Did I over Bill this job

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by SEB, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 273

    First off - the only way you know if you overbid a job is when you see someone else doing it. That means they were cheaper.
    Secondly - you have to fight for your money. There are customers that will fight you so that they can keep the money they owe you. You better get good at discussing everything up front, and always be ready to make it perfectly clear in a professional manner that you want every penny that is owed to you - no exceptions - its called business.
    You will suffer in the long run with that give-away-attitude. Never give your work away. If someone is not happy with that job and getting it done for free is the only thing that will make them happy - tell 'em to do it themselves.
    Now when she tells her neighbors how inexpensive your work is and how she got you to do a lot of it for free, you will be covered up with cheap, non-paying work. Not a good reputation to have. Wouldn't you like it better if people said, "he does great work, but he's not cheap"? That is how I recommend my friends to clients - great work, not cheap.

    Those pics look good - you did good work - get paid for it.
     
  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    There is WAY too much to cover in this thread....from the actual landscape job and customer-purchased materials (YIKES) to the pricing issues.

    But the rental equipment thing stood out to me. Why wouldn't you itemize a piece of rental equipment in the estimate?!!? Example: We have a Dingo, but not every single attachment and if we need the soil cultivator attachment on a job, it gets in there for XXX.xx per day under "machine rental".... part of the cost of doing the job and the customer has every right to understand that.

    What's the issue?
     
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,716

    Why would you itemize the rental?

    Why wouldn't it be listed as dingo w/attachment @ xx.xx per hour? Does a customer really need to know you needed to rent a tool to complete their job?
     
  4. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    When the labor number on the estimate reflects the time to get/drop off/clean/fuel the rental equipment, and they may have questions about that labor number, then yes. I think it's best to budget for that time and have an explanation behind it.
     
  5. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    I'm with you Never show a rental fee
    I only rent few things I own a lot stuff most time don't need to rent but sometimes. I want to run extra jackhammer or a slit seeder. I'll go rent one to get job done faster.

    To OP a Tiller should be one of the power tools you should own I have never heard anybody in the Landscape field that don't own a tiller.
    Should been used from the start of the job. Tilling all that bed area up will help the plants grow better.
     
  6. themadcutter

    themadcutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from florida
    Posts: 914

    I have a few questions. forgive me if any one asked these things. I didn't read all the posts.

    you say you removed 3 truck loads of mulch. What happened to removing one trailer load?
    You put down 3 truck loads of top soil . same question as above?
    The charge for the fuel may have been 0nly $60 but you made a lot of unnecessary trips and took a lot of time that she shouldn't have had to pay for.

    When i run equipment I expect to get payed for running equipment. equipment has to pay for itself. Now wether or not you needed a tiller for such a small area is another question.

    I believe in the charge as much as you can system. so I think your price is fine from my point of view. If I was the customer I would be wondering why I was paying $40 an hour for some one to drive his truck around. I know you are just starting and don't have all the necessary equipment but that isn't something the customer should have to pay for.

    You didn't over bill. Where I come from we call that milking it. (said with a smile)
     
  7. Sharps_lawn&landscaping

    Sharps_lawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 83

    Your price was more than fair. I don't see why everyone is confused. I would also charge for travel time but maybe not the full hourly rate
     
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,806

    semantics and splitting hairs
     
  9. cdjones

    cdjones LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I would suggest using a work order method. discuss with the client what is needed give them the price have them sign prior to doing the work they then acknowledge whats going to be done and how much its going to cost and have a clause that simply states anything additional outside the scope of the work shown and agreed to above with be considered extra work and billed accordingly with a new work order. Your original estimate for the work performed may have been ok for your operating costs but the additions killed you. Never breakdown your hourly rates in my opinion on an estimate those ar your business and everyones are different. Instead say i can complete the work as stated on this work order for x amount of dollars period...if you het the job great if not you were going to loose money anyhow...just some things to think about
     

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