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Just starting up

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lkd, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. lkd

    lkd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I am just getting started in the lawn care business and I am wondering what I should charge for mowing and does it differ from residential and commercial?
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

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    Hi lkd,

    I am sure you could find out the going rate in your area by asking around.

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  3. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    Something a friend of mine did when he started was to call a few lawncare companies and have them come over to bid on his lawn. He just took the average of a few estimates and sort of went by that. I do not know what rates your market will bear, but here I try for a little more than a dollar a minute. I do all small-medium residential lawns, and I estimate the time it would take me to mow with a 21" mower, trim and blow. If I think it's a 30 minute job with a 21" I bid it at $35-40, and if they try to bargain with you it gives you a little room to work with them. Then I cut it with the biggest mower I can, which shaves a lot off that time (always use the biggest mower you can for every job). This is my 2nd year in the lawn business and my 1st year solo, and I have bid all my new accounts this way and it has worked out well. For example, I have one lawn that I quoted at $55. The first cut took me about 55 minutes, once I learned the lawn and got it under control it now takes 40-45 minutes. This is a large yard that can only be cut with a small mower due to access issues, right now it's a 21" but I am getting a 26" mower this weekend and that time will go down (along with the times of my other small-mower lawns). I think starting out shooting for $60 an hour is a reasonable goal. You might not hit it, (I haven't yet but I am working on it) but it's a good goal to shoot for. Efficiency is the name of the game, always focus on bidding properly and being as efficient as you can. Keep your routes tight and your costs low and you'll get the hang of it soon enough. I can't give you any advice on very large residentials or commercial accounts since I don't have any, but that is what I have learned so far about quoting residentials. Remember that your job when bidding is to get the most you can for the lawn, then get it done as quick as you can. Hope that helps. Good luck!

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