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A little bummed...Need Advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coyotekid, May 16, 2005.

  1. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    I made my first two bids in the "green" industry today, and both went over like lead balloons! Here's the deal:

    Customer #1

    I mowed the lawn once last Friday. It took me 7.0 hours, including 1.5 hours cleanup @ $17.50/hour, 3.3 hours mowing with a Grasshopper 928D @ $48.00/hour, and 2.2 hours trimming @ $27.00/hour. The total bill comes to $244.05, and I agreed to charge $230.00 per service. The customer said, "That's just not going to fly." He really feels $100.00 maximum per week is what I should be charging.

    Customer #2

    I charged the same rates; 1.7 hours mowing and 2.5 hours trimming with 2.3 hours cleanup (taking down all deer fences, etc.). For 6.5 hours of work, I charged $184.25. This guy was even better! He really thinks I should be at about $75 per week!

    What should I do? I'm new at this game, but I met with another operator in my area, and I'm already cheaper than them. I'm WAY CHEAPER than most on this board already! I just can't afford to do these jobs for much less. On the other hand, I'm worried since these are my first two bids, and both are rapidly going South.

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. Tomt

    Tomt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    If were charging prices that low I couldn't even afford to be on this computer.
    I charge near $60.00 per. hour.
    I don't have any properties that are near as large as these must be though.
    Hope you can resolve this and make some $$$$$. Food is important. payup
  3. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    How many acres are involved in these two jobs?
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Well, I don't know how you mow, but chances are, you CERTAINLY shouldn't go down on your mowing. Your mower wil cut way more than $48. worth of grass in an hour, so that is more than fair. If you're decent on a trimmer, your trimmer rate is good, too. Just out of curiosity, how big is this place (place 1)? I mean, how much actual turf is there to mow, and and what degree of trimming is there? ....And I'm going to tell you ahead of time, you may have (and chances are) just hit 0 for 2 for people who are willing to pay the going rate. Don't sweat it...It happens...There are good paying people out there. You sound like you're a hard worker, taking on jobs of this size and capacity.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If you can't go any cheaper, then don't do it. If you are new, please learn patience (LOTS of it). As an average, I am used to getting 9 NO answers for every 10 estimates, one is a YES. 9 out of 10, and I get $40/hour here in VA.
    Then again, I cut an acre in 30-45 minutes with my 6.2 mph proline and I can weed-eat so fast that the echo nearly chokes itself off on the weeds even at full throttle. Most the time, I run the echo at 30-70% throttle and still can weed-eat faster than most. An acre property takes me 1 hour and 10-15 minutes, some as little as 60, some as much as 90, so one-acres go between 40 and 60 bucks for me (that's everything, even the round-up and reeling up the garden hose they forgot about).

    So... how are you cheaper? By the hour or by the job? If you're cheaper by the hour but someone else who charges twice your hourly rate can do it 4 times faster, then you are NOT cheaper (if you can see that). Find out if you're cheaper by the job, then you're ok, you have to realize a lot of comedians in this world and they ALL run over to the new guy.
    ... I am so glad they finally leave me alone, they are half the reason 50% of new businesses fail (well I guess in a way we need them comedians, lol).
    Peace out.
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,463

    You are not lower than what we are and we are a full time service. Move to the next bid or lower the price, your overhead can't be high(dad's mower correct)!
  7. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Well I'm certainly not going to completely give up yet! I'm a go-getter and a hard worker (in my opinion), so I'm going to keep at it.

    So are my prices fair, or are they actually high?

    Either way, I just don't see how $75 - $100 bucks for these jobs is going to cut it (no pun intended!). It costs me over $15 per hour to run this mower, so at $75 for a job like these, that would barely allow me to break even.

    As far as acreage goes, I haven't actually measured it. Is this what most of you guys do for each lawn?

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