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Premium Services
01-22-2004, 11:18 AM
This is for those out there that need help with bids on Residential lawns based on square feet

sf Mowing($) Fert($)

1,000 29 18
1,500 30 18
2,000 31 19
2,500 32 19
3,000 33 20
3,500 34 20
4,000 35 21
4,500 36 21
5,000 37 22
5,500 38 22
6,000 39 23
6,500 40 23
7,000 41 24
7,500 42 24
8,000 43 25
8,500 44 25
9,000 45 26
9,500 46 26
10,000 46 27
10,500 47 28
11,000 48 29
11,500 49 30
12,000 50 31
12,500 50 32
13,000 51 33
14,000 53 35
14,500 54 36
15,000 54 37
15,500 55 38
16,000 56 39
16,500 56 40
17,000 57 41
17,500 58 42
18,000 59 43
18,500 60 44
19,000 60 45
19,500 61 46
20,000 62 47
20,500 62 48
21,000 63 49
21,500 64 50
22,000 64 51
22,500 65 52
23,000 66 53
23,500 66 54
24,000 67 55
24,500 68 56
25,000 68 57
25,500 69 58
26,000 70 59
26,500 70 60
27,000 71 61
27,500 72 62
28,000 72 63
28,500 73 64
29,000 74 65
29,500 74 66
30,000 75 67

cuttingchris
01-22-2004, 11:31 AM
those are a little high

Premium Services
01-22-2004, 11:41 AM
it works out to be $45-$50 a hour for each 2 man crew

promower
01-22-2004, 12:02 PM
Numbers seem high to me also.

Kelly & Sons
01-22-2004, 12:14 PM
Seem about right to me... I wouldn't touch anything for less than $35 - $40 anyways...

capmaint
01-22-2004, 12:18 PM
6,000 39 23

Am I readung this right? $23 to fertilize 6000 sq ft? That seems way low for my area....Just wondering.

Premium Services
01-22-2004, 12:23 PM
i don't see how you could do it for less and pay taxs, cpa, lawyer, get insured, pay your self plus a worker after all that the biz still need to be able to put money aside to grow if you don't have all these things you'll never be the big guy on the block or be able to bid on all com. jobs

Premium Services
01-22-2004, 12:34 PM
6,000 39 23

Am I readung this right? $23 to fertilize 6000 sq ft? That seems way low for my area....Just wondering.

it is a little but thats for my contrated cuts if you think about it the grass grows for a longer season so you get more mowings in a year and happy Customer that comes back year again and again cause they need those late fall mowings just wondering what the going rate aroud there it might be that diff

dishboy
01-22-2004, 12:46 PM
Premium services:

Thanks for your numbers. What I would be more interested in seeing is a breakdown of how long [one man] you would estimate each size lawn would take to do, with what size and type of mower. This would be helpful for me if figured bagged, edged with a trimmer and trimmed and blown. I do a lot of small lawns so the lawns over 10k really interest me.

James Cormier
01-22-2004, 12:57 PM
Those fert prices are so low its scary....10k lawn would cost only $27.00 per treatment...are you serious? So 5 app program you would only bring in $135.00 yr You cant be a legit business if you charge by those numbers.

example we charge 10k lawn $85.00 per app, $96.00 grub, 5 app program is $521.00 year, I am in the upper end for prices in my area, but not the most expensive by far, Ive never seen prices that low

yardsurfer
01-22-2004, 01:05 PM
Man I don't know how you guys get people to pay than 25$'s a cut.
My friend used to charge 20$'s per cut, 25 for corner lots.
Now he's doing 15$'s a cut for people that sign a yearly contract.

I don't know the size of most of my friends yards. But Either you guys are doing nice size yards or he's just undercharging.

I don't know the square footages of any of the accounts and he doesn't either he just goes by how it looks.
Avg yard speed for 2people using a 48" mower on fronts and 36" on back is about 10mins per yard.

