Advice by Saturday

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MOWEMJEFF, May 24, 2007.


    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    One of my residential customers runs a boys group home owned by Goodwill. Normally the boys living there mow the lawn but their push mower broke after doing about 4 down and backs and has only been cut once all year. Right now it is almost a foot tall. Saturday morning I am supposed to meet with the group home organizer to mow the lawn at least once. It is .8 acres with a large building and drive, about half an acre or slightly more of grass and only a 50'x5' section to push mow. I said it would at least cost double the normal price which I quoted at $75 for will take about 45 minutes. Is $150 not enough for the single catch up cut? It is TALL and pretty thick grass but I'm just gonna discharge and double cut it and he knows its gonna look like ****. I was thinking $200 but he said he'll want me to do it till the mower is fixed if not for the whole year and I don't want to scare him away he runs several of these homes and could could mean 4-5 commercial accounts.
  2. Nathan Robinson

    Nathan Robinson LawnSite Senior Member
    from 47712
    Messages: 317

    Its for a good cause. Your not going to make money on this. Its hard on your mowers. Obviouslly raise your deck up high and take half swipes. Keep your price the same. thay can rake up the clippings themselves since they usually mow it. I wouldnt push mow 8hit! Its going to be real hard on that push mower.....again, its for a good cause so just do it and maybe put a little cash in your pocket.
  3. Equalizer

    Equalizer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    If I were you I'd tell him that if he signed all of the properties with you for the year then you could give him a break. IDK, it all depends on how bad your hurting for accounts. For me, I know that at this point, I'll take just about anything.....within reason... haha
    just my .02
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well, that's how I used to do it.

    Nowadays I do things different, I'd charge 3-400 for doing it right and not leaving it looking like crap, but see it is a Yin Yang thing... Do it my way and you will not get the job, do it your way and you earn some decent money for starters, and I think the experience is good.

    I'm in my 6th year, I did many lots like you describe, survival at its best, gave me the chance to test my machine's limits and stuff like that, take what you can get or die before you get too far, what's the choice, way I see things.

    I like your price thou, it's not lowballing.

    Show up and try 200'ish, just be ready to come down if he about walks on you and say maybe 170... Who knows, might be worth a shot for an extra 10 or 20, remember the rule: You can always come down in price but you can never go up (so start a little bit on the high side).

    I like 160 myself.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I'd give him 2 prices, one for a quick cut where the boys can rake up the aftermath, and another price for a top-notch job.

    I might be inclined to cut the guy a little break, as he is already a client, but not too much of a break.
  6. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    I usually estimate $1.50 - $2.00 a minute for overgrown lots. Thats how I sometimes figure, or 2.5 X the normal price with payment before work...

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I think I will give him 2 prices, start at 200 for double discharge and 350 to bag it. First time decks will be maxed out at 5 inches then probly 4 the second time depending on mower abuse. He is already a client so I'd give him a break on his house and tax him for this, its not coming out of his pocket.

    And don't worry I'm not push mowing, I'll be using my 48 w/b with freshly sharpened blades, and it's gonna be 90 degrees tomorrow and warm again saturday so grass will be extremely dry which will make it wayyyy easier.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    That sounds good...people like choices. If you feel you overcharged afterwards you can do some charity and donate to the boys home :laugh:

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Well I did it and he gave me 250 to cut it once and trim it all and instead of double cutting that day I came back this morning and did it again. The whole job including drive time took me about 2 and a half hours since it's only 5 minutes from my house so I figured I made almost 100$/hour not quite the 2$/minute I was shooting for but my mower handled it like a champ!!!!
  10. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    Lose that way of thinking. In fact, I would bank that within 12 months, you will be able to turn down work left and right. You'll see.

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