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Eho
02-17-2005, 11:45 AM
I am a 19 year old mowing my way through college. I have decided that I do want to build up my business to the point where when I graduate school, my business will be big enough to support me. Currently I have 18 returning customers from last year( about ten are weekly, the rest I keep an eye on and contact them about every 10 days to see if they want it done). I am looking to add anywhere from five to ten solid accounts this year, maybe even small commercial such as dentist office, doctors offices. I have a $1100 Toro commercial grade walk behind and echo weedeater and edger. The equiptment and start of a customer base is there for me. Also, I live in north texas and charge 25 or 30 per lawn( most 25 s take me about 45-50 minutes and the 30 dollars take around an hour) Am I charging too litte? I want to be able to build up my business, but dont wanna miss out on money by undercharging. Let me know what you guys think...also I'd love any other advice about how to build my business up big.

PLM-1
02-17-2005, 12:06 PM
Sounds like you have a great start. I am not sure of your prices. We live in two totally different areas. But for here, that is way low. But i see you have a toro comm. is that a 21"? if so, i can see why it would take you that long. I personally have a minimum price. I can't afford to work for $30/ hr. Good luck...you will learn a lot here on LS.

The landscaper
02-17-2005, 12:08 PM
That seems a little low for this area as well. For an hour long job, I would say atleast 50.

Jobs that I charge 25 for take less than 25 minutes.

cward
02-17-2005, 12:10 PM
Eho,
It is nice to see a young person having such a good handle on their business. With the given information, you might be a touch low on your prices, IMO. You need to find out what the prevailing prices are in your area. Ask other LCO's or clients what they are paying. If you raise your prices and start losing bids, you may need to lower them a touch. All in all, I think you are in the ballpark. Good luck.

Eho
02-17-2005, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the advice so far...yes my toro is a walk behind. I started this buisness in the eighth grade and have just been improving it year by year. This is great b/c I can take my time in building the business. I have looked in the adds in the paper...many adverstise average cost $25. Also, I have a big lawn and soembody came by and offered to mow it for $30. I bet that the big lawn crews around here might charge around $40, but the price of living in north texas is very low. I guess prices are relative per location....anybody in the dallas area let me know what you think. I might try to start a $30 minimun on new lawns( I'm afraid I wont be able to go up on my old clients)

Littleriver1
02-17-2005, 12:48 PM
No two markets are the same. It is hard to get good advice from people in the area where you work because They may be too low and uninformed or will lie just to screw you up. I think your priced too low. Most people try to get $1.00 a minute including travel time. The best way to find a pricing structure is to test your market yourself. Keep going up on your rates untill you max out. After a while you will get a feel for what your customers will accept. If you are getting more than 70% of your bids then you are too low. Some one once said, "if you are not embarrassed by the price on the invoice when you hand it to your customer, then your prices are too low".