national price average??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LJ lawn, Oct 5, 2000.

  1. LJ lawn

    LJ lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 356

    After reading multiple posts it seens that $25.oo appears to be the norm for ligit lawn services.If anyone replies to this ,please post your location(state),and an honest answer.I live in central N.J. and have to deal with the usual scabs who underbid us ligit operators,but am finding it increasingly difficult to charge any more than the usual $25 per cut for a small lawn(50'x100')average.I try to maintain a $25 minimum.I do have customers who pay more but would like to get a feel what everyone else out there across the country gets.This has become a heated argument around the garage lately.I have people here who think the world revolves around central N.J. and a decent wage/living in this trade can't be made anywhere else.I plan to move in a couple of years and would like to know i can make a living doing this in other parts of the country.Unfortunately you have to make at least 50 grand in this state just to exist- house/tax/fees etc.Any feedback would be appreciated.
  2. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    I think that a national average should not be a bases for what you charge your customers. For two reasons...

    1. Markets are different in every city, example the price of living....working in San Fransico would allow higher prices ...why??? because the cost of living is higher there.

    2. Different companies do different get what you pay for most of the time.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Suburbs of Phila. PA I have a minimum charge of $32 for a lawn, unless it is adjacent to another that I mow. I shoot and mostly attain a $ per minute. $60/hr but never tell a customer that. If they are watching, I try to trim theirs and all neighbors first, then start mowing others, and finish theirs. Blowing off theirs last. Just to make it look like I'm spending more than 35 min there. For snowplowing $100/hr door to door. Sometimes after a big snow, I have figured it out to be like $175/hr but thats with my salting also. Big $ in salting parkinglots.

    Hope this helps.

    Mow like a pro, charge like a pro.

  4. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    You can't do a national average.

    There are too many varibles.

    Cost of living.
    Scope of work...

    An average lawn in your area is completely different than an average lawn in mine.

    Even two lawns of identical square footages will be different because of layout, hills, customer expactations...
  5. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I also have the problem of people not wanting to spend more than $15.00 to have their lawn taken care of. This year I tried a new angle from things I learned on lawnsite. Figure out what you want for a lawn, say you want $20.00, then tell them $25-30 then give them a discount say a senior discount or because there in your route area. So far this year I've not lost any jobs, they think they are getting a deal. I'm happy and in turn they are happy cause they think they are getting something for nothing. NOT!!!!! Hey it's worked so far. I live in a small rural farming area in Northwest Ohio, and most of the people are tighter than bark on a tree. Good Luck.
  6. ChrisYanik

    ChrisYanik LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 50

    Minimum charge: $35.00 dollars a lawn.

    Think about how much you would like to make and how much your service's are worth on an hourly basis.

    Then add up your overhead....Insurance, Gasoline, Repairs, TAXES :-( ...etc.

    To be honest.........I don't see how ligit operators can afford to charge only $25.00 dollars for a lawn no matter how small it is. The price of equipment is not cheap nor is the cost to repair broken parts. With gasoline prices up and the LOW LOW unemployment rate...I really don't understand why "Ligit" guys would be charging only $25.00 dollars for a lawn.

    In my area, there's a ton of guys out mowing lawns....seems like every guy with a pickup truck is out mowing. But there's still plenty of work to go around. Since I'm a owner operated business, I can always find more than enough work to keep me busy 100+ hours a week.
  7. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I just don't know about minimum charges. We've debated this before, and I'm still not sold. Maybe it's the area I live in, where most of our residential areas have very small lawns, that effects my way of thinking on this. I have several lawns I cut for $8-$10 a pop, but these lawns take 10 minutes tops to unload, cut, and go. If I have to do that on four different places, with a full 5-minute drive in-between, I'm making $40/hour, which isn't a bad rate by anyone's standards. Covers overhead & expenses and still leaves a healthy profit.

    I've always been in favor of a minimum rate, but again maybe that's the area I live. I suppose the alternative is to never take on a 10-minute lawn, unless you can get $150/hour to cut it?

    Maybe my operation isn't "there" yet, which is entirely likely, but I don't see the necessity for it yet...

  8. LJ lawn

    LJ lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 356

    hello, again,seems that some of you might have missed my point on the subject of the national average per cut,i too try to bill according to the $1.00 per minute rule but all i really wanted to know is what everyone else out ther gets in other areas of the country.i am fully aware of the economic and land layout factors governing the pricing of jobs in a certain area (city/rural, wealthy/poor).i was not looking for a standard or a guideline.just looking for some honest feedback as to what everone else is charging out there.
  9. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    I think that overhead for the business is about the same all over . At least within 10-15% . How much did my 2 21"ers cost here this season compared to San fran or Chicago . Insurances, gas ? . I know housing is alot different here or there .
    The prices of lawn care should vary also but I think the whole country can support the 25-30 min range .
    In my town , hardly anyone has a min . and are cutting their own throats. We are ranked low in wages but lawn care is still worth the higher mins.
  10. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Hi LJ,

    I am from NJ too...NE area though.
    I agree with your pricing or average cut-somewhere around 25-28 for a 50x100 average lot. Alot of people in this forum have mentioned pricing by the acre in other discussions, which is a concept I have trouble with since my world is made of 5000-10,000 ft. sq. lots.
    I had a minimum this year of $27 for any new customers, but along came these people with a modest but very nice 30x15 ft. front lawn that they wanted professionally maintained. I charge them $20 and I'm in and out in 13 minutes. But then again, I have a 75x120 that I charge $30 for and it takes me 45 minutes minimum. I try to stick to $1=1 minute minimum, which usualy works well. As a solo operator though, the smaller jobs that larger companies couldn't afford to stop for make me the best money.
    Last week the guy that cuts 2 doors down from me was boasting because he now has 2 employees and they cut 20 houses per day. Now I know that it took them 15 minutes travel time to get to and from this house, so it cost him 45 minutes labor just to get there. The other day I cut 17 houses alone in 8 hours, and drove 16 miles total. I don't know what he is charging them, but my profit would be alot higher than his simply because of geography.

    I got off on a tangent...sorry.


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