They have 150 accounts, and about 4-5 of them are I believe half acre accounts going for 35$'s a cut.

hortboy
01-22-2004, 01:44 PM
Premium Services
Are those fert prices for just straight fert or does that include your herbicides and insecticides? I hope it's just straight fert only or your prices are way too low for up here in NY. I get $32.00 for 3000 sqft and under. $50.00 for 8000sqft and $110 for 30,000 sq ft . And I'm right in line w/ my competition.

Lux Lawn
01-22-2004, 01:46 PM
For our area mowing prices are a little bit high and fert. price a little bit low. Pricing here starts around 65-70 monthly for maintenance and 29.95 per application for fert. Maintenance seems kind of low but everybody and their brother is now landscaping.

Randy Scott
01-22-2004, 01:51 PM
Thanks, but I think I'll stick to my pricing.

It's nice that you offer this information to others, but all you're doing is making the dumb, dumber. Now they will just take these numbers and run with them, only to find it doesn't work for their specific situation. You better believe there will be people that do this and it will just continue the circle of them not knowing their business.

I stand by my opinion when I say that the people that just ask for the pricing of something, have no clue about how to run their business and are destined to fail at it. Plain and simple. Argue that all you want, but those that know, know the truth of it.

bastalker
01-22-2004, 01:57 PM
Looks like the last 2 price columns should be swapped around The fert prices under the mowin column, an the mowin prices under the fert column....The mowin prices are pretty steep!

Kelly & Sons
01-22-2004, 02:09 PM
yardsurfer... some of my clients pay $300 per month for full service. Their homes range from $225,000 to over $2 Million dollars... a lot of them are waterfront too. I wouldn't even stop my truck & let the gate down for $15 or $20 bucks.... jmo.

dishboy
01-22-2004, 02:22 PM
So I think the real helpful information would be not the price per lawn, but manhours to MTB on various size lawns.
Also manhours to do full service [mtb, bed maintenence, prune schrubs, fertilize\w\ insecticide& herbicide].

FrankenScagMachines
01-22-2004, 02:27 PM
Your mowing prices are way too high for here. I don’t know anything about the fert prices. If you can get that much for mowing in your area, more power to you! I think it depends on the mower used too. That maybe what prices you have to have for your little 36” (don’t take offense, but it’s simply smaller and less productive than a 52” or 60”, I’d like to have a 36” for small spots too) but if you used a bigger mower then you could charge less for the bigger jobs (than whats on your list) and get maybe almost twice the productivity with a 52” Z than you get with your 36” w/b. Make more in less time. (I see you also have the 52" so it's just relative. A 60" Z could be compared to your 52") Round here, an acre goes for around $50 but that does not mean that a half acre is only $25. A half acre will go for around $40 here. It’s all in the numbers. Guys with a 60” ZTR could do one acre in the same time I might do a half acre lawn, therefore they don’t need to charge twice as much as what I get for a half acre because a Z doesn’t cost that much more to run and there’s always lowballers to keep the prices down :rolleyes:

Premium Services
01-22-2004, 02:32 PM
i do have a 52 inch turf tiger even though i wish now that i would have got the cub ue to being more compact

kppurn
01-22-2004, 02:41 PM
The mowing prices seem a little on the high end. Fert. prices look to be very low.

Pricing varies so much from region to region. Likewise for each operation.

Premium Services
01-22-2004, 03:23 PM
fert price is for yearly contracts and are full servie lawns most of the time they also have grass bagging, leaf baginging winter, bed maintenance,fert

ex. 6,500sf $40 + bagging $10 = $50
leafbagging $50
fert $23
bed maintenance $35 a hour for 2 men
50x33 mowings =$1650
50x3 extra baggings for leaves =$150
23x3 fert =$69
2 hours a month bed maintencne for growing months 35x10=$350
sub-total=$2219
tax=$199
total=$2418
monthly=201.50

craigs lawncare
01-22-2004, 03:36 PM
Nice break-down. :)

Craig

bastalker
01-22-2004, 04:41 PM
Premium Services, Up here I couldn't bag a 6500 sq ft lawn for more than $30. But then why would I want to bag a 6500 sq ft lawn?

The fert prices I would charge for a 6500 sq ft lawn would be around $50 an app.

