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Bidding Hedge and Mulch Jobs

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by xtremelawn, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. xtremelawn

    xtremelawn LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 110

    We are hiring a sales person this year and I am trying to come up with a good formula for bidding hedge and mulch jobs. Does anyone use a formula when bidding these type jobs? If so could you please share that formula with me.

  2. fastpine

    fastpine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    I personally charge $10-$15 per 4'x6' hedge..
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    My mulch formula:

    # yards of mulch multiplied by my service fee to install mulch (per yard) equals total mulch install price

    does it need to be any more complicated than this:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:
  4. StihlBR600

    StihlBR600 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    What is your service fee to install mulch?
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    anywhere from 65 all the way to 110
  6. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    If you have been in this business for some time you will want to acknowledge the time needed for one man to perform a specific task.
    I have timed certain shrubbery and then timed hedges. The times will vary greatly depending on factors of experience and growth rates and duration. Then you will have to figure in the removal--fuel--machine use and labor. I am sure there are companies that use a specific formula......unlike figuring mowing of property with special shaped islands.
    The variables you will encounter will either increase or decrease profit margins from task to task. With time you will be able to accurately bid on shrubbery jobs and mulch.

    Mulching is pretty much the same thing. You will need to know how long it will take one man to apply a cu yd of mulch. Measuring the area of the bed, given the depth and the amount of cu yds needed will influence the time for the job. The other factor is bagged or bulk mulch used. Is there machinery used in the distribution of the material-manpower needed to perform the task. I know that most of us use a cost per yard of mulch method as it usually eliminates hidden problems you encounter. Either way, calculate what a man can do in an hour and how much productivity he does. Then if you use 2-3 men to do the work, the time is cut to 1/3 or 1/2. Company's will base labor hours and this should be at a constant, then your profit percentage and your equipment recovery is needed.

    This person you plan to hire needs to have the experience in installations and basic knowledge on maintenance. If they don't you will need to know all the punches and train them. You are relying on them to make you money.............not lose it.
  7. StihlBR600

    StihlBR600 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    $65? thats nuts i was thinking round $45. This is going to be my first year doing mulch installation. So anymore tips or tricks i anyone has i would like to know
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    If you went and bought 9 bags of XX mulch at the store, you would spend around 4.00 per bag. You have 36.00 invested and a gain of 9.00 in your pocket. Is this enough profit for your time.? You buy a yard of bulk mulch for 28.00 then you have a profit of 17.00.
    Take out your vehicle, insurance, maintenance, labor,etc. What do you have left.?

    I don't know the qualities of mulches and availability there, but it is not all the same everywhere.

    You generate a good customer base that is reliant on your current rate. You decide to expand and hire a employee.......this cuts into your profit. The mulch market plummets and becomes slow like it did here last year. The mulch shoots up to 45.00 a yd, then what.? You have to play the market and not stay so complacent with a set price.
    Always tell your customers that mulch fluctuates from one season to another--like plants. The price is subject to increases without notice.

    I charge 65.00 a yard to install, delivery fee and labor. If I didn't, then might as well get out of this business and let the low ballers take over.
    I didn't get all these licenses to play cheapo! Fair is ok, but too low is disastrous.

    I am not ribbing you---just being plain honest.
  9. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    BR600 hope you will take my advise on this . at 45.00 its to low so you dont misunderstand me on it what ever you local mulch yard gets for mulch ,reguardless of your cost multiply it by 3.75 your mulch cost as a minimum .you will get plenty of work .

    We cover our state and that number works well reguardless of the town , at that price its still low in average . Dont short change your business , and up sale all additional work in those beds at your regular rate . .
    Use a pitch fork not a scoop
    rake with the fork and if a smoother apperance is needed use a blower to make it happen and do your cleanup at the same time .
    We install 35,000 bags of mulch from lowes a year at $10.00 a 3c.u.ft bag installed, our cost is $2.25 with a $ 80.00 minimum plus additional work, cleanups,trimming, edging ect.
    Hope it helps.
  10. StihlBR600

    StihlBR600 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Thank you for all the advice. Im glad i found this thread. I will be buying mulch in bulk for around $30 per yard. So basically i should be charging about $100 per yard installed?

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