Senior members, I need your help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cpel2004, May 5, 2005.

  1. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    [/B]As of April 1, 2005 I have been in business full time for a year. I live in Pompano Beach which is about 5 min from Boca Raton, FL. where the home prices range from 1mil to 20mil. in the association that I cut in. My problem is there are many large lco "The Big Boys" and many small lco prices vary considerablely, I talked to one small lco and he told me for one of his properties he gets 3k per month ( he charges $50/per man with a 4 to 5 man crew). I have distance relatives that have been in the business for more than 25 years that have no set standards and couldn't provide me with any help on pricing, except for telling me I'll eventually learn, yea by that time I'll be broke. Like many newcomers to the industry I struggle to determine what is a fair price for my customers. I'm not good at eyeballing an estimate and I want to have a standardized system of pricing/measuring. I want to be able to give an estimate with confidence. I'm trying to achieve $35 to 37.5 per labor hour.
    1. How do you organize your company to determine the complexity of the lawn.
    2.What do you charge per sq ft. to mow
    a.21in
    b.36in
    c.54in
    3.How do you determine your charge for bed manintenance. i.e. $1 per sq ft
    4.Do you charge per linear feet for edging/weedeating if so how much.
    5.How do you determine your charge for shrubs/hedges.

    All responses are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    1st determine what your cost are. 2nd figure what you need to make as a profit per yr. Subtract #1 from #2 and that tells you what you will net per yr. 3rd divide the net profit you need by the number of hrs worked and that will give you an Idea of how much you need to make per hr. Then divide the # of customers by the # of hrs and that will give you an Idea of how much you would have to charge each customer to make your profit. If the # are unrealistic you need more cutomers or less profit payup :D
     
  3. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

     
  4. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 900

    You know what, efficiency is the most important thing to have. It is what makes the hourly charge work. Try to be as efficient as possible, whether you are solo are running crews. Obviously, a 21 inch push mower will not make your 37.50 work.this sets your bidding perimeters-efficiency levels.
     
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Thought I would quote this so you can read again.

    Know your costs!! Do it on a per stop or per hour basis.
    To get the other info about productivity you need to use a stopwatch and time it. About 2-3 times per year I run a stopwatch on all properties. It can be eye-opening when you do. You may find out you were gone for 8 hours but only had 4 hours of billable time. That means the other 4 hours you wasted somewhere or lost to drive time.

    Knowing your costs and productivity...no you can start streamlining your business. Sometimes you must raise prices or even let some customers go. Its not easy, I struggle with that every time I deal with it.

    You will learn over time, but the only way to get a real ballpark idea of where to start is what I stated above and olderthandirt. Since you have 1 yr now fulltime, you have enough data from last year to get you started.
     

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