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View Full Version : customer said leaf rate was two high


stevesmowing
10-13-2004, 08:28 PM
One of my regular mowing customers wanted me to do leafs so I quoted $25 per hour per guy with a total of 2 guys, so $50 an hour. I Will be using a giant vac 8hp push blower and an eb630 for the job. He said my rates were two high as a neighbor had carpentry work done for $30 an hour for a total of 2 guys. He is telling me what dates to mow and when to do the clean ups and he has no idea I gotta pay for equiptment and the whole deal. What am I sposed to do. Granted I am only 16 and he said he should not have to pay a teenager that much. To me its all a matter of equiptment you have.

HOOLIE
10-13-2004, 08:33 PM
Don't do the job. Tell him to hire his neighbor's carpenter to blow leaves, since its cheaper.

Supertiger
10-13-2004, 08:37 PM
25 dollars a head is exactly what i charge too for leaf clean up. so let that custamer clean his own yard.

proenterprises
10-13-2004, 08:39 PM
One of my regular mowing customers wanted me to do leafs so I quoted $25 per hour per guy with a total of 2 guys, so $50 an hour. I Will be using a giant vac 8hp push blower and an eb630 for the job. He said my rates were two high as a neighbor had carpentry work done for $30 an hour for a total of 2 guys. He is telling me what dates to mow and when to do the clean ups and he has no idea I gotta pay for equiptment and the whole deal. What am I sposed to do. Granted I am only 16 and he said he should not have to pay a teenager that much. To me its all a matter of equiptment you have.


this burns my ass :angry:

steve- i am 16 as well, you have no idea how many times i have heard "your young, i shouldnt have to pay you that much." WHO CARES? Its irrelevant, wether in 16 or 160 years old, my age does not reflect my quality or work.

as far as your situation goes, dont do the job for pennies. you dont need the hassle, explain to him that you are a business, and you have rates which must be met, or services will not be completed, simple as that.

dont ever let other judge you by your age, it means very little at best.

Zach76
10-13-2004, 08:40 PM
I charge $55 per man hour, but never tell the customer that.

syzer
10-13-2004, 08:41 PM
Don't do the job. Tell him to hire his neighbor's carpenter to blow leaves, since its cheaper.

Exactly what I would do!

tiedeman
10-13-2004, 08:41 PM
just stick to your guns, if that is the price, then that is the price

chimmygew
10-13-2004, 09:06 PM
Don't back down. I'm sick of customers looking down on us because we cut grass. Just tell them what I do. You run a legitimate business, and just like any other legitimate business you have expenses.

LB Landscaping
10-13-2004, 09:13 PM
Stick to your guns, if he doesn't want to pay too bad, tell him to find someone else. I try not to tell customer my hourly rate, most freak when to the lawn guy makes more per hour than they do. They don't understand how much it costs us to run a business like this. I had a regular ask for a quote last year, quite a few leaves, open yard surrounded by hedge. I told her $200-$250, she said she that she couldn't believe with all the equipment I had it would cost that much. I asked her how she thought I pay for the equipment, guess she thought I just do this for the fun!!!! :dizzy:

cantoo
10-13-2004, 09:18 PM
Ask him how much the carpenter's hammer cost then tell him how much your blower cost. Then walk away.
Lesson to learn price the complete job but remember that if you charge $50 and are only thee for one hour he will expect every single leaf to be picked up. Set your Standards down before you start the job.

TURF DOCTOR
10-13-2004, 09:18 PM
NEVER tell nobody what you charge as a rule of thumb.

Mico Landscaping design
10-13-2004, 09:19 PM
hey just bid the job dont do it hourly.. figure out how long it would take u and another guy and go from there.. i hate ppl like that :blob3:

chefdrp
10-13-2004, 09:26 PM
Just like most said. Just dont do the job. even if it means loosing the lawn. There are more out there. Sounds like he is looking down at you too much.Just stick to your guns. He might even be playing you. Did you do the work last year? He must have paid someone, and i bet it was higher than your rate.

