Difficulty in Estimating?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I have a current customer who is moving to a condo. Its basically a high class duplex. Their current house has about 8000 sq ft of lawn which I do full service work on. The lady of the house told me that they will be moving and that she would like me to give them an estimate. She also said that the new place "looks like it is about the same size as the current house.

    Of course its not. After measuring I find it to be 17,500 sq ft of lawn and the back has some funky landscaping that includes a severe grade, meaning a WB on that hill.

    Estimating the cost is usually pretty easy but I am finding myself having a hard time trying to predict the future. I ended up estimating higher than I would even 1 month ago for a few reasons. Gas is a concern but not a huge concern. If gas prices are 5.00 a gallon things must change. I believe other costs like insurance may skyrocket next year after the companies make up their losses thru everyone, it happened in a big way after 9-11 and I anticipate even higher increases over the next few years. The price of EVERYTHING is going to go up, I have to try and guess how much.

    I don't know if I will get the bid, they are very happy with my service so far and I guess I am hoping that they want to talk about the bid. I don't know if other LCO's are thinking to the future but next year isn't real far away but life ain't gonna be the same. What are you doing?
  2. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    And what will the price of fertilizer be next year? We have started giving quotes for next year service. I have bumped prices around 4%. Is that going to be enough? PR
  3. kevinsky

    kevinsky LawnSite Member
    from Nevada
    Posts: 75

    I raise prices every year in the Spring 2-5%. My new service agreement states just that so I don't have to give notice. In fact, in the past, my service agreement did not state the annual increase and I increased prices every year without any considerable resistance or any cancellations. The renowned consultants in this industry say you must raise your prices every
    year or you will be falling behind.
  4. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    I hear ya, and I don't think there is an easy answer. The bottom line, we need to price our work to remain in business. Our costs will be driven up and the only way to compensate for that is to have the price of service reflect that. I think as business owners we need to uniformly across the board raise prices for service which the market will bare. Unfortunately lawn service is a luxury and some people will have to start cutting their own lawns, so less work for us.

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