Quoting Jobs

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mmcconn746, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. mmcconn746

    mmcconn746 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 11

    Talk about green...I have not even bought my equipment yet. As a Newbee, the thing that scares me most is not knowing how to quote when I get a potential Customer. I have seen answers to specific questions on this site but I am still not sure how to do it. Perhaps a hypothetical situation would work better. With that in mind, I would like to make some assumptions and hopefully some of you Professionals can tell me how you would quote the job. Probably I should stay with just lawn care and not get into landscaping at least in the beginning.

    Let's assume that you estimate that it will take 1 hour to "mow and blow" the yard and there are a few trees so there will be some leaves. Let's assume that the going rate is $50 per hour in the area. Since this is a hypothetical situation, feel to add assumptions that I might not have considered if that will make it easier to answer. With that in mind, please give me an example of what you would offer to do, how often and at what price per month/per job etc. I think that will help a lot of us Newbees. Thank you very much.

    Mike McConnell
  2. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Call some competitors and get a quote on your lawn.

    Just dont tell your secret.
  3. Now your asking the secret to making money. I cannot tell you this one.
  4. mmcconn746

    mmcconn746 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the suggestion...but... I would get a quote on my lawn...if I had one. We have a small farm and most open grass is fenced off for the horses. Probably 15% of of our "lawn" can be cut with a rider, half with a push mower...a very small one, and the remaining must be cut with a weed eater. I would not even quote my lawn if I knew how. LOL

  5. richard coffman

    richard coffman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    well, I think i might have answered this question allready in a nother thread so ya might have to search my responces out, but let's start with the sasic,
    I see a lawn and can all most tell what the quuare footage is, let's say 7,500 sq feet. mmm, well, I look at there lawn and see what's going on with it and what obsticals I will be going through.as a rule of thumb, I only do lawns on a weekly basis, no exceptions unless otherwise. On a 7,500 sq foot lawn, I usually charge $48.50 for the fertilizing and weed control, but add if they need a fungicide or any other special treatment, $40.00 for mowing and I'f they want extra, I'll tag that on too(this is where a palm piolet really comes good and handy for billing). for 8,000 on mowing, i charge $44.00, and on a 8,500 i charge $49.00 for mowing. hope this helps out and doesn't confuse. Please e-mail me for any more questions, willing to those who work as hard as i do.

    Richard Coffman/owner
    Special Needs Lawn Services:D
  6. Northwest

    Northwest LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Figure out how long it will take you. Then figure out how much you want to make an hour and divide. Say you want to make $30.00 an hour and each visit will take you a half hour. That would equal $15.00 a visit right. WRONG!! Add travel, unloading and loading time, equipment cost (truck, trailor, mowers, trimmers, blowers, shovels, pruners, blades ect.) each of these need parts, repair and or replacement. Gas, oil, insurance, billing and maintenance time, advertising, and a million other expenses that I am forgetting. Also when looking at the property be aware of big trees and how many leaves they are going to drop in the fall(more time), how many lawns on the property, it is faster to mow and edge one 5000 square foot lawn then three that are 800, 1200, and 3000 even though they are the same size, a steep slopped lawn takes longer to cut than a flat lawn. It would take to much time to calculate all expenses perfectly (anyone have a chart for this) but don't do what I did when I started and say I want to make $25.00 an hour so charge $22.00 for a property I would be 45 minutes on (not enough margin for expenses). Has anyone out there calculated equipment operation cost factoring consumables, gas, oil, filters ect. and repairs and replacement of each type of commercial lawn equipment. Say it cost $3.27 an hour to run a 21 Honda mower (gas $2.00, blades $0.50, filters $0.25, oil $0.02, replacement after 2000 hours $0.50 I do not know just numbers pulled out of thin air) I know a lot would vary on maintenance but if the equipment was kept up according to the manual. If anyone has figured this out a list would be nice and also post one or two sentences on what to look out for when estimating, like big trees ect. Something you have gotten burned on when you estimated and it took longer than you thought.
  7. lawncare

    lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Like I said on a previous post to sum other new guy but in your case buy your equip to see how much you have invested in your biz. if you have a particuliar area you are going to work in give your first few cust a discount or find the rate in your area, time yourself to see how long it takes after a FEW TRIES YOU CAN JUST LOOK AT A YARD AND NAME YOUR PRICE. I see you are in georgia in the Stone mt. and avondale area they are going for 60 and 50 a yard. I know cause i have quite a few cust moved from bham to atl and I wasn't about to let you peaches takem:D so i move with if they are paying good. hope this help you out im coming next week to cut a few.:cool:
  8. mmcconn746

    mmcconn746 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the suggestions on determining the cost. After you do that, how do you quote...annual contract, 9 month contract, by the job etc.? Do you use a contract and if so, what would the contract say. Is an example available somewhere? This may have been covered before but I am new and have not seen it. Thanks a lot. Maybe I can contribute something someday.

  9. Flipper

    Flipper LawnSite Member
    from atlanta
    Messages: 17

    I am also starting up a lawn care buss. in march, in griffin georgia. I've been a maintenance tech for 15 years, and decided I'm sick of being inside. So, I'm gonna do something I've always wanted to do. I was lucky enough to save enough $$$ to get started and have a little lee-way too.

    I understand how you feel totally. If it were not for this sight, I would probably be dry heiving from my nerves being tore up, hehe. Its a big risk,, it will take a big cometment. And I'm going to make some mistakes, but I will learn from them.

    I would just suggest that you get familer with the pricing of mulch and annuals and stuff that you might get into other than mowing so you can give an on-site estimate with out going "daa, daaa, daa". Just practice, make a couple of pretend estimates for lawns you are familer with, then triple check your figures. This will at least give you a reference to go by with other lawns. And remember, I've read it here a bunch,, never under-estimate, try to be fair, but if in doubt, OVER- estimate.

    Down the road, when you actually get to talk to your new customers, always smile, be friendly, make eye contact, and be their best friend for a minute or two.

    Since we are gonna be neigbors,, why dont ya e-mail me,,

    Tony awake@charter.net peace

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