Up here in Ct., the second most expensive state to live in, they just dont think mowin a 6500 sq ft prop is worth $50.....

DFW Area Landscaper
01-22-2004, 04:58 PM
I think posting prices in a public setting is good for the industry. If the inexperienced guys who are just jumping into this business knew, for example, that the going rate for a 2,500 sq ft lawn was, say, $25.00, I doubt they'd bid them at $15.00. I think that if a new guy knew that the going rate was $25 per cut and he wanted to undercut everyone to make sure he didn't lose the business, they'd probably bid something a lot closer to $25 than $15. At least that's what I think would happen.

But because there is no suggested retail price for lawn work for the new guys to get their hands on, they either have to a) guess or b) call every LCO in the yellow pages to come out and give them an estimate on their lawn. This wastes a lot of time for the LCO's who get called by new guys who need to see how things are priced but have no intention of buying.

I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that by people doing what Premium Services has done, it helps the industry a lot more than it hurts.

I've considered starting some sort of an association of LCO's in my area whereby we would publish some sort of booklet or short document (spanish and english) explaining how to price work and write contracts that don't allow customers to skip cuts. The document could simply be left at the area equipment distributors. I just think that if someone is out low balling, either intentionally or unintentionally, it hurts the industry.

I think Premium Services is on to something with the price by square foot. I have a very similar pricing schedule that's broken down by square footage that I've just created this winter, but I have additional charges for steep slopes, retaining walls in lawns, excessive obstacles, swing sets, alley driveways, etc. I think this will help me tremendously going forward. It seems to produce the prices I want when I apply it to all my existing accounts.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

captaingreen
01-22-2004, 05:21 PM
Fert. prices are to low for my area, mowing depends on trimming and edging, but still seems too low.

dishboy
01-22-2004, 05:50 PM
Quote from DWF

"I think posting prices in a public setting is good for the industry. If the inexperienced guys who are just jumping into this business knew, for example, that the going rate for a 2,500 sq ft lawn was, say, $25.00, I doubt they'd bid them at $15.00. I think that if a new guy knew that the going rate was $25 per cut and he wanted to undercut everyone to make sure he didn't lose the business, they'd probably bid something a lot closer to $25 than $15. At least that's what I think would happen."

I agree with what you are saying here. This would work very well for people who live in the same area doing the same job. I see the guys back east who cut large yards with a Z say they are making at least $65 a hour. I live in Idaho and do mostly small yards with a 36inch W/B. From what I can tell the going rate here is much less probably ranging from $25 a hr to $45 an hour, some more and some less.
I know how to bid small yards to get my hourly target rate, the information that would help me the most would not be how much a big yard [10,000 k plus] pays in NJ but how long it takes to do that big yard if I upgrade my equiptment to a Z or a large Walker or whatever. I suspect this area will support somewhere between $45 to $60 an hour for upscale residential with the right equiptment. So for me sharing manhours vs sq. ft. vs. machine would enable me to see if it would justify trying to change my client base and buying exspensive equiptment.

bobbygedd
01-22-2004, 08:23 PM
isn't randy such a pleasure, always willing to critisize, but never offering an explanation. so tell us randy, how many cookies do you get to mow 6k? how many m@m's to fert 6k?

Soupy
01-23-2004, 12:38 AM
$17.50 a man hour for bed maintenance, No thanks.

I guess your prices, even each other out, on a total maintenance package. But I wouldn't want to offer those prices for anyone not paying the high price mowing.

lawnagent
01-23-2004, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by yardsurfer
Man I don't know how you guys get people to pay than 25$'s a cut.
My friend used to charge 20$'s per cut, 25 for corner lots.
Now he's doing 15$'s a cut for people that sign a yearly contract.

I don't know the size of most of my friends yards. But Either you guys are doing nice size yards or he's just undercharging.

I don't know the square footages of any of the accounts and he doesn't either he just goes by how it looks.
Avg yard speed for 2people using a 48" mower on fronts and 36" on back is about 10mins per yard.

