Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassyfras, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    How do you guys stand up the way you do? I don't know how to say this, but I mean when you want a certain price I'm always afraid its way to much and then I'll back down to a lower price before the customer even says anything.

    Example: I'll do a job that takes a 2.5 hours with travel time. I decide to charge $80. I know I'll only keep $60 of that becuse I had to pay for the mulch. But then when it comes to collect and they ask how much I'll chicken out and say $60 when I wanted $80.

    How do I get rid of this or whatever?

    Does anyone get what I'm saying?
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    First of all, why are they asking how much after the job is complete?

    You should tell your customers upfront before any work is started how much the bill will be.
  3. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    For some reson people don' even ask. They say we trust you. Out of maybe 10 jobs only 1 or 2 people ask for an estimate. No one ever complains about price. I'm making money and a lot of it, so I don't think I'm jipping myself.
  4. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    i 2nd what jodi said, i look at it like this i have materails to pay for, i have to pay the help, i have taxes, i have insurance, and what ever else might be involved with the job. and if i can't get lets say what you said $80 for the mulch job then i can't do it unless the $ ammouont is real close and work is real slow which is rare anymore. if work is busy like most times then another job will come, they always do. and if they don't and i have some time i'll call that person up and try to work something out with them to get their work. (hasn't happened yet but their will be a 1st sometime). oh yea almost forgot you have to make enough money in the spring, summer and fall to feed yourself and family andd any other bills that may come once winter starts, you never know what kinda winter it will be, and can't relay on getting as much plowing as the year before, it might be a cold and nonsnowy winter like i had last year, only got to work 4 times last winter.

    just thought of something that happened to me this year, a lady called me about a mulch job, so i went to look at her house,very nice place i would say it was worth 120k, newer home less than 7 years old. so i walk through it be for i knock to get a feel of it and to awnser any questions she might have for me. so i start to speak with this lady and she tells me she wants 20 over grown shrubs trimmed way back( not trimmed in 2 years), the beds redged(never looked like they were), beds cleaned from leaves, and mulched. 12yards of mulch, 2 truck loads of leaves and clippings, and a half a truck of edging(soil and grass). i was looking at about $150 to just dump the waiste, $660 for mulch and labor, and another $140 for edging and trimming. so i tell her $950. and she looks at me like i'm crazy and tells me she had a guy do it from autintown 2 years ago for $270 (no lie) i then procide to say mam i couldn't even get the mulch for $270, that the cost of mulch alone would be $372, after that i just left after thanking her for calling, and that i would be unable to do her job. i was thinkning to myself how could this guy do this for $270, then it hit me she didn't call him or she tried but he's out of business now because of his great prices. sorry but if i can't make atleast $25 a hour landscaping then i should sell my business and go work for someone else, atleast i would get paid full time in the winter.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Quote: I'll chicken out and say $60 when I wanted $80.

    Quote: so I don't think I'm jipping myself.

    If you wanted $80, but only got $60, then you are 'jipping' yourself out of what you wanted. Tell them upfront your price. Then stick to your guns, and don't waver.
  6. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    What I meant was that I wanted to make a huge profit. I just wanted to get the most out of the job. I still got around $30 an hour
  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Simple. Tell them up front what the price will be, why do the work then give a price? Makes no since, I know of no service that does the work and then gives a price.
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    All the reply's are correct you should give your price up front... You will probably find that you have the same problem even when your quoting them first.... I used to have the same problem but it was a considerble more amount of money( I have seen people almost fall off there chair when you quote them 40k for a landscape).. I can relate though... It gets easier with time...ALSO... your figures don't add up... you said 2.5 hr ..$60.00...that's $24.00 per hour minus your mulch cost...I'd say you jipped yourself.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i do admit i was the same way my first and second year in business, now i make sure i tell them how much first. the prices r predetermined, $60-65 per yd for mulch, $120 a ton for stone, etc. and this is the price, period. the only ones ill bend for are seniors, as a whole i feel they have done plenty for me. if u want $80, tell them $80. if u want $80, even say $90, dont say $60.
  10. You could just quote "labor + materials"

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