PDA

View Full Version : Tell me how i did!!!


BlueGrassBoy
03-21-2012, 09:17 PM
Okay. I have been putting up fliers for about a week now. Today I get a call about a landscaping job. The guy wants two dogwood trees, one pink and one white. During our first phone call he blatantly explains that he doesn't mind spending 80 for each tree, because he wants a high quality job. I first visited 2 wal-marts and a lowes, neither of the two carried white dogwoods. Finally I visited a nursery who had 2 very nice specimens of both the white and pink dogwood, for $85 each. The only thing I did wrong was purchase a $30 lower quality tree pink dogwood, before actually speaking with him. But I'm going to mark up each tree to $100 each, which is $200. Then $20 for my fuel which was really only about $12, and sixty for two hours of labor. Final bid is $280.00. I quoted him 275 on the phone but will negotiate the 5 bucks lol just to make it even. This is my first real job as of starting in this business this year. I am so excited, though I wish I had some mowing accounts by this point. But, It is still early in the year here in Kentucky, so I must be patient. I want you more experienced guys to tell me how I did wit negotiating my first landscaping job. Thanks and God Bless.:)

MTenterprises
03-21-2012, 09:54 PM
I think you did fine, but do you know how to properly plant trees?

BlueGrassBoy
03-21-2012, 10:22 PM
I tell you what I do and you can tell me what to do different, or if I'm doing it right.

First I'll make sure the planting hole is as deep as the existing rootball on the tree, to plant at the same depth. But, the hole itself will be about 2.5-3 times the width of the rootball to allow for easier root devlopment in the early stages of the trees life. Before covering the tree with soil I will gently cut a little or actaully tear the root ball out a little to also allow roots to take hold faster. I will also fill a partial amount of the soil with actual miracle grow potting soil with nutrients and fertilizers in it to feed the tree, last but not least give it tons of water to help with the stress of being newly transplanted, and maybe a stake or two for extra support, or to support straight, vertical growth...close??? This is just based off my prior knowledge of planting things, lol.

Weekend cut easymoney
03-21-2012, 10:49 PM
Try your best to locate a wholesale nursery and buy from them regularly and become familiar with their stock so you don't drive around town looking at trees or plants (the time you spent looking for the plants has to factor into the price down the line)--maybe charge a delivery fee of $40-$60-- Too many guys run around town and don't figure that into their cost of doing business-Make sure to get a check when you finish--
-type a brief estimate on a word processor stating what you are agreeing to plant and state the price. Also include your terms for payment--!!Due at time of job completion!!! When someone says to you...'bill me', make sure you have the invoice in hand and ask for the payment then and there-not later.
good luck--

Weekend cut easymoney
03-21-2012, 10:51 PM
Get them to sign the estimate EVERY SINGLE TIME before you start work so there are no misunderstandings-

lawnlandscape
03-21-2012, 11:12 PM
*shakes head*
Posted via Mobile Device

Snyder's Lawn Inc
03-21-2012, 11:58 PM
Okay. I have been putting up fliers for about a week now. Today I get a call about a landscaping job. The guy wants two dogwood trees, one pink and one white. During our first phone call he blatantly explains that he doesn't mind spending 80 for each tree, because he wants a high quality job. I first visited 2 wal-marts and a lowes, neither of the two carried white dogwoods. Finally I visited a nursery who had 2 very nice specimens of both the white and pink dogwood, for $85 each. The only thing I did wrong was purchase a $30 lower quality tree pink dogwood, before actually speaking with him. But I'm going to mark up each tree to $100 each, which is $200. Then $20 for my fuel which was really only about $12, and sixty for two hours of labor. Final bid is $280.00. I quoted him 275 on the phone but will negotiate the 5 bucks lol just to make it even. This is my first real job as of starting in this business this year. I am so excited, though I wish I had some mowing accounts by this point. But, It is still early in the year here in Kentucky, so I must be patient. I want you more experienced guys to tell me how I did wit negotiating my first landscaping job. Thanks and God Bless.:)

That was cheap what size was the trees whats the base size

srl28
03-22-2012, 01:52 AM
If he already said he won't pay more than $80.00 per tree, total of $160.00 How do you think he's going to pay your $280??

