Pricing Question (Yeah I know, Another one)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by opman711, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. opman711

    opman711 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I want to thank everyone on here for their posts. It's become very useful to me but I have a question regarding pricing and I was hoping you could help. I've done mowing for years in the midwest and just got paid little because I was growing up and didn't know better. But I've started my own lawn business in Portland, OR and would like your input on what to charge.

    Right now I've been going with $45 as a minimum price depending on the size of the yard. Usually I can get a yard mowed, trimmed, and edged in 90 minutes. Now I know that everyone is stuck on their $1 a minute pricing, but I'm using just a push mower so it takes me longer than those with walk-behinds. I was thinking maybe $45 for the first 2 hours and then $20 every 15 minutes after that. What do you think?

    Also, I serve Portland/Vacouver, WA so I have a larger area to travel than someone normally does with a small lawn business. What do you usually charge for travel? Maybe charge for anything further than 10 miles away?

    Thanks for your input. I know everything there is about lawn care but the pricing is something I haven't dealt with before. I appreciate everyone for helping me out.
  2. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,134

    I dont know where to start here. I can tell you that at first I though tthe 1 dollar a minute rule was great. And when I did an estimate, I tried to shoot for it. I didn't know what I was doing but I tried to figure it out how long it would take me and just do it for a dollar a minute. Well it didn't take me long to realize that I was often underestimating thie time it would take me even with a 66 inch deck. It also didnt take me long to realize I was often way to cheap.

    I now shoot for $2 per minute (time on site) for a mower, and $1 per minute (time on site) for a trimmer. And I feel like I am wasting time on the jobs I am making less. I really HATE the jobs I am stuck on making less then that because its a done deal and set price for this year, but I have to stick with it. There is nothing worse then hearing "for the price we are paying" or "the other guy offered to drop his price ten dollars" because then you know you left to much on the table and it will eat at you when your onsite and when your billing. Really the only price that is correct is "as much as you can charge that the customer will pay". Sorry but its true. There is only so much time (no matter how many ppl work for you) to get it all done, and you are better off making as much $$ per hour as you can.
  3. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,610

    Regardless of your rate per minute, you cannot charge $90 for a lawn that the competition is willing to cut for $45. If your competition has highly productive ZTRs or Standers, and if they only charge $1 per minute, you are out of luck with your 21"s.

    The market determines the value, not your equipment. The time you need to complete a lawn is your problem to solve.

Share This Page