They have 150 accounts, and about 4-5 of them are I believe half acre accounts going for 35$'s a cut.

I do not know how to say this without coming across as a jerk. But if your friend is in Orlando and he is only getting $15 a cut for some yards he needs to do himself and the industry a favor and QUIT. Go work somewhere else in some other field. Either that or up his prices and stick to em regardless of how long it takes to find the better payers. I know some about the cost of living in Orlando, and there is no excuse in the world to mow something that cheap. He has gotta set a good price and stick to it. Dont let customers talk him down and talk all this smack about being too high. He could do it for $5 and you would still find someone who would gripe and try to pay him $4.

alpine692003
01-23-2004, 01:10 AM
Wow, how can you guys make money off fertilizer?

1 bag of fertilizer where I am costed me $14 inc. tax
(Scotts - 29-3-4 turf builder fertilizer)

Most of the fertilizer down here avrage $14 - $20
This is at Home Depot.. I think it might be cheaper to buy it from a landscaping supply compnay, but I dont think they carry it.. I have to check..

The price you gave me seems a bit too low! you'll make like $13 on 1 application?

yardsurfer
01-23-2004, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by lawnagent
I do not know how to say this without coming across as a jerk. But if your friend is in Orlando and he is only getting $15 a cut for some yards he needs to do himself and the industry a favor and QUIT. Go work somewhere else in some other field. Either that or up his prices and stick to em regardless of how long it takes to find the better payers. I know some about the cost of living in Orlando, and there is no excuse in the world to mow something that cheap. He has gotta set a good price and stick to it. Dont let customers talk him down and talk all this smack about being too high. He could do it for $5 and you would still find someone who would gripe and try to pay him $4.

The majority of the yards they have are 20$'s he's only now starting with the 15$ deal for yearly contracts.
He's doing it just to get a bunch more customers..

He lives at home, his down owns where they live.
Equipment is mostly paid for except one of the mowers.

alot of their yards are all grouped up also.

olderthandirt
01-23-2004, 01:32 AM
Premium Services
Nice work up! I'm tired of reading post about how much to charge now all some one needs to do is use there brain a little to adjust to the region they live in and the cost they have to have to be profitable and there on there way took alot of the guess work out of it for the new guys.

Mac

juststarting023
01-23-2004, 01:49 AM
I will use my own pricing a little high on mowing

thanks

Phishook
01-23-2004, 02:32 AM
man, and I was looking for a price on a 47,248.5 lawn.

Willis
01-24-2004, 06:09 PM
$20 stop fee + $1. per thou.
47.2485 x $1. + $20. stop fee = $67.2485.
To bag it, $20. stop fee + $2 per thou.

brucec32
01-24-2004, 08:35 PM
Too simplistic.

Lawns vary by shape, obstacles, slopes, type of grass, type of borders, fertility levels(and hence growth to cut), etc.

DFW Area Landscaper
01-25-2004, 09:50 AM
Premium Services,

Thanks for posting your pricing schedule.

I started out in the business one year ago and I also had a pricing schedule that was based on square footage of property. I quickly realized it didn't work for me. I soon realized I had some lawns that were similar in size, but required very different times to complete.

Eventually, around late April or May or sometime, I decided to stop using my square footage based pricing schedule. So I started eye-balling. Others I know in the industry eye ball things and I also found that many here on Lawn Sight eye ball too. That was a big disaster for me. My gross revenues, when measured by the man hour, were all over the place, and generally speaking, my revenues were too low. I always felt as if I were in some sort of an absolute guessing game when it came to bidding.

Everyone on Lawn Sight kept saying experience is the solution to your bidding problems. I figured that eventually, I'd get the hang of it.

But what I really wanted was a pricing schedule that didn't require much guessing. I wanted consistency to my prices. Without that, how do I raise prices by 10% on all new bids? What if I realize my dream years from now and have employees bid lawns?

