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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Meier, Mar 18, 2003.

  1. Meier

    Meier LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 269

    I live in a Dallas suburb and I am just getting my business off the ground.

    I'm charging $7 per 1,000 square feet on the first 4,000 square feet for mowing. After that, I'm dropping to $3.50 per 1,000 square feet.

    I use a measuring wheel. I learned at Chemlawn back in my college days that looks can be very decieving.

    As for beds, I'm learning as I go. I have been quoting weekly bed weed maintenance at $15 per 1,000 square feet. The problem I'm running into is the initial clean up on the beds. I have a rate of $.40 per square foot to mulch beds, or $.25 per square foot to clean them up the first time if they don't want new mulch. If they won't buy the mulching or the clean up service, I won't sell them the weekly weed maintenance. (I'm not going to work two hours to make $4 just so I can make an extra $4 per week the rest of the season).

    Are these prices sensible?

    Also, I am pricing seasonal color at $8 per dozen, planted. The cost of a dozen pansies in the winter is $3.50 at Home Depot. The cost of a dozen Vinca in the summer is about $3.00.

    Are these prices sensible?

    As for mowing, if a customer wants just a one time mowing, what kind of premium is acceptable? I was thinking a 50% premium for one shot mowing above my normal rates, but even that won't be enough if the bermuda is growing 3" over the ede of the sidewalk and curbs. The one shot mowings will look like like **** when your done too, so picking up neighbors is less likely than with weekly customers.

    One last thing: If a customer is willing to sign a weekly contract and the if they have burmuda growing way over the edge of the sidewalk/curbs, is it acceptible to charge a premium on the first cut? It's taking me forever to get those edges dug out the first time. Or should I just figure it's a cost of getting a new weekly customer?

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

    DFW, TX
  2. LWNMWR1

    LWNMWR1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    take on as much work as you can then learn from the time it takes to figure out what to charge. just have in mind what percentage of profit you want to have at the end of the job
  3. Ajays

    Ajays LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    You will find that charging by the sq. ft. on beds is going to be a pain and you should just be able to look at them and after a while get a feel for how much to charge. Mulch sells by the cubic yard and is better to charge per cubic yard. (approx. $40/per yard). One cubic yard costs approx $12 covers 100 sq. ft. at 3 in depth and takes one person like 20 min to spread. Bed maint. means weeding and you should just guestimate by how long you think it will take to do it and how much you want to make for your time and effort.
    If you get a new client and the yard is trashed and needs major edging its ok to tell them a higher first time price because it is a lot more work. Usually not more than double their normal price is acceptable.
    The color change program... you should definately charge more. YOu have to go to the store and pick up the flowers and a lot of other miscelaneous stuff that you don't think of. Make it worth your while.
    Another helpfull hint. If your mulching a bed. Always use a pre-emergent on the area first. If this is done, you can make an extra $40 per 1000 sq. ft. and it will keep the weeds down for about a year.

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