First estimate today- help me not screw it up!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Paul's Green Thumb, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Paul's Green Thumb

    Paul's Green Thumb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    My philosophy this: even as a new guy I'm not out there trying to lowball jobs. I'm starting this business on a part-time basis, and I'm going to have to learn as I go… But I definitely don't want to be that guy! I'd rather turn down jobs in the beginning, and build a base of good quality customers... Customers who see my efforts as valuable, and aren't just trying to shop for the next guy who's cheaper.

    Really, I'm looking to find a lot of friends who also trust me to do their yard work ;)
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  2. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    I'm in the exact same boat. Doing this part time while working a full time job. Nobody likes a lowballer, so I make sure to bid according to market and what I deem necessary. I want my company image to be based off of quality, not the lowest price. Good philosophy, and good luck to you
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  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Even worse are the jobs where the homeowner has purchased materials and started the job and found themselves over their head and then want you to finish it, or where they want to work with you on it.

    As far as mulching goes, I usually end up around $100/yard installed for premium bark mulches with minor prep work included (a few weeds and just redefining edges). That might go as high as $125 if the beds are a mess. If it's a larger job (>10 yards) and I'm putting down double ground hardwood mulch I can get it down to $75/yard or so. My productivity rate for spreading mulch usually ranges from 1 to 1.5 yards per hour depending on access and the mulch...some are easier to spread than others.
  4. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Funny you mention that Darryl. Last year I had a homeowner call me for a quote for a new lawn. His was totally destroyed by Hurricane Irene. I gave him my quote and he said to me: "Would you give me a discount if I helped you?" I was laughing my ass off in my head and my reply to him was: "I'll give you $10.00 per hour off the labor for each hour you help me"! Holy crap I thought he was going to have a heart attack after hearing that. Needless to say I did not get the job!
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  5. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    I had a customer asked if I wanted their help on a leaf clean-up. They had a "real powerful electric blower" and just would need to use a cord. I simply said thank you, but no thank you. They just don't understand that we can work faster without their help, and we definitely won't be giving discounts for the help! Look at it this way. When you take a car in to get an oil change, you can ask if you can get a discount if you help the tech change the filter!
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  6. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    That seems ridiculously low. $65 is what customers will pay for a yard of mulch if they buy it in bags (which almost all of them do).

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