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  #1  
Old 02-13-2014, 12:29 PM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Pricing

It's been a long time since I've been on the forum; but I'm excited because I'm ready to start my business up again. I've struggled with getting it started, and I haven't been able to do it the last couple of years, but I think I'm ready now, or least I've made a plan, and started saving for basic equipment.

One thing that worries me is that I don't really know what to charge right now. If I call a lawn service in my area, they are going to want to see my lawn, but I live in an apartment. lol If somebody asks you for a general price over the phone, do you give them anything?

I want to focus on small lawns, because I won't be able to afford a mower larger than 21" to start off with. Another reason I'm trying to focus on small lawns is to compete with lawn services that have more equipment: they may have a higher minimum than I do, especially if they have a crew, but I can't compete with them on larger lawns, because it will take me too long.

I looked on Craigslist and I saw ads for "Starting at $25" so I don't know if that's just the front, or a really small lawn, or "$35 most lawns". I don't know how you can even have a price for "most lawns". I saw a few people that put $35, but I'm not sure how much that helps me.

I understand people from different areas can't really tell me what the price should be, but I'm just trying to figure out some sort of system for determining the price. I don't want to be the cheapest person, but I shouldn't be too expensive when I need a lot of customers, either. I estimate I could manage up to 50 customers by myself, with small lawns, until I can afford a larger mower, at least. So it looks like I'm going to be passing out a lot of flyers soon.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2014, 03:58 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMowerMan2003 View Post
It's been a long time since I've been on the forum; but I'm excited because I'm ready to start my business up again. I've struggled with getting it started, and I haven't been able to do it the last couple of years, but I think I'm ready now, or least I've made a plan, and started saving for basic equipment.

One thing that worries me is that I don't really know what to charge right now. If I call a lawn service in my area, they are going to want to see my lawn, but I live in an apartment. lol If somebody asks you for a general price over the phone, do you give them anything?

I want to focus on small lawns, because I won't be able to afford a mower larger than 21" to start off with. Another reason I'm trying to focus on small lawns is to compete with lawn services that have more equipment: they may have a higher minimum than I do, especially if they have a crew, but I can't compete with them on larger lawns, because it will take me too long.

I looked on Craigslist and I saw ads for "Starting at $25" so I don't know if that's just the front, or a really small lawn, or "$35 most lawns". I don't know how you can even have a price for "most lawns". I saw a few people that put $35, but I'm not sure how much that helps me.

I understand people from different areas can't really tell me what the price should be, but I'm just trying to figure out some sort of system for determining the price. I don't want to be the cheapest person, but I shouldn't be too expensive when I need a lot of customers, either. I estimate I could manage up to 50 customers by myself, with small lawns, until I can afford a larger mower, at least. So it looks like I'm going to be passing out a lot of flyers soon.
welp....I suppose I could spend 30 minutes with you on the phone.
Ask you a bunch of financial questions and punch it into my spread sheet which will vomit back at you what you need to charge hourly to make the desired profit you are looking for....

In another 10 minutes i could explain to you how to calc man hours per each lawn.

Those two things would give you unlimited pricing knowledge.

Yea I usually charge...but PM me if you want to spend less than an hour on the phone, and I can get it figured out for you.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2014, 04:36 PM
TTS TTS is offline
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Now that's an incredible offer that exceeds what I was going to type so I can save the time. Please teach him how to set up the spreadsheet so he can do it on his own when he gets his new mower. You can give a man a fish or you can teach a man to fish
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:33 PM
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Jcl4slc Jcl4slc is offline
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That is mighty nice of you. May the lawn Gods bless you.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2014, 01:29 PM
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nlmct nlmct is offline
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thats extremnly nice... can you do mine also lol
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:37 PM
B16bri B16bri is offline
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Im starting a new business also. If your willing ide love that spreadsheet also
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  #7  
Old 04-24-2014, 09:37 AM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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Thanks for the offer

Thank you TPendegast. I started another job (assembling bbq grills, wheelbarrows, etc) but I wasn't making enough money doing that, so I'm still looking at starting a lawn service. I better do it now if I'm going to do it this year.

I see your approach is different from what I was trying to do. I was trying to base my price on the market. If I base my price on how much I would like to make that doesn't guarantee that I won't price myself out of the market though.
Is this a correct assumption?
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:21 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Yes you need to be in your markets price range. Though if your costs are $25 hr, and a lawn goes for $30 hr. Can you live on $5 hr?

Nothing stands alone.

Do not try to be the cheapest guy to get work. You will only get pain in the butt low profit customers.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:27 AM
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LawnMowerMan2003 LawnMowerMan2003 is offline
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No, I'm not going to be the cheapest

I learned that lesson. First, I want people to be happy with my service, so I don't want to rush through the job and cut corners. Second, somebody who only cares about the price will not be my customer very long, because anyone can come along and do it cheaper. They will probably go out of business, but I'll still lose that customer.

I suppose I could estimate what my costs are per hour. The fixed costs (and fuel) are going to make my cost per hour higher when I have less jobs, however.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2014, 09:21 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnMowerMan2003 View Post
I learned that lesson. First, I want people to be happy with my service, so I don't want to rush through the job and cut corners. Second, somebody who only cares about the price will not be my customer very long, because anyone can come along and do it cheaper. They will probably go out of business, but I'll still lose that customer.

I suppose I could estimate what my costs are per hour. The fixed costs (and fuel) are going to make my cost per hour higher when I have less jobs, however.
You are sitting home polishing you truck, trailer, mower, another beer, you are not using gas so your cost per hour does not change.

Over the course of this year you work 500 hours. If your schedule was full you could of worked 1,000 hours. Though it does not count because you only count the hours that you worked. Not what you could of.

Your costs were $10,000.

So what is your cost per hour?

The hours you worked divided by the costs. 10,000/500 = $20 hour.
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