Bidding Lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lee Homan, May 9, 2000.

  1. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Up to this point I have been bidding lawns based on an hourly rate but want to switch to a square footage system to be more consistant. I have noticed from previous posts that Lazer and some other guys use a stop fee of say $20.00 and than so much per 1000 square feet. What I would like to do and I would appreciate your feedback, is use strictly a square footage rate and take out the stop fee. I know the sq ft. rate would have to be higher than the above system so that you would make money. The problem I have is that when I measured some of my yards the other day I had a 32,000 sq ft. yard that I use a rider on that takes as long as a 5,000 sq ft. yard that I have to push mow (because it's a small yard and small)but they both pay the same amount. Should I charge more per sq ft. when push mowing or use the hourly rate? Also this 32,000 sq ft. yard is mostly open so I can mow it quicker than say a yard the same size with more obsticles. Thinking maybe there should be different rates per sq ft. for difficulty in mowing?
     
  2. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I just go by how long I think it is going to take me with whatever piece of equipment is needed to perform the job. I base it on a minimum of $45/hour. Most of my lawns I average about $60/hour. Kinda shoddy "eyeballing" it, but you get a feelof how long something will take. All of my properties are residentials up to 2 acres so I'm not dealing with industrial parks where the "eye-ball" method wouldn't work. I'll worry about that if the opportunity arises.
     
  3. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    lee,you have to know what your costs are for this method.beside your per stop amount,your cost could vary between $2-$8,or even more.eyeballing isn`t good either,especially if you`re doing `full service`.plus you have to know the rate per hour that you can charge and still get new clients.hope i`ve helped.<br>dave
     
  4. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    dls: I am doing &quot;full-service&quot;. You don't think that $45-60/hour is a fair amount to charge? I guess what I mean is...what do you mean by full service? Everything I do has a set fee (i.e. mulching, mowing, pruning) I don't just charge by the hour which is what my post may have appeared to say, I charge by what has been done. I just use the $ amount I strive to make per hour as a factor in my price. After being in this area/market one gets an idea what people are willing to pay. This is not meant to be sarcastic...
     
  5. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    scaper,<br>no offense taken.i meant that if you don`t know your costs(equipment,personnel,overhead)the cost are going to vary from a full service co.as opposed to a one man blow and go.think of the costs difference,more euquipment and payroll between the two.when i first started i eyeballed and lost my shirt.i found out the reasonable rates for my area,then went an sat down with a accountant.man did that open my eyes,not to mention fatten my wallet.sorry to ramble.<br>dave
     
  6. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    dls,<p>With the $20.00 per stop and $1.75 per 1000 sq ft. method used as an example what do you figure your overhead and profit on, the $20.00 stop or the sq ft. amount or both? It seems confusing to me, why not just have a flat rate to go by? I guess my question is how do you come up with both figures what are they based on?
     
  7. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    lee,thats that what my point is,if you don`t know what your specific costs,this won`t work for you.your overhead maybe lower than mine would be.yours could could have many variables.do you do everything at this stop or just cut.is this your only account or do you have several at one time.employees?bigger equipment?<br>i`m only try to offer a suggestion.if eyeballing puts money in your pocket after the bills are paid,great.whatever works for you.good luck,<br>dave
     
  8. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    lee--this doesn't actually respond to your question but it seems that you need to get rid of the push mower and get an apropriate walkbehind for small yards. perhaps a 36&quot;.<p>comparing costs and time for the two yards you mention doesn't seem to be apropriate because your use of the pushmower is so ineficeint. just a comment. good luck.<p>GEO
     
  9. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    dls: One more question...(sorry)...so if you go by the $20 stop and $1.75/1,000 ft2...to have an acre property cut/trimmed and blow would cost nearly $95. Do you adjust? I mean it's tough getting $65 around here with guys doing them for $40-45.<p>
     
  10. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    scraper,i looked at my previous postings and they may have been vague.if you were a one man operation,lets say with a low overhead.your stop costs maybe 10.00 stop fee instead of 20.00.then you take your per 1000 sq ft costs,using this for what other services you do,trim ,etc and base that on what you need to get.again that figure could be lower than the example.the figures will be different according the area you are in.just my ex.,fla rates per hr. are higher than va.<br>nilsson could also help with this discusion.i`ve probably just made things more confusing.sorry if i did.<br>dave<br>ps.email me dls7133@excite.com if i can help further
     

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