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Re-pricing a job? and Pricing for neighbor?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by FLScout, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. FLScout

    FLScout LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    My neighbor asked me if I was interested in servicing her yard as her current guy was moving out of the area. I told her yes but I wasn't really sure what to charge. She said she was paying the other guy a flat $80/ month and he just did it when it needed done. This seemed like a pretty good deal at the time. I have to service her yard once a week right now, and I'm figuring every 10-14 days in the winter. It takes me about 2 hours. Her yard is not quite 1 acre and she has a ton of edging and trimming. She has the concrete landscape edging around the whole house and some of the yard. So I was hoping you guys could give me some pricing advice, as I am not sure what the going rate is.

    To top it all off her neighbor has approached me about doing his yard. The yards are the same size, but I just don't feel like I am making enough at $80/month. Do I have to price them the same? Is it wrong to raise her price after only two months?

    I would appreciate any advice.
  2. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    It is wrong not to raise the price if you aren't making what you want.
  3. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 843

    I'd rasie it. I get $80 a month for a postage size lot with almost no edging.
  4. lawn guy1350

    lawn guy1350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 214

    your doin that yard for 20 bucks! thats a no. if its taking 2 hours, i wouldnt touch that yard for anything less than $70 a week. its not worth it for $80/month.
  5. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    If working for $11.43/hr is your idea of a good deal....... have fun.

    Are you using your equipment at that rate?
  6. machsixer

    machsixer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I agree with Lawn Guy 1350 and use General Landscaping's justification. Most reasonable people will understand where you're coming from. I had to raise two of my accounts this summer and they both understood my explanations. Be honest with people and you'll retain them as customers.
  7. FLScout

    FLScout LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Thanks for the advice. The $11.43/hr. really put it into perspective. General Landscaping, I am using my own equipment and I am about to buy a stick edger as the string just isn't cutting it (pun intended). Two months worth of work won't even come close the cost of a new edger.

    What is the going rate per sqft. or acre?

    Thanks again for all of the advice. I'm glad I found such a great forum with such honest professional knowledge.
  8. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    Going by sqft. or acre is leaving you open to make less.
    Price the job by how long you think it will take; it takes a while to get accurate.
    When customers are wanting a price over the phone or by their description of the property; I tell them that "you can have a $20 dollar yard or a $80 dollar yard on the same size property, I'll have to look around to form an accurate estimate."
    Look for things that will slow you down. Fences, gates, ditches, berms, excessive edging, corner lots, plant/trees to mow around.
    I learned a lot doing "vacation cuts"..... Most LCOs would not touch them without 2-3X going rate; I got to cut a lot of different yards and kept fine tuning my estimation skills. If you screw up estimating a vacation cut, you only loose once:clapping:

    FL prices don't leave a lot of room for sloppy operations..... don't be surprised if you have a rough time making $40/hr (with good comm, equip.)for weekly maintenance:dizzy:
  9. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 739

    $105 here or same.
  10. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    Your talking 2/hrs.? I try to get 50-60pr. hr. So that sounds like 100-120, I think the other guy woke up!! plus if its your neighbor Id politely bow out tell her your way too busy. You aint gonna make any money there and you might get her mad when you tell her a price. I cut a neighbors lawn and she pays me 30.00 for about 40 mins work I give her some shrub work for free or real cheap cause I use her driveway to park my trailer in my yard. Keep the neighbors happy if your running a bussiness out of your home!!:waving:

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