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Hourly questions????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassyfras, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    Ok i quoted some people $40 for leafs this fall and come every other week to do them. I will also cut the grass at this time. Most these jobs will probbly only take an hour or less. What is the standard way when charging hourly? Just charge to the nearest minute or have an hour minimum or do it in quarters. Then when I cut the grass do I keep charging hourly for it or just charge the cut. The way for me to make the most money is to charge a one hour minimum and then charge them seperatly to cut the grass. So I on a small lawn I would get $30 grass cut plus $40 hourly charge making it 70 bucks plus disposal probbly $15 or something(free dump site) or whatever my sub charges me to suck the leaves up plus 10 percent. Whats the ethical way to do it what do most guys do and how would you do it??????
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I like to be as close as possible to the actual price and I've developed an inner ticker in my mind, I swear I can 'feel' minutes ticking...

    So, lets say...
    They're paying for an hour and 50 minutes later I am done... It's time to see if I can invest this time wisely by going back over everything straighten it out a bit (sometimes this helps) OR let it sit this time and see if it continues to happen: If it does, take $5 off the total.
    So, then...
    I'm getting paid 40 dollars for one hour and it takes 70 minutes, that's $6.67 I just lost... It may not sound like much but that's 16 percent for a meager 10 minutes so to me it is very important this thing about the time. This is one reason I like to overbid a little.

    I mean yeah it's by the hour BUT most people want some kind of a price and unfortunately once the number rolls off my tongue, it has been my experience I can ALWAYS come down but I can NEVER go up.

    I time myself throughout the year at various periods I like to start my stopwatch and 5 minutes over or under max. I do this to keep myself sharp, it's about giving the customer what they're paying for while at the same time, getting my time's worth...

    As far as actual billing, I do what works out best: Sometimes 1:15 works out best but other times 1:10 works better, depending on my hourly rate. See in your case, 15 minute rounds would work great at 10 dollars per every 15, blam! In my case, it's 75 cents/minute so I do my rounding with the dollars as I charge to the nearest 5 or 10 dollars (30, 35, 40, 45, 50, etc...)
    The other thing is, once you get 'USED' to your hourly rate it should become automatic... of course as soon as you got it down good, it's time to raise prices arrrrrrrrgg the bs starts all over again LOL!
    Once I feel confident I am doing the right thing, I have no problem letting go of the stopwatch mania and then I work a lot of yards just getting the job done and not worrying about how long it takes. Sometimes the customers get a little extra this way, sometimes it works better the other way, but in the end I am a stickler for time until I have it down half-way then once that is ok I am not so bad about it.
  3. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    Top site good post. I just hate the thought of someone watching me work and accuse me of over extending my numbers. I can ussually guess pretty close how long I'm on a job so I guess I got a start there.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210


    Most of our existing accounts are billed hourly for leaf cleanup. We bill per hour with 1/2hr increments. Non-existing customers...i.e. no agreements/contracts/one-time gets billed per job not per hour.
  5. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    i have recently learned not to bill by the hour but rather by the job.then you got no one running a stop watch on you.if you bid the job at 100.00 and it only takes 1hour 45 min then you just profited by 15 min. if you bid it by the hour for 2 hours but it only takes 1 hour 45 min then you just lost 18.00.

    50.00 per hour = 1.20 per minute
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    In six years in business I have gotten ZERO, ZIP, NADA in the complaint department about my times or the customers having stop watches.
  7. Mr.Mow-It-All

    Mr.Mow-It-All LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    befnme wrote:
    I hate to tell ya, but you are only making $.83 cents per minute.

    60 per hour is $1 per minute
    50 per hour is .83 per minute
  8. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    i havent either but it seems as though every time i gave an hourly quote people would say " do you really think its going that long? " or can you give me an hour worth of work..... no really, i have heard it.
  9. JMB

    JMB LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 51

    Unless my math is sctewy...

    $50.00 per hour = .83 a minute

    $1.20 per minute = $72.00 per hour
  10. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    yeh yall are right i have my daughter beside me talking to me and doing homework while i am trying to think and type.my mistake.

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