Bidding Conflict

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Bigg-Lenny, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Bigg-Lenny

    Bigg-Lenny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    I am still very “wet behind the ears” when it comes to this lawn care business. My question to you all is, do you guys set your rates the same regardless of the type of schedule,...monthly, biweekly, and weekly? Or do you look at it kind of like fleet sale discount,...the more you buy, the less it is per vehicle, but the more the dealership makes.

    Simple hypothetical quote rates:
    Monthly- $100 = $100/mo
    Biweekly- $75 = $150/mo
    Weekly- $50 = $200-250/mo

    Also, you discount your rates if the property is bigger.

    I’m totally fine if you tell me that I’m out of my mind, lol. But I honestly need to know.
  2. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,377

    Don't discount anything. Charge more for biweeklys as they can screw up your schedule.
  3. Steve

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,709

    First of all I don't do monthly, grass is entirely too thick here. I look at a yard and I say $40 per cut. Oh you want biweekly? Yeah you have bahia I'm going to have to charge more as it will take slightly more time to mow.

    Where you located? Where I am I service year round, a $50 weekly yard is $171/month for me even in the winter.
  4. OP

    Bigg-Lenny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Just to be sure that I understand you,...1) The biweekly rate per cut should be higher, as stated in my example? 2) The rates remain the same, regardless of the size of the property?

    I only have a handful of accounts at this moment. Therefore, I don’t really have a schedule to get screwed up. Apparently, as I reach a magic number of accounts, I’ll have to make some adjustments of my schedule. Because of these particular types of accounts, they’re all monthly. I’m fine with them being that way, because they take me me much time to complete. Plus, I get paid well for them.

    I see what you’re saying. The biweekly adds a little more time to the job.

    I’m located in Phoenix. The accounts that I have, can be potentially serviced about 9-10 months out of the year. It all depends if the customers decide not to overseed with winter rye grass. I have 2 one acre accounts, and 2 half acre accounts, and just put in a bid for a 2 acre account earlier today. It’ll be monthly as well as the others.

    I know the majority of LCOs HATE monthly accounts. The thing is, they just keep coming my way. At this point in time, if they’re willing to pay,... I’m definitely not gonna turn them down. I’m on the prowl for more “regular accounts.” In the meantime, I’m just taking what I can get, until I become more established.
  5. MattCurbAppeal

    MattCurbAppeal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    If you are just starting out, my advice is to not overcomplicate things. Give your estimates in person and walk the property with the customer. I charge the same price for weekly and bi-weekly jobs. I overcharge the once a month guys because their grass is going to get ridiculous for three months out of the year. I charge $35 for regular lots and 40-45 for corners. Commercial and acreage are on a case-by-case basis. Focus I'm keeping the yard looking good, keeping your equipment running, and expanding to new customers. You are not an accountant, you mow lawns. Good customers get that.
  6. ltdlawn

    ltdlawn LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,864

    It’s all based on a hourly rate goal. I’d figure up what you want to make per hour, do not forget adding in cushion for travel maintenance administrative work all is your time. Let’s say you have $60 per hour goal can’t just charge a dollar per minute for the time you are servicing the property. That doesn’t cover travel time maintenance time invoicing etc. may not seem like much in the beginning but making several stops a day on a route, getting gas, sharpening blade, changing oil, invoices, etc all adds up. Different areas have different needs I would run from monthly but Phoenix is a different market I’m sure. Good luck.
    MILLC, Cam15 and Bigg-Lenny like this.
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,490

    estimating and 'discount's is complicated.

    If you're strictly speaking ONLY mowing.
    Then the price is the price take it or leave it.

    When youre looking at an ala carte 'meal deal' , meaning the prices are all line itemed out:
    Mowing X
    Hedges Y
    Fert n squirt Z

    you can 'hide' some of the cost in Y and Z, because people identify with mowing.
    they think everyone and any can do it, so they expect this price to be low.
    so you take about 20% out of mowing and put it in hedges and fert n squirt for example and call it a "package" discount on mowing.

    this how brickman gets such low mowing prices. Everyone goes around saying OMG brickman gave such a low mowing price.
    they didnt really, they just moved the numbers around.
    THAT price is only available with a full service account.
    they entice you to buy more to get the 'discount'

    if you dont know what youre doing youre running around chasing your tail trying to match their discount getting madder and madder...thats all part of their evil plan.
    MILLC, Cam15, Dainius and 2 others like this.
  8. OP

    Bigg-Lenny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    I feel comfortable at my hourly rate goal. I think that my issue lies with the bigger properties. If I hypothetically charge $50/hr because it “takes me an hr” to mow an acre,...would I charge $250 for five hrs to mow five acres, or would I charge them $40/hr ($200) for five hrs to mow five acres, and still make a profit. That’s what I meant by the “discount.” Seems like I should just leave it as X amount/hr is X amount/hr regardless of property size.

    In regards to scheduled rates, I can see that everyone is different. Therefore, it’s just a matter of preference in regards to weekly and biweekly rates being different or the same. Mine are set up so that my biweekly visits are higher than my weekly visits, and so forth with monthly and biweekly.

    It’s honestly pretty hard for me to run from those monthly accounts. Those are what I started my company with. 2 one acre properties, 2 half acre properties, and now a 2 acre property that I mowed and cleaned up, that’s now a monthly account. These accounts are easy jobs. They’re all wide open properties. The 2 acre property has more pipe fencing to trim along. But the others just require trimming around the perimeter. It takes me well under an hr to complete the one acre jobs, it’s not as bad as many would think. In Phoenix, they have a lot of what they call County Islands. It’s areas of real estate that’s not annexed. The properties are anywhere from 1-5 acres in size. I personally live on 5 acres, so I know what it’s like from a maintenance standpoint. There are a lot of them that don’t maintain all of their property on a weekly or biweekly basis. If I knew of any landscaping companies that pass up that part of these properties, they should give me a call. I will gladly get on that, lol.

    That’s some insightful information.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,490

    "production wise"
    a 60" mower is going to mow 4 acres of open flat square yard nearly as fast as it would mow a landscaped acre.

    So if it says it mows "6 acres an hour" but it takes you an hour to mow an acre, THAT's why.
    It's all the time spent in burning up turning and maneuvering and overlapping.

    this is the source of the discrepancy between and cause in price argument between 'typical landscape mowing' and big area mowing.

    additionally, weed whacking/trim is going to be the same or typically less on a "wide open" multiacre grass than it is on a landscaped acre.
    snomaha and hort101 like this.
  10. Green Industry Pro

    Green Industry Pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Tyler Texas
    Messages: 745

    I charge the same for weekly and bi-weekly as I have commercial equipment and my equipment doesn't care, will not slow me down with that little growth. I refuse anything beyond bi-weekly unless its acreage. DO NOT accept 10 days. Just do 7 and 14 day schedules.

    Price structure can either be the same for weekly / bi-weekly or you can add 25%-50% per visit. I try and get people hooked on a weekly schedule, upsale it to them.

    For lot size, you have to discount as size increases (as a general rule), but this is just a reflection of your hourly rate. How much can you do in an hour? Multiply this by your rate to find your price. I have a price per square foot, but its based off of how much can I do in an hour. Ive timed everything and then created a chart to refer to. I can mow, trim, edge a 10k lot in 30min. but I can mow and trim several acres per hour. Acreage often requires little to no blowing and trimming and you can get a large mower on the property at max speeds. I charge somewhere near $5/1,000 SQFT and $65/acre as mowing rates. So you can see how this equates out.
    Bigg-Lenny likes this.

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