Pricing a service call

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by trim a lawn, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. trim a lawn

    trim a lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I'm getting into the industry next Spring. I'm trying to determine pricing. How do you guys determine how much to charge for a basic service of cutting, trimming, blowing? Should I charge by size, as in square footage or by time, although that would kind of be arbitrary, based on how fast or slow I work. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Do a market survey for your area and see what the going price is.
  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,395

    Hit the phone book! Do some calling for estimates.
  4. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Just ask your boss at the company you're currently working for. Oh wait, let me guess, you've never done this before?
  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    not sure i see the importance or problem with this.

    before i started my business the grass i ever cut was my own. never worked for a single lawn company and didn't know a single sole who did.

    is there some law i don't know about that states you have to have worked for someone in the industry before you go and start your own business in the industry???
  6. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    You don't have to work for someone before you start on your own, but it helps. If you were a plumber, or ac guy, or electrician how far would you get on your own. Probably nowhere.

    Why does everybody on here think it's so horrible to start out working for someone? When you truly think about everything involved it's overwhelming:
    How do I price
    Jesus, commercial equipment is expensive
    How do I get customers
    How do I fix stuff
    What trailer to get
    This customer sucks, how do I handle it
    How do I invoice people
    What kind of hedge is this
    How do I handle the weather
    I mean the list goes on and on for the crap that goes with a lawn biz, your not gonna learn it all here.

    Oh yeah, the search button does actually work!!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Search on this site for things like: Business Plan, budget, employee costs, Payroll, return on investment....How much do you want to make an hour for yourself? Realistically?

    For example, if I pay a guy 14 dollars an hour to cut grass, once I pay the employee deductions and other government things here, he costs me a basic $24.31 an hour.

    On top of that I know what my business overhead is for the year and I have divided that into how many working hours there are in the year....that number is then added to the $24.31 that I have to collect for the fourteen dollar an hour employee (but this number should also be divided equally between all employees and added to what you collect from your clients for their hourly pay requirements)...but wait, there's more to add....who's going to pay for the new equipment you need or have to replace next year? You need to collect a return on investment and add that to the employees hourly cost to your clients....and then you also need to make some money, so you try to add a profit to it all....

    This information is by no means complete. As I am in Vancouver B.C., my number are going to be different than yours.

    Do a search of your states business laws, employee laws and keep searching on lawn site. It rocks!

    The bottom line, have a Business Plan written up, know your costs and be aware of what your regional competitors are charging in your target demographic for similar services.
  8. *dim*

    *dim* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    try this spreadsheet (it's in pounds, but works the same as USD) .... it will give you a guideline ....

    add your annual costs .... then add the amount of money you wish to take home for the year (after taxes etc) .... you can also use this per month etc
  9. *dim*

    *dim* LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    my point was the exactly opposite. it's not so horrible if you haven't worked for someone else either.

    i've made it 5 years so far and my years keep getting better and better and i didn't work for anyone before i started my business.

    i worked at car wash before i started my business, worked at menards before the car wash and before those 2 i worked at target. i didn't have an ounce of knowledge about the lawn industry.

    sure it helps to have worked for someone else, but it's not so horrible if you haven't.

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