Help guys....I am panicking!!! I am lucky enough I already have a small handful of clients. A few of these were like friends and acquaintances. I also had a buddy of mine with a big service, who is getting more and more into applications, toss me a few bones because they were a little off his beaten path and he is scaling down cutting. (I know he's not bum steering me with some bad accounts.) He told me what to charge in those instances. In 2 other cases I just asked the people (I know them) what they have been paying and it seemed about right where I would have been, but these were people who would not have dropped me if I gave them a bad estimate. In another instance the customer has not had previous service so did not have anything to gauge my estimate against, and I charged them what i thought was fair and would be profitable. This one was easy because they live in my neighborhood and have a very similar lot and i know what I have paid pros for vacation cuts and such in the past. Not that what is exactly right for one pro is exactly right for another....but it gave me a barometer and that added a confidence factor. I also bought Sean Adams materials (good stuff) and have read other books and countless posts and articles on giving estimates. Maybe I am just having jitters or lacking confidence in myself, but last night I got my first two real business calls on my dedicated line. It's a good thing my wife has a Xanax script or I would not have slept at all last night. Both from excitement and fear. One lady, a doctor no less, somehow came across my number, which is cool because I have really not started advertising yet. There was a kink in my logo and somethings got pushed back. I just got all my promo materials Wed, and am planning a major assault next week. At any rate, she wants an estimate by early next week on routine maintenance. I got another guy who picked up a business card I left laying on my table at Wendys. He wants an estimate on cuts and an estimate on a mulch job (gulp.. yikes.. mulch.. extra scary, much harder estimate for me then a cut, trim, blow) I am feeling extreme anxiety about these first two real estimates. I have been through the whole should I just be honest process, should I just show up and act like a seasoned veteran.... and about 10 other scenarios....I know the doctor told me she has had someone for years but he packed up his stuff and is taking his show down south and starting anew. Should I just ask what he was charging (ask to see an invoice) and explain to her I am a mature, professional, hard worker with top of the line equipment, but I am new to this and am getting my feet wet in the estimating process and don't want to risk losing her due to bad estimate, and at same time don't want to cheat myself?.... I am worried if my estimate is too high I lose her, if it's too low she thinks I'm a joker....what to do what to do.....I could try to get a veteran friend to go with me, but sooner or later I have to stand tall by myself and see what happens....should i just go with my gut and see what happens? I mean it's not just my gut. I got a plan..a formula something like VC+FC%+L=price. Where VC is the variable cost of that job(gas, %toEquip maint, other) and FCpercent is the amount that has to be charged to go toward my fixed costs of operating (phone bill, website, lawn ,mower payments, insurance etc.) and L is labor. On a standard cut,trim, blow... job my labor rate is $35/hr (is this about right) On other type jobs my labor rate me be more. My problems are I don't know what my VC costs are yet. I also am not acclamated enough yet to look at something and know how long it will take. Should I level with them? Should I get help? Should I apply my formula and my gut instincts as well as I can and just learn from mistakes. Give me some advice guys!!! Please...I know this issue is a dead horse to a lot of you...but to a lot of us newbies this is the issue. Thanks in advance for the help and support!!