Need Some Help Pricing Yard Cleanup

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Wolf's Driveway Sealing, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Mattmowsgrass

    Mattmowsgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

     
  2. OP
    OP
    Wolf's Driveway Sealing

    Wolf's Driveway Sealing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Okay sweet thanks a lot guys, this is really helpful. She wanted a flat rate per day so I'll probably say maybe $500 CAD ($378 USD) per day for five full days, see if she goes for that and really lay out everything that's included in those.

    I'll look into seeing how long she wants me there and how extensive she expects the service to be. Should I draw up a simple contract for her to sign? Might be over the top as she's just looking for a reasonably priced local to get it done.
     
  3. Ryan-BCML

    Ryan-BCML LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    You keep saying you’re not a company, but please don’t sell your services short. Are you a business with insurance, WCB, business license etc? It makes things much harder for the rest of us if someone comes in and simply try’s to make what they think is a decent wage of $30 an hour because that is more than what they made as an employee. At $500CAD a day is a good target you should be going after. You have equipment that needs maintenance, your time as an overhead for business development and marketing like what you did to go and get this job, plus a ton of other little money eaters that come up running a business. Personally I try to book at least $650 for full 8 hours on site as a daily rate because there is the prep, travel, and maintenance on top at the end of the day that has to get done. If it’s all small equipment and hand tool work it’s less but the end of day maintenance and consumables is less too. Sounds though that you’re on the right track though. When you send the quote list what’s included. No need for a formal contract per say for residential, but I do usually get at least an approval email to proceed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  4. Mattmowsgrass

    Mattmowsgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I would, make sure it says, price, payment details, what's included, things that aren't included, that she might expect.
    for example, in my mowing agreement I put this price doesnt include bagging, some people think that's by default. good luck
     
    E-town and Ryan-BCML like this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Wolf's Driveway Sealing

    Wolf's Driveway Sealing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    @Ryan-BCML, I'll do my best not to, thanks. I definitely don't want to be under-compensated and Certainly have no interest in undercutting others who rely on what they charge. I have a lot of trouble with that in driveway-sealing that's why I was looking for some input, don't wanna screw other guys by under-charging. I've been self-employed for years now and do fairly well, so not looking to up my wage or anything like that, just wanna charge what's fair for everyone.

    For landscaping no I do not have insurance, WCB or anything like that (not yet anyway), but for sure there's gear maintenance and travel to factor in. I think I'll aim for $500 a day then, thanks.

    @Mattmowsgrass: Okay good to know, I'll be sure to do that.

    Thank you very much everyone I really appreciate the help, I'll let you know if she goes for it.
     
    Ryan-BCML likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    Wolf's Driveway Sealing

    Wolf's Driveway Sealing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hey guys,

    So I talked to her earlier today, here's what I said:

    At an estimate $500/day all inclusive, so that covers weeding, mowing, gutting the shed, shrub and small tree removal, grass-seeding, all waste disposed of, river-stones for the front and any equipment rentals. Probably around a week's work if I do solo, maybe 3 full days if I bring a helper.

    She said "Thanks Jakob that's quite high for us. But thank you very much for your time."

    I offered to negotiate a little and pointed out that there's probably a 5-10% appreciation of home value but she didn't answer.

    Thanks guys for preventing me from wasting my time on this, could've been a great job if she wasn't so cheap. I'm still figuring out how to price in a way that's fair for everyone involved and you prevented me from ripping myself off on this.

    I did $500 worth of work for another woman a few weeks ago: two flimsy stumps removed (took like 10min for both, didn't even need a pick), a small tree cut down (10-15min with a Hand Saw), some pruning, weeding, sawed a couple small limbs off a pine-tree, and about 10'-12' of border planting; about 8hrs work total and she was fine with it - she was worried I was being underpaid and said "You obviously charge fair prices." This is easily 5 times as much work. Again, thanks everyone. Glad I asked for some input. I'll be back :D
     
  7. Mow-Daddy.com

    Mow-Daddy.com LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,932


    The one thing that probably scared her is the ($500 per day) she has no clue what the final bill would be.
    Will it be $1000? or will it be $4500?
    You need to figure out how many total hrs you'll be there. Then give a firm price.
    Total cost Ms Smith will be $2500.
    You can't just give an open-ended estimate of $500 per day.
     
    Charles likes this.
  8. Ryan-BCML

    Ryan-BCML LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    You’ll always run into people who think that you should do work for an employee paycheque instead of as a business. I’ll admit I even have a bit of a soft spot for two properties that I take care of that are a couple blocks from where I live, and somehow always talk myself into it because they are both widows, they are close to my house, it won’t take me that long, etc etc. Any excuse in the book. On those I think I’m averaging about $25 an hour once you factor in the time I spend chatting with them each time they have me out.
    Something you always have to factor is, does the job provide value for both of you. If you feel like you’re getting paid really well, you’re going to feel extremely happy and do fantastic work, but they think you’re charging too much, they won’t be likely to have you back or recommend you to anyone else, and I’ve found that repeat business and referrals are a huge part of the services industry. If they think they are getting great value, but you feel like you’re not getting paid enough, you aren’t necessarily going to do your best work or if it’s repeat business, your quality may slip, and in turn then they aren’t going to be happy, and again they won’t have you back or recommend you. Every job is different because everyone is different. By walking away from that job, you made a good business decision, because if you cut your fee it wasn’t good value for yourself. The best jobs are always where you and the customer both feel you get great value for the service.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Wolf's Driveway Sealing

    Wolf's Driveway Sealing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    @Mow-Daddy.com Ya that's true, but when she said it was a little high I offered to negotiate and she still wasn't open to it. At 8hrs a day with two guys it would've been like three days' work. I got the impression she was expecting a $20/hr guy to gut her whole property though, but the way she was showing me around she was pointing and talking like money is no object, just get it done kind of thing.

    @Ryan-BCML That's totally different though right? I'd always accommodate a widow to be honest, can't help it. Because if they weren't widowed they'd probably have a man there to do it for them for nothing, and financially they often get so little to live on. So I'm happy to help them, and they always insist on paying fair anyway. Plus you have to count all the treats! So many treats oh my God. With me they usually want very minor stuff, like grab the dishes from on top of the cupboard so we can wash them because she can't reach it. Like you gotta have a heart for someone in a position like that. They give what they can and in their case I'm okay with that. Everyone else, they're hiring someone to do a service, not sincerely asking for help the way my neighbours do. Haha the ones I help are real chatty Kathy's too, I go to do 20 minutes work and we sit and talk for like three hours. They're just lonely, I think sometimes the work is more an excuse to have someone come over.

    That's an excellent point. For me, with widows the value comes more from being able to help someone genuinely in need, but yes I've noticed that when I'm well-compensated I'm very motivated, enthusiastic and precise in my work. Thank you, I think it was too, much as I would've liked to do it. I couldn't agree more, everyone should feel like they're benefiting basically equally.

    Thanks for the support and feedback guys, everything helps in some way so I really appreciate that you were willing to guide me on this.
     
  10. StearnScape

    StearnScape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    This was a good thread!
     

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