How much you need to Charge for Fert/Squirt <ANSWER>

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Bryn, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,823

    Cost plus is a system that I embrace. I do not bring the cheapest products onto a property, rather I bring in premium products. I always make money on the product. I use a retailer's margin system. Has always covered my costs, with plenty of profit left over.
     
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    Greendoctor

    10-4 on the better products. One place I don't spare cost. But I will Shop prices on those products like a women with a coupon book. My work is my advertisement. CASE IN POINT Last year when fert prices went high my competitors cut their product instead of raising prices. Of course as a one man band I have a much better margin as well as a higher price, so I was able to eat the margin and stay with my program. As a result those companies lost accounts because of lesser work. I picked up accounts because of my better products and work. BTW a Better product will get the job done the first time.

    However I will admit I am a cheap skate when it comes to other costs. Simple things like E mail billing or putting invoices in the door cut down on billing expenses. I also buy used trucks and other equipment when I can. I never throw anything away that I might be able to use some day. I have built my own skid sprayer from left over or used parts. about two months ago I put together a other spray truck for Insecticide only. $ 2,000 Truck that doesn't look or run bad at all. A used 300 Gallon tank that I got for free from the cement plant that had vegetable oil in it for oiling the forms (BTW came with a MSDS). About $ 500 to rebuild a 15 year old D 30 pump and a electric hose reel I had sitting in the barn. The only thing brand new was a chemical injector for $ 250. I am very Cost conscience to the point of my friends call me Cheap.
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,823

    I keep in mind that time, stress and frustration is money to me as well. I have limited physical energy to do things, so if something can get done now with minimal effort on my part, that is the way to go. I know lots of "cheap" people and they are a turn off to me because of how being cheap is the end point. They chase after pennies only to trip over the nickels and quarters. Their businesses do not grow or progress because being cheap has held them back. My mindset is a little different. I associate with and do business with people that do not need to count money. Why? I do not want to have to count my money like the poor at the diner or grocery store. Never had to and have no intention of starting. Having said this. I save things. Not very much goes into the trash. Quite the opposite of half of my family. They are poor, hard up, have to count their money and the minute something is old, dirty or broken, it is trashed. My other half of the family is slow to throw things away and they do not need to count money. Guess who I follow?
     
  4. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    Excellent post, Bryn. Thank you for your time.
     
  5. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,895

    One thing you mentioned in the original post is that it does not include advertising/truck lettering. IMHO, I would have to state that marketing dollars are some of the best dollars spent. I probably would purchase used equipment instead of new the first year in business, and spend the difference (over new equipment) in marketing my business. I really believe this makes sense, how about you?
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    Greendoctor

    I would like to think we are on board with the make life easier. At my age I don't have that 21 yr old energy either. My main business is Fine yards and I have a Cabover Set up, I mean STEP UP for doing fine yards. The cab is actually my office with Internet access etc. But I also have several trailers with either skid sprayers or the Ric-A-Green on them for those special jobs.

    But I can't see using a New Truck for work when I am dealing with corrosive chemicals. Even older used trucks will rust away before the engine gets tired or blows up. Why do that to a brand new truck. Rather than call myself Cheap I consider myself Frugal with common sense. Because of the economy I am now taking on straight Insecticide jobs and put together a second spray truck just to make life easier. I also have a small 3rd truck I use for doing Inside pest control. Maybe I am tripping over dollar by have 3 trucks as a one man band, But they make life easier. BTW I also have a new car and a older motorcycle that I am also paying insurance and maintenance on. The insurance company doesn't give any discount because I am the only one driving all of them or the fact that I work only part time.
     
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,823

    You are not tripping over a dollar with your set ups. It is such that setting up for the day is as simple as driving away in a different truck. I do mostly lawn, landscape and tree applications. There are a few pasture and noncrop jobs here and there. But there is nothing I could not do easily with a D30 skid mount and two engine drive back pack sprayers. Because I am only 2 years into being on my own, I do not have the luxury of accumulating duplications of vehicles and machines. I chose to buy new when it counts, put together my own skid mount sprayer and 10 ft boom from parts I had shipped in. There are no LCOs in Hawaii, so skid mount sprayers are a rarity. Don't want to touch used trucks here. They tend to be abused and neglected maintenance wise. I like to deal with known quantities when it comes to what is transporting me and hazardous cargo. When I was someone's employee, I had bad experiences with beater trucks. Their engines should have been yanked out and replaced. The brakes should have been totally replaced as well, down to the master cylinder. But they were on the road and expected to make money for the company in that poor condition. What actually happened was lots of lost time due to breakdowns and in one case, loss of brakes going down a very steep hill.

    I think we are on the same page as far as making life easier as well. However, I believe in the saying "have to spend money, to make money". Saving money ends when that means I will need to put too much time and personal energy into something or safety is compromised. I am a youngster compared to many on this forum at 36 years old, but my physical age does not match my chronological age. At 18, young and full of energy did not describe me. At 36, it did not get any better.
     
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    Greendoctor

    At 36 you should be young enough to run with the bulls and old enough to know better. I am almost twice your age and still pull hose. But that is not here or there.

    My trucks are old I will grant you but they are all under 200,000 miles. Cab Over has 150,000 on a 500,000 mile commercial truck. The truck I just purchased for $ 2,000 was a customer who drove it to Home Cheapo to look at plywood but never hauled any. It has all the maintenance records and the Man was a commercial Airline Pilot who is a maintenance nut. Brand new Cooper tires and Electric adjusting side mirror to tell a little about it. But the reason I got it cheap was the Air conditioning leaks under the dash. I am sure Hawaii is like Florida in the fact you can't give away a car or truck without Air. Hello I could care less about Air in a work truck and wouldn't use it while working any way. Too easy to get a Air Condition cold etc. Used yes, Junk NO WAY.
     
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,823

    I was born old, so the vigor and strength of youth was never mine to have. I consider a working AC a must. One of my physiological quirks is that I am unable to regulate temperature. If am in a warm place for too long, things happen. It works well for me to spray a lawn, get it done and get out of the heat and humidity. That old wive's tale of getting a cold from AC does not apply to me. A few weeks ago, I developed bronchitis because I did not watch my temperature. It was starting to go into the 90s with high humidity and I was working too much. It is funny how things turn out. Too bad I am good at what I do and would not be satisfied being a cubicle rat in an office.
     
  10. BS1190

    BS1190 LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 168

    So you give discounts for larger areas? It seems like cost per sq ft would go down for every 1000 sq you spray.
     

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