Starting a new business and have a question about pricing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BerryBeezy, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. BerryBeezy

    BerryBeezy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I read a few posts and really couldnt quite catch the jidst i how the price per hour went. I saw a post where it said something about the time to cut the yard and how big plus overhead. I blew a gasket in my brain trying to comprehend it. So I came home after work and cut my backyard. I did the front saturday before i ha to run. Measuring my backyard it is 10,700 sqft but for all purposes lets just use 10,000 sqft. It took me 32 minutes to cut with my 21" self pro with a small slope on one side and being 85% open minus a few planter boxes, a couple trees and a swing set. I spent another 10 minutes edging withy weed eater around those objects, the back of the house and the fence around the perimeter. This was all done with less than a full tank of gas in the mower an weed eater. So with those numbers I would greatly appreciate any i for on how much it costs per hour for me to do that job. I guess thats a bit of a dumb question becuase there is info missing. So maybe my question is, am I overcharging or undercharging if I were to charge $50 for a cut and edge this size and adding maybe 5 minutes to blow the driveway.

    Here is my understanding if it since I'm thinking and typing. If i can do a complete job on 10,000 sqft in 45 minutes and charge $50 then i really charged about $60 per hour. Thats just my thinking. And if thats te case can I charge $60 per hour and expect business with a 21" mower.

    I'm sure people are going to eat me alive for this question lol. If anybody has instructions for a spreadsheet I would appreciate that too. As one poster said in a similar thread, If you teach a man to fish.. Yall know the rest.

    Thx fellas!
    Beezy
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  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    If all the established businesses where you are use 48" mowers on your size lawn and do the lawn in half the time that it takes you and charge $40.

    You will have a hard time getting people to pay you $50.

    Not saying you can not start out with only a 21" or that you must have a larger mower.
     
  3. BerryBeezy

    BerryBeezy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thats what i was thinking. Even if they charge $40 and I charge $40 it will still be hard with only a 21" mower. But them if I come in at $30 I undercut the business. It's tough..
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  4. Be careful undercutting, you will soon have to raise prices. Many of my customers find themselves having to raise prices because they were not charging enough to begin with.

    Tyler @ Vital Solutions
    Franklin, TN
     
  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,053

    I think you mean "trimming" - not "edging" around all the objects. ;)
     
  6. BerryBeezy

    BerryBeezy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thats what i meant. My bad.
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  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,735

    10k lawn with minimum trimming for us would be $35 at my rate and we would be in and out in less than 10 minutes. Unless its high end customers you'll have a hard time getting $60 an hour with a 21" mower.
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  8. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,304

    From what I can understand I would charge $40/week to mow your lawn. If done bi-weekly I would be around $56/week. You have to keep in mind that you are using a 21 inch mower when it is probably possible to use a 30, 32, 36, or even 48 inch mower on the same property which would get the mowing done much faster. If a property takes you 1 hour to mow with a 21 inch mower and 25 minutes for a person with a 48 inch mower it is hard to expect someone to pay you extra because you are using a tiny mower that isn't necessary to use. If the only mower that will fit on the property is a 21 inch mower you need to estimate how long it will take using that piece of equipment. I like to have a small tape measure with me when I do quotes so I can measure gates and know what will fit. At the end of the day it is your business. You charge what you want for the services you do. If you charge wrong you will win very very few of the quotes that you give. If you don't mind, that's fine. If you're looking to grow then you need to take the above into consideration.
     
  9. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,495

    You cant charge 60/hr with a 21" mower.
     
  10. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,308

    Agree with the above post. Don't start your bids low, you'll wish and to up them later and have to explain to customers you under-bidded them. With that said, don't over-bid them soley because your using a 21" mower. Both will effect your business in a negative way. #1 Rule; Know your market. If the going rate for your lawn is $40.00, charge $40.00. You might not make as much starting out with a 21" mower, but your goal isn't to get rich with a 21" mower is it? Your goal is to grow and expand, right? I started with a 21". I worked my butt off with that 21" until I could afford a 30". I pushed that 30" across lawns all day (including) a few acre lawns at the going rate as the bigger guys until I could afford a belt drive walk behind. I then used that belt drive walk behind letting it put wear and tear on my body and hands until I could afford a Hydro. With that said, there's nothing wrong with starting out with a 21", just know your market and determine your goals. First being expanding your business further then that 21" !
     

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