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Charging By the Hour

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rlc321, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. rlc321

    rlc321 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    I met with the manager of a upscale golfing community today. The want me to maintain their islands around the community it basically would be keeping them clean and free of litter some lite trimming, edging on a weekly bases there is no mowing. He wants a hourly rate for this work. This could be a great opportunity for me there are over 1200 homes and a few 100 more going in. and he said this could lead to much more work not to mention the home owners I might pick up.. He has other LOC doing most of the mowing but the are to busy too keep up with everything. My question is I have been charging $45.00 an hour for my other work. Should i stick with this price or maybe charge him a little less to get my foot in the door? Remember I am in Florida where the competition is cut throat. Thanks Ron
  2. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    You quote him an hourly rate to get your foot in the door, you may find the door slams shut on your foot. I would stick with the rate foir an upscale golfing community. They're not exactly starving after all, and you don't want to have to bust your ass for less money later if they open the bidding for other work.

    I know it's tempting, but it's not a good idea. This manager might be very savvy and playing you.
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I'd say more than likely Tropic Care or Southern Greens is taking care of it if its in the Vero area .... in that case they more than likely gave him a price for the extra work n he did not like the price

    I'd give him the best price one could to get the job n still make money ... if that's $45 than so be it .... if you can get away with less than do it n learn from the experience ..... the slow season is coming n the extra $$ would be nice .... than by spring .... after working it you'll know what your getting into n if you need more than up your rate

    Good Luck
  4. tx_angler

    tx_angler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I never "draw to an inside straight". I've tried it a few times and never seen it work out. Charge your regular rate and you'll never have to guess what happened.
  5. nriddle77

    nriddle77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    I think it depends on how much you want/need the work. Don't sell yourself short, no doubt you'll regret it later if you do.
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    have to agree. Why screw yourself in this deal by selling yourself short. You run a buiness and need to make a living, so charge accordingly.
  7. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    If they don't want to pay me $50 per hour, plus $25 per additional guy. Somebody else will. I got to much work to do now. I don't charge less than that, unless I really need the work. Which I hope never happens. Like what tiedeman say, don't sell yourself short.
  8. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    That's what they all say.
    Price it to make money, not for the jobs that "it could lead to".
    If you price it too cheap, it'll lead to more cheap work.
    You don't lose a dime on the jobs you don't get.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    yup exactly. One of my employees was doing some work for a friend that he knows and I was telling him (employee) to find out whether he (the friend) would like to have someone else take care of his lawn.

    The guy said, "sure, the company before charged about $70 to mow the lawn to kind of give you a ball park figure of what I would expect in price."

    Ok, first of all I know the other company, no way in heck they would charge that low for a 2 acre lawn that has to be bagged. Yup, you heard me right 2 ACRE LAWN THAT HAS TO BE BAGGED!!!

    I just told my employee, "Does he think that I am stupid to believe a price like that?"
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    home owners associations and the like love to get you to lowball by suggesting that you will pick up lots of home owner work. YEAH RIGHT. Being the one in charge OF PART of the common areas, what a great intro. Sorry but you are being led down a rosy path to the slaughter.

    Charge what is right and get it or don't. Nothing worse than working your butt off for free. If I am not going to get paid I would rather not work.

    The other guy gets the easy stuff (mowing) and you get the high labor/time job. Sounds like the other guy gave a mow only option to get in the door and the manager is trying to do the same to you. both are leading cheap to get the upsell, but the upsell has been sold to someone else cheap.

    Good luck

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