Fall Clean up pricing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by deitleman, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. deitleman

    deitleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I wasn't planning on starting out until the spring, as I'm still in the very beginning stages of putting together a little side business. However, I got thinking, and might try to throw my name out there now for fall clean ups, and see what happens. I have a 42" Toro ZTR (home owner's model, not commercial), but no bagging system. I also have a hand held leaf blower, and hand rakes. So, besides chopping up leaves, I'll also need to rake, bag, and haul away.

    Do most of you guys have a bagging system, and how are you charging? Is this something you might charge by the hour or the job? If by the job, what's the best way to figure out what I should charge. Thanks
     
  2. jhawk60

    jhawk60 LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 241

    You figure it by the hour, but charge by the job. You figure your costs; labor per hour, tools and material charge, overhead (fuel, insurance, drive time etc,), and profit. This is your hourly rate. Once you have this rate, you look at the job and estimate completion time. Multiply the time by the hourly rate and you have your price.

    The first few will probably be rough until you get to know how much time it takes to clear an area.
     
  3. JohnnyRocker

    JohnnyRocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    I usually charge by leaf. My rates are .005 cents per leaf. You can get a leaf counter attachment on your mower while you're mulching the leaves. It's very accurate.
     
  4. jeffslawnservice

    jeffslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 830

    hahahahaha yea I do the same think. :laugh:
     
  5. deitleman

    deitleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31


    Thanks, it's tough getting started if you've never been involved in the business side of things. I appreciate the help.
     
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    This is exactly right. You should already know how much your expenses are and how much it cost to run your equipment. So you should already have an hourly rate you need to charge figured out. Take a look at the job and figure out how long it should take you, you can then give the customer a price. They don't get an hourly price, they get the price after you have figured everything out.

    I usually give the customer a range (ie, $150-$175), just to cover me incase it does take a little longer than I initially expected. But you will eventually get pretty good at estimating how long it should take.
     
  7. THC

    THC LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,020

    My experience with clean ups is that 90% of them cut their own lawn. So I don't even try to offer quotes anymore to them. If they have a lawn service, they are the ones doing the clean up so you won't see those customers.

    Still, spring clean up is one of the best times of year for me, money wise.
     

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