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Sanity check needed

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ThreeWide, May 6, 2003.

  1. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    Cool-- a big metro area like Atlanta would be fun.

    When you said you were blown away at $95, did you think it was too much or not enough? What size lawn?
  2. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    It is about 9,000 sq ft of Bermuda. Also keep in mind I requested mowing TWICE each week as it should be. So that's almost $200 per week for mowing one lawn.

    Not a corner lot, and the perimeter of the entire lawn can be edged easily. No weedeaters needed.

    The reason I was blown away is b/c my estimated rate for the same lawn was quite a bit lower. Which makes me think that I'm either being too conservative on the reel mower operational cost factor, or I'm simply not paying myself enough per hour. Making money is a good thing, but I don't want too much sticker shock either.

    I do think their price was way overinflated, I was thinking more in terms of $70. Someone in this forum stated the typical mowing rate was doubled for a reel mower. If that was really true I don't see getting very many customers onboard.

    Apparently the person who gave me this quote is doing exactly that....doubling the typical mowing rate.

    If I was offering that same price it would be almost impossible to justify and sell.
  3. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    BUT the best thing is you only need half of the usual # of customers. Additionally someone with that expected high level of service is going to need/want more than just mowing. So there's detail work after, weeding, pruning, deadheading flowers, etc. more of the "gardening" type of stuff if you wan to catch that too.

    How much time to mow your 9,000 with your reel?

    Bumping yours up to 10,000 it would $7-$9 per 1,000 sq ft. Or $50 minimum and $10/1,000 for everything over 5,000 sq ft. And that's not too bad.

    Search for "Chart of Accounts" on here. I think someone posted a decent one and let it drum your mind for any expenses you may not have considered yet.

    If you are still not sure of the pricing before you advertise... a good trick is to offer free mows to a couple neighbors to measure and test your estimates. "That's 12k and will take me XX time" And when you mow those or your own, start with the equipment in the truck curbside, be sure to use a stop watch to time everything from arrival to departure. Measure amounts of gas, and then add after hours time (dumping grass, billing customers, taking calls, blades. That's a lot of time! Assign yourself a wage rate and add in your after hours wages as another overhead cost.

    AND if the price is too high for your market you'll know. Some things simply do not work out due to the costs of production. If it really does cost you $125 there may not be anyone in willing to pay that....

    Try bouncing back to that other link and asking Paradise or anyone else what they charge for reel mowing per 1,000 sq ft. Without the footage it can't be compared.

    R. you are in GA too, HUMIDITY, hot, and a relatively higher cost of living (guessing) that's worth extra for most people to pay more.

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