Fall Clean up pricing?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TigerPops, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. TigerPops

    TigerPops LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    I been reading lots of posts on here about fall pricing and how to do it.

    this guy brad wrote this and it makes sense: ((Say your hourly rate is $60 (for the convenience of that particular number). Property "A" takes 40 minutes to mow during the regular season, so you charge $40 to mow that property weekly. Now that same property "A" takes you two and a half hours to complete a fall clean-up on, so using your $60/hour rate that you normally charge, the price would be $150. Now of course if you have any dump fees associated with disposing of the extra debris, then you will need to add that to your end price.))

    if you price it how he describes it above and the customer wants to know a price upfront would you just guesstimate? or do you explain the formula to them

    Besides pricing like I heard people do it by charging a premium monthly price from beginning of season to end with spring and fall included. (if someone does this , what would be a good premium price for a house you normally charge 25$x4 = 100$/month be?)

    And flat rates (similar to how brad explained) I feel like this is the same formula you just guesstimate how long it would take , correct?

    Any other tips would be much appreciated, I am trying to find a simple way to base all my pricing for fall
  2. TigerPops

    TigerPops LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    I have a friend who bills his clients at the end of the month for fall, but what if the client expects a much lower price than he received?

    just trying to find out a good way to base it off
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Never give a price by the hour. People will go crazy if the hear $60 to rake leaves.

    Does not matter that you use all kinds of power equipment their not going to pay a lawn jocky $60 an hour is their mind set.

    This is why you tell then a price for the job.

    Also depending two same sized props, one can have a lot of leaves then other no where near.

    Figure out what you want to charge. Then be prepared to lose your shirt on it because you did not realize how much work was involved.
  4. thomas.creation

    thomas.creation LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    32vld. You couldn't be more correct. The first fall clean up I did almost made me quit the business. Not knowing what I was doing I quoted this guy $40 per hour which included removal of debris. After two hours he came out and asked me to leave handing me a check for 80 bucks. Looking back I completely understand why he got pissed. Always quote per job.
  5. matt25738

    matt25738 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    We budget bill our clients. We take our price during standard cutting season + price during fall cleanup + price for off season visits + additional services such as shrubs, chemicals, ect. then add it all together and divide by 12. This gives customers a budget billed price that they are charged year round. This ensures year round cash flow and allows the customer to know exactly what they will pay no matter how long we are there.

    Posts: 184

    Yeah you guess the man hours and then bid but if your not familiar with bidding leaf clean ups be prepared to screw up.

    The first clean up I did I told the guy $300. After about 16 man hours I was steaming but happy to just be done. The guy gave me a extra $100 but I still did the job for half price.

    Now I tell people the prices start at $225. If they think thats high I dont have to waste a trip to see it. It takes a while to get the hang of it but I can guess within the hour now.

    The easiest clean ups are blow in the woods.

    I would never bid by the hour either. The client has no way of knowing how long it will take. A lot are surprised on how fast we're out of there and dont care that they forked over $400 for 3 hours of work because they spent hours raking and not even putting a dent in the yard.

    Posts: 1,343

    Never by the hour!
    We buy 18 horse blowers and back packs for a reason, and despite what most clients think it is not to save them money.
    You will definitely hurt yourself on pricing clean ups once in a while, heck i still do it to us on occasion.
    We use a jump off point of $185.00 and go from there. If your client waffles, just move on to the next.
    good luck to all.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,717

    Also if it's by the hour they have the feeling you're milking it to get more hours. The lowest cleanup I have is $125, it takes two guys around 45 min to an hour, and the prices go up from there. Listen to everyone though, leave a little cushion in your price in case the job takes longer than you anticipated.
  9. TigerPops

    TigerPops LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

  10. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Disagree with this thread in general. I have no problem pricing leaves hourly. It' the best way IMO. I'm too busy to run around estimating leaf jobs- and then when you get there a week or two later, it's twice as bad as what you originally estimated!

    EXPLAIN to people your rates, equipment you use, and efficient methods you use to clean up their property- tell them about blowing out beds, quickly vaccing up massive piles of leaves so they don't have to stuff HomeDepot bags all weekend, SELL the removal.

    Or say, " Well, if we're on your property for 3 hours, it will run 270.00 plus a dump fee that's normally 20 to 25.00" (our 90.00 rate for two man crew and the equipment) Told this to a guy on the phone two days ago and he didn't flinch.

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