Stein Property Services

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by Steiner, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

  2. lawncare18

    lawncare18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 742

    Stein, You guys plow snow in the cny area, or have a plow on that truck? First time in many years not plowing , used to plow for pro scapes in winter.
     
  3. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,647

    Looks really good!
     
  4. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    Stien: Very nice website! As I've mentioned, I'm a fan of your work. I wish my highschool shop teachers were as talented and competent as you are. I have a question about your delivery services. Are your list prices for materials the prices that your supplier charges and then you charge for delivery, or is there a tiny markup on materials plus delivery? What if the customer wants to pick it up themselves to save the delivery fee? How many yards can your dump trailer fit? I'm assuming the delivery fee is per trip, not per yard? What if they only want one yard? The reason I ask is because I offer these kinds of services, but often the suppliers (obviously because they can) charge less than I could afford to for the delivery of their products so its a pretty rare occurrence if its not part of a larger project I'm doing and not a huge money maker. Thanks and keep up the good work!
     
  5. Greyst1

    Greyst1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 897

    Your work looks really quality, i like it. Not sure if it was said or not but what software are you using to e-design your landscaping? I'm looking to buy some software. Thanks.
     
  6. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Lawncare18: To answer your question no I do not plow but I have been thinking about it for a few years and may try subbing or getting a few drives right around the village of Liverpool if I can. It seems like everyone has fisher plows hanging off f-250's here though so I cam not sure if I can pick up a few people right in my neighborhood.

    What kind of plowing did you do? Sub? Did you drive a truck or a loader in the big lots? Do you miss it?

    -Chris
     
  7. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I will try to answer all your questions, let me know if you have others.

    1. I take my bulk suppliers discounted contractor only wholesale rates and then multiply by the tax rate to get what it would cost me to buy. Then I multiply that by 20 percent to get my price. It would look like this:

    Lets take brown much for example:

    A. Supplier charges 21.00 (1yard wholesale)
    B. Multiply by 8% sales tax rate so 1.08 x21.00 is 22.68 (my cost)
    C. Multiply my cost by 20% profit is 22.68x 1.2 is 27.21

    So I round up and charge 28.00 a yard for my mulch plus a delivery fee (per trip) which basically covers wear and tear on the vehicle/mileage/fuel/hourly pay.

    Most retail mulch places charge about 36.00 a yard so I am about 6-8 dollars a yard cheaper and still make my 20 percent.

    It makes mulch an ok but not great money maker. I have a few jobs I deliver to every year and I bet on those 4-6 yard jobs I make about 10-20 dollars profit for an hour of work. NOT REALLY GREAT. But I do use it as a tool to talk to people and get more jobs, I say in my head if I deliver 4 yards I will try to talk landscape with the customer for at least 4 minutes. 6 yards = 6 minutes and basically that has payed huge dividends. Bottom line: MULCH IS NOT THAT PROFITABLE FOR SMALL OPERATORS, but can be a marketing tactic.

    2. If the customer wants to pick it up themselves I give them the suppliers info and they give them the retail price. (I don't have a yard, nor do I want the expense of storing and loading mulch at my shop).

    3. I can fit 8-10 yards of mulch in the trailer or about 4 yards of soil/stone and still be legal. I don't get calls for 1 yard deliveries usually because most people just buy bags at that volume, not that I won't deliver it, it just does not happen that much.

    4. My supplier is great and gives all contractors a nice heft discount especially if dealing with larger amounts. He has two sets of prices and is basically wholesale only. The difference in his prices is what gives me the room to add my 20%. I think you should talk to your supplier about their rates if they have only 1 posted set of prices. He charges about 60 dollars to deliver though as he has a big tandem dump truck and I use him if it is a larger 10-20 yard order.

    Thanks for the kind words. I think you nailed the mulch game. Basically suppliers can undercut you because they have economies of scale. I basically use mulch to sell my services. I can make 10 to 20 bucks on a delivery or 400-600 on a spring cleanup that takes a half a day. I know which one I would rather do.

    -Chris

    Dusse Spring Cleanup 1.jpg
     
  8. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I use an iPad and the following software:

    1. Take picture with built in iPad camera
    2. Use sketchbook pro ($5.00) to import photo then create 2 layers. Layer 1 is house with the transparency brought down to 50%, then another layer for my sketch. Bringing down the transparency allows customer to see my sketch layer easier.
    3. Draw over picture with a fine point stylus with my ideas then print out on heavy craft paper in color.

    I also use the program paper ($6-10.00) for quick overhead sketches as you have seen me post recently. Tried it at the apple store and loved it!

    I also use a mac and sketchup software (free version as well)

    SO basically it costs:

    iPad 500-800 dollars
    stylus 20-40 dollars
    software 20 dollars maybe and your in business!

    Now the drawing skill + design mind…….that's expensive!

    -Chris
     
  9. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Never under-estimate the power of a doodle to move your drawing and design skills forward.

    This is iPad 2, stylus, and the app paper:

    doodle2.jpg
     
  10. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Paper app again on an iPad 2 with stylus. This took about 10 minutes if that. Great for quick concept work.

    -Chris

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

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