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Starting out

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Yard Guy, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. Yard Guy

    Yard Guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I'm getting all things together this winter to start my lawncare business next spring. Looking for help on pricing. By the hour or square ft. yrd. or what?
  2. Dude or dudet, I'm not trying to sound ignorent here, but you have a lot of reading to do. Use the search function. There are many threads on this topic.


    It is located at the top right hand corner of every page.

    BTW WELCOME to Lawn Site.


    I found a similer thing you are asking on the same first page.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    There are thousands of answers to that question found in the archives (do a search) All markets differ. See if you can get some answers from a few local guys. Some will help, others will tell you to take a hike. You need to get this thing right from the start. Too many guys start out lowballing to get clients then get stuck with customers unwilling to accept sharp price increases. Work hard and focus on quality. And don't forget to look into licence fees, tax laws and insurance matters. (especially health-it can get ugly)
  4. Yard Guy

    Yard Guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Ignorant....that I may be. But I know that the only ignorant question is the one not asked. Following advice given, I did go to the search area and found helpfull info there. I guess either way to price a job would be good for me. Hourly or by the suare ft.. I'm just starting out and was looking for opinions or preference. I have done research in my area. The hourly rate has a $20 to $25 difference from high to low. Some of the company's work by the hour and others by looking the job over and just throwing out a bid.
    The growth here is booming and opportunity is excellent.
    Thank you Matthew. I have no intentions of lowballing anybody. I have the opportunity to get an HOA for 2002. The HOA is not happy with the service they were getting in 2001, so I'm up to bat. Thus my question I asked.
    As I am just starting out, I am hoping this website will help me and my ambition to become a valued and respected lawncare provider. I know I will, cause I like and always have liked working in the yard.
    Any and all comments and advise is welcome.
    Thanks again.
  5. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    WeChump wrote -

    b/4 you sart going off on some one you need to actually READ what they replied instad of just scanning through it. You will find that if you are kind and professional to others on this site, they will release more valuabe info to you. Otherwise reap what you sow
  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Seeing that you are just starting out.. I recommend you price by the square foot. Do you know what kind of production per hour you can put out? If not.. until you learn the biz and know how long it'll take you to do this and that... use a measuring wheel and figure a price based on 1000 square feet. I've seen prices range from $1.00 - $2.00/sq.ft. You'll need to come up with a minimum for the smaller... You won't want to cut a 6000sf property for $6-12, if you know what I mean. Hope this helps.

    Good luck..
  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    I would suggest figuring out what your cost of operation is per hour to the best of your ability. Also, what you would like to make above and beyond that. Then you will have to look at the properties you are bidding and try to figure out how long it will take to service them, and then hope you can get in the ballpark without having any real experience in this field yet. It will be your first season and nothing but trial and error will give you the knowledge you need to start estimating correctly. Some you will be close and most likely some will fall short. Looking at two seperate properties with exactly the same square footage will most likely have different time frames based on obstacles of all varieties. I found in my first season that it actually didn't take as much time at properties as I thought when looking at them for pricing. Maybe a good reason for not getting some jobs. Obviously I was too high. You are really just going to have to take your "lumps" the first season until you get your feet wet. There are so many variables in pricing, it's probably the hardest to get a handle on. Good luck!
  8. Yard Guy

    Yard Guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Randy Scott...
    Thanks for your response. You are sooo right, gotta get my feet wet. I do know that I'll get beat up on a few jobs at least until I get a little more experience under my belt. I aint skeered tho!! LOL!!
    Thanks again.
  9. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    One thing to remember is that if you price by the square foot, then you will already know how to figure overseeding/fertlizer rates. It will help as mentioned with the larger properties. So go buy a measuring wheel and start working. Also maybe call some of the LCO's to price your yard, then measure it and see what the pricing average is for your square footage. Good luck!
  10. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    I said:

    supposed to be $1.00 - $2.00/1000sf

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