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  #1  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:20 PM
Above Par Lawns's Avatar
Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Location: Blue Springs, Missouri
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How do you think I did on pricing this job?

Customer lives 6 miles from me.
1 yard of compost was added to flower beds@ 2" depth(flower beds had no vegetation)
2.5 yards cedar mulch added around landscaping at 2" depth. (just a few plants to work around)

Labor- $50
+compost/mulch-$126.79
=176.79

Customer was billed $350.00

173.21 is left over

I did have to spend like 10 bucks to get new wire because i cut a invisible dog fence wire and had to fix it.

Job took roughly 4 hours (includes trip to pick up compost, then back with 2 trucks for mulch. I myself put in about 2 hours of prep time the day before.

So technically I put in 6 hours and made $28.00hr

I am happy with the profit I made, I'm just wondering if I priced it close to market value and how some of you would have gone about pricing the job.

I put in a total of 61 miles from the time I left my house until I got back home.


*Thanks in advance for your input!
-Jason

*** I must note that I am in my 2nd month of business, so be easy on me!
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:30 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is online now
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Is the 50 dollars for labor payment to someone else?

If it was really 28/hr, it would have not been that bad considering you are new. You left out the gas and wear and tear on your truck. Not to mention to myriad of other small expenses it cost to be legit and keep the lights on.

Most guys charge a fee for getting the material, and you should be able to mark the material up slightly.

500-550 would be what most guys would shoot for while trying to lower the hours worked. This way you can cover the standard cost of doing business while keeping a few dollars in your pocket.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:16 PM
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Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P.C. View Post
Is the 50 dollars for labor payment to someone else?

If it was really 28/hr, it would have not been that bad considering you are new. You left out the gas and wear and tear on your truck. Not to mention to myriad of other small expenses it cost to be legit and keep the lights on.

Most guys charge a fee for getting the material, and you should be able to mark the material up slightly.

500-550 would be what most guys would shoot for while trying to lower the hours worked. This way you can cover the standard cost of doing business while keeping a few dollars in your pocket.
How do you factor in monthly business expenses/insurance & wear and depreciation of equipment/truck?
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:26 PM
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Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Here's the pictures I took

2.5 yards of cedar mulch
1 yard compost
Attached Images
     
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:32 PM
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McG_Landscaping McG_Landscaping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Above Par Lawns View Post
How do you factor in monthly business expenses/insurance & wear and depreciation of equipment/truck?
insurance payment/12months= insurance per month.
equipment repairs/12 months= wear and tear
truck value /how many years you think it'll last/ 12 months.

everyone will tell you different numbers. In Connecticut they are able to get much more than we are able to in Pennsylvania and I am sure that is different than what you can get where you are at. I know personally I need to be at 45/hr alone or 60 with a helper to make a profit. it all depends on your overhead and expenses/debt. its really hard to say what you should charge because only you can know that. There have been jobs where I make 20/hr because I underbid it or it was for family and jobs where I have made $600/hr. Right now its winter and I am doing odd ball stuff to try and keep busy. Id rather work for $30-$40 an hour now and make some income instead of sitting on my butt waiting for snow. During my busy times though, I will pass on jobs if I am not making $60+ an hour alone. I sometimes feel cheated if I am trimming bushes for an hour and only make $60 when I know I could have made an easy $120 on it for the same amount of work. If the customer is feeling they are getting a deal at $120 then they are happy and I am making out. If you buy a pair of $500 extended reach trimmers and can get the job done in 1 hour compared to the guy with hand shears which takes 2 hours, your investment is helping you complete the job much quicker. It all comes down to having the right equipment for the job. You said you had to take 2 trucks to pick up 2.5 yards of mulch? maybe you should have just had it delivered? Personally I would have taken the 1 yard of compost over when doing the edging and spread it at the same time. Then gone and picked up the mulch in my truck (I can carry 5 yards) and spread it. Finally I would have loaded up all of the edging on my truck and hauled it to my dump site. During mulching season I will go spend a day or two edging places then go back and mulch those different places the next day or two. it prevents me from carrying mulch and having to deal with debris. After seeing the pics it shouldnt have taken you that long... especially with a helper. The hardest part would be lifting the barrels over the wall. Honestly you will probably get faster if you are just starting out, but there should be no reason you and a helper couldn't spread all of that in an hour
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2012, 12:21 AM
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Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McG_Landscaping View Post
insurance payment/12months= insurance per month.
equipment repairs/12 months= wear and tear
truck value /how many years you think it'll last/ 12 months.

everyone will tell you different numbers. In Connecticut they are able to get much more than we are able to in Pennsylvania and I am sure that is different than what you can get where you are at. I know personally I need to be at 45/hr alone or 60 with a helper to make a profit. it all depends on your overhead and expenses/debt. its really hard to say what you should charge because only you can know that.
Okay, so after figuring those numbers what's next? Maybe it's too so to think about establishing a set hourly rate. It's not like I have a set work schedule and jobs are few and far between. There is a variable missing from my equation. If I had X amount of covers and I worked for Y amount of hours then it'd be easy to figure. But I don't have that. For now I just want to price my services around what the market in my area does (or more). All that's left is random jobs when I can be blessed enough to find them and hope/pray that it snows.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:33 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Above Par Lawns View Post
How do you factor in monthly business expenses/insurance & wear and depreciation of equipment/truck?
I know you only have 2 months in this gig, and don't know your background, but this is where a finacial planner or advisor can be helpful. The small business association, chamber of commerce, and other places will often have either retired people in the know or people currently working in these fields who will donate their services for free or little costs.

Someone with many years experience dealing with small businesses or finacial planner will blow your mind away with knowledge. The resources are there if you reach out.

Computer software is often used as well, but I feel it is better suited for experienced guys that are working with a finacial planner.

Even though you are new and what I wrote above probably sounds extreme, it is not. How can one run a business if they don't know what there true costs are?
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2012, 11:59 PM
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Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Great stuff guys I really appreciate all the input. It seems like I could have planned this one out a little better. The reason for the 2 trucks was because I have a Honda Ridgeline. I can carry just over a yard in my truck and am without a trailer until next week. I need to start crunching some numbers and figure everything out. I am glad I decided to start up now as opposed to waiting until Spring so i can learn the ins and outs.

I know I am the one who has to come up what works for me. I think it'd be a whole lot easier to figure out that number when the growing season starts and there's money coming in weekly.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2012, 12:09 AM
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Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Blue Springs, Missouri
Posts: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P.C. View Post
I know you only have 2 months in this gig, and don't know your background, but this is where a finacial planner or advisor can be helpful. The small business association, chamber of commerce, and other places will often have either retired people in the know or people currently working in these fields who will donate their services for free or little costs.

Someone with many years experience dealing with small businesses or finacial planner will blow your mind away with knowledge. The resources are there if you reach out.

Computer software is often used as well, but I feel it is better suited for experienced guys that are working with a finacial planner.

Even though you are new and what I wrote above probably sounds extreme, it is not. How can one run a business if they don't know what there true costs are?
I will call my local Chamber of Commerce!
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:53 PM
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Above Par Lawns Above Par Lawns is offline
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Yeah the $50 was to my friend who hauled 2 yards for me and put in 3 hours of work. When i first did the estimate using materials + an hourly rate it was closer to 550 but it just seemed mind blowing to charge someone that for $125.00 worth of material. I didn't want to scare him off and lose out on the job.
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