I'm new and need help on charging per acre

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mike'sMowing&Buckthorn, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Mike'sMowing&Buckthorn

    Mike'sMowing&Buckthorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    So I have a relatively new mowing and buckthorn removal business (www.mikes-mowing.com) and I am unsure how I would go about charging people. I have heard 1$/ minute is something good to go by, but I have also heard that charging per acre is the best way to do it. I just don't understand how I would charge per acre if I don't measure the lawn myself, because if someone lives on a 2 acre lot, not all 2 acres are going to be lawn...So please help me out if you can! Thanks.
     
  2. orlawncaresvc

    orlawncaresvc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 961

    It all depends. Is the 1 acre all lawn? does it consist of trees, bushes ect? How long do you think it will take you to do the job? An hour? Two? It all depends on those facts. I've heard of people charging $70 per acre. And on here on lawn site I've seen $25 per acre. They way that my company does it is usually by the hour. Or time it will take to complete the job.
     
  3. Mike'sMowing&Buckthorn

    Mike'sMowing&Buckthorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    So how would you recommend making a proposal to them? Would I have to mow their lawn first to see how long it takes or just guess by the looks of it?
     
  4. SaharaLandscaping

    SaharaLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    what i would do is take a 20x20' size square and estimate how long it would take to complete a certain task in that area, I.E. leaf removal, cutting grass, edging, trimming, etc. then try to apply it to the big picture. honestly you should be factoring in time, overhead like gas, help, travel, among other things. pricing a property is not an exact science nor is there a formula for it. you have to mess up a few times in order to learn the right way. one day you may charge $50 to cut an acre and end up spending 1.5 hours picing up debris so u dont run over it with your mower. the next time you may charge 75 and get done in 30 minutes. you will find your medium but dont be afraid to mess a few up in the first couple times. consider your losses payment for the education and experience your receiving in return.
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    I would suggest starting with smaller lots, like 1/4 acres and the like, you can
    probably take on most lots UP to an acre in size, and start learning how to
    estimate the size of a piece of turf by eyeball.

    You'll make some mistakes, no doubt about that, I never said it was easy but believe me when I say
    that is the best way, yes it takes time and practice but once you get that down good, they can't touch you.

    No taking pictures to ask the guys on LS and hope some smartass doesn't trip you up,
    no walking around with a stupid measuring wheel, no having to ask the customer or having
    the customer volunteer the information and wondering if it's true.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing beats experienced eyeballing on the size of a property, be it a piece of turf,
    a bed of mulch, so long you can look at it and tell me the size just because you learned it that way,
    get some years down the road and I guarantee few will outbid you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010

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