New Guy Here, Need Help Pricing Accounts In Florida

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SkyCaptain, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. SkyCaptain

    SkyCaptain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    First, let me say I'm so glad I found this place. Very nice to talk to other people in the industry.
    I'm based out of central Florida. I worked for another guy for 6 years, then after having my baby girl in August I decided I need to start my own business. My paychecks really sucked but I love the work. You love it or you hate it.
    Anyway, I am not using the average setup. I bought a new 6x10 enclosed, I am using Ryobi straight shaft weedeaters and edger. Also today I got a new Cub Cadet 33'' Walk Behind. I know it isn't a commercial mower but I am very impressed with it and it is all I can afford right now.
    Here is my delimma. Florida being Florida there are thousands of Lawn businesses. 3 guys on my street alone are in the business. So it is a cut throat business in my area. Gas being as high as it is I am a little lost on what my minimum bid should be, that and the fact that I don't want to lose business because I was under bidded. Any suggestions is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Military Lawns

    Military Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 321

    Price according to what you want to make and what the job is worth. A lot of people say that they do not take there equipment of the trailer for $X.XX amount of money. I used to do that until I started to go hungry (joke). Seriously, I lost a few jobs because of this and I was not established (firmly). Once you get your name out there then you can start to set firm prices. Do not be a "low baller" be on-time and consistant with your work and price. Everything else will fall in place!

    DJ-
     
  3. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    Here is the oxymoron of the above statement - "Once you get your name out there then you can start to set firm prices." Pretty hard to get your name out there to be able to establish a "reputation" unless you can land some bids.
    So as a newbie on the block can you get your foot in the door by bidding "what you think your are worth?" or do you have to bite the bullet for a year or two, and bid according to what a complete stranger is willing to pay another complete stranger that has no "reputation", and then have a chance to prove yourself, and get that "reputation."

    These are just food for thought thoughts.
     
  4. Sunstate Lawn

    Sunstate Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    There is no good way to answer your question. Are you licensed? Then you need to charge more. Are you insured? Then you need to charge more. Do you have to pay workmans comp? Again, more. What kind of accounts are you looking for? Do you pay rent for an office? Do you have employees?
    I think this is one of the few places that people openly ask, "how much should I charge?". Why don't you ask one of the three people that are on your street?
     
  5. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    I would try to start out making at least 50.00/ hr in Florida[that includes drive time.] If you start getting over 50% of the jobs you are bidding on I would say it is time to raise prices. You might want to factor in you don't have, at this moment, the best commercial equipment. Top of the line commercial equipment makes life a lot easier.
     
  6. D & J Lawn Care

    D & J Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    I would target one high end neighborhood and get truck magnets and maybe do it on sat mornings So when everybodys home wlalking the dog etc. they see you and don't act like a newbie get one good customer and show up on time everyweek and stay clean and approachable and when it gets in season in florida people cant keep up for what ever reason and word of mouth gets out quick like an average yard anywhere from $80 to $120 a month depeneding on like hedges takes up the most time for me i can mow any yard pretty much in 12min. and save the end of the weeks slots for the high end customers (they like the propertys nice and crisp for social events at their house)and dont worry about your mower I thought i was a bad mother when i moved up from my 22murry to a troybuilt 33 mower,just later on just add a nice 21 like a honda or a used toro commercial and that will carry you at least a year while your building up
     
  7. freshprince94

    freshprince94 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,449

    welcome to the biz. im based in central florida also and feel your pain as for the many lawn services.

    don't worry, the fly-by-nighters don't succeed. the lcos that price fairly and do a good job will make it. aim to be one of those guys.

    get some commercial equipment in the long-run, echo from home depot works well.

    price fairly, not too high not too low. average 1/4 acre yard goes for $80 per month ($20 a cut) in my area.

    good luck.
     
  8. SkyCaptain

    SkyCaptain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    ok, thanks D&J and FreshPrince, being from my area I know you feel my startup pain. And yes to the other guy, I'm Licensed and Insured. 2 weeks of haggling with the state and IRS getting all the proper red tape out of the way. Thanks for the replies everyone. Commercial equip. is in my future but I'm raising a newborn and money is tight. Regaurdless I'm happy just to finally get this thing started. I love the work and have for the past 6 years wanted to get my own thing going. Now if I can only find a way to bolt on a Sulky.......lol.
     
  9. freshcut419

    freshcut419 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    if your cutting in florida better find a side job because its to cut throught there guys mowing lawns for $15 per cut in Cape Coral( FORT MYERS AREA).I just moved the heck out of florida for this reason. Dont know how anyone can make money when it cost 5 bucks just to get to the house and having $10,000 mowers
     
  10. freshcut419

    freshcut419 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    ops cut throat
     

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