I need some advice please

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by outcold00, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. outcold00

    outcold00 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    hey, im 17, i have been doing landscaping since i was 13, and i wanna know what a good hourly rate would be for me? right now i get $9hr and i know you all would consider me a low baller, but i dont own any equipment i use all my clients stuff, and i dont have a ton of experience but i do have some, do you guys suggest me to bid on the type of job? like mulching? or should i just keep my hourly rate? one of my clients says he wants to order 50 yards of mulch, he said thats what he has gotten before, now i understand alot of you guys here get like $50 bucks a yd, i mean thats alooooot of money to me, but could i charge like $25 bucks a yard? would that be reasonable? i just would like to know because, my mom doesn't want me to price myself too high, because im still new to the business and all, and i know its my business, my mom thinks ill lose the client if i charge him 25 a yard, my mom does his accounting, and she doesn't think he pay me anything close to a reasonable amount, i dont want to lose the client, then i lose money, and i wont gain as much experience, i just wanna know what you guys think, you all probably hate me because i am so cheap, but any input would help, just keep in mind im only 17, 4 yrs ex, dont use any of my equipment thx.

    p.s i know i said my mom way too much, but since i still live "under her roof" you know how it is, or used to be, and she knows alot more then me, so any advice on pricing would be really helpfull
     
  2. britsteroni

    britsteroni LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    outcold,

    If you really enjoy doing this type of work, I would suggest trying to get a job with a company in your area so that you can gain experience on what it is like to truly run a business. Besides, most companies will pay you $9.00/hr starting out, and if you show up on time and work hard you will be making more than you are now within a month or two. If you do not enjoy this type of work, find a different p/t job and study to prepare yourself for college.

    I would be very careful with what you are doing... First of all, it is against the law if you are not licensed and insured. People told me the same thing and I din't want to hear it, but if one thing were too happen.... I don't want to spoil your fun, I am just trying to help.

    I am sure you will get people pissed off because of the lowballing. I can't say I blame them for being upset. Remember, some of us are feeding our families with this type of work, not our savings account.

    Good luck to you with whatever you decide to do!
     
  3. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    actually, it's not against the law. since he doesn't have any equipment, isn't providing any marerials, and he's only 17. the only person that stands to get in trouble is his customers, because by law he's there employee and there liable for all taxes workmans comp ect...
     
  4. outcold00

    outcold00 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    actually i am going to apply to Delaware Valley Landscapes to gain more ex, but what do you all think i could charge a yard? with my experience and also i do like this type of work or else i wouldn't still be in it
     
  5. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    Just work for someone else for now. It's fine if you want to help out the neighbors, ask them what they will pay you. your not in any position to be demanding any more money, plus once you start doing that then you get into the whole business side. (taxes insurance ect..) like I said before, as long as you just show up there, use there equipment, do what they tell you, and let them pay you cash your fine. Whatever you do DONT give them a written bill. Just keep it verbal, that way they are responsible.

    PS if you do a good job there likely to give you more money or tips, if not then don't show up anymore or tell them your to busy
     
  6. outcold00

    outcold00 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    so $9hr is ok for my age doing landscaping? do you think i could try to charge for a mulch job by the yard? or should stick with hourly? it would be ahell of alot cheap hourly tho, thats the sucky part i dont like being a low baller,i do want more experience and more money, i just dont know when i can start actually charging a reasonabe amount
     
  7. Equalizer

    Equalizer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    I did a small weeding and mulching job about 2 weeks ago (a total of 332 square feet) and to weed it, and mulch it took me about 2 hours. I charged 160 and got it and she bought me a seafood lunch, lol. all i used was a little hand tiller and bought bagged mulch. If I would have charged 9 an hour i wouldnt have even covered the mulch that I bought, so I would price mulch jobs by the job. just my .02
     
  8. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    your not listening to me. have her buy the mulch. one you start buying materials and billing her your going to get yourself into BIG trouble.
     
  9. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    you can charge a reasonable amount once you go legit. get a truck, your own equipment, insurance and pay taxes.
     
  10. Darrin A.

    Darrin A. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    I think $9/hour is fine for you. Like the others said, you are working for the customer directly and they are paying for all materials and tools. ALWAYS do the best job you can!!!! Those that would call you a low baller have a very valid point. They are feeding their families but, it sounds like this guy wouldn't hire one of us anyway. I would personally consider you a 17 year old making some extra cash on the side, not a lowballer.
    Working for that landscaping company for a couple of years will give you a really good idea of how hard the work can get, how long things will take, and what equipment should be used. You still live with mom so, save as much as you can so if you want to start your own business, you'll have some money set aside. The other thing you should do is continue reading here and post questions when you have them. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    Just my .02
    Darrin
     

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