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unsure about giving price quotes/bids

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cypresslawncare, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. cypresslawncare

    cypresslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I'm going to start a basic lawn service, just me, a 21" mower, my trimmer, and my blower. I'm pretty sure I'd like to get my customers on contracts. Can you guys explain to me what you typically do/say/think when evaluating a yard and presenting it to the customer? Any tips would really help, I'd like to give bids in an organized/professional way, keep myself and the customer happy with the price, and make sure I get the bid. How do you guys do this...in some ways, it's the most important part of the process.
    Thanks a lot!!! :cool2:
  2. cypresslawncare

    cypresslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

  3. slikrick

    slikrick LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Posts: 101

    im new too but what works for me is i try to figure how long it will take me to do the yard and pay myself around $45 per hour depending on the degree of difficulty of the yard.... ie.... trees, bushes and other obsticals. if there are shrubs that need to be maintained i charge extra. just DONT underbid!!!! you'll hate yourself later!
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    OK, start out by determining how much money YOU want to make an hour.

    2. mow, line trim and blow a 5,000 sq ft lot and time your self. then times your hours by your hourly wage (example: 2x$40.00=80.00 dollars labor.) for bigger properties just add up 5,000 sq ft lots until you get the size of the property.

    3. add 15% profit to your labor

    4. tally up your expenses(taxes, insurance, gas, workers comp if you have employees) and add them to your labor and profit.

    5. be sure to adjust these figures for drive time and obstacles.
  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Don't forget that you also must have by law, your City and/or County and State Business License, State Training & Licensing to apply the fertilizer that you said in another post you will do, State Licensing for the landscaping you said in another post you might do, Business Federal Tax ID Number, TX State Sales Tax Licensing and Account, and you'll need Commerical Insurance.
  6. CharlieBingo

    CharlieBingo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    Don't under price. New guys often do this, in no time they are beaten,out of business ,exhausted and saying there is no money in this biz! Let it grow, slow and strong, it's not about how many lawns you have, it's how much money you make.
  7. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Some of the above advice is excellent. However, remember you're going to be bidding against people with large mowers that can cut lawns in 1/3 the time that you'll be able to with a 21 inch mower. I can cut a 12,000 SF lawn with my Hustler in 20 minutes (solo). That includes trimming, edging and blowing. With a 21 it would take nearly an hour to do the same lawn. Most customers don't care what kind of equipment you're using to do the job. They only care about the price. Most of them don't care about how long it takes you to do the lawn either. If you can do it in 20 minutes...so be it. One hour..that's OK too. Just as long as the price is right.

    With that in mind, you have to price your service competitively or you won't make it. I charge $22-$25 for a 12K SF lawn and I can do 2 per hour on average including drive time. That works out to about $45-$50 per hour. If I were to try and charge $45-$50 for a 12K SF lawn I would be out of business.

    In order to compete using a 21 you're probably going to have to accept less per hour. Don't under price just to get a lawn, but don't quote higher than the going rates for your area or you'll never get any accounts. One last thing. The quality of your work is the last thing the customer sees ( and remembers ) when you drive away from the job. Make sure your work is better than your competitors.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    You read my post on this thread I dug up from the archives for you. . THIS should be of help. You may even want to copy it or bookmark it because while the whole thread is good, this is probably the only time you'll read something from ME and actually be able to learn something from it! lol
    Here's the thread,...I hope it helps.

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