Runner
10-13-2004, 09:27 PM
This is along the lines of what I was thinking. Just tell him. "Hmm,...it would take me and a helper X amount of hours to rake all these leaves, so the price will be x. However, I can do it as low as....."
Then give him your price. He knows it's alot of raking and such. He agrees. It is at THAT time that you break out your blowers and such. As it stands, he's just trying to jew the young kid down. Walk away.

stevesmowing
10-13-2004, 09:30 PM
last year he did the leaves himself, it was the first year in his house and he said he hated doing it in the cold and such. He is not exectly fit to do the job. And has only a rake

WoodBrothersLC
10-13-2004, 09:41 PM
We're charging $30 per man for leaves. This is a very fair rate considering that it isn't even as much as we normally make an hour mowing. This does not figure in the cost of bags, which we're going to try to add on their bill as an extra cost. So the bill would look like 2 men x 3 hours at $30 per man=$180, then say there were 25 bags at .80 a piece so you would add an extra $20 to the bill to be an even $200. This is less than we would be making for mowing in 2 hours, but around here you couldn't get anyone to hire you for much more than that.

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2004, 09:48 PM
Don't do the job. Tell him to hire his neighbor's carpenter to blow leaves, since its cheaper.
Hahhhh!!! Hahhhh!!! Hahhhh!!!
Now that struck me as funny. Why? Well it is very very likely exactly what I would have told the guy.

tiedeman
10-13-2004, 09:49 PM
Don't back down. I'm sick of customers looking down on us because we cut grass. Just tell them what I do. You run a legitimate business, and just like any other legitimate business you have expenses.

yup, its horrible that people don't look at us as a business. It doesn't take a smart man to mow a lawn, but it takes a smart man to mow a lawn and run a business at the same time

stevesmowing
10-13-2004, 09:57 PM
tell the carpenter to get out there with his little 3 gallon air compresser and try blowing the leaves. At $30 an hour for that guy, it would take him maybe 10 hours or more with a compressor. So lets see $100 vs $300. Take your pick. Me I would go for the $100. The guy is just a cheap scape. I gotta talk to him and let him know I have expenses and its not 100% profit.

drsogr
10-13-2004, 09:58 PM
this burns my ass :angry:

steve- i am 16 as well, you have no idea how many times i have heard "your young, i shouldnt have to pay you that much." WHO CARES? Its irrelevant, wether in 16 or 160 years old, my age does not reflect my quality or work.

as far as your situation goes, dont do the job for pennies. you dont need the hassle, explain to him that you are a business, and you have rates which must be met, or services will not be completed, simple as that.

dont ever let other judge you by your age, it means very little at best.


You should tell him that you are licensed and insured and pay taxes just like any other legitimate business. I agree it doesn't matter how old you are, you just need to clarify to him that you have the same expenses as anyone else running a legitimate business. If you are not running a legit business that stop your whining!

GrassBustersLawn
10-13-2004, 10:08 PM
I charge $45 per man hour. If he doesn't like it he can do it himself. I'm not busting my @ss at someone else's house for a nickel less!!!

Mike

Kelly's Landscaping
10-13-2004, 10:59 PM
The do not tell them what you charge statement rings true I am removing all pricing from next years contracts I thought it was a good idea to let them know my rates I have found it was not. This year my rates are going to 40 an hour per man. They have to be when you add in all you hidden costs you won't make anything working for 25 an hour as a business. I have over 100 k in equipment and I am picking up a 45 thousand dollar truck in the next few weeks there is no way I can work for the low rates some people dream about. When you add in insurance, phones, phone books, office expenses and other non-equipment and fuel related costs. It cost me 2 k a month just to exist. I just got my bank statement for September and nearly fell over I had 29k in debits for that one month It was only 2 years ago that was all I expected to make for the year working for someone else.

Soupy
10-14-2004, 04:33 AM
yup, its horrible that people don't look at us as a business. It doesn't take a smart man to mow a lawn, but it takes a smart man to mow a lawn and run a business at the same time

Tiedman, I don't think anyone is going to look at a 16yr old as operating a business no matter what equipment or knowledge he has. I know I wouldn't. As for as LCO's being viewed as a business, go to this thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=85537&page=2 and read the first and second paragraph of my post. I too was tired of not getting respect and finally decided to do something about it. I looked at TGCL and Scott's and realized I had to become organized and uniformed from the ground up.

RICHIE K
10-14-2004, 06:40 AM
STICK TO YOUR PRICE. IF HE DON'T LIKE IT TELL HIM TO GET SOMEONE ELSE... I HATE CUSTOMER WHO TRY TO BEAT YOU UP ON THE PRICE..
WE CHARGE $40.00 PER HOUR..... :drinkup:


RICHIE K

www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:

Tvov
10-14-2004, 08:13 AM
Ask around about rates from some of the local "big" landscapers, I bet they are in the $40-60 dollar range per man hour (if they even agree to do work by the hour).

