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pricing out compost tea

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Keegan, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 611

    I'm seriously considering adding tea to my business.

    How do you go about pricing it?

    FOr arguments sake lets say it cost me $1/1000 sq'. HOw much do you mark this stuff up?

    Thank you!!
  2. Platinum Service

    Platinum Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I don't know about any one else but this is my formula: Take the cost of the production and application equipment and amortize it over two years and take this cost and add it directly to your production cost. It's important to add all equipment cost to everything you do. Add a reasonable hourly charge for the application. Remember that your hourly charge needs to take in to account travel time and set up / tear down time as well as well as the cost of using equipment such as trucks etc. So in my case I will charge $350.00 for a 6 application package to property's with 1200 square foot or less of lawns. That's $58.33 per application which with the equipment we have should take 30 minutes. For a one time out of schedule application I will charge $100.00 to $120.00 since there will be additional costs such as small batch production, loading and unloading equipment to apply to just one lawn.

    Hope that helps, I always say price high you can always sell it as a special if you need to drop your price. It's raining today and I was out doing cold calls, at some locations I didn't even get to see the decision maker but still sold to 1 out of every 5 calls. Price does not seem to matter nearly as much as communicating your enthusiasm and commitment to doing the job right.
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Platinum, you bring up some very good points about keeping your feet firmly planted in reality on costs involved

    don't forget, time to prepare or purchase compost, time monitoring the brewer, electric for the brewer for 24 to 36 hours, transfer time from brewer to truck.

    Keegan, typical application rates vary, in general, $10 to $20 per 1000
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    the lurkers are having a price war. LOL :laugh:

    the cost per 1000, my cost $2 before it leaves the shop, at the grass $22 per 1000.

    the hidden profit is in the fert, lessss inpuuuttt. that means more $$$ at my pay day. some other inputs are down to, theres additional profit there to be had as well.
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Less inputs is what its all about

    There are several national franchises that are doing weed and feed in the spring and fall and compost tea in between.

    Nice weed free lawn and LESS inputs, instead of 7 applications of fertilizers we have them down to 2, compost tea for the other 5. I'll take this compromise anytime

    and at $0.67 per 1000 it makes them more profitable. High Fertilizer prices WHO CARES !

    Has compost gone up in price???? AND its sustainable
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Keegan, I was pretty general with that response. I have found that the closer to the city center you get the charges go up. It also depends on the neigborhood, nice neighborhood nice profits.

    Rural with great big yards you have to charge much less
  7. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Messages: 82


    What 2 fertilizer applications did you keep?

  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    keegan, just a note that's per 10 apps, or per year. mark up that's a different story. labor, fuel,all the other stuff.

    it still works out less expensive
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    It depends on the companies program and how many applications the company does and what they are comfortable with. In the south they do as many as 10 applications, in the North as little as 5.

    The goal, and also what the customer is paying for, (we have not changed the attitude on this one YET) is a weed free lush green lawn, that is what the customer expects and pays for, so companies are keeping the "weed" part and substituting the "feed" part with our product.

    The issue is, lawn and landscape companies have already committed to pricing for the year to their customers and fertilizer prices continue to rise and rise, we use all sustainable practices and formulas so our prices are only affected by whatever shipping costs are out there, not natural gas like fertilizers. So the lawn and landscape company can lose money or find an less expensive substitute.

    At our application rate it costs $0.67 per 1000 treated, pretty good bang for the buck. The kicker is, by using this method you need much less fertilizer if you want to use it, 75 to 90% less. :cool2:

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