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pricing for residential mowing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by STLlawnboy, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. STLlawnboy

    STLlawnboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    wondering how to charge for residential yards for mowing i have been cuttin since i have been about 15 and have 23 yards all in 1 subdivision so all the yards are about the same size and i get $30 a yard but i don't know how to price new ones that i am gettin in other subdivisions with much larger lot sizes. Do you charge by the sq foot? Any suggestions would be helpful. I am goin to try to turn this into a legit business next spring and want to get about 65 total accounts just want to make sure that i price correctly.
  2. sanfordandsonfan

    sanfordandsonfan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I live very close to you, and I think that if you are getting $30 per yard and all are close together, you will be making some nice coin if you get that up to sixty five properties. I still have over half of my route that I only get $25 per cut. The reason it does not bother me is because of all the extra work they give me throughout the season. Good luck.
  3. sanfordandsonfan

    sanfordandsonfan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I forgot to talk about the larger yards. I have some large properties in Ladue that we cut for $35 and we cant get a dime more because of competition. My suggestion is not to get to expensive, make money and charge fair, you will be just fine.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Everything is based on time. You need to decide how much your time is worth. On lawn crew, by myself, my time is worth $50-$60 per hour. Hopefully.:)
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I have found that for weekly service, the size of the lawn doesn't really matter much. Most people won't pay over $40 per week. That is pretty much the top. There are exceptions, but, by and large, that is about all the average home owner is willing to spend, regardless of size and time requirements.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  6. Need a Little Trim

    Need a Little Trim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    I agree with DFW... unless your talking huge empty lots very few people will pay in the 40-50 dollar range.
  7. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    What sort of equipment are you running? there isn't much difference in a 48" wb and a 60" Z on a 12K lawn, however as soon as you get up in the 25K+ a Z will really shine. My advice is just try putting some numbers out there based on how long you think it will take you.

    as stated there is a ceiling with lawn care unfortunately. I don't stop for less than $30 any more, my equipment is meant to stretch its legs, my average property is somewhere in the $40-45 range and I make the most money on those. I have a few that are $50/75's but more often than not they're hardly profitable (in comparison with my other properties)

    Around here $55/60 is the most you can fetch for an acre lot. 2acres has a limit of about $85 unfortunately.
  8. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    A couple of things to keep in mind:

    1) The amount of trimming is as big a deal as the amount of mowing. I know you know that, but that fact turns the notion of per-square-foot pricing on its head. See more on this at * below.

    2). Most here on lawnsite will tell you that small lots yield the most money per square foot. If you are in a position to expand your equipment base (and your truck/trailer setup if needed to accomodate a larger mower), it may make sense to move up in mowers. On the other hand, it may make more sense to expand into areas with roughly the same lot sizes for now and deal with a larger investment later.

    We have to be careful about what we think is an opportunity. Larger lots look like more money, but getting in and out is a biotch with the wrong equipment.

    A good idea may be to put a business plan together this winter based on your current equipment set-up and one based on an expanded equipment set-up (does the new equipment demand more truck and/or trailer than you currently have? If so, factor that in). The business plan must also include marketing/advertising costs, even if time is the principal ingredient.

    I recommend you take a class this winter in small business operation and get whatever help you need to write a business plan. It's tough enough to make a living without having a decent road map.

    * Most of us shoot for a buck a minute, but most of us can do that only for each minute on the job and not a buck a minute during transit as well as during production. Whether your market will accomodate that is tough to say, but efficiency and a tight route are probably the two most important ingredients in that equation.
  9. Willis

    Willis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    By the s.f. If your existing turf for example are 10,000sf your charging a $20 stop fee and a dollar per thou s.f. = $30
    Or they are 5,000sf your charging $20 stop fee and $2 per thou s.f .= $30.
    Do the same for your new accounts. tip
  10. RyanD

    RyanD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    You have to know your costs. What will it cost you to mow these larger lawns. If you have no idea, that is where I would start. Once you know what it will cost you, you can add what you want to make (per hour, etc). Then if your area won't allow that pricing, you will have to see if you can become more efficient or change businesses. Pm me if you want more help.

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