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Left my brain at the curb

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dumba, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. dumba

    dumba LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    New to the site. Attempting to start a part-time biz to help supplement income for family. A couple of questions about pricing. What would you charge to 'RAKE' and bag per/hr? Clean gutters? Trim bushes?

    Thanks in advance
  2. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 516

    Your going to get a lot of negative comments with this post. You need to figure out your overhead and expenses then add in what you want to make or your profit.

    Fall cleanups and spring we charge more for hourly due to the equipment we use.

    I'll throw you a bone and say $50/ man hour
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  3. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 40,790

    Whew, oh boy.
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  4. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    Rake? Like rake leaves...by hand? I don't know, I have never raked a yard or bagged the leaves. They get blown into a pile, on tarps and dragged on to the trailer, or they get sucked up with a loader. It all depends on how much you want to make, what the market will bear, what equipment you have, and how fast you work.

    The more details you give the better the responses are going to be.
  5. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Not enough details. Don't charge clean ups by the hour. Charge by the job
  6. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 516

    While I usually agree with this, I give out quite a few estimates on properties that haven't had any work done before. Especially in spring of its a new customer. I just say it will be around xx plus or minus xx amount.

    Say I think it will be a 300 job, I'll tell them around 300, May be slightly more or slightly less.

    This works fine for us as we have a good rep and Been around a long time. Newer companies may not be able to
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  7. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 516

    One thing I always agree with is never telling your straight up hourly. People will have a heart attack unless they own a small business
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  8. HPSInc

    HPSInc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741


    Better get good at estimating. People wana know the price, and you want them to know it too, before the work starts. I like to pick a range if im unsure. give them the low end and the high end. They must be able to pay the high end if it comes to that. Other times I know what I need to get and the price is the price take it or leave it.
  9. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,233

    don't charge by the hour, but by the job. people wont understand when you say $30 to $60 per hour. and I doubt anyone on here rakes, everyone uses blowers. you will get the hang of it after a while and your estimates will become more accurate.
  10. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    A lot of people shoot for $60 an hour.

    Though because you will be using a rake and not a high power back pack blower it will take you much longer to finish the job.

    Example: Right equipment takes 1 hr to do the job the other Landscapers in your area will charge $60. You will take 4 hours and when you tell the customer the estimate for the job will be $240 you will never get any work.

    Starting out you will make mistakes and under bid the job because you will think the job will take less time. Those are mistakes we have all made.

    You would be better served by asking how much time will it take to do a job.
    Then multiply their time by your hourly rate.

    It is important that you right down a log of all the jobs you do and the hours it took to do them.

    Then keep an exact record of all of your expenses.

    With those two facts you will be able to know your hourly cost. Remember hourly cost number will change over the course of the year. Because whenever purchases are made they will take time to be averaged out.

    Costs must be tracked for every year. This will further make your hourly cost rate more accurate.

    You also need to factor in the cost per hour the money needed to advertise, insurance, fuel, equipment, truck, trailer repair and purchases.

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