please help me estimate my first quote

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BetterLawnCare, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. BetterLawnCare

    BetterLawnCare LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 11

    I have officially been in the lawn care business 2 days and have zero clients. I just got my first call this morning and will go out today to quote it.
    307 Doak Mason Rd, Jackson, TN 38305

    Customer says it is about 2 acres and it needs to be cut as soon as possible.

    My job concern is since this is a LARGE rural job I have no idea what to charge. I will be using my John Deere LA145 that cuts 48". I can't begin to figure how long it will take to cut that as I have never done anything that big. I would say it takes me 20 minutes to mow my yard just under half an acre, but I am very accustomed to it.

    My customer concern is that he said he called 4 other companies and I was the only one that called him back. He also said it was just for 3 or 4 times this year that his mower was broken.

    Now you know everything I know. Should I have asked something I didn't? Is their anything to watch out for with the customer? Any help you guy's can give on how to quote it or what you would quote will be greatly appreciated.
  2. mike333h

    mike333h LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Are you going to be trimming as well and then the clean up. With the 145 you are probably going to have a lot of clippings left over depending on how tall the owner let it get and will take a little longer to dispose of them. Not sure of the typical rate there as well but I would say 150-200. But just a heads up...I am pretty new to this as well.

  3. BetterLawnCare

    BetterLawnCare LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 11

    Thanks, I guess those are some questions to start asking from now on.
    **How tall, Trimming?, Clippings?

    I do have a lawn sweeper, but that will be a lot of clippings get rid of. I will say it is for just cutting, obviously if it is to tall then I will need to charge more & sweep. I figure I could do all the mowing and just trim around the house in about 2 hours if it is a normal cut.
  4. g21

    g21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    There are many things that you need to do to prepare for properly estimating properties. If you send me an email, I will share with you the most important things you need to be successfull. Since you are new, this is the perfect time to start doing it right. I'll help you with everything you need.


  5. BetterLawnCare

    BetterLawnCare LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 11

    Well, I got the bid at $120 the grass is in very good shape should not be many clippings at all. It is scheduled tomorrow and 10 days later then his mower should be fixed. I figure it to take 2.5 hours by myself after looking at it. I came up with the price by a mix of $50 an hour and how much I would be willing to pay. It may be a little low but It's not permanent and I needed to start somewhere. I also picked up another small city yard for $30 recurring and $15 to cut a small 6" thick tree growing against his fence. So tomorrow I start to cut. Yeah!

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    if its only a couple times you could charge a little more
  7. Raider

    Raider LawnSite Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 69

    If it only takes you a couple of hours you did ok. You will make some money and gain valuable experience for future bidding opportunities. I know many will disagree with me, but when you are first starting out it is ok to take on a few jobs that you are unsure about, and maybe don't make a lot of money just for experience.
  8. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    I totally agree.
  9. BetterLawnCare

    BetterLawnCare LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 11

    Thanks guy's. I guess I won't know how I really did until tomorrow is over with. I will bring this thread to a close when I get home tomorrow with an update of my actual work times.
  10. Bob_n_weave

    Bob_n_weave LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Make a list of a few questions to ask potiential customers and carry it with you so when your phone rings you can pull it out and take a few notes. Always have Pen and Paper handy. Ask their FIRST AND LAST name and how to spell it.
    If you submit a bid are you going to address it to John ___ ? A lot of times you will be looking at properties without customer being there to ask questions, so be prepared when they call.

    Did you ask him how long it takes him to cut property ? add 15-20 min to whatever they say. What type of mower did he use ? It will help you give an estimate that you don't regret because your eager to pick up a new account. For temp accounts always tack on a little extra $$.

    If you don't have Insurance buy some Libility, expect to pay $550-$1000 per year. Sh*t happens, and if your not covered your screwed.

    Good Luck :waving:

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