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jbgarrison6
06-26-2012, 05:40 PM
I've hade some clients ask me to trim their shrubs, but I don't have the equipment nor do I know how to price. I plan on making this a service to them next year, but would like to know how some of you price, I know it varies form region to region, but a general idea would be greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

BigGreen1
06-26-2012, 06:31 PM
JBGarrison,

I cannot recommend a gas trimmer enough. I had a few customers without outside electric and bought a Kawasaki trimmer on a whim. Great decision. I charge $50 an hour. I also have a Yard Shark shredder to help downsize the mess.

Tim

jbgarrison6
06-26-2012, 07:22 PM
Great, thanks Tim!

Dr.NewEarth
06-26-2012, 07:40 PM
Here's a long winded answer that might help you.

Figure out what your labour cost is per hour (what do you want to pay yourself as a gross wage per hour?) and to that add your hourly overhead, return on investment and profit.

For example, Here I know that if I have an employee earning 18 dollars an hour, I also have to add about 27 percent to this cost to cover mandatory employer contributions to the unemployment insurance, workers compensation and Canada pension plan. This also includes money that will be required throughout the year to pay for statutory holidays and at the end of the year...holiday pay.

Let's say I've also invested alot of training and mentoring for this fictitional employee and I want to retain him and grow my company. I want to keep him a happy employee.

So, included in this extra 27 percent is an employee medical/dental plan.

Currently I am only employing a few workers (recession cut backs) My companies overhead has been figured out for the entire year, and that cost is divided amongst all of the employees and the amount of hours they work in a year.

Taking the 18 dollar base pay, plus the 27 percent mandatory payments to government and the medical/dental plan, and along with that add what I need to earn an hour per employee to pay for the companies overhead....I know that the breakeven point per hour for my company is $31 an hour per employee.

This is before I add on a return on my investment of equipment and any profit.

If I have more employees, then I can divide the yearly overhead better to arrive at a lower break even point. This is how large companies can bid so low.

The other thing to think of is "what is the average being charged by your competition?"


Your overhead is every-thing in the year that you have to spend to run your business. Rent, electricity, gas, business insurance, truck and trialer insurance, licenses, computers, compensation insurance, night school courses, office supplies ectcetera.

Then, figure out what your return on investment for a new saw is. Let's say it will last you two years before you have to replace it.

You don't want to have to pay for a new one out of your pocket again. Have all of your clients pay into the "new saw account" now. This is your R.O.I. or Return on Investment.

Figure this out the same as how you did the business yearly overhead. Two years to replace the saw that cost, say $500 dollars.... with perhaps 1850 working hours per year So, you have 3700 hours of labour over two years to pay back to the "new saw account"

3700 hours divided by 500 dollars is 13 cents an hour.

Some people charge double on their return on investment, so their original investment is being paid off now, and the same amount of money is also being saved for a new saw.

I now know that I need 31.13 or more just to cover my company costs and pay my 18 dollar an hour employee.

The next part is figuring out your profit. For this you really have to decide how much risk is involved? For example: what percentage of plants might die after an installation? What tools might be broken? How difficult is the job?

Profit can also be influenced by local conditions, what others are charging, the recession.

In conclusion....I can get away with charging 35 an hour per employee. I know that my market can handle this.

Buying a saw is a great investment for you.

32vld
06-26-2012, 07:57 PM
I've hade some clients ask me to trim their shrubs, but I don't have the equipment nor do I know how to price. I plan on making this a service to them next year, but would like to know how some of you price, I know it varies form region to region, but a general idea would be greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

A better question would to state the plant type that makes up the hedge, how many feet can be trimmed in an hour, when is the best time and wrong time to cut that type of hedge.

This way knowing your costs you can figure out what to charge and advise the customer when is the best time to cut that hedge.

Dave does lawns
06-26-2012, 07:57 PM
Here's a long winded answer that might help you.

Figure out what your labour cost is per hour (what do you want to pay yourself as a gross wage per hour?) and to that add your hourly overhead, return on investment and profit.

For example, Here I know that if I have an employee earning 18 dollars an hour, I also have to add about 27 percent to this cost to cover mandatory employer contributions to the unemployment insurance, workers compensation and Canada pension plan. This also includes money that will be required throughout the year to pay for statutory holidays and at the end of the year...holiday pay.

Let's say I've also invested alot of training and mentoring for this fictitional employee and I want to retain him and grow my company. I want to keep him a happy employee.

So, included in this extra 27 percent is an employee medical/dental plan.

Currently I am only employing a few workers (recession cut backs) My companies overhead has been figured out for the entire year, and that cost is divided amongst all of the employees and the amount of hours they work in a year.

