pricing tips

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by c cole, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. c cole

    c cole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    OK so i started my business about a year ago, i started w/ an apartment property that my girlfriends mom manages. i maintained that and a few residential yards, and the money was great but now i want to get a few more commercial properties, the problem is i don't really know how to price them, my girlfriends mom told me what they wanted to pay and that's how i bid on it, but now i'm kind of stuck i want to charge a reasonable price but at the same time i don't want to go to low and look like an idiot... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Questions

    How much per unit do you charge? (Yearly charge/units) / 12
    Any rye or winter mowing
    Mulch?
    Season Color
     
  3. c cole

    c cole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    well i'm not really sure, it has 11 apartment buildings, 4 storage buildings, with shrubs and flowerbeds and potted plants everywhere and they want everything broken down as much as possible,and that's where i ran into a problem. so i came up w/ 3 different estimates but i don't know which one to use, i don't want to go to high or to low, i know when we bid residential yards most people are like really thats all you charge so i started thinking maybe i'm not charging enough.. but i also don't want to over charge like most people down here do... its all a little confusing for me... and there is tons of competition down here..
     
  4. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    thats not a big enough complex to use the per unit method most likely.

    The only thing you can do then is to walk through each service piece by piece and calc the time.

    Figure out how much you want to charge per MAN hour 30.00 - 40.00.

    Figure in your materials with a markup.

    Things like mulch, instead of time do 7-9.00 perbag(3cu)

    we use 34 week of mowing unless they want rye.

    then it's another 16 weeks. plus the one time scalp which counts for 2 mows.

    52 weeks x the mow charge(which should include trim and blow)
     
  5. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    here is a sample spread sheet bid. Works for me
    opps the scapling row is wrong. it should be 1 time/year

    sample bid.jpg
     
  6. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    dude that is sweet
     
  7. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    1 dollar per thou sq ft and a 20 dollar stop charge. example 10,000 tho square ft would be 10.00 dollars plus 20 dollar stop for a grand total of 30.00 plus 6% state sales tax 31.80 a cut. Make your stop charge for your area it maybe 15.00 or 30.00 whatever your area can handle.
    __________________
     
  8. c cole

    c cole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    thank you, that helps a lot... i never thought of doing in a spreadsheet form... i just always had my girlfriend type something and try to make it look as professional as possible...
     
  9. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Don't fall for that BS. They never want to pay squat! Bid to do a GREAT job not a good job but a great one and to make money. Also be careful doing commercial properties being so new you could really lose your butt. Also remember that most commercial accounts pay net 30 or 60. Maybe try and get some residential accounts which will allow you to learn the ropes on a smaller scale. Good luck!!!
     
  10. c cole

    c cole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    well they pay pretty good money, but now her boss says that they pay to much because they are low income houses, they just added on to the property so he tried to convince me to charge him the original price for the original houses then half for the new houses, i just said whatever because i don't want to lose the property, but the good thing is they pay me net 10.... but i do have lots of experience in the business my grandpa used to do this too and i would always help him, i just never really learned the pricing of everything, and with all the new construction going on down here, there is lots of money to be made, but residential yards are hard to get for more than one cut down here, most people just don't want to pay but at the same time they are to lazy to go cut it themselves so commercial is your best bet down here
     

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