How much do you pay yourself per hour?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KingMoneyNYC, May 3, 2008.

  1. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    How much do you pay yourself per hour when estimating? Does it include you expenses? or is it a standalone number, that you consider all take home?

    For example, if you pay yourself $50 an hour, does that include gas for your truck, machinery, wear and tear, advertising costs etc. or area you doing $50 an hour for you plus all the other stuff?
  2. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    I factor in all of my operational overhead into estimates - add thirty percent to cover for the "oh sh1t I missed that" and end up receiving about $85.00 per hour after the minimum profit margin has been met.
    However, bear in mind I have been at this for quite awhile, run multiple crews and do not only mow, my company irrigates, installs and repairs all manner of sites.
  3. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    Even so, $ 85.00 per hour seems quite high !!
  4. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    yea I have no problem making 30 an hour doing "side jobs" like sod installations, building block walls, making planting beds, etc....its the actual maintenance that is killing me right now, it seems like its impossible to make anything mowing while paying 2 workers
  5. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 886

    I keep it nice and simple, although it would be nice to pocket $85.00 per hour. I charge $1.00 per minute. If I am there for 1 hour It is $60.00 plus tax. Where you start to make more than that is if you have enough mowing to have 1 really good helper. I have a little cousin that is 19 years old and he is hell on wheels when you put him on one of my 60" turf tracers. Think about it like this. Say you are both at a job for 1 hour. That is actually 2 man hours which would cost one of my customers $120.00 plus tax and you payed your helper say $12.00 per hour. That is where I make my money is having a really good helper. He doesnt ask questions he just does what he has to do and that is that. The way I see it is by the time you figure your insuranse, gas, mowers, wear and tear on everythig etc. I probably pocketed about $70.00 in this one hour. It is simple the way I do my estimates. I tell my customers what the cost of the first mowing will be based on what my estimated time is and Mow it. for instense I tell the customer it will be $50.00 to mow the first time if I think it will take Approx. 50 minutes. If it takes me 60 minutes then I just tell the customer it will be $60.00 from now on and that is how I always cover my A$$ and make sure i don't screw myself on an estimate.
  6. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 886

    No No NO. I actually Applaud this guy! If you are doing good enough work to get $85.00 profit then pat yourself on the back. There is a Guy here local that Takes care of only high end jobs in the area. He mows for all the local docters dentists offices and there homes and others that are willing to shell out the money. He will only take on accounts that will let him mow, fertilize and spray for weeds, and landscape and let me tell ya he makes a killing. If you drive around my local area you can almost pick out the properties that he takes care of because there is never a single dandelion, not a mulch bed not perfect, and the grass is so green that it is almost blue! His hourly rate is over $100.00 per hour for his time but this is the way I see it, I am not the best landscaper in the world nor do I want to deal with the headaches of fertilizing and spraying but I am very picky about how my yards look. Picky enough that I cannot find help that I don't drive crazy because i am constantly bitchin bout how they don't stripe a yard perfect or they didnt get every blade of grass blown off the sidewalks or missed a blade or 2 of grass around a telephone pole. What does that leave you though? A good looking yard with crappy looking landscaping, a yard full of dandelions and the grass is brown in the summer. Hey if someone can make a place look as good as this guy can make them look then more power to ya. Charge as much as you can because the folks with money that are willing to shell it out for outstanding work are out there.
  7. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Makes sense, even though I can possibly see some customers saying they are going to use someone else when you tell them they have to pay 60 instead of 50
  8. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Yeah, if you're in lawncare only...dah...

    I've got friends in the same business I'm in, doing stucco, cement, cedar siding repairs along with parkade sweeping, parking lot sweeping and all around building and property maintenance that make over $140/hr 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

    I'm getting there, but that takes years of building clients and 500 to 800k of equipment with no payments to draw down the company finances.

    Lawncare, yeah, it's not easy, but other services, over $200 an hour all year long in NOT IMPOSSIBLE... :)
  9. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 886

    Yeah that has actually happened to me before when I was off by say 15 minutes and told them it was gonna be 15 dollars higher. they look at me like im from mars but atleast this way you always make sure you are making the dollar amount you want per hour. You are definetly right though it has happened to me before. Good thing about it is now I have enough work that if they tell me its to much it doesnt hurt me as bad as it did back when I only mowed 20 yards per week as part time work. Now I am doing upwards to 70 per week. You can actually slowly but surely go up with you price this way to. Check this out! just the other day I mowed for a lady for the first time and it took me about 50 minutes. Beings I already have enough to keep me busy and really don't have to have the job I aimed high. I told her it would be 90 dollars plus tax just to see if she would go for it. She did so now I can actually start charging my new accounts more and weeding out my lower paying jobs or just increase them as you pick up the higher paying jobs, or just increase the lower paying jobs and if they tell you no who cares, you have already replaced that job with a higher paying job. Shewwee that was a long sentence. Sorry if I lost ya! Im not about screwing people over what so ever but come on now who doesnt want to make more $ on the hour?

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