Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Signature Services, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Signature Services

    Signature Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Have a question.... I want to charge $40.00 per hour. So, if I have a job I guess-timate to be 1 hour and 30 minutes I should charge $60 per time, right?
    Is there a difference from commercial to residential? How do I figure overhead (equipment costs, gas, travel)?
  2. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I'm just getting started in this myself, but here's what I've done for now. I figured out roughly what my overhead would be for a lawn that would take an hour. Then I factored that in to figure what I'd like to make per hour and what my market will support. My goal is to make between $40 and $60 per hour. My area has varying socio-economic areas - some will support and pay higher pricing, other can't and won't. I'm trying to stick to the areas that can pay for quality, reliable service at about $60/hour. Keep in mind, I'm offering not only lawn care, but small landscaping jobs and mulch also. I started advertising last week and I've got 3 estimates set up already for landscape/mulch jobs and it looks like I've got 2 nice size lawn accounts set up. I'm a school teacher full-time.
  3. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Go fill up the gas tank in your truck and your mower, and see how long it goes. If it lasts a week then divide the cost of the gas by 7 (number of days in a week). Then you know how much your daily gas costs are. Do this with every other expense, (payroll, parts, equip. maintainance, etc) and you will come up with your daily expenses. Then take your daily expenses and divide them by the number of hours you work everyday and you will have your hourly expenses. Then you will know that you need to be making AT LEAST that numer to break even. After that is done, figure out how much profit you want to make per hour, and tack that on and you have your final hourly price.
    After you get your hourly price, then you can go give out estimates BUT do NOT tell potential customers your hourly rate, tell them what you would charge to do the job. If they find out that you are charging $40 per hour (or however much you are charging) they won't want to pay that!
    As far as residential & commercial stuff, yes usually you do charge more for commercial accounts. The reason for this is because most commercial accounts require that you have insurance which makes your costs go up.
    Good luck!!!

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