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  #81  
Old 04-12-2014, 02:30 AM
danieljoohn18 danieljoohn18 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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How can you afford to stay in business at that rate?? If your a college kid or high school kid just trying to make a couple extra bucks then maybe I could see it but even then that is still low. Don't you have any overhead? Truck payments, insurance, fuel, workers comp, wages, ECT,,,,,
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  #82  
Old 04-12-2014, 02:52 AM
StanWilhite StanWilhite is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Decatur AL
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Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
I wish the Dollars were Better, but going on my 7th year Im still enjoying going off too work.



IMO this is the most important part of the equation.

If you really enjoy the work, the money will follow. When you enjoy your job, people notice in the quality of work that you do, and by the way you relate to your customers. And that's what it takes to build long term relationships that allow you to charge above average rates.

If you don't like the job, there will never be that little spark that it takes to get you up each morning and out the door to meet the day. When you don't like your job....that shows too.

Stan
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Shut 'er down Buford....she's slangin' oil !!!!
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  #83  
Old 04-12-2014, 04:34 AM
The Sod Father Lawn Care The Sod Father Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Griffith, in
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieljoohn18 View Post
I don't understand this dollar a min?? Are you bagging all these lawns? If you are charging a dollar a min then I thing you are way low. In one hr one of my crews is able to cut, trim, and blow off all concrete surfaces of a 200 unit town home plan. Now this is 3 guys. So by your guidelines I would only be charging them 60 for all of this?? I would be out of business in a week if that were the case.
Here is the issue on low ball bids. Why is it called a low ball bid when you are a one man operating the business. 76 year old Helen is not going to pay "Joe blow lawn care" 600 bucks to a crew who can do the job in 60 minutes. She doesn't care bout your thousand dollar set up or the big ford pulling it. She only wants a good job for a fair price. Some people don't have the big overhead costs like myself. I don't mow way to many people doing it. Just because someone is in debt don't hide the costs in your estimate to her. That's not low balling. People use that all the time on this site. I've been doing this 16 years and I charge 50 an hour x estimate on how long it will take. You see companies with 8000 dollar mowers cutting in the morning when the grass is usually wet from the dew. Dull ass blades and cutting way to low. His 7 dollar an hour helpers meanwhile are waving a 400 trimmer like Jason Vorhees digging up the dirt. Then 6 minutes later on to the next catastrophe all day long. The point is if your just starting out do what you know and don't be in debt to 30k for equipment. Smaller trailer smaller truck Helen could care less. All she wanted was for the leaves to get picked up today. She never cared bout 1 guy doing it or 8. She cares bout price.
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  #84  
Old 04-12-2014, 06:40 AM
Doublewide6 Doublewide6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieljoohn18 View Post
I don't understand this dollar a min?? Are you bagging all these lawns? If you are charging a dollar a min then I thing you are way low. In one hr one of my crews is able to cut, trim, and blow off all concrete surfaces of a 200 unit town home plan. Now this is 3 guys. So by your guidelines I would only be charging them 60 for all of this?? I would be out of business in a week if that were the case.
I'm talking about working alone. I don't have any employees. I hear stories of $20-$30 a lawn. If a 1/3 acre lawn is mowed with a 21" bagger and it takes 40 minutes (for one person), I feel it should cost about $40. The homeowner is looking for a quality job and does not want big mowers on his year. Now if you are going to come in there with a 48" zero turn and knock it out in 25 minutes it should cost less. The point I was making before this post became the biggest pissing contest is if you work alone SOLO how can you stay in business if you are mowing lawns for less than a dollar per minute? So if you are mowing a half acre lot in 45 minutes and charging $30 how are you doing it and not bankrupt?
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  #85  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:30 AM
jrs.landscaping's Avatar
jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieljoohn18 View Post
I don't understand this dollar a min?? Are you bagging all these lawns? If you are charging a dollar a min then I thing you are way low. In one hr one of my crews is able to cut, trim, and blow off all concrete surfaces of a 200 unit town home plan. Now this is 3 guys. So by your guidelines I would only be charging them 60 for all of this?? I would be out of business in a week if that were the case.

