what to charge?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by git-r-done, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. git-r-done

    git-r-done LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    :hammerhead: just trying to get some pricing on what to charge per 1/4 acre. I know that I have to look for objects in the yard and so on but do you guys have some type of chart. 1/4= 1/2= 3/4= that you go by just in need of alittle help.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    ??? For what???
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Depends on time it takes. I guess bidding is an art. any one can toss a number out there but can they make money? or do they over bid? The number one thing is to figure out what your fixed operating cost are and a good idea of what your varible operating costs are.
    by fixed I mean your truck costs you x insurance x and equiptment x
    varible is fuel, supplies, and other things that vary due to the amount of work you are doing.
    once you have a good idea on this add what you would like to make per hour.
    example. costs =15 (give or take per hour) you would like to make 30 per hour so you charge 45 per hour.
    ok now look at
    drive time
    time at job
    time going to dump
    time getting supplies
    time for maintenance
    and other misc.

    it takes 20 min for you to do a 1/4 acre lot now add on 5 min drive, 2 min dump, 3 min maintenance and 5 min misc time. this is per job so you are looking at a 20 min job taking 35 so figure you want 45 per hour that bid is going to be 45per hour 35 min 60 min in an hour so 35/60*45=24.23 per mow. Now figure in fudge factors. rain, excessive growth and other. now you are at 25-27 per mow. fill in your rate and get your charge.

    OR you can charge 10 bucks like the neighbor kid and have a million accounts and go out of business in a year.
    good luck.
  4. git-r-done

    git-r-done LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    just mowing and trimming
  5. git-r-done

    git-r-done LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    thank you very much sildoc for the help!
  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Every lawn will be different. One thing to look for is the terrain of the yard. is it flat, or on a slope? Another thing that plays a part is how much trimming there is involved. Trimming will take more time, how many beds will you have to go around, are there trees with low laying branches, is there a trampoline in the yard, swimming pool, etc. Each lawn should be priced accordingly, not just just a flat price for say 1/4 of an acre.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    what jodi said is true. you cant really price by the sqft or acre. I have a 3 acre account that costs less and takes less time than one of my 1/2 acre lots. It takes me 1 hr for the 3 acre open and 1hr25 min for the 1/2 acre. tons of trimming and a pool to clean out when done. after you screw yourself out of a ton of money you will learn the right way. it is experience that you need to make good solid bids. I find in my early years after under bidding I way over bid some accounts that I could have done for half the price. Live and learn. Charge what the market will bare. do quality work and you can charge more. mow and go and get less.
  8. Myk

    Myk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    May I ask how much you charge for that 3 acre open. I gave a bid yesterday for a lady out of town takes about 30 mins to get there from my closes lawn its an open lot 3.1 acres I priced it for $100 every 10 days she about hung up on me when I told her.
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    95 a mow every week from march 15 till oct 31. leaves in fall 3 large oaks pushed to woods and mulch rest. spray fence line trim pump house and side walk. fert 3 times a year. total 375 a month 12 month contract. total 4500 a year. cost 30 a fert 1 hr to mow and trim spend a min or two looking at river and when the salmon are running I end up staying another 2 hrs fishing. great lady and fun to work with. runs her own business and knows what it takes so I think I came out even instead of a person that wants something for nothing.

    Now I use a 54" mower so if you are using a larger it will be less time or smaller it will be longer. wide open let it fly.
  10. Myk

    Myk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Thanks sildoc for the info. I would be mowing with a 60'' so it would take less time. I really wanted too open land mowing with a dip in, and million dollar houses around can't beat that.

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