Is what i charge too much??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jim's Lawn Care Etc, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Jim's Lawn Care Etc

    Jim's Lawn Care Etc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I am a new lawn care business in town and am trying to compete for work with the other thousand companies in the same market. I have been charging hourly and trying to beat any deal that other companies offer. What should i be charging for my services? is 25 dollars an hour competative?
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Only you will be able to figure this out. You can't run your business by basing your price off of what other companies are charging.

    You need to base your price on how much it costs you to do business. What are your overhead expenses? You got to figure in equipment costs, truck costs, insurances, taxes and everything else that cost you to run your business. Then you have to ask yourself how much profit you want to make.

    I also believe Florida pricing may differ from other parts of the country, so what we charge really won't be relevent to your business.
  3. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    That is a tough one to answer. You are the only one who knows what you need to make in order to make the numbers work. A lot depends on your overhead etc. A guess would be that $25 is too low. Although trying to beat everybodys deal in town may work for Wal-Mart you may want to set yourself apart by offering quality, dependable, REASONABLY priced services. That should take care of most of your competition right there! We like to hover in the high middle to upper price range. Our best customers realize, you get what you pay for. Works for us here. Just my .02
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Jodi's right, it varies by location. Around here, $25 is downright lowball-ish and I don't know how you could pay for your equipment that way and still make money unless you use 21's. Round here all people use is 48" walk behinds and 48"-60" ZTR's. 21" is rarely seen on a LCO's trailer. The going rate here seems to average at about $45/hour more or less.
    Good luck,
  5. Charging by the hour is a bad way to do business. Of course you need to determine a profitable rate, but working by the hour doesn't give you a performance incentive. Additionally, many "professional" people don't make $25/hr, so they'll be reluctant to pay more for a laboror doing a meanial task. This is a business; captialism is the rule of the game. Working by the hour is not the way to get the MOST profit. I'm willing to bet that as you grow, if you're good and dependable, your actual hourly rate will be so high, that you'll be very reluctant to tell your customers. Remember, that's your business rate, NOT your pay rate.
  6. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    Jims Lawn Care,

    Can I move down and work with you? I just love it there at Ft Walton Beach and especially Destin. I also like Navarre as well.

    I do think you might be low on your pricing, but it all depends. You look into all your expenses and you can see where to be. Also you might want to try and see what other's charge there in the area. Maybe you see a guy doing work like you can do and that is the guy to ask. He might not tell you, but it wont hurt to ask.
  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Jodi's post was very good.

    I would forget the "beat any deal" way of thinking. You must figure out what you need and that is what you charge, period.

    I saw 2 flyers this week, both say "we'll beat any competitors price", I think I'm going to get a few friends to call and say I quoted for $10 and let them beat the price, my buddies will get their lawn mowed really cheap.
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Funny, I'm not really afraid of telling my pricing. Of course with lawn cutting an hourly price is an average, and I'll usually add $5 to the total price of the lawn for driving/loading time. And, we all know some jobs we make more on and some jobs we make a bit less.
  9. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Well Jim, all I can say is that my Mother used to live in Clearwater with about 4000 sq ft of lawn and a while back I know that the landscaper who was doing her place was charging about $50 a month for full service. I don't think I could afford to be in business down there at those rates, but that is what she was being charged. He was only on the property an average of 10 minutes and I remember that they had a Walker as the main machine. Took them no more than an hour to do 5 houses on the block ... all about 4 -5 K sq ft. It was a Mom & Pop type operation.
    Up here in NY, I usually have no problem making $75 hr, often more, with a helper just mow/trim/blow residentials of about 1/4 acre. Average cut price of $30 and we can usually do about 3 an hour.
  10. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    Hey Jim, I am in your shoes. Just getting started about 8 miles from you over in Destin. Lots of wierd calls, and sorting them out is almost worth the entertainment. Hear alot of people complaining about LCO's not showing up on time or not at all and have picked up a few accounts by actually showing up. As far as 25 an hour I believe I would starve too death. By the time you pay everything there would be nothing left over. Been spending alot of time doing gardening work for the well to do out in South Walton, but it seems to be paying off in a few, and I mean a few weekly lawn jobs. Unfortunately grass is not in vouge on the beach. Let me know where you are nd I will buy breakfast or a beer and we can comiserate together.

    Good Luck


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