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Am I a lowballer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mwh350, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. mwh350

    mwh350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    First I live in the middle of BFE montana. I have a local church house that I mow in town. The guy liked the quaility of work that I do so well that he asked if I would mow 3 additional church buildings in neighboring towns for him. I only mow part time, and even with that I have far from what I would consider to be a full schedule.

    The lots are 1.4 acres, 2 acres, and 1.3 acres. Total drive time is 3 hours between all the buildings. 160 miles

    I quoted him
    $514 dollars per week for the contract. Bushes need touched up monthly, and there is an additional charge of 25 per man hour for them.

    For 5 acres that are pretty widly spaced am I the guy that is the lowballer or are my prices pretty fair?
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    i see drive time. but what is the total man hours for getting this work done. You gave a weekly price so man hours per week?
  3. mwh350

    mwh350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    I figure that I should be able to get it done in 10-12 hours with a two man crew. Including drive time.
  4. STL Cuts

    STL Cuts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    The math isn't looking too great on that, espescially with the drive time (figure gas as well as wear and tear on your truck). If you're part time, thats a lot of your man hours dedicated to this account (almost too many "eggs in one basket").

    $514 seems way too cheap. The only upside is you have 3 locations you can use to sell other services (fert, mulch, trees, bushes, installs, etc.). These can bring in some good $$$ for you, just make sure you don't shoot yourself in the foot with those.

    Good luck!
  5. TGM

    TGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 931

    $514 divided by 12 hours = $42.8333333 per hour. minus an employee at minimum $10/hr (probably more with taxes) = $32.8333... let's round that to $30/hr to be more realistic with workers comp.

    $30/hr minus fuel & truck maintenance.. which is roughly $55.


    soooo.. in a 12 hour day with an employee you personally would gross profit $305 before taxes....

    ...if all goes planned and nothing breaks...
  6. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    is that ten to twelve hours per man on the two man crew.....so twenty to twenty four man hours per week......I would say you are LOW
  7. mwh350

    mwh350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    I thought that I was probably pretty low. I think that I will still turn a profit it will just end up being a small one. I'm kicking myself now. I just really need the extra cash flow this year, and I didn't want to have my stuff just sitting. For those reasons I just really didn't want to lose the bid. Lets hope it only takes me 8 hours laugh laugh. I mow them the first time next Saturday so I will post back final numbers.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    First I do think more than a few of us have been there, starting out, it takes time.

    Is this your first year?
    If so don't feel too bad, it's normal!
    Best thing now is just TRY and get through it best you can.

    And so it might not be an entirely bad thing except...
    I don't know what to tell you insofar as what to do, where to take it from here...
    Because you're set up this way and if you make a drastic move that will more than likely just backfire as well.
    So first things first, take this one step, and one day at a time.

    Just do the best you can, remember, one yard, one day at a time.

    Maybe next year try increasing your prices a little here and there, don't get too carried away
    because that won't do you no good either but maybe do push it a little, easy now.
    And, good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  9. mwh350

    mwh350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Year three for me so technically I should have my head out of my rear. However I broke the cardinal rule this year and Financed a piece of equipment because I felt like it was such a great deal. Didn't need it, but for the price I felt like I would be dumb not to get it. The lowballing came after so I could Justify my "Extra" mower and get it paid off more quickly. I won't actually mow the route until next saturday. Have the Jitters, and I am hoping that it just takes less time.

    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    If you have the 10-12 hours to spare and your makeing money then your ok. Just make sure its worth your time.

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