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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by J&J Lawncare, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. J&J Lawncare

    J&J Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I'm just getting inot the mowing buisness.....my friend and i are mowing yards as a summer job and getting ready to go out and get more yards.....im just not sure how much to charge?How does everyone else charge????
  2. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I count the blades of grass in the yard, multiply by the air temperature on the day I give the estimate, then divide by a difficulty factor of 1-9.

    Just kidding. You have to know your costs of doing business, fuel, insurance, equipment, your time, your partners time. Just because something is "paid for" doesn't mean it doesn't cost you something. Add in your desired profit and run with it. Higher profit = slower, controlled growth, typically less headaches. Lower profit = faster, often erratic growth, typically more headaches.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    This is the most ridiculous post i have ever read. Every body knows you need to figure the relative humidity!!:laugh:
    BS is right --Know your costs
  4. Chris.S

    Chris.S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Great Answer!!!
  5. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I should have also said the vast majority of lower profit organizations also end up in the poor house filing Chapter 11 (bankruptcy). Those erratic growth swings and repercussions will break most businesses.
  6. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    This is a good answer ... BUT ... you also have to know what the market pays in your area. What you figure your costs of doing business are (and this varies from LCO to LCO) ... the market may or may not support your business. Once you know your costs, and you have worked out your business plan, then you will have a good idea if you can make it in this business. You may need to fine-tune your business plan and add more services, more customers, or may be right on track for your particular market.

    Bottom line here is to provide great customer service, and to do good work. Anyone can cut grass, but what most of my customers want is a well manicured lawn. With the proper equipment and care, you can provide this at the fair market price in your area.

  7. CNY Property Management

    CNY Property Management LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    IMO, the market determines the cost, not your cost of doing business. Granted, you have to know your cost of doing business to understand what your margin is, but just because your cost of doing business is higher doesn't mean you can charge more than the going rate. A service, like any product, is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

    One thing I have learned in business is that the customer does not know your cost or profit margin....nor do they really care. Charge what the product or service is worth.
  8. d.m.d.

    d.m.d. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    i think there is an old saying like''remember, charge what your worth or soon you will only be worth what you charge''.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    And this is why most soon go out of business, To run at break even or at a loss because it is "market" can not work,
    You must always work to keep overhead as low as possible but also work to keep your price of service as high as possible. You need to educate your customer to the cost of providing that service and why your service is worth it. The service I provide is above what else in out in the market--therefore I charge more than market, and my customer is willing to pay for that service. (because I am able to make the client know the value he is receiving)
  10. CNY Property Management

    CNY Property Management LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I think perhaps you took my post out of context somewhat. My point is to focus more on keeping overhead low and increasing operating efficiencies as opposed to pricing yourself out of the "market". You are absolutely correct that in certain cases you can charge a premium (higher than the market average) for outstanding service, but in many cases certain customers are not willing to pay higher rates. I would also say that it is easier for an established business that has a strong base of customers and is generating an acceptable profit to charge more and be more selective. The member making the original post did not seem to be in this situation as I believe you probably are. I have owned several businesses and have always charged above average prices for what I consider above average service. However, I always trying to keep my operating expenses to a minimum. I am a firm believer that you make your money buying - not selling. To a certain degree, the market will control the range of what a service is worth. What you have more control of is how you operate your business. In a perfect world you charge a premium and have lower operating costs than your competitors. To your point though, many if not most, undercharge and undervalue the service that they provide.

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