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have i priced this too high?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by brokelawnboy, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. brokelawnboy

    brokelawnboy LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 3

    basiclly cleaned a wood area along a lake beach/ shoreline, lots of broken glass, trash, new limb growth,washed up water logged wood and logs , wanted it done before last weekend so i spent alot of time in the dark getting it done not to mention a above ground yellow jacket nest in a fallen tree that i removed. also some pressure washing with his washer "what he wanted it done with" not my washer.and cut the road shoulders. 45 h/r for the clean up and mowing and then 20 / hr for the washing he came out at about 437, is this rate that i charged him high u think? its a lakefront bussiness

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    I would not have touched it for less than $70.00 per hour, plus hauling, dump fees and all associated materials necessary to rid the yellow jackets from the site. Our hourly is going to be alot higher because of our ridiculously over priced workmans comp rates, and the cost of living, our guys are making more per hour than most simply because they have families to support here just like anyone else, and, I ain't paying for that, my customers are.

    So, questions to ask yourself....Rather than ask if you were too high, ask if you were first, fair to yourself. second, fair to your customer.

    Did you recover all associated costs with the work, including the time in the dark away from your family? And, did you turn a profit from the work? I'm not asking if you got fat, I'm asking if after all your salaries were paid, and all your dump bills paid, and all equipment usage paid (recovered) were you able to put a dollar or two in the bank?

    If you cannot be fair to yourself first, there is no way you can ever be fair to your customers second. Don't appologize for charging what seems like alot of money. Of all the entitlements that our government dumps into the laps of those who are too lazy to go out and earn a living, or all the handouts they give those who enter our country illegally, YOU the business owner are ENTITLED to turn a profit. Never appologize to anyone for that.
  3. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Well said, Uniscaper...I think your last sentence sums it up. I am going to write that down and every time a client gripes about a price, I am going to look at that.
  4. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Outstanding assessment Bill keen awareness of COLA as it relates to the many and varied regions in the country, especially liked your take on being fair to oneself and not apologizing for what you need to charge :waving:

  5. brokelawnboy

    brokelawnboy LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 3

    Glad to hear that Bill, could be alot of future jobs with this place and i really didnt want to try and jerk his arm off, just to have got the job, showed my work skills, with hopes of getting my name out in this new development. I do not work for free and belive that i have charged him a fair price, just wanted to kind of get an idea what others thought,life is indeed to short to work hard for nothing.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well he wanted it done at the last minute right away,It was neglected and overgrown and full of trash and branches,you had hazardous work involved in the possible snakes,yellow jackets and working in the dark to get it done.I would have charged by the job and looked at it not as what I should charge by what I felt I deserved for an hours work,but what difficulty it would entail and the effort I had to put into it to complete it by the deadline.
    Depending on how big of an area this was I would have charged $600 or better for a clean up like that.
    Your just starting out so guage how your cust reacts to the bill if you can and that's how you tell if you did not charge him enough.
    If he dosen't bat an eye or look at it twice or ask questions,you dident charge enough!!
  7. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 270

    I agree with Uniscaper. Never apologize for making a profit. Here's the way I see it. I can work for someone giving my services to them and be broke and tired - or I can sit at home and just be broke.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426


    Please don't take this as a gripe session by any means, but you fell into one of the biggest traps that contractors get caught in.... The promise of future work with one particular place. If the work never materializes, then you just worked cheap. If it does materialinze, and you raise your rates in order to pay yourself what you are work, you then deal with the problem of why you charged so much more this time, then last.

    What I found is as soon as I lost that attitude of worry to get work, as soon as I acted like our company was the only one the client needs to consider, our calander booked out.

    When someone calls us for a price, it's our way or the higway, and there will always be someone looking for your services.
  9. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    Very nice post. It's refreshing to hear such words of wisdom/reality from a fellow scaper! :D

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