Well, this winter, I stumled onto your pricing schedule based on square footage. When I read it, it made sense. But it needed some tweeking. The things I've found with my first year of experience that speed me up or slow me down are things I'm going to see over and over in residential. So I made a list of the big ones. I played and played with it until I was able to use the square footage of the lawn and an appropriate addition or discount to add to that lawn. My pricing schedule starts at 3,000 sq ft and under and goes up to 13,000 sq ft. Any larger than that and I can't effectively compete with the guys who have larger equipment. Anyway, here are the bullet items I apply to the price after I measure the lawn:

Swingsets................................................+2.00
Alley Driveway..........................................+2.00
Front Driveway.........................................-1.00
Excessively Choppy/Obstacle Course............+1.00 to +2.00
Steep Slopes.............................................+3.00
Swimming Pools..........................................measure entire area as lawn and include in measurement
Retaining walls in lawn.............................+1.00 each
Gate too small for walk behind.................+2.00
Corner lot..................................................+2.00
Must move lawn furniture.........................+2.00

I've applied this pricing schedule to all of my existing accounts. It seems to be getting the prices I would be happier with than what I have now. And the prices are prices I think customers would pay. It's not an exact science. Even with the schedule I'll still have lawns that gross too little and too much when measured by the man hour. But it seems to be a lot more intelligent than eye balling.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

olderthandirt
01-25-2004, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by brucec32
Too simplistic.

Lawns vary by shape, obstacles, slopes, type of grass, type of borders, fertility levels(and hence growth to cut), etc.


Ok then you break it down so everybody thats starting out will have an idea of how to price with all the contigency you listed. Its a general guide for new people to use so they have some idea of what to charge. its not written in stone and I think most people will have enough commooon sense to adjust prices as needed.

Mac

1PRO
01-25-2004, 12:56 PM
I think you need to open the settings on your spreader on a 30,000 sq ft ant no way the turf will be right to low to fert & 75.00 for uh cut ?<<<<<<naw not this company.

SIRCAESAR
01-25-2004, 04:53 PM
I believe pricing lawns is different for everyone, ltheirs a lot of variables to consider.. I believe the new guys such as myself, should just do a few and get a nack for it.. New guys remember the veterans have gained their wisdom and knowledge thru experience.. some of which can be passed on here at the boards, but some of it has to be hands on.. something we will just have to pick up on our own..

brucec32
01-26-2004, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by olderthandirt
Ok then you break it down so everybody thats starting out will have an idea of how to price with all the contigency you listed. Its a general guide for new people to use so they have some idea of what to charge. its not written in stone and I think most people will have enough commooon sense to adjust prices as needed.

Mac

No thanks, don't care to spend the time. My point is that if these "contingencies" that you seem to be trivializing aren't factored in, no chart of size will make sense at all. I can do 5,000 ft or 15,000 ft in the same amount of time, depending on the above factors. It's just plain misleading to tell new guys that they can rely on it in any way at all. We don't all live out on the great plains where people have huge wide open flat rectangles of cool season grass to mow, or where every lawn type and shape is the same. The cost in time between the simplest and fastest lawns and the most demanding and intricate ones can vary by a factor of 3 or 4 times, so it's hardly worth having a chart if all it's going to do is mislead a neophyte.

Some of the "favors" I see people doing here are really no favors at all, but simply mistakes being passed on from one person to another, thereby perpetuating the kind of poor business sense that seems to be so common in the biz.

And did it ever occur to anybody out there that if someone doesn't even know how to calculate long it takes to mow various lawns with commercial equipment, they just might not be ready to go into business for themselves, seeing as they've probably never even mowed many lawns before?

I would assume that anyone with even a few weeks of experience in the business would have "enough common sense" to know that you can't price mowing by square footage alone. I didn't think I would have to point out such an obvious thing, but obviously I did.

brucec32
01-26-2004, 04:53 PM
So you don't think I'm not being helpful:

