Am I charging enough?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassrootsinab, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Posts: 215

    I've been reading a number of posts on the different forums and think I may be considered a lowballer. I am the only LCO in a small rural town so not really hurting anyone but myself (stupid me!!) I worked for a company during university and began charging clients here what we did in the small city. I think my residential rates are low but my commercial rates are ok. I have a lot of seniors on fixed incomes. Here's the breakdown and I'd appreciate some feed back.

    I charge $17 for a 50x 100 foot lot that takes 2 of use about 15 minutes to service.

    My largest residental takes 20 minutes to service and we charge $25.

    Does this seem reasonable?
     
  2. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Well let's just say that in my neck of the woods, I don't stop the truck for anything under $30.00. A $30.00 house takes us between 5-7 minutes. :cool:
     
  3. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Posts: 215

    WOW!! I'm not off base...I'm outta the park!! thanks for the feedback.
     
  4. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,849

    grassroootsinab, also keep in mind paponte runs a 2-3 man crew.
     
  5. lawnagent

    lawnagent LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 529

    yeah, I i know alot have some minimum charges but $25 for 20 min work is pretty darn good. It is over $1 a minute. and you have very few windshiled miles to pull your time down.
     
  6. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    No, you're not!

    Paponte operates in NY and you cannot compare what you have with his. Everybody's situation, operation and area is different.
    $25 for a 20 minute job is not bad going. If you can do 2 of those type of residentials in an hour, you're talking $50 a hour. Now that's good money for a solo operator in a small town (I assume it's a small town as you mentioned you're the only lco in your town)

    $17 a hour is obviously way too low. You can do better than that. You should have a minimum fee per lawn irrespective of how small or how fast you can do it. Like Paponte won't stop for less than $30, I wont stop for less than $25 - it's the same effort you're going through - driving, stopping, offload, cut grass, trim clean off, load, and go to the next job.

    Sometimes you have to BS with the client too and that time is your's. I don't say, don't BS with the client, that's also neccesary, but you have to compensate for a lot of things in order to justify your time.

    Good luck
    PC
     
  7. ahah

    ahah LawnSite Member
    from 5
    Posts: 70

    Are we talking U.S. or Canadian dollars?
     
  8. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Im in Wisconsin and I dont stop for less than $30. My cheapest mower is $4000, I cant make any money doing a house for $17 unless I had about 6 of them in a row, even then I wouldnt go lower then $25
     
  9. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    pcnservices - he did not say $17 per hr. he said $17 for a 15 minute yard - $68 per hr. - Of course we are not considering travel and load - unload time.

    I am bidding some big areas at $15 per acre + $20 unload fee., but I can mow 6+ acres per hr with one machine solo. That does make a difference. Most of these will gross approx. $95 per hr.

    I do have a machine that if everything was new would cost about $14,000, but it still is better than two $7000 machines because then I would have to hire an operator, pay Workmans Comp, Insurance on him, and more and more and more.

    My theory is to stay solo, unless you can run at least 2-3 crews of 2-3 employees each, Then you have to have good managers for each crew, because nobody does it as well as you do.

    Thanks Brad
     
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    I'm with Ahah,
    Canadian or American dollars??
    Big difference.
     

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