Pricing question

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Failghe, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Failghe

    Failghe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I had a lawn service years ago and knew what other LCO's were charging. At the time I was at the mid to higher price range. Due to a verity of reasons. And knowing my accounts payable and receivables.
    Now trying to get back into it full time from scratch.
    I know that everyones profit margin is different, but I don't want to be the lowballer. Because the equipment I have has all been paid for years ago.
    How do you find out what the going rate is for your specific area is. Do you stop other LCO's and ask for a quote on your own property. Wasting their time or how do you ask what they charge telling them that you will be compeading with/against them.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If you were to call me on the phone, your best bet would be to be upfront.

    Please do not waste my time by asking me for an estimate and acting like you're a customer, this would not amuse me and you're likely to catch a wild price or worse should I catch on before it's over. Chances are I wouldn't give you a price at all, should I catch on before the price goes out, I'd likely keep right on going, but it is this type of thing why I am so frustrated all the time... It's not just you, it's a lot of folks out there think they have to trick me, or like it's some kind of a game, I don't know but just be straight.

    So if you called me and told me you're starting a lawn care business and were wondering if I can help you with a few prices, there is a fair chance you will get what you ask for. Yes, it is possible you catch me on a bad day, it is possible you have to call several of me, some may cuss you out, but honesty is still the best policy and you should have a straight answer in short time.
  3. Failghe

    Failghe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I did stop by 3 different small companys and told them that I was starting up a lawn care business. 1 said that he did not have the time, 1 said get the heck outa here,in not so many words, and the other said he would stop by my house when he was done with the lawn he was working on, the last of the day. So that we could talk. And never showed up. All 3 were in our neghborhood.
    I guess that I stopped the wrong people. BTW only one had signs on his trailer/truck.
    I wish that more people were as helpful, like the people here on this site.
  4. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Honestly I'd say the difference between help here and no help there is the fact that you are potential competition for those guys. People help you here because you're in a totally differnt market.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If you remember your old prices from way back when, just use those and maybe add 5 dollars to the cut, things here haven't changed much in 20 years, we still cut 1/4 acre lots for $35 and some do it for a lot less than that.
  6. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    This is exactly what I was thinking I dont think its changed to much back, when I was an LCO average was 20 an hour on loow side 40 an hour on high side. So now im working towards getting back in and going to shoot for an average of 35. On the note of asking for advice ,I know what you mean around asking another LCO for advice is like a crime:dizzy:,they just feel threatened I guess:confused:.This site has been GREAT so far lot of helpful people with good advice(topsites/pmlawn) 2 of many with helpful knowledge,and sometimes constructive criticism.
  7. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Like I said in a previous post. I remember as a teen push mowing 1 hour lawns and making $5. That was just in the 80s. Times have changed for $ure!
  8. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    Simple. Decide how much you want to be making an hour.
    Figure how long each lawn will take. Presto!
  9. Failghe

    Failghe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I know what I need/want to make per hour after all expenses (gas, repairs, new equipment, taxes, insurance, paperwork, this list goes on...)
    It was just that if my overhead is lower than someone else why not charge the same as the next guy or more. I could charge less per account but why? I don't work for free. Quality is where I make a big difference. Thus increase in customers, more money in the end.
    Thanks for all your help.
  10. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    Over time customers and potential customers will teach what is par for rates. Hard knocks and experience, and a lot of generic help from LS.

    Me, I'm still learning to bid, don't have a good handle on it by any means.

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