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Commercial Pricing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NWindiana, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. NWindiana

    NWindiana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    First I am new to the site but in the past weeks have read most threads and find most people here are very helpful...

    I have been running a lawn care and snow removal company for three years now. 100% of my business has been residential and for most lawns I charge $40.00 for the basic weekly service. I am in NW Indiana and most yards are 1/2 to 1/3 acre I would say. SO I feel I am not low balling anyone (unless I am please tell me because I am trying to keep the industry the same price with other lawn care providers.)

    I received a call today from a commercial property or an apartment complex wanting a price. I would love to grow with more commercial or apartment complex this season but I really have no clue how to price this.

    The apartment complex is fairly large with 32 total units. This is what I was initially thinking - if I had 32 buildings and the surrounding lawn around those buildings was on average what I do for a normal residential yard should I just times my price by 32 buildings (32 x $40)..... BUT to me that also seems very high. Or, should I take the route of charging by time. I figure it may take 2.5 to maybe 3 hours total.

    If anyone would provide input I would appreciate it. I just do not want to go into this and scare the potential customer away with a HIGH price when others bid thee projects by time.

    Thanks again in advance

    How does anyone bid these?
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,616

    commerical pricing is the same as residential. most times people cutting commercial properties are charging even less than you would for residential since the commerical property owners get bids year to year and go with the lowest bidder. you'll find cutting burger king for $25 a cut is really just a waste of time. you'd be better off cutting the normal $40 a cut residential yard.

    figure out your hourly rate. if it takes 3hrs to cut the apartment complex then charge 3x your hourly rate.

    i'm not sure what equipment you are using. if it took me 3hrs i would charge $150 a cut. i try to get $50 per hr. if they want weekly service then i might lower it to $125 a cut. that would be $500 a month.

    you never know though some guy might bid it at $75 a cut. i tend to just stay away from these types of properties. if they ask i'll give them my price but they probably wouldn't take it and think it was too high.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,465

  4. KnK

    KnK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    I've found commercial pays better on the snow end than lawn cutting, i do a 28 unit carriage home neighborhood for snow, but they wanted it cut for 300 dollars , sounded ok ,told them I would cut it once to give it a shot , that was the last time , took 16 man hours and about 15 gals fuel ,I told them to get some other sucker to cut it for that price. I still do the snow , they can't be happier, BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    It's going to take you a lot longer than just flat time x32 properties due to the sprawl, you are going to have to ambulate some kind of way between those 32 properties and crossing those distances takes time, and a fair amount of it. If you are solo or even with a crew you may also want to move the truck at certain intervals, personally speaking I don't want the truck out of my sight for too long, if you get my drift, but more important is that I am not at the opposite end of the property when I need to swap equipment.

    You get me, my trimmer just ran out of string and dang I am 31 properties down from my truck.
    Yes, I know some wise scaper is going to chime in about having a piece of string in their back pocket.
    But I would want to tackle the units so many at a time, then move, and tackle another set.
    Yes, if nothing else it's just so that I am never too far away from the truck.

    How about, since you don't have to service each individually, cut out $10 / every 4 properties x($40-$10) = $120 then +$10 to move your truck = $130 for every 4 so 32 / 4 = 8 x $130 = $1040 dollars.
    Essentially it comes out to $32.50 a piece.
    Just as an example.

    And you'd service the entire property, 4 lots at a time.
    If they're small enough you might can do 6, or 8.
    But don't cut yourself short.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

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