New to bidding and need help pricing jobs : lawn care

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Choyle, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Choyle

    Choyle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello, I have been in landscaping/lawn care for many years. As an employee and crew leader. I have all the necessary tools and equipment to get the work done and have wanted to "go out on my own" for a long time.

    GOAL: To get roughly 20 yards to maintain through out the week after my full time job. Mostly lawn care and pruning and other jobs that aren't very complex or too difficult to accomplish.

    PRICING: Here is my arising problem, I have only gained about 7 regular customers and I am noticing the I may be pricing jobs too cheap. Most of my lawns seem to be 1/4 acre or 1/2 acre that are not high in detail. Here is my scale that I kind of base pricing off of. I am afraid that I may be a little off. I fear that if I bid too high than the potential client would hop and skip to the next landscaper. I have no "business" overhead as this is side work, Just the regular gas, equipment overhead.

    1/4 acre not much detail - $20
    1/4 acre with lots of time detailing - $25

    1/2-3/4 acre not much detail - $25
    1/2-3/4 acre with lots of detail - $30

    1 acre plus is $30 an acre

    PRUNING: I have played the whole crew leader role for many jobs, but I have never done bidding. I would like to think with pruning jobs I can have a base price of $25hr, but I am certain that after driving to the job, using my equipment, and paying a disposal fee, $25hr isn't enough. How should I price pruning jobs.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP! I'm just a small town guy in Charlotte, NC trying to make extra dough for my family. I'm not trying to get rich and mow America.
  2. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I'm probably going to be $10 to $15 more on pretty much every line there.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 156

    Yep. Do a thorough job and charge more. Stand behind your work nd don't short yourself.
  4. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,535

    Here is where I am at. I use an Exmark 30 everywhere I can, and a 21 where I can't. I am sure people with larger equipment would be cheaper on some of the larger properties. Using my Exmark 30 I earn an average of 60+/hour on the actual job edging, mowing, trimming, and clean-up. The Bi-Weekly lawns I charge 40% more because they at times require being double cut. Got to and you can measure the square footage of the grass you're cutting.

    Weekly Mowing Prices:

    $22 0-1800 Square Feet.
    $25 1800-3000 Square Feet.
    $28 3000-5000 Square Feet.
    $32 5000-6500 Square Feet.
    $35 6500-9000 Square Feet.
    $40 9000-12000 Square Feet.
    $45 12000-16000 Square Feet.
    $50 16000-20000 Square Feet.

    Bi-Weekly Mowing Prices:

    $30 0-1800 Square Feet.
    $35 1800-3000 Square Feet.
    $39 3000-5000 Square Feet.
    $45 5000-6500 Square Feet.
    $50 6500-9000 Square Feet.
    $56 9000-12000 Square Feet.
    $63 12000-16000 Square Feet.
    $70 16000-20000 Square Feet.
  5. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,855

    You are way way way too low.

    Cedar's price structure is close to mine. I have no set prices, it's what I think it's worth, but it ends up being really close to that
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,855

    The best way I've found to estimate pruning jobs is give a minute amount per plant. Decide what you want to make an hour, then look at each plant and assign it an amount of time for pruning, clean up, and disposal.

    A medium sized boxwood or barberry I would say is 6 minutes.

    Always have a job minimum. If it's three plants just charge an hour at least.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Choyle

    Choyle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Very good replies so far thank you! Great scale Cedar and is the perfect site to measure with and I see myself using it on every client. I will need to adjust some prices.
  8. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    You're way low. I have a $32 min and I charge $50 an acre to just mow, if there is trimming it's going to be atleast $70. Like someone else said, do good work and don't short your self.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Messages: 5,957

    I agree prices are very low do not short yourself on your work people think this is an easy job, all yards and terrains are different.

    We do not have a set price but we help elderly as much as possible though.

    Down here in Alabama the yards can put a beating on your mowers and equipment, it is all priced per job and terrain environment.
  10. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,684

    Don't sucker yourself into flat rate pricing based on property size. We have some 2 acre fields that are wide open, cut only for $90 and some 1/4 acre subdivision lots with 45 minutes of trimming that are $70.

    Terrain, obstacles, landscaping, accessibility, etc.... there are dozens of factors that should help dictate your price. We've picked up jobs in the past where guys were charging $40 for 1/2 acre and they were quitting mid season because they weren't factoring in all of the trimming.

    It's good to have a "ballpark" number, but don't swear by them.

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