Price by job or feet? How do you price it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Holloway Lawns, Apr 18, 2001.

  1. Holloway Lawns

    Holloway Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    Just wondering if any of you have a pricing system where you messure the lawn area to be mowed and have a set price per foot? If so what is your price, and what about the extra such as edging, trimming or just mowing?
  2. EROSS17

    EROSS17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I hear alot of guys talk about "this many sq. ft and that many sq.ft." But I have never measured a lawn for mowing purposes. You can tell by just looking at it how much mowing,whipping and edging is involved. All my lawns get whipped and edged. The only thing I use my measuring stick for is for mulch ,topsoil and sod.
  3. Holloway Lawns

    Holloway Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I know that most lawns you can price by just looking and I do this I am trying to have a way of pricing larger area's and was just wanting to know if any one can give me ideas of the way to do it and price's they charge one way to me is to mesure the area and charge a per foot rate like for example the fertilizer companys here charge aprox 30 cents a square foot and I am just wondering if this method would work for lawn mowing and it would be a cosistant price also instead of guessing. Any suggestions would help.
  4. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    yes i started this year by the square meter but it is not quite as simple as that....i rate the property's by slow,meduim,fast,then i know (by experience) how many square meters per hour i can do... always there is more to far it is working out have to keep very good records of each task you do to develop your slow rate..meduim rate etc...yes i could look at a property and guess but have found that my opinion can vary from day to day depending on how i am feeling that day..hope this explains it a little bit for you....good luck in 2001 kris
  5. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    If you have been doing this any time at all, you should be able to guess the time frame it will take. Let your customers know when you give them the price that edging and trimming are included. Because you should edge and trim every time you mow the lawn. Your work represents you, so if they want it mowed only, let some scrub do the work. People in the area will see this work and it could cost you the opportunity for some good quality work in that neighborhood when they see that you leave it un-trimmed and un-edged. Always leave a lawn looking like you want yours to look like!
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Give me a price for mowing a 1 acre (aprox 43,000 sq ft) flat lot with no trees.

    Give me a price to mow a 1 acre lot that has 30 mature oaks and various conifers planted around the edges .

    Give me a price for mowing 1 acre of grass on rolling terrain with the steepest grade of 20%.

    I would hope they would all be different. But it is the same amount of space.

    Guessing is one method, but time spent along with the degree of difficulty is another tale. What are your costs to mow? What is the going rate for where you live? I know mine but it will be different for you. Don't sell yourself short and don't overcharge. You will look bad both ways.

    This exaggerated example just hits on the mowing end of the business. If you know how to price and to sell then you will make lots more on the add-ons like dethatching, aerating, and fertilizing in the long run than just mowing.
    Anyone can mow lawns, that doesn't necessarly make a person a Pro. Total presentation of a professional will get you work.
  7. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    We always measure the lawn. As stated in some of the other post, a degree of difficulty is calculated as well. There is no square foot price that anyone on this board can give you that will accurate for your operation. I set up a spreadsheet. All I have to enter is the square footage, linear feet of edging, linear feet of trimming, and the difficulty factor. After entering those numbers, I have instantly my mowing price for the year, and my fertilizer price for the year along with a monthly cost including sales tax. The spreadsheet also gives me my production time for the property. Using the production time, I can hold my employees feet to the fire, so to speak, to make sure the property is produced in the alloted time. Scheduling is easier also because I know how long the property will take to service. I love to bid against the guessers because I have quantified all of my production on a property. If their eye is guessing high, I get the job and make money. If their eye is guessing low, they get the job and lose money. Every once in awhile they guess right and the best bidder/ sales person gets the job. I like running my business with the consistency required to make money. Take the time to calculate your costs of doing business and the profit you desire and estimate with the accuracy needed to stay in business.

    I often hear about someone getting low balled, and find out they have no idea how much square footage they are maintaining. The 'Low Baller' might just have pulled out their measuring wheel and produced an accurate estimate of their cost and they were lower. They might also have a more efficient system/ equipment for producing the job. There is no embarassment in being the low cost if you are making your desired profit.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I do just as MOW ED does. We figure in a Degree of Difficulty for mowing depending on how many obstacles and how tough the areas are to be maintained.

    As far as trimming and edging is concerned, if you do a serach on trimming or edging you will find the answers to how many of us charge for these services from the many previous discussions from the past.

    As far as how to structure your costs find a helpful party to call some of the larger LCOs in your area. Then add $1 to their prices and ride the tidal waves of monatary success.

    Our Service Agreements state that we base all our pricing structures upon the actual square footage being treated or maintained. We ALWAYS use the wheel before doing any work.


    [Edited by kutnkru on 04-20-2001 at 08:09 PM]

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