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This is how i've been estimating

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KingMoneyNYC, May 1, 2008.

  1. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Tell me if i'm doing this wrong...?

    First I pay myself $25 an hour, and I pay my single helper $15 an hour....my labor costs are $40 an hour for now

    Then for every trip I make to a property I add $5 for gas....

    So for example, If I have a property that I cut 4 times a month and takes me an hour each time, I will charge 40+5 x 4 =$180...

    Now what's screwing me up is what if i add two more workers?

    I know THEORETICALLY two more workers would speed it up but they would also make my labor costs astronomical.....

    What am I doing wrong??? (I am kind of regretting starting my helper at $15 now, but moving him down to $10 doesn't seem like a big difference anyway)

    What else should I include in my price? wear and tear? marketing costs? how do I simplify this?

    Thanks for the info in advance
  2. Acswaupaca1

    Acswaupaca1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 482

    insurance, workmans comp, taxes, advertising, repairs, replacement costs...do i need to continue. A 15 dollar per hour worker should be bringing in 25 an hour for a newer company. More with experience.
  3. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    How do I simplify estimating?
  4. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    If you go too deep into estimating with lawns, you'll realize soon enough that the profit margins are just not there.

    In my opinion, you either go very big in cutting lawns to go around the 90% of lcos that dwell in the bottom and bring prices down, or you find another service.

    I'm just being bluntly honest with you. If you don't mind working for the equivalent of a salaried employee with few of the benefits, great, you found your career.

    Good luck with estimating. :)
  5. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    when you say go big...do you mean do volume? If the profits margins aren't there how are most landscapers making their money?
  6. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Yes, volume because most guys are solo, and with volume you need many helpers. The idea is to offer a service that is very different from the usual 90% of all lcos. If you're not different, you'll make the 30 to 40 grand a year after expenses, which is very low for 6 to 7 days a week, lots of worries, no pension, health care etc.... If you're in business, you should make at least 40 to 60k the first few years, and then, you'll need to up that to 80 to 120k to make it worthwhile and to offset all you don't have as a business owner.

    Our business fine tunes the most profitable services every year, as markets change so that as a worker, I can pull a sizeable pile of coins, and my staff can make good too.

    Lawnmowing as you may have noticed by now can be done by a trained monkey with a credit card. Very low barrier to entry=low profit.

  7. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    just outta of curiousity what do you pay your workers?
  8. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    you havent included any money for truck/mower/equipment, nor their replacemnt, insurance, workmans comp, winter savings, retirement, your way off in your prices! one hr of work, 2 guys, im well over $100 for that. but if your only using 2 21" push mowers out of the back of a station wagon, there is only so high you can charge.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That sounds like a pretty decent rate, it will get better in time but I think $40 per hour with a helper should make it through.

    Well, we cut our costs, at least that's how I do it.
    Don't worry about this too much rather just try to get through the year, but I can tell you watch your expenses, don't spend a lot.
  10. KingMoneyNYC

    KingMoneyNYC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    so how do you estimate when you goto a site? do you have a set number in your head already and just multiply that by how long it would take you?

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