Raising hourly rate

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Sal200, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Sal200

    Sal200 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Hi everyone im new to the forum. I think this is a very great site. I have a question. I am taking over my fathers landscaping business and he has a few customers who he charges $20 per hr. These customers he would go to just a few times a year for cleanups, weeding, mulching. I would like to raise the hourly rate to 25 per hr but is that too big of a jump. Hes been charging 20 an hr for these customers for about 8 or 10 years. These were some of his first customers, his other customers he wouldnt charge by the hr but by the job. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
     
  2. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,152

    ask yourself this.... these loooong term customers he's had over the years... do you think THEY got raises at their jobs over the past 8 years? Sure they have...
    Some will moan and complain... others will most likely be ok with it... 2 or 3 hour clean ups means $10-$15 more outta their pockets for a clean up. After 8 years.... they OWE that to you. hahaha
     
  3. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Heck even $25 isn't enough. Most people are at atleast $40. This year I'm going up to $45. You got to remember were in this biz to make money not friends.
     
  4. CrystalCreek

    CrystalCreek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,498

    this is a touchy subject. I had an elderly lady that was 97. I cut her lawn for $10 dollars. Very small lawn and she was my next door neighbor. I was not low balling, just trying to be nice, might also have been my way to pray for forgivness for those times i've been less than perfect. Sorry anyhow, when fuel went through the roof after Hurricane Katrina, I didn't know what to do. Now her lawn was costing me. I approched her and was honest. She wasn't the happiest, but she understood. I have always been honest to my customers. With todays prices, you should have no problem justifiying your increase. I would say that you are more then fair. You could tell them that your father was absorbing the cost(maybe he was) and you simply can't do that at this timebeing new to the business. I wish you the best. This is also my first year full time with this business. :)
     
  5. CrystalCreek

    CrystalCreek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,498

    OH!!! by the way, welcome to lawn site this place is alwsome but addicting.
     
  6. Sal200

    Sal200 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Thanks everyone for getting back to me. With all these high prices now a days, gas, taxes and everything i have to do it. I know that it is still low but I'll go up again in a few years. Besides its only a few customers that are done by the hr anyways. If I get any new customers and have to go by the hr i'll probably do 30 and up per hr. Im going to be writing a letter stating about the increase and they should understand. I actually purchased the package on this site that was being offered by Sean Adams and I want to read up on all the information. It looks like some really good stuff. Right now its a part time business, 13 weekly accts and another 5 that are done a few times a year for cleanups and such. Im trying to build up the business to get into doing it full time so I hope that it works out. Well thanks again guys.
     
  7. backtobasicslawncare

    backtobasicslawncare LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 126

    i charge about 45hr and is that a good hourly price?
     
  8. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    Bid it by the job and get in and out quick, do good work of course. I've found that bidding cleanup/shrub trimming jobs by the job I can easily make $75.00 + per hour solo.
     
  9. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    I charge $50 per man hour and have been thinking about raising it even higher. Things are getting more expensive every year in this business. My labor rate was $25 per man hour back in the early 90s and things were a lot cheaper than they are now. How are you ever going to make money at $20 an hour with today's prices and I'm not just talking about the price to do business I'm talking about general cost of living that everyone has to pay.
     
  10. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,515

    Long Island is not a poor area. You should be at $50/hr at least. But more importantly, you should be charging by the job, based on your new hourly rate.

    You are in this business to make money. Your prices need to be fair, and reflect an equal exchange of value: good money for hard work. Charging only $25/hr is not fair...to you.

    This doesn't mean that you may not lose all those customers when you double or triple the price, if you are wise you will be doing enough advertising and selling to replace them prior to raising the prices.
     

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