Square footage question!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GSO LAWNEN4CER, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,800

    Price by SF. That's scary, ill have none of that please.....
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  2. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    The only thing I price by sq ft (actually cubic foot) is mulch. I only do that for large jobs (> 10 yards). Otherwise, after a while you can just look at an area and guess how much mulch it will take and how long it will take you (hilly vs. flat). Yards are pretty easy, like people have said. The only people I see that price by sq ft are the big boys (Large scale operators) that want to extract as much from the client as they can.
     
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Smaller lots you can price based on total square foot. Most houses in an area will have a drive, fenced back yard and so forth. People might ask for a discount for having a pool or big bed but do not do it. If anything charge more because of the extra trimming and keeping the grass out of the pool.

    That is the same logic for corner lots, there are more walks to edge and blow so they are more.

    Having said that, that typically ends some where around the 10K to 12K size.
     
  4. CLS_Birmingham

    CLS_Birmingham LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    With everything said, then how do you setup a system for your sales people to know how to price a lawn?? I currently price yards the same way as everyone here, by viewing the property and basing it on how long it will take to do. This of course has taken alot of time to get it right. But I want to get a system in place so when I have sales people they can look at a property and know how to bid it the way I want it. So how does everyone with sales people do this??
     
  5. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    I guess it depends how big you are (revenue size). I don't trust the sales work to anyone but myself; but I understand if you grow to be a large company you would have to delegate the sales process.

    You might develop a "tiered" system. I don't care how large my company is, I would not allow anyone other than myself to give final approval to a sales offer that would be more than say, 5% of my annual revenue. In other words I would have control of any offering that could severely effect my bottom line. But you could allow your sales people to price the typical yard, commercial account. My guess to do that is that you would have to have a person that had been with you long enough to trust or someone that you recruited whom you personally knew. I would give them small accounts to price and then go in behind them and see if they are on the mark with the pricing. "Delegate" but then check behind them. Even if you develop a plan with pricing per sq ft, you have to check behind them because there is some talent associated with pricing that way too. Are they lazy? Do they understand the computations? Do they have enough common sense to know they have to subtract the size of the house & flower beds from the sq ft of the lawn. I know this sounds basic, but a typical sales person does not necessarily have common sense, especially if they are commission driven (larger sq ft + more $).
     
  6. BeachysLawn

    BeachysLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 271

    I disagree. Pricing by the lot size up to 20 -25K sq ft is the best way to do it. How far off can you really be? Just have specific addons for obvious time consumers like corner lots, fences, pools, etc.

    Above 25K I would want to look at the lawn before I give a price but even then you need to have a system in place to price it. How long does it take to trim around a tree? How many trees? Price per foot for blade edging? Price per foot for trimming along fences? One side or both sides? What size mower can be used? Etc, etc.

    Eyeballing can work if you never plan to get out of a very hands on role in your company. But put together a detailed pricing system and then it doesn't matter who goes to do the pricing, you'll come up with the same price either way.
     
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    I agree, I would set a price for your typical lot where you plan on marketing the most. Bid anything not in that market area or you are not completely familiar.

    Any thing close to 1/2 AC or more should be a custom bid.
     
  8. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    What do you disagree with? I agree sq ft is a good way to bid. You just have to make sure you deduct for beds, etc. Where I live it is heavily wooded and fescue has a problem in the shade. As a result some yards that are 1/2 acre have only 100 sq ft of grass; just a strip in front of the house, the rest of the area are flower beds, etc. I can't charge them the same price as the client that has a 1/2 acre grass lot. That's all I'm saying.
     
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Absolutely, I would charge a lot more to clean beds :laugh:
    Just maybe do it less often.
     
  10. BeachysLawn

    BeachysLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 271

    I don't have a lot of woods in my area and most lots are fairly similar which is where we differ. Years ago, I actually lived over in Cumberland and so I know Midlothian fairly well and you do have a different set of circumstances than I do.

    But (for my somewhat treeless suburbian area) I find it more simple to base my pricing off lot size (including beds & house) and then add on for extras.
     

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