How much to charge per hour for spring and fall clean ups

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawn guy 300, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. lawn guy 300

    lawn guy 300 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I imagine you'd charge by the hour since there are so many variables and it would be hard
    to estimate. It would be one guy (me) doing the work. Thanks.
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  2. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    How much do you have to make to make ends meet? What kind of maintenance costs will the work put on your equipment? How much do you have to make to make your truck payment? How much do you pay to dump your leaves? What do your insurance and business license cost you? Finally, how much do you have to profit to make it worth your while?

    Only you can answer these questions. People can throw numbers out there all day long, but your expenses are going to be different as a one man person compared to a company with 50 crews where overhead can be spread out over tons of properties.

    Of you could always use the search button and see the exact same question asked several times, even recently.

    But, for me, I try to make $50-$60 per hour that I work. On leaf cleanups, if I have a good year, my best customers get a discounted rate as my "Thank you for a great year". This usually means I'll charge the same rate as a basic lawn mowing to do a full leaf cleanup. I lose a little in profits, but make my customers happy and keeps me busy during the slow season.
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    our rate is $50 per man hour and I'm not lowering it. I don't care what the economy is doing. If people don't want to pay for quality work at the rate we charge they can go elsewhere, I don't care the least bit. Call a plumber, HVAC tech, electrical or any other service business and I would bet their going to have an hourly rate of $50 hr or higher. My shop, where I buy my equipment and have it serviced charges $65 hr. So your going to tell me that my rate is to high? I don't think so. I pay insurance, workers comp, unemployment, and don't forget payroll taxes and my own. All of you on this site need to grow some balls and keep your prices where they need to be. The next time someone tells you your price is to high ask them if they say the same thing to their plumber or electrician. We have expenses and in a lot of cases when compared to other businesses are expenses are higher and yet people keep want work done for less every year. I'm sorry for the long rant but I'm sick of hearing what price should I charge. We should all have a set rate like every other service business and everyone should stick to it. Compete on quality, not price.
  4. MnGreen

    MnGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    " I'll charge the same rate as a basic lawn mowing to do a full leaf cleanup"

    How on earth can you offer "mow" rates for cleanups and profit at all ?
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    I don't tell customers an hourly rate (causes too many vapor locks) always a flat rate. In my head though I shoot for 100.00 per hour (I work fast and have the right equipment.)
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    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    we do a per job price for fall cleanup. its an easier sell, and after doing it for alot f years you will know just by looking at it how long its gonna take, and how much of a pain in the ass its going to be.
  7. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    I dont understand hourly rates, you have your monthy costs and your monthly income. The goal is to make more than your costs. Money is money. So, say your thinking a clean up is gonna take you 4 hours to do and you have 3 guys there, that means you should charge $600. So flip that around and say the same 3 guys are gonna do a job that takes 1 hour, $150. I wouldnt send 3 guys to a clean up for $150 not worth my time and if im sending a crew of 3 to a job for 4 hours I am charging a hell of alot more than $600. So you say "well I only have me and a helper" so that same cleanup should only be $100? doesnt make sense to me. I charge by the job, how long is it gonna take me and is it a pain in the a$$? If I can make $125 taking a job that will take 2 of my guys 30 mintues to do and have little debris over a job that will take 3 guys and only make $150, well I choose the latter. Money is money, time is time and a job is a job. K.I.S.S method fellas, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID
  8. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    Excellent post, I give you a pat on the back. I'm with you 100 percent.
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  9. bradseabridge

    bradseabridge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    I charge 4 sticks of gum.
  10. STL Cuts

    STL Cuts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    You're beating a dead horse. Charge by the job b/c no matter what you think 95% of people don't consider lawncare as the same level as plumbers, HVAC, etc (landscaping is a different ballgame where there is more skill involved, but for a spring or fall clean up, forget about it). You might not think so, but that is the reality of it.

    This is why you just don't charge by the hour for cleanups. Configure how many hours it will take and charge accordingly.

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