Tell me how i did!!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by BlueGrassBoy, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. BlueGrassBoy

    BlueGrassBoy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Okay. I have been putting up fliers for about a week now. Today I get a call about a landscaping job. The guy wants two dogwood trees, one pink and one white. During our first phone call he blatantly explains that he doesn't mind spending 80 for each tree, because he wants a high quality job. I first visited 2 wal-marts and a lowes, neither of the two carried white dogwoods. Finally I visited a nursery who had 2 very nice specimens of both the white and pink dogwood, for $85 each. The only thing I did wrong was purchase a $30 lower quality tree pink dogwood, before actually speaking with him. But I'm going to mark up each tree to $100 each, which is $200. Then $20 for my fuel which was really only about $12, and sixty for two hours of labor. Final bid is $280.00. I quoted him 275 on the phone but will negotiate the 5 bucks lol just to make it even. This is my first real job as of starting in this business this year. I am so excited, though I wish I had some mowing accounts by this point. But, It is still early in the year here in Kentucky, so I must be patient. I want you more experienced guys to tell me how I did wit negotiating my first landscaping job. Thanks and God Bless.:)
  2. MTenterprises

    MTenterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I think you did fine, but do you know how to properly plant trees?
  3. BlueGrassBoy

    BlueGrassBoy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I tell you what I do and you can tell me what to do different, or if I'm doing it right.

    First I'll make sure the planting hole is as deep as the existing rootball on the tree, to plant at the same depth. But, the hole itself will be about 2.5-3 times the width of the rootball to allow for easier root devlopment in the early stages of the trees life. Before covering the tree with soil I will gently cut a little or actaully tear the root ball out a little to also allow roots to take hold faster. I will also fill a partial amount of the soil with actual miracle grow potting soil with nutrients and fertilizers in it to feed the tree, last but not least give it tons of water to help with the stress of being newly transplanted, and maybe a stake or two for extra support, or to support straight, vertical growth...close??? This is just based off my prior knowledge of planting things, lol.
  4. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,109

    Try your best to locate a wholesale nursery and buy from them regularly and become familiar with their stock so you don't drive around town looking at trees or plants (the time you spent looking for the plants has to factor into the price down the line)--maybe charge a delivery fee of $40-$60-- Too many guys run around town and don't figure that into their cost of doing business-Make sure to get a check when you finish--
    -type a brief estimate on a word processor stating what you are agreeing to plant and state the price. Also include your terms for payment--!!Due at time of job completion!!! When someone says to you...'bill me', make sure you have the invoice in hand and ask for the payment then and there-not later.
    good luck--
  5. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,109

    Get them to sign the estimate EVERY SINGLE TIME before you start work so there are no misunderstandings-
  6. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 780

    *shakes head*
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    That was cheap what size was the trees whats the base size
  8. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    If he already said he won't pay more than $80.00 per tree, total of $160.00 How do you think he's going to pay your $280??

    And Wal-mart for a tree? Oh boy
  9. BlueGrassBoy

    BlueGrassBoy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    No, the guy said he would not mind paying 80 for the trees, that it was fine because he wanted a high quality job. One tree was $75 the other was $85, so for the trees alone was $160. Then I factored in the maybe two hours locating trees last night in my free time. I did find a nice nursery, though it was retail the quality was undeniable. I also bought a tarp to cover them in my truck and protect them from foliage damage. So here are my expenses:

    Total time invested: 3 hours, including locating trees, and the job itself.

    Fuel: $20
    Trees and tarp:$174
    Three hours of time:$30...10 per hour not working...?
    So 280-224 is $56 dollars for three hours work. Not too bad I don't think for a first job, but there is definitely room for improvement. I should have bid 300, but we learn as we go. But I couldn't argue with 18+ per hour for my first job. Just hope i get continue business, and desperately need to land some mowing accounts. I did learn that landscaping is much more profitable than mowing, but harder to find jobs without an established company...tell me what you the way the guy came outside half way through the job and payed me the 280 and went back to sleep lol, all in all i enjoyed the job this morning haha
  10. BlueGrassBoy

    BlueGrassBoy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41


    I think you misunderstood. During my first conversation with this client he clearly said that he doesn't mind paying 80 for the trees each...but of course i told him that i would mark them up to atleast 100 each.. he actually said he wanted trees in that price range. i also told him i would charge for fuel and labor and quoted him 275 on the second call after i located the materials and he agreed. This guy was an older man who works second shift in a factory..10 hours shifts. he got off work at three in the morning. i had the job finished about 10 this morning, he woke up, barely looked over the job i was half way finished with..he said you want 275 right? i looked at him smiling and said i was thinking 280, just for good humor...which actually worked out because he laughed and said thats what i have anyways..14 20 dollar bills...he then proceeded to pay and go back in his house to catch some sleep bc he had to be at work at 4:30 pm today, i asked him if he needed any mowing or anything...he said he mostly does it himself unless he is too tired or busy with his job...i quoted him for a mowing price anyways and offered the service and told him to give my number to anyone he knows with a similiar size yard for the price i gave him which was 30 per cut. he said he may want some more trees in his backyard soon that he would probably call me .... i said fine and thanks, have a nice day..then he left...all in all it was first landscaping job...i learned alot from it also despite the fact of the simplicity of the job..i just wanted to clarify that...SRL28 thanks

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