$60 pmh, according to the info you're billing at $66 pmh, or a little more than a dollar per minute.
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  #86  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:43 AM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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Location: Chesapeake beach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doublewide6 View Post
I'm talking about working alone. I don't have any employees. I hear stories of $20-$30 a lawn. If a 1/3 acre lawn is mowed with a 21" bagger and it takes 40 minutes (for one person), I feel it should cost about $40. The homeowner is looking for a quality job and does not want big mowers on his year. Now if you are going to come in there with a 48" zero turn and knock it out in 25 minutes it should cost less. The point I was making before this post became the biggest pissing contest is if you work alone SOLO how can you stay in business if you are mowing lawns for less than a dollar per minute? So if you are mowing a half acre lot in 45 minutes and charging $30 how are you doing it and not bankrupt?
Doesn't matter what size mower you have.

Unless a person specifically says only use a XX on my lawn.
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  #87  
Old 04-12-2014, 08:57 AM
rockymtnnut rockymtnnut is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: cincinnati ohio
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieljoohn18 View Post
I don't understand this dollar a min?? Are you bagging all these lawns? If you are charging a dollar a min then I thing you are way low. In one hr one of my crews is able to cut, trim, and blow off all concrete surfaces of a 200 unit town home plan. Now this is 3 guys. So by your guidelines I would only be charging them 60 for all of this?? I would be out of business in a week if that were the case.
I bid work on total man hrs as I'm sure every one else that's serious about this. If my target rate for a job is 80 an hr for weekly maintenance the 3 guys would bring 240 an hr. The better I am at estimating time the better I hold to being profitable. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I blow it.
About 4 years ago I bid a condo complex at around 90 thousand for the year I really was cutting it close on my margins I thought. I latter found out that I was right in line with four other bids the materials list was about twenty five thousand ,the winning bid was 36,000$. The company that won that quickly found out that they had to hire more help and when they did they went bankrupt. They were sued but it didn't matter it was a total disaster . Brickman picked it up and fixed everything and finished out the year. So what I'm getting at be realistic on your rate. 60 an hr is not a lot of money when it's broken down it may be enough then again it may not.
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  #88  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:15 AM
rockymtnnut rockymtnnut is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: cincinnati ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doublewide6 View Post
I'm talking about working alone. I don't have any employees. I hear stories of $20-$30 a lawn. If a 1/3 acre lawn is mowed with a 21" bagger and it takes 40 minutes (for one person), I feel it should cost about $40. The homeowner is looking for a quality job and does not want big mowers on his year. Now if you are going to come in there with a 48" zero turn and knock it out in 25 minutes it should cost less. The point I was making before this post became the biggest pissing contest is if you work alone SOLO how can you stay in business if you are mowing lawns for less than a dollar per minute? So if you are mowing a half acre lot in 45 minutes and charging $30 how are you doing it and not bankrupt?
When they say push mower I politely decline if I can't use my 52 turf tracer I don't want the work. I picked up a small house last night with double cutting the whole thing was 20 min total that's an easy 30$ and it's right next to 3 others I cut. total for the stop110$ time about an hour and 5 min.
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  #89  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:19 AM
herler herler is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyder's Lawn Inc View Post
I understand that I said 30 for labor That is just the man not the equipment
That same guy running a skid then its 30 + 75 for the skid per hour
I pay the guy 15 and I make 15 when he runs the skid then I make 90
That's what I was getting at, I feel in today's world it is important even for the new guy to understand that ultimately it boils down to this... Granted when I was new I used a one-size fits all hourly rate myself as I found the whole equipment bit too complicated, but I can tell you it wasn't anywhere near $60 pmh.
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  #90  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:25 AM
herler herler is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieljoohn18 View Post
How can you afford to stay in business at that rate?? If your a college kid or high school kid just trying to make a couple extra bucks then maybe I could see it but even then that is still low. Don't you have any overhead? Truck payments, insurance, fuel, workers comp, wages, ECT,,,,,
No, I don't have truck payments, there's something else a lot of folks don't understand, granted I have to pay for the truck one way or another... But my truck being all paid for I only need minimum liability insurance and that's a whole lot cheaper than full coverage (which the bank requires if you're making payments)... Even at 0% the insurance and the property tax on a newer truck are far higher.

I think my old truck, runs me around $200 a year insurance.
Property tax maybe $50, granted not all states have this.

So the overhead (or lack thereof) certainly makes a difference.

Some customers might judge by the looks of the equipment, but they're just as quick to realize they will be the ones making the payments and the fact is, if the lawn looks great most could care less how it happened or what was used.

Big lesson in business, for those who can swing it...
When buying a new piece of equipment, whether it be a handheld, a Z or a truck, don't make payments.
Instead try and foresee the need from a present standpoint into the future, and start saving up long before the replacement is needed.
Then when the time comes, pay cash.

Save you a BUNDLE.

Clean driving records don't hurt either.
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