And Wal-mart for a tree? Oh boy

BlueGrassBoy
03-22-2012, 02:30 PM
No, the guy said he would not mind paying 80 for the trees, that it was fine because he wanted a high quality job. One tree was $75 the other was $85, so for the trees alone was $160. Then I factored in the maybe two hours locating trees last night in my free time. I did find a nice nursery, though it was retail the quality was undeniable. I also bought a tarp to cover them in my truck and protect them from foliage damage. So here are my expenses:

Total time invested: 3 hours, including locating trees, and the job itself.

Fuel: $20
Trees and tarp:$174
Three hours of time:$30...10 per hour not working...?
Total:$224
So 280-224 is $56 dollars for three hours work. Not too bad I don't think for a first job, but there is definitely room for improvement. I should have bid 300, but we learn as we go. But I couldn't argue with 18+ per hour for my first job. Just hope i get continue business, and desperately need to land some mowing accounts. I did learn that landscaping is much more profitable than mowing, but harder to find jobs without an established company...tell me what you think..by the way the guy came outside half way through the job and payed me the 280 and went back to sleep lol, all in all i enjoyed the job this morning haha

BlueGrassBoy
03-22-2012, 02:46 PM
SRL28...

I think you misunderstood. During my first conversation with this client he clearly said that he doesn't mind paying 80 for the trees each...but of course i told him that i would mark them up to atleast 100 each.. he actually said he wanted trees in that price range. i also told him i would charge for fuel and labor and quoted him 275 on the second call after i located the materials and he agreed. This guy was an older man who works second shift in a factory..10 hours shifts. he got off work at three in the morning. i had the job finished about 10 this morning, he woke up, barely looked over the job i was half way finished with..he said you want 275 right? i looked at him smiling and said i was thinking 280, just for good humor...which actually worked out because he laughed and said thats what i have anyways..14 20 dollar bills...he then proceeded to pay and go back in his house to catch some sleep bc he had to be at work at 4:30 pm today, i asked him if he needed any mowing or anything...he said he mostly does it himself unless he is too tired or busy with his job...i quoted him for a mowing price anyways and offered the service and told him to give my number to anyone he knows with a similiar size yard for the price i gave him which was 30 per cut. he said he may want some more trees in his backyard soon that he would probably call me .... i said fine and thanks, have a nice day..then he left...all in all it was nice...my first landscaping job...i learned alot from it also despite the fact of the simplicity of the job..i just wanted to clarify that...SRL28 thanks
:)

BlueGrassBoy
03-22-2012, 02:52 PM
Sorry for so many posts guys but I had to add something....the nursery i use is a landscaping and nursery business all in one with about 10 employees...they were unloading semis when i got there this morning at 8 o'clock opening time. it is very nice and unique they have a giant pond in the middle and alot of nice scenery...ducks,etc. but this place is really huge...but what i wanted to mention is they have a program call the silver star program...basically for every scoop of mulch purchased you get 5 dollars credit towards your next purchase and for every 50 spent on plant material you get 5 dollars credit on your next purchase...just a way to award repeats i suppose...but i got $15 credit in total today...so that is money in my pocket or a higher profit margin on future tree plantings...thanks guys:)

BlueGrassBoy
03-22-2012, 02:57 PM
The trees were around 4.5 to 5 feet tall...you should barely "hug" them or put your arms around them...and the base or trunk was about 2 inches in diameter or 5 inches in circumference...small trees really..thanks:)

grandview (2006)
03-22-2012, 06:43 PM
Since you did the job already,sit down and re do the estimate at home but using the wholesale rate then figure out your retail price.I bet you will and another 50-60 bucks more into your pocket.

grass-scapes
03-22-2012, 07:15 PM
Another 50 or 60? HA. Tree planting. I think dogwoods are selling wholesale nursery stock here for about 80 or so 2" caliper.

Each tree would have cost the man $125 or so.
Planting 40 to 50 each tree.
Mulch 40 bucks.
Gator bag 20 bucks each.

What are you going to do if one of the trees dies in 2 months? Is the replacement your responsibility? You better have a plan, IN WRITING, for something like that.

How long are you going to warranty the trees? I had a customer call me up 3 years after planting one and said it died and they wanted me to replace for free.

I offered a warranty at the time of install. Warranty costs more, because of the what if factor. 1 year max.

Buy the tree somewhere that offers a 1 year warranty (lowes does). You will pay more, but covers you if it dies.

Well, I kinda got off track here, but you get my point.

