kick me in the a$$

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mindset063, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. mindset063

    mindset063 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I bid a spring clean-up for $300 and thought I would be there just a half day. Well, I've been there for two days already, and going back tomorrow. I did not realize the amount of leaves that are there. Not only that, it rained for two days prior to starting the job. I have a lot to learn on estimating. I guess I just lick my wounds and move on. :hammerhead:
  2. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Consider yourself kicked lol , it happens to all of us, luckily it wasnt a 10,000 contract
  3. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,534

    holy crap how could you under estimate that much I mean how could you think three days work was one. I mean I've underestimate by an hour but two days. Never make an estimate until you go home to think about it first.Then get back to them If they dont want it then after you have had a minute to think about it.Then you dont want them.
  4. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    If you're doing it with a rake and tarp maybe that's what it's worth. If you have the equipment and you were way off on the bid be honest with the cust. Tell them that you will honor your price but the job was worth such and such. Maybe he will see a good job and give you what it's worth or maybe split the difference. Even if not, now the customer knows you have integrity and that could be worth more in the long run.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I hear you, but it's not hard to do with leaves at all, even I still fudge them sometimes (not trying to brag, but to say that after 4 seasons, I still find them hard to estimate).

    Easy formula for spring leaf cleanup (exception being leaves that are left-over from prior cleanup, this rule applies only to leaves that have not been touched): Double your price (not the least of the reasons being my leaf cleaning window is closed). Now for those folks who did cleanup their leaves but there's some bs left-over, that's different, it's not so bad and I usually bid those normal.

    Reason to quote a high price (especially leaves) is you can always come down on your price later (like after the work is done) but you can't ever go up in the price. Again, this applies mostly to leaves but also anytime you are way not sure, thou it is also a good idea to take your time, and don't be afraid to walk the entire yard a dozen times if you have to: Add the job up several times, stick your foot in the leaves to see not only how thick they are, but how easy do they MOVE (important stuff, it is). Sometimes I'll stick a rake or pitchfork in them also, just to see if there's stuff hidden underneath (like pine needles) but also to see how heavy they are.

    By the way, if by the time I got through a whole day of cleaning I realized I had underbid like that (because 300 dollars is one day for me), I wouldn't go back out. Take my losses and learn from the mistake. That is not to say I always did it like this lol!

    don't feel too bad, we all been there.
  6. barefootlawns

    barefootlawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    topsites your telling me that you wouldnt go back and finish the job? If thats what you mean how can you just do that?

    Just consider it a leason learned
  7. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

    Same thing happened to me today, under bid it becasue i didn't see all the crap behind the guys shed!
  8. Joey bag a' donuts

    Joey bag a' donuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    why not charge by the man/hour??? Leaves especially are way to variable a service to quote accurately. Theres always the extra pile of **** behind the garage that you didnt see while you were there the first time that takes you two hours and a trailer full of debris to haul away.
  9. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,733

    I agree with that 100%. One of the best values for business is integrity. I would be disappointed if it were me that screwed myself like that, but I would have learned a lesson that would not easily be forgotten. I don't know about other areas, but I would do as wski4fun suggested, because most of the people here would understand. Don't be afraid to approach the customer with your delemma. If you get more great, if not you at least tried and showed the customer that you are a man of your word and that to me is very important. That is one of the very things that have made me grow like I have in 1 1/2 years. Just don't do like one mentioned in one of the posts and not go back. Finish the job you were hired to do no matter what.
  10. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Mindset, maybe this will make you feel better. My first month in biz I did a cleanup it took 4 days for 375 and another that took 9 hours for 45! Man were those 2 hard to swallow but I learned my lesson. On the 375 job on the second day I came real close to cutting my losses and not finishing I was so disgusted with myself but thought how that would make me look so I made myself finish it. Just chalk it up as learning and one day you will look back and say "I cant believe I did that" but I know better now.

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