Subcontracting questions:

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by diamondhedgelandscaping, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. diamondhedgelandscaping

    diamondhedgelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hey guys, i've been in business for years now and Im at the point where I'd like to sub work out for different reasons. I like the idea that my contractors and myself can put our heads together and tackle anything. I also like the fact I wont have to put up with most of the headaches as i'm only giving them the work and taking a small percentage of the profit. I came down with lyme disease a few months back and wasnt able to do much, work got behind and needless to say that's one of the reason im venturing down this path. Employees became a pain, and certain customers became a pain after i couldnt do the work I could months ago. I have work booked for the next month and many projects that will be tackled come spring, and I just cant do it. Honestly i think lyme disease took some of my motovation, and sucked my energy and drive away :/ I cant stomach "selling" the business or even any accounts, and this was the best way for me to get rid of some of the headaches and make sure the work is being done by professionals not kid i hire off the street. Any input would be appreciated.

    The second half of my post is pricing. We all pay taxes, were all insured, licensed etc. But the pricing for new accounts are what i'm struggling with. Customers i've dealt with the past few years I've charged them x amount, and so long as my contractor tells me a lower amount ill give him the job. For instance my first contractor is at this moment is doing a fall cleanup job for me. He bid me 25 an hour and i charge the customer 35 depending on the job. I've always thought its silly to say "i charge a set hourly rate for fall clean up" or whatever the job is. This lady for instance and her husband are both doctors, and i cant possibly charge her the same price i would charge an older lady who is tight with money. I'll end up losing business, it all evens itself out. Anyways, the numbers are this: the contractor told me 210, and I'll charge 260, and im wondering if that's kosher. Am i asking too much? Too little? I've also thought about giving the contractors a set price, "Ill charge you 15/20% of your earnings" I've though of for instance his fall clean up prices are 25 an hour, I'll charge customers 35 or so leaving me 9 dollars per labor hr, which i'm fine with. A 4 hour job will earn me almost 40 bucks, and today for instance he's working 2 jobs for me, and ill be paid 70 bucks today to do really nothing. Well i ate twice, and typed this, fed baby.....but really that's a good deal if you ask me. I simply set up jobs for the contractors, and they do it. But the pricing issue is what im concerned with and need advice from somebody who's done this. Anyways im going cross eyed and need to get away from this computer, leave input, advice, etc, thanks!
  2. johnnybow

    johnnybow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    I think you are on to something. Im a landscaper from corsica. If you ever need another person to call, get a hold of me. thanks john shofestall Shofestall landacape and design.
  3. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Messages: 1,041

    Personally, I think if you can get the jobs and get the payment it is not up to you to worry about what is fair to pay a sub. Your major concern should be to make sure you have the right sub - those that do a great job. I spent most of my life working in the seafood industry - seafood brokers aka lawn care brokers had a love hate relationship with everyone, hate the guy for the money he makes, but love him for the money he helps me make.

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