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Should they know your hourly wage?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Slcareco, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    How do you present prices?

    Tell them your hourly rate and just bill them with a surprise


    Tell them an estimate and just bill them for the correct price?
  2. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    For mowing or landscape jobs I never give out my hourly rate. It's unnecessary. I am going to start bidding hedge trimming jobs by an hourly rate though. I've found that I just can't seem to nail down a very good time time frame to set a price for. I either think it is going to take a lot longer than it actually ends up taking, or it takes way longer than what I thought.
  3. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Well yeah for jobs like pruning, hedge trimming, clean ups what do you tell or show the client??
  4. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    You show them a brief description of the scope of work on an estimate sheet (or bill). You don't have to include a detail of your hourly rate. Estimate your hours and your hourly rate and give the the bottom line.
  5. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Well what I'm looking to do is full service maintenance no less and want to put it all in a proposal signed and agreed to, just having a little trouble trying to figure how to layout clean ups and pruning any suggestions?

    I hate to guess I like to be precise specially if I do neighbors and they happen to be good friends and find out there price was so much lower or vise versa
  6. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 959

    I figure my hours and I go per hour, when I present my estimate, I tell them that I charge by the job.
  7. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Ok and if you under estimate you just eat it?
  8. MOTES

    MOTES LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    if you under estimate, then try to deal it unless you want to try to talk to customer about the situation. The way i do it, figure how long it going to take over all, starting the job to finishing the job. My rate is $1 per minute for one man job. There will be jobs out there that we all at least under estimate on, but lesson learn and deal with it.
  9. Dave_005

    Dave_005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    when i go to look at the property i give them my price and they accept it or not. i Never tell them how much i make per hr or break it down for them, i just give a flat rate price. i will do it for X amount a week billed monthly, and all my accounts are billed for the month in advance. this way i know its always paid and i don't get stiffed. None of my customers have ever complained about it and it works out great for me.
  10. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    For a really big job that you are having some trouble estimating, sometimes time and materials is the best way to go. I'd only do that on big installs and ripouts myself. Even then, I'd rather take my best guesstimate and roll with my number. If I estimate 20 hours, and it takes 15, all the better. If it goes over, thems the breaks.

    The time and material thing can bite you too. I've heard some stories about customers whining about not working fast enough when a guy was just taking a 20 minute lunch break.

    If it's a big hedge trimming job, just bid it once. You will have to do it again this season, so then you'll have a better idea. If the customer gripes about a price increase, just tell him you lost your shirt last time. If he goes with someone else, so be it. If you came in low, he's going to know that before you do.... he's paid to have it done before.

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