dilema w a mulch job- HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by LawnPatrolNY, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    200.00 bucks + material,so I guess the cost of materials went up.
  2. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    so mulch is about 100 bucks a yard right? ;)
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,247

    $200 base price, $90 for added work, $45/yard for mulch delivered. Didn't make much but can't expect to if your not running a legit business. You need some new help if it takes 45 minutes to trim one bush even a big one.
  4. LawnPatrolNY

    LawnPatrolNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    has anyone ever underbid a job and added money onto materials, i mean you do drive to the store and not only spend time,gas,your money upfront to buy it ... is it fair to charge accordingly for this ?
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    As far as insurance goes what will you do if you have an accident? Say you accidentally hit a rock with a trimmer or mower and it goes through an expensive sliding glass door window? What about if that rock hits a passing kid in the head? Can you pay his medical bills? What about the law suit that would fallow? And God forbid the rock killed the kid? I've told this story on here many times of an improperly insured hack up here. He got in an auto accident caused by another vehicle, lost control and took out a number of cars in front of a Lexus dealership. The police report noted that he was using his vehicle for business purposes. Because of this the insurer of the vehicle which caused the accident refused to pay, and so did his insurance. The damage to the vehicles at the dealership were far more costly than what his vehicle insurance policy covers anyways. He ended up being sued by the dealers insurance and went to court and lost. Then the IRS and Department of Revenue got involved and an another can of warms were open. In the end he and his wife lost their home, vehicles, and everything else, have a tax bill they will be paying for years and are on probation for tax evasion until the state and Feds are paid back.

    Most lagitimate companies do not charge the Custer $200 plus what ever materials cost. You should be able to look at the job and know how many yards of mulch you will need, it's simple math.

    As far as your spelling and grammar, there is a nifty little spell check button.
    As far as my spelling, I'm on an iPad and my fingers are to fat for the buttons. I apologize in advance if I accidentally missed something
  6. LawnPatrolNY

    LawnPatrolNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    this part of the post is to greenindustryassociates:

    i dont think you read the part that i said "IM JUST STARTING OUT" , and the fact of only having 3 clients as of right now i dont think makes a lot of sense for me to go out and get all the needed paperwork, like i said if it goes good this year and i stick w it next year i will go ahead and do all of those things. right now im using my already owed pickup truck ,my residential 22" push mower my string trimmer and blower, so my cost is very low, basically i just pay for gas, i didnt go out and drop 1000's of $ like people do , im testing the waters to see if this is something i want to do and want to be involved in. i already work 60 hrs a week at an overnight career, and i will not be dropping that either. i understand and respect the fact that people who are in business for lawn care do go out and get the needed paperwork , but for me i think im small enough right now to wait out the paperwork.

    as far as bidding $200 plus material... its the 1st job i had to bid on and the guy was looking for a price right there, now i know for future reference to tell the person let me take some measurments and get back to you w a bid or quote... like people said on here.. live n learn if i dont learn from this mistake then theres something wrong .

    and i find it funny that i tell ppl first thing that my spelling/grammer isnt good when im just BLOGGING and shooting around ideas/thoughts. but its ok for u to be useing an ipad and have a fat finger and its fine if u make a mistake in spelling/grammer. lol :laugh: .. well guess wut then, dont use an ipad simple as that

    as to everyone else who has posted and not been negative to me thank you very much for your time/support/ideas/advice , bc of some of u i now know how to more properly give a quote or not short myself
  7. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    If that's the way you are choosing to start your business, thats up to you. I just hope you as honest with your customers, and that they know the person using equipment on their property is uninsured. I would at least talk to a couple agents and get quotes you may find that insurance is cheaper than you thought. I know when I first switched my truck to commercial registration and insurance I saved about $1,400-1,600 a year. But that all depends on vehicle, driving record, where you live, ect. I think I was quoted around $500 a yr for a 250k/500k general liability policy.

    As far as pricing, yes that comes from experience. Get a measuring wheel to start with and do the math out, a yard of mulch will cover about 100 sq feet at about 3" deep. Eventually you will be able to eye ball an area and get an estimate for mulch needed and time for weeding, edging, spreading, etc... As far as time goes, you should be figuring the time it takes to estimate the job, gather materials, drive to and from the site, all into the job time and bill accordingly. The fuel you use for these trips should be figured as a material to.

    The reason I don't agree with giving a separate price for labor and materials is that the customer with often try to compare those to another company. But often they are not comparing apples to apples. Often with a newer company charging for materials many customers will not understand why you are charging xx.xx per yard when they can get it delivered for less themselves. Abigail piece of advice I'll give you on this is to sell your product, inform the customer why your mulch is better, and inform why you are a better choice, do you spend more time weeding, cleaning etc? are you cheaper? Being cheaper will work in the short term but may limit how far you can take the company.
  8. LawnPatrolNY

    LawnPatrolNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    GIA thank you for the input and sorry that we got off to the wrong foot like that. deff have some good advice and i will be looking into insurance for my truck... although i dont think ill save 1400-1600 /yr considering i pay less then that for 2 cars on a policy allready. but anyway like i said if i do decide to stick w this , then i will deff get all the nessesary things that i need , no matter what the cost.

    it does make more sense to put all my cost into one and then they can compare apples to apples, lol like i said first quote and did it more on the fly, just didnt seem like it was as much work as i thought it was at first.

    bottom line i fudged up on the bid.. ive put the bid in, so im doing the time and work as it sits. im still going to do a great job w it and not skip any corners, thats not who i am .

    during this time of being at the job site the owner has already expressed abotu how impressed he is w the work that i do , so i dont see him being a prob w future work around the yard.
  9. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    The customer may think your future bids are high compared to your first. Maybe tell the guy you are not lookin for extra money for the job this year, but this same job if done next year won't be that low cuz you under estimated time. He may offer to give you more money!

    My first season I had done a few 3yd or less mulch jobs & bid my first job over 10yds & I under estimated. Bid 12yds & ended up being 16yds. So I told the client that I wan't lookin for extra cuz I already gave price & just wanted to let them know if I was gonna do it the following year it would be more cuz I under estimated amount of mulch. They knew I was just starting out & insisted I charge them for the extra 4yds. I got lucky, so you may also.
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  10. Orrdc

    Orrdc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    My big question would be how did it take you so long to do 2 yards of mulch? Were the beds just a total disaster?

    Let me also add, as a previous poster mentioned if you tell a customer $200 + materials that will be all they hear. No customer wants you to tell them your going to be adding on a price at the end. You need to learn to be able to give a solid bid from the start and then stick with it.

    That said, its a learning experience and I would bet most will say they have messed up bids when first starting. Most of the time the only way to learn is to get your hands dirty

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