I'm getting an education....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by klineslawnkaren, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. klineslawnkaren

    klineslawnkaren LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Wow! Boy did I bite off more than I could chew. Huge job, enormus, ugly leaf removal job... sticks, sticks and more sticks. 12 + giant trees. What was I thinking, apparently I was not. New to biz this year, mainly I'll be doing just leaf removals, not much by way of weekly mowings. Anyway my Dad helped me with the job - thank goodness. I dumped my Cyclone Rake 8 times and he dumped truck bed piled with leaves 8 + times. Luckily we could dump on site (they have a huge burn pile, its on a farm) Worked 9 hours on Saturday and another 4 Sunday, Dad and I both working 23 hours total, plus another 5 when my husband showed up. Needless to say I won't be taking this one on next year... might not have all the help. Just wasn't pretty, not much grass, so when it was done just didn't look as good as I had hoped. Yeah, all the leaves were up but not what I had invisioned. Will be dropping off bill today... I'll let you know how it goes. :(
  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    how much did u charge?
  3. I'll commend you on seeing the job thru to the finish. Providing of course you quoted the job by the hour.:D

  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I am too curious about how much you charged and the clients reaction to the bill
  5. bayoulawn

    bayoulawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Platinum or Commercial clycone?
  6. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    curious on what you quoted here too?
    something that big I hope you at least learned something about bidding, which I think you did.
    C'mon, C'mon, tell us what you charged :confused:
  7. klineslawnkaren

    klineslawnkaren LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    bayoulawn I used a Commercial C.R.

    Yeah, I did not bid the job from the start... $40.00 / hour, my time 16 hours = $640.00. My Dad will charge them as well but separtly, he's a part time employee of the farm and will make more money if they pay him.

    You guys will probaly say that I did not charge enough, background info- customer is long time friend of the family, you know how that goes.

    I plan to charge by the hour on my jobs until I get a handle on how long the jobs will take, but I'm not telling all of my customers that... $40 DOLLARS an HOUR!!! Most would freak out, but they don't take into consideration equipment costs, maintenance etc...

    I have not advertised yet, but I have several jobs already lined up. I'll be tackling another on Weds. Nice house in very upscale neighborhood. Older lady who I will probaly get referrals. I didn't think I was going to get it when I left... opened my mouth with the $40 dollar thing and she gasped but said she understood and would get back to me not before saying that the guy who mowed her lawn gets $10 dollars an hour! How can I compete with that! Anyway, I really wanted the job so I called her back the next night and told her that I figure it would take me 5 hours so that would be $200. Oh, she said I can do that. I said great I'll be by Weds. weather permitting. I'll let you know how it goes...

    By the way I just do this part time, I work for the local school system full time, teachers assistant. I can use the extra $.
  8. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    As far as bidding goes, if you know it is going to take you about 5 hours to do, just tell them $200. When they hear it broken down to per hour prices, they automatically compare it to what they make on their job. The difference as you said is all the overhead. Sounds like you are learning though, and headed in teh right direction.
    It doesn't sound like you took too big of a hit on that big leaf job, if they agree to pay that bill. Plus your dad is still going to get some cash too, so I'd say not so bad. You have to look at it from a competitors perspective. Some companies can send a 5 man crew to knock that out in about 6 hours. I think you were around the right ballpark, but it was a huge job for just you and your dad.
    Good luck with the business.
  9. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    Don't feel bad about what we have to charge. It's a legitmate industry. The only thing is ensure that equipment is up to par when quoting high hourly rates. If your using hand rakes and bagging their is no way any one sholud pay $40 per hr. But when using high powered blowers 30hp Giant vac then the 70 per hr rate is acceptable. we are $70 per hr for 2 men. Maybe raising it to $85-$90 next year for one time cleanups.
  10. klineslawnkaren

    klineslawnkaren LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Thanks for all the info and feedback guys, I love this site.

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