How To Price jobs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jwlandscape/Lawncare, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. jwlandscape/Lawncare

    jwlandscape/Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Starting business in Spring.The Hardest part,or most worried about is pricing.How does one get such info.I know it is based on location and type of job you do.Is there a book one can get to give or educate without bias?Any suggestions please reply.Greatly appreciate you Honest oppinion!Thank you.
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Geeze, you want to open your doors for business and don't even know what the going market rate is? I'm not trying to be critical, but you have not done your homework. Ask family, friends and neighbors what they are paying, as a minimum. You are blindly going where many have gone before... and lost their arse in the process.

    You probably don't even know what size properties you want to go after. How can you buy the right equipment without knowing that?

    I don't even know what else to say. Hopefully, you are more prepared than what your post seemed to indicate. Havng a mower and a truck is just a small part of starting a business. It sounds like that is what you have, and is the extent of your business plan. You need to do a whole lot more due diligence before you venture out.
  3. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    The best advice I can give you is find a reputable lco and ask. The reason I say this is that most home owners will nock at least 10 bucks off their current price. I will give you what most of us have already found out your personal labor rate should be around 45 per hour. Your rate on your mower should be about 60 dollars an hour on a zero turn mower. I personally get 35 per city lot that is 6000 or less. 50 for a double city lot about 12000. You need to look at your area and see what services are expected. Some areas it is expected that the lco edges with every mow and this is not an added charge. Other areas expect the lco to bag all clippings and dispose of. You do need to find out these things. But unlike others your question is very valid and many of us have spent alot of time and lost alot of money because we did not do the proper research. Ignore the guys who think they are perfect. We all have to start somewhere and I sometimes wonder where they started. or if they where handed everything. I better stop now before I offend one of them.
  4. JohnnyCuts

    JohnnyCuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 256

    I'm starting up also so take it FWIW. I'd start off by typing 'pricing" into the search feature here and read every post to get a base of what others are doing. You are in NY so you have plenty of time to do your market research. I plan on having friends that live in my target area call a bunch of LCO's to price out their lawns and then putting together my price schedule accordingly. Since I'm just starting out and only planning a mow 'n go service I'll price a little under average.
  5. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    You had better be damn sure of what you are doing before you get into this, i.e. pricing, time/materials. If you don't have any commercial lawn care experience get some this year and start for yourself next year. There is alot moreto this than a 21" wal-marter and a "Weed Eater". Get insured first and foremost.... protect yourself and your customers they appreciate it. If you have already done the things I have mentioned, then you are on the right track. Use the search option at the top of the screen.... chances are, you will find another 100 people who asked the same queastions you are or could. Please do not take this personally, I said none of this with the intention of putting anyone down. Like I said, be DAMN sure.

    In the matter of the book, I don't believe there is a "Book" on prices out there. That would be price fixing wouldn't it? :nono: On the other hand, who do you want to be.... the guy with the rusted out 1983 Datsun with two broken boards to get his wal-marter out ou the back? or do you want to be the guy with the 2007 ford F-250 super duty diesel monster with the 16' enclosed trailer and ginormous logo on the side of both? You make the call on your prices, just make sure the quality reflects the price, because it always will. hope I helped.
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    charge by time, try to stay in a 50 an hour range, to start, after loosing a few and gaining a few you will QUICKLY LEARN,
  7. Sal200

    Sal200 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    When you say 6000, 12000 is that referring to the square footage of your customers properties. If so that is roughly what i charge in my area for those sized lots. Im debating on going up a little this year for certain customers.
  8. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    yeah that is refering to the size of city lot. As far as going up I am one of the more expensive guys in the area. a 12000 sq ft lot takes about 40 minutes including load and unload of equipment if I am working at a leisurly pace I can get it done faster if needed.
  9. Sal200

    Sal200 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    The reason i want to go up is because some of my customers want me to take away the grass clippings to the dump.
  10. jwlandscape/Lawncare

    jwlandscape/Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Thank you all for your imput,especially the positive ones.For the Gentlemen who thinks I am just starting off,not so.Have several Years in the business.The reason for this forum is for positive feedback regardlessof how stupid the question may seem!
    I am fully equipped and insured( LLC )and have several years in the business.have several landscape trailers and 16' enclosed trailer with Logo to carry my equipment.I am also involved with driveway sealcoat.Took time off to be with my wife and my 2 little boys 3 and 4 last 5 years,...well worth it. Just wanted to see if there was some quick info out there to get me updated.Anywa...Thanks again for all the information,it really helped.JW

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