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Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by zechstoker, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. vinnieobrien

    vinnieobrien LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    thats a nice idea.. but lawns starting at 10 bucks?!
     
  2. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    $10 is the bare minimum price, and the entire job has to take approximately 10 minutes from start to finish. There's only a couple yards I do that are that tiny. So small, your standard LCO truck/trailer rig is bigger than the entire lawn being serviced. It boggles my mind that people actually call us for something that small, but if that's what they want...
     
  3. vinnieobrien

    vinnieobrien LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    we dont have many lawns like that around here so i was just wondering.. nice ad though
     
  4. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    You need to have a minimum charge no matter what the size of yard and it should be wayyy higher than 10 bucks your not figuring ALL your expenses you've got to cover ins cost, general operating cost etc etc once you sit down and start crunching numbers you'll see your losing a ton of money at 10 bucks what about your salary? please tell me your worth more than 10 bucks.
     
  5. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Our actual price is $25 per man-hour. That probably still sounds super low, but that'll change (with an increase to balance the scales) once a bigger mower is involved, and I can knock out these jobs in a fraction of the time. Currently, while running this push mower, the average time it takes me to complete a job is about 40 minutes each week.
     
  6. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Push mowing doesn't pay $h!+... That's for sure, but we're still making profit nonetheless after paying all the overhead we have.
     
  7. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    (In advance, sorry for the multiple postings as responses. I keep walking away from the computer to go outside.)

    Once we have a 2nd crew member riding with me all the time, the rate (quoted for the customers) is going to be $50/hr. Not sure what the increase will be just yet if we take on another employee plus the addition of a WB.

    This is going to sound contrary to my initial response regarding "$10", but really the job has to be estimated for (I believe) 22 minutes or less for one person, and that's just for basic service (mow, edge, blow). Bush trimming and chemical costs is what always makes the price go up, and makes the job worth while for us.
     
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    $10 for a lawn that only takes 10 min start to finish. why would you do that. I have lawns that take me 10 min start to finish and I get $35 for them.
     
  9. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Sometimes I wonder the same thing. I wasn't the one that set up this crazy pricing structure. I just get sent out to do the work.

    There's been a constant conflict over prices where I work, and I have yet to see any of this get resolved. My brother was the person who got this lawn maintenance bit up and running with this pest control outfit we're working for. The business owner, who has worked strictly pest control for 32 years, always complains that my brother set the prices too low for maintenance jobs. The mutual feeling has been that he's just accustomed to pest control prices which run approximately $100/hr. He'd like to see us doing lawns at no less than $50/hour as $25/hour sounds like we may as well be giving the work away. Makes enough sense, I suppose.

    Then there's our problem that we deal with most everytime we talk to any potential customers. They hear our service price is based off a rate of $25 per hour, and their reaction is generally always "Oh my, that sounds awful high...". I blame this on the excessive amount of lowballing LCOs they've probably dealt with over the years, or have at least heard about. I can't say for sure how it became the way it is here, but that's my assumption. While this line of work does generate a ton of business here, it's definitely not as profitable as it should be since this is lowballing country. It's no wonder there's only a couple big name maintenance companies in this region, and all I ever see them touch is huge commercial accounts.
     
  10. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Now that I think about it, even the big commercial accounts we've bid on have all shot us down because our price is "too high" when we even thought the price we quoted was too low. I love living in California, and I love doing this type of work, but man... It's a crappy market here. I'd really like to just move to Maryland (where half my family lives), and see what kinda money I can make there as opposed to here. Granted the lawns are all way bigger than here, but maybe the market's in better shape. I don't know... Just thinking aloud.
     

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