1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

First call!?!?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GREENSPEED, Mar 23, 2004.


    GREENSPEED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I put out mt buisness cards on sunday and got a call when i was at work monday.Man I was eager to make the return call.The guy said he had a wash out in his back yard.Shouldnt take but a few wheelbarrow loads to fix the problem he says.I go to his house today and check out the "washout".It looked more to me like a dry creekbed in his backyard! I didn't know what to say.He wasnt there but his wife was.I told her I would get some prices up tommorow but in all actuality, it's gonna cost him a small fortune if I do it.Being my first caller, and almost surely having to turn the work down for lack of resources, I'm kind of depressed.Should I price it and see if he still wants to go through with it?;) :confused:

    GREENSPEED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    By the way,I mostly do lawn maintenance.If this job was as he described i could do it.When dump trucks and bobcats are involved I just dont have the resources.
  3. FFMED74

    FFMED74 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 242

    Bid it and see what happens, the worst he can say is no....
  4. Joe25

    Joe25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    If you do not have the resources and you give them a price you will have to sub out the bobcat work, which in turn will drive the estimate price up. Someone else you has the resources available could do it cheaper. Anyway stick with it you will get calls good luck.
  5. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Not a problem GREENSPEED.Go look again.Check the diminsions of the "dry creek" to find out how much soil you'll need to bring in.If you need help,just get the diminsions(length,width,and heighth to level) and post them here or PM me.We'll help you out with that.
    Next,rent a front end loader this weekend and have it delivered to your home.You'll be suprised at how easy it is to operate.
    Pick a day to do the job and leave yourself plenty of time to plan it out.(Tell em you're booked up for a 2-3 weeks)
    Call someone in your area and tell them how much soil you need delivered and have them bring it and dump it on site.Take the front end loader and move the soil and dump it in the wash.Use the loader to smooth it out.you might have to smooth some by hand also using a rake.
    It sounds pretty simple and you could make some pretty good money off of it.
    Just yell if you need help with pricing.Get all your set costs in order,like your rental and delivery of the front end loader,and the price of the soil per yard and delivery costs.Then we'll talk about how long and how much to charge.
    Also,take a pic and load it here if you can.

    GREENSPEED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Hey thanks NickN.I'll get everything together and post it.I do apreciate the help.

    I just think that the material prices alone are gonna scare the he#! out of this guy.I don't wanna go in there and do a halfa$$ job and I think hes just looking for a quick fix.

    I was also thinking about a few drains in his yard.The problem starts By the front side of his house and goes down to the end of his property line.
    Half acre yard or better.Starts off with a small rut and just keeps growing.

    I'm gonna call him now to see exactly what he wants done and give him a few options.Thanks for the help guys and I'll keep you up to date and try to get a picture up.

  7. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Definitely give him the bid. He might say no BUT he might say yes! Also one thing that you could do is have him give you 50% up front to help you cover your expenses. This is very common in the landscaping industry, and it is an easy way to help you get jobs that will require a lot of out of pocket expenses. One other thing...DO NOT UNDER BID THIS JOB! Make sure you know your costs, and charge this guy whatever you need to make money.
  8. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I agree with Let it Grow! DO NOT UNDERBID! Most of us here have had jobs that we underbid when we started out (because we were eager for work). Don't do it! The beautiful thing about this business is that there are PLENTY of other jobs out there to be done.
  9. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Greenspeed, it says in your profile that you have 5 years experience. Is that an error?

    GREENSPEED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    No it is not an error.I have 3 years experience with one school system and 2 years with a large school system in GA.Some people may snicker at that but I work my a%$ off all year long.
    The crew I'm on takes care of 21 facilities and we have 3 people on a crew.The facilities are expected to be done every two weeks.
    I'm talking acres of work.We are full service and we do it all from spraying to cutting trees,mowing,edging,bushes,everything.

    That being said I need all the input I can get from you guys.
    Although I have done this type of work before,I usually have help and especially don't know how to price it.
    I priced drains and pipe,silt fence, etc.I'm just haveing a hard time finding dirt(it's a shame isn't it).I fugure if I really Bust my butt it's gonna take from 4-6 hours.If he wants the drains put in I'm gonna have to dig a 170'+ trench(maybe not that much if I use some of the existing wash).Anyhow, I've gotta call the guy now and tell him of my progress.

    BTW..........Labor cost?????I'm thinking If he goes the easy way out useing silt fence instead of drains,It's gonna cost him $150 plus materials.If he wants the drains in I'm thinking $200+.
    Is this too high?too low?

    Thanks for all the help with this project guys and your help certainly goes a long way.I'll post soon for further deatils and progress.:)

Share This Page