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Price list/price help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by deereman08, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. excel

    excel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Im going to give a call over to his firm today and see if they have a copy/ will mail me one. Ill post an update with results.

    Piney, I feel the same way at times. Ive been in the industry for a while now, but new on my own. Pricing is something I certainly need to work on. Im hoping that having a set system in place will allow me to define a price quickly, and stick to that price as I can rationalize how I arrived at the figure.

    Ive been toying around with excel for about a month here and there, Im trying to develop a pricing model for snow plowing. IE you enter sq footage (I know the debate on this) and other info and it will produce a seasonal price and break down expected expenses based on certain assumptions. Still in the works though.
  2. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    I suggest having a minimum price per hour that you know you can live on and a medium and high price too. Use the high price on the risky jobs. Ask for the safe medium price on the easy jobs. All too often you get into jobs where you basically only get your min price even when you bid your medium price because of details not seen. You are far better off under promising and over delivering so keep your prices fair so you can do some thing extra as you find the need when the job progresses.

    Bidding is as much an art as a science. No two jobs are the same and you never stop learning on how to estimate better. Keep the risk reward in mind when setting price. More risk = more reward

    While I highly recommend those books the DVD on the subject would be worth wild too as they are funny and motivational. They are not however the end all.
  3. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I am somewhat in the same boat as the original poster on this thread. This past season was my first as well I didn't go after the lawn care full time but plan on doing so this upcoming season. What I found last year was that, when starting off small, as you and I both are, it takes a few times to throw prices at customers before you figure out what a yard seems to be worth. Also, being a small company, you can't charge as high as the established companies in your area because the customer will think to just hire the guys who have been around for a while because they will figure that they know what they are doing. When starting off start small, be a little cheaper, you have to build your clients slowly. Unfortunately it can't happen over night. Another thing I've found out is that it is a lot harder for people to say "no" to a price in person if they ask what it would cost at the initial bid. So you can use that to your advantage sometimes, but not always. Anyways, hope that may have helped, feel free to get in touch with me as you probably learned some things last year that I did not, and so on and so forth.

  4. pineymountain

    pineymountain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    It was your first year and you did those installs on your website?

    Nice work if so.

    I would try to get some better pictures of that work. The work looks quality but the pictures kind of stink.
  5. excel

    excel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    ELS, In my plowing pricing model I'm employing 4 "buckets" ,if you will, based on level of difficulty. Obviously there is an infinite number of variables that we could worry about, but Ill start out with 4 options. In my model, I have the difficulty level tied to certain production rates and costs, so the model will recognize a more difficult selection and increase costs as a result. Its certainly not refined what so ever, and Im hoping that getting more accurate production rates will allow me to expand this model to my other services. Otherwise I guess Ill need to break out the stop watch and measuring wheel haha.

    I gave a ring over to VKA, no answer. I left a message, hopefully they return my call. Cant say Ive ever worked so hard to buy a book in my life. Ill keep you all posted if I get through, or if I find another vendor.
  6. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    You are not going to get that much detail from VK nor are you going to see production rates for plowing. The business management book is still a good tool with some insight into the landscape / hardscape industry for contractors
  7. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Yeah that was all my work from this past season. Actually we did some other stuff too but I had a terrible habit of not taking before and after pictures of the landscaping stuff we did. But yeah higher quality pictures is a must. Need a better camera or phone with a better camera.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Chris_NC06

    Chris_NC06 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Sanford, NC
    Messages: 6,825

    First, you need to figure out what your operating expense per hour is.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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