Minimum Charge

kemco

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Memphis TN
Let's go back 15 years... Every customer of mine was weekly. Never complained about the price. Which is dang near what it is now but dang near everything is every other week. I just don't get what happened. I understand the crash of real estate and anyone that could swing a hammer was now a lawn mower. But I'm still confused.
 

ShowCaseLawnCare

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers
My concern is if this type of work hasn’t changed much in 20 years price wise. Why not change careers? Go in a different direction start a new business ? If not in 20 more years if lawnsite is still around it will be the same old thing talking about prices etc. If you look back year after year on this site its usually the same thing people complaining about lowballing prices .
 

Mumblingboutmowers

LawnSite Senior Member
How much time does your minimum cover?

I think that is another matrix to this.
To me, minimum is pulling in and getting out of the truck, whether your there for 1 minute or 1 hour, you have to drive there and that's not free.

My minimum has been $40 for a quite a few years now, however I make a couple exceptions if a job is on the way to another job or next to it. For example, I trim around a sign for a lady in front of her little business, I go right by it so it's not out of my way and it only takes 5 minutes, I charge her $20. I also made an exception to my minimum today when a neighbor of an existing customer walked over and asked for a price on mowing his small piece of lawn. Probably a 10 minute job tops, so I told him as long as I do it when I come to do the neighbors it would be $30, but I told him if I ever stopped doing his neighbors grass then there would be no way I could do it for $30 because it is too far off of a regular route.

Forgot to add, I am thinking about raising my minimum to $45 this year.
 
OP
BigJlittleC

BigJlittleC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Chicago
To me, minimum is pulling in and getting out of the truck, whether your there for 1 minute or 1 hour, you have to drive there and that's not free.

My minimum has been $40 for a quite a few years now, however I make a couple exceptions if a job is on the way to another job or next to it. For example, I trim around a sign for a lady in front of her little business, I go right by it so it's not out of my way and it only takes 5 minutes, I charge her $20. I also made an exception to my minimum today when a neighbor of an existing customer walked over and asked for a price on mowing his small piece of lawn. Probably a 10 minute job tops, so I told him as long as I do it when I come to do the neighbors it would be $30, but I told him if I ever stopped doing his neighbors grass then there would be no way I could do it for $30 because it is too far off of a regular route.

Forgot to add, I am thinking about raising my minimum to $45 this year.
At what point then do you charge above minimum?
 

Mitty87

LawnSite Silver Member
What is your minimum charge and what does it include?

For mowing mine is $30 includes basic mow trim blow done in 15 or less.

For squirt and fert I'm at $50 per app for basic 6 step program. Covers up to 1000sqft.

Gardening is $125 per hour usually sold per job. If power tools need +$25.
Do you see much resistance to the $125 per hour? Is it just because most gardening or install jobs are small enough thats it doesn't seem like so much when a 1 day install only costs $1900 or whatever to have one of those mini lots landscaped?
 

Mark Oomkes

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I do sort of. Problem is my minimum keeps going up for everything...mowing, fert.

I have been doing 6 hours for extra work. But it's hard to do that when a customer asks us to take out a tree that will take a half hour.

Reading that other thread about $1500 or $500 to reduce estimates, I'm liking the $500 minimum and telling them that upfront. My time is valuable, arguably more valuable than my employees' time.

One question: Do customers really know what they get for $500?
 

caseysmowing

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Staunton VA
I've been at $40 for probably 5 years and only have 2 at that price. They take no more than 30 mins solo and they are in my normal route. Odd jobs when I'm already there are still my normal rate $75ph.
 

Mitty87

LawnSite Silver Member
I do sort of. Problem is my minimum keeps going up for everything...mowing, fert.

I have been doing 6 hours for extra work. But it's hard to do that when a customer asks us to take out a tree that will take a half hour.

Reading that other thread about $1500 or $500 to reduce estimates, I'm liking the $500 minimum and telling them that upfront. My time is valuable, arguably more valuable than my employees' time.

One question: Do customers really know what they get for $500?
Thats one problem, they don't know how hard a crew can actually work, so they might think in their terms of working in the garden with their tools. They also dont know a landscapers average hourly. I think it basically tells them that you aren't going to plant 4 $22 shrubs and pick up a pile of sticks that they had raked up, then they might be able to do at least a bit of rough estimate in their head to imagine what they might get for that $500.
 

Jasburrito

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
West Michigan
I am a newb. But getting a feel for the industry and pricing. Learning more from every new customer. So far i really like it. I have a postage stamp i do in a condo community for 25. (Cash)Thats the going rate. I give a very fair price to my first customer in a subdivision or ?. I take my time and do excellent work. I use that property like a advertising tool. Sign in yard, lettered trailer. My most expensive is 45. I am only looking for ideal customers for my company though. Around 2,000 to 20,000. Sqft. I am cherry picking. I have timed a few jobs. I am at about $1 per minute mowing. Nintey eight percent of people that have called about weeding or odd jobs have passed on my 45 to 60 an hr. They want to pay 25.
 
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OP
BigJlittleC

BigJlittleC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Chicago
Do you see much resistance to the $125 per hour? Is it just because most gardening or install jobs are small enough thats it doesn't seem like so much when a 1 day install only costs $1900 or whatever to have one of those mini lots landscaped?
I rarely tell them my hourly rate for these types of jobs. I think your accurate that with the smaller yards a couple grand can get you a big change so it's a easier sell.
 
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