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  #1  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:39 AM
rowdyz92 rowdyz92 is offline
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Getting estimates

Has anyone ever called up competitors to get estimates on yards to see what competitors are charging. I hate to waste others time when they wont be hired but im just trying to get a feel for what others charge so i know what to charge because im new to the business
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:15 PM
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Marshmallow Marshmallow is online now
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No because they may have to drive more maybe less. Maybe their mower isn't as efficient. You decide your price based off of cost and profit. Make every job so that you get a certain amount of money for yourself after all your equipment has been made whole and something's been saved for repairs and new gear.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:25 PM
trock trock is offline
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Thats pretty shady... would you like people doing that to you?
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:27 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowdyz92 View Post
Has anyone ever called up competitors to get estimates on yards to see what competitors are charging. I hate to waste others time when they wont be hired but im just trying to get a feel for what others charge so i know what to charge because im new to the business
rowdy, check out this site, for some great base lines for you to start your estimates with.

I have it bookmarked on my laptop, and on my tablet, too, so that I can do estimates in the field easily. Also, I find Zillow to be pretty useful, too, as it gives square footage of lots in their property description summary.

If I can figure out how to make the calculator work on my blackberry tablet, I will buy the app, too.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:33 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
Thats pretty shady... would you like people doing that to you?
I have felt the same way, but have repeatedly heard that give as advice. When I was working in retail management, and working 90 hour weeks, we had a lawn service. I used that as a starting point for jobs I have done. So far I have been shot down a few times with that estimate, and I am okay with it. But, once I found this site, and a few others, I have found the wealth of information found here to be the best tool available. Sometimes I get underbid, especially for cleanup jobs, and sometimes I don't. but I know that when I leave the job site, it will look good when I am finished, and I can't say that for some of the sites where I was underbid. $100 for 1/4 acre of waist high and higher grass behind a narrow gate? The client no longer has the high grass, but the back yard still looks like garbage.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2013, 02:08 PM
rowdyz92 rowdyz92 is offline
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I like that calculator but that gives a total time to do the job not a price, i would need to know an hourly rate for that calculator to work
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:05 PM
TTS TTS is online now
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If you scroll down on that page there's another calculator where you plug in your overhead costs, your time to do the job and your desired profit and it tells you a price. It's not that hard of an equation to do if you know your numbers ahead of time but it simplifies it a bit if you're not rock solid on your numbers.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:09 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTS View Post
If you scroll down on that page there's another calculator where you plug in your overhead costs, your time to do the job and your desired profit and it tells you a price. It's not that hard of an equation to do if you know your numbers ahead of time but it simplifies it a bit if you're not rock solid on your numbers.
It is a great tool for that. I have been to a few jobs where I didn't have the calculator, so I did the mental work and guessed using my basic rate schedule that I have in my ad - and just about nailed what the calculator gave me when I reviewed numbers at home.

If I can figure out the programming, I am going to do one like this for blackberry and android devices. The math isn't too hard, but I haven't written any sort of code for 25 years.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:21 PM
TTS TTS is online now
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I don't know how to write an actual program code but it would take about 10 minutes to put it all into an excel spreadsheet if that would help you out at all. You could use the spreadsheet on your tablet and just put your numbers in and have it automatically calculate your time and or billing rate.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2013, 06:10 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
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True, I can do the excel, but if I set up something like that as an app that I could use, AND sell, it would be a great way to supplement my income, and be a feather in my cap as I move into IT work as my primary source of income.
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