-Type of mower that can be used (Can I use my best mower or does it require a smaller or slower unit?)
-Type of grass (I can mow Fescue at one speed, Thick tough Bermuda or Zoysia at a slower pace)
-fertility level expected (fast growing lush grass can't be mowed as fast)
-Is it irrigated?(if they water it will be more work than if they dont')
-SIZE of lawn
-obstacles in lawn that require string trimming.
-SHAPE of lawn (lots of small areas with areas you have to pull in and back out of is not the same as one big one where you can rock and roll)
-length of edged driveway, curbs, walked, beds, etc (is it a curbed corner lot? Expect more edging. Does the grass spread by stolons or rhizomes? You'll need to edge the bed borders often)
-slope of lawn. (Go mow a lawn on a steep slope and then one on a flat surface and tell me if they're worth the same price)
-suitability for mowing when wet from rain or dew (some drain faster than others, causing less schedule disruption, others stay wet for days, some can be done in the early am, others have clippings that clump to mush when still damp)
-drive time to property (the home next to your office is easier and more flexible to schedule than one at the limits of your coverage area)
-traffic patterns in property area(can you exit and get out of there during rush hour? Or is it in an area you want to avoid early and late in the day?)
-Ease/safety of parking at property (If you're backing into traffic on busy streets all the time, expect higher damage claims. If you have to spend 5 minutes jockying into a tight area to park, factor that in too.)
-Is a mower switch required during visit? (This can add a few minutes to the job, so you should price accordingly)
-Is the workload balanced on property? (if a lawn requires 30 minutes of mowing and 5 minutes of trimming/blowing, what's a helper going to do if you have a less-capable (or no) 2nd mower?
-How big is your crew? (drive time is a bigger factor for a big crew that for a solo operator, who can use that time to make calls and rest. Seat time really adds up if you have a big crew, so you prefer larger properties)
-Who is the customer? (difficult, demanding or easy going and amiable? You're crazy if you don't price accordingly for this)


I'm sure there are others that don't come to mind. If you don't price accurately, others will, and you will wind up getting mostly the difficult accounts your chart is underpriced on, while losing the easier lawns to those whose prices account for that.

olderthandirt
01-26-2004, 05:24 PM
The chart was designed to give the new guy an idea of what to charge. WTF are you talking about now ? Have you also taken in to account that if there is an accident across town and traffic slows it will take longer to get to your next destination? your being anal about your pricing by the time you figure all that crap in to your bid becuase it does take time to figure it, I will come in at $5 less becuase I did not have to spend a half a day figureing traffic patterns out so I know how long it will take to back into the rd. LMAO

Mac

brucec32
01-27-2004, 05:34 PM
Yeah, just leave all that darn thinkin' to them thar college boys. Just double your costs on everything, right?

I worked for a guy years ago with that attitude (that it all evens out in the end, so just keep it simple on pricing, charge some high, some low). Let's just say he got tired of losing money and found another business.

I guess it's true. Ignorance IS bliss.

olderthandirt
01-27-2004, 06:07 PM
Well why your checking traffic patterns I'm mowing, with experience you look at a lawn and know how long it takes. If you have to worry that it's gonna take you an extra 30 second to back your trailer in, or its rush hr so you might spend an extra couple of min getting from job to job either you have no idea how to price a job or your worried that you won't charge enough to cover your azz and if your profit margin require you to calculate all the bs above then you are correct that Ignorance IS bliss!

workaholic
01-27-2004, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by yardsurfer
Man I don't know how you guys get people to pay than 25$'s a cut.
My friend used to charge 20$'s per cut, 25 for corner lots.
Now he's doing 15$'s a cut for people that sign a yearly contract.

I don't know the size of most of my friends yards. But Either you guys are doing nice size yards or he's just undercharging.

I don't know the square footages of any of the accounts and he doesn't either he just goes by how it looks.
Avg yard speed for 2people using a 48" mower on fronts and 36" on back is about 10mins per yard.

They have 150 accounts, and about 4-5 of them are I believe half acre accounts going for 35$'s a cut. We charge a 25.00 minimum and up or walkaway from it dont matter if its 5 minutes 10 minutes...

Haley Lawn Care
01-27-2004, 10:34 PM
For all you newbies who want to know how to price.

