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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hesscapes, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. hesscapes

    hesscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Hi :)
    We did a bid today (one of our first) and my husband bidded her $25 for cutting , but she also wants the hedges done. How much additional should he charge ?
    thanks much!!
    Hope everyone is getting the rain they need :blob3:
  2. SellOut

    SellOut LawnSite Member
    from Zone 8
    Messages: 101

    Figure how much it's going to cost you to do it. Then, figure out how much you want an hour. Estimate how long it'll take, then divide/multiple by your hourly charge.
  3. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I tell the client that it is so much per man hour. I don't give them a flat rate. Some have tried to back me into a corner and I will not do it. To many variables involved. Loading and Unloading is two of them. Another one is they come out while you are doing them and try to sweet talk you in to doing something else for them at no additional charge. Just my.02
  4. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    i hope it is a small yard, less than a 1/4 acre.

    for the hedges, charge 45-60$ per hour. if the customer wants to shoot the breeze, i am more than happy to at that rate.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes watch out for that, man I used to hate that crap but nowadays it all goes in one ear and out the other (except if they DO it, I usually add more $$$ to the price, mostly since I already know they're low-ballers and it is likely they will try and haggle and crap).
    If they DO back you into a corner / sweet talk you into some crap that, as you drive off down the road you realize you've been f'kd, please understand you are under NO obligation to show up and do the work.
    Been there, done that: Oooops, I bid too low / they sheistered me around... Oh well, gtg, then I just never show up.
    Well, what else can you do?

    Far as the hedges and what you just said, what I found helps me a lot of times is flexible pricing, I might tell them it will be between 40 TO 60 dollars (or 80-120), as an example. That helps with the getting backed into a corner but then when you do the job, don't just charge them the max of course, that is only so you have a little room to play.
  6. FFJSV

    FFJSV LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    IMO Topsites practice of just not showing up is very bad business. There have been lots of posts on this site that go something like this; if you do good work your customer will tell 3 people. If you do lousy work (ie. being a no show) your customer will tell 10 people. Word of mouth is a very fast way to both grow and destroy your business.

    As far as the hedges go, try and estimate how long it will take you, and come up with a price for the whole job. The $45 - $60 an hour is a good starting point, but do not tell your customer you are charging by the hour. Just give them a price based on the job. This way both you and the customer know what you will earn and pay respectively. Then, the faster you complete the job the more you make. Just be sure to do a good job. Even if you take a hit and loose a little money on this one, good things will become of it. You will learn how much time it will take, so you can adjust your price on the next job, and by doing a good job the customer will be happy and will refer you to others. Hope this helps.
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Number 1 in this biz it doing what you say your going to do.when you say your going to do it.
    It's much better to refuse work that's offered you by a cust because it won't pay you enough for you to waste your time on,
    than to make an oral agreement with a cust and then
    not show up.It's like lieing.
    Worst thing you can do to your reputation is not show up

    Now about the shrub thing,you may want to charge more the 1st trimming if they are overgrown,get them in shape then decide on a monthly charge for keeping them in shape.
    Hedges and shrub rows are different than deadheading and
    maintaining individual shrubs in the garden.On both you should do some homework and be sure of what your cutting and how it should be cut,
    There are some that if you cut them back wrong,you cut off all next years flowering growth
    some if you take off too much you expose the inside leaves and they burn,
    or expose the inner structure and the stems wont regenerate new growth,and you end up with a very ugly shrub.

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