Am I on the right track

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by cuttingedgelawncare, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. cuttingedgelawncare

    cuttingedgelawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Let me start with a little background of myself. I started a partnership w/ my brother and have been in buissness for 4 years now and have aprox. 30 mowing accts. No contracts as of yet. I also do landscape maint. and installation. Most of my landscape jobs com from a phone call and usually r 1 time only.....some r repeat and some r not, the ones that usually dont repeat also dont go to anyone else either....they just dont have it done again.
    I run 2 crews, 1 mowing with a 60" dixxie lx2400 and a 48" scag w/b. 1 21" lawnboy with various stihl blowers and trimmers. All hauled on a 16' tandem pulled by a 93 F-250. My landscape crew runs from an 85 chevy c10 w/ a 12' trailer. We charge 20$ per man hour for landscaping and my price for mowing is 20$ minimum and my largest price at this time is 70$ for about and acre and half w/ no house just field mowing. The largest LCO in town just hit a million worth of buissness this year and charge a 25 min for mowing. thats the extent of my info on them for mowing. I did a landscape installation job for a realitor and after the materials and labor the total cost of the job was around 750 bucks.....the home owner came outside and asked how much my services were gonna total out to so i told him....he them went into the house and brought me a bid from the other LCO mentioned above and the total was about 900 bucks. the main difference is that i used balled and burlapped shrubs and the one that he was going to use consisted of mostly marked up potted plants. My whole thing is this.......I dont want to lowball but in my area a laborer without education makes between 8-12 dollars and hour depending on experiance. i can still make 8-12 dollars and hour off of each employee,,,does this sound right to anyone else. still eating ramen till i can build my buissness up right. any feed back will be appreciated I live in Owensboro KY
  2. cuttingedgelawncare

    cuttingedgelawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    nobody here or what
  3. hertelbr

    hertelbr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Sounds like your on the right track. I don't know what the economy or the competition is like in Kentucky, but here in Michigan the price per man hour charged is around $ 45.00- $ 50.00. Here there is no shortage of work for quality conscious companies. It seems difficult to make it on $ 25.00 per hour, but some areas of the country that is all the market will bare. It is all based on simple economics, supply and demand. My philosophy is this charge as much as you can if the market is going to pay it. We change our pricing strategies based on our workload, if our next six weeks of work are heavy up go the prices. If we need the work we bid it to get it. Some people say it is wrong to charge a high price, but the customer knows the cost up front no one is twisting their arm. My advice- if you plan to grow don't do it to fast, let the market determine your price. If you are over booked because you continue to be the cheapest, you tend to spread yourself to thin and you can no longer properly service your client. And you will lose out on extra money, maybe you can trade that Ramen in for Fillet Mignon. Good luck!

  4. hertelbr

    hertelbr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Check out "geography and income" on the commercial lawn area, it talks about what others are getting in the industry.

  5. Good post Brandon.

    Im sorry I had a realy good post written for you, but good ole AOL knocked me off. so i did some searching fo you. Sift through them for the topic above them.



    Cost of doing business;

    If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Search some my other posts and read them. But it is like this. You ain't making squat when the man's hr wage is 40%-60% of your sales price or materials are 50% of a job.

    Overtime can add 10% to the base wage when averged for the week. Taxes and insurances add 25% +/- to the real hr wage . So if a guy gets $12/hr, OT will make the avg $13.20 and 25% for taxes and insurances ( not eq ins) bings the total to $16.50. Equipment is another $4-$5 dollars per hour and overhead (yeah you got it ) could be another $5-$10 per hour.

    So the way I see it, the harder you work the broker you get. Thats why your eatin' friggin' noodles.

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