Taking the 18 dollar base pay, plus the 27 percent mandatory payments to government and the medical/dental plan, and along with that add what I need to earn an hour per employee to pay for the companies overhead....I know that the breakeven point per hour for my company is $31 an hour per employee.

This is before I add on a return on my investment of equipment and any profit.

If I have more employees, then I can divide the yearly overhead better to arrive at a lower break even point. This is how large companies can bid so low.

The other thing to think of is "what is the average being charged by your competition?"


Your overhead is every-thing in the year that you have to spend to run your business. Rent, electricity, gas, business insurance, truck and trialer insurance, licenses, computers, compensation insurance, night school courses, office supplies ectcetera.

Then, figure out what your return on investment for a new saw is. Let's say it will last you two years before you have to replace it.

You don't want to have to pay for a new one out of your pocket again. Have all of your clients pay into the "new saw account" now. This is your R.O.I. or Return on Investment.

Figure this out the same as how you did the business yearly overhead. Two years to replace the saw that cost, say $500 dollars.... with perhaps 1850 working hours per year So, you have 3700 hours of labour over two years to pay back to the "new saw account"

3700 hours divided by 500 dollars is 13 cents an hour.

Some people charge double on their return on investment, so their original investment is being paid off now, and the same amount of money is also being saved for a new saw.

I now know that I need 31.13 or more just to cover my company costs and pay my 18 dollar an hour employee.

The next part is figuring out your profit. For this you really have to decide how much risk is involved? For example: what percentage of plants might die after an installation? What tools might be broken? How difficult is the job?

Profit can also be influenced by local conditions, what others are charging, the recession.

In conclusion....I can get away with charging 35 an hour per employee. I know that my market can handle this.

Buying a saw is a great investment for you.

I will admit that I had to reread many parts of this due to too many beers after work today, very informative to someone asking "how and what to charge".

W&Wlawncare
06-26-2012, 09:24 PM
I rented a gas hedge trimmer from my local tool rental before I bought mine. Like 25$ for the day or 20$ for 4 hrs. It might be something to consider since you can sorta demo one before you buy and buy yourself some time before dropping $400 on one
Posted via Mobile Device

StihlBR600
06-26-2012, 10:00 PM
I dont understand when people ask how to charge for something like hedge trimming. I mean just look at how many shrubs and bushes there are and how big they are and ask yourself how long it will take and how much money you want to make. pretty simple. Renting hedge trimmers is the dumbest thing ive ever heard of. By the time you pay the rental fee and time and gas driving there to pick them up and drop them off you could have just taken that money and paid for half of a new pair lol. Theyre not that expensive just look on craigslist for a used pair of kawasakis or Redmax for like $200. All you need is hedge trimmers a blower and a garbage can.

32vld
06-27-2012, 09:29 AM
I dont understand when people ask how to charge for something like hedge trimming. I mean just look at how many shrubs and bushes there are and how big they are and ask yourself how long it will take and how much money you want to make. pretty simple. Renting hedge trimmers is the dumbest thing ive ever heard of. By the time you pay the rental fee and time and gas driving there to pick them up and drop them off you could have just taken that money and paid for half of a new pair lol. Theyre not that expensive just look on craigslist for a used pair of kawasakis or Redmax for like $200. All you need is hedge trimmers a blower and a garbage can.

Because without knowing how long they can wind up charging to little or bidding to high and lose the job.

The most important thing to ask the time it takes so they then can run with their own costs to get a fair price.

StihlBR600
06-27-2012, 04:06 PM
Because without knowing how long they can wind up charging to little or bidding to high and lose the job.

The most important thing to ask the time it takes so they then can run with their own costs to get a fair price.

Hes not bidding they are his customers most likley residential. Just quote the job what you think is fair for you and see how it ends up. How are you ever gonna be able to quote jobs if your afraid to try and do it yourself? just do it and learn from it

charmill26
06-27-2012, 05:57 PM
Yep bid it and see how you end up. After you do the work you'll learn whether you priced it too high or low you learn a valuable lesson either way. dont underestimate

riverjunkie
06-28-2012, 12:23 PM
What about (1\2width x 1\2heighth x1\2length =$$) minimum charge 5$ ea. for anything under 2' sq.

Orrdc
06-28-2012, 04:15 PM
Somewhat unrelated, but the best advice on trimming I ever got from this site was to bring a large old bedspread and move it around bush to bush if you are doing this on new (newer) mulch. It makes the cleanup SO much easier and faster

OakNut
06-28-2012, 04:39 PM
Speaking of cleanup - that's the part that always gets me. It's easy to figure out how long it will take to zip off a row of hedges, but you have to factor in the worst part - cleanup.

Also don't forget to factor in disposal - dump fees plus TIME and fuel to get there - if needed.