Side Work

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by capecodlawn, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. capecodlawn

    capecodlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39


    First of, thanks all for wealth of information provided! I'm getting started in the business (or coming out of retirement :confused: "mowed lawn's" in High School and College). Well, I'm back in the game, presently have 20 lawn customers. My customers are all very pleased and have begun to inquire about side work... IE. Hedge trimming, edging, pruning, mulching, aka = general property maintenance.

    I had done some research and learned the "big lco's" on the Cape bill out at $35/hour for these services. Seeing that I am getting started and have very little overhead, $25/hour seemed reasonable. But yesterday I trimmed some hedges for 2 hours and only made $50, whereas earlier in the day I mowed 2 lawns in hour and made $70. I'm wondering if I should have given a price for the job up front. Or if simply my $/hr is too low. For what I did, trimming 6 very mature arborvitae’s - it should have been $100 job minimum. Likewise, on Thursday (for 2 hours) I used my power edger to reshape some beds, walkways and driveway, again only $50 and this seemed to be a $150 job to me. I have the equipment that gets the job done efficiently & professionally, so perhaps I should be charging more? I'm not the type to milk the job for the billable hours, if I'm working, I'm hustling. I have other example's, but the bottom line I do not like finishing a job and feeling as though the customer got a helluva deal.... Maybe that is the wrong attitude as well? :dizzy:

    OK, thought's on billing for sidework would be appreciated!

  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    If you have the equip and know what you are doing and can offer a professional product.........why not charge what the others do?

    Something I have done is called companies in my area that I consider to be as of high caliber in work as I am and pretended I was a customer gettign prices on different services..........maybe you should try that?

    An idea would be to have a minimum charge in mind...............maybe break it down into 1/2 day and full day at $100 and $200..........3hrs work I would still consider 1/2 day, you have costs to cover.

    For the Arb's I would have just giv'n a price to prune them vs hourly wage............then you could look at it as $50 a tree for example.
  3. capecodlawn

    capecodlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Those are some very good ideas! Thanks!
  4. pgoulding

    pgoulding LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Hey hows it going, I'm right near you in West Yarmouth. I only do my neighborhood but next year will be servicing a larger area when i get my license. I am 16 and have no problem getting $30/hr for the jobs that you were talking about above and know of some larger companies in the are that charge $40-$45/hr for those services. So if i were you i would be looking in the $35-$40 /hr range, but you don't even have to tell that your hourly rate if you know how to estimate how long the job is going to take you and just give them a total price without breaking it down. Hope to see you around town.

  5. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    like what pgoulding said, i don't tell the customer the hourly rate im trying to obtain when doing a job. I know the hourly rate i want and i give an estimate based on the number of hours i think it is going to take me to do the job.
  6. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    $35 per hour is too low, I guess its okay for you since your just starting out. Those are the kind of numbers you shout for "per man hour" not encluding your self. You should be getting Atlest $45 per hour your self.

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