Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nyebrand, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. nyebrand

    nyebrand LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I want to start a lawn care/horticultural service business. I will operate in south Florida and am having difficulties in deciding what to charge for the "basic lawn care" service, mowing,edging and blowing. The prices that I have are all over the place from $250 for 1/3 acre to 180 for 1.3 acres. If I go for lets say the typical lawn of 1/4-1/2 acre what is the going rate?

    Thanks Bo

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I would start with a business plan outlining all the steps needed and the overhead to running your business. Figure out what you need to live on and what profit your business wants to produce (and that will be zero for the 1st few years) Now you have a price that you want to sell work at. Shop around and check other rates and see if you can even do business at that rate. If not than you need to redo the plan or go into a different field.
  3. HGdesigner

    HGdesigner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have a few questions about these things as well. I want to go into the high end residential turf market myself and am information gathering. I've searched this site well and have figured out that no one wants to tell what they charge. It's bizzare. Some are just outright rude and I wish the moderators would call them on it.

    Nyebrand has it right that you do need to figure out what the cost of buisness is, but you also need to know what your competition is doing. In fact, I would say that knowing what other people are charging for an equivelent product is the first thing a responsible buisness owner should ask. We all know that prices change from place to place and overhead is different from company to company. What many of us want to know is what are you guys charging. To the homeowner or the commercial buisness or the government entity, it is square footage. To the architect or contractor, it is square footage. If you price too low you'll lose your butt. If you price too high then you won't get the job, regardless of how good your work is.

    I mow a few "small" yards, about the size you are talking about. I don't know off the top of my head what the precise square footage is but a simple cut and go (no beds, just edge, trim, mow, blow) runs between $40 and $60. I think the $40's are about 1/4 acre, the $60's are about twice that. Only the worse low'ballers seem to go lower than that. You might want to go up a little because of the population in your area may increase your drive time, fuel costs, equipment costs, etc. I've been all over the South and the prices don't deviate all that much on green industry products and services among the average consumer of our industry.

    I've been in this industry for 20 years, 14 in management, a couple as superintendent of a large landscape company before exclusively working my own company about 7 years ago. I can bid about any design/build project you can imagine in a very detailed fasion and in a very short time because I have been doing it so long and it is the backbone of what I do. The problem I have is it has been a long time since I've had to bid high end residential turf management in the 1.5 to 3 acre range, excluding beds & hedges but including trim, edge, blow. It has been about 12 years since I've messed with it. I have clients that want it and I want to give them a fair price, one that more accurately reflects the market. I already do the beds and hedging and planting and mulch, bill it by the hour, and can pick up the mow rather easily.

    Bidding installation is different. I can do it with precision and I can tell others exactly what I'd charge for a job. Installation makes way more money than anything else but it takes a lot more time to learn how to draw, itemize, etc. than other green industry jobs.

    If anyone out there cares to let us know what you charge for your yards then please let us know. I'm especially interested in high end residentials of about 2 acres. Information is a valuable resource. I'm amazed no one wants to share. I certainly do and will help anyone in any way I can. I think thats the general idea behind these types of forums.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.


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