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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Greenlife Landscape, Jan 7, 2004.
wondering what is the going rate if i'am charging by the square footage
That depends entirely upon how much it costs you to do business and how much net profit you have to make (or want) as a business. Overhead etc., plays a large factor in this. You need to figure out exactly how much it costs you to care for a sq. ft. of property, then charge accordingly.
Most companies charge a flat fee for mowing but charge by the sq. ft. for fertilizer/pesticide application.
going rate for what? fertilizing, trim bushes, mowing, aerating, seeding, spraying, mulch, what?
I read a post on here not long ago about someone that uses .004 cents per square foot as an average for figuring out mowing costs.
This is my 1st post so I don't know if my .02 counts for much but I figure it @ $.005/ sq foot with a min of $20. So 4000sq' under is $20 and 5000sq' is $25.
What do other people think of this? This will be my first year mowing and I'm kink of winging it on prices so far. I have operated a moderately sucessfull Arbor care company and so far have been signing up tree clients for lawn care, due to the tree work I do most of them have said yes to a contract before they even new the price.
As far as mowing I feel it is tough to try and figure mowing by sq. foot. Suppose you have a 1 acre plot to mow, all flat, no obstacles and you price accordingly using .004-.005. Then you do another estimate thats an acre hilly, tons of trimming, etc.. This property might take twice as long but pays the same. Personally I take a good look at the property, try and do the work in my head to get a estimate of how long it will take. Use my hourly rate and theres the estimate. If I'm unsure then I'll just add a little extra time to cover me if I under esimated.
Any sq. ft. pricing formula has to take into consideration your total costs when developing the base. The cost of money, manpower, materials and machines, both direct and indirect job costs. Once you have a base then you can modify the bottom line number for the degree the property varies from the base as far as time necessary to complete the job. A flat open acre vs. a flat acre with 25 trees for example. How long does it take you to trim around 25 trees? Throw in some other obstacles, a ditch, gates, who knows what else, and you get the idea.
You sell time. Sq. ft. is only a guide to enable you to estimate time plus fixed overhead plus profit.
Developing the data for your operations costs per hour/sq. ft. takes time and experience, there is no silver bullet, wiz-bang, one-size-fits-all solution to proper pricing.
I actually use a sq. ft. formula for estimating, but I am also working on a "job costing" formula that uses estimated time. I'm just not ready to make the move yet as I have confidence my sq. ft. formula is very close to correct.