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My name says it all.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Greenhorn1980, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Greenhorn1980

    Greenhorn1980 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    So I am looking for the going rates in Greater Chicagoland for lawn care for the coming season. Am doing snow removal now and happy customers are asking for the grass two. Since I service mostly seniors, I don't want to price gauge them and have to choose between a cut lawn and thier heart pills. At $25/hr for snow have only had one person balk at the price. Since grass is a longer season, more dependable don't know where to start.
  2. andersonmowing23

    andersonmowing23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    I am not from chicago and don't know the going rates. But if I were you I would not charge mowing by the hour. You should charge by the job. That way once you get started and do it for a while, you will get faster and then be able to make more money payup Hope someone can help you out with the going rates in chicago!! :cool2:
  3. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,862

    your happy customers (ecstatic maybe a better word) want lawn mowing because you are charging them 20%, give or take, of what you should.

    price gauging is one thing, fair price is another. you are charging them what the neighbor kid charges, which fits neither of those terms. remember, there is another term to learn: overhead.use the search function here on "pricing", "what to charge", "hourly", or some other related term and you'll read for days. or simply start on this page and start scrolling backwards.

    good luck.

  4. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    Greenhorn. I am starting up too in the western suburbs. I agree with the above post that $25/hr is bargin basement pricing. when/if a snow blower craps out on you and you have to buy another this will become apparent. If you make money @ 25/hr, then more power too you! Sorry I can't help out w/ pricing as I am new here too, but I will be shooting for the 50 - 60/hr on the lawncare (broken down by the job of course). Keep us posted.
  5. richmadmax

    richmadmax LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    greenhorn, $25.00 is to cheap, You have to go by how big there lawn are. Like you i'm starting up new this year, but i know the bottom price around here is $35.00. Most people are asking $40.00 up, so don't cut your self short, you will need the money to build on.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    The going rate is the rate that keeps you in business and food on you table.
    I grew up in Chicago 25 years ago and I made $25.00 to SHOVEL (no truck) snow back than.
    If you are a kid that wants something to do after school than so be it. If you are asking because you are starting a business than follow Tonys advice.
    Learn how to run a business and how to pay for it.
    I am not trying to be mean, just letting you know that you are nowhere near where you need to be in price and if you don't know that, you need to learn.
  7. SoloMow

    SoloMow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Hey Greenhorn,
    You've caught a little flak on this thread for your $25 price! :) Don't worry. Richmadmax was the only one to ask the CORRECT question: How big are the lawns?
    All of my accounts are small, subdivision lots with "postage stamp" back yards. I charge $25 per visit. I work alone. I mow, trim, edge, blow and go in about 50 minutes. I don't think I'm cheating myself.
    I don't even own the equipment to do the bigger residential or commercial jobs. Nor, do I want to. Find your niche and you will be successful. :D
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,862

    solomow, don't pat yourself on the back too quickly. :waving:
    he said "25 dollars PER HOUR". $25/hr is still $25/hr no matter the size of the yard. my response was specifically geared towards reading his post correctly. would even the non-overhead constrained neighbor kid shovel for $25/hour?

    anyway, he doesn't know what to charge, which is the reason for his post. heck, he hasn't even followed-up on this thread so that we can help him out. i'd base any advice on whether he's a highschool kid doing this under the table or is starting a full-time venture. if full-time, with say 26 weeks of mowing, 40 hours a week, $25/hr, that's $26k per year...before any marketing, fuel, equipment, insurance, or marketing overhead whatsoever.
    raise your hand if that gets you by in chicago.
  9. SoloMow

    SoloMow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    >>don't pat yourself on the back too quickly.<<

    True! I didn't really factor in his location very carefully.
  10. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    That wont do it in Chicago unless you are living with mom/dad and your in highschool!

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