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  #1  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:28 PM
Mowin4Dollas Mowin4Dollas is offline
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Help on a large estimate

I am doing an estimate on a 3.31 acre property. It is beautiful, but needs a little TLC. They wanted an estimate on mowing and mulching. For mowing I am factoring in about 3.25 or so hours on the Z-turn and about 45 minutes weedeating blowing etc. So I am at about 120 for Labor in just the cutting and then I put on a 15 gas charge because it is a little bit farther drive. So I am at 135 dollars a cut for this property. On the mulching I am thinking charging them 50$ a yard spread, plus the cost of any landscape paper.

So $135 Per Mow and $50 per yard of mulch/spread. What do ya'll think?
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:32 PM
herler herler is offline
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That's fine but now to find out ...

1. Your cost on the mulch itself.
2. How many cubic yards do you need.

Price on the grass cut should fly.
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:36 PM
Mowin4Dollas Mowin4Dollas is offline
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I called a supplier in town and I was qouted 18.50 a cubic yard. I figure it will take at least 2 cubic yards.
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:40 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is online now
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Help on a large estimate

If it is just brown hardwood mulch cost is $17 yd here so that is ballpark if you have a few yards to install. Dyed mulch is $28 so I'd be $60 yd. Mowing if it takes you 4 hrs for $135 seems low. I would be closer to $200-$220 on mowing.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:41 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is online now
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Help on a large estimate

Only 2 yards I'd just price it by job not yard. $150-$200
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:42 PM
Ben Harris Ben Harris is offline
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$30 per labor hour, you will be out of business in no time.

$200+ if it is taking 4 labor hours, if you ever want to run a real business not a solo operation, you need to up the pricing.

If your goal is to just make a nice hourly then your fine, if your goal is to eventually operate a full force company you got to charge more.
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  #7  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:48 PM
Mowin4Dollas Mowin4Dollas is offline
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Right now it is my first year, I am 17 years old and I do this after school and on the weekends. I simply just can't charge 50 dollars an hour, I wish I could. I get people griping about 30, they don't understand running a business, so I understand and tell them that is not what I take home. I hope to be able to charge 50 to 60 an hour as soon as I am a legit business. I am simply getting my foot in the door, my prices will go up gradually. On the Dyed mulch, I think I'll be able to bargain with them.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2013, 02:30 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowin4Dollas View Post
I simply just can't charge 50 dollars an hour, I wish I could.
That mentality will get you no where. Yes you're young. You don't need to tell people your age. Sell your service, not your price... If you decide not to you will become the "cheap priced lawn guy who does good work". Good luck getting out of that name.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowin4Dollas View Post
I get people griping about 30, they don't understand running a business, so I understand and tell them that is not what I take home.
People will gripe all the time. Some just say "Well I paid this amount in the past". They are either buying solely on price or trying to beat you up to get a low price. Sell your service, not your price... If they don't want to pay for service, just walk away. People will say "No". Either sell harder or get over it and move on to the next one. Oh yea, like others have said no one needs to know your hourly rate. You're not doing Time & Materials, you're quoting a price to get the job done. Quote a low price, because you think you can't quote more, and enjoy eating your shirt. Been there done that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowin4Dollas View Post
I hope to be able to charge 50 to 60 an hour as soon as I am a legit business..
What are you now? I know at 17 you can't legally do too much, but you can still do a lot to be legit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowin4Dollas View Post
I am simply getting my foot in the door, my prices will go up gradually.
If you become the "Oh hey I use this guy and he's really cheap and does a great job" You're doomed to low prices. Doing great work at cheap prices leaves you in that troubled predicament.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowin4Dollas View Post
I think I'll be able to bargain with them.
Never, ever, never do this, never. Becoming the bargaining lawn guy and that is what you will be known as, the bargain lawn guy. If you know why you charge what you do (cost to do business and profit) you do not need to bargain.

Again people will tell you

"No"
"You're too expensive"
"I paid the last guys this"
"I'll pay that if you can include this extra stuff"
ETC.....

Fall for those and you're doomed. Don't take the word "No" personally, as many do. I did when I was starting out. Now I realize the phone will ring and another opportunity will present itself. I'd rather know that I couldn't do a business because I can't make money at it rather than do it cheaper just to be able to be in business.
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  #9  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:56 PM
Ben Harris Ben Harris is offline
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At 17 you are not in bad shape then.

I wouldn't break it down by hourly when you explain mowing times, just tell them I will complete the job to your satisfaction @ 135.00. When you say hourly they compare what they make an hour and can't stand to pay some one that much for "cutting grass". If I told our customers our hourly labor rate, they would probably gripe or fire us.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2013, 11:12 PM
Mowin4Dollas Mowin4Dollas is offline
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Yes sir. Thank you so much for your insight!
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7x16 OPEN TRAILER
48" SNAPPER PRO S-150 XT
REDMAX 7001B BACKPACK BLOWER
Stihl FS 90 R
(The only equipment I'm proud of owning)
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