BlueGrassBoy
03-23-2012, 12:04 AM
thanks for opening my eyes next time i'll have the bid up front...the nursery gave me a one year warranty on paper so im okay in that respect...i should have bid differently no doubt though...and yes...i must find a wholesale supplier...but that is easier to do for shrubs and seasonal flowers as opposed to young saplings...alot of nurseries and green houses in my area have very few trees, and poor quality at that...so the search must continue...lol

orangemower
03-23-2012, 10:04 AM
No, the guy said he would not mind paying 80 for the trees, that it was fine because he wanted a high quality job. One tree was $75 the other was $85, so for the trees alone was $160. Then I factored in the maybe two hours locating trees last night in my free time. I did find a nice nursery, though it was retail the quality was undeniable. I also bought a tarp to cover them in my truck and protect them from foliage damage. So here are my expenses:

Total time invested: 3 hours, including locating trees, and the job itself.

Fuel: $20
Trees and tarp:$174
Three hours of time:$30...10 per hour not working...?
Total:$224
So 280-224 is $56 dollars for three hours work. Not too bad I don't think for a first job, but there is definitely room for improvement. I should have bid 300, but we learn as we go. But I couldn't argue with 18+ per hour for my first job. Just hope i get continue business, and desperately need to land some mowing accounts. I did learn that landscaping is much more profitable than mowing, but harder to find jobs without an established company...tell me what you think..by the way the guy came outside half way through the job and payed me the 280 and went back to sleep lol, all in all i enjoyed the job this morning haha

Your numbers are all out of whack. How do you justify charging for your time riding around looking for a product when you're suppose to be the professional? You should already know where to go for the product. $18hr is lowballing prices.

BlueGrassBoy
03-23-2012, 05:47 PM
Yes I should not have charged for the time to locate plants, but as I said this was my first landscaping job...i kinda jumped in with not as much knowledge as I should as I said this job took about 1 1/2 hours, but I had one helper...by myself probably like an hour...What should I have made on this job? And what would you have charged and explain what you're charging for...thanks.

wbw
03-23-2012, 07:16 PM
Okay. I have been putting up fliers for about a week now. Today I get a call about a landscaping job. The guy wants two dogwood trees, one pink and one white. During our first phone call he blatantly explains that he doesn't mind spending 80 for each tree, because he wants a high quality job. I first visited 2 wal-marts and a lowes, neither of the two carried white dogwoods. Finally I visited a nursery who had 2 very nice specimens of both the white and pink dogwood, for $85 each. The only thing I did wrong was purchase a $30 lower quality tree pink dogwood, before actually speaking with him. But I'm going to mark up each tree to $100 each, which is $200. Then $20 for my fuel which was really only about $12, and sixty for two hours of labor. Final bid is $280.00. I quoted him 275 on the phone but will negotiate the 5 bucks lol just to make it even. This is my first real job as of starting in this business this year. I am so excited, though I wish I had some mowing accounts by this point. But, It is still early in the year here in Kentucky, so I must be patient. I want you more experienced guys to tell me how I did wit negotiating my first landscaping job. Thanks and God Bless.:)

How long did it take you to sell the job, get the trees, plant the trees and meet with the customer to collect your money? If I understand your post correctly you made about $150 less overhead. Is that correct?

Overhead will eat you alive. My repair tech went out today and his first repair was for $830 with parts costing about $350. His next job he replaced a motor for $480 with parts costing $250. His next job was for $2400 with parts costing $1900 and he finished the day with a $650 job that had a parts cost of $350. How did I do today? OK but not as good as you think. Overhead eats you alive.

wbw
03-23-2012, 07:25 PM
Never break down your price. Only give a lump sum total. Nobaody wants to pay enough hourly.

kassim503
03-26-2012, 10:36 PM
Although your profit is a bit low- you made money on your first job! NICE!

If you are uncertain about the prices of stuff- dont be afraid to step down and tell the customer that you need to "shop around to see who has the best product and you will get back to them asap." This gives you time to call around and see what your place is selling them for- and a good time for you to sit down and think about what you can do the job for while remembering the fact that you will need to buy a new truck, dump truck, and mowers of your pleasing every ten years.

Ive learned to never shoot from the hip- much rather look like an idiot than make an informed decision rather than getting burned.

Personally I would have doubled the cost of the materials.