Little Help for the new guy.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by chandler, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. chandler

    chandler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I wanted to see if I could get a little help from you guys. I am wondering if there is a hourly rate that you base all of your mowing bids on. Like do $60 per hour, or am I off by thinking that way? Reason for the concern. I had a Apartment complex offered to me. It is a pretty big complex. I'm just wondering how come up with a bid without shooting myself in the foot. It probably would take 3 people around 3 hours to do the mowing and trimming. Please help.

  2. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    22,k a year full maint.
    Chem apps.
    sprinkler maint.
    mulching beds and weeding.
    If that doesn't work for ya. Give me pics and SQ footage and I'll try to give you a real estimate.
  3. mvp services

    mvp services LawnSite Member
    from Avon,CT
    Messages: 30

    I agree w/ 22k. I just bid a condo, 3 men 3hrs a cut for 28k including maintenance. Quoted mulch seperately at $65 a yard installed.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I would stick to residential properties for the first 5 or so years, but that's just me.
    They'll take you to the cleaners all the same, but commercial stuff is a bit rougher, homeowners are sweetie pies in comparison.

    Way I see things, bidding blind I would do:
    3 x 3 x 60 x 2 x 2 x 40 = $100,000 / year OR $2100 / week x 50 OR $10500 / month x 10.
    Yeah, at least 80g.
    That is, so long you're comfortable with something going wrong here and you getting sued.

    btw, it's always full service.
  5. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I bid my apartments by square foot of grass and linear for of weedeating. I just bid a complex at 180000 square ft of grass. my price did include every thing. but I am also lic to do chem apps and that is a must. Find out what type of service they want. whether full service or just mowing. Some apaprtment companies will skimp when it comes to the grounds. So you need to know what to bid for.
  6. All Season Bill

    All Season Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    We have a price per acre however you need to figure all the difficult entries, hills, trimming and such. We had a bid once for some condos that was about two acres. So we started with our 2-acre price and then added the extras. For instance there were 25 front porches and back patios to weed eat. That definately added to the price.
    One company I know charges $1 per linear foot for trimming....that sounds a little high to me.
  7. LawnGreen

    LawnGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I'm sticking to residential for the first couple years, but I'm having some difficulties on pricing jobs. I honestly don't know how I should be pricing full maintenance. We offer mowing, trimming, edging, fertilizer, weed control, and irrigation system monitoring for our total package. at this time I'm basically pricing by my best guess at what it will take to do the job. I don't know what industry standard rules are for estimating or pricing. i assume that there must be a SF LF pricing. Any input would be great.
  8. All Season Bill

    All Season Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Well you can't just come up with a total package price without pricing each program seperately.
    Show them your lawn price package. Your mowing price. Spring and Fall clean up price
    and monthly maintenance price. Then show all those totaled together and even divide it for them by 8 months or 12 months so they can see the monthly cost. When you start showing them figures like $8000 or $15,000, their heads start spinning. Show them a neatly packaged....say for example....$850 per month...or whatever...they can relate to that and create a monthly budget.
  9. LawnGreen

    LawnGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I see, showing the brake down helps with the explanation of cost, I've put together a proposal outlined with the brake of cost like you mentioned. one last question. Is it better to show a SF pricing say for mowing, or a lump sum for a particular job.
  10. All Season Bill

    All Season Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I wouldn't break it down too much, then they start picking the bid apart.
    An itemized job list is ok but when you start listing the little things that you added to make money then you might be giving them too much information. Anyway, I always let them know their square footage and how we charge for that size lawn.....or bed....or whatever.

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