Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Greengo, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Greengo

    Greengo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    hey guys and girls, i am new to the business and new to the site. i have started a very small lawn service. i am working alone. i am wondering what the going rate is in atlanta for a 1.5hr yard. i have 6 yards that i am mowing and the time it takes to mow, trim, edge and blow is 1-2 hrs per. i am getting $35 to $50 depending on what is involved. is this reasonable for a 1.5hr job.
  2. Mrk'sLawn

    Mrk'sLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    If you are taking $35.00 for a 2 hr job your only making 17.50 an hr. Plus, your leaving out the details about your lawns. If you provide some more info about your properties people on this site can better answer your questions. IMO, $17.50 to mow, trim and edge is very low. But, I'm in a different part of the country. For me a 2 hr job to mow trim and edge I would charge at least $160.00 I can mow and trim about an acre a hr. The lowest price I charge for an acre is $80 and for that it has to be very flat with not many obstacles.. If the job only took you 1/2 hr I would say 35.00 would be OK.. JMO.. Good luck with your business. I wish you much success!!:)
  3. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    It's an ok price if you had all the equipment, insurance and other related costs paid by that customer.

    As far as I can see, you'd make more money working for someone else at that rate. Think about it, every hour you're working at a low rate is an hour you can never get back. It's gone forever and so is your chance to make real money.

    Try to work with a rate of about $100/hr. That may sound hard, but if you find the right jobs, it's possible. A lot of Lco's don't bother or have a hard time finding their niche, the profitable jobs. Sometimes, you can do lawncare to get to the profitable hard landscape jobs. The lawncare gets you in the door and I myself consider it a loss leader most of the time.

    For example, one of my clients has me doing some stucco repairs. My company nets about $125/hr clear after all expenses doing stucco.

    Just an idea. Good luck!
  4. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    ^$100 an hour? Wow, I am going to tell that one to my cusomters tomorrow.

    Anyway, a 1.5 hour job should be at the very minimum $45.00, I would shoot for somewhere around the $60.00 mark though.
  5. Greengo

    Greengo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    okay thanks guys, the smallest yard is maybe 1/4 acre and i am charging $35 a week to mow, but the guy always gives me $40. the largest yard is just over an acre and i'm getting $50 for that yard every 2 weeks. i'm not trying to make a living doing this. i'm only picking up some extra money in the evenings. i don't get in any real big hurry when i get to a yard after working all day on my full time job. i'd rather do a thorough job. a couple of the yards i have picked up were being done by guys doing lawn service for a living and what a crappy job they were doing. i understand that these guys were trying to get it done as quick as possible in order to get to the next job, but? there's not much added expense to doing my jobs. half of my jobs are on my street and the rest are on my way home from work. i won't go out of my way to mow a yard for $40. but i'm with cwlawley, $100 an hour....WOW! i know i wouldn't have any work if that is what i was charging for residential.
  6. Brian D

    Brian D LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 6

    I am just south of Atlanta, and I try to stay in the price range of $60-70 per hour. However, I am one of those start up lawns services, where I want to realize a reasonable profit. At $60 per hour, after you take out costs, (fuel was 3.05 yesterday for premimum) insurance, blades, small amount set aside for repairs, and misc. expenses, you are making decent money without going totally broke. And hey, if I am going to go broke, I would just as soon do that sitting in the shade drinking lemonade as I would working my butt off in the hot GA sun!
  7. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Everywhere is different but that seems on the low end to me. Even where I live that seems low, and I live in Lowball City USA!:laugh: But if you are not using the right equipment for jobs that size then shame on you. Our average lawn is just under a half acre and it takes us on the average, 10-15 minutes from start to finish and we're getting anywhere from $30-$40 per time. But don't price yourself out of business either. Just figure your expenses and bid accordingly.
  8. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    what type of equipment are you using? that will be a big factor in the time spent whether its 1/4acre or many acres. we maintain average at $60 per hour, minimum lawn is $45 and those take us apprx 20 minutes.

    If i had a site that takes 1.5hrs, using my equipment (yes all commercial), i'd be getting somewhere between $80-90 for that site.

    we keep our overhead to a minimum, yes have license and insured, pay cash for all equipment, trucks are maintained/well kept and are not brand new. by doing this we can offer a fair price and still make money.

    hope this helps, good luck.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Agreed, but lets keep in mind experience and equipment, not to mention customer base.

    What I would recommend is slowly but surely start raising your prices, your rates are a bit low but not outrageously so for a start-up in what, at least for me, has been a lean year thus far. I myself started in a year of drought and 15-20 / hour is all I could get in my first year thou by the start of the second, I was up to 25-30 / hour, and by the end of the second I was up to 35 / hour.

    Today in my 5th year, 50-60 / hour... It kinda works like that because today I can also knock out almost twice the work in the same time it used to take me 5 years ago.

    So but yeah, always raise your prices, but go slow don't go from 15-20 / hour straight to 40 / hour unless you can afford to lose all your customers, in which case you might as well go straight to 60 / hour but it is something I prefer to do over time because the competition's prices will not help you either. This way you also become comfortable with price raises, something which we eventually all face, my prices tend to go up a little bit every year, is how I think of it.
  10. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Hey Greengo...what kind of set up are you using? A 21" or 32-36" Im just curious

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