Newb trying to price

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnRebel, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. LawnRebel

    LawnRebel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Hi all. Wonderful site very helpful and informative. I kind of get the impression that newbs are looked down on and automatically given the lowballer status. I very much want to avoid this and try to get some help with everything. I definately don't want to lowball, I don't want to undercut competition and don't want to sell myself short, I'm trying to be out there and make the same money everybody else is and believe I offer a quality service also. I pretty much estimate $1 a minute or $60 per hour. Is this the going rate or should I lower it? I know that around here I definately wouldn't raise it from there. That includes mowing, edging and blowing. I offer other services and can guess decently at those because of having real experience with tree removal, no hourly rate for that really, but to better describe it as an estimate of work involved and how hard that work is, but I need help with pricing the lawn care aspects of everything. Thanx for any help and please keep negative newb comments to a minimal.
  2. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Get out the phone book and call around your market area. Ask the local LCO what their labor rate is on a time and matrerial job. Your on the right track, you will do fine.
  3. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    Well said PR Fect. If you know any of the other LCO's talk with them if possible. If not then you'll have to ask people that use an LCO's service. Researching your market is key, that's where you'll find out the services provided, pricing, marketing methods, etc.

    I don't think that new guys get looked at as lowballers per say. It's just some guys come on the site with no experience and ask questions but then turn around and bash the guy who's offering advice and has years of service under his belt. There a ton of good guys here that are willing to help and offer direction, only payment they require is a little respect...which they've earned IMO. Best website and guys in the industry hands down, they've been a big help to me. Good luck...hope the your business takes off.

  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    $1 a minute is a good rough number but only if you have the right equipment/setup. i.e. using a 21" homeowner push mower you probably won't get much/any business a $1/minute. Personally, as a solo, I feel that a 60" ztr and a 32" wb is the most efficient setup. Therefore, that is what's on my rig. I estimate $1/minute. For 2004 my gross averaged $.93 / minute. As a small operation (12 - 15 accounts usually), I feel that is pretty good and it would be in excess of $1.05 if I dropped my two least profitable accounts, but I do them anyway.

    Some may say that a 60" ztr and a 32" wb is overkill for so few accounts, but I've been mowing for 10 years and reinvesting, which is also my recommedation to a newB. Hope it helps.

    PS that should also include trimming.
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    I'd go with the two posts that suggest calling around and see what your market will bear. You may grow impatient when the jobs don't seem to be comming in fast enough. You'll be fine as long as you hold to a fair price and produce good work and are dependable. Don't forcast optimistically. Expect the worst(Murphys Law) and when things are going right then soak it up. Overextending yourself too fast by trying to expand right away seems to be a mistake people often make regardless of the industry in question. Good luck and welcome. :waving:
  6. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    Many people shoot for $60/hr here but to perfectly honest, not many get it. I will get around $40/hr on most residential lawns. I do get close to $120/hr when doing a neighborhood with 11 accounts in it. You have to factor in your windsheild time, gas, insurance and any other overhead you have. I have my numbers and I can make a nice profit at $40/hr. I worked very hard over the last 3 years to obtain these 11 accounts in that one neighborhood and love making the $120/hr (on average) each week I'm in there. I also have a neighborhood with 5 accounts in the same cul-de-sac. I average $100/hr there. Not all your numbers will be the same. Make your route as tight as possible. As you can see from my examples, the tighter the route, the more money you will make (if you do it correctly) good luck.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    it really comes down to what you need to charge, and what you want to charge
  8. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    That's the ticket.
  9. arborist-28

    arborist-28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    There is a bit of criticism that goes on being the new guy on the block. But a professional takes it in stride and doesn't let it affect his work or his bidding technics..Finding the going rates for your area have been pretty well addressed here , but I think @ if you use 60 $ hour as a base price and treat each job individually considering time, location on route and any extra labor intensive work involved @ each you'll quickly realize how much to bid where to bid high and where to bid @ your base ...good luck to you...c
  10. LawnRebel

    LawnRebel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I wanted to thank everyone that took the time to view and reply. It is really appreciated. I currently have a Craftsman DLT4000 with I can't remember, but am almost possitive it has a 42" deck. I have a general push mower nothin special about except that it was free(picked it up in a neighborhood full of rich people) did a little repair work ok a good bit of repair work and it seems to run fine it's about a 24" I guess. I am looking into String Trimmers and Backpack blowers. I've thought about getting the multi tool system, i.e. interchangable attachments, but have pretty much decided against them cause I don't want invest the money and then have the engine die and be out 2 or 3 peices of equipment instead of just one. Is this a good decision? Guy at the dealer tried to get me to go for the multi, but I just didn't think too highly of it. Any Suggestions in the way of trimmers and blowers? I definately want a backpack if for no other reason than the finger trigger and ease of operation. Am I getting a good grasp on the entry level aspects or am I setting myself up for a failure? Thanx again all

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