How many people work for you when doing these chores? Since you are 15 I assume you are working by yourself, but I may be wrong. If you work alone for $35/hr. you are doing all of us in this industry a great disservice by working for about half of what you should charge. Are you insured? What equipment do you own? How do get to the job sites? Good luck.
but why is it a disservice to charge 35 dollars an hour? As you said, if he's a solo operator, chances are he doesn't have the same overhead as regular full-time lcos, and thus, doesn't have the justification to charge more per man hour.
If you have no overhead and you're misleading your customers by charging under the impression that you have to take care of the same costs that a large company with a nursery, plenty of employees, taxes, insurance, large gas bills, and equipment you're being dishonest.
From one point of view, I understand charging the rate that most other lcos charge, but the truth is, you're not in the same situation as them if you don't have to take care of all that overhead.
Keep it real.
At 35 an hour he's most likely making the same amount of profit as someone charging 55 an hour.
At first I didn't think you could be serious with a response like that, but after reading your profile I now realize that you are. When you get older and have more experience in the business world you will understand better the content of my reply to the original question. Think about it and good luck.
I realize you most likely have forgotten more than I already know,
but this I would like to know:
Why should he be charging more than 35 an hour if he has no reason to charge more than that? He's most likely making more profit than someone charging 60 an hour, because he has no overhead (or not much).
Why is this a disservice? I may be way off ball, but I'd like to know why. I can accept that I'm wrong, but from where I'm standing it seems that charging more would be immoral. Please explain??
It has little to do with over head and plenty to do with what you are worth.
Charge less than what you are worth and you are cheating yourself, charge more than what you are worth and you will have no work.
You can not expect people to pay more simply because you have high overhead. That would mean that poor management has no consequenses and good managers should charge less.
You do need to recover your overhead expenses at a minimum. Overhead should be contributing to your efficiency and effectiveness. Improved efficiency and effectiveness will make you worth more by the hour.
A fifteen year old using a family mower being pushed down the street is a pretty lean operation. $30 per hour is going to net him a lot more than $50 per hour with a truck, trailer, insurance, and hydro mower is going to net most of you. You can't even hire him because it is against the law for you to have an employee under 18 use power equipment.
The homeowner is taking a major risk in hiring him, therefore should not come close to paying what he needs to pay one of you. The liability for any damages or injury to anyone including the 15 year old is squarely on the shoulders of the homeowner. It is foolish to hire him IMO, but this is America and they can. I certainly think that it is fine for the 15 year old to get work and try to get paid like the rest of you, but there are legitimate reasons that he should cost far less.
He is not selling the same thing you are because you are selling services with liability - he is not. Only those with stupid clients or shady business practices need to fear the 15 year old or the lowballer.
Very well said!
I'm tired of hearing the overhead nonsense to justify calling someone a lowballer or telling them they are doing a disservice at 35.00 an hour.And I agree whole heartedly with your statement about fearing lowballers and fifteen year olds.If a companies overhead is too high then that is their problem not everyone elses. I love competition,I learn more from them than any where else.Just have to open your eyes and ears.
PPl, Emil, if $35/hr. is the prevailing market rate for your area, then that rate is fine. But, if the market rate is $65/hr., why not charge that, regardless of overhead. If you feel that you are only worth $35/hr. in a $65/hr. market, then that is your choice and the few customers you get will soon find out why you charge the rate you do. Good luck to both of you in your young business ventures. Eventually, you will both see the light and hopefully be successful business owners.
I will try to clear this up as to how landscape labor rates work in my area. After a job is complete, I figure up what my net profit is. I also look at what that profit is per hour. I usually profit $60-$125/hr. after all expenses are paid. I pay my laborers $10/hr. This is why landscaping is much more profitable than lawncare, for me anyway.