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Raising rates after 3 years Landscape Gardener

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by h&m GARDENS, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. h&m GARDENS

    h&m GARDENS LawnSite Member
    Female, from Newport, ri
    Messages: 216

    Good morning! It's been a long time since I have posted here so I apologize for my absence and participation! I am a landscape gardener. I acquired 85% of my business from my former employer 3 years ago. My revenue has steadily increased each year. Up until now, I have been a one woman show due to not being able to find or keep help.
    For the past 3 years, I have charged 50/hr or 75/hr for 2 woman crew.
    Landscapers in my area charge roughly 40/hr for labor on landscaping jobs.
    I have an opportunity to bring on a very experienced part time worker who I have worked with in the past, however, she needs to make 35/hr in order for it to make sense for her. I feel that it is well worth it because of the time/money she will save me in the end.
    I want to increase my hourly rate to 60/hr or 85/hr to cover this increased expense. I usually use 1 yard waste bag per hour on average and haul bags to my compost facility. I charge 2.50 per bag (that costs .35 ea) to cover this cost. I am wondering if that makes sense or I should calculate that differently.

    Thank you for your time and thoughts!!
     
    hort101 likes this.
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,480

    I would try to charge by the job and not by the hour. Use the rate you need to charge for you estimates.
    Charge for disposal and time hauling debris not just for the the bag.
    At 35 per hour is that a 1099 sub contractor. Or are you adding the additional payroll taxes on top of the 35? If so 60 per hour is not nearly enough.
    Why charge 65 or 80 per hour to have help and pay them 35 when alone you can get 50?
    With help you will make 30-45 and work less hours?
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,712

    If you charge $50 for one person why is the 2nd person half price? Just cause the 2nd person speeds things up doesn't mean the client gets a better price. It means you make more money per day by being able to do more jobs that day.

    As far as the compost bags goes you need to cover the cost of the bag, time to take bag to facility and a little something extra call profit. I'm sure your in business to make money. So the bag cost you $0.35 I would charge the client the $2.50 plus a haul away fee and any dump fees.
     
    FitzRightMowingService and Cam15 like this.
  4. OP
    OP
    h&m GARDENS

    h&m GARDENS LawnSite Member
    Female, from Newport, ri
    Messages: 216

    My billing doesn't reflect a per hour rate, just the total. With how my work fluctuates, I can't see doing a flat rate per job.
    Yes, that's a 1099.
    The reason it's not a double charge with 2 people is because we don't do double the work...honestly, it just doesn't come out that way, it's more 1 and 1/2. But I do see your point.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    h&m GARDENS

    h&m GARDENS LawnSite Member
    Female, from Newport, ri
    Messages: 216

    That makes sense to me. I guess I am just afraid to go from charging what I do now to doubling with 2 people. Also, see above, but I guess you are saying that it doesn't matter.
    I don't have any dump fees. The dump is literally less than a mile from my house, however it takes me 35 min to get from most of my job sites to my house. What would you think is a fair haul away fee? Also...this hurts my brain but....if I have say 4 accounts in one day that accumulate 10 bags total, am I really going to charge a haul fee to all 4 but then on another day of 1 account accumulating 10 bags and only having one haul fee? I just can't wrap my head around charging a haul fee for 1 bag or 10, KWIM?
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. ShowCaseLawnCare

    ShowCaseLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    Not sure what you are using now but you should look into getting a small dump trailer.
     
    Cam15 and KUMA01 like this.
  7. OP
    OP
    h&m GARDENS

    h&m GARDENS LawnSite Member
    Female, from Newport, ri
    Messages: 216

    My truck. Honestly the hassle is only spring and fall and not worth adding that. I'm not a landscaper picking up all that you guys do just clearing out garden beds.
     
  8. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,129

    You should definitely raise your rates. Your doing something that most people wont/can't do and are more than willing to pay someone else to do it. If you do a quality job then that's what counts in the end and quality costs money.
     
  9. hal

    hal LawnSite Gold Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 3,406

    Why not charge per job a hauling fee? You are looking at this bassackwards. If you only had one job you would charge a hauling fee, that goes the same with each job no matter what you haul off. If you haul more you charge more. You are the expert, professional... start acting like one and charge accordingly.
     
  10. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 7,712

    Yes, each client gets charged a dump fee.

    What you need to do is figure out how much you want for the 10 bags. Then break it down to each bag. You charge each client for the bags they need.

    For example you want $100 for the 10 bags. Each client is charge $10 per bag.

    Personally I charge $125 for 1 yard of green waste and $50 for each additional up to 3 yards. That's the most my truck will haul and jobs bigger then that I usually pass on as a solo. I am also charged to dump so that cost has to be passed on.
     

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