First Call Today and Im VERY nervous

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rameigh, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Well i got my first call from a customer whom saw my sign on my truck passing her house. SHe owns a HUGE lake front house and the yard is just at 1 acre. She's wanting the lawn Aerated/Seeded (Im going to have to sub this out to a friend of mine) and she also wants spring clean-up. All leaves removed, bushes trimmed, and all new mulch braught in and spread. My guess would be atleast 1/5 of her yard is flower beds. Im going back to measure tomorrow but i just have no idea what to charge. Im going to have 2-3 people helping me spread the mulch but to pull all the weeds in the beds and spread new mulch its VERY over whelming looking at it and I have no idea of what to charge her. Last year she said 2 dump truck loads of mulch barely covered it. How do you all estimate what to charge for mulch? Any suggestions would be great I asked her to give me a couple days so I could figure out how to present the estimate to her.
     
  2. vaulta

    vaulta LawnSite Member
    from Orlando
    Posts: 118

    your in over your head kid
     
  3. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Yes I know this. This is the kind of work I had planned on staying away from for the first few seasons. But the woman is nice as can be and says she cares less if i'm new she just wants the work done and time is not an issure for her so I dont know what to do.
     
  4. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Where at in NC are ya?
     
  5. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Right outside Mooresville NC
     
  6. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago. I turned it down and am very glad I did.

    My gut tells me that this job is going to chew you up and spit you out.
     
  7. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Yes thats what my gut is telling me also. Im thinking about calling a family member whom owns a huge landscaping company and have them go estimate it for me. Let them handle the mulch and initial clean-up and i'll just do the weekly mowing for her. Problem is 2-3 of her other neighbors want the same work done to their yards cleaned up and then mowed weekly as well. Would it be best for me to give the mulch/clean-up to a larger company with equipment to handle it and for me just to keep up with what i know i can handle?
     
  8. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Best thing to tell you is charge by how long you think it will take. How much are you gonna pay your helpers? If you think the job may take 10 hrs I would charge $60 per hour ($40 for you and $10 each per helper), so that would be $600 PLUS MATERIALS (if you have to front $$$$ for materials then add %10, I prefer to just have the customer pay). This is just an example your job may take longer, if you take and post some pics we could probably give you a better idea.
     
  9. rameigh

    rameigh LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 70

    Im going back tomorrow morning she wont be home and said its fine. Im going to measure all the beds and take some pictures. Ill post the measurements and pics and maybe you guys can give me a heads up and a better idea of what i should do. Spreading the mulch will take a while but its not that hard to do with help.
     
  10. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Yikes....and I was a nervous wreck over my first two estimates....a basic routine maintenance, and a spring cleanup with a little bit of mulching...I know I would definetly walk away from that job or be giving it to an acquantaince a lot farther up the ladder....maybe you can sub out the job to an experienced company and arrange the deal so that you get to work with them for a small cut and a lot of experience...you might end up a lot happier in the long run....
     

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