Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yesman, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. yesman

    yesman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Please give me some feedback on job estimating. We are a husband and wife team very new to being in the lawn maintenance business but have over six years experience in the lawn business because of working for someone else.

    The problem comes in with clients that seem to want a little more, a little more, and a little more. For example, we went to bid on a spring cleanup and estimated the cost to be at $75 dollars for cleaning up all the darn trash that was already there so we would not damage our equipment, mowing grass that was knee length, fence line work, and the basics of edging, trimming and etc.

    We are trying to estimate by the man hours of $35 dollars by the number of hours it will take for one man to complete as suggested here on the site. Needless to say we did not get that job as well as several others.

    We have also given estimates of $25 for just mowing, 80 for cleanup, and $40 for mowing and you would think we have asked for $500 dollars. I feel we are not getting to the right clients.

    We are also having a hard time with potential clients because they are use to others scalping their yards, blowing grass in the neighbors yards, getting work down for dirt cheap and etc.

    At any rate we are going to try and stick with this for one full year part time and go from there.

    Any comments will be appreciated
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    First of all, welcome to LawnSite, Yesman. :)

    I want you to know you are not alone (as if you couldn't tell!), and that I've been in business for years and still struggle with pricing from time to time. I know what I need to make, and for the most part I get what I need when I close jobs, but I still run into the "how can you charge so much?" crowd all the time. Just today I was told by a family member of a friend that I had to come down on their price or else. They had been with me for a year but I guess they did some price shopping and found out I was 'high'. Of course, I dropped them like a hot potato. In 6 months, they will find that the immigrant, under-the-table labor company they hire for half the price is destroying their new lawn and they won't know what to do. They certainly won't get me back now.

    It sends you soul-searching, I know.

    But, like you, I have the wife in the business with me. That's the best kind of support a man can have, I will tell you.

    The most important thing you need to do now is stick to your guns. If you know what you need to make to make this work, charge it. There are all kinds of people out there and some of them are looking for you to care for their property. Some are not, but you need to file through them quick as you can and move on to the next bid. Be professional, courteous, honest, and dependable. You'll be fine.

    Also, don't forget to check that SEARCH button up top for more topics. This Board is brimming with information you can use!
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    20 years ago I started with a 21 inch pusher, at $15/hour, and a "I'll just help Mrs. Snodbee with her lawn". Today, I've got $20,000 worth of equipment and my wife asks " Did you ever think you'd be making $50/80 per hour mowing lawns?".
    Good work pays off, just keep it up.... Good luck,
    For Pete's Sake
  4. TSS

    TSS LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 31


    I was kinda worried about this year myself. I did over 35k worth of bids and didn't pick up one job. Mowing is only one of my avenues of revenue. Last year I got every bid that I did except one. This year I have even had customers tell me that I was not the lowest but they went with me anyway because of the personal service that I gave them. So keep your guns blazin and get your name out there because the jobs will start to roll in soon. I thought I had to cancle my adds for this year but I just started to pick up $500.00 jobs each week along with mowing. Good Luck. :angel:
  5. yesman

    yesman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for letting me vent and thanks for all the comments and support - I think I will keep going now. By the way, this is the first lawn site forum that actually share ideas that you can actually use in the business. Just my opinion.


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