Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Seems Landscaping, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Seems Landscaping

    Seems Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Can any of you share how you handle estimates?

    I'm not here to complain but in the spring I get about 10-15 calls per day for estimates. If I miss a day because I'm too busy out in the field, then I'm struggling to catch up. I'm running around all day just doing estimates, will the rest of the business is suffering.

    I thought I had a master plan of scheduling estimates one day out of the week (Friday), well that didn't work out. When I got to the office this morning I had 27 estimates that came in the last 2 days. If I don't do them now, by Friday I won't have enough hours in a day to complete them all.

    Once again, I'm not complaining, just wondering how you guys deal with estimating.

    Thanks for the tips
  2. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    I try and schedule to be done with work by 3, then spend the next 4 hours doing whatever I need whether it be estimates of fixing equipment, etc.. If you are doing 10 estimates though that will be a challenge.... Kind of sounds like you need some help
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Seems Landscaping

    Seems Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I'm scared of getting help with the estimates. Not really confortable delegating that task just yet. I'm trying to make a spreadsheet where you would just enter the square feet of the property and it would give you a price. I'm having difficulties coming up with one because of all the details surrounding a property. Trimming, slope, ditch, amount of trees, can the big mower fit, travel time etc etc. Maybe your right, I do need help, I'm just scared. Thanks for the input.
  4. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    I meant help with the work in order to free up time to do estimates. I would never let a new guy give estimates!!! The spreadsheet idea isn't a good one as there are WAY too many factors to ensure you don't get screwed
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I handled it by raising my prices and staying solo... I only take on new jobs as a favor, for the past xx years now...
    Don't work harder,,, work smarter... :)
  6. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,857

    You just identified a whole bunch of variables that should be factored into your spreadsheet. Now, figure mathematically how they should impact your pricing equation and add those to your spreadsheet. Youre probably closer than you think.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Can't do 'em all on Friday.

    So why not finish doing them on Saturday?

    I do not know the size of your business. Advertising budget. How much room is in your schedule to add more work.

    Though I tend to lean that your pricing maybe a touch to low. along with you need to pre qualify customers on the phone.

    Most landscapers have work that is not profitable for them to do. Are you taking on that type of work? Based on where your strengths are you may be best served by being more selective on who you are going to go take on as customers.
  8. Seems Landscaping

    Seems Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I don't think my prices are too low. I'm very selective in the customers I want and the jobs I want to do. That seems to be the problem, customers call 3-5 companies to provide estimates and pick the cheapest one. I will not beat any competitors prices. I have my own prices to pay my costs, myself and turn in a profit, which works for me. The problem is running around doing estimates.
  9. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I would start ballparking them prices over the phone (or at least your minimum price) to weed some out
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. magicmike

    magicmike LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    if you hire help, they go give the estimates they can take photos and take notes about square footage, slopes, and anything else you need. give you the photos and notes they wrote. Than you make a proposal and send it to the customer within 24-48 hours. you can hire a kid (who is educated in math atleast, and common sense) and have him on a part time job doing this.

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