Startup business in 2004 - how to price jobs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mdemarco, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. mdemarco

    mdemarco LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I would like to start a lawn care business in 2004 and am not sure about pricing jobs. Is it better to quote one price for a job ($40 to cut a lawn) or to go with an hourly rate? What do customers prefer?
  2. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    you should figure out on your own your hourly operating costs, and quote the customer a solid price. Remember to include everything you will have as an expense, not just how long it takes to mow the lawn. Insurance, vehicles, equipment, licenses, gas, etc.....
  3. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    Like twins said, figure out what your true total overhead/operating costs are going to be. Get a solid figure for what you HAVE to charge to make PROFIT. Not make money, but profit.
    Shop your competition, or get family or friend to do so, not just one price, but several, for a variety of property types similar to what you assume you'll have for customer lawns.
    Now compare the two, you may be shocked/surprised if you do your overhead figuring correctly.
  4. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Mdemarco, sometime ago I made an Excell worksheet for tracking my expenses. I figured in loan for the business I was going to buy (may or may not be applicable), depreciation for the equipment, office expenses, maintenance expenses, labor, etc., and divided by the hours I expected to work - all projected of course. This gave me an hourly expense that I needed to meet in order to break even. I could then figure out how long a particular job would take, and use my minimum hourly charge based on my cost worksheet to figure out how much to charge. Obviously you'll miss a few jobs - a little too high or a little too low. A little too high doesn't hurt - unless it keeps you from getting the job. A little too low is a learning experience.
    If you have Excell I'd be happy to send you the worksheet, which you could customize to fit your needs.
    Good luck with the business.
  5. mdemarco

    mdemarco LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

  6. bucmaster

    bucmaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    Could you mail it to me please. I would like to see what you done. Addy is Thanks
  7. Warthog Lawn Care

    Warthog Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

  8. jrwinter74

    jrwinter74 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I have been in business starting this year too,...I have found that approx. $1.00/minute is a good guage for estimating jobs,....don't tell them though. They will freak out if you tell them you charge $60.00 per hour. Just a thought,...after a while of I have come to realize that with travel time in rural Mississippi this pretty much covers all my expenses. JW
  9. Kransco

    Kransco LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I would sure appreciate a copy of that spreadsheet.
  10. lawnGUYnMD

    lawnGUYnMD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Randy J,

    I would like to see that worksheet as well if you dont mind. My email is

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