You will find that people here are not all that willing to help out. Most will say you must know your cost and go from there... and they are right.... BUT.... we all share common cost. Fuel is expensive no matter where you are. So here you go. You have some key info already ...the time it takes. Dont price based on the once in 45 minutes... look more at worst case. You need to basically calculate your expenses. Fuel, Maintenance, Your time, insurance, license, supplies, etc. You already know $4 is going straight to fuel... Insurance is gonna vary greatly.. many ways to look at it but lets assume 20 paying customers... and your Insurance is $1000 yearly..(i wish) So each customer could be charged $50 for the year, or on the average season of 30-40 visits, Rounding Up... $2 per visit, then the maintenance cost... what does a new mower cost? 10K?? and how many hrs do you wanna base replacement on?? I do 1500 hrs. So 10k mower is good for 1500 hrs....thats $6 per hr just to pay for my mower. THEN... the actual Maintenance over 1500 hrs....includes your oil-filters-tires-belts-blah blah blah. Just go on and include anywhere from $5 and up per hr. So where are we...
We are already at $17 per hr and havent even covered your profit... taxes... supplies....license...
On your $30 YARD... uncle sam gets $7. License are usually minimal but always assign a $1 value to any small expense. Remember the goal is to make money. And Supplies... this is trimmer string... Heads... trash bags... etc... add another 3-5 per hr.
So now... $17 plus $7 + $1 + $ 3.
$28 bucks.... and still none in your pocket. Your time as owner and Operator should be worth atleast $25 per hr. I value mine a little higher.
Now as complex as that was......as a rule of thumb..... if you are dropping the gate for less than $50... you are losing money. My target is to price em based on about $80 per hr. Never going under $50. The trick is learning to read a lawn and guess the time correctly. You figure your cost and run the numbers ... you can see quickly that for $30 per cut.... you are nothing more than a free public service.
Hope this helps.