Pricing and Rates

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TK LC&L, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. TK LC&L

    TK LC&L LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 51

    I am just curious to see what people are getting these days in this economy. I was told that in mowing, if a yard takes an hour then charged $30. And for mulching, $100/yard which includes mulch, delivery, edging, spreading, and any minor weeding. Also for employees, $10/hour for a person with little to no experience and about $15/hour for someone experienced in the field. Any thoughts or opinions? I am in Pennsylvania by the way, I know that different areas get different rates.

    Messages: 1,343

    I think your really going to have a tough time with this one.
    You will be better off changing your post to targeting people in your area.
    We are in the northeast and have very different rates to what you posted.
    Good luck.
  3. exmark user

    exmark user LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 460

    A $30.00 yard here should take no longer than 25 minutes . We try to get a dollar a minute on mowing as for me.
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    Based on this, you would potentially pay an employee $15/hour to do a $30/hour mowing?

    You really need to understand all of the costs involved, both direct operating costs, and those imposed by your state and federal government, and you'll quickly see why that is in no way viable, regardless of where you operate.
  5. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    As far as mowing prices go, a better way to compare those prices would be based on square footage rather than a duration of time. The whole bit of "company A charges X per hour while company B charges Y per hour" doesn't work since not everyone is going to be able to service the same size property in the same amount of time. Then there's the (previously mentioned) factor of operating costs that will vary across the board.
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  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Who told you $30 hour? As tonygreek said if $15 labor is more because their is Workman's comp and unemployment insurance that you have to pay the gov on top of that $15 to employee. That $15 hr man is now a $20 man. Then gas, vehicle insurance, business liability ins, bus license, maintenance and repairs of equipment, advertising, set aside money to expand/buy new equipment. Can cost more then the $10 that was left over after paying your employee.

    Soon as you mowed your first lawn your business has just lost money. The best part is you have not even paid yourself.

    I price out my properties by the SF so I know that I'm more consistent in my pricing.
  7. TK LC&L

    TK LC&L LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 51

    Ok I guess I should have stated that a little better. It is per man hour. So if a yard takes one hour to mow with me and another employee that would be $60. And the employee that I have with me when I mow is just a young unexperienced guy that I give $10/hour. So what I am saying is that I make $20 off of him. And I understand what the overhead is. Also I am a smaller company and am looking to grow the number of accounts I have so I am trying to be on the lower side to beat competition until I have the amount I need. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their thoughts to the thread so far.
  8. TK LC&L

    TK LC&L LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 51

    I like the square foot idea of pricing, but what do you do if it is hilly compared to flat or if there are a million obstacles compared to an open yard?
  9. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    32vld probably has better input for this than I do, but I'll offer my 2 cents anyhow. I should first state that I don't have any accounts that are hilly, so I can't say for certain how inclines may effect measurements. My thought is that as long as the measuring wheel follows the slopes (where applicable), your dimensions should still be accurate.

    As for obstacles, there should be 2 different categories to file them under: Ones you just have to trim around but can run the mower over, and those that you have to trim and mow around. If it's something that you have to trim around but can pass over it with the mower, I'd measure the distance (approximate amount of feet) around the object, divide that number in half, and add it to your total square footage for the property. If it's something you have to trim/mow around, measure the distance (in feet) around the object, and add that whole number to your total square footage.

    I'd imagine there's a better way of going about these things, but those are my thoughts on the topic anyhow. :drinkup:
  10. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    In our area an experienced man only gets $10-$11 an hour tops and on mowing I try for $80 per hour with a two man crew. $80 per hour plus material cost plus 30% markup on landscaping

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