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For those who charge for their landscape designs.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drsogr, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I have been spending 2 and a half hours putting an extensive package together for my customers on landscape designs. I include a plan, info on my company, and an info sheet with color pictures for each plant. I have been doing well with this. I have gotten every job I had estimated. Everone is impressed by it.

    Well I had built one for a guy and called him up and told him it was complete. He told me he went with someone else. Now I spent 2 and a half hours doing work that no one will ever see. I think its time to start charging.

    What do you guys charge? When do you tell them that you are going to charge for a design? Do you charge just for the big designs? How much hesitation do you get from the customers calling?
  2. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    If a customer calls and wants a design done I tell them $250.00 (real price) for a "consultation" (never charge for a design). Then when I present the design we go over the likes and dislikes, until we get to the final product. If we do the install on the project the 250.00 is credited to the job. The reason to charge a "consultation" is if you charge for a design you are obligated by law to give the customer your design, then they can turn around to anyone and let them do the install. For phonecalls, this is a way of qualifying your customer, if they don't like a $250.00 consultation they definitely won't like an install for 5000.00. It works for us, and since we have been doing it we have had a 100% close rate on our submitted estimates.
  3. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    200. for a basic drawing payed before i start
  4. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    One other thing, if you are spending that long on a design and are doing a decent amount of them in a season look into Pro landscape software. It will save a ton of time, link it to Horticopia.com and it prints out the plant descriptions for you with a little picture.
  5. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Here is a pic of the AutoCad drawing I am sending out. I doubt its anything compared to what you guys are doing. Let me know how it compares.

    The 2 and half hours is from start to finish.

    Figuring out what plants to use - 30 minutes

    Drawing the Design - hour

    Doing the Estimation - 30 minutes

    Putting the packet together - 30 minutes

  6. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I do need to look into different software. I print out my plant descriptions from my own library. I made a 2 page report on all the plants that my local nurseries carry. It took me a while. But it is a very useful tool. And every page has my company name. I have 2 - 3" binders full. I keep them in my truck so when my customer have a question I can quickly research them. My knowledge of plants is lacking. This has really helped.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i also use autocad 2004.
    works ok, but would like to have some lps routines to simplify some things....

    we have a $250.00 minimum for design work.
  8. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    Pro landscape has a autocad program just like that, and also has digital landscape where you take a picture and landscape the picture, I use it the most because it shows the customer exactly what they are getting. Have you asked the nursery if they have a listing of what plants they typically carry. The nursery I use here caters only to contractors and supplies a yearly notebook of all the plants they carry, the sizes, and the prices.
  9. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    The Nursery I use has that list. I have seen the digital landscape, but I am hesitant to use it. It seems to me that it would give a false impression of what the landscape would look like. When I show my customers the plants I am using, they now I am good, they don't need anymore proof.

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