Newbie to the site - old gardener - moved from other forum

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Eden's Gardener, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Eden's Gardener

    Eden's Gardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    I have finally taken the plunge and quit the "real" job for a full time life of working for myself. I have been an "organic" gardener forever and in the Dallas market that is hot. I have worked landscape sales and retail as well as been on my own for 2 years part time, now full time sink or swim. :help:
    Do those of you handling organic find that you can merit more $ for this specialized knowledge. (there really is more to it than some may think) I am a prof. horticulturist, too, but not degreed as such. Just in the field - a degree of hard knocks so to speak. Also, one last thing, when no plants are being added, just soil work or fixing someone else's' poor plant placements, how do ya'll go about pricing labor only? I mean sure I'd like to make a zillion an hour, but what is fair market value? Do ya just call other landscape companies in your market and see what the going rate is? Thanks for any help. This site has a lot of good info on it so far as I have read.:)
  2. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Welcome aboard, and smooth sailing......................Just like any LCO, we as well charge a professional rate for our services.Usally you can figure what your rate is by calculating all your expenses Insurance, Equipment,rent,ect. to come up with your operational cost per hour. add your profit, and waaala, you'll now have the magic # that sets you apart from everyone else?.....yes , by all means call and find out what your competeors are charging, find a happy medium and you're ready ta go.......................
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    What can the market bear?????
    This is what you can charge.
    Now to make a profit you need to owe less than what you make.

    Now in my area of 6 little cities and one large one I only have two cities that I do any organic work in. In those cities I am able to make 3 x the amount organic wise than synthetic wise in the other. this is after my cost.
    No one in the other areas are willing to pay the extra for organic so why offer it when it takes me more time to do so.
    Thus what the market will bear.
    Offer both ways and see what you can get. Call around and see if you have any competition. If you do it will limit what you can get, however it also lets you know that people are wanting this item offered.
    all I can say is good luck and more hard knocks are on your way. Trust me I have been bruised and battered.
  4. Eden's Gardener

    Eden's Gardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Thanks to both of you. I only do organics, just my niche, and that alone does set me apart from some of the others in the rat race. I used to work for someone else who did about what I do, but they offer more hardscape and full landscape design, too. They are probably the leader in the industry around here and I started with the knowledge of what they charged for some stuff. I wasn't in the landscape area though so my knowledge is limited to a degree - by my memory, too :dizzy: It is the labor only for stuff that had me stumped. I think i need to forget what I could/would pay someone to do it and just let my prices dictate my customers - heck, if Neiman Marcus can do it, I can!

    I'm sure more hard knocks are ahead, too. Part of life. Big part now is getting more work. Sounds like some of ya'll have more than enough and I'm trying to break even with my expenses to live so far. ha ha. But, once I find a reliable person to call on to work, it will help me bid bigger jobs. Any luck with temp agencies? I guess that is a start. Thanks again for the well wishes. Back at you, too. :angel:

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