It may be easy for guys who are established to say "stick to your prices", but once you start discounting your work, it is very difficult to stop.

$25.00 per hour per man is VERY reasonable.

KathysLGC
10-14-2004, 09:47 AM
Keep your price and leave him your number. Theres money to be made. You have nothing to explain to him. Your price is your price. Keep your pride and don't lower your price.

tiedeman
10-14-2004, 01:55 PM
Tiedman, I don't think anyone is going to look at a 16yr old as operating a business no matter what equipment or knowledge he has. I know I wouldn't. As for as LCO's being viewed as a business, go to this thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=85537&page=2 and read the first and second paragraph of my post. I too was tired of not getting respect and finally decided to do something about it. I looked at TGCL and Scott's and realized I had to become organized and uniformed from the ground up.


that is true. They just think of you as the nieghbor boy. I remember when I was 16, I was doing work for $5 an hour

Evergreenpros
10-14-2004, 03:15 PM
You could charge $1 an hour and still get people telling you that you charge too much. Many people will spend days, all day long, shopping, getting estimates, trying to save 10% on a $200 job. It amazes me. Economics is obviously not their forte.

They're called bargin hunters, they get the same satisfaction out of finding a good deal as some people get hitting the jackpot in vegas. They really honestly believe they "won" that 10%. Hence the reasoning some retailers mark their products up an extra 25%(on top of their normal markup), put 20% off on it and have people flock to buy it.

"Next" is a wonderful word in business.

Precision
10-14-2004, 03:16 PM
at 16 you can afford to make some mistakes. So do whatever makes you feel good with yourself. Just learn from what happens after.

If you go down in price it will be a never ending spiral with that guy.

If you stick to your guns you probably won't get the job, but it means you have time for someone who isn't suck a prick.

Give clients a price, but only an out the door price. Mr Jones your clean up will be $100. If he agrees to it, he has agreed that the work is valued at $100. If it takes you 5 hours or 5 minutes, it doesn't matter.

giving hourly pricing is lazy and unprofessional. Not to mention it allows you to pad your money and work at your own pace. I would never hire someone hourly.

Now with a complete price you will occasionally underbid, I have and ended up working for free. But I learned how to bid for the future. Cheap lesson. Just as often you over bid and make a fortune. Lesson learned too. People will pay way over my $60 per hour rate for soem jobs. Sodding is one example. People will pay $100+ cause they know it would kill them.

Freshcut Lawn Care
10-14-2004, 06:46 PM
Great Advice Precision!

The posts are pretty much saying the same thing!

BID BY THE JOB!!!

Estimate how long you will think it will take and multiply by an hourly rate (per man) for what you feel you will need to make a nice profit!

Someone may come along and bid lower, but don't sweat it. There's lot's of work out there for you!

If you get the job and you have under bid, you will get up the next day and make it up somewhere else!

Plus the lessons learned are invaluable!

Sounds like you are doing alright overall....Way to go buddy!

stevesmowing
10-14-2004, 07:03 PM
This is my first year doing clean-ups so its hard for me to price.

Freshcut Lawn Care
10-14-2004, 08:10 PM
Hi Steve....You have to learn some time buddy! :rolleyes:

Try to visualize the work you will be doing and think how long you you would expect to take to complete the task.

Let's say you think you can do it in 2 hours with 2 men - 4 Hours total.

At the rate of $25.00 / man hour it would look like this!

4 man hours X $25.00 per man hour = $ 100.00

Build in a little cushion for yourself!

Bid it for 2.5 hours x 2 men x $25.00 / man hour =

2.5 x 2 x $25.00 = 5 man hours x $25.00 = $125.00

If it takes you the 4 man hours you made $125 / 4 = $31.35 / man hour.

You can still pay you partner for 2 hours of work, and the rest pads your pocket! :cool2:

If it takes you 6 man hours will will be working for $125 / 6 hours = $20.83

Pretty good coin for your bidding experience for a first stab at it in my opinion!

Hey we all mis-calculate from time to time, but building in the cushion for yourself, you will win 90% of the time!

Bottom line...Bid the Price By The Job to the Customer!!! Don't discuss your hourly rate!

Have confidence in yourself and just try it! :waving:

qualitylandscaping
10-14-2004, 08:22 PM
Welcome to Rochester NY.. 145 lco's listed in the phone book and probably another 200-250 on top of that.. Competition is tough, you need to sell yourself and show them what you can do!

