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Question about bidding jobs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Big C, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    Is bidding jobs at $1 per minute rate a good formula for bidding residential jobs(cut. trim and blow)
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, it isn't, not by itself, thou it can come in handy as a backup formula, something you use to double check yourself, way I do things is add up the same job in more than one way.

    You really want at least two but three formulas to use for estimates, that way you add it up three different ways and have three figures to compare, it's way more accurate and far less chance you'll miss the mark by a mile so to speak.

    Another way is by the amount of work, no matter how long it takes, how much work is it?
    Experience will tell you these things in time, I might recommend making a price list or a chart to help you along until you remember it all, I still use mine 6 years later, very handy those pricing guides.
  3. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    in my op ion $ 1 per minute for mowing , blowing and trimming is good . if the customer agrees.. i try to figure in drive and clean up so if it takes my on average 20 min. on a property i will charge $25.00 - $ 30.00 per visit... if i have a few on that side of town it will be $25.00 if not i charge a little more and hope to get more lawns on that side of town...........
  4. mowing grass 1111

    mowing grass 1111 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 433

    i have commercial accounts that pay well over 1 per minute ..around $79 a hour after fuel and help
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    And help...

    You're doubtful going to get away with $60 / hour when you show up with whatever just getting started. Customers see noobosity and also the lack of experience and having exactly the right equipment for the job will affect how long it takes, is all I'm saying.

    There's no way, I hardly get $60 an hour with a 2,400 cfm push blower that does at least twice what the best backpack does... I can't get much past 40 an hour with the backpack and don't mind me because I usually have the handheld in my other hand so there's two blowers going, last but not least leaves take practice.

    It's like that with everything, be it lawn mowing or mulch or whatever, it all takes practice, the better you get the higher your hourly.
    Starting out at a high hourly rate is a little bit like showing up at the Olympics first time expecting to take the gold, sort of.

    You can try it, certainly it is always better to highball because you can always come down (and you can never go up so if you start too low it's bad news).

    But I would try 45 an hour for starters, that's 75 cents / minute.
    And that may still be too high, I started at 30 but that was back in the days of $2 fuel, I think you can get away with just under $45 so start at 45 because everything has gone up in price so that should be ok.
  6. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    I agree. Too many people jump into this biz and expect $60/hr or more. You dont start a job at any company at the top of the pay scale so why should a customer pay a noobie high rates. You'll also have to take the less desirable jobs since most of the experienced guys either charge high for the PITA factor or just flat out wont do it.

    You should focus on learning and documenting as much as you can in your first year instead of being concerned w/making top dollar. Thats my opinion.
  7. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    very good info for the new guy and the ones of us that have been in this for a few years and are starting to forget how we all started thanks for the eye opener
  8. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I started 6 yrs ago charging $30 an hour on most jobs, a few I charged as much as $35 (WOW) Now 90% of my jobs are $60 with a few $70-$75 per hour jobs.

    After just a few years, you will be surprised at what took hours to do in your first year that you can do in an hour now. I agree start around $30-$35 an hour and work your way up to $60+ with the more experience you gain. One thing I learned was the more experience I gained the hight quality of work got, The higher the quality got the more my clients didn't mind the prices going up.
  9. CuttersEdgeks

    CuttersEdgeks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    I average $50 an hour but have a couple guys with abunch of rentals that I work with on pricing and have gotten alot of jobs from them with refferals.

    I gety $60 hr on my others.

    with 12-17k setting on your trailer and only 9 months of mowing to make your money then add $3 gallon gas. you have to be up in that range by the time you figure maintance and repairs. if you have a dedicated truck for the bussiness figure in the oil changes brakes tires ins tags and repairs it really adds up not includeing the mowers and hand helds. when you through all this at a unhappy customer that doesnt like a price 90% of the change there tune the other you drop. I have been lucky and have had very few say anything most are very happy with the price.

    you cant base an hourly wage on just having a push mower and cheap trimmer either. it should be based on having the right equip. you might have to eat some at first until you get the equip.

    depending on your equip and exspenses should set your hourly wage but I think you need to be in that 50-60
  10. Kut N Edge

    Kut N Edge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Im new to the biz and its hard to charge alot an hour when you only have a push mower. When you get your zturn or wb then you can charge an hourly rate. A small yard around here takes about two hours with a push mower and 30 is an average of what you will get. How do you price when you have only a push mower?

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