What are competitive prices?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MN Wildwood, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    I am a 20-year-old going to college full time for a degree in Horticulture/ Turf Management. I have been mowing since I was 9 and presently have 28 customers (both residential and commercial). My largest problem is figuring out what current prices are and what I should charge my customers. My minimum price for a residential yard is $21.00 with most around ranging around $28.00/mowing. I have always tried to estimate yards by $40.00/hour, but I don’t know if these pricing are too low or about average. Likewise all additional work that I do such as spring/fall clean-ups, etc I charge $23.00/hour plus the cost of supplies or disposal. Included in these prices I also include sales tax, which was suggested to me by another provider to simplify billings, even though I use QuickBooks and that can be done automatically-, What is common, include sales tax or charge it above and beyond? Since I am still in College, living at home and covered by insurance I have not needed to worry about all these issues. This year I grossed a little over $60,000 and am able to purchase all the equipment/ repairs that I need along with paying a high-schooler for help ($8.50/hour) I feel I am doing fairly well compared to my peers, but I don’t want to wait until later to become more competitive or average in my pricing.

    I pride myself on professionalism, both in my work, the image of my equipment, and myself by wearing shirts with my logo, etc. I spend a fair amount of time communicating and calling customers to see how things are going and what if any other work they would like done. But again I am coming to realize that all this takes time and cost which I should incorporate into my service charges.

    Any comments are extremely appreciated, especially those from the Midwest, and MN, WI area, It would be helpful to know what fellow providers are charging so that I can be competitive in this market without low-balling.
     
  2. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    I can't comment on whether your competitive or not since I'm not in your area. Get chummy with other lco's and see what they charge. I can comment however on your $$$ numbers. They don't seem to mesh. Let's say you mow each account 30 times(this is probably being generous seeing you're from Minn.) a season with your average at $28/cut. That would be $840 per account mowing. You grossed over $60,000 with only 28 accounts. That averages to $2,140 per account. Subtract the $840 per account for mowing and that leaves you with $1,300 worth of extras for each account. If you're charging $23/hour for extra work then this means you're averaging 56 hours at EACH account just for extras, on top of going to school full-time. Help me out here. :confused: :confused:
     
  3. grass chaser

    grass chaser LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I have to agree the math does not add up.
     
  4. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    I have a few commercial accounts and 3 5+ acre estates. One of the estates I have billed $16,000 for services, there are also 3-5 other accounts which have each brought $2-5,000 in revenue.
     
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    He said.. both commercial and residential accounts. Residential average is $28. Also said he has a worker.
     
  6. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    OK I read it again and again. I'm still having a hard time understanding how you can gross over $60,000, charge $40/hour mowing, $23/hour for extras, have mostly residential accts and go to college full-time.
     
  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    I don't know.. probably a lot of hard work.

    Wildwood.. it seems you are doing well. The only comment I have is that I think you should charge a little more than the $23 for extras.

    Good luck!
     
  8. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    I realize you are calculating your cost to the t when bidding these residentials. I think you will be better off rounding that 28 dollar lawn to 30 and the 23 to 25. My point is that most customers are more comfortable with increments of five, because atleast a third of mine pay cash and it makes it much easier on everyone. Just my opinion through my experiences.
     
  9. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    Here is a list of accounts, names excluded and $ amounts rounded to nearest $5.00

    Commerecial & Estate properties:
    1. 16,150
    2. 1160
    3. 5810
    4. 1130
    5. 3470
    6. 1385
    7. 4830
    8. 4760
    9. 7275

    Residential Properties:
    10. 550
    11. 1090
    12. 820
    13. 350
    14. 400
    15. 425
    16. 755
    17. 470
    18. 660
    19. 390
    20. 995
    21. 435
    22. 820
    23. 1155
    24. 1010
    25. 780
    26. 550
    27. 1360
    28. 1085

    3 occational jobs = 500

    Total gross for all accounts:$60,570

    Hopefully this can help clear it up even more, my big question still is what prices are other LCO's charging so that I am not underbidding everyone else?
     
  10. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    I have a few accts @ $28. Reason being that raising a acct from $25 to $30 will make a few people flinch. Any accts $35 and up can and should be raised in $5 increments.
     

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