I Keep Getting Underbid

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LBOperator, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. zacher

    zacher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    ...Wait....you seriously cut lawns for $7.50 or even $10 dollars????? If i lived in your area I would be FLAT BROKE. Thats terrible..there is no way you are running a legitimate business I am sorry but your not I dont care how you break it down. You cant cover insurance. Or workers or equipment fees for $7.50 I don't care if it takes 1 minute maintain. that is TERRIBLE pricing... I just put a bid for trailer park near me. Vacant lots or houses that haven't cut their grass at $20 per lot that needs maintenance for over 20 lots done on a day...each takes about 10-15 minutes...now I charge $27.50 if they have less than 20 lots for me. $7.50?!!? thats literally I mean literally change I can walk around and pick up off the streets.
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,263

    The old dollar a minute figure is arbitrary and bears no relevance to anything. You will hear from guys on here all the time "if you get every bid, you are bidding too low". You know your costs to do business. Take into account the local "norm". Somewhere in between is your price. Keep overhead low (sounds like you got that part). Do top quality work. Quickest way to fail is to take everything for the sake of numbers. You then find yourself overwhelmed and you start cutting corners. Remember you are starting with lower grade equipment. It won't hold up as well as commercial equipment. That last thing you want is a dead horse in the middle of the season.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    I am going to try and stay competitive with the other guys around me even though they can cut a lawn in half the time. It's not the customers fault I can't cut a 30 min yard (with pro quip) in 30 minutes. I will say this though, my old Simplicity has a steel floating deck, and the deck is built super heavy, no rust on it for 30 years and it mows a beautiful lawn.
  4. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    This is from the time you start a job until you finish. When i first started my wife and i would mow a lot of small jobs, if we spent 15 mins mowing trimming an blowing we charged a minimum of $15
    So to clarify we were getting 50 cents per min each. We made more as we got more efficient and better equip. The larger jobs we do for instance we average on a 8 man hr job 400. That varies by how many people stop me to chat etc. That is using 60 inch comm. mowers etc. Sorry i didn't have time to clarify. Also drivetime here is minimal between jobs 5 min - 15 max. Again these are just what worked for us, its getting tougher to make a good living unless you are super efficient and use the right equipment for each job. Don't go after accts you are not set up equip wise to handle, instead build around your equip grow slowly.
  5. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    Thanks for all the advice guys I really appreciate your wisdom, makes future endeavors much easier.
  6. Green Clean

    Green Clean LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    So a dollar a minute from start to finish or roughly $60 an hour all costs inclusive?
  7. Green Clean

    Green Clean LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    Yeah I seriously cut lawns at my park for $7.50. Bear in mind that the norm for my area is $10 per lot. My insurance is kept low in that it also covers the other side of my business which is powerwashing and is also lowered because it is through the same company as my other insurance. My equipment was purchased used with low hours over the winter. I seriously have only been doing this for 2 months and for the first part had 2 accounts. I'm just trying to learn the ropes same as everyone else when they started. I'm learning the pricing game, but just because I find I can get more doesn't mean I can raise my customers prices right now, but new bids will be at a higher rate for sure.
  8. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,548

    I have done 5 quotes in the last week and have not heard back from 1 of them. It's just part of the business. Either you are patient and get fewer clients at the price you want, or you are running around all day mowing for 20/hour.
  9. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I'm patient. I don't really mow lawns anymore just focused on landscape. I don't have a ton of work yet (moved last year, part time) but these rates people mention are just terrible. If you have true expenses you either are kidding yourself or don't mind making a salary in the lower 50%.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. LBOperator

    LBOperator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    Well now with the new mower I can quote the same $35 for the regular to small yards. I can now mow twice as fast but I am going to keep a $35 min unless it's empty mobile home lots or something, might do them for $20.

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