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Starting lawn spraying business in early spring

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jkephart, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. jkephart

    jkephart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I am going to start my own lawn spraying business the first of next year. Can anyone please give me some advice, this is going to be a part time starting out (nights and weekends) as I have a full time job. I would like to be full time after my first year if everything goes well. I am going to go take the test to get my license in the next couple of weeks.

    I was wondering if any more could give me and tips on what to do or shouldn't do and how much to charge. When I bid a job would I bid by square feet or what. I am new to this just need a little help getting the fine details worked out any help would be appreciated.

    Jacob K.

  2. Georgia Lawn Works LLC

    Georgia Lawn Works LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    You can do it one of two ways. And both mainly come out to the same end result. It's just some people perfer to do it one way than the other. Hourly and by area.

    We are not into spraying yet but nothing will change much when we do as far as calculating labor. I would suggest you charge for labor and materials seperatly. I would figure out what you want to make an hour, Which will include two things.

    General labor rate in your area for the service you are providing.

    How much you want and need to make for your business to be successful.

    You may have to start out using both hourly and aera calculations to give somone a price since it is a little different that mowing since you are actually applying a product down. With mowing you basicly have to figure in equipment wear and tear which is a little different in this case.
    So with this you need to know how much your cost is for spraying each product down.

    Tips to factor in yur cost (May need to factor in others depending on where the business goes)

    Equipment maint.

    Hopefully thats helps a little.
  3. Maple Wood

    Maple Wood LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I charge everything by a square ft formula. This is much more profitable than a time and materials deal. It gives you incentive to be efficient. The customer has no need to know how much you make per hour, and I do not want them to know. Find out what the going rate per 1000 sq ft is in your area. Here is a suggest pricing schedule

    0-8m sq ft = base price or minimum.
    8-20m = x per 1000 sq
    20-40 = 10 to 20% less than 8-20
    40 up = 10-20% less than 20-40
  4. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I charge a penny per square foot. I measure the yard and figure a price. I have a minimum of $30. Most people in my area have no problem with my price. Just be sure you have a license and insurance.
  5. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I charge a penny per square foot. I measure the yard and figure a price. I have a minimum of $30. Most people in my area have no problem with my price. Just be sure you have a license and insurance. I charge more for commercial than residential yards. Commerical properties are 1 1/2 cent per square foot to 2 cents.
  6. Grass Shark

    Grass Shark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 660

    What kind of experiance do you have with spraying? Do you have any turf management training?
  7. jkephart

    jkephart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have been helping a friend spray lawns for the last couple of years, and that's about all the lawn spraying experience I have.
    I do have another good friend that is getting out of spraying and he is just going to mow. I am going to buy his yards. He told me he would be more than glad to help out with the first year.
  8. jkephart

    jkephart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Can you give me any ideas on which test I should take besides the ornamental and lawn care. I have heard of a good class/seminar that they talk about the latest equipment and products along with different techniques to use.

    The friend I have been helping just has a 200 gallon skid sprayer from Lesco. It seems to do a good job. I will be starting with about 50-60 yards mostly small yardss in subdivision's but I do have a couple of yards that are 2-4 acres I will be using a boom spray for the big ones but plan on using a skid spray mounted in back of truck for the rest.

    any suggestions on what I should get or do will be appreciated.

    J. Kephart
  9. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,268

    When you say "help", do you mean you only did spraying or did you mix or estimate or choose the chemicals or what? If all you did was the application, what do you say to a potential customer that asks about your experience?

    Why is the friend getting out of the spray biz? Not making money? If that is the case, how will you make money? You're going to buy his yards? What if the client chooses not to "be bought," do you still have to pay your friend?

    Maybe my cynicism will be helpful.
  10. jkephart

    jkephart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    The friend that is selling his spray yards is 62 years old and he is just going to mow a few he also farms. He has had these yards for 15+years and is not wanting them to go to just anybody I have known him since I was born and he knows I will do the best job he is willing to help me the first year

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