Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by XOFMOT, Jun 15, 2001.


    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Here's another one for all to ponder on......

    When performing an estimate for a prospective client, how do all of you come up with your $$$ amount? DO you figure out the square footage then multiply it by an XYZ number then add in additional charged for hills, more than average trees and so on..? Or, do you look at the property and figure it will take you 1 hour do do and multiply that by your set hourly rate?

    As I have been studying this business for a few years now (on and off) I came up with my own formula for this question...see if this sounds ok...

    SQUARE FOOTAGE OF LAWN TO BE MOWED X 1.5% (don't ask how I came up with 1.5%, but it is a breakdown of my hourly rate/ overhead/ wear & tear on equipment and so on..)

    Here's how it would work:

    Property lawn area of 50' by 40' yields 2000 square feet of servicing area multiply by 1.5% = $30.00

    Let me know what you think about this way of estimating...thanks!
  2. GrassMaster

    GrassMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Hello Everybody:

    It really depends on what equipment you are using? It takes so long to mow this with 21", so long with a 48" walk & only a few Minutes with a Dixie Chopper! Hey Eric might say a Few Seconds? Those Double Dudes will put a Hurtin on Ya!!!!!

    One person can mow a 1,000 sq.ft. in so long & the next person with the same mower might take 3 to 5 minutes longer. Use your times & your figures.

    Break it down & figure your different times mowing a 1,000 sq. ft. & then figure it from there, using various Equipment.

    Once you have these figures, plus how long to edge say a linear 100 ft., Trim a linear 100 Ft., blow a 100 sq. ft. Whatever, then have a chart show various times. Then you can figure how much you want to make a hour?

    Once you've done this & done the same lawn at least 3 times, you should know within a few minutes of how long it will take ya to do any job you go on. It really makes you look like a Pro when you go in there take measurements, then run the numbers & walk up to them & give them a price that you know you will be making a Nice Bottom Line.

    Hey you got Travel time, Load & Unload time & etc... to figure T00! Get the Picture? :)

    Now that you have all these measurement of all your customers, including their beds & etc... You can now make a list of your most profitable all the way down to least profitable. Guess What!

    Sooner or later you get the big head & those folks that are least profitable, well you can adjust your price accordingly? Make sense?

    Or just make More Cents in the same amount of time? Try to keep them all at a level price. Only raise the folks a little at the time & only do it when you can afford to loose them? Thus I would only raise a few at a time & maybe wait a month or 2 min to see the results. Never good idea to raise all at one time? Folks tend to talk!

    Now while all this is happening & you got all this Very Valuable Information about all your Customers. All you got to do is come up with prices to Charge them for Fertilization, Mulching, Aeration, Dethatching & etc...

    Hey you already got the measurements & when you need extra work or want to do more Profit Building for your Business. Just send them a quote with your monthly bill? Hey it made a lot of Extra Cents for me & it could do the same for you! :)

    I kept a little chart on all of my customers, LOL it had one ugly drawing on part of it, with all the measurements, then the time it took to perform all task, I even placed in there once I performed certain task, like how much mulch, Fertilizer & so forth! Just more Short Cutts to Success! Whatyathinkaboutthemapples!

    Money is Work Divided by Time!!!!! Make the Most of it!!!!!

    When you decide to retire & your Medical - Health care plan is $1,800 a month, Gas is $4.85 a Quart, DVD's are $12.50 a night, you will be glad you charged them every dime you could! You might even be there thinking I wish I had Charged them more?

    Make people want you no matter how much you over charge them. Don't get them because you are reasonable. Some people pay $.89 for a hamburger & others pay $6.95. Some people think a $1,000 is enough for a Computer & I think that $4,000 is not enough? People will pay for what they want & they will pay dearly for it? Make them want you!

    Look like a Pro, Act like a Pro, Work like a Pro & you will get Paid Like a Pro! That's a Fact Jack!

    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    GRASSMASTER.....THANKS for the input...makes sense.

    When you meet a NEW prospective customer for the first time, say you finished their neigbors lawn and now they want to talk to you about doing theirs,do you walk their property with them, then go over into your truck, push that calculator thing, then in less than 5 minutes you have an answer for them? Or do you return that evening or following day with a price? Thanks!
  4. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    i would say to you, that if you are not comfortable enough to give a price yet, or even how to get customers or anything like that, go get a job workin for somebody if this is what you want to do with your life. if this is gonna be a part time deal you can learn as you go, however if you plan on being a landscraper for the rest of your life go work for a company for a while. somebody who works in the market you wanna work in. think about it for a bit.:confused:
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    good gawd almighty. I don't know if I am repeating what grassmaster said or not. aint no way I got time to read all of that.

    I say, price it the best way you can. if you go bankrupt, then you know you did it wrong. if you make a killing, then you are doing it right. if you make enough money to buy resort propety report back and let us know your secret.


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