1. How much do you want to make an hour? about 50 to 60 dollars.
2. Go mow your own yard and keep up with the time. You should know if the yards you hope to get are the same size or not.
3. When you know how much time it will take to mow one yard then you can begin to set pricing. The average is 2 yards per hour. Notice I said average. So your average is $30.00 per yard.
4. Some yards are going to be higher. Corner lots and yards with sidewalks take longer. However some yards will take less time but you still want your average price of $30.00. Also fences around yards take a lot more weedeating.
5. I done a yard just a week or so ago for $28.00. After I finished I told the owner I would need $30.00 per cut because of the hill in back. He said no problem see you next time.
6. The biggest thing is showing up to do the work. When its 90+ outside you still show up and mow. The customer is happy and thinks they are getting thier money's worth. Also mow your relatives yard 1 time for practice. (How much time does it take?) You will learn how fast you can mow with your mower and set your price so you can make what you want per hour. Someone on here said $1.00 per minute which is $60.00 per hour.
7. You count your time from when you drop the gate at one yard until you drop the gate at the next yard. That way driving time is covered. Hope this helps.

David :) :D

DFW Area Landscaper
01-28-2004, 11:45 AM
I think that a formula can be created for a specific type of landscape. I have created a formula for pricing that seems to work when back tested on all my existing accounts.

The formula has limitations. I certainly don't take into consideration traffic patterns, but I do place heavy emphasis on square footage of lawn. I don't think that's silly. If I told you that I had a two man crew spend an hour on a 4,000 square foot lawn, most would be quick to say that something is very wrong. In order to make that statement, you're using a formula that's based on square footage. Plain and simple.

My formula has all kinds of additional charges for things like alley driveways and swingsets, but for the most part, square footage dicates the bulk of the price. Yes, there will be lawns that have obstacles every three feet, and on those lawns I'll have to make discretionary adjustments. But those lawns are few and far between. The pricing formula isn't designed to bid cemetaries...it's designed to bid residential homes within the city limits...I think it'll work on 95%+ of all residential bids without any discretion.

The formula I've developed isn't going to work very competitively when I'm bidding large lawns, which are over 1/4 acre. It's not designed to. The formula works with the equipment I have and produces competitive prices in my area on lawns that are around 13,000 sq ft and smaller.

It's not perfect, but I think it makes more sense than eye balling. The thing I really like about it is, if I decide I need to increase my prices by, say 10%, on all bids going forward, I have a way of doing that. It will also allow me to have an employee do a bid and, at least in theory, he'll come up with the same (or very near the same) price that I would come up with.

I think the reason people are complaining that the prices they get for mowing today are the exact same prices they were getting in 1985 is because no one has a formula for pricing, so they can't increase prices by a small percentage each year. When you examine any successful retail business, most have a system or formula for determining their retail price. Am I wrong about this?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

pcnservices
01-28-2004, 12:08 PM
premium, I dont disagree with your pricing chart at all, but I think it might not work in all situations.
For fertilizing you must have a breakeven or cut off point somewhere. Around here the guys have a minimum fee per application and that is $30 on a 4800 sqft lawn. That is $6.25 per 1000 sqft. Now any lawn smaller than 4800 sqft you pay minimum fee $30. For ie. a 12650 sqft lawn the price is 12,6 x $6.25 = $78.75. In your chart you have no minimum fee and no set fee per 1000 sqft.
The same goes for mowing. Have a minimum fee to "drop the gate" ie. $25. for a 4800 sqft lawn anything smaller you pay min. fee and bigger you charge accordingly. I would go lawns between 4800 - 6999 sqft = $30, 7000 - 8999 sqft = $35, 9000 - 10999 = $40 and so on. If your rate is based per engine hour running figure it based on that and add a degree of difficulty for the amount of trim work you need to do.
On the big commercials bid on $x / 1000 sqft mowing and trimming and $ x for mowing only.

cush
01-31-2004, 10:34 PM
Take all costs and conditions into consideration for each service you will be providing. Come up with a price that you will be happy with if you get the job but not disappointed if you don't. Has worked well for me!

