Adding mowing obstacles into your bid

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Victor, Mar 2, 2000.

  1. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Hi guys, I've been following the forum for a long time, and figured it was time for me to jump in. <br> I used to use a rough bidding policy, but am going to be much more precise this year. I'm going to charge a $22.50 &quot;serive fee&quot; for showing up, and am going to charge $.75 per 1000 sq. ft. of lawn that my 48 inch mower will be used on, and I'm gonna charge $.92 per 1000 sq. ft. for a lawn that I have to use my 36 inch mower on. As far as making sure that I'm being comensated for the time it takes to line trim, and mow around trees in the yards. I was planning on charging an extra $.20 per tree(do you think I should charge more, or less per tree?). I only service residentials, and charging these rates would put me in the price range of $27.50 per yard for my average yard. That's the average price here in Central Ohio (maybe even a little bit higher). <br> I devised this new pricing plan, because last year I lost some accounts because of my shotgun approach to bidding. Some other accounts I had to eat crow on, becuase of under bidding. <br> I'm very interested in any feedback that any of you might have on this idea of mine.
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    vic-using the additional charge method for trees, what would you need to charge for...say...100 feet of chain link fence?<p>when I get a chance I'll figure my yard with your formula and let you know if you are in the ball park in my area. good luck.<p>GEO
  3. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Posts: 309

    Nilsson's book&quot;LABOR TIME DATA HANDBOOK &quot; has all the times in it. Very usefull book even if to just confirm your own times.I recommend <br>it.
  4. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Hi Geo. Thanks for the feedback, and as far as the fence question goes, I was thinking about charging $.35 for every 50 feet of fence. The upside of fence is that we won't have to go around it. It's a straight run, easy to cut along, and doesn't take long to trim. Since most of my yards are small (around 6000 Sq. Ft.) We're in and out in around 10 minutes. I had 2 employees last year.<br>I'm going to order the labr-time book this week, and see how I stack up, even though Phil is in a different part of the country, and I don't believe the companies out here can charge what he can where he lives. I know It would be foolish not to learn all that I could from him.
  5. cjcland

    cjcland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    i recently made up a bid sheet and i am charging 1.00 per 1000'and 20$ service charge when i measure the property do i subtract the square footage of the house or does that stay and how do you price bushes i was thinking the first 20 foot of hedge is included and 1.00 for every ten feet after that what do you guys do?<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Hi CJ. I like your idea of charging $1 per 1000 Sq. Ft., but do you use the same size mower on every blade of grass you cut? If you don't then you're not being compensated properly for your time. I used to charge customers the same rate, whether I had to use an inefficient 36&quot; mower in their back yard, or not. When I started doing the math, I saw how my efficiency was really suffering. If you think about it, you really want to give yourself an average hourly income that you can repetively come close to. That's why I believe in charging more money to do the same amount of lawn with the smaller mower. That will obviously work wonders on keeping an even keel.<br>As far as the bushes go, I think you're looking good. I'm still trying to perfect my own rates when it comes to standing obstacles on the lawn.
  7. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    If this is what it takes for you guys to come up with pricing, I guess that's ok. But it seems that there are even more variables that are far more important. For instance, say you have uneven terrain, what is the figure for that? <p>Victor, your figure for cutting per 1,000 with the 36&quot; is $.92 and $.75 w/ 48&quot;. There would be no reason to use the 36&quot; unless it was needed for some obstacles (fences etc) correct? After all the 48 will cut at least 1 1/3 times faster. If it were needed, wouldn't the charge for using it need to be more than 17 cents more per 1000 feet? I'm not trying to be a smart a$$. I am just saying that the need to use the 36&quot; is due to something and it would definately be worth more than $1.80 on a 1/4 acre (1.80 over the charge for using the 48&quot;)<br>
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Far be it from me to be difficult, but I still don't get this measuring thing.<p>Victor, if you know you can be in and out in 10 minutes, you also know the average yard will net $27.50, you know they average 6000 sq ft, then what difference is measuring the yard going to make???????? (MY HEAD IS BANGING UP AGAINST THE COMPUTER SCREEN AT THIS VERY MOMENT) <p>By your #'s, your actually charging $5.00 to mow the lawn! You know you are going to charge the flat fee of $22.50 for the stop charge, but will only be able to charge $5.00 more for the whole job. If you are inefficient on a job then you won't make the $22.50 stop charge, you will lose some right?<p><br>$27.50, 10 minutes, $2.70 per minute, $162.00 per hour. Why in the world are you gonna waste valuable time measuring what you already know will take 10 minutes, count the trees and add .3 minutes per, or track the time on a few yards and get an idea as to how long it should take.<p>I'm not trying to sound like somebody else here, but if you know the game by heart, why read the instructions. If the market won't bear an additional 5-6-7 bucks per cutting then you have to find the ways to beat your competition in being super efficient, we all do! Check out a Winston Cup race Sunday and watch the pit crew, everybody has a job and know it by heart, second nature. Once you do a new yard a couple of times it should be like clockwork. Your making money, real good money. Just go get some more now!!!<br>Like I said, not trying to be difficult, just trying to understand and offer up my .02<p>Homer<br>
  9. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    easy now homer! you are sounding a little like me on the post about the measuring wheel! in my area, I know how much to charge for a 6000 sq. ft. yard. and I know what they will pay, THEREFORE, no need for me to measure and I don't agree that a measuring wheel is needed to convince people that I am a professional. for other jobs, larger than most that I bid, I can see the use for one. oh well! here we go again.<p>vic--I do see a possible usefulness for what you are doing. I believe that you are honing your bidding skills and that will benefit you on the long run. good luck.<p>GEO<br>
  10. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Pricing it simply: measure the lawn, compare site size & difficulty to other lawns you have done in the past, estimate time, and state price for this time. As in every other human endeavor, experience has an edge. Once estimated a $1.2-1.3K job for season, billed itemized during year, and ended up $.25 off for year. Never again?<p>We will then track time for new property, as we track for all properties. After 6 mowings, if priced too high, will adjust cost for customer. If priced too low, will advise customer of that, will state what price will be next year, and charge at quoted price for first year.<p>History is important.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana<br>

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