What's wrong with this pricing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by zoomer, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. zoomer

    zoomer LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 16

    I'm reactivating my lawn service in a couple of months and am considering the following:

    Most of the companies in my area charge around $20-$30 a week to mow a 6,000-9,000 sq. ft. yard. What I am thinking about is offering to do the same yard for $15.00 a week. If I can get, say 100 yards a week @ $15 each, that will be $1500 gross income.

    Labor cost for me is $8 an hour and we can manage 100 yards in 3 days with 2 men, plus myself. IOW, it would cost me about $400 labor. That leaves $500 a day, less overhead, for me.

    I’m I missing something?
  2. afftandem

    afftandem LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    what are you mowing with?
  3. MWHC

    MWHC LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 222

    Why wh0re up the market?? Do some more math and calculate your expenses. You may want to look into what workmans comp, unemployment, insurance, Gas, office work, equip, truck, trailer, etc etc etc cost you. Ah what the hell, at least buy nice stuff so someone can pick it up cheap when you go under.
  4. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I'll have to be fast here, to beat some of the other guys, who also want to know:

    If most every one in your area is mowing this size lawn for $20 to $30 a week, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THE SAME LAWN FOR $15?

    If you are just wanting to get a jump start on building a customer base, let me be the first to warn you, low-balling to get the work very rarely gets you any customer loyalty. What you usually get is a bunch of tightwad customers who will jump ship for the next lowballer to come down the street. And you will get a rude lesson in that if you think you can start off cheap, then raise the price the second season.

    But what the he!! do I know?
    try it. Maybe it will work out for you.
  5. zoomer

    zoomer LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 16

    Just to clarify, I have been a roofing contractor for the last 12 years and have done a limited amount of lawn services on the side. All of the usual overhead items are in place--office equipment, trucks, general equipment--but I would need to purchase better mowing equipment if my idea works.

    As selfish as it might seem, I'm not too interested in what is good for everyone else, i.e., other lawn service companies, I am mainly concerned about making as much money as possible for myself. (I doubt if they are concerned about me.)

    As for my main idea, I have been looking at advertising expenses vs. expected returns and have been wondering if I could just make it easier, and cheaper, by giving a discounted price up-front since most residential customers generally only care about the “bottom line”. Why not give them a "price they couldn't refuse" and be happy making a reasonable amount of money?

    Do I really have to go through the same agony that every other person does who starts in this business, and normally fails, or can I just go for the volume that will reap a decent profit?

    Thanks for all the replies
  6. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,342

    Why do you say ***** UP THE MARKET. IF he can make money offering cheapers services then let him be. Sucks for you guys with a million dollars overhead. I bought my stuff flat out. :cool2:
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,698

    I am going to assume that your lowballing approach to roofing isn't working out or has only been marginally effective or you wouldn't be trying to cut grass. Or is that all of the legal and reputable roofing contractors have run you out of the roofing business? Or maybe the state of Texas took your license?

    You are a man who double speaks. First you speak of making as much money as possible and then you speak of making a reasonable amount of money. Which is it?

    If you are making any kind of money as a roofing contractor why are you in such a rush to cut grass? Slow down, build a good customer base and make a lot of money by doing a top quality job and charging appropriately for it.

    There are a lot of us who are interested in raising the industry. We have learned and seen that those who corner the market usually never last long.
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Why have 100 $ 15.00 accounts instead of looking for 30 $ 50.00 accounts that would accept full service instead of mow and blow???....
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Those guys don't even know your around your like a bug on a windshield you hardly notice it and its gone soon enough
    Then why would you xpect to get any help from other lco? I'm not like that and will offer this advise $15 is good but if you really want to make some money do them for $10 and you can get alot more jobs :D

  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Richard, Thank you for saving me all that typing time!

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