Originally Posted by 32vld
You are confusing what the job costs the customer and what the business costs are for you to do the job.
You need to know your costs. Your salary goal. Your market area pricing. These things all need to be considered to price a job.
Using a smaller mower does not cost less or more then a larger mower.
The best profit will always come from the mower best sized to do the job.
Mower price, maintenance costs, fuel costs, productivity rate determines all of these things determine operating costs.
Pay someone to run either mower $10 hr.
Say small mower uses 1 gal of fuel an hour.
Large mower uses 4 gal of fuel an hours.
Small mower takes 4 hours to mow 1 acre. That's 4 gal fuel, and $40 labor.
Large mower takes .25 hour to mow 1 acre. That's 1 gal fuel $2.50 labor.
Then there are the cost of the machines to be factored in. Which is purchase price of mower divided by life expectency in hours of the mower. Then productivity rate must be factored in.
A small mower can be bought for $250. Large mowers can be $12,000. So there are a lot of numbers that have to be worked out.
You however are putting the cart in front of the horse. You need to figure your costs. You need to determine the salary you need to make. You need to know what jobs go for in your area.
Do not worry about the size of your mower for now. You need to get cash coming in and save money to buy a bigger mower.
Say a .5 ac lawn goes for $30 by a LCO A with a 48" that takes him 30 min.
Same lawn takes you 60 min with your 20". You LCO B still charge $30. Becasue that is what the local market goes for.
Even if both of your costs are the same. LCO is going to make more money because he will do 2 lawns for everyone that you do.
Yes I left out travel time. Though when making comparisions to get more accurate you keep having to get more in depth with the numbers. Such as bigger mower means bigger trailer, another set of numbers. The purpose is not get complex but to give you a starting point.
To add to this you need to bring something to the table that other LCO's don't have in your area. Either you need to be cheaper than the next guy, or you need to offer something to be more expensive than everyone else. If no one does edging throw in edging, if they don't do bed maintenance, add that in. Don't do that for free but adding a couple min to your time there to make a noticeable difference for the additional price you charge. In time your reputation alone will let you charge more, but you need to build that up in order to rely on that alone.