your own time and don't look to use our hard earned experience. Buy book, go out to customer estimate and tell them what you think you should charge. Learn the hard way what too cheap is and what too much is. No one gave me any free info. I worked for it. Why do starter ups expect us to give away what cost us so much to learn? :hammerhead:

trim a lawn
12-08-2011, 12:35 PM
Well, pardon me if I offended you, I don't expect anything from you, i'm pretty confident in my own intelligence and ability to figure things out. But correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a site for people in this industry to kind of meet and converse on all things that have to do with this type of business, is it not? Why wouldn't I seek advice from experts in the field if they are willing to share their insight? If you really feel that strongly about it, why even respond or post to any of this? Please, keep your invaluable trade secrets to yourself, I would hate for you to disclose anything that I could use to reinvent the lawncare industry.

yardguy28
12-08-2011, 01:02 PM
No. But if you're looking to start up put in your own time and don't look to use our hard earned experience. Buy book, go out to customer estimate and tell them what you think you should charge. Learn the hard way what too cheap is and what too much is. No one gave me any free info. I worked for it. Why do starter ups expect us to give away what cost us so much to learn? :hammerhead:

not sure i should say this as it might start an argument but i'll take the chance.

i'm probably still learning what is too cheap or too much. i charge based off of what i want to make, not what the market will bare or what everyone else is charging.

i didn't belong to a site like this when i started my business. the only research i did was ask a friend or 2 what they charge for a basic mowing for the different sizes of propertys. i made my own prices from there and made any adjustments to fit my needs.

in the 5 years i've been in business i haven't raised prices once for exsisting clients. and i've only raised my prices for new clients once and that was last season.