Pricing, Pricing, Pricing????

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by topchoice, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. topchoice

    topchoice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    Hello all! I am just finally starting my own business after almost 8 years of working in a local Park, Rec, and Forestry Department during the summer. I am a high school teacher by day and a new business owner by night, but I am having trouble with pricing. The area I am in has two drastic incomes...on one side I have clients who live in million dollar homes and have only 3/4 of an acre or less and then those who are your 'normal' income base who have anywhere from 1/4 to 1 acre of land. I can handle the 'normal' clients when it comes to pricing, but the more fortunate ones I am a little lost as to pricing. (I currently have to clients interested- just waiting for my proposal) I know there are other companies who are charging $65 or more per visit but they are major companies and I know of other individually owned companies who are charging anywhere from $35 to $55 dollars a visit. I want to be competitive but at the same time reasonable. Just want to hear some opinions from those more seasoned in their self-owned business. Thanks! :usflag:
     
  2. ED'S LAWNCARE

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 361

    price by the size, not the clients income.
     
  3. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Price according to how much you want to make. Then choose the clients that will give you that income. Most people on this site still don't believe that they are in charge of how much they make. You and only you can choose how much you make. You may have to lose some clients and you may have to do commercial. It just depends on if you want a lot of money or if you don't want a lot of money.
     
  4. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Does the school you teach at charge different rates by income level??
    Why do you feel the need to cheat people according to income.

    Figure out YOUR rate per hour for the work you produce, figure out how long a job will take, plug in your rate = cost to customer.
     
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    I cant help you much with pricing in your particular area but here are a couple items to keep in mind:

    - assuming you are going to invest is some kind of high producitivity commercial mower, it is less important whether a lawn is 1/4 acre or 1/2 acre or even larger because a ztr commercial mower is so fast . It is far more important when determining your fee for a given property , how long it takes to detail the proprety...meaning how long to string trim all beds, sidewalks, or other areas that cannot be mowed and then how long to blow off/cleanup. Remember that you will be in the business of selling manhours and the devil is always in the details, not simply what the sq feet of mowing is. I had a guy give me this tip years ago and I still use this approach for any new prospect. In some cases if I am unsure, I actually walk the property as if I were servicing it. Rarely do I underbid using this approach.

    - determine what your absolute minimum service call fee will be. Some guys use 25, 35, 40 as a minimum. Mine is higher than that but thats just my approach. You have to be aware of the going rates for mowing in your area but you also must set your fees where you need them to be to sustain your business. Remember, if you set the fee too low on a given property just to get the account, it will be almost impossible in later years to get that fee up to where you know it needs to be. And also remember not to let your fee structure be totally determined by guys/gals who go out of business....and there are many of them in our industry...they come, they go. You don't want to be one of the many newbie casualties in this business.
     
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210


    Be careful...not all 1/4 acre or 0.5 acre lots are the same. One could take longer due to different variables.

    And agreed...don't price according to someones income level.
     
  7. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    Topchoice

    PM and let me know the specific areas that you are targeting and I can probably give you good advice for the Nashville area. I have been working here for several years.
     
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Topchoice, listen to tn lawn man, there is nothing like someone local to know what your area will handel as far as price. But another thing to look at other than size is level of service. You have to be able to read people. Some want the grass short and dont want to do it, others want their property to look nice.
     
  9. topchoice

    topchoice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    TN Lawn Man, what is your e-mail so I can talk with you, sorry I didn't know what PM means. Thanks!
     
  10. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    PM means to private message me. To do that all you have to do is click on my name and a drop down list of options appears.

    Click on the one that says "send Tn Lawn Man a private message"

    If it is not enabled yet you will have to have the forum moderator turn it on.
     

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