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View Full Version : Minimum Pricing


MOturkey
02-21-2004, 06:59 PM
I just found this forum yesterday, and this is only my second post, so bear with me guys. I'm pretty new to this lawncare thing. I've helped a friend of mine the past few years, and decided to go into it on my own part time, with an eye toward four years from now when I should be able to retire from my job as a milkman. Hopefully, my business will be large enough by then to supplement my retirement pretty handily.

A question. I've noted on posts here, as well as talking to others in the lawncare business from other areas that most seem to have a minium charge. I've heard the figure of between $30 and $35 thrown around several times. Around here, I'm not sure that will fly, as it is not necessarily a high income area. Also, I'm wondering if most of those with those high minimums started their business that way, or have simply adopted them after they grew to the point where they can afford to be more selective. I realize it is a pain to unload/load and move from one place to another, but if it is a yard that one person can complete in 30 minutes or less, it seems to me that $20 still computes to $40 an hour. I don't want to mow myself broke, but on the other hand I don't want to pass up business which can still be profitable. So, for you guys with a lot more experience than I, do you think minimum pricing is the way to go or not? And, if you do, how much do you think it should be? My potential customers are small town folk, and many are retired.

Thanks. Neill

precisioncut
02-21-2004, 11:48 PM
Call around to other LCO's in your area and ask them about there pricing on mowing, trimming, and other services you expect to offer. It's an easy way to get going. If you own your home have a bunch of them come over and bid on your yard to get an idea. If you have them come over, ask all the questions, about everything. That should give you a solid base from which to work.

ollie212@tds.net
02-22-2004, 07:31 PM
iF ITS JUST YOU IN BUSINESS mowing then maybe u can get buy with 20.00 but if u have employees they cost more you may have to up your min..

cklands
02-22-2004, 09:24 PM
You have to get a minimum charge, as for how much...everyone is different. Some people have no employees and no overhead. Others have 12 employees and a million dollar shop to pay for. When I stated I was had other LCO's go to my parents house and price out a maintenance program. Before I looked at them I tried to figure out the cost myself. Then I looked at the other bids and went from there. I had been in the landscape industry for about 8 years before I went out on my own so I had a rough idea of what people were charging.

gogetter
02-23-2004, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by MOturkey
I realize it is a pain to unload/load and move from one place to another, but if it is a yard that one person can complete in 30 minutes or less, it seems to me that $20 still computes to $40 an hour

It might only take 30 minutes to complete that lawn, but you have to think about ALL the non-billable hours you'll work.

Travel time.
Fueling up time.
Equipment maintenance time.
Blade sharpening time.
Billing/invoicing time.
Giving estimates that don't pan out.
Running to dealer time.
Etc., etc.

It all adds up! Make sure you factor it in.

ZEKE
02-23-2004, 01:30 PM
You will find (browsing these threads) that there is no standard minimum price for mowing. Too many variables to take into consideration. You learn after you mow a few of your accounts and decide whether or not you were on or off on the bid. I would suggest starting with small yards so the margin of error is small also. After 4 years I finally went with a minimum mow price regardless of how small the yard. Whether you make 2 swipes or 20 the drive/unloading time is the same. Rather than cutting corners or dropping them, I raised the price to my minimum, they said ok and now it's worth it. Good Luck!! Z

MOturkey
02-23-2004, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I talked to the LCO who probably does the greatest amount of mowing in the town I'm targeting over the weekend. He told me he doesn't have a minimum, but has several properties that he is mowing too cheaply because he started doing them years ago and simply hasn't raised them for one reason or another. He is going to start drawing Social Security this year and says he plans on raising his rates at several properties and doesn't really care if they continue using him or not. Neill