Help with pricing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TGK, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. TGK

    TGK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Im trying to come up with a formula to figure out my pricing for both lawn maintenance and other general work. Can anyone help me out? Im thinking either estimate the amount of time it takes and charge by the hour, or charged based on square footage of lawn for maintenance.
    I definatly need some guidance in this area can anyone give me some help?

    Thanks ahead of time!


    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Hard one,pricing is different your cost. do you rent. or work out of your home. employes or solo.
  3. TGK

    TGK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Dont take this the wrong way Mow Pro, but my situation shouldnt matter. The pricing should be on target with the rest of the market.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    No offense but it's all your cost everthing not just your time and a machine,for example we run a big shop out of our home but it is still in our cost.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Some say $25 a hour some charge $75 a hour.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Also different pricing in different areas like up north yes i have worked in your area for $25 a hour in th late 80's when in my area it was $4 bucks a hour.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    You have to charge by the hour. But the customer should not know your rate.
    Per foot or something like that can be different depending on terrain and obstacles. It can be part of your formula but overall it is all about total time.
    I believe what Mow Pro was going after was your overhead, You need to know what it costs you to produce an hour of work. Your overhead will include rent, if you do, cost of equipment, (and never say it is paid for-- you can only pay for equipment by the work it produces or you will not cover true costs, and have problems down the road) office expense, advertising, legal fees, accounting fees, taxes, insurance and a whole bunch more.
    This needs to be divided by the hours worked each year,
    Now you have an indirect overhead cost--add to that a direct overhead which will include labor and gas and anything else that gets used up in proportion with the work you produce. Also add a profit to the mix. This than will be the rate per hour that you need to survive.
    If this rate will fly in your market, than you are in good shape-- if not you need to rethink the business-- can you lower overhead enough to compete or just do something else. That is what your business plan will answer for you.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Good post.
  9. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    As always PMLAWN seems to know the buisness side of things
  10. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Messages: 507

    im right down the road from you in CT. in our area people want a bottom line price, not per hour, like others have said, your overhead, what you need to make for yourself, its all up to you, but if i went to a clients house for a est. and told them to mow the lawn i need to get x amount per hour, well, that doesnt go over well,they want to know that every time your there its the same price and not one time its $5 the next time its $50 just figure out what you need to get, then add for difficulty and give them a flat rate to mow, as far as per hour when im asked, ive heard many things like what are you a doctor,mechanic ? no but i have to pay insurance like a doctor and a mechanic, and have to buy equipment like they do!! then almost all want a flat rate, also this way , if it takes you less time you end up making more, i have multiple jobs were i make over 125 per hour, but the client doesnt have to know!!! as far as sq ft price, unless your doing a install, its hard to come up with one, because what if you have to mow a wide open 2 acres then you price the same amount for a 2 acre lot full of trees and flower beds... i guess what im tying to say is that every job is going to be different, and that the per hour, sq ft. price doesnt always work out.. it really all depends on the market,your overhead and the job...

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