How do you think I did on pricing this job?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Above Par Lawns, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,738

    insurance payment/12months= insurance per month.
    equipment repairs/12 months= wear and tear
    truck value /how many years you think it'll last/ 12 months.

    everyone will tell you different numbers. In Connecticut they are able to get much more than we are able to in Pennsylvania and I am sure that is different than what you can get where you are at. I know personally I need to be at 45/hr alone or 60 with a helper to make a profit. it all depends on your overhead and expenses/debt. its really hard to say what you should charge because only you can know that. There have been jobs where I make 20/hr because I underbid it or it was for family and jobs where I have made $600/hr. Right now its winter and I am doing odd ball stuff to try and keep busy. Id rather work for $30-$40 an hour now and make some income instead of sitting on my butt waiting for snow. During my busy times though, I will pass on jobs if I am not making $60+ an hour alone. I sometimes feel cheated if I am trimming bushes for an hour and only make $60 when I know I could have made an easy $120 on it for the same amount of work. If the customer is feeling they are getting a deal at $120 then they are happy and I am making out. If you buy a pair of $500 extended reach trimmers and can get the job done in 1 hour compared to the guy with hand shears which takes 2 hours, your investment is helping you complete the job much quicker. It all comes down to having the right equipment for the job. You said you had to take 2 trucks to pick up 2.5 yards of mulch? maybe you should have just had it delivered? Personally I would have taken the 1 yard of compost over when doing the edging and spread it at the same time. Then gone and picked up the mulch in my truck (I can carry 5 yards) and spread it. Finally I would have loaded up all of the edging on my truck and hauled it to my dump site. During mulching season I will go spend a day or two edging places then go back and mulch those different places the next day or two. it prevents me from carrying mulch and having to deal with debris. After seeing the pics it shouldnt have taken you that long... especially with a helper. The hardest part would be lifting the barrels over the wall. Honestly you will probably get faster if you are just starting out, but there should be no reason you and a helper couldn't spread all of that in an hour
  2. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I know you only have 2 months in this gig, and don't know your background, but this is where a finacial planner or advisor can be helpful. The small business association, chamber of commerce, and other places will often have either retired people in the know or people currently working in these fields who will donate their services for free or little costs.

    Someone with many years experience dealing with small businesses or finacial planner will blow your mind away with knowledge. The resources are there if you reach out.

    Computer software is often used as well, but I feel it is better suited for experienced guys that are working with a finacial planner.

    Even though you are new and what I wrote above probably sounds extreme, it is not. How can one run a business if they don't know what there true costs are?
  3. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Great stuff guys I really appreciate all the input. It seems like I could have planned this one out a little better. The reason for the 2 trucks was because I have a Honda Ridgeline. :nono: I can carry just over a yard in my truck and am without a trailer until next week. I need to start crunching some numbers and figure everything out. I am glad I decided to start up now as opposed to waiting until Spring so i can learn the ins and outs.

    I know I am the one who has to come up what works for me. I think it'd be a whole lot easier to figure out that number when the growing season starts and there's money coming in weekly.
  4. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Oh, and the home owner left his darn truck right smack in the middle of where we needed to work. That definitely slowed us down a bit.
  5. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    I will call my local Chamber of Commerce!
  6. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Okay, so after figuring those numbers what's next? Maybe it's too so to think about establishing a set hourly rate. It's not like I have a set work schedule and jobs are few and far between. There is a variable missing from my equation. If I had X amount of covers and I worked for Y amount of hours then it'd be easy to figure. But I don't have that. For now I just want to price my services around what the market in my area does (or more). All that's left is random jobs when I can be blessed enough to find them and hope/pray that it snows.
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    $75/hr for 2 men; sorry I didn't make that clear. 3 men = min $110/hr

    My minimum for special service with myself = $55/hr

    I would have been higher since you stated it was uphill.

    Normal maintenance doesn't apply, as maintenance is bid for the year upon first meeting and we win or lose during the winter months. My pricing applies only to one time jobs like clean up work.

    I use hourly fee vs. per job charge on each bid I do. Last Saturday, 2 guys spread 18 yards of mulch, weeded beds, and trimmed some shrubs in 6 hours; in this case my per yard formula made more money for us than the hourly-- $95/hr was generated...we averaged $95/hr for 2 men. The fee was higher than normal, because we do this efficiently and labor rate per yard was comparable to competition--rate was within range. I've read and learned from my customers and my competition, so I can usually get the job. I also have degree in horticulture which is a given to most people to hire me.

    I'm south of Atlanta BTW. Work for lots of delta pilots, business owners, and in general wealthy people. I offer them top quality service in return. 30 customers can generate over $100,000 annually if you know what you are doing and suggest up sells.
  8. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    You need to figure out our overhead, and you'll probably take another year of learning to figure it out. Its important to know what you are worth, and what you require to feed yourself before quoting jobs.
  9. cimkill

    cimkill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 271

    I have been in the buisness for 2.5 years now. Mainly mowing, very few mulch type jobs in central america. I can assure you you underbid just based on my hourly rate down here. I charge $55/hour for a 3 man crew, my crew cost for the day be it 8 hours or 12 hrs is $57.00 for the day! That is why I am sure you underbid the job.
  10. cimkill

    cimkill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 271

    Sorry forgot to mention when I first started I used to charge:$30.00 hr for a 3 man crew that at the time cost me:$67.00/day. Like I said you learn after some time that your making mistakes when something breaks and you have no money to fix it!

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