Leaf rates $65-155 per hour depending on the number of guys and how much equipment I'm running.

Don't take that guy, there are plenty more out there :waving:

mike payne
10-14-2004, 08:28 PM
I bid my jobs at a dollar a minute. Sometimes it takes yonger that I bid and sometimes it takes less time than I expected. They can take my bid or find someone else.

new2nash
10-30-2004, 11:19 AM
Let's face it: doing leaves sucks big time. Beyond that fact, the jobs tend to be harder to route (more windshield time). I charge $2 per minute ($120/hour) for myself and a helper and believe it's a huge bargain for the customer. I don't tell customers my rates and no one has ever said I'm charging too much. My experience is that if I charge the same as for mowing ($90/hr. for two guys) I make far less in total gross dollars per day on leaves because I have great routing on cutting jobs. The higher rate simply evens out that disparity. I'd much prefer to mow on a nice warm day as opposed to doing leaves when it's generally wet, cold, etc. If I'm going to do it I'm damn sure going to at least make what I make mowing or I'd rather sleep in and take it easy :sleeping:

rodfather
10-30-2004, 11:39 AM
Leaf cleanups are hard on you and the equipment (and filthy as all hell) as well. This clown would have a stroke if he got my hourly estimate (minimum of $75 per man hour) btw...

Tvov
10-30-2004, 01:03 PM
[QUOTE=new2nash]Let's face it: doing leaves sucks big time. QUOTE]

You could also say: It blows big time!

Yuk, yuk, yuk (ba doom boom {cymbol crash})

;)

lafrance4078
10-30-2004, 02:48 PM
After evaluating my cost(equipment, fuel, time, maint., ins, taxes, misc.) I charge 45.00/man hour. This covers it all plus gives me a little cushion. Average fall clean-up is 200.00 plus a hauling fee of at least 20.00, which is what I pay to dump. I don't have the handy equip. to handle the leaves i.e. leaf loader, dump bed. But the job gets done in a timely manner and looks great after completion. I also contract with True Green for chem apps only. They will arrive the following day with proper chems for the fall. End result, great looking yard in the spring.

bastalker
10-30-2004, 06:08 PM
Ya know, you could go out an get a bunch a cheap rakes...Then go out an give the estimates. If they start to moan about the price, instead of handin them your buisness card, an tellin em to give you a call if they change thier minds......Hand em a rake. ;)

stevesmowing
10-30-2004, 06:10 PM
I just did the job yesterday as a matter of fact. I gave him a fixed rate of $60 oppsed to $50 an hour for me and my helper. Job took one hour. So I made out better. Not giving hourly rates seems to be the best like everyone has said. Lucky for me the guy wasn't home so he will never know how long it took. :rolleyes: I will do another clean-up later on with more leaves, that one I have a fixed rate with him for $100.

CathyLynn
10-30-2004, 08:43 PM
It's great to see that we are all in agreement here!!!!!!!!! The machines we use are expensive, depreciate rapidly, require regualr servicing, etc. Plus, the client is WATCHING you do the work--npot out their getting dirty with you!

It's all about respect I believe! If we all respect ourselves and act professional at all times, then people will treat us more respectfully!

we do the leaves a little differently than most people, using very high powered 72" SCAG walk behinds to mulch them up--we have been doing it this way since the early 90's and we are very good at what we do and quick--a lot quicker than most crews. We charge $90.00 per man hour during the fall--but would never tell anyone that! We primarily only do leaf work for regualr mowing clients. One time jobs pay a higher rate so that they too are sharing in the overhead that we all have!--It's about making money---RIGHT!!!!!!!!!

Lawnchoice
10-30-2004, 09:15 PM
I charge $55 per man hour, but never tell the customer that.

I get 120 an hour, but I tell the customer that. I sell myself and the work that I do. Always bringing a list of references that they can call has always worked as well.

As I leave an undecided quote with the propsect I tell them " I can tell you that I will not be the cheapest quote you will get, but I will give you the best service guaranteed."

Might seem a bit cocky and/or errogant but the way I am setup, I have to take the people who care and am not afraid to pay for a top quality job.

Rainy day here in New Hampshire. Hoping the leaves will start hitting the ground faster now. Now quite there yet.

procut
10-31-2004, 12:55 PM
I never charge by the hour, just by the job. If you tell someone you charge $55.00 per hour they will often think your crazy. But if you tell them you will do the job for $110.00 and not discuss how long it will take they will often go for it.