Anyone in Georgia willing to help a guy with pricing?

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by psychocadi, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. psychocadi

    psychocadi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    This is my first year and I think I may be pricing too low. In particular I live dead in the center of Hall, Dawson, and Forsyth counties and do mow trim and blow. I'd love to use the square footage based system as it seems the best way of standardizing pricing. I'm not against the time based pricing but, I'm not real sure of man hour rates in this area either. I'm still learning but, I'm serious about making this work and started out with new solid equipment (Hustler 48"Fasttrak, Hustler Trimstar 36", Honda push, RedMax trimmers, edges and blowers all on a 14x7 enclosed). I don't want to be "that guy" undercutting the industry standards nor do I want to undercut myself.
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  2. hal

    hal LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 1,547

    Need more info.... Why do you think you are pricing too low? Are you flooded with too much work? Are you below 35/cut?
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    psychocadi

    psychocadi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I'm basically at 35 on everyone except 1. All take an hour +/- but I believe that time can be brought down as I become more comfortable with the equipment.

    Break down is this:
    .66 acre weekly $35
    .59 biweekly $35
    .61 weekly $35
    .62 biweekly $50 (customer offered at this amount or I would have probably said $35)
    .46 biweekly $35 (client always pays $40 though)

    Not flooded with work but, I've had my arm snatched off once and offered more than I would've charged another time.
     
  4. hal

    hal LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 1,547

    My weekly start at 40, start, my bi weekly are 60. We are not accepting any more every other weeks, only every week all year around.
     
    hort101 and psychocadi like this.
  5. OP
    OP
    psychocadi

    psychocadi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I've actually been toying with the idea of raising the bi weekly because the dandelions and what have you are a pain in the butt. I've seen a lot of folks on Facebook who start at $35 so that's where I went with pricing. What area are you in? Thank you so much for your help!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  6. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 2,152

    Have your minimum price for anything 5K square feet or less. Then have incremental pricing for anything over that in 2500 square foot increments. Add a nominal (small) fee for trimming along fences and edging excessive beds and corner lots. If it's just you, $45-$50/hour gross is a good place to start.
     
    Cam15, hort101, hal and 1 other person like this.
  7. OP
    OP
    psychocadi

    psychocadi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    So I'm not too far off for a first timer to commercial equipment I'd say? Always room to raise when I'm more seasoned. Any suggestions on the sq ft pricing? Thank you so much for the help!
     
    hort101 likes this.
  8. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 2,152

    To calculate square foot pricing, you first need to know how many acres/hour you typically can mow with your machine. Let's suppose you normally mow at a rate of 2 acres/hour with your 48" mower. That's just a hair over 87K square feet per hour. Now let's suppose you want to price it down to the nearest minute. The formula is total area divided by 60 minutes, or 87000/60= 1450 square feet. If you were hypothetically aiming for $45/hr gross, that equals $0.75/minute. This mowing rate would be $0.75/minute at 1450 square feet of mowing a minute. STOP. You also have to add trimming, edging, blowing, unloading/reloading time, time to leave service slips, misc. equipment maintenance (i.e. restringing trimmer). The time of all of these different steps is not only dependent on the scope of the property, but the skill of the operator. If I were you, I would use your own property (and maybe a neighbor's) as a proving grounds for your operation, and do some time trials. I do a time trial every year in July just to see what changes might be present. Then, spend a day watching your competitors perform from your vehicle. Compare their performance to your own. Make any required adjustments. You also have to look at your niche market. Is it middle-class residential, commercial, or high-end? These factors will all effect your price. The bottom line is that you are meeting your hourly gross rate. Once fulfilled, work on cutting out any inefficiencies.
     
    Debbie Neese, Mow-eze, Cam15 and 2 others like this.
  9. OP
    OP
    psychocadi

    psychocadi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Holy mother load of information, I love it! Really good stuff there. I was off on my understanding of numbers.
     

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