Help with priceing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by daleyslawn, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. daleyslawn

    daleyslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Im tring to redo my price on my company im starting to get to much overhead and not makeing enough money my big thing that i think are hearting are my labor rates on fall cleanups and hedge trimming and general labor for work around proertys last year we where geting $30 per/hr per person for everything and i know thats to low when i saw contract for another company that was getting $65 and hr per person for there fall cleanups. How could i go up and how much should i be without pissing my customers off
  2. daleyslawn

    daleyslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    everything esle i seem to be doing right in line with priceing
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Go up slowly. Yea your very low. Once you factor fuel, maintenance, and labor, your lucky to make anything.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I just ran into this myself today, it's yet another example of how that $x / hour
    formula just doesn't work as much of anything but maybe a rough guide.

    And I got to thinking...
    Certain machines cost more as a unit, others work us harder, some jobs involve
    risk, and so on... So there's no way I should get paid the same whether I'm
    using a $400 trimmer or an $8,500 Ztr, nor should I get paid the same for using
    a $3000 Wb Lawn mower vs. a $3000 WB Core aerator.
    Because even thou the value of the machines are the same, the mower is a heck of a lot
    easier to operate than that 26-inch wide solid axle snaggle-toothed beast of burden.

    How about a $400 spreader, or a $200 chainsaw?
    The spreader is low risk but high wear, the chainsaw is riskier.

    We get down to a wheelbarrow and a shovel we're hardly into $100 of low wear
    equipment, thou the work could be a bit harder than say mowing the grass but the
    replacement value of these units is so low, as is risk...

    So I say the hourly cost varies depending on:
    Cost of equipment: The replacement value here somewhat determines rate, how much a new one costs today.
    Degree of Manual Labor: The intensity of the work further determines rate, how hard the actual work is.
    Degree of risk: The factor of the risk also must be calculated in to the total, how dangerous the job.

    And I am also thinking the skill factor, degree (years) of experience.

    So all of that boils down to the cost of doing business.
    And it's going to take some careful studying this cost of doing business factor to come up
    with a sensible pricing table, a formula that is fair both to the business and the customer.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  5. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,790

    first things first, your post is difficult to read. once you get past that, you are very underpriced. you have to bit the bullet and simply jump your prices way up. you may loose a few but it will be worth it. absolute min for this year should be $40/hr. if you do good work your customers wont be able to beat that. im assumining your using big fast commerical equiptment though. not the old rake and tarp setup. next year id bump the price up again, perhaps to $50/hr. your not going to make money at $30/hr, sooner you bump it up the bette off you'll be
  6. daleyslawn

    daleyslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    yea we have all push 10hp blowers i do the labor price in my weekly cuts plus the mowing price when the leaves start falling since we mow over a 100 lawn a week and i canot keep up with looking at every lawn. then when its time to do final cleanups i give them a flat rate
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653


    Something else that might work is try to start charging for the AMOUNT of work.

    Now with leaves...
    With my customers I can give them a ballpark figure, but there's no telling for sure so I
    determine the exact total of the bill after the job is done.
    I have a simple formula, I start the clock when I get the machine running, and the clock
    runs the entire time until that 10hp Goat (yes I have one) is done and this gets me at least
    $40 an hour, and if they don't like it they can do it themselves LOL

    Because it is worth it, the backpack blower is another story but that 10hp goat does a LOT of work!
    It does at least as much as two Br-600's, and yes I said at least, so get what it's worth.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  8. im new in the game and i try to make around 30-35/hour. When I get a rep under my belt, i want to make 50/hour. i dont have a lot of overhead though. no employees right now, equipment paid of,truck paid off,etc. im not going to be upset making 30-35/hr starting out. that is still good money. im sorry, but you guys in ct that say that you wont work for less than 80/hour or so, you will not get those rates in south florida. there is tons of money down here, but that is obsurd. its good that your making that much, but every market is different.
  9. daleyslawn

    daleyslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    im going to go up at least to $45 per/hr per/man for now for the leaves but what about like regular labor rates for trimming and work on yards
  10. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Job prices kind of depend on your equipment, your efficiency and the area you are located in. I was at $50.00 per man hour 3 years ago. I have the most efficent equipment that I deam necessary for my properties. My accountant compared my business with others and would suggest what changes I might consider to improve my total gross. Some customers will always complain no matter what.

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