What you guys charge?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Equalizer, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Equalizer

    Equalizer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    I just gave a bid on two yards that are owned by the same person, they are about 5 houses apart from each other. The thing is that I know these people and they are an older couple but its for their daughter. The yard is about a 40x100, not too much trimming. The back yard is also mainly just a big patio, and it takes up most of the yard. I quoted 35 for this job because it is 15 miles away, and the other one is probably 50x120 with all yard but again, not too much trimming. i quoted 40 for this one. My question is, did I over quote, because when I said the amounts, they were basically like ;). They said they would call back and tell me whether I got the job or not. I mean I still have to consider the time driving and gas and work time, did I charge too much?
     
  2. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Were in M.D too. I do feel you charged just a little to much. I would have bid $30.00 for both. Those are very small. We dont cut in Fredrick county but do have yards that size with little trim work as well. $30.00 is about the minimum for that size and thats good money.
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Hard to say for sure without seeing it, those sound like postage stamp properties unless your measurements are off, but are they both way below 1/4 acre? If so, how long would it take to do both?

    Because it gets to a point, you have to have a minimum rate or you will get folks asking you to cut this 5 x 10 section that literally takes 10 seconds for 5 bucks, and that's one extreme but you have to draw a line somewhere... You are correct, you have to get paid for windshield time, and maintenance, and all of that regardless of the size of the job, really I figure it costs me $10 - $15 each time I stop at someone's house (before I even drop the gate) when you consider scheduling and making deposits and taxes and everything involved...

    That having been said, my minimum is $30 and I don't care if it's just one little branch they want taken off (as we know, it's never just that but even if it is), it's $30 regardless.

    Now, IF the turf on those two properties is comparable in quality (translation: if you can cut them both always at the same time) and IF the distance between both houses is relatively minor (thou 5 houses can be a bit of a walk), you could take my minimum and knock $10 off and do both for $50, but you have to know the size of the lot. The idea is to leave the truck parked the entire time, and you simply charge for the whole job as one big thing vs. two separate lots, but it doesn't work if one is class-A turf and the other hardly grows, or if 5 houses = 1/2 mile apart. Even 1/4 mile might be a bit far, you can ride some mowers to-from but the string trimmer and anything else you have to walk, so you have to know the distance and if you feel like walking it, so to speak.

    I have two 1/4 acres side by side, and I do both of those for 50 (vs. 30 or 35 each), two elderly ladies, same kind of turf, I just gave them a price for a 1/2 acre lot plus the $10 for the extra house / driveway's worth of trimming, they come out $10 ahead and I make out good because I usually get them both done in like 40-45 minutes lol and no loading / unloading or driving in between... But it has to be win-win, both the customer AND I need to make out like bandits or it's not worth it, and unfortunately it's not always like that.

    So, maybe you over priced, maybe you did not, I don't know but there are some ideas I just gave up you might try, up to you.
    If 50 for both is too low, how's 55 or 60 sound? Again, that would only work if you can service both on the same visit.
     
  4. Equalizer

    Equalizer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Do you think that i should call them back and tell them that i ran some numbers and can do them both for a lil cheaper?
     
  5. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    It sure wont hurt? Tell them your minimum is $ 30.00
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Certainly you can always call and say you made a mistake, but do knock off at least $10 from the original 35 x 2 (so no more than $60) because $5 off to me would be kinda an insult, now they might still say no but it's worth a shot.
     
  7. Equalizer

    Equalizer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Yea, i just called them back and told them i could do it for 30 a piece, and they sounded a lot more interested and said they would talk about it. when i first called, they said no, but as soon as i told them the new price, they sounded very interested. so hopefully.......
     
  8. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    In the future, I'm not sure if calling at this time is a good idea. I try to call only during business hours and especially not around dinner time. I dunno maybe it's just me
     
  9. Equalizer

    Equalizer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    No i def. agree with you on that one ecoscape01, the thing is tho, they are kind of a family friend, or a friend of a friend. Buy yea i agree with you definately. thanks for all the input guys
     
  10. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    this is the reason I do my best to stay away from family and friends.

    those brother-in-Law jobs will KILL YOU
     

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