Jason Rose
01-31-2004, 10:48 PM
Bastalker, I agree... If you flip the mowing prices with the fert. prices then they really seem to be right in line. Not going to happen here in Hutchinson Ks. I think thats still too high for anyone cutting here. about 5 dollars high up to about 15,000 sq. ft. and about 8 to 10 from there on up. But a different market I can see it working.

JLLawncare
02-01-2004, 10:53 AM
Just wing it! Guess how long it will take, and ask yourself what it's it's worth for you to do the work. Try not to screw yourself with an underbid. And don't lose sleep over not getting a job. This is what I do and I'm happy with the outcome.

Jamie
JLLawncare

biglou
02-08-2004, 02:40 PM
I agre with Jamie. Guess how long it will take,what are you willing to do it for and set a price.$1 a minute is a good place to start. do some time studies using friends and families yards or even your present clients.It has worked well for me. Most guys in my area get between $1 and$1.50 per minute.

larz
04-26-2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by James Cormier
Those fert prices are so low its scary....10k lawn would cost only $27.00 per treatment...are you serious? So 5 app program you would only bring in $135.00 yr You cant be a legit business if you charge by those numbers.

example we charge 10k lawn $85.00 per app, $96.00 grub, 5 app program is $521.00 year, I am in the upper end for prices in my area, but not the most expensive by far, Ive never seen prices that low

Man, I wouldn't unload my mower for $15

hubby-wife
04-26-2004, 04:29 PM
Here is how I figure mowing:
without sidewalk-
interior lot - up to 7500 sf = $25.00
corner lot - up to 10,000 sf = $30.00

with sidewalk-
interior lot = $30.00
corner lot = $35.00

Larger lots are based on $55.00 per plus additional for sf over 1/2 acre. Then add for what they will pay-you can always come down to there price if you have to.
Largest yard I have is just under a 1/2 acre with circle drive, 100k house and its $55.00. They had it mowed for $50.00 but are paying me $5.00 more.

Then add for what the customer will pay!

Fertilizer per 5k bag + tax = $15.00 every 60 days from Mar thru Nov

I like it simple!

We got 2 new ones here, $20.00 any yard-guaranteed! and a new one today-first cut $15.00. "Cheapest rates in town or we'll beat it"

I guess gas is $0.99 per gallon and burgers are $0.50 - must be my eyes!

hubby-wife
04-26-2004, 04:57 PM
edit my post-
fertilizer is $15.00 per 5k bag plus cost.

bobbygedd
04-26-2004, 05:44 PM
so then it's $15 for the service, and like $8 for the fert? $23 to fert 5k?

CNE
04-26-2004, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Premium Services
it works out to be $45-$50 a hour for each 2 man crew

So at that rate, an acre would be about $85 at $45-$50 per hour= almost 2 hours predicted with a 2 man crew. I have a lawn 1 acre I do by myself in less than an hour with trim and blow. Your guys that slow? Probably not, but is that a fair way to price to the customer? Not hounding you, just my outlook on it.

hubby-wife
04-26-2004, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
so then it's $15 for the service, and like $8 for the fert? $23 to fert 5k?

Its $12.00 + tax for a bag and $15.00 to apply, about $30.00 per bag.
Whats your price?

mole
04-26-2004, 08:42 PM
How bout this, I have a guy in my area charging 15.00 per lawn and has a four man crew. 2 guys mowing 2 guys weedwacking. He now has 8 of my accounts on my street. I use to do them all in 90min. by myself. I was getting 30.00 per lawn. I just don't get some people.

bobbygedd
04-26-2004, 09:38 PM
what's in the bag? straight fert?

bastalker
04-26-2004, 10:00 PM
You guys crack me up.....

Its a simple calculation of how long you think it will take to cut the lawn, an how much you think yer worth an hour....Including equipment, an help....

dishboy
04-26-2004, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by bastalker
You guys crack me up.....

Its a simple calculation of how long you think it will take to cut the lawn, an how much you think yer worth an hour....Including equipment, an help....




Exactly, the only information I want to know is how many man hours various size lawns take to MTBlow-[and with what mower you are using, bagged or blown].

I really don't care how much money per hour you make or what you report on your income tax return either.

Tom