Formula for prices?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Ericfischer100, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Thanks for the info, I have a customer now that wants the mulch broken up and I wasn't sure how to best do it now I know thanks.
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I deleted everything else in your post to point out the most important part. Once you have a sound system in place you will be able to hire someone other than yourself to do estimates. You will not be anchored to your business, your business will work for you rather than the other way around. Obviously you have many more systems to develop but your on the right track. Congratulations!
  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    That's a very good point! I am hoping to acheive that myself!
  4. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    exactly, im not saying everything in my business is perfect by anymeans. but what you said is the most important part, someone else to do estimates. I dont want to always be tied to doing every single estimate that gets called in. I want to run my business, manage the crews, and help my business grow. And if as an owner your out on the mower every day, running estimates all the time, and then doing all of the other stuff too, your never going to grow as a business.

    look at other business on this site, do you think that etw could be where hes at today if he was still in the field actually doing the work no. A company like perfect earth, im sure if he found suitable people to continue to put up the type of work he does himself, and not be in the truck every day working, his business could be much larger than it is now.

    Its one of the hardest hurdles to get over as a business owner, getting off the mower and behind the desk, but when you do you will notice results.
  5. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I'm interested in how you sell the yearly service packages? meaning, how do you approach the customer with them, as well as come up with a price, and get them into the deal? I'm just thinking it has to be tricky to talk someone into signing a contract that costs them so much money.

    what monthly applications do you do?
  6. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I have a different approach for pricing than by the hour.

    I try to mostly price by the JOB, The reason is when you become more efficient by 1) being more skilled or 2) more efficient equipment, the profit per hour goes up.

    Lets say you charge $30 an hour to trim shrubs. Well what if when starting out, you did 4 shrubs in an hour. And then later on you became better at hedge trimming, and you also upgraded from that Black & Decker electric trimmer to a bigger, more powerful gas hedge trimmer. Now you can do 8 shrubs in an hour. You just trimmed 4 shrubs for free with the hourly method!

    This is not to say that taking into consideration the amount of time is bad. There are certain things I group into a second category that I assign more of a "weight" to because 1) it will simply take longer to do than usual or 2) it will require more physical effort to do. For example, if someone wants me to use a chainsaw to cut up some downed trees, you better believe I am gonna charge more per minute/hour/whatever than if I was just sitting on a mower for the same amount of time.

    Examples of things that will take more time but arent necessarily "harder" are weedeating big ditches that can't really be measured out by linear feet, areas that aren't accessible with a larger mower, etc.

    Now, in perfect conditions, I have, in my mind, a minimum charge for going to a property. What is the minimum that makes it worth my time to drive out there and unload? I then have a minimum charge for edging and a minimum charge for trimming. So, if they just want a mow, the minimum charge is X, mow and trim, minimum charge is Y, mow trim and edge, minimum charge is Z, etc. And as I said, thats a MINIMUM. Based on experience, for that minimum price, I will mow such and such size area and put such and such amount of work into trimming/edging. If it will take me more than a certain amount of time to edge or to trim, then thats even more added to the price to trim or edge.

    For trimming around objects like large rocks, trees, etc, I count them and charge X amount per object. For linear trimming, I know that every step I take 2.5 feet. So I walk the area and figure out the linear feet and multiply it by how much I've found, by experience, is what I want to make per foot (based on how long it usually takes). For areas that are thicker and will take longer, I charge a little more.

    The same applies with using my gas push edger. For driveways that just need to be maintained, that are already edged, I charge x amount per foot, and I also have a minimum charge for edging. For driveways that are pretty overgrown and need to be "prepped" to be maintained, I charge at least double per linear foot

    So I base my bids on minimum fees for the stop, for each indvidual each task, along with a "hardness" factor for areas that will require special attention or just be more work. Hope this helps.
  7. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    And a short answer to this question is I charge $70 an acre to mow (if it pretty wide open), more if its got obstacles etc
    $50 minimum stop fee
    I have a $15 minimum to weed eat
    $15 minimum to edge, up to 150 linear feet or so, then its 20cents a foot if it just needs to be maintained
    Blow is included, unless the driveway is huge then I charge extra
    I charge at least $15 to bag clippings

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