The Green Industry's Resource Center

Thread Tools   Display Modes
Old 04-22-2013, 11:24 PM
205mx 205mx is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2,246
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
It pains me to read things like this. It's not just you, it's large companies too. You're charging $20 for what might be 1/2 hour of work and large companies are charging $75 for 3 guys spending an hour on a property. It's unbelievable what people are willing to work for in this business. This isn't anything personal. Like others have said. You just don't know the true cost of doing business. To give you an idea, our minimum is $40/cut (1/2 acre bagged, trimmed, blow.) 2 man crew, $23.50/hr labor cost, equipment, fuel, insurance, taxes, etc...and I lose money mowing grass!!! If I could sell off all my equipment and maintenance accounts I would strictly do chemical applications. Once you cut a yard for $20 it will forever remain a $20 yard.
Posted via Mobile Device
That's the worst. There's a guy here with two crews. He is a low baller. He even works a second job. Has over 180 accounts. I met him. Business makes him an extra 20,000 a year. So he's cool. Has a job for 40k and benefits. 60k and benefits. I get it, but damn dude. I'm at 65 he's at 50. All over.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 11:59 PM
Raymond S. Raymond S. is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 969
I fert a group of 19 houses. Total sq ft is like 6 acres, maybe a little less. Streets, drives, trees, curbs, etc. Completely surrounded by a curb and another street. Basically the 19houses are condos and they make up their own block. I get $670 per app. They asked me to quote the mowing. It wasn't on our route so I told them I couldn't but out of curiosity what were they paying. $120/cut!!!!!! Absolutely insane! The outfit that does it plows a lot for $19 that I bid at $85. It baffles me to this day.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 02:29 AM
Nate'sLawnCare's Avatar
Nate'sLawnCare Nate'sLawnCare is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nashville, NC
Posts: 1,001
Even if you do a calculation by square footage, acre, whatever, you still have to maintain a minimum price just to cover driving time, fuel, insurance, etc. Even if the actual mow only takes 15 minutes, think about your total time invested in that one job. It may surprise you.
Snapper Pro S200XT 36 HP Big Block
BOP 36 Inch Dually
Honda HRX217VKA Mower
Husqvarna 223L Trimmer
Husqvarna 326LS Trimmer
Husqvarna 580BTS Blower
Husqvarna BT150 Blower
Kawasaki KHDS600 Hedge Trimmer
Toro Multi-Tool
RedMax BM46i Backpack Sprayer
Carry On 5.5 x 10 Open Trailer
2004 Toyota Tacoma

The next time someone complains about your pricing, ask them how much their barber would charge to come over and cut their hair.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 06:59 AM
herler herler is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,145
Yes, you are lowballing because
a) You had to ask.
b) You offered up a lengthy explanation.

That having been said you won't get many customers charging what someone who has been in business 10 to 20 years is charging either, the question I have is why would you even charge less than $30, hell you could have quoted $30, made out, and still been way below the competition.

So there you have it, your whole kit and kaboodle in a nutshell.
You owe me $50

Not really.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 05:09 PM
TuffTurfLawnCare TuffTurfLawnCare is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pittsburgh (South Hills)
Posts: 670
The way I see it, you are mowing and running a business for $10/hr. What happens when you need a new mower or trimmer? Who is gonna pay for that truck that you want add on next year? As it is, the company is unable to sustain itself as you aren't making any profit at all and have no money for capital purchases, let alone expenses. You seem to have been concerned about paying yourself $10/hr instead of making a profit for the company. If you want to make $10/hr go to McDonald's. Also, just because you pay an employee $8.50/hr, doesn't mean you bill that. Employees are only there to make you money. If they don't make you money then you either have crappy employees or not enough work.

I am a solo part timer, If a yard takes me 45 minutes to cut, I charge $45. Its hard to hit that as you have to estimate how long it will take you to do it without doing it. That is one of those things that's comes with experience.

As for your current customer, I would cut them loose. Your loosing money everytime you cut it. Honestly, and I mean no harm by this, you should look into some business management book and/or classes. Anyone can mow a lawn, the hard part is running a business.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 07:29 PM
jrs.landscaping's Avatar
jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,701
Originally Posted by BetterLawns&Gardens View Post
I recently quoted a property and when i told the lady what the price was she about had a heart attack. I didn't quite understand why until after I cut and she paid. she told me that she had contacted 5 or 6 other companies and they quoted her between 40-50 my quote was 20. How do I react to that?
If 6 companies are within $10 of each other and you are 50% cheaper than them there is a problem with your estimating abilities. Come up with a cost per hour for various services and an appropriate MH rate. Example would be I would bill an employee out @ $30 PMH, just the employee and a hand tool. The rates go up from there depending on which trucks/equipment are being used, then figure the MH's required to do the job. Read a few threads on estimating/quoting jobs.........
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 10:37 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 10,091
Machines run at 10-20 dollars per hour... trucks/cars run at 50 cents/mi and the minimum that any operator should get is $20/hr... after experience and knowledge set in ,,, operators could be worth $50/hr...
That is your BASELINE in the midwest... whatever you actually pay your employee is irrelevant... just remember the additional cost of having an employee...

The additional costs are no longer Just taxes and insurance or UC benefits, but now there is Obamacare and no one even has those details put together yet...

I agree with the guy that said "Stay Solo"...
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2013, 11:59 AM
ryanc ryanc is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 45
I usually go a dollar per minute.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2013, 12:52 PM
JCLawn and more's Avatar
JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MI
Posts: 5,192
I kinda figured that my break even point is about $25i$30 a hour if you include everything including replacing equipment. So i need to make $40 to $60 a hour
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 08:48 AM
OmegaRed OmegaRed is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE OHIO
Posts: 191
Originally Posted by ryanc View Post
I usually go a dollar per minute.
That's generally an easy way to quote a small lawn. If I haven't mowed somewhere before and they want a ballpark, it's a dollar a minute. That way you are covering fuels for blower, mower, trimmer, truck, profit margin is in there and it equals for me about $20 an hr pay for most jobs.
Reply With Quote

cheap , cheaper , estimate , expensive , low

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Grand View Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:48 PM.

Page generated in 0.10262 seconds with 8 queries